1-51: Grumble Bee

When Billy gets his first ever B on a test, Rita is inspired to send down the titular monster.

Last time on Power Rangers: Tommy’s powers were partially restored and the team’s parents rescued.

 

B is for Billy

The episode opens with Miss Applebee handing out tests that were apparently a dry run for tomorrow’s final test that doubles as a qualification for the “Young Scientists of America Club”.  To his shock, Billy got a B instead of an A as he’s always done beforehand.

51BummedBilly

Billy is baffled and disappointed in himself by this grade, as seen above.  He’s also back in overalls.  Zack, Kimberly, and Trini all do their best to reassure their friend.  Then Bulk and Skull mock Billy that “b is for bad” even though I suspect they likely got Fs again (Skull did shove his test on his desk it was handed back to him).  Jason and Kimberly tell the duo to go away, which after a final retort they do.  Up in her moon fortress, Rita is inspired to have a “horrible, stinking bee” attack Angel Grove and the Rangers.

At his locker, Billy is still upset with himself.  The others play to go play hoops but Billy nicely turns them down since he’d rather study for the test.  Trini opts to stay behind to help him study, which they do so at the Gym and Juice Bar.  Apparently part of the test was devoted to bees.

The Titular Monster

In the park, the other three are having fun messing around with a basketball, at a bit of a loss that Billy is taking a B so hard.  At this point it’s mentioned Tommy is off at a karate tournament.  Goldar and some Putties are to keep the Rangers distracted until the Grumble Bee is ready; a group of the minions attacks the trio.  The basketball ends up being used in the ensuing battle (no, I don’t get it either).  Goldar and more Putties show up once the first batch was defeated, and the Putties use a glowing yellow rope to tie up the three teens.

Goldar exposits that the rope comes with a force field that will keep them out of the villains’ way and name-drops the Grumble Bee before he and Putties teleport away.  Alpha asks Zordon what to do, so Zordon has him try to contact the trio, who can’t teleport out of the rope’s confines nor respond to their communicators.  Zordon instead has Alpha contact the studying Trini and Billy.

Teleporting to the Command Center, the duo is told their teammates’ situation which is then shown in the viewing globe.  Alpha doesn’t know how to rescue them, and then the viewing globe shows an image of the Grumble Bee.  Zordon assures them that Alpha will work on figuring out a way to rescue the others but their priority has to be stopping the Grumble Bee.

They morph and go to the park, where the Grumble Bee is.  Blasted by its projectile missiles, Billy gets weakened.  Next the monster emits “ultrasonic waves” that fell them both and forces them to retreat back to the Command Center, unmorphed.

Instead of trying to take on the monster by themselves again, they go to see if they can rescue the others.  But after a single failed effort, Zordon alerts them to the Grumble Bee attacking so Jason assures them it’s okay.  Morphing again, they go after the Grumble Bee… who seems to still be lurking in the park rather than being any threat to civilians.

The monster’s “poison venom” looks more like yellow silly string despite Billy’s claims it’s eating through his suit.  Alpha has found a way to free the trio; Zordon contacts them and they morph.  When they show up, the Grumble Bee calls upon Putties.  A rock song plays over the battle between the Rangers and the Putties.

Using its ultrasonic waves again, the Grumble Bee fells four of the Rangers.  Alpha has constructed a blue-hued weapon which he sends to Billy after cheering “hasta la pizza” upon completing it.  No, I don’t understand why Alpha would say that.

Spraying white foam all over the Grumble Bee from the weapon, Billy manages to weaken the Grumble Bee as the others recover from the ultrasonic waves.  Jason uses his sword to further batter the monster.  Rita uses a new catchphrase to revive and super-size the monster: instead of the standard “magic staff, make my monster grow” it’s “dust storm, make my monster giant”.

Jason calls upon the Zords and the team forms tank mode.  They actually do use tank mode for a single attack before stingers rattle it so they switch Battle Mode.  When ultrasonic waves weaken the Megazord, Billy urges Jason to keep trying.  The Red Ranger calls down the Power Sword without the usual command in response.

“I bet that thing isn’t even real,” the Grumble Bee taunts them.  But the blade is real enough to destroy the monster to Rita’s annoyance.

The Power of Studying

Zack and Jason are sparring at the Gym and Youth Center when Tommy comes in.  Kimberly asks him about his event, which went well but he wishes he was contacted when Rita attacked.  The girls remind and reassure him that he needs to conserve his energy and that they know he’s there for them.  Billy arrives to tell the others that he got an A+ on the final test, ergo getting into the club.  Everybody is pleased for him.

51Eight

The group encounters Bulk and Skull studying of all things.  Apparently Bulk was threatened with tutoring by the class’s top six students for the summer if he doesn’t get at least a C on the next test.  Zack counts off and realizes they’re likely to be the ones referred to.  So the group promptly starts helping Bulk now so they don’t have to do so over the summer, overwhelming him.

Conclusion

While not touched upon in this episode, I suspect part of the reason Billy took the B so hard is because he knows he’s the least physical member of the team and his biggest contributions come from him using his brain.  So if he’s not smart enough to get exclusively As… then what would that mean for his role as a Power Ranger?  Plus, he likely really wanted into that club given his love of science.

Bulk and Skull’s hypocrisy in mocking Billy for getting a B is underlined by the final scene.  Though really, I have to wonder at Miss Applebee’s threat.  That certainly isn’t fair to the group to conscript them to mentoring over the summer without their permission, particularly given the mutual animosity between Bulk and Skull versus the Rangers.  Plus, wouldn’t have Skull gotten the same threat or did Bulk simply not mention that his best friend is in the same boat?  It might have gone without saying, or the teen might be mostly worried about his summer and not Skull’s.

Evidently Tommy will spend a good chunk of the episodes between now and the “White Light” two-parter side-lined due to his Power Coin being only partially restored.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Rita sends down a two-headed monster.

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