Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers (“The Spit Flower”)

Season 1, Episode 24
Date of airing: October 19, 1993 (FOX)

Was Tommy a little bit disappointed that Zordon kept him from joining the Power Rangers in their second bout against the Spit Flower or did Jason Frank put a little bit of his own disappointment over the shooting schedule of the show, as well as the payment, and this episode is essentially the first sign of the unhappy cast, and the first sign for the producers to not come around with 60 episodes per season (although maybe part of the season’s length can be explained by the show’s sudden success and Saban’s wishes to get more of that sweet kat-ching)? Tommy’s rather resigned “okay” with the addition of his lowered head made me think that it isn’t even an accidental way of portraying his disappointment, which begs the question why Frank decided to act like this during the command center scenes. But then again, maybe I’m just seeing way too much into it and am cobbling together a conspiracy theory that makes me recognize unhappy MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS cast members in every episode, now that the show has been established, it’s celebrating success and the cast may have even begun at this point to ask for a raise, and becoming angry campers when they were denied.

Kimberly was never this defeated before.

The episode was, and I’m quoting Tommy here, okay. It’s one of those monster actioners that are the same old stuff the show has brought for a while now, which means the show can only succeed when the non-Power Rangers scenes are good, and most of them happened to be good. First of all, there was some depth to Kimberly when she cried over her destroyed model float, which is a state any of the characters haven’t allowed to be shown in for the viewers. Secondly, it’s the way the characters were humanized for these 20 minutes, connecting over the loss and destruction of Kimberly’s model float and feeling with her about the inability to take part at the parade. But when we think about it a little longer, Rita may have just uncovered a way to destroy the Power Rangers: through emotions. Kimberly was down and crying, and if Rita would have continued that attack right away, maybe it would have taken a while for Kimberly to get back into action — preferably before she turns into a fury and takes full-on revenge for the Putties that destroyed her model float. But there is a sweet spot for that and Rita didn’t use it. Consider me disappointed that she isn’t smart enough to recognize when she has an actual plan of action here. At the end of the episode she was asking why she is never able to win, and here is the answer: She does not see the big picture.

It’s the invasion of the bully eaters.

The monster itself could have been great, but was kind of boring. Of course a weakness with the Spit Flower’s body was the point of destruction and not simply just the talents and moves of the Power Rangers and their zords. What a shame the biting baby flowers couldn’t do more, because those beasts were hilarious. They made Bulk and Skull look like hot dudes from the flower power era, but that wasn’t even the funniest part. When Bulk fished out one of the biting flowers and showed us its plastic Dracula teeth to put in your mouth for Halloween, I almost lost it. The production value of MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS is so freaking low, it can’t even ask the prop department to make some scary-looking animal teeth for hungry flowers. This was as close to a SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE sketch as the scene could have gotten.

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