1-54: Trick or Treat

Kimberly goes on the titular teen game show while Rita has evil pumpkin seeds planted.

Last time on Power Rangers: Zack used his brains against the Peckster and has begun to woo Angela.

 

Contrary to the episode’s seemingly being Halloween themed, it originally aired on May 3rd, 1994.  Basically, it’s more than okay that I’m posting this in the summer.

Let’s Play a Game

The episode opens with Kimberly practicing on the balance beam before heading over to give Tommy and Trini the great news: she’ll be a contestant on “Trick or Treat” next Saturday.  Apparently she’ll have the chance to win “a brand-new car” and hopes her friends can attend the taping in the audience.  Trini accepts but Tommy has a “big karate match [he] can’t miss”.  With relatively good grace, Kimberly goes along with the situation.  I’m still a bit confused on whether or not they’re dating; I’ll concede they’re smitten but dating?

When she wonders who her opponent will be… Bulk and Skull make their entrance.  Evidently the latter will also be on the show.  Kimberly is not thrilled, especially when Skull grabs her wrist as a flirting technique.   When she yanks herself out of his grip, he ends up getting a faceful of avocado dip (I think…).  Bulk pulls him up, affirming that they’ll win.  Kimberly is flippant despite their claims.

Up in the moon fortress, Rita and Goldar apparently each had the same idea: plant rotten pumpkin seeds that’ll grow into the Pumpkin Rapper.  I’m reasonably sure Baboo and Squatt are lying when they claim they’ve already planted them in the park.  It’s more likely that the next time Rita took a nap they went down to Earth to plant the seeds.

Similar to “Let’s Make a Deal” everybody in the audience is in costume.  Kimberly and the others are all in color-coded medieval garb; she’s the princess with the others as courtiers.  As that’s the only outfit Billy is seen in this episode, that makes this the seventh time he hasn’t wore overalls at all in an episode.

The host calls her Kimberly Hall, whereas most sources (including the booklet) claim her surname is Hart.  Either she later takes her stepdad’s surname or the host/show messed it up.  Given how the host Monty, who’s dressed up as a vampire, is generally depicted as not exactly the brightest crayon in the box, the latter is probable.  But Eugene Skullovich is generally accepted to be Skull’s real name.  He’s a prisoner, “recently escaped from detention,” while Bulk is wrapped up as a mummy.  They discuss before the show starts how they plan to cheat in order to win.

Pumpkins in the Park

On the way to his karate match, Tommy is bemused by the sudden presence of so many rotten pumpkins.  Rita and Goldar send down Putties to fight Tommy… which will definitely alert him to the fact that’s something beyond the pumpkins is rotten in the park.  The Green Ranger song plays as he fights them.

Meanwhile, Kimberly gets a lead in the show.  And I have no clue how the “Wheel of Misfortune” game works, and the “quizzing the host in hope he doesn’t know the answer” aspect makes even less.  On the one hand, they clearly put a lot of thought into the style of the game show.  On the other, maybe they should have put a bit more into the effort.  Unless this is a nod to Japanese game shows… were those a thing already in the early nineties?

Tommy defeats the Putties to Rita’s annoyance and alerts Zordon, who tells him to go to his karate match and that’ he’ll be contacted if he’s needed.  At the youth center, Tommy is in a crowd of martial artists.  Apparently they’re each doing an exhibition of their talents…?

Back at the game show, Bulk guides Skull through his question to the host.  Having succeeded, Skull must play the “the wicked web of disaster” game.  Zack is grossed out by the mention/usage of bugs in the game to the others’ amusement.  Although he starts out confident, Skull ends up failing and gets slimed by the big fake spider to everyone’s amusement.

Rita is impatient for the Pumpkin Rapper to awaken, but the pumpkins have begun to shake.  Alpha 5 and Zordon’s viewing of the game show is interrupted by the alarms.  Kimberly is about to ask a second question (her first being “What are the identities of the Power Rangers?”) in hopes of stumping Monty and ergo winning when she notices her teammates gesturing at their communicators.  By this point Skull has been using a towel to clean himself off.

54FakedFainting

Kimberly opts to fake fainting, so she’s scooped up by her teammates and they leave.  Yeah, I’m just going to be amused that David, Amy Jo, and Thuy’s off-screen friendship keeps leaking into their characters.  Bulk proclaims that Skull won by default and the duo rejoices.  Backstage, Kimberly’s a bit upset she lost (and to Skull) but accepts that it had to be done.

Pumpkin-Headed Putties and a Rapping Monster

The five go to the Command Center where Alpha 5 and Zordon use the viewing globe to explain the situation.  It’s stressed that the largest pumpkin will turn into the Pumpkin Rapper who’ll “try to distract [them] with his raps and rhymes, then wrap his vines around [them] and destroy [them]”.  Before they morph and go to the park, Zordon reminds them that Tommy must limit using his powers.

Four of them decide to pick up some pumpkins to investigate.  Kimberly alone doesn’t end up with a pumpkin stuck on her head.  Luckily, by breaking the one on Jason’s head with her blaster/blade she triggers a chain reaction that frees the others as well.  But then some of the pumpkins turn into pumpkin-headed Putties.  No, really.

Although they beat that group, more promptly show up.  Billy points out the huge pumpkin so they go over and use rhymes to wake it up.  … Even though Zordon explicitly told them to go find the monster before it ‘ripens’.  The Pumpkin Rapper is offended by just how bad said rhymes are, but sics the pumpkin-headed Putties on them.  A rock song plays over the battle.

In a different area of the park, the Pumpkin Rapper uses his vines to ensnare the five and ‘shock’ them.  Tommy gets contacted right before his turn, making it seem as if he was a no-show.  And since he was apparently the last one to go, the winner is declared.  In the locker room, Tommy gets the situation explained to him by Zordon.

Morphing, Tommy goes to the park and cuts the vine.  He next charges the Pumpkin Rapper and holds him still so that the Megablaster can be formed and used against it, getting out the way just beforehand.  Rita is yelling and battering Baboo, Squatt, and Goldar with her staff as a result of this latest defeat.

54Kim&Tommy

Presumably the next day or maybe even later the same day, Kimberly and Tommy commiserate with each other just outside the youth center before affirming that they don’t need outside influences to know they’re winners.  Bulk and Skull drive up smugly in a red convertible.  But then a lady from the show’s legal department shows up- watching the footage, they realized the duo cheated.

She kicks them out of the car and drives off, but an end of Bulk’s wrappings got stuck in the door and therefore he gets partially unwrapped.  Tommy and Kimberly can’t help but be amused.

Conclusion

It’s baffling that the show apparently felt that the only way Tommy could ‘fully’ sympathize with Kimberly’s situation was by him undergoing the same thing.  What makes it weirder is that Tommy’s scenario wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been the last contestant.  In other words, if the match hadn’t been doing it randomly or by reverse alphabetical order by city then Tommy wouldn’t have had that problem.  The judges would have just figured he left early for whatever reason.

Kimberly is confident, somewhat competitive without letting it dominate her, and capable.  I’ve heard ‘things’ about her becoming a damsel in distress later on in the show due to being Tommy’s girlfriend.  I really don’t want said rumors to be true.  … It’s entirely possible that a reason for me mistrusting Kim/Tommy as a ship is due to having read such commentary.

Bulk and Skull are still taking shortcuts and playing dirty to get what they want.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Kids’ soccer try-outs inspire Rita to send down the Soccadillo.

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