Morph In or Morph Out? – Visual Companion: Mighty Morphin’ S1E15 ‘Dark Warrior’

Netflix Synopsis: Billy is inspired by Trini’s Uncle Howard, a brilliant scientist and expert in martial arts.

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Another ep, another uncle! Let’s assume this the Uncle Howard the synopsis referred to, and he’s hard at work on an invisibility formula.

 

More writers is always an assurance of quality right? Right..?

 

Meanwhile at the G&J, Jason is earning some pocket money teaching karate.

 

Trini is miming along at the back of the class for some reason.

 

Why. Is. Bulk. Dressed. Like. A. Gimp.

 

Billy lusts over Jason’s sweet moves.

 

Bulk and Skull run out of money for the arcade machine they’ve been playing on and decide to engage in some classic ‘shake down the nerd’ fun.

 

 

Trini eventually helps Billy out of his predicament and tries to cheer him up.

 

WOAH. He must be seriously depressed.

 

So, Billy decides to take action. You go, girl!

 

We get a SUPER quick cut to Uncle Howard, who puts the formula into a jar and bumbles off.

 

From what? Seeing an old scientist scoop some green goop into a jar and bustle off somewhere?

 

Rita places her order with Finster for a monster.

 

 

This must be the Dark Warrior then. So, what Finster described translates into a ninja version of Blank Panther with Medieval Knight armour (so pretty accurate to the description) but the bad-ass-ness is kind of ruined by the inclusion of Fred from Scooby-Doo‘s necktie but in blue. WHY does he need that?

 

Trini tells the gang she’s excited for them to meet Uncle Howard and his “new secret formula.” Jason is more psyched about Howard’s martial arts skills though.

Meanwhile, the man of the moment shows up looking for Trini at the G&J, not looking AT ALL out of place as an old, confused man bumbling around a Youth Centre clutching a jar of mysterious green goop. Then, he promptly loses the goop (of course) in the most unconvincing way possible. He plonks it down on Ernie’s counter, spins around, knocks into someone, and then just carries on going – sans jar.

 

Ernie then picks it up, shrugs, and just adds it to his inventory. Does Ernie just assume everything that gets left at the G&J is something edible he can claim? Did Uncle Howard leave it deliberately to try and get it accidentally tested on a bunch of unsuspecting kids? SO many questions.

 

Trini spots Uncle Howard and greets him… by rubbing his belly..?

 

Aww, Billy. Uncle Howard decides to put his martial arts skills to charitable use and give Billy some one-on-one training.

 

Rita sends the Dark Warrior with the Idiot Squad to steal the secret formula from Howard’s lab. Baboo stealthily asks if anyone is home, like any good burglar.

 

Naturally, Goldar makes Baboo and Squat drink the only potion on the table that is labelled “Do Not Drink!” And by ‘makes’ I mean he literally just hands it to them and they swig it without question. It’s not the right potion, of course, and they all get really sick. Back at the Moon base, Rita yells at them: “How many times have I told you not to drink from bottles with no labels!” Good advice. Do they do this a lot then? 

 

Don’t worry, Rita. Dark Warrior is on the case! Oh, is that cammo print? And his sash is actually green? Wow, he looks super different with better lighting.

 

Then, we cut to a scene from the Karate Kid.

 

Putties ambush them – and we get to see Howard in action. Go on, old man! But, it’s not long before putties overwhelm and capture him, and the way they carry him away is BIZARRE and HILARIOUS.

 

Dark Warrior has the putties tie Howard up to a bomb in the cave and demands the formula. Wow, this guy is beyond a brainless monster – he’s like the Lex Luthor of Power Ranger monsters.

 

100% telling the truth here.

 

Dark Warrior speculates that his niece has it. He says Trini has one hour to deliver the formula or Howard will “disappear from the face of the earth”. Again, legit supervillain stuff.

 

Dark Warrior pulls a classic Joker-esque move, sending the ransom note to Trini at the G&J in the form of some black balloons.

 

Kim is so not a fan of the colour.

 

The balloons explode, and a ransom note with frankly lovely calligraphy drops out with Dark Warrior’s demands.

 

Trini is understandably panicked as she doesn’t have the formula. Jason suggests they teleport over to the HQ to get Zordon’s advice. Meanwhile in the background, they teleport away, Ernie continues to puzzle over the mystery jar of goop. ERNIE, just throw it away already!

 

Great reaction face there, Trini. Top notch.

 

The Rangers teleport over to the cave where Howard is being held captive, and are ambushed by putties. They easily shake them off though, and head inside.

 

Naturally, the gang turn to Billy for some science-solving powers to diffuse the bomb. Uncle Howard assures him with some sage, karate-related advice to emphasise the theme of the episode.

 

Billy does it! And Uncle Howard bumbles away as if nothing happened… Classic Howard.

 

With Howard safe, the Rangers teleport over to the park to face off against the Dark Warrior.

 

But his Panther-speed, Toad-strength and wrist bazookas(?) prove to be way too much for them.

 

 

As usual, Rita gets cocky, and makes him grow to escalate the fight. And, as the theme song to this show dictates, if the monster steps thing up, so do the Rangers. It’s Megazord time!

 

He whips out his katana and even a kunai with chain! Classic ninja weapons.

 

But, once the Megazord calls in the Megasword, it’s all over.

 

Back at the G&J, Howard is chillin’ with a smoothie and wondering where his jar is.

 

Billy takes on Jason in a karate test and passes. Jason gives him a new belt for the next level up.

 

Howard looks on proudly.

 

Of course, Bulk and Skull rock up decked out their little, customised karate outfits and harassing Billy again.

 

Ernie accidentally hands the invisibility formula back to Uncle Howard.

 

And he decides to put it to good pranking use.

 

Bulk and Skull – presumably assuming that Billy must have crazy physic abilities like Proff X and was able to attack them with his mind – scurry off with their tails between their legs.

 

Is no-one that impressed by an invisibility potion? No-one? Not even a little bit? Oh well. What a lovely family picture of Howard with all the Rangers. I’m sure we’ll see him every week now as one of the gang. Right? Right..?

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