MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS (1993-1997)
Episode: The Trouble with Shellshock (1×22)
Director: David Blyth
Teleplay: Stewart St. John & Julianne Klemm
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 11, 1993
Reason for Inclusion: First episode with all six rangers present.
Zack and Jason are playing one-on-one basketball while the others cheer them on…and Tommy watches awkwardly from the sidelines. Squatt appears and gets a kick out of the fact that they don’t notice him and are unaware of what he and Baboo are planning.
On the moon, Rita is taking a snooze, so Baboo and Squatt decide that this is the perfect time to create a monster.
Baboo shows Squatt his masterpiece…a clay turtle with a traffic light attached to it. Squatt is, understandably, confused by this.
Squatt begins unloading random objects for the monster (whom Baboo wants to name Greta) onto the Monsto-matic®…they decide ultimately that Shellshock is the perfect name and bring him to life.
We return to the park, where Zack is perpetuating the stereotype that black people are better at basketball than white people.
Suddenly the Putties appear! The Rangers make quick work of them and Squatt and Baboo are forced to send in Shellshock.
We return to the park where Tommy inexplicably needs to go to karate practice…and the others decide to get a hot dog.
Bulk and Skull show up to wreck the Rangers jollification. Jason, Kimberly and Zack make quick work of them, as well.
In the bushes, Squatt, Baboo and Shellshock are observing the Rangers and making a plan.
After witnessing their basketball being blown into…a…cracked pumpkin (?!), the Rangers decide that it’s time to morph…and they do so.
Shellshock uses the Green Beam on Trini, forcing her to start running everywhere…because Green means GO.
Then, Shellshock pelts them with baseballs…
And then he uses the Red Beam on Billy, Zack and Kimberly, freezing them where they are…because Red means STOP.
And finally, Shellshock loses his head and brings out a camera lens for God knows what, but Jason stops him before he can use it.
Back on the moon, Goldar (not with his normal voice) admonishes Squatt and Baboo for making a monster without Rita’s permission. There’s lots of recycled footage of Squatt and Baboo from earlier in the episode. Rita wakes up and tells them she’s very pleased with what has happened.
We adjourn to the Command Center where Alpha and Zordon are working on fixing the frozen Rangers. Even though he’s a newly created monster, Alpha and Zordon seem very aware of its abilities.
Apparently, the Deandra flower on the Mountain of Hope can reverse the effects and Zordon has already sent Trini to get them.
Rita decides to make Shellshock grow…like always. Squatt and Baboo cheer him on.
Jason summons the Tyrannosaurus DinoZord to help him battle the gigantic Shellshock…who now has a baseball bat and hook for arms.
Meanwhile, at the Juice Bar, Tommy is practicing karate with a stick…
Suddenly a superimposed Sabre-Tooth Tiger Zord appears to be Trini’s spirit guide…
…which she uses to get the flowers.
And we return to the battle where Shellshock has ditched his head (and eyes) in favor of the camera lens…or cannon…I’m not really sure at this point anymore, either way it’s a ridiculous get up.
Dragonzord appears to help out Tyrannosaurus DinoZord.
Naturally, Shellshock is able to freeze the two of them…because Dramatic Tension.
But, Trini is back with the Flowers so all is right and good in the world…as she dances on top of its head, waving flowers everywhere.
Together, Tommy and Jason are able to destroy Shellshock.
Back on the moon, Rita is really really unhappy. And has a headache. Of course.
We return to the park where Tommy awkwardly challenges Zack to another game of basketball, with loser buying lunch. Zack scores the point, and is all happy until Billy challenges him. Zack scoffs at first but Billy convinces him…and then gets the point and lunch for he and Tommy.
This was one of the more ridiculous episodes they filmed. If you put this in with High Five and gave it to people as a sampler, no one would have ever watched. However, where High Five suffered from a major loss in translation…this one just seems to be poor writing and adaptation. It seems very inexplicable that Tommy doesn’t fight until the Zords get brought in. His character is introduced…but he just isn’t there. Even weirder is the strange convoluted plot hole (gorge) where even though Squatt and Baboo have created this monster…Zordon and Alpha inexplicably know just how to stop them. They also seem concerned that Rita will also know the monsters weakness…but she never tries to stop Trini from reaching the flowers.
The monster itself is one of the weirder/more ridiculous monsters the series has come up with (and trust me, there are some strange ones we haven’t talked about or haven’t gotten to yet). It’s a turtle…with a traffic light and either a camera or a cannon (Squatt calls it a camera lens…but it doesn’t look like it) and a hook and baseball bat? Seriously? It was like they just thought “I have these items…MacGuyver would escape a room…we can…MAKE A MONSTER!!!! The logic behind this guy escapes me…and frankly I’m pretty sure I’m ok with that.
The final thing is the acting…Tommy just cannot act. Every scene he’s in he seems aware of the camera and unsure what to do with his entire body…unless it’s karate. He does have some impressive skills…but watching him act is almost painful.
Defintiely a C/C-. What a mess of writing and acting.