Episode Title: Enter…the Lizzinator
Original Airdate: May 6, 1994
It’s just one of those unwritten rules that when you add “inator” to the end of a word it makes it sound more menacing. Give an Ahhhhnold style accent to whatever thing you’ve added those letters to and that’s a bonus. On today’s episode of Power Rangers we get both. Get ready for Enter…the Lizzinator!
This time, Kimberly’s cousin, Kelly, is wanting to try out for the Angel Grove Middle School cheerleading squad. Of course, cheerleading is in her blood since Kimberly is a star member of the high school squad…though I don’t think we’ve ever seen her shake her pom-poms on the show. Kelly, though, is having a hard time getting to the same level of the other girls. So much so that she storms off to the park to mope about it. Kimberly and Tommy go off to encourage her, but they only get so far before putties attack. After all, putties always attack while our heroes are at the park. Kim and Tommy manage to fight them off, but while they aren’t looking, Squatt and Baboo manage to kidnap Kelly.
Meanwhile, Jason is off picking up some supplies for Ernie when Rita’s newest monster, the Lizzinator attacks. He morphs and goes into battle with the creature, but it’s no easy task. The monster’s hide is made up of various metals that are pretty much indestructible. After a good fight, he goes back to the command center to join the others. After the standard briefing from Zordon and Alpha, the team head off to battle the monster, complete with Tommy, even though his power level is still not what it should be.
Everybody shows up at the standard rock quarry-looking area to fight the Lizzinator and a bunch of putties. For some reason there is a single car sitting out in the middle of nowhere which one of the putties drives around with Jason hanging on of the roof. Of course, right when it seems the rangers have the upper hand, Rita makes the monster grow. Tommy then summons the Dragon Zord, but even that giant robot struggles. Eventually the Mega Zord and Titanus are summoned to join in the fight and defeat the Lizzinator. All the while, in a hidden cave, Kelly actually manages to defeat Baboo and Squatt herself by making them join her some cheerleading routines which cause them to get dizzy and disoriented. Of course, at the end Kelly ends up making the cheerleading squad.
The thing that is really baffling about this episode is this Lizzinator creature. Clearly the word we’re adding “inator” to is “lizard,” however, this creature looks nothing like a lizard! This thing is big and grey with a mane of white hair, horns, and a face that resembles a wolf more than a reptile. The only lizard-like feature it has is a long tail. I do think the lizzinator is successful, though, in being one of the funnier monsters we’ve seen in a while. The attempt at giving it an Ahhhnold voice is much closer to the old SNL characters Hanz and Franz, which gives the episode a certain level of goofy fun.
One thing that does stand out about this Lizzinator dude is that he seems to have at thing for causing havoc with cars. When he first fights Jason alone he actually picks up a car and throws it at the red ranger. Later he and the putties mess around with a car that is sitting out in the middle of nowhere. Though the scene makes no sense, there is some impressive stunt work in this sequence as the red ranger hangs on to the car for dear life as it zig zags around the otherwise barren landscape.
Overall the martial arts and monster action in this episode is quite good. I think my favorite action moment was where the Lizzinator grabs the Dragon Zord by the tail and starts swinging it around like the hammer throw at the Olympics. It’s cool stuff! Where things break down a bit is with the rather weak wraparound story involving Kelly and the cheerleading tryouts. Don’t even get me started on the fact that once again we have a person, Kelly, seeing some of the rangers, Kimberly and Tommy, fighting with putties and yet they don’t figure out that they are, in fact, part of the Power Rangers team. As we’ve said before, the citizens of Angel Grove are not the smartest bunch. Beyond that, though, the cheerleading element just becomes a bit goofy, especially as we have Squatt and Baboo thwarted because they get nauseous easily when doing cheers that involve spins. When we get to the final tryout sequence, we have Bulk and Skull shoehorned into things when they didn’t appear in the episode prior to this. It all comes across as a bit slapdash.
Despite a few problems this episode is still pretty enjoyable. You can do a lot worse, let’s put it that way. Next time the Power Rangers once again delve into the world of sports. Way back, many episodes ago, we had a baseball themed monster…this time we have football. Join us for Football Season.