Episode Title: Clean-Up Club
Original Airdate: November 23, 1993
It seems like not all that long ago that we had a Power Rangers episode all about the evils of pollution. Well, the rangers are up to their tree hugging ways again this time as Rita releases a monster will a bit of a tendency toward making a mess. Get ready to recycle with this week’s episode, Clean-Up Club.
It seems that the kids at Angel Grove High all have assignments to create video projects. On this day Trini presents her project which is all about one of the biggest problems facing Angel Grove…pollution. Now, I would’ve thought one of the biggest problems facing Angel Grove was attacks by giant monsters…but that’s just me. Anyhow, Trini convinces the others to help her start a “clean-up club” and they soon take to the local park to pick up tons of trash. At the same time, Rita unleashes a new monster called a Pollute-a-corn. It’s a upright walking evil unicorn with wings. Yes, you read that right.
While the gang tries to pick up trash, they end up having to face off with a bunch of putties before the Pollute-a-corn shows up. Our heroes morph to do battle with the thing, but they end up struggling. So, they return to the command center to do some analysis and get some tips from Zordon. It seems that they must take out the creature’s horn before it covers the earth in pollution.
When our heroes return to face the monster, he’s in the midst of trying to destroy the local recycling center with Goldar and Scorpina. The battle is pretty intense, but Jason isn’t able to take out the horn until he summons the Dragon Shield (remember, that gold thing Tommy used to wear). Once the horn is gone, Rita responds by making the creature grow. It doesn’t take long, though, for the rangers to slice the beast in two courtesy of a power sword wielding Mega Zord.
One thing I really appreciated about this episode is that it’s a return to the more light-hearted episodes we saw early in the season. Things have turned a wee bit dark lately, especially with team members losing their powers and such. Here we see a return of the rangers as they were when we first met them. Trini is once again the idealistic do-gooder, Zack is bustin’ a move at every opportunity, Billy is spouting techno babble, and Kimberly is somewhat back in mall-girl mode. When recycling a bunch of plastic bottles, Kim even comments on how many credit cards could be made out of them. Even Jason has a bit more fun with things as he karate chops aluminum cans before sweeping them into the recycling bin.
This episode also has a healthy dose of action that doesn’t feature the gang in their rangers outfits. In other words, we get to see the American actors show their stuff. All show off some impressive moves, including, surprisingly, Billy. We haven’t really seen Billy do much in the way of complicated moves in the past. In this fight sequence we have him soaring through the air and doing flips. I wonder if David Yost, who plays Billy, maybe had been spending some time training and finally got the chance to show off what he’d learned in this episode. It’s actually quite impressive and a nice change of pace for Billy.
This episode also features a pretty entertaining side-story involving Bulk and Skull working on their video project. Their video seems to be called “Bulk: Greatest Guy in the World,” The final result is shown in the episode’s epilogue, and its a hoot.
All in all this is a fun episode that feels like a return to the Power Rangers’ roots. In our next episode the rangers have to deal with Rita’s craziest creation yet…evil versions of themselves. Join us for A Bad Reflection on You.