Episode Title: Birds of a Feather
Original Airdate: November 22, 1993
Well, things are different now in Angel Grove. The poor citizens who have to deal with the constant giant monster attacks are now one superhero short. At the end of our last episode, Tommy (the green ranger) lost his powers, though he did score a date with Kimberly. What a trade off…you loose your superpowers, but you get to lock lips with Kimberly. There’s probably a bunch of guys who were 10 years old in 1993 that would’ve taken that trade. Anyhow, will the team suffer without him, though? We’ll find out in today’s episode, Birds of a Feather.
As our story begins, Zack is getting his martial arts class ready for an upcoming competition, especially his most promising student, Cameron. The youngster is a bit nervous about the competition, though, primarily because he has to face Bulk’s young protege, Biff. Little do Zack and the other rangers know that Rita’s latest plan is already in motion. She’s sent a bird-like creature called a Hatchasaurus down to Earth. Of course, he starts causing trouble just as the competition gets started.
The rangers all excuse themselves, which really bums out Cameron, to go take care of the problem. Our heroes morph and quickly get behind the wheel of their zords. They even summon the Dragon Zord to help. Remember, Jason now has the flute dagger thing that Tommy used to control that particular robot. Though the battle is a challenge, the team defeats the creature quickly. Howerver, it reforms because the only way to destroy it is to first destroy its heart-like internal computer, called Cardiotron.
After a pep talk with Zordon, the team heads out again and battles the Hatchasaurus with the Mega Zord. Then, Jason ejects himself and leaps down the throat of the creature so he can destroy Cardiotron. Meanwhile, Rita has the Dragon Zord under a spell, so it’s no help. It looks hopeless for the rangers, that is until Jason’s endless playing of the flute breaks Rita’s spell. Dragon Zord then zaps the big bird, it barfs up the weird heart monster, and Jason takes it out. Then all it takes is some Ultra Zord action to bring the Hatchasaurus down. Oh, and then they all make it back in time to see Cameron beat Biff in the martial arts competition.
This one is pretty weird. There’s not a lot of story here, but there is a lot of action. Once again, we’ve got whole buildings coming down. As the Hatchasaurus rips down one building we see that the architects of Angel Grove aren’t exactly at the top of their profession. We can clearly see that this building is just a shell with no actual floors. I know, I know…that’s unfair. I mean it’s not like we’ve seen significantly higher production value in the previous 35 episodes.
I was struck by the fact that this episode has some slightly gross elements. After all, this week’s creature has a monster heart that glows and has tentacles. Grosser still is that Jason has to slide down the beast’s throat to fight with this thing. Now, I’m not biology professor, but I’m pretty sure going down the throat would land you in the stomach, which is not where the heart should be. Then again, the Hatchasaurus shouldn’t be able to survive when its heart jumps out of its body to fight Jason hand to hand…er, hand to tentacle. Oh well.
The most striking thing about this episode, though, is how it pretty much forgets all about poor Tommy. He’s not in the episode at all, or even mentioned. Jason David Frank has even been excised from the opening credits of the show. Of course, the Dragon Zord, which he used to command, still comes into play, but now Jason is in charge of that. I know this is a kids show and it’s never exactly gets “deep” with storylines, but it seems like it would’ve been appropriate to see Tommy watching from the sidelines. I’m sure he would be struggling a bit with not being able to help his former team…especially his girlfriend Kimberly. Are they boyfriend and girlfriend now? They were smooching it up pretty good at the end of our last episode. Or did he skip town after doing a little tongue wrestling with Kim? She deserves better.
Next we get back to what I like to call a “message” episode. The rangers not only battle monsters but they battle pollution in our next episode, Clean-Up Club.