Mighty Morphin Power Rangers S:01 E:12

Episode Title: Power Ranger Punks
Original Airdate: September 20, 1993

I don’t know what the different cliques are in high schools of today, but when I was in high school in the 80’s we definitely had the punks. By the early 90’s, though, I’m not so sure this look was still around as much. We were moving over to grunge by that point. In Angel Grove, however, they were about to have a punk problem. Break out your spiked bracelets for today’s episode, Power Ranger Punks.

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We begin in the park where our five heroes are playing a bit of beach volleyball. Suddenly, in the middle of a match, a bunch of putties attack. While the rangers are distracted with the putties, Baboo flies over on Rita’s flying bicycle and drops a formula of his own creation into the rangers’ drinks. It’s a “punk potion.” Only Billy and Kimberly end up partaking of the tasy beverage, but next thing we know they are sneering at the other three and storming off declaring that volleyball is for dorks!! The next day at school, Billy and Kimberly show up in full punk regalia. They start by stealing some poor kid’s lunch money before Billy tells Bulk that he’s now the baddest guy at school while Kim asks Skull out on a date!?

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Seeing all this on his monitor, Zordon transports all the rangers to the command center, putting the two punks in a transparent force field. He informs the team that the only way to change them back is with the juice of the Singing Squash, which exists in another dimension. However, at that moment Rita sends a new monster, the Terror Toad, to attack. The three remaining rangers go off to fight the beast while Alpha goes to get the Singing Squash.

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The Toad is one nasty character. He has a laser like tongue that whips out and grabs the rangers. First he swallows up Trini, then Zack, leaving only Jason. Luckily, Alpha has gotten the Squash, but not without having to zap a few putties. They then make a special drink and change Billy and Kimberly back to normal. They then morph and transport to help Jason. The toad is still pretty hungry though, managing to swallow both Jason and Billy. Now it’s all up to Kimberly. After finding a weak spot under the toad’s neck, she uses her power bow to do a Legolas on the creature. The others are released and they manage to finish him off.

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The highlight of this episode is definitely the punk versions of Billy and Kimberly. Their over-the-top we-hate-everything attitude is ridiculous, but also quite funny. Amy Jo Johnson and and David Yost are clearly having a lot of fun with their parts in this. As for their look, well, it’s not quite as extreme as the punks I went to high school with, but it’s a huge contrast to how the characters usually look. Kimberly is still as cute as anything, though. I mean, I always had crushes on the nice girls, but if the punk chicks I went to high school with looked like Kimberly does I would’ve stuck a safety pin in my nose and invested in some Public Image Ltd T-shirts.

It is a nice change of pace to see Baboo as the one who comes up with the evil scheme in this episode. I’ve kind of wondered why exactly Rita keeps him around, since he never really seems to do anything meaningful. Here we see him working on a formula and taking the initiative to spike the rangers’ drinks all on his own. That’s the way to move up in your career, people. Take initiative. Make it happen! As for the monster, I really dug the Terror Toad. He doesn’t look like he should be a formidable enemy. After all, he’s got stubby little T-rex arms and he’s shaped like a Weeble. Still, he manages to be quite a fighter! I especially liked his laser tongue. However, it’s a bit creepy and Freddy Krueger-ish that the image of each person he’s swallowed appears on his belly.

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We don’t get any zord action in this episode, since the toad is never made to grow. Fine by me, though, since the hand-to-hand fighting is quite good in this episode. There is one really cool shot that is taken from the point of view of one of Kimberly’s arrows as she fires it and it sales through the trees toward the toad. It’s probably the most creative piece of photography we’ve seen on the show yet.

All in all, this episode hits all the right marks. It’s got a crazy monster, cool action, and it’s pretty funny. In our next episode probably the most amazing thing in the history of Angel Grove happens…Billy gets a date! Join us next time for Peace, Love and Woe.

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