Episode Title: The Trouble with Shellshock
Original Airdate: October 11, 1993
Well, after that epic five-part adventure we just finished, things are now different for the Power Rangers. Where once there were only five rangers, now there are six. But as much as some things change, some things stay the same…like Rita trying to destroy Angel Grove with new monsters. This time it’s a giant turtle with some strange enhancements in The Trouble with Shellshock.
We begin with Squatt and Baboo deciding to create a monster of their own. They pull out a clay sculpture of a turtle, then stick a stop light in it’s back, and throw a bunch of other items into the mix like a baseball bat, miniature cannon, and more. What comes out is bizarre, to say the least. The villains then decide to unleash a putty attack on the Power Rangers, who are playing basketball in the park. It doesn’t take long to fend them off before before Tommy has to leave for karate practice. Bulk and Skull then show up to cause some trouble and end up, as usual, crashing into food.
Having waited long enough, Squatt and Baboo unleash the turtle, dubbed Shellshock, on the Power Rangers. It seems that the stop light on his back shoots out Stop lasers and Go lasers. In fact, the creature zaps Trini with the Go laser and she goes running off, unable to stop. The turtle then unleashes his bizarre powers on the other rangers, such as battering them with baseballs, and even changing its head into a giant cannon and blasting them. He then uses his Stop laser to freeze Billy, Kimberly and Zack. All four then are transported back to the command center by Alpha.
Rita ends up very happy with this success. She then makes Shellshock grow to begin busting up Angel Grove. It’s going to be up to Jason to fight the monster, but he’ll need some help. Zordon sends Trini, still unable to stop running, to find a special flower whose pollen will reverse the effects of the turtle’s power. As for Jason, he summons the T-Rex zord and the battle begins. Eventually, though, he needs to call Tommy to come and assist in his dragon zord. It’s a tough battle until Trini finds the flower, leaps atop the turtle’s head, and sprinkles the pollen. With that, our heroes are easily able to take down the beast.
So, I gotta ask, what kind of twisted mind comes up with this wacky monster? Part turtle, part stoplight, with an affinity for baseball, a hook hand and a head that can become a cannon. Remember people, drugs are bad, m’kay. Still, whatever the motivation behind this strange creature was, crazy monsters is a big part of what makes this show so much fun. This one is just so out-there that it’s irresistible. Watching it lumber around the city slashing at buildings is a joy to behold.
This episode does introduce us to a few things that we’ll continue to see as the series moves forward. For some reason, Tommy is portrayed as being a part of the group, but also somewhat separate from the group. He’s shootin hoops with the rest of them as the episode begins, but a few minutes in he exits to go to “karate practice.” This will often be his go-to excuse to not be with the rest of the team. He always seems to have karate practice. What I don’t get is why when trouble starts to strike Zordon doesn’t alert him so he can help? I mean he’s got one of Billy’s wrist communicators. When Shellshock starts smashing up the city, he’s doing bo staff routines at the youth center, completely oblivious that a monster attack is going on. I realize this monster stuff is becoming commonplace in the sleepy town of Angel Grove, but you’d think someone at the youth center might be slightly alarmed by the whole thing.
Though the giant monster action in this episode is fun, the highlight is actually the putty battle that comes early on. I guess there’s just something to be said for seeing the actual Power Rangers actors showing off their skills. Jason David Frank continues to impress with his martial arts prowess. His bo staff routine later on is enough to impress Darth Maul. Amy Jo Johnson’s gymnastics moves are also pretty spectacular while taking down the putties.
Though this installment has a few awkward moments, it’s an overall entertaining episode. Next time, if you suffer from arachnophobia, you may want to proceed with caution. Join us for Itsy Bitsy Spider.