Gooooooooood eveninggoodeveninggoodeveninggoodeveninggoodevening and welcome welcome back to the blog. (that welcome sounds much better out loud and not in text... also when Stephen Fry is the one saying it. But then, most things sound a lot better when Stephen Fry is the one saying them.) I'm going to start a possible new segment here in the intro this week wherein I briefly give mention to something that I've either read, watched or done recently that I would like to share with you. So, I begin this new segment with a recommendation for a novel by Canadian science fiction author Robert J. Sawyer called “Wake.” It's nominated for the HUGO award this year and is fantastic! It's about a blind girl named Caitlin who undergoes an experimental procedure to possibly restore her eyesight but rather than give her normal human vision, she finds that her brain has adapted to years of navigating the internet without sight and so what she actually sees is the landscape of the world wide web. Using this “websight” she also begins to discover that there is something else lurking somewhere in the folds of cyberspace and that something appears to be getting smarter. It's a brilliant read and in addition to being a great story I learned a lot of cool scientific concepts. So I give it a big thumbs up and recommend it to everyone. Here's the link to it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.ca/Wake-Robert-J-Sawyer/dp/0670067415
and here is the link to the author Robert J. Sawyer's website as well: http://www.sfwriter.com/
If you read it send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, I'd love to hear what you thought of it.
One final housekeeping announcement before we get on with the show, I received some feedback and it has been overwhelmingly in favor of bringing the pictures back. So this week we'll be seeing the screen-caps again. Now, on with the show.
This week things start off with Squatt sneaking around in the dark of Billy's laboratory in search of the power source to Billy's new invention. Once he finds it, Squatt reverses two of the cables and explains that when Billy tests his new invention it will scramble his brains like and egg and the rest of the rangers will be so busy trying to deal with him they won't even notice what Rita is up to! Unless the rangers have a big, floating, disembodied, giant head in a tube watching stuff for them...
Back on the moon, Squatt informs Rita that now she can send down another monster to stark wreaking havoc. Rita decides on a monster called “The Genie” which is a terribly boring name, so this week I'll be referring to the monster as “Kazaam” who was another terrible genie character. Google his movie if you've never seen it.
The next day at Billy's lab, Billy is explaining to Kimberly that he's been working on an invention that will allow people to read minds! What a clever boy. Kimberly seems impressed, but even more impressed are Bulk and Skull who are hiding behind the radbug listening. (Remember the Radbug? That stupid car Billy built that they haven't ever used again?) The best thing about the invention that Billy created is that there are 2 cutouts for the people to stand in and they just so happen to be the exact heights of Billy and Kimberly. It's like he specifically designed it for their two minds. Billy throws the switch and there are lots of explosions and sparks (which is frankly par for the course for this show.) They step out of the smoking machine, but something is amiss... OH MY GOODNESS! Billy and Kimberly's brains have switched places! Freaky Friday style!
At Rita's fortress, Squatt, Baboo and Goldar rub this magic lamp to summon Kazaam. Goldar orders him to go down to Earth and attack the power rangers!
Meanwhile, back at the lab, Bulk and Skull have snuck in and are strapping themselves into the machine to try it out. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention they didn't witness Billy and Kimberly's brain swap because they were being chased by a german shepherd. Always with the shenanigans these two. Bulk and Skull climb into the machine (where Skull has to hunch over a bit due to being taller than Kimberly) and Bulk throws the switch. We see similar results and, like Kimberly and Billy the hapless bullies have switched bodies!
Later that day, a group of teenage girls are standing in the hall at school, laughing at Kimbilly (get it? Kimbilly?!) because he/she has smeared lipstick all over her face. Apparently Billy can't put on makeup (has he never used lip-balm?) Meanwhile, across town Billberly (HA! Funny right?) is attempting to teach computer science to some poor kid and screwing up all over the place. We get several back and forth scenes of a makeup smeared Kimbilly and Billberly messing up all the tasks the other would normally perform. My favorite being the part where Billberly presses a single button on a computer keyboard that causes the monitor to explode. (This was back before 2003 when computer manufacturers stopped including a self-destruct button. Kimbilly also makes a cheese souffle that turns into this thing (see cheese ball picture) and then explodes. Terriffic.
On the moon, Kazaam and the other goons are standing around bragging about how badly they're going to mess up the rangers. Less talky, more maimy.
At school, Kimbilly and Billberly are getting all up in each others grills, and that means that it's finally time for the other rangers to make their first appearances in this episode and break that shit up. Kimbilly and Billberly explain what happened to which Trini responds by looking at Billberly and asking “Kimberly? Are you in there?” Were you listening to Billy and Kimberly's story Trini? No? Then you have no frame of reference here Trini, you're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to... YOU'RE OUT OF YOUR ELEMENT. (Apologies to the Coen Brothers.) While all this is going on we see that Bulk and Skull seem to be coping a lot better, they're just hanging out eating hero sandwiches. I'd like to believe that I'd react similarly in that situation.
Rita sends Squatt and Baboo down to the Earth with Kazaam's lamp to hide it on the Earth so that Zordon doesn't discover him. Unfortunately, they immediately drop the lamp which alerts Zordon to it's presence and he dispatches the rangers to retrieve it. In the command center Zordon tells the rangers that the genie that lives in it has been summoned by Rita to destroy them. Just then, the alarm goes off, alerting everyone to the putty patrollers who are running amok!
IT'S MORPHIN TIME!
The rangers make short work of the putties and Zordon tells Alpha to teleport the rangers to Kazaam's location. (Maybe he should have just done that in the first place, it's not like the putties ever do any actual damage just running around in the desert.) The rangers charge into battle, but they get caught up in a weird, silly-string net that Kazaam shoots. Zordon has Alpha teleport the rangers back to the command center to regroup. (This is the most disjointed battle ever.) Kimbilly suggests that the secret to defeating Kazaam is to network their maximum energy linkage. Zordon explains that that is correct, all they have to do is believe in themselves and combine their powers to defeat the genie. I don't know about you, but to me that sounds like Zordon saying “just use your zords like usual and defeat this one the same way you do every week.”
Back at the battle, we are treated to some crazy “Ginyu-force” style posing (Dragonball Z reference) that includes awesome Kimberly dialogue from Billy, and vice versa. Rita shows up and shoots some lightning at the rangers, for a second there I got excited because it seemed like maybe she was going to be a part of the fight, but then she just makes her monster grow like usual. You know what that means.
WE NEED DINOZORD POWER! NOW!!!
We get the extended stock-footage this week, (must have been running extra short this week because it's like 1.5 minutes of it.) After what seems like forever, Jason instructs the rangers to show Kazaam some “Megazord” power! They go straight into battle-mode this week (which means even more stock-footage) and get to fighting.
At the command center, Alpha is freaking out like a little bitch, Zordon tells him to track the source of the genie's power in hopes of finding a way to defeat him. Alpha does so and discovers that the source is, in fact, the genie's lamp! He says he can't believe it... really Alpha? You can't believe that the freaking genie monster gets its power from the magic lamp you guys found? REALLY?! Alpha is about to teleport the lamp to the rangers (although why he doesn't just destroy it is beyond me) when Zordon warns him to be careful. If he accidentally uses too much power he will destroy the morphing grid and everything in it, including the rangers themselves! I have no idea what the hell that means, but it sounds bad. Like crossing the streams.
Meanwhile, the Megazord is getting a bit of an ass-kicking given to it by Kazaam. Apparently Kazaam shorts out some whatchamahoozit and Jason instructs Kimbilly to fix it before it's too late! Kazaam unleashes some weird fireworks/silly string hybrid maneuver and down the Megazord goes. It is at this moment that Rita utters my new favorite Power Rangers line: “Use your big drill.” Kazaam complies with her wishes.
With time running out for the rangers, Alpha and Zordon are still dicking around with the console trying to figure out how to teleport the lamp. Kazaam's drill inches closer and closer to the Megazord just as the lamp finally teleports, or else is destroyed or something. I thought they were trying to teleport it to the rangers ,but I guess they were destroying it. Whatever, the point is it makes Kazaam disappear. Yay. Rangers win.
Some time later, Kimbilly and Billberly are once more strapped into Billy's machine. Apparently Billy fixed it because they've been restored to their own bodies. Billy seems disappointed. Enter Bulk and Skull, asking to be restored to their own bodies. What's amazing is that Billy and Trini actually seem hesitant to restore them. What a couple of assholes! The switch is thrown, and the procedure apparently a success. Bulk and Skull are once more in their own bodies. We end with a hilarious joke about Skull wanting to borrow Billy's brain for a math test. A quip worthy of Oscar Wilde himself.
Nice to see a non-formulaic ending
The fight was boring and very disjointed and the way Zordon and Alpha save the day didn't make any sense, and was contrary to what they said they were doing!
“Use your big drill!”
An enjoyable episode, though I wish that Billy and Kimberly switching bodies had some kind of impact on the plot. But, overall I dug it. 3.5 power-coins out of five.
That's it for this installment. Next week we're really in for something special (unless my memory of this storyline is not accurate) because on friday we are watching Part 1 of the 5-part “Green With Evil” storyline. That's right folks, Tommy is nigh. The only problem I can forsee with the next 5 episodes is that they all share the same title “Green With Evil” and I don't think I can come up with 5 jokes about it. At least not 5 good ones. So instead, for the next 5 installments I'll be leaving you with quotes from my favorite book of all time written by a man much much funnier and far more brilliant than I.
“Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space.” - Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy”