Mighty Morphin Power Rangers S:01 E:58

Episode Title: Football Season
Original Airdate: May 9, 1994

Well, it’s football season in Angel Grove. Strange, considering that this episode originally aired in May. Football season comes in the fall! Oh well, all that matters is that it gives Rita the opportunity to send a football team of her own down to cause trouble for the rangers. Let’s see what happens in today’s episode, Football Season.

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As we begin, football tryouts are coming up, but Tommy isn’t too confident in his ability to make the team. He’s got it all together when it comes to karate, but he’s not an expert on the gridiron. Lucky for him, Ernie, who was a star player back in the day, offers to help train Tommy. While they work, the other rangers head off to the park to play some flag football, but with a Power Rangers twist. There’s a lot of gymnastics style moves involved. The game is interrupted, though, when a bunch of putties attack. After the ensuing fight, the rangers teleport to the command center where Zordon tells them about Rita’s latest monster, the Rhinoblaster.

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When the rangers show up to battle the creature, he is joined by a team of putties decked out in football uniforms. The rangers put up a good fight, but the Rhinoblaster has the ability to create a twister with its breathe which sends the rangers off to a multidimensional vortex. It’s going to be up to Tommy to get them back.

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Tommy manages to get away from Ernie’s training and teleports to face the Rhinoblaster. He manages to take out the football putties quickly, but then Rita makes the monster grow, so the Dragon Zord must be summoned. There’s a problem, though, Zordon realizes that the only hope for the other rangers is to send the Dragon Dagger (which is used to control the Dragon Zord) into the vortex so the others can use it to get out. Tommy manages to get the dagger into the vortex, but now he must pilot the Dragon Zord himself. This proves to be no easy task. Luckily, when things seem hopeless, the others emerge from the vortex already piloting the Mega Zord. From there, it’s no problem taking out the Rhinoblaster.

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I’m not a football fan. In fact, it’s probably my least favorite sport. I like badminton better than football. However, the football theme of this episode does work well, especially given the fantastically ridiculous sight of a team of putties wearing football jerseys and shoulder pads. Though the Rhinoblaster doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with football, he does make a good leader for the group. He’s got the right sort of build, I guess. I’m not so sure he looks that much like a rhino, though. I actually have my doubts that this monster was meant to be a rhino in the original Japanese version. Sure he has a big horn coming out of his face, several, in fact. However, his face actually looks more bat-like, especially given the rodent style nose and ears. But then the creature also has bulbous pink muscles all over its body that don’t seem to be inspired by anything. It’s an odd creature, for sure.

One thing that is unique about this episode is that Ernie gets to factor into things in a much bigger way than usual. Several moments are devoted to him trying to break some of Tommy’s karate habits and get him thinking more like a football player. Meanwhile, the side story involving Bulk and Skull is pretty funny. It sees Bulk training under Skull’s tutelage using a book on ballet dancing.

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In the end, all of our main characters end up making the football team. In fact, not only does Tommy make the team, but he is picked as quarterback. Geez, Ernie should be coaching in the NFL I guess. A few hours earlier Tommy had never even played the game. A bigger head scratcher, though, is that Billy makes the team. I wouldn’t have thought that Billy, the genius of the bunch, would have any interest in be on the football team.

Next time we leave football behind and deal with a giant crawfish. Who needs the rangers for that? Get a couple of cajuns and a pot of boiling water and it’s no problem. Okay, a really big pot of boiling water. Get ready to meet Commander Crayfish net time in Mighty Morphin’ Mutants.

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