Episode Title: I, Eye Guy
Original Airdate: September 14, 1993
There have been many movies that deal with eye monsters…from the 1958 film The Crawling Eye to Mike Wazowski in Monsters Inc. So,leave it to Rita and her goons to come up with a truly bizarre eye creature to unleash mayhem on Angel Grove. Don’t blink or you may miss today’s episode…I, Eye Guy.
The episode begins with the rangers gathered at Billy’s house where he is helping a younger boy named Willie with his project for the Junior Science Fair. It’s a virtual reality video game that simulates a ride on a roller coaster. High tech stuff for 1993. It’s certainly impressive enough for Rita’s taste. She spies this young genius and decides she want his mind to help with her evil schemes. First, she sends down some putties to capture him, but the rangers take care of them without even morphing. So, Finster decides to present Rita with a monster called Eye Guy. It can zap people into a vortex with its big central eye…which even detaches from its body and can float around on its own.
Our heroes manage to get Willie and his invention to the science fair. Unfortunately, Bulk and Skull show up to cause trouble. Their hijinks lead to a mini riot and the rangers end up disposing of the two bullies by dumping them into a fashion makeover machine. The two emerge in drag. Bulk looks a bit like Melissa McCarthy, to be honest. The worst part, though, is that the head judge blames the trouble on Willie (!?!) and thus disqualifies him. Willie goes off on his own to mope, which makes him easy pickins for Eye Guy. Of course, Willie ends up trapped in the vortex.
After a briefing from Zordon the rangers head off to do battle with Eye Guy. They try putting their weapons together to form the power blaster, but Eye Guy is able to reform after the blast. Zordon tells the rangers that the key is to destroy the main eye of the creature (which Willie is actually trapped inside). Billy makes a valiant attempt at stabbing in the eye, but Rita makes Eye Guy grow. So, our heroes must call upon their zords. With the help of the Mega Sword, they have no trouble smashing Eye Guy and freeing Willie. And of course, Willie ends up winning the science fair in the end.
Wonderfully wacky monsters like Eye Guy are big reason why this show is such fun. The look of this thing is truly nuts. It looks a bit like one of the weird costumes that Peter Gabriel used to wear when he was the lead singer of Genesis. Every inch of this creature is covered with weird bulging eyeballs. But that’s not all! When the rangers zap him, he collapses into a pile of eyeballs, which then take to the air, float into position, and cause the whole monster to reform. Sure, it’s pretty crude special effects, but it’s awfully fun. We’re not done yet, though, folks. Eye Guy can also shoot eyeballs out of his body, which explode like grenades. He can also shoot out eyeballs that become chomping mouths like some sort of rabid Pac-Man. I just couldn’t get enough of this looney monster!
Though the monster is fun, I wouldn’t say that the story is expertly crafted. I was a bit bugged by the first attempt by the putties to try and capture Willie. I mean, the rangers (as their regular selves) circle around Willie and fend off the putties. Now, Willie is a young genius, or so we’re led to believe. The next Billy, if you will. So, his five teenage friends, who happen to have a habit of wearing clothes that are the same color as the Power Rangers’ uniforms, have no problem battling these villains. If this kid hasn’t figured out they are the Power Rangers, he’s no genius. Also a dead giveaway is the fact that Trini uses the term “morph-enominal” around him. Even in Angel Grove I don’t think that’s the lingo the kids are using. Plus, after the kid is almost kidnapped by putties, wouldn’t you think the rangers would keep a closer eye (pun intended) on him. Nope…they let him wander off to the park to sulk.
All around, though, this is a pretty fun episode. It’s got a crazy monster and some good battle action. The Bulk and Skull sequence where they cause trouble at the science fair is also fun. It’s a big improvement over that annoying chicken from last week, that’s for sure. Next time, the team has more trouble when they face off against a troll. Please don’t let it be the big pink hair kind….please don’t let it be the big pink hair kind. I guess we’ll find out next time in For Whom the Bell Trolls.