Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (“Life’s a Masquerade”)

Season 1, Episode 25
Date of airing: October 30, 1993 (FOX)

Costume parties and Halloween aren’t just perfect days for vampires and demons to come out of their dark holes and mingle with the humans without having to fight them or get destroyed by the Slayer, it’s also a great day for Alpha to mingle with its friends (seriously, is Alpha a male robot or a female robot?) and win the costume contest, feeling like it belongs here and doesn’t just have to be Zordon’s right-hand robot, never to leave the command center. Let’s just hope this episode isn’t the only one that sees Alpha out of the center and among the people to live a life, and judging by the fact that Alpha once went out of the center to save two Power Rangers from being ugly punks, the chances are pretty good.

The episode was like Alpha’s chances of mingling with the crowd, thanks to the costume party premise, which I’m always in for. The teens were nicely dressed in recognizable characters, although consider me a little curious why Zack was the only one allowed to run around without a shirt on, but maybe that six-pack he sported was the reason for his shirtless appearance (does it mean the other guys did not have a six-pack at the time of production?). I also liked the fact that half of the monster’s appearance was sponsored by the American producers, with Frankenstein’s monster mostly hanging out with the American cast members, before the Japanese actor took over during the Super Sentai scenes. It makes me wonder when the first episode will come with an American-produced monster only, and the villains from the Japanese Super Sentai series are only witnessing the action from the moon base and commenting. That would mean the Power Rangers would have to do all the action, without the zords and probably with a little more training and fight choreography, and there will most likely never be an episode that does not take some of the action from the Super Sentai show, because it’s cheap as hell for the American producers.

An American horror icon in a Japanese action show.

But as it turns out, the American version of Rita’s monster was rather dumb. It behaved like Frankenstein’s monster would behave without a brain, but when the Japanese version entered the fray, it very much smashed up the Megazord and was pretty close to destroying it. This is one of those episodes which I would lose to see its Japanese original of, because I would love to know what their monster was doing before the action scenes and what the Japanese were seeing when using one of America’s most famous movie villain monsters (Something else America stole from the Brits). Side note: The monster of this episode was the first one without an extravagant costume when enlarged. It’s the first monster with half his face still being visible during the fight with the Megazord.

Meanwhile, there better be some news coverage about the battle between the enlarged monster and the Megazord. After all, the Megazord was thrown on top of two residential buildings, which means people freaking died during this episode. Before, you could have explained away that the monster and the Megazord crashing into the buildings every once in a while didn’t kill any civilians, because crashes like those can be survived, but the complete destruction of two entire buildings? Yeah, there is no way the city was evacuated this quickly and there is no way that, if you look at the show from a more realistic point of view, people died when those buildings collapsed under the weight of the Megazord. Here is another thing I’m asking myself: When will that ever become an issue for the characters? Do they even know innocent civilians are dying during battles? Did the writers of both shows ever talked about it in the writers room?

The Megazord has finally been defeated. Or has it?

By the way, whatever happened to the super Putties Rita has created with clay that looked like shit? Those things never showed up for the battle, begging the question if they can be used for a future fight and if the creation of the super Putties is a way for the show to become more serialized.

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