I regularly guest on several podcasts, including the LAMBcast (official podcast of the Large Association of Movie Blogs). Probably my favorite appearance on that show was when we talked about all four films in the classic airline disaster movie franchise, Airport. Today’s episode may actually take a little bit of inspiration from the Airport franchise. Plus, as an extra bonus, Rita’s monster is voiced by a future Emmy winner and Academy Award nominee. Put your tray tables in their full upright position for Foul Play in the Sky.
Kimberly is about to spend the day flying over Angel Grove with her Uncle Steve, a pilot. Also at the airport that day are Bulk and Skull doing some plane-spotting. They manage to get Uncle Steve to invite them on the flight too. Of course, Rita is watching and always scheming. Before the flight takes off, she sends Squatt down to drug Uncle Steve’s “cola.” So, midway through the flight, Uncle Steve passes out. Bulk and Skull panic, eventually passing out as well. Meanwhile Kimberly also freaks a bit but tries to contact Alpha and Zordon to help her land the plane. Of course, she can’t morph because she’d give herself away to Bulk and Skull. Now wait, isn’t Kimberly the one who’s zord is the pterodactyl? You know, the one that can fly! I guess it must be a “completely different sort of flying altogether” (Airplane! reference people, stay with me here).
Meanwhile, Rita sends down her new monster…the Snizard. It’s half snake, half lizard, half Bryan Cranston. Yep, the voice is provided by Cranston. The other Power Rangers are sent to deal with the monster while Alpha does his best Sterling Hayden and tries to talk Kimberly through the landing. Sterling Hayden talks the plane down in Zero Hour…do I have to explain everything to you people!?!
The rangers battle the Snizard but are really having a hard time. They need Kimberly and her bow. Why that’s the deciding factor, I don’t know…but anyhow. Eventually, Kimberly gets the plane down and exits before the cops show up. She then morphs and joins her friends just when things seem hopeless. She manages to take out a bunch of putties all by herself and then takes out the Snizard with one well placed arrow.
I like that this episode gets us out of our normal environments. We only end up at the youth center at the end of the episode, and we’re not at the school either. Most of the action takes place in the airplane. Also a big change is that Bulk and Skull are with us for most of the episode. Usually they show up at the beginning and at the end for comic relief. They’re still the comic relief, but having them be stuck in the troubled aircraft along with Kimberly was a good idea. I was a little bit bugged that Kimberly freaks out quite a bit even though her role as Power Ranger should have her quite used to flying in dangerous situations. She has to psyche herself after Alpha gives her a pep talk, telling her “you can do anything you set your mind to, Kimberly.” I’d think she knows this by now. I mean, how many giant rubber monsters does it take?
As for our monster, this thing is completely nuts! Not only does it have a giant snake head, but its hands are snakes, its legs are wrapped in more snakes, it even has “tonsil snakes” that it spits out at the rangers. The weirdest thing, though is that it wears some sort of crown with a golden apple on it. Taking out the apple with an arrow is how Kimberly manages to destroy the beast. I’m not sure I get the logic behind this…but silly me, trying to employ logic when talking about this show. I should know better.
While I did enjoy the monster action, to me the sequences between Kimberly, Bulk and Skull in the airplane are a bit stronger. It gives the two bullies a bit more to do comedically than just falling into food. Though,we do close the episode with Zack accidentally sending a tray of milkshakes flying into the air and landing on the duo. Oh, and I forgot to mention…Uncle Steve does end up being just fine. In our next episode, though, another uncle gets mixed up in things. Trini’s Uncle Howard shows up next time in Dark Warrior.