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?

 

 

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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!]

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


Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 14.05.31

Hold onto your butts, IT’S HOBBY WEEK!

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 14.06.17

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?!

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 14.07.44

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.