2-52: Blue Ranger Gone Bad

For the season finale, the villains make an evil copy of Billy.

Last time on Power Rangers: Kimberly rallied her friends’ western ancestors to save the day before returning to her own time.

Crafting Away

Tommy, Adam, Billy, and Kimberly are attending art class.  Billy and a glasses-wearing brunette seem to find each other cute.  The class is doing independent projects; Billy is working on a hologram, impressing both Adam and Kimberly.  Also impressed, the brunette (Violet) wants to show Billy her project.

Miss Binks, the teacher, can’t find something nice to say about the clay mess Bulk and Skull have made.

Violet has made a clay statue of Billy.  Kimberly is startled by it.  Personally, I think it kind of awkward for her to have made that of her crush; it just comes across like stalker-y to me.  Billy doesn’t seem pleased by it either; maybe he feels overwhelmed by her intensity?  Because it is intense to make a clay statue of a crush, and not exactly in a healthy way.

52Quartet

Yeah… those are not the faces of pleased people.  The statue is weirding them out just as much as it does me.  I get having a massive crush on Billy but making a statue of him just comes across as creepy.

Bulk and Skull reveal their plan to make a statue of the Power Rangers to lure them out so they can unmask them.  The bell rings and Miss Binks gives the class a reminder as Kimberly removes her lavender apron.  Billy is awkward when Violet hopes that she’ll see him at the gym.  The quartet of Rangers heads off for the Juice Bar.

Goldar and Squatt teleport into the art room.  Rita is upset at her husband being the boss as well as about his melodrama.  Taking his staff, she turns the statue into an evil copy of Billy.  The two minions are pleased while back in the moon fortress, Goldar does an info dump on their scheme.

The quartet has ended up in a picnic area of the park instead.  Billy is nervous about asking out Violet, but Kimberly is reassuring.  But that doesn’t make sense, given her reaction to the statue.  Maybe she’s trying to support them because she thinks she overreacted to Violet’s project?  Tommy is more focused on figuring out what his wooden craft project is, offering up the idea that it’s an alien.

Z-Putties teleport in so the quartet fights them.  Vines wrap around Billy and yank him into bushes.  Kimberly quickly realizes that he’s gone, but Billy has been teleported to the Dark Dimension (as seen in “Green with Evil” for example).  There’s a force field containing him.

Goldar appears to somehow take his communicator, giving it and Billy’s backpack to the evil copy.  He tells it (him?) what to do while back on Earth the trio makes to leave.  Billy is worried when the fake teleports away.  Evidently “the Fog of Morpheus” will be used on Billy to put him in an eternal sleep to his fear.

Adam, Tommy, and Kimberly are pleased to see ‘Billy’.  At Kimberly’s suggestion, Tommy contacts Zordon.  Rightfully concerned that the attack was part of a larger plot, Zordon wants to gain more information.  Kimberly attempts to tease ‘Billy’ about Violet, making the fake awkwardly uncomfortable to the trio’s confusion.

Things Get Foggy

The group is at the Gym and Juice Bar; ‘Billy’ is weight-lifting while the others are at a table.   He’s dismissive towards Violet and uses technobabble on the others to obtain their communicators and morphers.

Rita gloats up in the moon fortress, quickly backtracking when Zedd notices her self-centered comment.  The real Billy is still trapped.

Walking in the park, Aisha admires Tommy’s project.  The brunet deflects by bringing up Billy’s hologram.  Aisha wants to see it but ‘Billy’ is baffled about it.  Tommy lingers behind a moment to check in with Zordon as he knows something is up; Zordon confirms that nothing is wrong with the communicators so he and Alpha decide to scan Billy to check on him but it’ll take time.

When Tommy tells Kimberly (who must have paused to let him catch up with her) what Zordon said, Kimberly immediately and correctly claims that Billy wouldn’t lie so it must not be him.  I’m assuming there’s a clarification about Billy wouldn’t lie about something so important, since nobody never lies.  She goes up to the fake to ask to see her communicator.

Goldar and Z-Putties teleport in.  Kimberly manages to grab the backpack but gets surrounded by Z-Putties so she tosses it towards Tommy.  However, it lands on a tree branch.  The others are fighting minions.

The real Billy is trying to stay awake by repeating scientific formulas, one of which gives him an idea.

Some minions guard the bottom of the tree.  Rocky and Adam try to fight Goldar.

Billy uses his hologram project to redirect the force field beam back at its source.  His teammates fight Z-Putties before regrouping.  The fake Billy has disappeared.

Zedd is moping on his throne when Rita yells for him, making him grumble.  She wants to use the staff, but Zedd uses it on Tommy’s art project to transform it into the Vase Face monster.

It promptly blasts down the quintet.  Tommy is not happy about this turn of events.  Billy manages to stop/break the gizmo.  Alpha reports that he’s found the real Billy in Goldar’s Dark Dimension so Zordon tells the robot to teleport Billy to the park.

True Blue

Billy arrives just as his evil copy falls out of the tree.  He tosses his backpack to his friends so they can use their morphers.  Somehow both Billys manage to morph to the others’ bafflement.  Obviously they both say that they’re the real deal.  Zordon is worried, particularly as the monster is heading off to wreak havoc in the city.

Kimberly grabs the hologram and uses it to determine which Billy is real, as the fake claims it’s a mirror.  The others morph and the fake gets destroyed by the blasters.

Zedd uses a BBomb8 to supersize the Vase Face monster.  There’s an extended Zord transformation sequence and the Thunder Megazord is formed.  The White Tiger goes into warrior mode as the theme song plays.  The two Zords team up to destroy the monster easily.

During the next art class, Billy apologizes to Violet, who accepts it.  I get why Billy apologized despite it not being his fault (because there’s no way to explain that to her).  She’s wearing overalls (well, they’re shorts but also overalls; it’s the 90s, okay) in a callback to what Billy typically wore in season one.  He asks her out to a movie.

Kimberly shows off her painting of herself and her five friends.  She is in overalls with embroidered designs on them, further highlighting how close she is to Billy.  Bulk and Skull are dismissive of it so they reveal their project… it’s Violet’s statue of Billy, except painted as him as a helmetless Yellow Ranger to their horror.

Adoringly, Violet explains it’s because Billy has the traits to be a Power Ranger.  Oh, she has no clue just how right she is.  Utterly dismissive of such an idea, Bulk and Skull leave.  The Rangers are amused by the irony, although Violet is as well by the duo’s antics.  To be fair, that’s a reoccurring element where the other students are more bemused than anything else by Bulk and Skull.

Conclusion

On a personal level, I greatly enjoyed this episode.  It showcased Billy’s brains, courage, and kindness as well as Kimberly’s in addition to their endearing friendship.  Episodes like these are why I struggle to see their connection as purely platonic in-universe.  Tommy did clue in first that something really fishy was going on, but that’s mostly because he’s the lead character nowadays.  Rocky, Aisha, and Adam didn’t really get a chance to shine… I’m not even sure if Adam got a single line here.

Billy has invented a functional hologram.  There’s a part of me that wants to rewrite the Rangers-verse so that it starts out on a technology level same as ours in the 90s, but then gradually advance more rapidly due to the influx of alien and futuristic technology.  Billy’s hologram could be an early sign of that.

Yet at the same time, I can’t really see this as a season finale.  I adore Billy, but he’s not the main character.  If anybody is, it’s Tommy.  The plot was more or less a retread of “Return of the Green Ranger” and only half the team got any real attention.  At this point I think the villains are tweaking their old schemes to see if that increases their odds instead of coming up with new ones.

There’ll be a season summary and a review of the 90s movie before I move onto the third season.  I’ve heard some pretty good things about the new movie, but I’m still waiting until it’s out on DVD to watch.

Next time on Power Rangers: The team encounters the Masked Rider.

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