Netflix Synopsis: Rita sends her monster ‘Eye Guy’ to kidnap Billy’s bright young protégé.
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We start in Billy’s lab, where he and his protégé (“Willy” *queue childish giggling*) have basically created today-standard VR technology for a rollercoaster simulator. (Alternative technologically-advanced 90s theory confirmed!)
Question: Why is Willy dressed like a train driver? Wait, why is Willy dressed like Billy?!
WON’T CHA LUKE AT DEM GREPHIKS?
The VR machine is essentially like those big orange spinning things with lights at the bottom you get on rides at a theme park or funfair. And apparently, this super-advanced technology is only school science fair level good. Also, the fact that Billy even has a protégé as a teenager just shows how ridiculously smart he is. Imagine if you had a protégé as a teenager? Madness.
Cut to Rita! “Finster! There’s a boy with the Rangers! I want to steal his intelligence and make it my own!” Cut back to Rangers!
The gang take the world’s most technologically-advanced VR machine to the science fair in what looks like a picnic cooler, and suddenly… PUTTIES! All Willy seems to care about though is his precious machine getting broken, as opposed to Billy’s face getting broken. Priorities, Willy. Get them straight.
Jason’s brilliant “circle formation” strategy is literally just the Rangers standing in a circle kicking the putties. They defeat them, and continue on their way to the fair like nothing fucking happened.
Cut back to Rita, and Finster is reminding her of an eye-based monster (he actually calls him ‘Eye Guy’) she used to snatch up “the world’s smartest children on Rigel Two.”
If you think the name ‘Rigel’ rings a nerdy bell, your geek senses aren’t wrong! I had the same feeling, so I investigated, and from this one throwaway line there’s HUGE crossover potential…
Allow me to present in this probably-never-to-be-used-again segment: A BRIEF HISTORY OF RIGEL
First of all, Rigel is a real star. “Rigel is a luminous blue supergiant in the constellation Orion and frequently used in works of science fiction as well as the mythologies of Egypt, China, Japan, and Oceania.” Image Credit: Astronomy Tek.
Rigel is featured in books. Most notably, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and some short stories by Isaac Asimov. Image Credit: Plugged In
Rigel is a planetary system of 12 planets in Star Trek, many of which were colonized by the Federation and referenced in lots of episodes from the 60s to 00s. Image Credit: Comic Vine.
Rigel 7 is where the conquering aliens, Kang and Kodos, from The Simpsons hail from. Image Credit: Simpsons Wiki
Here are all of the other notable Rigels in pop culture:
- Rigel 4 is featured in Buck Rogers, the TV show in the 1970s.
- Rigel 9 is featured in Justice League the animated series.
- Rigel 3 is featured in Fantasic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, the most recent planet Galactus consumed before coming to Earth.
- Rigel 3 is featured in Thor and Transformers comics.
- Rigel is also featured in a bunch of video games, including Duke Nukem II.
As far as I could see from the list, Rigel 2 has never been mentioned anywhere else than Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers. The only thing we know about Rigel 2 at this point is that it seems to covered in forests and populated exclusively by Japanese children. Hmm.
And that concludes A BRIEF HISTORY OF RIGEL. See you again never! (probably…)
Back to the Rigel 2 flashback, in which Eye Guy lures a Japanese-sorry, Rigelese, girl to him. Luckily she’s armed with a, um, baseball bat..?
Yeah, I’m sure that’s a good idea, kid.
Why children? Why not adults? Surely the world’s smartest adults are smarter than the world’s smartest children? Oh well. Eye Guy – who seems to just be one eye in this flashback – zaps the poor little girl with a lightening eye beam.
Rita with a look of pure glee: “Send out Eye Guy!”
Meanwhile at the “Angel Grove Junior High Science Fair”, the gang rock up to be told by a bitchy science teacher that “all those who are late will be disqualified.” Undeterred, Billy and Willy set up the “Holo-game” and exchange the world’s most awkward handshake.
We go back to Rita, and HOLY FUCK EYE GUY FORMING IS DISTURBING. Basically, a bunch of smaller eyeballs all come together to form one DISGUSTING creature with one big black eye and loads of tiny ones. I actually felt a bit sick watching this.
Rita on the other hand, is deeply… aroused(?) by watching this horror show.
Eye Guy seems to reciprocate these feelings (UGH).
Back at the ol’ G&J, well if it isn’t Bulk and Skull! Please take the ickiness of that last scene away, boys.
Great observation, Skull.
Another stellar observation, Bulk.
And they’re three for three! Excellent job, boys. Just excellent.
After that grand entrance, the boys start playing with a spray gun that can apparently make anything disappear…
…and of course, Skull aims it at Bulk and we get to see those pig pants again. Does he really not have any other pants?
Everyone laughs. The Rangers step in telling Skull to put the gun down and Billy delivers a great casual burn.
Nice. Comeback. Bulk.
This then escalates into a pretty funny fight scene between Bulk and Skull, and Jason and Zack, who team up to bait them by calling them cavemen and then take them down pretty easily by simultaneously ducking their punches. Zack manages to push Skull into a bin that he gets wedged in like a turtle. Billy flips Bulk into some boxes on a cart over his head, then Skull, in retaliation launches himself at Billy – who ducks, leaving Skull to fly over the top of him and lands on Bulk on the cart.
Billy then wheels them into a “fashion make-over machine” and, well, you can see the gag coming from lightyears away. Why am I not surprised that there’s an episode where Bulk and Skull end up in drag?
Bulk and Skull run out humiliated and it’s only at THIS point does the snooty science teacher come over to asks Billy what’s going on, and then disqualifies Willy for his “thoughtless antics reeking havoc on the other competitors.” Willy runs off after Trini half-heartedly fails to comfort him.
Willy sits by a lake in the park and we get some really unnecessary inner whiney monologue.
Oh shit, Eye Guy is about!
Surely the sight of a gross, giant floating eyeball will scare the bejeezus out of the kid, right?
Oh. Maybe not.
Eye Guy: “Your genius will be appreciated where I’m taking you!”
Eye Guy then zaps the unsuspecting Willy into a spinning cage in a harness that looks like 80s hell… yeah, really “appreciated”.
Actually, that scene kind of reminds of me of something else from the 80s…
Yep. There it is. “Wild Boys” video, Duran Duran.
Willy’s hat gets conveniently left behind for the Rangers to find, and Zordon calls them into HQ to tell them that, GUESS WHAT… Rita is responsible for his disapparence.
Zordon then piles on some exposition to try and give that 80s torture chamber for children some kind of context, which is great for us (the audience) but totally confusing to the Rangers who still don’t even know Eye Guy exists yet, let alone what he looks like or that he’s got some kind of child-trapping vortex in him.
Destroy the main eye, get Willy back, and kill Eye Guy. Simple! (Sidebar: Its weird seeing Baboo without Squat, right?)
As usual, Zack is the voice of reason.
For a collection of eyeballs, this dude proves to be a little tougher than the Rangers expected.
Even when Jason hits him with everything they’ve got…
…without hitting the “main” eye, he just keeps falling apart and respawning again.
Turns out the “main” eye is somewhere else… which is actually a surprisingly good tactical move.
Zordon tells Billy to peel off and go after it while the others keep the rest of Eye Guy busy.
Billy then uses his body as a shield (good hero move) in front of Eye Guy’s eye beam heading towards Willy (not sure how he got out of the vortex…) and stabs his lance into Eye Guy’s “main” eye.
Rita makes Eye Guy grow, and it’s Megazord time! They use the Megasword to split the eyes up again, but of course they reform because the “main” eye is still in tact somehow..? IDK, at this point. I don’t think even the writers know what’s going on.
But Billy’s sees an opening when the eye is open, and they can see Willy inside the vortex still. They blast it and Willy somehow survives. This is sloppier than in the last ep where they put Maria in the Rad Bug to get her to safety first. They seem less concerned with the victim here. I mean it’s damsel-in-distress (or ‘DID’ as Phil from Hercules would say) 101.
Bye-bye, Eye Guy!
Boyhood dreams, right here.
Back at the science fair, Ernie and the mean science teacher are trying out the Holo-game. Is Ernie a judge? I hope so.
The science teacher loves it and apologies to Willy for overreacting to something that wasn’t his fault. In fact, his invention has won the fair. Now all he has to do is make it through life with a delibilating fear of eyeballs and a glimpse into a spinning world of hell every time he closes his eyes. Alls well that ends well!
Wait, Bulk and Skull still don’t have their clothes back? Where did they get those fetching French towels from? Ernie’s private bathroom?
Trini and Kim explain that they’ve somehow found the time amidst all the Eye Guy madness to “wash and sterilize” their clothes (a bit insultingly excessive). This results in the classic “shrunken clothes” gag that we all know and love. Right? RIGHT? Great ending, guys. Truly great.
BONUS SHOT. This is why turning on the subtitles is always a good idea.