Episode Title: Trick or Treat
Original Airdate: May 3, 1994
It may be Christmas time, but today’s episode of Power Rangers has a bit of a Halloween theme to it. Strangely, though, it originally aired in May, not October. It’s a strange adventure that somehow combines a pumpkin monster, a cheesy game show, and some of the worst rap you’ve ever heard. Get ready for Trick or Treat.
This adventure begins with Kimberly telling the rest of the rangers that she is going to be appearing on the country’s most popular game show, Trick or Treat. The prize for the winner is a brand new car, but she doesn’t know who her opponent will be. Well, it turns out that Skull is the one who will be going up against her. The rest of the rangers all assure her that they will be in the studio audience to cheer her on. That is, except for Tommy who has a karate tournament that day.
On the day of the big show, Rita decides to unleash a new monster called the Pumpkin Rapper. This thing is a strange creature with an upside down jack-o-lantern for a head and a patch full of lethal pumpkins that float around and attach themselves to people’s heads. But, first she unleashes some putties who battle with Tommy in the park while he’s on his way to the tournament. Meanwhile, Kimberly is doing well against skull in the game show. However, when Zordon calls, she fakes fainting so that she and the other rangers can make a quick getaway.
The rangers then show up to battle the Pumpkin Rapper, who starts freestyling weird rap lyrics when they show up. The rangers all end up with pumpkins covering their heads, except for Kimberly who manages to free them with small dagger. Next thing we know, the Pumpkin Rapper tangles them up in his vines. Things seem hopeless, but Zordon calls Tommy into actions, pulling him away from the tournament. He keeps the Pumpkin Rapper occupied while the other form the power blaster with their weapons and make mush of the weird creature.
After watching this show for awhile, you do become quite forgiving at times. We’ve got some downright weird scenarios on this show, and that’s part of what gives it its charm. However, this episode is just laughably bad. The Pumpkin Rapper is incredibly goofy. I mean, why did they decide that it should do rap music? I doubt very much that this was an element of the original Japanese episode this installment draws its footage from. My guess is that someone decided that the movements of the creature resembled that of a rap artist It’s a very lame attempt to try and tap into the zeitgeist. And while we’re on the subject of the Pumpkin Rapper, why on earth is his head on upside down? This is never explained and it bugged me to no end.
The whole game show premise is kind of lame too, primarily because the rules of the game make no sense whatsoever. The set of the show is Halloween-themed, and the weirdo host dresses up like Dracula…though he looks more like Count Floyd from SCTV. The contestants and audience members are all dressed in costumes, too. The idea of the game is that the contestants ask questions to try and trick the host, not the other way around. Then there are a few strange Double Dare style challenges. One involves Kimberly being strapped to a giant spinning board in a sequence that invokes images not at all appropriate for kids TV. How this became Angel Grove’s most popular game show is a mystery.
It was a nice change of pace that the rangers were able to take down the monster without resorting to the giant robots, but still, this episode is really just plain dumb. Next time we move from game shows to soccer as the rangers battle a creature known as the socadillo in Second Chance.