Gooooo Zeeeeoooo! Uncanny Fox here, continuing my look at the Power Rangers crossover/team-up episodes with the 2-part Alien Rangers/Zeo collaboration, “Rangers Of Two Worlds,” which features the Power Rangers of, you guessed it, two worlds.
As I mentioned last week, by the time of the third season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the show’s ratings had started to decline. This prompted the folks at Saban Entertainment to make some major changes to the show, resulting in the 10-episode miniseries Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers serving as a transition into the next season, a full-on revamp of the series called Power Rangers: Zeo. The Rangers’ suits were changed, and a new set of villains were brought in, which allowed the producers to switch back to using more Sentai footage for fights (Seasons 2 and 3 required more American-made fight scenes due to not changing the costumes every year like Sentai does). This gambit paid off at first, but ratings ultimately slide back down, hitting their nadir in the next season, Power Rangers: Turbo, and nearly resulting in the series being cancelled. But that’s a story for another day…
As for the in-universe explanation for the second team and the costume change, Rita’s father, the sinister Master Vile from the M51 Galaxy, used his dark magic to turn back time on Earth, resulting in the citizens of Angel Grove de-aging into children – including the Power Rangers. Faced with an attack on the planet and no heroes to protect it, Zordon was forced to call upon a team of Rangers from another world for aide: the fish-like Alien Rangers from the watery planet of Aquitar. This extraterrestrial team (who are definitely not ninjas, no matter what their looks, weapons or Sentai source material try to tell you) managed to hold the fort until the Rangers of Earth could gather the pieces of the mystical Zeo Crystal (which wasn’t buried under the Krispy Kreme this time) to restore the world and themselves back to normal…
…At least until the bumbling villain team of Goldar (who went from swatting the Rangers like flies in the first season to being Bulk and Skull’s butler in the fourth. Not to mention being portrayed as golden blob monster in the recent movie. Dude can’t catch a break) and Rita’s brother Rito Revolto (who’s a skeleton, don’t ask how that family works) managed to plant a bomb in the Command Center and destroy it, resulting in the Rangers being left powerless and legions of children being scarred for life. And to make matters worse, a new threat arrived on Earth in the form of the robotic Machine Empire, who ousted Rita and Zedd as the de-facto villains of the show (although the latter stuck around as a secondary menace).
Luckily, Zordon and Alpha 5 had a back-up plan: using the Zeo Crystal, they were able to create new powers for the Rangers to use against the Machine Empire, and the show continued on with this new status quo. A new Ranger eventually arrived on Earth, the Gold Ranger, who was revealed to be an alien prince in need of a placeholder for his powers when he was injured in a battle with enemies from his world. This placeholder ended up being former Red Ranger Jason Lee Scott, who actually got paid this time… I mean, came home from the Peace Conference to help in the battle against evil once more.
Which leads us to today’s episode, which takes place towards the end of the Zeo run, which is one of only three Team-Ups to use footage from an actual Sentai crossover movie. It also serves as a write-around for what has got to be one of the saddest departures in show’s storied history, if not the saddest. If you’re as much of a nerd for this show as I am, you probably already know what I’m talking about, but for now let’s strap on our helmets and see how it holds up in the face of that…
Part 1 begins with the Zeo intro theme, a modified version of “Go Go Power Rangers” that I’ve got to say is even better than the original. It’s a shortened version, so it sadly doesn’t have the epic “Zeeeeooooo” at the beginning. It still gets you pumped and ready for Ranger action, and the lyrics of “Stronger than before” and “Fired up for more” fit with this season’s theme of bouncing back from defeat and growing from it.
The episode proper opens at the Juice Bar, where Pink Ranger and future Tommy wife Katherine is working on an art project for school, a so-called “ugly” purse that really doesn’t look that bad to me. It’s just a pink purse with some glitter glued on it. I’ve seen worse. She shows it to Tanya (the new Yellow, after Aisha stayed behind to help sick animals in Africa after the quest for the Zeo Crystal) and Adam (who has now made the switch from Black to Green), who assure her that it’s not as bad as she thinks. Adam butters her up some more by saying that it’s the only thing Kat “hasn’t done perfectly.” I’ll say, she sure played the role of an evil spy trying to take the Rangers down to a hilt back in Season 3. She even did one better on Tommy by actually pretending to be nice rather than acting like a flat-out douchebag.
Across the room, our lovable duo of dimwits, Bulk and Skull, are studying for their detective licenses (at this point in the season, they’ve quit their jobs at the Police due to their chief being fired, so they decided to become private eyes), and the former yells at the Rangers to keep it down. Or at least Bulk is, Skull’s just reading comics. Typical. Hey, I don’t see Big Bad Beetleborgs in that pile Skullovitch. Get some culture.
While playing with a magnifying glass, Skull sees Stone (their former chief and Discount Dan Aykroyd), who points out that they still need to pass the test, and he’s got almost two seasons worth of experience betting against them. I think Stone really freshened things up for Bulk and Skull, basically serving as a straight man to their wackiness.
Back at the Rangers’ table, Jason (who, as I mentioned before, is now the Gold Ranger) walks in with bad news: there’s an emergency at the Power Chamber (that’s what they started calling the Command Center after they rebuilt it), and that they need to get there ASAP.
The Rangers hurry over there (and let me take a moment to point out that the Power Chamber is a huge step up from the Command Center in terms of design. I always loved how they had the Might Morphin’ suits lined up along the wall in display cases. It’s kind of like a museum of where the team came from), and are greeted by Tommy (now the Red Ranger, the first of two such suits he’s taken up), Alpha and a strange old man. Oh my God, the little bot’s grown bored of abducting kids and he’s moved up to the elderly! C’mon Rangers, do your job and stop this!
No, actually the old guy is the former Blue Ranger, Billy, much to the shock and disbelief of the others. After a commercial break, Old Man Billy explains that during the time that Master Vile (Rita’s father) turned back time and forced the Rangers to become children again, Billy invented a device to turn himself back into a teenager using the Power Coins. It worked, but was destroyed, and now it seems the machine had a nasty side effect that caused Billy to age quickly.
Of course, that’s just the show’s explanation for why Billy’s usual actor, David Yost, isn’t present. In real life, it was because Yost left the show due to harassment from the production crew regarding his sexual orientation, including calling him slurs and discussing the issue with his cast-mates behind his back. Nice, giving that they were working on a show that usually promotes diversity, compassion, and standing up and fighting for those that can’t do so themselves. Really got took message to heart there, guys.
One day Yost just walked off the set and never returned, which led to a depression spiral, attempts to “cure” himself with conversion therapy, and thoughts of suicide, until a trip to Mexico where he found peace with himself. Thankfully, he’s doing alright now, and has even suggested producing a reunion movie with the rest of the cast for Netflix. And during the premiere event for the 2017 reboot movie, Haim Saban himself personally apologized to Yost for how he was treated back then, leading to a slight possibility that Billy might return some day, especially now that Saban’s not in charge anymore.
This is a heart-wrenching story to be sure, especially since it involves a character that meant so much to a lot of us fans growing up. Billy was a shy and awkward kid, not a cool player like Zack or a confident leader like Jason or Tommy. He was often subject to bullying and feelings of self-doubt. He wasn’t on the level of the other Rangers and darn well knew it, but still did his best to save the world time and again. And eventually, he worked hard to become that confident hero that stood proudly among the others. There’s something I just kind of thought up while planning this review, and I think it sums things up pretty well: Tommy and Jason were the Rangers I wanted to be, Billy was the Ranger I was.
Nonetheless, I have to admit that the story-line used to write him out is actually pretty clever, using the events of the previous season in a way they probably weren’t intended to in order to affect the current proceedings. It really adds a sense of continuity to things, and while this situation should have never been necessary in the first place, the writers handled it well.
Back to said plot, there unfortunately seems to be no way to reverse Billy’s aging condition, until OMB has a eureka moment and heads off somewhere.
Up on the moon, in the castle of the Machine Empire, Queen Machina (who is voiced by Alex Borstein, who – get this – went on to play BFF in Catwoman. Small universe after all…) is overjoyed at the return of her husband King Mondo (the main villain of the season, and the twisted result of an attempt to merge Alfred Hitchcock and the clock from Beauty and the Beast), who was defeated by the Rangers earlier in the season and was thought to be dead. Prince Sprocket summarizes what happened in the King’s absence, namely how his other kid, Prince Gasket, tried to take over the Empire. There was also a talking missile from Brooklyn who was a plant by Rita and Zedd, but that that’s not really relevant to the matter at hand.
Mondo vows revenge on the usurper, who’s currently on Earth listening in on the conversation alongside his wife Archerina. She suggests they retreat back to their homeworld until the dust settles, and the Prince agrees. The two then teleport off to come up with a new plan to destroy the Rangers and take over the Machine Empire. That plan would be… growing giant and wrecking the Earth. Pretty much the same one every villain uses in this show…
Back at the Juice Bar, Ernie finds his toaster in the “Lost and Found” box in front of Kat and OMB (and it was on despite not being plugged, somehow. Unless the idiot that found it left it inside a flammable cardboard box plugged in and currently toasting bread) as the two Rangers look for something Billy lost some time ago to help.
While they search, Bulk and Skull decide to practice their wiretapping skills by listening in on them with some kind of police scanner device called the Eavesdropper 3000. Not sure where they got that, probably the same place they purchased the giant freaking can opener they used to try and open Rita’s dumpster once.
Kat and OMB come up blank, although Billy finds Kat’s purse, much to her dismay, as well as a whistle that he blows, much to Bulk and Skull’s dismay.
They’re not the only ones bothered by the whistle, as Zedd and Rita (the villains of MMPR, who have now been reduced to hiding on the outskirts of the moon in an RV) hear it and recoil in pain, with Rita screeching that she “hates it when they scream.” A tad hypocritical, wouldn’t you say?
Anywho, Finster steps out of the RV with a gift for Rita: a new, more powerful magic staff (that looks exactly the same as the old one) to make monsters with. She happily accepts it, after all King Mondo’s back and she and Zedd have to “keep up with the Jones’.” One neat thing this season is the fact that Rita and Zedd are actively competing with the Machine Empire to take over Earth, a concept that would later be used to greater effect (but not as entertainingly) in Operation Overdrive, and to a lesser extent Megaforce.
Finster then explains (without moving his mouth) that the staff will only work if the RV is driving at the same velocity as its target, because science, I guess. Unfazed by this, Rita knows exactly what she wants to test her new toy on: Katherine, who Rita plans to turn into a monster (again, she once became a cat/fox creature back when she was evil). Zedd concurs with this plan, citing that the Rangers will never destroy one of their own. Tell that to Andros, although he did have a good reason.
They all jump into the RV and take off in a circle, building enough speed for the staff to activate.
Back on Earth, Kat finds some novelty Googly-Eye glasses, that she plays with for a bit before noticing that OMB is starting to age again. She decides to take him back to the Power Chamber, leaving the lost and found box behind.
The RV comes within range, just as Rito gets into a fight with Goldar over a seat, which knocks Finster into Zedd and Rita in the front. And there’s our “Rito screws it all up” moment for the day. You could probably make a “Krillin gets owned” counter for it. The staff goes off and sends a blast of evil energy down to Earth…
… Which hits Kat’s purse, transforming it into some kind of freaky pink cat/blob thing. Up on the moon, Rita yells that she dropped her staff and demands that Zedd stop the camper. She looks into her telescope and sees her new creation, much to her disappointment as she cries out “what kind of a monster is a purse?” Uh, didn’t Zedd use a purse monster back in Season 2? And this thing doesn’t really look like a purse, more like Jabba the Hutt dressed in bed-sheets. She steps back to think about how to use this new creature, and Zedd moans that they gone and done it this time.
Kat takes OMB back to the Power Chamber, where the others are hard at work trying to figure out how to reverse his aging. He tells Tommy that he didn’t find anything at the Juice Bar, just in time for Rocky and Adam to chime in that they might have just the ticket…
…Namely Dolphine and Cestro, the White and Blue Alien Rangers. They teleport into the Chamber with some kind of Fallout gun that will replicate the effects of Billy’s aging device, and after going through the “Is that you?” routine use it on him.
Or at least try to, as the thing explodes right in Cestro’s hands the second he pulls the trigger. Apparently, there was too much feedback, and to make matters worse, the blast damages the Ranger’s teleportation unit.
Bad timing, because over at Machine Empire HQ, the faithful (and surprisingly Scottish) butler Klank (not to be confused with Ratchet’s sidekick) tells the royals about Zedd and Rita’s new monster, causing Sprocket to crack that the purse monster is “so last season.” I said Season 2, not 3!Clean the grease out of your ear units! Not to be outdone, Mondo declares that he will defeat the Power Rangers, and orders his greatest robot to Earth. Why he didn’t pull that one out sooner, I can’t say…
Back at the Power Chamber, Cestro grimly informs everyone that the De-Aging Gun is badly damaged, and that they will need “very fresh water” to fix it. Because the best way to fix broken machinery is to dump water on it. Rocky suggests they get some from Angel Grove Falls, and Billy tells them that they can use the Zeo Jet Cycles, as he was tuning them up when he started having his aging issues. ‘Cause you gotta move them toys.
But before they can do anything else, the danger alarm goes off. Zordon explains that both the Machine Empire and Rita and Zedd have sent down monsters to attack Earth. Jason tells the others to go ahead and deal with things outside, as he’ll stay behind and help the Alien Rangers with the device.
On that note, Tommy declares that it’s Morphin Time, and the Zeo morph sequence plays out. Each Ranger calls out his/her number and color, grid lines in the shape of their suit form over top them, and said suit materializes. All good.
Now morphed, the Rangers drive off across the quarry on their Jet Cycles. But watching them from a hillside is the Machine Empire’s newest robot minion, a clockwork cyclops-looking thing named the Cog Changer, who promises to “take them places they’ve never been before” and fires an energy blast at them from his one eye.
This attaches cogs to the wheels of the Rangers’ bikes, causing them to go haywire. Everyone panics and struggles to regain control as the cycles go careening through a nearby toll booth (what’s that doing in the middle of a quarry?), crashing into some oil drums and catching them on fire. The Rangers are forced to flee before the whole thing explodes, destroying the Jet Cycles in the process. RIP Zeo Jet Cycles. You lived a long, full life of about 3 episodes.
King Mondo then arrives to gloat about his return, with an army of Cogs in tow. Cog Changer inserts more cogs into them (cogs inside of Cogs. Cogseption… *horn blows*), and after a commercial break the King orders them to attack. They prove to be stronger than before (heh) thanks to Cog Changer’s enhancements, shaking off the Rangers’ attacks with ease.
Up on the moon, Rita declares that Mondo isn’t going to take her victory away from her, and she and Zedd cross their staffs and send evil energy down to Earth to make the purse monster grow, just like they did back in Season 3.
Now faced with an even bigger (heh) threat than Mondo at the moment, Tommy calls for the Zeozords. The ancient myth-inspired robots race to the scene (Blue and Green pulling Pink and Yellow respectively, and Red flying high above), and the Rangers teleport inside them. They then form the Zeo Megazord with the Red Helmet (this Megazord can switch helmets based on whichever Ranger is in the driver’s seat, granting it extra powers. It’s a pretty cool feature, I’ve always like Megazords that can switch their parts for new formations and the like), as a chorus bellows “Go Zeeeoooo” and Tommy declares that they have no time to waste as Billy is still in danger.
The Megazord goes to work fighting the Purse Monster, whose rubbery belly deflects the robot’s mighty blows like Po from Kung-Fu Panda. The Rangers switch over to the Green Helmet, hoping to pierce her hide by ramming her with its horns. This doesn’t work either, so they switch to Blue for an energy blast that merely gets reflected back at them. They then try bigger guns with the Yellow and Pink Helmets, but these get bounced back as well. Geez, Kat should get into the clothing industry, this purse of hers is pretty much indestructible.
Desperate, the Rangers unleash the Zeo Megazord Saber, but yet again the monster deflects their slash back at them. This time the Megazord gets badly damaged, falling to the ground as Purse Monster declares victory and dogpiles the grounded robot.
Tommy calls on the boxer-like Red Battlezord to help even the odds, and the telepathically-controlled battle mech launches from the cannon stationed at the Power Chamber’s Zord hanger as the Red Ranger teleports inside. The Battlezord pulls the Purse monster away and lets off a flurry of rapid punches, none of which do any damage but manage to get the creature to back off.
At the Machine Empire’s castle, Mondo takes offense at the idea of Rita’s “ridiculous” monster (says the guy who once tried to weaponize a crying baby…) destroying the Rangers and orders Cog Changer to attack. The robot fires one of his control cogs into the Zeo Megazord in order to hijack it later.
Meanwhile, the Red Battlezord is struggling to make some leeway with the Purse Monster, firing its Gatling laser blasts at the creature, only for them to be fired right back.
Tommy decides to bring out the big guns, namely for the Zeo Megazord and the Red Battlezord to combine. They do so, forming the Zeo Megabattlezord and letting out a torrent of laser blasts that, alas, only get reflected back. Not out of options yet, Tommy calls for Jason and the power of Pyramidas, his powerful carrier Zord.
Speaking of Jason, the Gold Ranger is at Angel Grove Falls, bottling up some water for the Aquitarians (and talking to himself via a voiceover that might not really be Austin St. John) when he gets the call from Tommy on his communicator to return the favor for all those times the Green Ranger made a sudden appearance to haul the team’s butts out of the fire back in Season 1. Jason agrees to meet there and morphs.
The Gold Ranger (whose suit and helmet are actually black. We wouldn’t get a Gold Ranger who’s actually gold until the Solaris Knight in Mystic Force. But the armor’s gold, so it still counts. Kinda) arrives with Pyramidas, unleashing a devastating lighting blast from the heavens that actually staggers the monster. Jason then calls on everyone to combine to form the Zeo Ultrazord, which is just Pyramidas changing into Robot Mode with the Zeozords going inside it and the Red Battlezord mounting itself on its back. Not the most creative Ultrazord out there. *Sighs* At least it’s not a jumbled-up eyesore like the Samurai Gigazord…
The Purse Monster is giddy during all this, cheering that it “loves little toys” (cha-ching), even though the Ultrazord is towering over her. The Rangers unleash their full power, bombarding Pursey with turret blasts and a big freaking laser beam from the Ultrazord’s chest, but it ultimately does nothing against her, merely bouncing off in all directions. Okay, what kind of leather is this thing made out of, and why isn’t it being worn by every public service figure in the world? Seriously, that cow must have been the Luke Cage of cows.
Jason calls for a new formation of the Ultrazord, and the others comply. They shift Pyramidas back into its pyramid mode and dock the Zeozords on top of it, with Red Battlezord standing proud in the back. It actually looks better in this mode, like some kind of ancient statue of mythical beasts. They let out a barrage of laser blasts, which, once again, bounce off Purse Monster harmlessly. Having ran out of options, the Rangers have no choice but to retreat and get the water to Billy and the Alien Rangers.
Up in space, the Royal Family watches the fight play out. But Mondo isn’t phased by the Purse Monster’s display of invulnerability, as he’s got a plan to take the Rangers out before there can be a rematch…
…And part of that involves teleporting the Purse Monster away. Rita sees this happen from the moon and freaks out, declaring it to be her “best monster ever.” No, seriously, that thing took just shy of a nuke from orbit and kept ticking. Lizzinator had skin made out of alien super-metal and it still went down after an Ultrazord blast.
Back at the castle, Mondo brags to Sprocket that he teleported the monster to another planet so he can be the one who conquers Earth. He goes on to explain how the Cog Changer planted a cog in the Zeo Megazord, and now he’s just waiting for the perfect time to activate it…
The Rangers hurry back to the Power Chamber with the water, just as Billy’s started to age again. Dolphine grimly tells the Rangers that it might be too late to save him as a commercial break hits.
After that, Cestro loads the water into the De-aging Ray (so, it’s being used as ammo, not being poured on it. My bad) and tries it on Billy again, this time actually working. Billy starts to de-age, with David Yost’s face being super-imposed on the old guy as he fluctuates between his older and younger self. It’s a passable effect. But it ultimately fails, and Old Man Billy is still old as ever as Cestro tells him that he will continue to age at an accelerated rate.
Zordon tells the Rangers that the Cog Changer is still on the loose, and the Purse Monster (now called Impursenator) is M.I.A. Tommy bemoans that without Billy, they are going to need all the help they can get in defeating this two monsters. Just then, Zordon receives a transmission from Aurico, the Red Alien Ranger, who informs the Rangers that his team is ready to offer assistance if needed, and Cestro adds that they won’t leave the Rangers in their time of need.
Zordon then tells everyone that he is picking up some “abnormal readings” in the Zeozord holding bay, coming from the Yellow Zord-formed leg of the Megazord. Billy identifies it as a loose wire in the sub-cockpit, and heads off to check it out despite the others’ concerns about him moving around.
In the hanger, OMB goes to work inside the Megazord, checking on the monitors in the sub-cockpit and finding them to be way off-base. Suddenly, Cog Changer’s cog activates, causing the Megazord to lash out at the steel support beams around it. Billy gets on the comm and warns the Rangers that he’s lost control.
Alpha tells everyone that the Megazord’s been sabotaged, and Billy is stuck inside with no way to get up to the main cockpit to stop it. The Megazord takes off flying, and Part 1 ends with the Rangers watching helplessly as it blasts out of the hanger with Billy still inside.
As per tradition at this point, the end credits try to lighten the mood by playing some outtakes from the rest of episode, including a bit from a deleted scene where Jason is working on some wires.
Part 2 picks up with OMB summarizing the situation for the people who missed Part 1 as the Megazord blasts off. Adam says that they have to teleport OMB out of the Megazord, but Alpha points out that the teleporter is still down. Everyone scrambles to help fix it before it’s too late to save Billy. Eventually, the Megazord reaches the quarry, where it continues freaking out.
Tommy puts the finishing touches on the teleporter, but the locator chips aren’t online yet, meaning Alpha can’t get a lock on Billy. Dolphine suggests the Rangers stop the Megazord themselves, and Tommy realizes that the Super Zeo Megazord (Saban Brands’ influence reached back in time) is strong enough for the job before declaring “Back to Action.”
The warrior-like Super Zeozords launch from the hanger cannon and form the Super Zeo Megazord, landing in the quarry where the Zeo Megazord is still freaking out.
Inside, Billy scrambles to get the Megazord under control, but the cog proves too powerful. Outside, the Super Zeo Megazord moves to hold the increasingly frantic Megazord, but to no avail.
At the Power Chamber, Cestro and Alpha get to work getting the locator chips back online, until the former gets impatient and just bangs on the console. The ol’ Fonzie Approach. This seems to work, somehow, and Alpha manages to lock onto Billy and teleport him out of the Megazord.
The bad news is that now Cog Changer has been given an opening to jump inside and take control of the Megazord for himself. Jason warns Tommy and the others about this as the robot attacks the Rangers.
Meanwhile, Alpha scans Billy for the unfortunate news that his aging has accelerated further. At this rate, he’ll reach 100 years old in an hour. Jason tells his friend to hang in there, then goes to ask the Alien Rangers if they have any solutions.
Up on the moon, Rita watches the Megazord fight with her telescope, bemoaning the fact that King Mondo is currently winning. Meanwhile, Zedd is pretty apathetic to who destroys the Rangers at this point, just as long as they’re gone. I guess losing to them for nearly 3 seasons straight will do that to a guy. That, and the parents always hounding him not to be “too scary…”
Finster has good news, however: he’s found out where the Machine Empire had teleported Impursonator before, and can now bring her back to Earth.
He does so, sending the creature into the cockpit of the Super Zeo Megazord. The monster blasts the Rangers out of the mecha (which no doubt gives Tommy a feeling of déjà vu), then hijacks it for herself, much to the bewilderment of the Rangers and Cog Changer.
The two monsters then battle in their respective Megazords, as Jason and the Alien Rangers watch with concern that their fight will destroy Angel Grove. The city’s survived all the other giant-robot-on-monster battles going on in this show, I’m sure one more won’t kill it.
In Stone’s office, the former Police Chief hands Bulk and Skull their tests and starts the clock for them to get to work. He then leaves, telling the boys that he’ll be back in an hour to see well they did. Yeah, I don’t think leaving these guys unsupervised for a whole hour is the best of ideas…
Soon the monster alarm goes off, but Bulk thinks it’s just part of the test, to see if they can concentrate under fire. So they stay, ignoring the quakes from the two giant robots punching each other.
Back at the Power Chamber, Jason bemoans that the others can’t do anything to stop Cog Changer and Impursonator without their Zords, and Dolphine points out that it will take too long for the Battle Borgs (the Alien Rangers’ Zords) to arrive on Earth to help. Say, didn’t you guys rig the Shogunzords so the Alien Rangers can use them, back when they were guarding Earth? It’s not like those were destroyed or anything. Heck, Tommy wound up using the Falconzord in a fight about 20-something years later…
Zordon suggests they summon their ally Auric the Conquer (aka the second blue guy in as many seasons who sounds like Dudley Do-Right) to assist, and Jason agrees. He teleports down to the city and meets back up with the others at some wreckage, the key to summoning Auric in hand. He tosses it into the sky, causing the giant tiki head (not Gosei, this one is actually helpful) to rise from the ground and open up to revel the ancient robotic warrior himself.
Jason tells Auric that the Rangers need his help to stop the monsters controlling their Zords before they destroy the city. The Conquer assures them that he’s got this, then heads off to do battle…
…Or rather, give the bad guys a stern talking to, saying he prefers to talk through a problem first before resorting to violence. Where was that mindset when you were convinced the Rangers were evil? Pretty sure you used violence as a first resort then…
Diplomacy fails, however, and Cog Changer and Impursonator decide to gang up on Auric, knocking him around with a few blows before Impursonator summons a ghostly image to scare him back into his idol. Okay, so he’s not so helpful after all. At least he actually tried to help, rather than just giving the Rangers a set of “New Powers” out of the blue and going back to bed. Kat points out that things can’t get any worse…
…Which she shouldn’t have, because at Machine Empire HQ, Mondo is giddy over how well everything is going, and asks Sprocket what he would do next. The Prince suggests kicking the Rangers while they’re down, and Mondo orders a squad of Cogs down to attack them.
The Cogs surround the Rangers, leading to a standard Power Rangers grunt fight, done with American-made footage. If loving this stuff is wrong, than being right is overrated. Cog Changer didn’t get to power these ones up, so the Rangers make short work of them. The robot baddies make a hasty retreat after Tommy, being awesome, takes two of them down with an “uht-say-oya.” Once they’re gone, the Red Ranger realizes that they were sent as a distraction to keep them away from the Megazords. The Rangers head back to the Power Chamber to regroup.
Speaking of the Megazords, they resume their fight as Bulk and Skull keep on taking their test. They write off the flashing lights, shaking room and falling objects as more tricks from the test-givers, but Bulk starts to grow a bit weary. These guys could sit through the plot of Armageddon and still think everything is fine…
Back at the Power Chamber, Dolphine tells the Rangers that they found a way to treat Billy: turns out that one of Billy’s friends from Aquitar (he went there during the season to help broker peace during a crisis), Cestria, is bringing water from a place called the Eternal Falls, essentially a Fountain of Youth that keeps the people of Aquitar young. But it may be dangerous, as the waters were never used on a human before. But Billy’s out of options, and willing to take the risk.
Zordon informs everyone that the Megazords are still running amok in Angel Grove, and the Rangers have a job to do. Dolphine points out that the Impursonator is easily distracted, and Kat’s thought up a way to stop it. Hopefully one that doesn’t involve shooting at it, as we’ve seen how well that panned out.
At the quarry, the Megazords are locked in a grapple when Tommy, Rocky and Adam call out to Impursonator, prompting her to jump out of the Super Zoe Megazord to fight them, much to Rita’s dismay. She pulls the monster out of the battle when it becomes obvious she’s falling into a trap, and yells at her to sit in the corner and think about how she screwed everything up back there. Zedd’s about to make another suggestion to her, but gets kicked in the shin by Rita for his trouble.
The Rangers take the opportunity to re-claim the now-vacant Super Zeo Megazord and enact the second part of Kat’s plan: distracting Cog Changer long enough for Kat and Tanya to sneak inside the Zeo Megazord and destroy the cog controlling it. Kat then makes her way into the main cockpit and forces Cog Changer out (this time not scratching the driver in the back), leaving the Rangers with both their Megazords back.
Back at the Power Chamber, Cestria arrives with the water (which is stored in what looks like an ordinary plastic bottle) and gives it to the near-dead Billy after a pleasant reunion (it seems like they’re a thing. Kind of ironic when you remember what it was that led to this plot-line). He drinks it, and we get more super-imposing (and Jason saying “it looks like it’s working” before it even starts doing anything) as Billy de-ages.
But it ultimately fails, and Alpha suggests they take Billy to Aquitar for treatment with stronger doses. Cestria warns Billy that it might be dangerous, but he’s already at rock bottom, so what’s he got to lose? He tells Jason to let the others know that he’s leaving, and he and Cestria teleport off-world.
Up on the moon, Finster runs out of the RV to tell Rita that he’s hacked into a transmission from King Mondo ordering a large battalion of Cogs to Earth. Rita proclaims that “he’s not the only bully on the block,” with Impursonator cheering that they’re “the biggest bullies in the universe” (I think that honor goes to the production staff) before Rita sends her down to Earth to attack.
The Power Chamber’s danger alarms go off again, and Zordon informs Jason that both Mondo and Rita are attacking the Angel Grove Coliseum. So Angel Grove had pilgrims, cowboys and ancient Gladiator games? No wonder they buried the Zeo Crystal under a donut shop there. Cestro suggests they combine their forces to meet this threat, and Dolphine orders the rest of the Alien Rangers to Earth to join the fight before declaring Morphin’ Time.
We get the Alien Rangers’ morphing sequence, which is just them standing in a watery tube, shouting “Aquitar Ranger Power!” and their suits materializing in a wave of orange energy, and then the not-ninja heroes arrive in the city with their not-ninja swords in hand. But their entrance gets interrupted by the Cog Changer, who throws some exploding cogs at them before being joined by Impursonator.
Which is one weird thing in this episode. For the rest of the fight, Impursonator, and by extension Rita and Zedd, acts like she’s teaming up with the Machine Empire, even though the rest of the time the MMPR baddies were treating this like a competition. You could say that they think the Rangers are a greater threat, but not too long ago they actually helped them defeat Gasket, when he was trying to brainwash Tommy into becoming the new King.
The Zeo Rangers soon arrive on the scene, and after some brief “great to see you again” pleasantries, do the standard Ranger Team-Up Pose-Off and charge after the Cogs. Another grunt battle ensues, this one via Sentai footage, as the Alien Rangers use their not-ninja elemental powers to thin the numbers. Cestro unleashes a massive tidal wave that floods the place, and Corcus (the Black Ranger) fires a lightning attack. One thing I have to ask though: why doesn’t Cog Changer charge up this squad like he did the other time? It seemed to leave the Rangers outmatched before…
The Alien Rangers then turn their attention to Impursonator, crossing their not-ninja swords for a power blast that seemingly takes her out. Weirdly enough, she doesn’t reflect it this time. The Zeo team follows suit with the Zeo Power Cannon, which takes down Cog Changer.
But it’s not over yet, as Klank arrives on the battlefield with his robot buddy Orbus in tow, swinging the little droid at the defeated Cog Changer so he can use his growth laser on him. This causes Cog Changer to grow giant, in the standard tradition of Power Rangers monsters. Zedd and Rita follow suit, using the power of their staffs to enlarge Impursonator. Again, are they on the same side, or are they trying to one-up each other? I can’t tell anymore…
Tommy tells Jason and the Alien Rangers to deal with the rest of the Cogs while he and the others battle the monsters in their Zords. He calls on the Super Zeozords, which blast out of the hanger cannon as the Rangers teleport into them and land in front of the two giant baddies.
Impursonator fires a lighting blast at the Zords, prompting the Rangers to retaliate with their Super Zeo Laser Pistols (which look actually like the Rangers’ usual side-arms, only giant-sized). But the shots have no effect on the monsters, so the Rangers have to resort to hand-to-hand combat, Tommy and Rocky taking on Cog Changer with their special melee weapons (which look like the Rangers usual special melee weapons, only giant-sized), while Kat and Tanya deal with Impursonator. The girls fire a couple of super beams out of the shapes on their Zords’ chests, causing Impersonator to retreat into the lake…
…Where Adam is waiting to pull the monster back up after a brief struggle (Minor side not: I actually had the toys of the Super Zeozords, and the green one was much wider in the chest than the one in the show. I don’t mean anything bad by this, and I know that it was because it had to split into the legs, I just thought it was strange). Meanwhile, Tommy and Rocky knock Cog Changer back to where Impursonator is, and the Zords try firing a group laser blast to drive them back.
Up in the Machine Empire base, Sprocket suggests combining to two monsters together, and Mondo agrees, giving them the order to do so. Wait, is Impursonator taking orders from Mondo? Not Rita and Zedd? My head’s spinning…
Anywho, the two monsters fuse into what looks like Cog Changer wearing Impursonator as a shirt/hat/hoodie thing. And they didn’t even need to use Polymerization …
The Rangers follow suit, combining their Zords into the Super Zeo Megazord. It basically plays out like the Zords forming shapes and stacking on top of each other, like that one episode of Samurai where the Rangers form a totem pole. Only this time, it’s what’s supposed to happen. Once that’s done, the Rangers call for the Super Megazord Saber, combining their twin swords into one super-long lightsaber beam that slowly comes down on the fused monster, only to have no effect.
Tommy calls for the Zeo Megazord and the Red Battlezord, which rush to the battlefield. After Tommy teleports into the latter, he calls forth the Warrior Wheel, a self-controlled Zord that flies through the air in its wheel form and lands in the Super Zeo’s arms. The three Megazords circle the CogPurse, tossing the Warrior Wheel back and forth to each other like they’re playing Hot Potato, building up speed and power until there is an energy vortex wrapped around the monster.
Once the CogPurse is stunned and off-guard, the Super Zeo delivers the coup-du-grace by rolling the Warrior Wheel like a bowling ball, leading it to assume Warrior Mode and destroy the monster with a flying double punch. I guess the vortex weakened the monster’s purse-skin defenses or something. The creature finally explodes, leading to cheers from the other Rangers on the ground as the Zeo crew jumps down and joins them in celebration of their hard-fought victory. Oddly enough, we don’t get to see the villains have a humorous meltdown at their latest failure this time. C’mon guys, that’s half the fun!
At the Juice Bar, Bulk and Skull are stress-eating very large bowels of ice cream when Stone walks in with the results of their test. Someway, somehow, against all odds, the two idiots passed due to getting extra credit for completing it during a monster attack, and are now fully fledged detectives. At least until they drop this plot-line between seasons and the two just go around doing odd jobs while Stone runs the Juice Bar. When they’re not being turned into chimps. Or invisible. Turbo was weird. Nonetheless, the two realize that they actually could have died back there, and faint into their ice cream.
Over at the Power Chamber, Zordon tells the Rangers that they’re getting a transmission from Aquitar. It’s Billy, who’s at his natural age again and being distorted to hide the fact that it’s old stock footage being dubbed over. He tells his friends that he’s decided to stay on Aquitar with Cestria. The others tell him that they’re happy he’s found love (everyone deserves that, after all. No matter who it’s with. Isn’t that right, production staff?), and wish him good luck in his new life.
Instead of bloopers, the end credits show a montage of Billy’s moments from the show, as a tribute to him. It almost makes up for everyone treating him like crap in real life. Almost.
So, now that we’ve finished talking about the story, on to Pros and Cons:
- As terrible as the real-life circumstances behind it are, the way the show writes off Billy is clever.
- Some solid Ranger action and an interesting pair of monsters.
- The actor playing Old Man Billy is actually pretty good. He kind of reminds me of Michael Douglas.
- The real-life circumstances behind Billy being written off the show. I’m not going to hold it against the episode itself, but it still needs to be mentioned, and it does cast a shadow over watching it years later.
- Cog Changer and Impursonator randomly dropping their rivalry at the end.
- There’s a surprising lack of mingling between the Zeo and Alien teams for what is supposed to be a Team-Up. I know that’s probably because this episode’s already juggling so much around, but it still should be brought up.
Overall, this was a pretty solid Team-Up, aside from the monsters’ motive decay towards the end. There was plenty of fun action, and like I said before the plot about Billy aging due to the device he used back in Alien Rangers was neat. I only wish that said plotline wasn’t needed. Also, it’s kind of off-putting that only Dolphine and Cestro were the only Alien Rangers around for most of the episode, but let’s be honest here, those were the only two that had any real character to begin with. There’s nothing really bad to say about it other than that.
There wouldn’t be a crossover in Turbo (even though that season did wind up switching over to a completely different team than the Zeo Rangers, and there was a Sentai Team-up movie that could be used), the season after that, Power Rangers: In Space, made up for that with a whopping 4, alongside countless cameos due to it serving as a grand finale of sorts to the Zordon Era. And next week, we’ll take a look at the first of them, featuring not a past Ranger team, but rather another group of teenage crime fighters children of the 90’s grew up with. And one that I’ve covered before on the blog. That’s right fanboys, next week the Power Rangers are joining forces with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… from The Next Mutation. ‘Till then, I’ve been The Uncanny Fox. Live long, stay gold, and remember: Pink leather is the strongest material known to man. It is the one thing that Adamantium can’t cut.