Why are these episodes some of the best?
Back in the early 90s, Power Rangers was in its heyday, and while it was already beloved, the introduction of one villain would send it over the top for me personally. The Mutiny, which introduced the world to Lord Zedd, was the first time (and one of the only times) that Power Rangers received a prime time airing slot. It was also the premier of Season 2, and the network was not fooling around with this one.
The episode gives us a lot. Lord Zedd is menacing, and evil, and over-the-top; everything a villain should be. He banishes Rita, and goes to work beating down the rangers. He freezes/steals their zords, and pretty much sidelines them until they are able to activate their new ones.
Bulk and Skull fans get their first real bit of character development- they are saved by the Power Rangers and decide they will discover their identites; i.e their shtick for Season 2.
We also get to see Tommy's powers start to really fade here. We had already been told at this point that he was weakening, but here it's painfully obvious. It sets up a really great character arc for him that stretches over just about the first half of season 2.
The episodes are suspenseful, action-packed and full of the rangers actually doubting themselves, which definitely happens in this show, but nowhere near as much as it should realistically.
Plus, those Thunderzords!
Why are these episodes not higher up on the list?
For all the amazing story and character drama we get out of these episodes, there is a lot left to be desired when it comes to the actual filming and footage presented. For one, a lot of it, even some of the American footage, is repeated....over, and over again. A lot of the episode's zord footage and fight footage is a mix of footage used during Green With Evil, and original footage shot as part of "Zyu 2" by Toei.
As a kid, it passed as being not the same. As an adult...with access to the episodes any time you want...it's glaringly obvious and kind of pulls you out of the moment. In fairness, there was a lot of original, non-Zyuranger things that had to be constructed, so I imagine the budget was not amazing for them. (Lord Zedd, the Thunder Megazord, cockpit, etc.)
There's also a really weird time issue with the marathon the rangers are competing in. It lasts over the three episodes...but it can't possibly be that long of a race. (The rangers spend lengths of time in the Command Center waiting.) To their credit, the rangers and Bulk and Skull do finish last, so it's not as crazy as it could have been.
Oh and yeah- Mega Thunderzord?
How do these episodes possibly influence the movie?
As I probably brought up before, the prospect of Rita working for Lord Zedd seems rather likely in the movie, especially with the Zeo Crystal involved. Mostly used as a throw-away joke in the show, Lord Zedd at one time or another tried to seek out the Zeo Crystal for himself (it's concealed in the Caves of Deception, below the Moon Palace), but was deflected by the Crystals anti-evil force-field and disfigured. We don't know what form Lord Zedd will take in the films, or if he will even be directly involved, but we do know the Zeo Crystal is there...and that Rita wants it for some reason.
NOTE: TICKETS ARE OFFICIALLY ON SALE FOR THE POWER RANGERS MOVIE! THE MOVIE OPENS NEXT FRIDAY, MARCH 24th, with THURSDAY SHOWINGS AVAILABLE IN SOME AREAS.
Head to Fandango and check for theaters in your area!
Tomorrow (3/16), Bryan Cranston will be hosting a Facebook Live chat for Power Rangers at 2 PM Eastern/11 AM Pacific. He will also be on Live with Kelly this Friday (3/17). Check @ThePowerRangers on twitter for more information.