Mighty Morphin Power Rangers S:01 E:02

Episode Title: High Five
Original Airdate: September 7, 1993

What scares you the most? Maybe you’re someone who is freaked out by heights. Or, perhaps the sinister image of a skeleton at Halloween time gives you the willies. Well, the Power Rangers have to deal with both those things in this episode as they learn to overcome fears in today’s episode, High Five.

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As today’s episode begins, our heroes are engaged in that most dreaded of all gym class activities…climbing the rope. I could never climb the rope. I HATED climbing the rope. Jason is a bit more up to the task…more so than Bulk who tries to show up Jason and instead pulls the rope right out of the ceiling. Trini, however, doesn’t want to have anything to do with climbing the rope. She has a bit of a fear of heights. Meanwhile, Billy has had bigger things to do than rope climbing. He has created a set of wristband communicators that will allow the Power Rangers to stay in touch with each other, as well as Alpha. They’ll also allow our heroes to teleport back to the command center whenever they need to.

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Meanwhile, Rita is plotting a new attack. She has Baboo working on a trap involving a time warp and Finster creating a new creature called Bones. For some reason the time warp is in a model of the space shuttle. It lands and chases people around the city. The sight of people screaming in terror as they are chased by a small model is more than a bit ridiculous. At the same time, Rita sends a squad of Putties down which our heroes try to take out.

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During the fight, Billy is pursued up a large rock formation by a group of Putties. The higher he gets, the more freaked out Trini gets. It doesn’t help that Billy clumsily drops his power morpher. Trini summons up all her courage and climbs the rocks to help Billy. Once they’ve rejoined the other three, they dispense with the Putties…and they don’t even need to morph!

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If that all seemed too easy…well you’re right! The Power Rangers still need to contend with Bones, who has just showed up in the local amusement park. Our heroes Morph and teleport to the park. It doesn’t take long for Bones to use the time warp to zap everyone into some strange dimension filled with fake trees, smoke, and skeleton Putties. It is determined that the way to stop bones is separate him from his head,,,which our heroes do pretty quickly. But then, Rita sends down a giant warrior that looks a bit like Gerard Butler in 300…if he were 30 stories tall, that is. So, it’s time for some Zord action! Jason summons his T-Rex Zord and, before you can say “THIS IS ANGEL GROVE!” he wipes out the creature.

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This is our first episode to really have a moral to the story, so to speak. I understand why the producers of the show felt the need to do this. I mean, otherwise the show would pretty much just be kung fu and monsters. They had to do what they could to keep the parents happy, and even then parents still got their feathers in a ruffle over the show’s violence. The whole storyline with Trini being afraid of heights is really only a small element of the plot and the action certainly goes out of it’s way to make her have to climb the rocks to save Billy. The thing that actually comes through more with this aspect of the story is that Billy, though brilliant enough to create the wrist communicators, can be a bit klutzy and doesn’t think things through. Just like a final girl in a horror film, he climbs UP to get away from the Putties! Oh man!

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We do get some fun monster action in this one, though it feels a bit hurried. This show definitely had a great variety of weird creatures, and Bones gets things started in a fun way. He looks a bit like a cross between Jack Skellington and Puss in Boots. I enjoyed that when he’s sent down to earth he collapses into a pile of bones which then has to reassemble itself before he can start terrorizing the city. The fact that he zaps everyone off to some sort of alternate dimension for the battle is fun too, but the battle ends very quickly. Then, totally out of left field, we get this big Roman soldier who comes down and starts stomping around. I don’t need everything explained to me but why a Roman soldier!? Actually, I know why…it’s because that’s the footage from the original Japanese show that Saban had to work with. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Bones and the soldier were from two completely different episodes. It would’ve made more sense had it been some other sort of boney creature….but it is what it is. Ultimately, we get to see it fight with a huge robot T-Rex, so I’m not complaining. Speaking of which, it was nice to see something different with the Zords this time. Instead of everyone coming together, we just get one Zord fighting with the monster. I like variety in my monster vs. robot battles!

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I should also mention that this episode adds some strange vocabulary that we will continue to see pop up in the series from time to time. Early in the episode, Kimberly says of Billy’s communicators that they are “morph-enominal.” The word shows up again later in the episode. Billy also gets into the act with the word “morph-antagious.” There’s more of this as the series continues, so prepare to be morph-afied.

This second episode is definitely not as strong as the first. The storyline had me rolling my eyes a bit, but I still found action sequences to be a lot of fun. Next time our heroes face off against an evil minotaur and gets some new weapons in the process in our next episode, Teamwork.

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