Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Episodes 17-21: Green With Evil
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
THE MOVIE IS OFFICIALLY OUT TODAY! Thanks for sticking with me for this countdown, it's been a lot of fun reliving some favorite Power Rangers episodes here. Okay, onto the breakdown:
Why are these episodes the best?
Power Rangers was an instant hit when I was a little kid. It took the world by storm. It was not however fully a phenomenon until it reached the 5-part miniseries, Green With Evil. While the show is more often than not formulaic, Green With Evil completely turned everything on its head. The rangers don't have Zordon. They don't have their zords. For a time they don't have Jason. Everything they and we are used to is either mising or unusable. Tommy finally introduced a worthy adversary for the Rangers, and with him, the rest of Rita's gang stepped up their game.
Each episode is a thrilling little adventure that when stacked together gives you something akin to a cinematic feature. At its core, the episode exemplifies "being your own worst enemy" as Tommy is the perfect foil to the goody-good rangers.
Plus, the Dragonzord.
So...these episodes are perfect right?
Far from it. Green With Evil still suffers from all the problems that plagued Mighty Morphin in general; wooden Acting, bad Dubbing, etc. (All of the "good stuff" as it were.) It manages to mitigate a lot of this by being a lot more forward moving with its plot development, and the dramatic irony utilized with the Green Ranger's identity.
There's a lot of Zyuranger footage that was used because it had to be used, and it's really telling. Heck, the entire character of Scorpina isn't exactly that great of an inclusion in the series, let alone this episode. Maybe it's because she's just another general here, as opposed to Goldar's wife like in Japan.
There's also a lot of weirdness with how the script is written. We get a lot of moments of Tommy being threatening, but in hindsight, it would have been even creepier to have him acting normal to try and fool the rangers. The audience knew either way. (Dino Thunder would later do this for Trent/White Drago Ranger, but that created its own issues with the source footage.)
How do these episodes influence the new movie?
I've talked about Rita and the likelihood of her being the previous Green Ranger. If that's the case, there's definitely going to be some similarities between how this movie feels and Green With Evil. (Not the plot or story though.) We don't know if Tommy is in it, but we do know there's a mid-credits scene. If the film gets a sequel, it's going to have to be some kind of an adaption of Green With Evil. What form it will take, we don't know, but we know it's going to shake up the status quo that will be established in this first film.
NOTE: THE MOVIE BEGINS SHOWINGS TODAY (3/23)! IT IS OPEN FOR WIDE RELEASE TOMORROW (3/24) Enjoy it Ranger fans, this is for us!
Head to Fandango and check for theaters in your area!