Mighty Morphin Power Rangers S:01 E:43

Episode Title: Something Fishy
Original Airdate: February 9, 1994

Many episodes ago we had a story where Trini had to overcome her big fear of heights to help the other rangers. Well, this time it’s Billy’s turn. He’s got a big fear he’s gotta face, but it’s a bit more unique than Trini’s phobia. Billy is afraid of…fish. Of course, Rita is ready to exploit that in today’s episode, Something Fishy.

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As we begin, the rangers are preparing for a scuba diving excursion, well, except for Billy and Kimberly. As mentioned earlier, Billy is afraid of fish and Kimberly just doesn’t want to mess up her hair. Therefore, the two of them go off to have a picnic instead. During the picnic, Billy confesses that the reason he is afraid of fish is that as a child he stuck his hand it the water once and a fish bit him. No sooner does he spill his guts to Kimberly, than Rita unleashes a puttie attack in advance of unleashing her next big monster…the Goo Fish.

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Kimberly and Billy do a decent job of fending off the putties all on their own, since the others can’t hear their communicators under water. Afterwards, they head off to the command center where Zordon informs them of the arrival of the Goo Fish. He gets his name because he can spray this blue goop that immobilizes whoever it touches. After the briefing, they morph and are sent off to battle the creature, and another batch of putties. This doesn’t go so well, luckily, the other rangers emerge from the water at the perfect time, and teleport off to save their pals at the last minute.

The Goo Fish retreats and our heroes get another briefing from Zordon. When they all meet again, it’s Billy who has to face the creature when the others get stuck in its goo. Throw in the obligatory giant monster battle between the fish and the Mega Zord and everything is wrapped up like a flounder in today’s edition of the New York Times.

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Let’s start with the monster, which has to be one of the most repulsive that Rita’s gang has produced so far. The idea behind the Goo Fish seems to be that it is some sort of Franken-fish. Both arms and both legs sport dorsal fins. It has one eye and a big mouth with two fangs that look more snake-like than fish. The weirdest thing is that it has a huge horn growing out of one side of its head, and what appears to be a second fish mouth on the other side of the head. Bottom line is, the thing looks nothing like a fish! Then you’ve got the strange smurf-blue glop it spits out, and we have a monster that ranks pretty high on the weird scale.

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I did like that most of the action in this episode takes place without the use of zords. Hand-to-hand acrobatics has become more impressive to me than giant monsters and robots fighting. We do get a brief giant battle sequence at the end, but it was really unnecessary. The strongest moment actually comes with Billy and Kimberly’s fight with the putties in the park. They don’t even morph for this, so it’s really actors David Yost and Amy Jo Johnson bounding around. They do a really good job, especially David Yost, who is suddenly turning flips like he’s channeling Mary Lou Retton!

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I will say, though, the fear of fish storyline is a bit lame. First, it really feels like a retread of the episode where Trini had to get over her fear of heights. Granted, that particular adventure was over 40 episodes ago, but still. Another thing that didn’t quite sit right was the goofy backstory explaining why Billy is afraid of the fishies. We even get a flashback showing a young Billy playing in the water, and then screaming as a fish dangles from his finger. I don’t think the producers intended the scene to be as hilarious as it is.

So, this one is a bit of a mixed bag. It’s fun at times but also a bit of an eye-roller. Next time, luckily, our heroes have to deal with something less scary than fish…a lion! I guess it’s less scary if you’re Billy. Join us for Lions & Blizzards.

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