Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (“The Trouble with Shellshock”)

Season 1, Episode 22
Date of airing: October 11, 1993 (FOX)

With Shellshock being the monster of the episode, the American writers couldn’t hold themselves back delivering a TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES reference, although I am surprised it came from the monster’s mouth and not one of the Power Rangers, when he specifically used the words “teenage mutant” right after Rita enlarged him. Besides that, Shellshock was a hilarious villain. The traffic light on his head looked freaking ridiculous, but color me surprised that it was used as a perfect weapon. Freezing the Power Rangers into non-movements was an intriguing idea, but I still don’t know why Rita isn’t just taking the best of a few monsters and mashes it all together in one super big monster boss. Because seriously, the traffic lights were a good weapon to at least temporarily incapacitate the Power Rangers, which is all the time Rita and her monsters need to quickly take over the world. But I guess Rita is still not tat smart, as evident in this episode — she sleeps through the making of the monster, which means she can sleep through an earthquake. And a supervillain who can’t even be woken up when trouble is aloof is no great supervillain. But damn, was I thankful that Rita was sleeping through most of the episode. It was quite refreshing not to hear her shrill dubbing voice for a few minutes, and I say that as someone who actually appreciates the crazy voice-acting Barbara Goodson brings to americanize Rita for the Western culture.

All this yelling and bullying her monsters makes Rita sleepy.

Shellshock’s weapon served another hilarious joke for this episode: He made the Yellow Ranger run through the entire world (apparently) to get a certain flower that acts as an antidote for the weapon Shellshock used. That by itself is laugh-out-loud worthy already, because I didn’t even know one of Rita’s monster’s weapons came with an antidote, and I still remember the time Baboo poisoned two of the Rangers and turned them into punks, because at least with a poison you can easily explain the sudden need for an antidote, but with an entire weapon? Anyway, the Yellow Ranger was running and running, and when she was on Shellshock’s head to use the antidote, she was running on the spot, which looked fabulous. Hell, she was even doing running motions while in the air when she jumped onto Shellshock’s head (which does tell you about the meticulous work the producers of the Super Sentai series put on display). It’s one of those things that make MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS a silly and funny show, reminding me that I did the right thing to pick up the show and go through it.

The dancing Yellow Ranger brings flowers.

In the meantime, the American producers were definitely focusing a little too much on Tommy’s karate moves. His were the ones the editors slowed down during the fight with the Putties on the basketball court, and his performance with the billiard cue was the one that was put way too hard into the spotlight. Yes, we all know that Jason Frank can fight, and we were expecting for you to make use of his martial arts skills in front of the camera, but damn, this is now the Tommy show. By the way, the basketball court fight scene had some terrible editing, begging the question how much of it was filmed and how little of it was used for the episode. There was a shot that showed one of the Putties in front of Zack, with the basketball, who seemed to be falling flat on his face. One cut later, Zack was dribbling the basketball towards the net and that led to the end of the fight sequence. My curious mind would love to know what happened here during the editing process.

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