Episode Title: Grumble Bee
Original Airdate: April 28, 1994
When you’re a kid there’s nothing more terrifying than bees. Who cares about whatever good they may do…all that matters is that they’ve got stingers and they ain’t afraid to use them. The citizens of Angel Grove are about to feel the sting, so to speak, as Rita unleashes a new monster known as the Grumble Bee in today’s episode called, oddly enough, Grumble Bee.
As we begin, Billy, the smartest of all the rangers, is facing a “B” of a different kind…that’s the grade he gets on his science test. Now, to you and me this would be no big deal, but Billy has never gotten a B in his life! Even Bulk and Skull give him a hard time about it. Concerned that this will get in the way of his being accepted in the Young Scientists of America, Billy goes off to study even more, with Trini along to help. Meanwhile, the others go to the park to shoot hoops. It is at this moment that Rita sends Goldar and some putties down to fight the other three rangers while Finister puts the finishing touches on the new Grumble Bee monster. Goldar even manages to get Jason, Zack, and Kimberly tied up in a magic rope with its own force field. This leaves Billy and Trini to deal with the Grumble Bee when it arrives in Angel Grove.
Billy and Trini put up a good fight, but the bee’s stingers are too much for them to handle. Unable to defeat the bee, they head off to try and rescue their friends, but still have no luck. They are forced to face the bee again while Alpha tries to cut through the magic rope from the command center. Eventually the others are freed and able join Billy and Trini. After a good fight with the Grumble Bee, Rita makes the creature grow. There’s only one thing left to do at that point…summon the zords and take out the bee with the power sword.
There’s nothing terribly original about this episode…I mean, it goes through the normal story progression. Yet, this one manages to be a bit more fun than some of the episodes have been lately. I did like the inspiration for the premise: Billy gets a B grade and ends up having to face a monster Bee. I’m not sure whether to call that goofy or clever, but I ended up liking it. I do wish, though, that the episode had focused more on Billy and had him as the one who eventually has to take down the bee.
The bee itself is one of the better monsters we’ve had in recent weeks. It is pretty ferocious looking and having it be able to shoot out exploding stingers is a nice touch. Its supposedly poisonous venom, though, is a bit underwhelming. It pretty just amounts to spraying yellow silly string at the blue ranger. He even claims that the venom is eating through his uniform, not that we can actually see that.
Now, the strange thing about this episode is that we have seen the return of Tommy, but he doesn’t join in the action this time. It is mentioned that he is at a karate tournament, so we don’t see him until the end of the episode and all is well. One of the rangers also says something about how he needs to get his strength back before he can go nuts taking down giant monsters again. Okay, I can accept all of that, but when it’s the first episode after his character’s official return, you’d think they’d want to put him back into the action!
Perhaps Tommy will get more to do next time as the rangers have face a two-headed parrot. Yes, a two-headed parrot. Join us next time for Two Heads are Better than One.