Morph In or Morph Out? – Visual Companion: Mighty Morphin’ S1E12 ‘Power Ranger Punks’

Netflix Synopsis: Baboo sneaks a magic potion into Kimberly and Billy’s drinks that turns them into angry punks.

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Volleyball!

Expectation vs. Reality?

 

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.

 

YAAAAAS.

 

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.

 

 

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Morph In or Morph Out? – Visual Companion: Mighty Morphin’ S1E11 ‘No Clowning Around’

Netflix Synopsis: The gang fights Rita’s minions at a carnival in order save Trini’s cousin, Sylvia.

Listen to the podcast on iTunes here, on Stitcher here, or stay on this page and listen below.

Questions? Comments? Corrections? Tweet us at @MorphInMorphOut, email us at morphinmorphout@outlook.com or send us a Facebook message here.


***CONTENT WARNING: This post contains images of clowns that everyone will find upsetting.***

 

Angel Grove Fair

As the synopsis warned us – we’re at the Angel Grove Fair!

 

 

Zack on stilts

Zach’s doing his best to upstage the hardworking carnies with his killer stilt skills. How the heck are you still single, Zachary?

 

Kim: "The only thing I can balance is shopping bags!"

We all know that’s utter BS, Kim. C’mon guuurl.

 

Zach takes a tumble, and he and Jason treat us to some high-quality fan service in the process.

It’s about time this show played to its obvious sex appeal, right?

 

The Rangers head off after this little fumble, leaving this EXTREMELY unsettling clown to gaze wistfully after them(?). Then, suddenly through the wizardry of early 90s graphics, a Putty head is superimposed over his…

 

NOPE. SO MUCH NOPE.

 

Trini and Sylvia

After this horror show, we cut away to Trini and her little cousin, Sylvia. MORE little girls? I still haven’t recovered from Maria…

 

Bulk and Skull

Bulk and Skull are here! Up to their old food-related shenanigans as per.

 

The Rangers – plus lil’ Sylvia – are all watching “Pineapple” the clown. Bit of a strange clown name, no?

 

“Juggle my eggs and make them fly. Won’t one of you give it a try?” TERRIFYING. Sylvia goes forward to volunteer, but Billy literally can’t CONTAIN himself, practically punching the little girl in the face to try out the clown’s challenge. Billy, man… WTF?

 

Bulk and Skull come over to see what all the fuss is about, and what do you think happens to them while there are eggs in the air..? Yep.

 

Jason: "They're doing gymnastics over there."

Jason, you see gymnastics every damn day, don’t you? What on earth are you so excited about?

 

Sylvia: "Can I stay here and play with Pineapple?"

Sylvia for some reason wants to stay with the child predator but Trini pulls her away promising they’ll come back later.

 

Pineapple: "I'll catch you later."

I feel like he means that literally.

 

Rita: "Walk into my trap, tinheads."

We cut to Rita to learn that she’s already set a trap up prior to the start of the episode, which is kind of a nice break from tradition.

 

Rita: "The fake carnival is working!"

Wait, it’s ALL fake?! That must have taken a heck of a lot of planning. I mean, is it all run by putties, then? Is it a magical illusion? A hologram? Or did Rita have to put in an application with the city council, hire all the staff, pay for caterers, do the marketing, put up posters around town, invite Bulk and Skull… Like, what’s the deal here? I’d LOVE to see Rita doing admin.

 

Pineapple turning into Pineoctopus

Finster says he trained the clown himself and explains what’ll happen in Phase Two. “First, he’ll use his magic power to turn the power rangers, one by one, into cardboard cut-outs.” We see a crazy look plant-monster [not a clown]. “Then he’ll transform into a horrible pine-octopus [pronounced: ‘pinoctopus’] and terrorize the city.” This is… I mean, who dream this stuff up? A clown that can turn into a pineapple-tentacle monster with the power to turn people into cardboard cut-outs? None of that fits together. NONE of it, but I’m 100% here for this insanity. Rita then suggests: “Have him use that rat Sylvia as bait to get the rest of them.” I kind of love how Rita called a child a “rat” for no reason.

Rita to Finster: "Don't blow it this time!"

Right, because the other times didn’t matter? Apparently, this one sounds like it’ll have consequences if Finster does blow it.

 

The Power Rangers doing a pyramid

Wait, what happened there? Jason thought he saw some gymnastics, rushed over, saw there were none, so now the gang feel the need to provide some? Oh wait there’s a clown at the bottom. Was the clown doing some and then persuaded them to help?

 

Pineapple steals Sylvia

While Trini joins in with the pyramid fun, Pineapple is making good on his promise and “catching” Sylvia. He gives Trini a come hither evil smile, yet Trini’s reaction is to blame the kid: “I can believe she left like that.”

 

Pineapple turns Sylvia into a cardboard cut-out

Trini catches up and tries to take Sylvia back, but Pineapple sprinkles some magic dust on her and turns her into a cardboard cut-out, as Finster promised he’d do. This clown has WAY too much reality-manipulating power.

 

Pineapple: "I guess she's a bit board!"

*CLAP CLAP CLAP*

 

Trini: "Look what that clown did to Sylvia!"

Trini rushes back to the rest of the gang to show them what’s happened to her once flesh-and-blood cousin, and admit that her babysitting skills maybe aren’t quite up to scratch.

 

Yes, Billy, because getting the correct scientific terms to describe this Cronenberg-esque mess is the priority right now.

 

Luckily, Billy has a machine already prepared to fix this very specific problem, because… he’s Billy, I guess?

So, in our ‘Billy Talk’ segment unpacking Billy’s techno-babble, we discovered that ‘Quasitronic’ – as cool as it sounds, it’s a real word. Despite this, it has popped up in pop culture elsewhere, most notably in the Ghostbusters cartoon world.

 

 

Jason, cool-headed, takes control and splits everyone up. He then grabs a megaphone and tells everyone at the fair that it’s a trap, and Rita is attacking the park, and they all just run out straight away – no questions asked. It’s like how people say you can get anywhere by wearing a high-vis jacket, apparently, you can get people to do anything with just a megaphone.

 

Billy: "Bipedally ambulate to the nearest convenient outlet."

Okay, “bipedally” isn’t a word. ‘Bipedal’ means two-legged and ‘ambulate’ means ‘walk around.’ All he’s saying is ‘walk around on your two legs.’ SO UNNECESSARY. Especially when they’ve already demonstrated how smart he is by having him mention an invention he has that can turn people from 2D to 3D.

 

Clowns

Jason’s strategy is good, though, because it not only clears the park of civilians out of harm’s way, but it also separates the goodies from the baddies.

 

Putty

SHOCK! All the clowns are putties! They’d actually be scarier as clowns. Also, why do they keep some of their disguises? It makes them look weirdly… festive.

 

Pineapple and Billy

Pineapple tries to split them up and lures Billy away.

 

Pineapple behind Billy

OMG, GTFO BILLY!

 

 

Kim fights a putty

I like how the Rangers used their surroundings to their advantage in the ep. This is the kind of stuff that makes for a fun battle scene, rather than them just flailing around and improvising.

 

Pineapple: "No more clowning around!"

*CLAP CLAP CLAP*

 

Pineoctopus

Pineapple transforms into Pineoctopus. Have any of the costume designers seen an octopus or a pineapple? This thing looks like a tropical flesh-eating plant on top of a crab. Actually, it kind of reminds me of something else…

 

Venasaur using Vine Whip

…Ah, that’s it.

 

Pineapple is now Pineoctopus. Rita is pleased. But the Idiot Squad reckon Goldar should go down as back-up. Rita calls Goldar and tells him this, and he starts sassing her, asking “Why?” Geez, take the order, G-man.

 

Kim in battle

HOLD UP. I recognise this… They’ve totally just re-used footage from a previous episode!

 

Notes from the Power Rangers Wikia

The notes on this episode from the Power Rangers Wikia seem to suggest that there was a lot of mixing up footage from different episodes of Super Sentai and Mighty Morphin‘ for this one, which might explain the re-use of previous fight scenes.

 

Sylvia, Alpha-5 and Trini

Meanwhile, at Billy garage, “science-expert” Alpha-5 is trying to fix Sylvia.

 

Alpha: "The only critical thing she's missing is H20"

The ONLY thing she’s missing is water? REEEEALLY? She’s made of CARDBOARD, Alpha! She’s missing EVERYTHING! So all she needs is a drink and she’ll be right as rain again? 

 

Sylvia comes back to life

Oh, I take it all back. Guess that really is all it takes to restores a human child from one state of matter to another. Alpha-5 then has to very stealthily and quickly hide before the girl clocks he’s there…

 

Alpha hiding

But, this being Alpha we’re talking about, he instead loudly shouts robot directives and very noisily and clumsily waddles into a corner.

 

Pinoctopus: "Your suits protect you from my magic."

Pineoctopus gets the PRs cornered, but then his ego gets in the way, and he teleports Goldar and the putties away. Unfortunately, he then discovers a critical flaw in his plan – the Rangers are impervious to his cardboard-magic. You’d think Finster and Rita might have known this before going ahead with such an elaborate (and probably expensive) plan. Luckily, he has some other tricks up his sleeve that look suspiciously like Pokemon moves before Pokmeon was even invented…

 

 

Venasaur using vine whip

Basically this.

 

 

Venasaur solar beam

And then this.

 

Trini then returns to tell the Rangers that Billy’s machine did indeed (SOMEHOW) fix Sylvia, just in time for Rita to fulful her growth fetish, as usual. The Rangers call the Zords in and get MEGA.

This time, it’s Trini’s time to shine! And she’s shouting orders out like it’s nobodies business. #Trini4Leader?

 

Pineoctopus defeated

And pretty quickly, Pineoctopus is defeated. Soz, Rita. But you’ve got a bright future in public event planning if you want.

 

The fair

But then we go back to the “fake” carnival… and it’s just carrying on..? So people just came back when the coast was clear? Is Rita still footing the bill for all this?

 

Trini and Sylvia

And here’s the PSA kids: Don’t go walking off with strange clowns you meet at fake carnivals because you might get turned into cardboard. That’s something we can all relate to, right?