We start this episode with Squat creeping round Billy garage(?) looking for the “power source” for Billy’s new invention. Hey, look – it’s a Shuki Levy ep! The Ranger God, himself! Expecting great things now.
He finds the machine and switches some wires around, hoping to mess with Billy’s head.
Ugh. That’s overly graphic. Wait, Squat knows what an omelette is?
That’s it – you have your moment, Squat.
Meanwhile, Rita hopes the Rangers will be too distracted by Billy’s scrambled brains to notice her monster… which is a Genie.
Cut to Kim and Billy hanging out in his garage – the most hardest to believe thing yet. How can they understand each if Trini isn’t there to translate?
Billy explains the machine is a mind reading, or “thought transfer” device.
Outside, Bulk and Skull are loitering and eavesdropping because they have nothing better to do.
They decide to test the machine out. Kim looks really sure about this.
Outside, Bulk and Skull get chased off by a neighbourhood dog that doesn’t look that scary, really.
Billy and Kim start the machine up, not knowing of course that Squat has been messing with it.
That’s right – it’s a classic body switching episode! Does Billy really still need his glasses in Kim’s body?
Lamp = Genie. Makes sense! But why don’t we get to see more of Goldar’s solo mission to Canine Four to retrieve the lamp?
So, as usual, it’s not your run-of-the-mill Genie. This one looks like a roided-out Anubis.
Back at Billy’s lab, Bulk and Skull have escaped the dog and snuck back.
Bulk is eager to test out the machine’s mind-reading powers – not knowing of course that’s now a body-swapping machine.
They hop in the machine and we get some great face jiggling as they swap bodies.
Now we get an obligatory bunch of scenes of Kim and Billy trying to live the life of the other one… and totally failing!
Kim is teaching… a kid… computer stuff?
While Billy has to cook a cheese souffle in Kim’s Home Economics class.
Somehow, both end up exploding.
WHY haven’t they told the other Rangers yet? You’d think that’d be the first thing they’d do! And why didn’t Billy instantly try to tinker with the machine and switch them back straight away? Why are they just going along with this crazy charade?!
Then we cut back to see that the Genie still hasn’t left for earth…? Why is he still faffing around at Rita’s place talking about the plan? Didn’t they decide what to do in the last cutaway? Come on guys!
That’s great, Goldar. Now just get on with it!
Back on Earth, and they FINALLY they tell the other Rangers what’s happened. Super casually too, as if this kind of thing happens all the time.
We then get a very necessary cutaway to Bulk and Skull – in each other’s bodies – enjoying some massive sandwiches at the Gym & Juice.
Cut back to Rita, and OH. MY. GOD. HE’S STILL THERE. THE GENIE HASN’T LEFT YET. THEY’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS PLAN FOR AGES NOW.
FINALLY! Squat and Baboo head down to Earth with the Genie secured in the lamp and… Oh, never mind, they’ve dropped it and everything’s gone to shit.
Zordon sends the Rangers to pick up the lamp, that the Genie has now vacated.
Zordon sends the Rangers off to fight Goldar and some putties in… a train yard?
But Zordon’s wise to Rita’s distraction tactics though and sends the Rangers over to the Genie instead. We haven’t had a preview of what he can do, so this should be interesting.
He can throw spears? Okay.
And… webbing? Like Spider-Man?
Zordon then changes his mind yet again, and teleports them home. Make your mind up, Zor’!
Good advice I guess, but pretty standard for the Rangers.
The Rangers are zapped back in the fray yet again, but Rita – sensing victory is near – makes the Genie grow. And we get a lovely shot of his fetching pink, sparkly pants.
Alpha CLEVERLY deduces the lamp is the source of the Genie’s powers. Who’d have thought?
It’s Megazord time!
He proves to be tougher than the pink pants would suggest.
Very much enjoying the hand-operated, giant drill.
Uh-oh, incoming, Rangers! This is a tight battle…
Luckily, Alpha zaps the lamp using the Morphin’ Grid under Zordon’s careful instructions.
And, the Genie is no more. Just like that. Seems a tad anti-climactic.
Later at Billy’s lab, the pair successfully switch bodies back.
Bulk and Skull bust in, explain what happened to them, and beg Billy to do the same for them. Wait a second – Billy said he and Kim couldn’t switch back straight away because the machine was broken, but we know it was working because Bulk and Skull managed to switch fine after they did… Hmm.
You know Billy, you could have a pretty sweet racket going on there with that idea. “Borrow-a-Brain, Inc.?” Has a nice ring to it.
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..?
We begin the episode at the Gym and Juice Bar (where else!) and apparently a Dance is being planned. Or should I say a, “Dance! Dance! Dance!”
Within the first 2 minutes, we already see Bulk do all of his usual tricks. 1. Stuck on a moving object out of his control…
2. Running into a red flag like a bull…
3. Fall face first into one of Ernie’s cakes.
Brava, Bulk. Brava.
Even Skull mocks him! (Do you think Ernie made that in the ‘Cake-O-Matic’ machine Billy gave him a few eps back?)
Rita’s plan is pretty complex – try to keep up: While the Rangers are distracted by something, she plans to get Finster to create and send a monster in to destroy them. It’s bold, it’s fresh, it’s new. Let’s see if this BRAND NEW approach that definitely doesn’t get tried and fails each week will work.
Rita wants to use a monster called “Madam Woe”. Our first female monster! The Idiot Squad seem pretty scared of her, too.
Stop being such a kiss-ass, Finster.
Ernie to Bulk and Skull: “You two better follow the rules and pay for the cake. Or don’t come back.” What rules? The rules of service? What was the cake for? Also, doesn’t Bulk get covered in food like EVERY week at the G&J? Maybe Ernie has loan sharks after him and needs to start being more fiscally responsible.
Zach offers to teach Billy some moves to “impress the ladies” at the ‘Dance! Dance! Dance!’ later. Billy is hesitant. “I’m not really interested in engaging feminine attention through bodily gyrations.”
Why is everyone so concerned with Billy’s love life? Do any of them even have love lives of their own? (I bet Zach gets around secretly. We’ve seen the inside of his locker.) Billy says he’d rather go home and have a date with a “weather monitoring machine” instead.
As Billy’s leaving he bumps into a girl who drops a necklace, and sexy sax music starts playing STRAIGHT AWAY.
Her necklace falls off during their collision. Billy: “I apologise profusely.” Girl: “Oh think nothing of it. Neither of us were monitoring our designated entrance or exit.” SHE’S A BILLY. Billy: “Well stated.” Yes, for a typewriter. Not a human. Meanwhile, the other Rangers spy on them.
Billy puts it EROTICALLY back on her neck and she apparently is getting super hot and bothered just from being near him.
Rita’s interjection here is interesting. A girl tailor made for Billy and a female villain promised but not shown to us yet? Hmm… Could this mysterious nerdy girl be the monster in disguise?
The girl holding her necklace (we still don’t know her name at this point…): “And I never go anywhere without it. My mother gave it to me when I graduated from the accelerated baby genius program.” Huh, Billy graduated from there too! It’s almost like someone read his Facebook profile and then assumed a fake identity just to please him. This is Catfishing before the Internet was even really a thing.
The gang keep spying of them and then pretend to get beeped by Zordon to give Billy some private advice – asking her to the dance. He seems reluctant. Luckily, she’s a modern gal and asks him to the dance instead.
He accepts, and even suggests that they meet up beforehand at the lake at “precisely” 4:00pm to chat about his weather device.
On that “weather” mention, we cut to… some weather! EXTREME weather.
This is a hard cut from that normalcy of high school to ABSOLUTE HIGH FANTASY MADNESS. Crashing waves against a sea shore, a Japanese cyber Viking witch woman wearing a white cloak with knee length blue braided hair and a Kabuki mask and one HELL of a manicure, chanting the words to a spell with some kind of big ritual gear – a fire, a giant cog-thing, traditional flute music playing… I mean, just pure Three Witches of Macbeth realness.
Woe teleports to Rita. Is she like an old school friend from Evil Hogwarts? We know Rita went to some kind of magi school as she complains about it in “For Whom The Bell Trolls”. Imagine what the reunion would be like… I’m imagining all the great witches from fiction went there… Wicked Witch of the West, the White Witch from Narnia, Gladriel, the witches from Macbeth, all the evil Disney witches, the whole cast of Hocus Pocus…
Oh yeah, that one park on Earth that all the humans go to. So, it’s a classic divide and conquer plan.
At this point I was a little disappointed that my hunch that Billy’s crush wasn’t secretly a planted monster didn’t pan out. Imagine it he got to the point of nearly kissing her and then she just suddenly turned into Goldar or the Pineoctopus? Anyway, the “girl” is waiting by the lake. WHAT IS HER NAME. It’s not even in the episode synopsis!
Oh dear, Rita failed to leave out a few key details when she gave Woe the info, like who the Ranger was, what they’d look like, what gender they’d be… So Woe teleports in all like, “Who am I? Your worst nightmare!” to a poor, surprised, random human girl.
Woe does her thing – transporting the girl to another dimension via her “crown jewel” that confusingly isn’t in her crown. Luckily and predictably, the girl’s necklace is left behind for Billy to find.
Is the dimension in her forehead jewel? Is it like a pocket dimension? The editing kind of implies that. The dimension is all blue which kind of compounds my theory further.
The poor girl is more than a little confused and cries out for Billy… as if this was the date he planned. I kind of wished she thought it was, like maybe Billy dressed up in witch drag to surprise her.
Rita is a little pissed at her mistake. “I told you to get the Power Ranger, not the girl!”
Billy shows up at the lake with flowers because he’s a gentleman.
He quickly finds Marge’s necklace.
Billy’s suddenly backed into a corner against the lake by putties, and calls for help.
There’s a bit where two putties hold Jason against a tree while another one gut-punches him, which is the most brutal thing I’ve seen them do yet.
MARGE! HER NAME IS MARGE!. Marge? Really..?
Zordon teleports them over to the HQ and explains that Rita set a trap for Billy and got Marge instead.
“I call your attention to the viewing globe. She’s called Madame Woe and she brings woe or trouble to everyone she touches.” (Woe or Trouble? Has she not decided on her major yet?) “She controls wind, rain, heat and cold with the energy of her crown jewel.”
Billy volunteers as tribute.
And may the Force be with you.
They morph and teleport over to Woe. She starts using her crown jewel and everything goes all blurry.
They’re warped to the other dimension and Billy remembers that Marge is there. Hey Marge! How’s it going?
OMG Madame Woe swoops through the PR like a fucking bat or an old school Dracula.
Nails! Braids! She’s throwing everything at them. Like some kind of Japanese, cyber, Viking queen.
She also starts throwing the elements at them. Is she like a bender from the Last Airbender/Korra in that she can only manipulate elements around her rather than create them? Hard to tell.
Billy goes in solo and realises that she’s too strong on her home turf and they have to combine the coins and get her back to Earth for a home advantage.
They channel all their power into Billy who takes her on solo back on Earth. She;s still got all her ticks though. She teleports out of reach all the time, uses her frost breath on him, and then even manages to tangle him in her braids and send an electrical charge down them. Ouch.
He manages to get behind her, really easily pull the crystal off, and crush it… So, I’m guessing my pocket dimension theory isn’t true as that might have killed the other Rangers.
How can they hear him?
The Rangers escape and take her on – de-powered. They bring all their power weapons together and take her down easily. Her final line is pun-tastic:”Woe is me!” Rita doesn’t seem too fussed that her old witch colleague is dead.
PLAY IT COOL, MARGE.
Later at the ‘Dance! Dance! Dance!’ party, Zach Attack is busting sweet moves on the floor.
Oh. My. God.
Billy gives Marge her necklace back and she gushes about her hot encounter with a certain, blue superhero. She also mentioned that’s “partial to blue”, as if we hadn’t figured that out yet from both of their wardrobe choices…
Yeah. All of “that”.
Ernie SOMEHOW sees through Bulk and Skulls ingenious costume and forces them to pay up for ruining that cake earlier.
Apparently the stench from Bulk’s foot money is enough to make poor Ernie ruin yet another of his cakes.
Bit harsh, Jason?
The episode ends with Ernie recovering and getting his groove on. Whilst covered in cake. With no one else dancing anywhere near him. Oh dear.
Strap in kids, it’s another Mark Hoffmeier episode!
Kim turns up mid-game with some refreshments, just in time for Billy to make a swift exit after falling on his face.
Water never looked so good.
Wait, where are we now? All we can see are test tubes and all we can hear is Baboo laughing about test tubes…
Oh, looks like Rita’s “Chief Alchemist” is doing some alchemy.
What ON EARTH do those look like.
So, turns out that those weird ingredients are an ancient concoction for a ‘punk potion’ (obviously) that Baboo plans to use to poison the Rangers and score some points with his boss.
Um, a sweater to a beach volleyball game? Really, gurl?
SNEAK PUTTY ATTACK
While the putties distract the Rangers, Baboo hops on Rita’s flying penny farthing and zips over Angel Grove with the ‘punk potion.’ There is absolutely nothing to laugh about here,
In a sequence that can only be described as akin to date raping (yeesh) Baboo spikes the drink that Kim brought to the volleyball game.
I know the Rangers have a putty problem while this is going on, but HOW do they not see him just hovering over their drinks?
The putties disappear, leaving Billy and Kim thirsty for a post-battle celebratory drink.
Wait… That’s no “tasty” water drink!
Peak acting in the episode. PEAK.
The other Rangers come over to check on them, leading to a STRONG exchange of coarse language.
Trini seems to mistake sunstroke for a brain altering condition.
The now ‘punk-ified’ versions of Billy and Kim run off. Jason gives them his best stank face.
Meanwhile at the Cyber Peacock, Rita is happy with Baboo’s work, but doesn’t really thank him. Instead, she’s got one thing on her mind…
Finster: “As you may recall we had great success with it on Sorcery Seven.” Weird planet name, right? According to the RangerWiki: “Sorcery 7 was a planet where Rita Repulsa first unleashed the Terror Toad, he most likely ate everyone on the planet.” Everyone?! Could he be even hungrier than the Pudgey Pig?
Oh, is that Angel Grove High School logo? Pretty rad. Looks like the entrance to the X-Men mansion.
I like this next scene because we get to see what’s in some of the character’s lockers, which is always the quickest way to see someone’s personality distilled. The production team would have had to deliberately pick things to put in these, so let’s see if we can get a closer look… Trini seems to just have a photo of a really white boy in hers. Strange choice.
Zach! Are those sexy photos of ladies?
Kind of enjoy that Zack also keeps his own personal basketball in his locker.
Ooh, we get to see what Bulk and Skull are hiding in their lockers too!
SKULL HAS A SKULL IN HIS LOCKER. And lots of photos of people with skulls stuck over them… A tad obsessive, then. You know how Victor Von Doom took his name super literally and let it define his entire personality? Well, that.
Bulk just has – surprise, surprise – loads of food in his locker, which is gross.
WOAH. Is that a fake severed hand..?
And a fake snake..? For pranking purposes, I guess.
Billy and Kim enter showing off their brand new wardrobe malfunctions.
And Bulk and Skull can barely contain their arousal.
Trini, on the other hand, can’t hide her disapproval.
Kim wastes no time in attempting to seduce an unsuspecting Skull. What a ‘Power’ couple they would be, right? Right?
Meanwhile, Billy has a bit of rough play with Bulk. A little too rough for Bulk’s liking. In doing so, Billy also recklessly shows off his powers. Oops.
Luckily, Zach finally figures out that the sun wasn’t the culprit behind these strange goings on.
At the HQ, Alpha’s also figured things out. Apparently, “going punk” was a well-known phenomena in the 90s.
So Zordon knows what a punk is, too? I guess he’s a worldly cosmic Wizard after all. Also, what is he afraid they’ll do? Steal his lunch money? I guess he’s worried after Billy flagrantly roughed Bulk up that their identities will get revealed.
He teleports all the Rangers to the HQ straight away, and traps Billy and Kim in the “transparent force field”.
Zordon has also helpfully found some footage of Baboo doing his drink spiking earlier and sticks it on the viewing globe. Wait, if he was watching the whole time why didn’t he warn them? C’mon Zordon, that ain’t cool man. He also shows us a flashback from “eons” ago, and we get our first glimpse of Zordon when he had a body!
This footage is from Super Sentai, of course, and so that’s exactly Zordon, but rather it’s his Japanese equivalent. The RangerWiki explains: The flashback footage of the Singing Squash shows Mysterious Wizard/Sage Barza, the Rangers’ mentor, in the original Japanese series Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger.
Also, why is there a pre-existing cure for a potion that didn’t exist until now? In case of punk, break glass and use squash.
Zordon: “Rita has released a Terror Toad on earth! It’s Rita’s most evil creation yet. It has an enormous appetite.” ‘A’ Terror Toad rather than the Terror Toad? Is there more than one? Perish the thought.
Jason, Trini and Zach morph and teleport over to take on the Toad, only to find he really is a terror.
The biggest shock of the episode so far is that the Toad’s power is actually kind of cool (and gross).
For some reason, once the Toad’s victims have been swallowed up, their faces become emblazoned on his belly.
Jason and Zach try their Blade Blasters, but the Toad simply deflects them back.
Alpha teleports to the “dimensional gap” to get the singing squash. Apparently you create a dimensional gap yourself at home pretty easily. All you need are pink and blue light filters, a smoke machine and some tarpaulin.
A bunch of putties ambush him, but luckily Alpha’s taken a leaf out of Batman’s playbook and installed some defences into his helmet.
He grabs the singing squash, which looks more like a singing carrot.
The singing squash is basically a Mandrake Root, right?
Back in the battle, Jason and Zach decide to double-team the toad. But then instead they fight him at the same time. (Tee hee.) Unfortunately, Zach gets gobbled up too,
Alpha creates and administers the cure to Bill and Kim. He really is the MVP of the episode.
Zordon then gives the de-punkified Billy and Kim a lot of key strategic information that he maaaaybe should have given to Jason, Zach and Trini earlier. Kim also accurately ascertains that the Toad is “totally gross.”
Billy and Kim morph and teleport over to the battle, just in time to watch Jason get eaten. Not with the laser tongue though. The Rangers leader is treated instead to full-on physical, slimy contact. Ugh.
Billy comes up with a full-proof plan.
Oh, I spoke too soon.
Kim gets her bow out, but before she can fire, Baboo teleports in to support the Toad, literally pushing her out of the way before she can shoot.
Undeterred, Kim goes full-on Katniss Everdeen,..
…and gets the team back.
She scores a perfect bullseye into the Toad’s mouth, and he’s blown (somehow) to high heaven.
Later on at the Gym & Juice Bar, Skull (and Bulk) turn up all dressed up for his date with Kim. Aww.
Kim apparently has no memory of her wild punk days, and the boys are rebuffed.
To settle the matter, Bulk and Skull agree to play the Rangers at a volleyball game, which of course – they lose. And in true Bulk and Skull style.