MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS (1993-1997)
NOTE: This being what I call “The Green Ranger Saga.” The next 6 weeks will focus on this saga alone, five episodes and one big closing post of analysis and thoughts. Subsequently, there will no closing commentary for each individual episode beyond the final thoughts.
Episode: Green With Evil: Out of Control (Part I)
Director: Robert Hughes
Teleplay: Gary Glasberg & Stewart St. John
Cast: Amy Jo Johnson, Jason David Frank, 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: October 5, 1993
Reason for Inclusion: Introduction of the Green Ranger/Tommy, plus being a pretty epic 5-part series
Jason is gearing up for an epic karate tournament. He’s reasonably confident however a new guy has him a bit nervous. This same new guy has Kimberly nervous in a totally different way.
Meanwhile on the moon, Rita is spying on the new guy and decides he would make a perfect Green Ranger. What could be better than using a teenager to destroy other teenagers…said no one ever.
Jason and Tommy are competing against each other and are very evenly matched. For every point Jason gets in, Tommy comes back and gets one. The match ends in a draw.
Both are good sports about it, although Jason is bummed he didn’t win. Trini reminds him that the winning or losing isn’t the important part, it’s the training and discipline. Trini is also an out of touch liar. Jason heads off to shower and Trini, Billy and Zack head towards the Juice Bar. Kimberly, has her sights set on a different tall drink of water.
The next day at school, Bulk and Skull approach Kimberly at her locker and attempt flirtation. Or whatever it is they usually attempt. In some ways, they could be a great guide for how to not attract women and how to find yourself in a sexual harrasment lawsuit.
New Guy comes up behind them and in his trademark terrible acting style tells them to back off. Bulk and Skull suggesting teaching him a lesson, until he shows off his crazy karate skills for them.
Then as he’s walking away she introduces herself. He tells her his name is Tommy. She invites him to hang with herself and the rest of the gang after school. He agrees, the music makes love noises and we fade to….
The moon, where Rita is calling upon the power of the Sixth Power Coin. She tells no one in particular that Tommy shall become the Green Ranger if he can pass a test involving her Putty Patrol. To be fair, anyone could really pass this test, as most of the Putties seem to be…well…idiots.
After school, Tommy and two guys we’ve never seen before and will never see again are walking along a downtown street…that apparently is somehow near Angel Grove High and/or the Juice Bar. He turns down an alley way and is attacked by Putties. He makes quick work of the grey idiots.
On the moon, Rita uses her magic to warm up her crystal ball to receive Tommy, before fetching him from Earth herself.
She places Tommy in some strange room where he’s draped in gauze and looks really dead and creepy-like.
He rises up looking all creepy and evil like (and very briefly Asian…more on that). Rita commands him to go to the Command Center and destroy Zordon.
She transforms him into the Green Ranger and sends him on his way.
Conveniently, Alpha 5 has powered down to recharge while Zordon has begun the process of going into a meditative state. When Tommy arrives he is able to make quick work of Alpha 5 with a virus loaded on a CD-ROM. Zordon questions why he is there (even though he is obviously dressed like a Ranger and only Rangers can enter the Command Center), and tries to reason with Tommy. Naturally, Tommy just laughs and proceeds to destroy the Command Center and cut off all contact with Zordon.
With Zordon out of the way, Rita gloats. For some reason, Squatt and Babbo are in a forest…and Goldar is by the ocean. But regardless of the strange location shifts for all involved, Rita sends her magic wand to make Goldar grow and wreak havoc on Angel Grove.
Meanwhile, at Billy’s house, Zack and Jason are helping Billy clean up the Radbug (a flying old VW Beetle that Billy uses some in this season). Zack says it’ll look even better after Zack’s Wax which Jason mocks him for. Kimberly and Trini arrive and Kimberly tells them that Tommy has stood her up.
Her moping is interrupted by a broken message from Alpha 5, who is trying to tell them something. However, unlike Jan Clayton/Cloris Leachman/June Lockhart on Lassie the Rangers aren’t able to decipher what Alpha 5 wants. Unfortunately, the communicators are malfunctioning so they are forced to take the Radbug to the Command Center.
They arrive to find Alpha 5 having the robot equivalent of a grand mal seizure, but fortunately he is saved when Billy removes the offending CD-ROM. Alpha 5 goes on to explain that he doesn’t remember anything because of scrambled memory chips. They see Goldar on the viewing globe and head out to fight him.
They morph into action in the strange forest-area where Squatt and Baboo are. Goldar is there, as is the new Green Ranger…however he is mostly lying in wait. They call upon the Dino Zords to combat Goldar. They quickly form the MegaZord when out of nowhere the Green Ranger appears and Zordjacks them.
They battle the Green Ranger in hand-to-hand combat. He throws his Power Blaster at Jason (which is kinda fighting dirty) and then eventually uses a magical green orb on them, which sends them back to the Command Center.
Alpha 5 is desperately trying to find Zordon to no avail. The Rangers inform him about the Green Ranger. Suddenly, Alpha 5 seizes up again…the virus wasn’t completely out of his system and he temporarily shuts down. The Rangers are at a total loss on what to do without Zordon and Alpha 5. The Rangers watch helplessly in the viewing globe as the Green Ranger threatens to destroy every one of them.
A very solid A for good set up, better acting than normal and pretty good writing.