MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS (1993-1997)
Episode: No Clowning Around (1×11)
Director: Adrian Carr
Teleplay: Mark Hoffmeier
Cast: Amy Jo Johnson, David Yost, Walter Jones, Thuy Trang, Austin St. John, Paul Schrier, Jason Narvy, David Fielding, Richard Steven Horovitz, Richard Genelle, Barbara Goodman
Original Air Date: September 17, 1993
Reason for Inclusion: One of the five episodes available on VHS. Also the episode I’ve seen the most.
We open on a fairground in Angel Grove. Zack is walking around on stilts, rather impressively, while Kimberly states that all she can balance are shopping bags. Inevitably, Zach falls to the ground where a clown (shudder) helps him out of the stilts. The gang heads off to find the rest of the fair’s excitement while the clown watches. Suddenly his face disappears to reveal a Putty Patroler, and another clown, who is even creepier looking tells him not to worry…they will soon have them all! EVIL LAUGHTER. EVIL LAUGHTER. GEOFFREY DOESN’T SLEEP FOR A WEEK.
Trini and her obnoxious cousin Sylvia are searching for the rest of the Rangers.
Bulk and Skull are causing their usual mayhem. They discover the gang with Pineapple the Clown, where Billy is attempting to juggle eggs…badly. Bulk and Skull end up with egg on their face. Literally.
Sylvia wants to stay and play with Pineapple, for some inexplicable reason. Trini says that they need to stick together.
Meanwhile on the moon, Rita gloats about how the fair is just a gigantic trap and that Pineapple is really the Pineoctopus…which is a strange pineapple octopus hybrid (and again Geoffrey doesn’t sleep). This monster will use magic dust to turn the Rangers into cardboard cut-outs and then take over the world. There is nothing not creepy about any of this.
We return to the fair where the Rangers are making a human pyramid. Trini leaves Sylvia momentarily, which is just in time for Pineapple to invite her away with him. Possibly to eat her.
Trini goes off in search of Sylvia and finds her just in time to see Pineapple turn her into a cardboard cut out.
Trini finds the Rangers and explains what happens. Billy says he can probably fix her in his garage (not creepy, either) so Trini heads to his lab while the others get everyone to leave the fair by telling them it’s a trap from Rita and they are in danger. Mass hysteria ensues and eventually all that’s left are the clowns….who turn into Putty Patrolers.
Pineapple tries to lead Billy away so he can be turned into a cut out. Billy manages to escape as the other Rangers fight the Putty Patrol. Eventually, Pineapple has enough and melts into the ground and becomes the evil Pineoctopus.
The Rangers morph into action to battle Pineoctopus while Trini and Alpha 5 figure out how to save Sylvia. All she’s missing is water, so Alpha pours a bucket of water on her and she’s magically restored to being a person again.
We cut to the park where the Pineoctopus and Goldar have decided to chill together. The Pineoctopus uses some strange glittery stuff to attack the Rangers…telling them “It won’t hurt a bit, but it might hurt a lot!”
The he attacks them with laser balls of some sort. Cause again, not-creepy.
Rita uses her wand to make Pineoctopus grow to gigantic size.
The Rangers summon their Zords and do some neat stuff. Using the horns of his Zord, Billy captures Pineoctopus and Zach uses his freeze blast to turn him into an icicle…a giant creepy icicle.
And then the bring out MegaZord and take out Pineoctopus. Because that’s what they do. However they use the weird laser beam from their head to take him out.
Back on the moon, Rita has a headache.
We return to a Rita-free fair, where Billy is showing off on the stilts. Sylvia tells Trini that she learned her lesson. All is right in the world.
This was one of the three episodes I owned on VHS as a kid, and probably the episode I watched the most…largely because it featured Kimberly, and was of the release set that had an interview with Amy Jo Johnson before hand. I was totally obsessed with the Pink Ranger. I’m not sure if it was because I liked her best, if it was because she was super pretty, or if it was because I wanted to be her. When my friends and I would play Power Rangers, I was always Kimberly.
That said, this episode always terrified the pants off of me, even though I never admitted it. I have a deep-seated fear of clowns, so the whole first half of the episode is terrifying. Then he turns into that Pineapple-Octopus thing and that’s just freaky as hell. This is when I learned that Japan is weird. They like weird things. Pineapple-Octopus monsters are de rigeuer for Japan. Doesn’t make it any less terrifying.
Aside from all that, this is a very cohesive episode. The footage of the head laser beam is actually recycled from “High Five” (and if you look closely you’ll see the Tyrannosaurus’ foot in the shot). Hoffmeier actually wrote my favorite episode (which comes next) but the rest of his episodes in Season 1 are pretty inconsequential and are going to be skipped over. The plot from Zyuranger is pretty ridiculous, involving a sneezing virus. I’d say we got a trade up for America there.
A very solid A episode. The episode has some solid writing and is actually well shot and occasionally creepy.
On a different note, we have two more episodes before the Green Ranger Saga begins…excited yet?