Morph In or Morph Out? – Visual Companion: Mighty Morphin’ S1E9 ‘For Whom The Bell Trolls’

Netflix Synopsis: Trini’s favourite doll is brought to life by Rita Repulsa and commanded to capture the Rangers inside bottles.

Listen to the podcast on iTunes here, on Stitcher here, or stay on this page and listen below. [Please note there are slight technical glitches on this episode that we were unable to remove, so apologies in advance!]

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Hold onto your butts, IT’S HOBBY WEEK!

 

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Wow, it’s a three-writer ep, too! Including fan-fave: Stewart St. John. We’re also introduced to the delightful Mrs. Applebee. What a babe.

 

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Hold on – let’s just zoom in on this blackboard… What kind of a question is this?!

 

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Trini brings up her serial killer starter pack of terrifying china dolls “from around the world”.

 

Everyone is like ‘oh cool’ but I’m sorry – no teenagers would think this is “cool.” She’d be laughed at. Kids are mean.

 

Bulk and Skull have the only realistic reaction.

 

Mister what now? “He was my mother’s when she a girl. Legend has it that he has a magic power: he can capture things and put them in a bottle.” Erm, so can I? Like, by pouring liquid in a bottle? Doesn’t sound that impressive, tbh Trini.

 

OH

 

GOOD

 

GOD

 

Some truly heart-wrenching backstory for Rita there concerning the doll-less childhood trauma she was forced to endure. *Queue tiny violins.*

What a surprise, Jason’s hobby is martial arts.

Queue some amazing comedic reaction shots from Mrs. Applebee and Bulk and Skull.

Another surprise! Kim’s hobby is gymnastics.

More great reaction shots from these three.

Oh, and yet again, another big surprise – Zack’s hobby is danci- oh wait, no, it’s… surfing? When have we ever seen him surf before..?

 

Billy’s hobby is… science? Volcanoes? Dioramas? All three I guess.

 

Whatever it is Billy’s selling, Mrs. Applebee is buying it. I mean, is this geography porn for her?

 

Oh boy. And there’s the money shot.

 

Uh-oh. What’s the cardinal rule of Mighty Morphin‘, kids? If Bulk is in close proximity to any kind of food/liquid, he WILL end up in it.

 

Aaaaaaaand there it is.

 

We cut to Trini’s bedroom later that night, where Trini is saying goodnight to her dolls like a completely normal human being.

 

I mean, there’s even dolls nailed to her wall… What is this nightmare we’re seeing?

 

Watch out, Trini! One third of the Idiot Squad is about to join you for a secret night mission.

As ordered, Squat beams down into the bedroom of a sleeping teenage girl and blasts Mr. Tickle-Sneezer with some kind of 2-in-1 enlarging + sentience beam.

 

HE’S ALIVE!

 

Oh man, and he’s philosophising too… Move over, Nietzsche.

 

Gee, thanks for the very necessary translation, Finster. Where would we be without you?

 

In the morning, Trini asks Billy to help her re-trace her steps and track down the missing doll. But before we continue with the story, we need to address a very important issue: Why does Billy unlock the car…

 

…for Trini to then drive it? Is he being weirdly chivalrous? Very odd and completely unexplained. Regardless, it’s always nice to see the two nerds of the gang hanging out together ❤

 

Meanwhile, Mr. Tickle-Sneezer is on a collect-o-mania spree.

 

He suck up a motorbike…

 

…and an entire tower! Seems that “collecting” is really just nymphomaniac code for “stealing”. He rationalises it as: “I don’t want to hurt you, I want to keep you. You’re mine now forever.” Also, where does the previously sucked-up stuff go? Does it get warped somewhere else? In the history of monster designs, he’s not badly made. He does looks like a believably ratty, old kids toy and he’s got loads of explorer’s stuff so the appearance matches the job description. I still don’t get the name, but maybe Trini’s mum called him that as a child and it stuck, like how I used to rename all my Beanie Babies and ignore the designated name in the tag.

 

Meanwhile, Billy has a chilling theory.

 

OH SHIT, WATCH OUT, YA’LL!

 

Nothing ever phases the Power Rangers. I mean let’s just assess this reaction: Trini sees one of her childhood dolls walking and talking and a good 6 feet taller, and she’s just like ‘Oh, there he is!’

 

Mr. Tickle-Sneezer sucks them up, car and all.

 

At the Gym & Juice, Jason and Zack are karate-ing…

 

And Kim is thirsty, AF.

 

Wait, is she only there to hold the blocks for them to chop through? Why is that necessary?

 

Duh.

 

To prove how piss-easy chopping wood with your bare hands is, Bulk decides to do the same on… a cake?

 

And fails. Oh Bulk.

 

Zordon beeps the Rangers on their communicators, and Kim uses this super obscure piece of early 90s slang as they exit.

 

ONCE AGAIN – the Rangers see Mr. Tickle-Sneezer bigger and sentient-er than ever, and have NO big reaction to this development. Are they just prepared for anything, then? I mean, anything? I also enjoyed hearing Zordon say “Tickle Sneezer.” I hope he makes a come-back in the reboot movies.

 

Kim, Jason and Zack are beamed down to fight putties, Goldar, Baboo AND Squat. Mr. Tickle-Sneezer isn’t much good to Rita’s forces though – running and hiding straight away. What a softey.

 

To makes things worse, he even trips and somehow catapults the collecting bottle into the air.

 

Luckily, Kim’s on hand to catch it and stop Billy and Trini from getting hurt. Oh god, imagine if they’d died whilst being that small? The coffins would be so tiny.

 

Goldar jumps in (literally), slashes Kim with his sword and there’s… sparks?

 

The bottle goes flying again, landing this time onto some train tracks, and of course a train is coming! Presumably a reference harkening back to a black and white, silent-era film where the damsel would get tied to the train tracks.

 

Kim to the rescue again! And in super, sexy slow-mo. She opens the bottle and the car – with Billy and Trini – pops out.

 

Freedom!

 

Rita then suddenly appears in the weirdest place – a stairwell of a blocks of flats…not even the top, just on a random floor, and then chats to Mr. Tickle-Sneezer (who’s all the way on the ground) as if he’s standing right next to her.

 

As per, Goldar and the rest of the Idiot Squad GTFO, and Rita makes Mr. Tickle-Sneezer grow. The Rangers decide it’s time to bring in the Zords and go Mega.

 

Solid plan, Jas’.

 

Oh dear, he’s sucked up the Megazord. I guess that’s it for the Power Rangers this week.

 

No, wait, it’s okay – they call the ever-orbiting Megasword, which makes Mr. Tickle-Sneezer fall over. The bottle lands, opens, and they get out. Easy!

 

Trini: ‘Let’s give Rita a taste of her own medicine!’ The Rangers use the bottle to try and suck up Rita and her crew. Squat hilariously starts flapping around, clinging on to a building. The Megaword manages to suck up the building but not Rita and her gang, manage to teleport away in time.

 

Woah, woah, woah, where did that little boy on the right of the Megazword come from?! Let’s assume that he was part of the Super Sentai footage and the Power Rangers editors couldn’t crop him out.

Zordon then dishes out some insight into Mr. Tickle-Sneezer’s moral fibre.

 

Huh, turns out Zordon was right, and Mr. Tickle-Sneezer does indeed return all the shit he stole, uh, I mean, “collected.”

 

PLOT TWIST. We hear a voiceover of Trini saying “give it back TS, give it all back…” and then cut to her in bed asleep! It was all a dream! Damn you, Stewart St. John!

 

But then, Trini looks over at her nightstand to see that Mr. Tickle-Sneezer isn’t there… What is this, Goosebumps?

 

Oh, it’s fine. He just fell on the floor. PANIC AVERTED.

 

Aww, Trini had a stress dream! This is the first time we’ve seen the emotional strain of saving the world every other week having an effect on any of the Rangers so far.

 

Back at school it’s still hobby week, and Mrs. Applebee is ITCHING for “Farkas” and “Eugene” to give their presentations. Who are they?

 

WOAH! Bulk and Skull are called “Farkas” and “Eugene”? Amazing.

 

Why does it always have to be weird and gross, guys?

 

Mrs. Applebee doesn’t look as quite aroused as she did when Billy’s volcano blew its load.

 

But wait, where are the fleas..?

Oh. Found them.

 

What a hilarious turn of events! Good night, everybody! Drive safe!

In this episode, Huw made the startling discovery that – after years of Ranger-watching – he never noticed that Walter Jones (Zack) is missing a finger! Here’s a video of him talking about it at a convention in 2007 for further proof. Watch out for Skull’s tradmark laugh too.

 

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