2-50: Wild West Rangers, Part 1

Kimberly gets sent back in time due to the villains’ latest scheme.

Last time on Power Rangers: The trio escaped from the storybook.

 

A Prickly Problem

Tommy has a flowering cactus while in the Gym and Juice Bar.  The other three guys are at the counter and Tommy reveals that he got it from his dad, who obtained it while on a trip in Arizona so that Tommy can give it to Kimberly for her garden.  Hey, continuity from “Bloom of Doom” about Kimberly’s love of plants!

Speaking of whom, she and Aisha are at a table.  Tommy has his girlfriend close her eyes but then doesn’t pull out the cactus.  However, he does so after a moment.  A pleased Kimberly kisses his cheek.  Suddenly the cactus is teleported away, leaving behind a bit of green goop.  Billy wants to analyze what it is, so the group decides to teleport to the Command Center.

But Kimberly gets pulled into what is later termed a “time hole”.  Now I want more than ever tie-in novels featuring time travel so that various teams can interact and fight evil together.  This franchise uses time travel in general too much for that not to happen somehow.

Billy explains the term to his teammates and the viewing globe shows it at the Gym and Juice Bar’s lockers.

Lord Zedd is pleased as the cactus arrives in the moon fortress.  The monster Needlenose is created out of it with the purpose of destroying Angel Grove in the past to prevent the Rangers’ birth.  Considering how the franchise generally uses unstable time loops, this is a good villainous scheme.

The time hole is no longer visible as it’s not being used.  Alpha 5 goes into technobabble about how tricky they are.

Landing out in a field, Kimberly is worried and stressed out.  Once she gets up, she tries to contact Zordon, Tommy, and then just goes “Anybody?”

Two guys in western garb on horses approach, so Kimberly hides behind a bush.  The brunette gets confused, as they look like Bulk and Skull.  Well, they’re called ‘One-Eyed Bulk’ (it’s explicitly a fake eyepatch) and ‘Doc Skullovitch’ as they’re presumably the duo’s ancestors.

Their plan is to rob the noon carriage (when seen, it looks more like a stagecoach).  Kimberly moves to hide behind a rock closer to the road.  The duo pulls out guns, making Rocky’s and Adam’s wide-eyed ancestors put their hands up in the air.  Classic Western music plays as “the White Stranger” shows up (AKA Tommy’s ancestor).

However, it turns out that the duo has fake guns that shoot out little clothes with “bang” written on them.  Bulk is upset that Skull brought the wrong guns as they depart on their steeds.  Spotting Kimberly from her hiding spot, the White Stranger checks on her.  Overwhelmed, Kimberly faints.

… On the one hand, this is a bit annoying.  On the other, I think it was sinking in that something major had gone down- she can’t contact her friends but there are people who look like them.

A Long Time Ago

Billy and Alpha are doing science back in the Command Center.  The group goes to the viewing globe only to just briefly see Kimberly’s face.  The blond has a plan to strengthen the signal.

Waking up in a saloon, Kimberly is confused by the change in “Adam’s” hair style.  Introductions are made by the quartet at the table- Abraham, William, Alicia, and Rocko.  Kimberly is stressed and it’s clarified that this is Ernie’s Fruit Saloon, with the old-timey Ernie seen.  Huh.  I wonder if this means that Ernie/Ernest is a traditional family name for that lineage.

The White Stranger is a mystery to them; Alicia is baffled by Kimberly’s clothes and by the brunette’s claim of having gotten them at the mall.  Really, show?  The mall was also brought up in the “Return of the Green Ranger” trilogy- apparently, that’s the most important element of modern times to Aisha and Kimberly in the writers’ minds, which kind of offends me.

Freaking out, Kimberly bolts to the others’ concern.  Once out on the street, she realizes she’s in ‘wild west’ times and the locals are bemused by her behavior (and likely, her appearance).  One of their comments notes that she ‘must have’ come from the saloon, the implications of which must have slid by the censors’ radar given the show’s earlier hinting that Ernie merely served fruit juices.

Lord Zedd, Goldar, and Rita are pleased and Needlenose is sent back in time.  Furthermore, Lord Zedd wants to send back Goldar as well to destroy Kimberly.

The other Rangers learn that Kimberly is in Angel Grove of the past and that Goldar, Needlenose, and some Z-Putties are on their way to the time hole.  They’re genre savvy enough by this time to realize where this monster must have come from.  Zordon and Alpha stress that the villains cannot reach the time hole, otherwise the timeline will be altered.

Morphing, the quintet reaches the villains out in a rural area.  More Z-Putties show up behind the team.  They battle the minions as a rock song plays.

Alicia exits the saloon, the guys behind her, to see the stressed-out Kimberly.  They confirm that the year is 1880.  One-Eyed Bulk and Doc Skullovitch are nearby, scheming as they eat pretzels like they’re cigars.

William asks for her name, and her response is “Calamity Kim” which hearkens back to a season one episode’s title.  The duo shakes hands.  A random guy shows up to panic over the criminal duo’s arrival.  Kimberly and William fail to hide like the others.

50HandsUp

One-Eyed Bulk and Doc Skullovitch have their guns so the others come out with their hands up.  Kimberly is last to put hers up, though.  I guess she’s not used to “stick-ups” and to being a proactive hero instead of a bystander.  But her expression indicates that it’s also about how non-seriously she takes Bulk and Skull’s ancestors.  It also gives a decent look at the Rangers’ ancestors’ attire (and why the locals are confused by Kimberly’s).

A Ticking Clock

Back in 1995, the quintet tries to go after the minions but Goldar has Needlenose use his paralyzing spores on the team.

Doc Skullovitch tries to steal Kimberly’s communicator but it gives him a jolt.  Huh.  Didn’t Billy make them out of microwave parts?  Are they ‘bonded’ to the team like the morphers?  And just now I’m realizing- did Jason, Trini, and Zack keep their communicators or were they also handed over the newbies?

Kimberly kicks the gun out of One-Eyed Bulk’s hand, so they try to retreat but One-Eyed Bulk falls into a water trough.  Rocko and Abraham drag off the criminals.  I’m assuming that they forgot to switch guns because surely otherwise it would have gone off when Kimberly did that stunt.

Picking up the communicator, William gives it back to “Miss Kimmy” and notes, “You’re not from around here, are you?”

Kimberly decides to tell these people who like her friends and teammates the truth about herself.  Back in the saloon, Ernie is serving drinks as there’s been a time skip over the info dump.  William is dubious.

A guy comes in to freak out.  The group exits the saloon to see Z-Putties causing chaos.  Some are on horses, and a few are wearing cowboy hats.  Two of them steal a guy’s clothes, leaving him in red long johns.  Honestly, it’s more silly than scary.

William is overwhelmed that Kimberly’s story is true.

Goldar and Needlenose teleport away, the quintet then struggling to their feet as they’re determined to stop the villains.  But the duo manages to get into the time hole just before it closes and won’t return.  In other words, the team got there too late.  Tommy doesn’t want to go because it’s their connection to where Kimberly went but knows that the others are right in that they need to return to the Command Center to regroup.

Rita and Lord Zedd are pleased.  She tickles him again… is this a ‘thing’ with them?  I don’t even know and I think I don’t want to know.

Helmetless, the five Rangers are worried back in the Command Center, as is Alpha.  Billy notes that things won’t change in the timeline until Kimberly succeeds or fails.

Speaking of whom, she asks, “What’s next?”

Goldar and Needlenose teleport in to her stress and the others’ concern.  I won’t say she jinxed it, as the duo was already on their way to 1880 when she asked.  Goldar gloats that Lord Zedd is now the “top gun”.

Conclusion

There are just two episodes left in this season- where has the time gone?  This was largely a Kimberly and Tommy centric episode.  Tommy spearheads the modern-day action, while Kimberly copes with having been sent back to 1880.  Their interaction at the start of the episode was admittedly sweet.

Yet… I still prefer how Billy and Kimberly (and even ‘William’ and Kimberly) interact.  They just seem more like equals, whereas the show seems to have remembered that Kimberly is supposed to be Tommy’s girlfriend.  Note how I phrased that- it’s mostly about Tommy, not Tommy-and-Kimberly.  Billy and Kimberly’s interactions just come across as more, well, equal to me.  That’s possibly the influence of David and Amy Jo’s real-life friendship as well as the writers treating them as friends.

This is a long way of saying that I think the show is starting to turn Kimberly into a ‘satellite love interest’ where she exists first and foremost as Tommy’s girlfriend opposed to the Pink Ranger.  If this trend continues, I might continue non-shipping them for that reason alone.

Also, I half-suspect the reason for so many unusual settings lately is because they filmed these scenes while still in Australia for making the movie, doing the rest before or after.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Kimberly saves the past and returns to her own time!

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