Episode Title: Second Chance
Original Airdate: May 4, 1994
Sports were never my thing when I was a kid. I never have been very athletic. The one organized sport I did play for a time was soccer. I usually played a midfield position. I wasn’t very good, but I could kick the ball forward if it came to me, and that was pretty much my job. Well, it seems that soccer is pretty popular in Angel Grove, too. In today’s episode of Power Rangers our heroes have to kick around a strange giant armadillo, soccer style in Second Chance.
The episode begins with Ernie posting the results of the recent soccer team tryouts. Sadly, a squirt named Roger, who really loves soccer, didn’t make the team. Luckily, Ernie has decided to hold a second round of tryouts, so Zack and Jason decide to help Roger practice. Later at school, Bulk and Skull are kicking around a soccer ball in the hall. Their hijinks end up causing a mishap with Tommy’s wrist communicator. The malfunction causes the communicator to keep going off during Miss Appleby’s class and she ends up confiscating it.
That afternoon, when Zack and Jason are helping Roger, Rita sends down some putties and a strange creature rolled up in a ball. This monster is the Soccadillo, essentially a giant armadillo. The putties kick it around for a while and it causes Jason and Zack all sorts of problems. Eventually, the other rangers teleport to the scene to help…except for Tommy, of course, since his communicator has been locked up by Miss Appleby.
Zordon doesn’t think the other rangers can take down the Soccadillo without Tommy’s help. Zordon is such a good confidence builder. Still, Jason decides the team needs to go back for round two with the beast. Lucky for the rangers, Tommy gets his communicator back from Miss Appleby in time to morph and join the rest in the fight. Then Rita makes the monster grow and both the Mega Zord and the Dragon Zord team up to defeat the creature. And then, of course, Roger ends up making the soccer team.
This is kind of a ho-hum entry in the series and it actually kind of goes against the sort of lessons taught in previous episodes. I mean the whole thing starts out with this kid Roger not making the soccer team. So, not happy with this outcome, Ernie, encouraged by Jason and Zack, decides to change the rules. Way to teach those values there Power Rangers! Don’t like how things turned out, just twist things around until they come out in your favor. That’s the way to succeed in life! I don’t remember these sort of life lessons being taught on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Way to go 90’s.
Like what we’ve experienced in many recent episodes, the highlight once again is the fight with the putties. This is done just with the rangers as themselves, not in their superhero outfits. There’s lots of good kicks and flips in this sequence. Strangely, Trini ends up sitting this one out, though. She’s assigned to watch Roger while the others fight. Here’s the the thing, though, one again we have someone watching the rangers in plain clothes fighting with monsters, yet he seems to have no idea whatsoever that these high-kicking teenagers are the Power Rangers. IQ levels are not high in Angel Grove.
We do get a few funny moments with Bulk and Skull in this one, which does make the episode a bit more entertaining than it deserves to be. I got a kick out of their detention activity…sumo thumb wrestling. The duo have their thumbs sporting little sumo-style diapers and small pictures of each other’s face. Bulk and Skull’s hijinks aside, this episode really doesn’t cover any new ground. It’s decent but lacks any real wow moments. Next time we move on from Armadillos to sharks in our next episode, On Fins and Needles.