3-1: A Friend in Need, Part 1

The Rangers go to Alpha 5’s home planet when it’s under attack by Count Dregon and his forces.

Last time on Power Rangers: The villains made an evil clone of Billy out of an art project.

 

Another Planet’s Problem?

On a desert-like planet with reddish lighting, a cloaked man named Dex is cranky as his home-world is under attack by a villain.  His fellow beings are more resigned to the situation.

In the Command Center, Alpha 5 is moping.  Zordon points out that he wants to help but can’t if the robot doesn’t explain what’s wrong.  Alpha admits that when he used the galactic scanner, he found a distress signal coming from Edenoi, which is his home planet.  There is no sign of his maker, Lexican, and the planet is under attack.

Huh.  Somehow, I always thought that Zordon had created the robot.  Maybe Alphas one through four are back on that planet…?  Now I’m wondering how exactly Zordon and Alpha met and teamed up…

Count Dregon is on his spaceship, later revealed to be called Spiderface.  His minions suck up to him, while he focuses on his goal of destroying the planet.

Aisha is using an old-fashioned phone at Ernie’s, as Kimberly is stuck in bed with the flu.  Going over to the table where Adam is, she updates him on Kim’s health.  Tommy and Rocky are sparring over in the ‘gym’ area of the building.  Billy arrives, and he has done what the fake claimed to want to do: update the communicators, using a new chip.  Heh, I wonder if his teammates were initially afraid that Billy had been replaced again when he brought up the idea…

In any case, the blond is concerned about Alpha’s recent mopey mood.  The quintet affirms that Alpha is more than just a robot to them so they decide to visit, thinking he’s been lonely.

Spiderface begins its attack on Edenoi, which Lord Zedd is spying upon via his visor.  Rita is annoyed and baffled by what he is doing.  Zedd exposits on how Spiderface is attacking in the Andromeda sector.  While Rita likes Count Dregon, Zedd hates him due to their history of trying to one-up each other.  When Rita tries to reassure him that Finster’s upcoming monster will destroy the Rangers, Zedd retorts, “Since when have any of Finster’s monsters been able to walk and chew gum at the same time?”

Oddly undeterred or dampened by this, Rita continues to reassure him.  Zedd just goes, “Déjà vu,” as he’s starting realize the rut of defeat he and the other villains are stuck in.

Billy did some techy stuff off-screen, as well as the Rangers being informed of the situation.  Edenoi is very far from Earth and it’s explained that Lexican is also the planet’s king.  Evidently it’s so far away that not all of the Rangers’ powers will be active there.  Uh… does the morphing grid has limits to its reach, or just Zordon’s sphere of influence?  I mean, later Ranger teams have no trouble using their powers in alternate dimensions and such.

1Friends

Tommy remains determined to check out and help if possible, so Zordon gives in- particularly as the new chip will enable him and Alpha to stay in contact with the Rangers.  Furthermore, Zordon gives kudos for the team’s firm courage and friendship.  Alpha asks the teens to be careful.  Morphing, the six have to go outside for the long-range teleportation.  Despite all his worries, Alpha is pleased by his friends’ loyalty.

After the duo does some techy stuff, the Rangers teleport away.  Alpha thanks Zordon twice.

Zedd and Rita are upset by the Rangers’ sudden disappearance… until they realize that a sick Kimberly is still on Earth.  Speaking of whom, did anybody think to give her a heads-up about all her teammates traveling to what is apparently the other side of the galaxy?  Oh dear.

A pleased Rita soon leaves the main space of the moon fortress.  Zedd is admiring of his wicked wife… Goldar less so.  Arriving in Finster’s lab, Rita demands results.  Finster is still working on the monster.

A Rough Start

The five land on Edenoi, with explosions from Spiderface heard.  Billy does technobabble on why the spaceship is firing on barren ground (basically, to rip open the planet’s crust… I think).  During a lull, the group heads over to a rock formation.  Aisha spots some bipeds nearby and calls for her teammates.

The leader is bemused by Dex’s absence.

Having done the reading before leaving, Billy informs his teammates about the poisonous gas nearby but doesn’t know why the natives are apparently exposing it to the surface.

The Rangers get confronted by some understandably wary people.  Their spokesman quickly decides that they’re some of Count Dregon’s minions and turns into the Masked Rider.  The quartet attacks the Rangers, forcing them to defend themselves.

Finster reports to Zedd and Rita that the monster has been completed.  The villains are impatient, causing Finster to soon retreat.  The couple has an oddly cute moment; I’m really not sure whether or not Zedd is still under the love potion’s influence or not.

As the Rangers continue to defend themselves, Aisha mentions Alpha to her attacker’s confusion.  Billy is more worried about Edenoi’s imminent fate.  The Masked Rider claims that the quintet has crossed him merely by coming here.  Uh… most of the time, Rangers retaliate to villains’ attacks on civilians, and only take the fight to the villains after multiple attacks if at all.  This sort of mindset seems more like Jet from ATLA than the usual Power Ranger one.  Rocky and Tommy have to defend themselves from him.

Count Dregon is baffled by the footage of the battle up on Spiderface’s bridge.  The computer can’t identify the newcomers, which is interesting as it implies that the suits might have changed over time or the Power Coins haven’t been used in this part of the galaxy before.  The villains decide to destroy the newcomers in hopes of preventing them from obtaining the Masked Rider’s powers.

Rocky and Tommy are getting aggravated as they continue defending themselves.  Spiderface blasts at the entire group in hopes of taking them out.  Thankfully the spaceship lacks precision firing.  The Masked Rider realizes that the newcomers cannot be Count Dregon’s soldiers because even the Count wouldn’t fire on his own men.  That’s oddly naïve, given the later in-fighting seen amongst villains (or even look at Goldar’s efforts to take down Rita a peg for his own sake opposed to reveal her deception to Zedd).  The Rangers briefly explain about Alpha before they’re fired at again, so the whole group retreats into a cave for safety.  The Masked Rider gets in a final one-liner before leaving… can the villains even hear him?

Upset at his minions’ failures, Count Dregon decides to send the Plague Control after the heroes.

Conclusion

It’s hard to believe that I’m already on the final season of Mighty Morphin.  So far, the opening credits haven’t altered, but the ending ones have been modified.  Hopefully the ‘information’ offered each time will change regularly, or it’ll get annoying fast.

Honestly, my main impression of the Masked Rider is that he makes Eric look as naïve and friendly as Trip, or makes Sky look like Bridge.  That sort of thing.  The focus seems to be equally split between him and the team as a whole.  It looks like Kimberly will be getting a subplot to herself again (yay…?).

This episode looks to be a great start to season three, but there are two more parts to this mini-arc.  Alpha 5’s backstory is hinted at for the first time, a new villain gets introduced, and there seems to be a case made that other planets get similar superheroes- indicating seriously for the first time about how Earth is not alone in the galaxy.  There have been aliens seen before, but this is the first serious look at an otherworldly locale that I can think of.

I still want some kind of reboot/revival that better merges the various seasons into a stable set of continuities (yes, set, given the multiple alternate timelines and dimensions used).  Like, does SPD exist yet?  When did the Troobian Empire form?  Is Rita viewed with respect or as a relic of the past?  How long have Zedd and Dregon been rivals?  Is there some sort of villainous nobility going on, since one’s a Lord and the other a Count?  Or did they just use those titles for a veneer of sophistication, akin to what Doctor Doom does?  There just seems to be a lot of opportunities to be explored in this franchise.

The reference for Edenoi is blatant because this franchise is allergic to subtlety.  Though that does imply just how badly Count Dregon and his forces have ravaged the planet.

 

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

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