Episode Title: Rita’s Seeds of Evil
Original Airdate: February 7, 1994
As we move into the second phase of the first season of Power Rangers, our heroes return to doing episodes with a bit of a message. We’re gettin’ all environmental again with the rangers setting out to plant some trees. Rita’s got a tree of her own, though, in today’s episode, Rita’s Seeds of Evil.
As we begin, the rangers have been working on a science project that involves some trees that they plan on planting in a local park. They also plan on giving the plants a boost with some of “Billy’s Special Fertilizer.” Sorry, but that sounds a little gross to me…but moving on. When our heroes head to the park to plant the trees they spot Squatt planting some special seeds that Rita sent with him. We then get a puttie attack which sees the rangers come out on top, but the dirty deed has already been done.
The rangers teleport to the command center just as a series of earthquakes begins to strike Angel Grove. Zordon doesn’t know what’s going on yet, though, so the team sends Jason back to the park to investigate. There he encounters Rita’s Octoplant as it begins to emerge from the ground. He quickly morphs and starts to battle the snake-like tentacles of the creature. It’s too much for Jason to handle, so the others quickly head off to help him. They then try to get the seeds out of the ground, but more putties, not to mention Goldar and Scorpina, show up to fight.
As the battle rages, the Octoplant bulb starts to bloom It emerges looking like lady in a freaky mime mask. Rita then makes the Octoplant grow to giant size, so the rangers summon their zords. From there it’s a pretty standard battle between the Mega Zord and the Octoplant, whcih uses its tentacles a bit like Will Rogers in a old west show.
I can’t help but feel a bit like we’re recycling things a bit with this episode. I mean, between the Spit Flower and that weird monster pineapple we got in the evil clowns episode, we’ve had quite a few monster plants already here in season one. The Octoplant is cool at times and at other moments is a bit lame. When it first attacks Jason in the park we have these weird wriggling vines that grab him which are really cool. However, when the things blooms and it’s this strange kabuki mask thing, the coolness factor drops down a bit. Plus. the key to the creature’s defeat comes when it gets too caught up with looking at its own reflection in the windows of a skyscraper. Nobody likes vanity in their giant monsters.
The strongest moment of this episode is the first puttie battle in the park…which is done without the rangers morphing. We’ve seen several other examples of this lately, where the series is not leaning as much on the Japanese footage. It’s fun to see the American actors shwo their stuff, and their skills are improving as the series progresses. The gymnastics skills of Amy Jo Johnson (Kimberly) especially continue to impress.
Speaking of the American footage, this episode does have a fun Bulk and Skull subplot. They are trying to get in on the tree planting thing too, but while they are at the park they end up face to face with Squatt. Needless to say, the two bullies of Angel Grove High freak out at the sight of a bulbous blue gremlin thing prancing around the park. In their panic, they end up locked inside of a porta-pottie. This may be one of the most terrifying things we’ve seen on the show so far, ‘cuz if you’re like me you spend as little time in those disgusting crap closets as possible. You kind of feel sorry for Bulk and Skull this time, believe it or not.
Well, next time we don’t have a monster plant. However, we do see the return of one of the more memorable monsters from an earlier episode. The Pudgy Pig is back in A Pig Surprise.