Mighty Morphin Power Rangers S:01 E:07

Episode Title: Big Sisters
Original Airdate: September 30, 1993

Well, last time Rita’s schemes involved the creation of a bizarre pig monster. Apparently, she is making her way across the full spectrum of barnyard animals as this time around she decides to unleash a chicken on Angel Grove. Will the Power Rangers make him Original Recipe or Extra Crispy? Let’s find out in today’s episode, Big Sisters.

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As we begin, Kimberly and Trini are trying to track down a twelve year old girl named Maria. You see, the girls have volunteered to be “big sisters” for the day. Maria, it turns out, is pulling pranks at the youth center by turning up the hot water in the showers and stuff like that. ‘Cuz scalding people is always funny. Meanwhile, Rita has recently found the location of something she has sought for thousands of years…the Power Eggs. They are in a treasure chest in a cave…but there’s a problem. Only a child can open up the box.

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So, Rita sends some putties down to snatch Maria away from her picnic lunch with Trini and Kimberly. The girls put up a good fight, but the putties still manage to nab the little girl. At the same time, Finster has created a new monster to aid in this plot, a giant chicken with a pair of hedge clippers. The girls determine that they’ll need the help of the other three rangers, and some advice from Zordon. Strangely, though, their communicators are down, so they can’t teleport. Leave it to Billy, though. He has a new invention called the Rad Bug, a modified VW Bug that does 0 to 3,000 in 2.8 seconds…oh, and it flies. They use this to get to the command center in record time.

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After Zordon explains all about the Power Eggs the rangers morph and head off to get them back. They manage to quickly get the eggs away from the baddies, but they still need to save Maria who is dangling above some power cables with the chicken threatening to clip the rope. The rangers summon their zords and come together to form the Mega Zord just in time to catch Maria as she falls. They then battle the chicken (who Rita has made grow)…easily defeating with a slash from the Power Sword.

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This chicken is kind of weird monster. Ok, so all the monsters on this show are kind of weird, but the chicken just seems a bit random. Don’t get me wrong, the look of the creature is cool and all…but why a chicken?! Early in the episode Rita talks like she needs something that will lure a child to her. So…how exactly does a chicken fit the bill for that? Then, she doesn’t even use the chicken to lure Maria. The putties, in a rare moment where they actually succeed in their task, kidnap the girl. The chicken has nothing to do with it! Even when we get to the big battle at the end, the chicken doesn’t prove to be much of a foe. There is one brief hint of a cool power where he uses his big hedge clippers to cut a hole in the sky, which he walks through to reappear in another spot. Neat idea, but he only does it once…so it’s kinda wasted.

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This is probably the first episode that has really suffered a bit from a less than seamless merging of the American footage and the original Japanese footage. This primarily centers around the character of Maria. In the sequence where she is dangling above the power lines she is clearly a little Asian girl, whereas in the rest of the episode…she definitely isn’t. The stuff with the car is also a bit out of left field and is obviously in the episode to acomodate footage from the original series. I’m thinkin’, though, if Billy can modify a car to not only fly but go 3,000 miles per hour the dude should be working for General Motors. I’d bet the pay would be better than what Zordon’s dishin’ out. Speaking of things that fly, something we see in this episode that we haven’t seen before is Rita visiting Earth herself by pedaling a flying version of one of those old fashioned big wheel bicycles. It doesn’t look like it does 3,000, though. Rita actually looks quite frumpy on it.

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Overall, this is really the first episode that I’ve found to be a bit disappointing. The story isn’t particularly exciting and the marrying of the Japanese and American footage is about the sloppiest that we’ve seen thus far. Next time, though, Rita gives up on the barnyard animals and turns to some sort of eye monster.  Join us for I, Eye Guy.

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