Episode Title: Reign of the Jellyfish
Original Airdate: February 16, 1994
After the last episode, where we batted the insect kingdom, this time we face a meanie from the underwater kingdom. Though, he’s not in the water at all in this episode. Get ready for a jellyfish that likes dry land in today’s episode…Reign of the Jellyfish.
As we begin our story this time, one of the teachers at Angel Grove High, Mrs. Appleby, is working with the students to find items to put into a time capsule. Everybody contributes something, from clothes, to music, to a computer. Even Mrs. Appleby contributes a photo of the Power Rangers. Oh, and Bulk and Skull decide to make a sandwich they call the “Bulkwich” to put inside. Of course, being the model students that they are, the rangers are given the privilege of burying the capsule. While in the process of digging the hole, Rita unleashes a puttie attack. As the rangers fight these goons, Squatt and Baboo make off with the time capsule…that is, until the rangers stop them. See, Rita wants to put her picture in time capsule.
While all this is going on, Finster has sent down a new monster…a Jellyfish. Zordon spots it and sends the rangers off to battle the beast. The rangers don’t last long, though, since the Jellyfish has a toxic spray that can eat through their suits. They have to go back to headquarters and have their suits treated by Alpha before they can go back and fight the creature. Upon returning, the rangers must battle both the jellyfish and a new batch of putties. The Jellyfish still proves to be a challenge, though as it can also teleport from place to place. It also has a weird umbrella that it uses to transport our heroes to another dimension.
In the alternate dimension, the rangers are unable to do any damage. That is until Zack uses his power axe to zap them back to Angel Grove. Then Rita makes the jellyfish grow to giant size, which means it’s time for the rangers to summon their zords. As usual, after a few punches, the rangers grab the power sword, and that’s that for the jellyfish.
I gotta admit, I’m a bit mixed on this episode. On the good side, I did like the jellyfish. The design of the creature is wonderfully weird. I don’t know that it looks all that much like a jellyfish (even ignoring the legs), but whatever. Despite being a bit awkwardly shaped, the jellyfish does prove to be pretty agile, which makes for some interesting fight sequences. The creature’s voice is fun, too. It’s kind of like a mix between Peter Lorre and Mark Hamill’s version of the Joker.
Where this episode kind of fizzles, though, is the framing plot device of the time capsule. It really makes no sense why it would be of any interest to Rita. Plus, her efforts to get in on the time capsule action are kind of a half-hearted. After Squatt and Baboo fail to haul the thing off, her interest in it pretty much fades away. By the way, while we’re on the subject of Rita’s minions, this episode does give us a little bit different look for at least one of them…Baboo. This weird cross between a bat and C3-PO has always appeared in the Japanese footage, but here he has a brief moment in the US footage. Since Baboo’s face is an actual human face (under makeup) he looks noticeably different in this US footage. It’s a different actor, after all.
There are several other holes in this episode as it moves through its pretty weak story. Like, why does the jellyfish carry an umbrella and how is this able to send the rangers off to an alternate dimension? Even more confusing, why of all the special weapons the ranges have is it Zack’s power axe that has the power of getting our heroes back to Angel Grove? It kind of feels like the writers just pulled out a bunch or random ideas and said, “yup, that’ll work.”
Well this time we had a jellyfish, last time we had a flea. Next week we’re back to the world of bugs. It’s a scary bug, too. I mean, these things eat their mate after doin’ the nasty! Get ready for Plague of the Mantis…next time.