3-11: Fourth Down and Long

Centiback can turn people into footballs.  Meanwhile, Rocky mentors a struggling fellow student.

Last time on Power Rangers: There was role-switching for both the heroes and villains, but it didn’t go well.

 

Mixing Things Up

It’s chemistry class time with Mister Wilton.  Rocky’s uncle, Joe Healy, is a pro quarterback and is dropping by to give the school team a speech.  Mister Kaplan is mentioned, so good to know he still exists off-screen.  Allen, Rocky’s lab partner, seems to mess up some instructions so a cloud of ‘gas’ forms.

Rita is frustrated up in the moon fortress, particularly after Finster reveals his planned centipede monster.  Zedd, Goldar, and Rito are playing football.  The ball accidentally merges with the clay figurine, creating a hybrid monster who soon turns Rito into a football.  A pleased Lord Zedd dubs the monster Centiback.  Rita uses her staff to restore her brother to normal while Zedd plots to use the monster to destroy the Power Rangers.

Back in Angel Grove High, the class has exited to the hallway as smoke billows out.  Bulk and Skull show up to ‘help’.  Mister Wilton soon corrals his students to return to the classroom.  The duo claims that they’re to guard Rocky’s uncle, while the science teacher is annoyed by their bluster.

Allen’s notes get knocked over.  Picking them up, Aisha asks Billy to look them over.  The blond quickly notices that Allen wrote something backwards.  Mister Wilton thinks that Allen might need to be suspended from the football team if he can’t get his grades up.  Rocky offers to mentor the other boy instead.  Not being a monster (anymore), Mister Wilton agrees.

After school, the two guys study at Ernie’s outdoor café.  The context clues make it obvious that Allen has dyslexia based off of what he’s saying, particularly in the wake of Riordan’s novels.  Back in the mid-90s, this was probably actually subtle foreshadowing.  Rocky notes that his uncle had similar issues with school when young before realizing they need to get going for the speech.

Be the Ball

Bulk and Skull show up at the field to ‘bodyguard’ Joe and obtain his autograph.  There’s a funny bit when the only paper they have on hand is parking tickets.  Centiback teleports in.  Noticing the monster, Skull gets Bulk’s attention.  At this point they’re more resigned than horrified.

For some reason, Joe is just baffled.  Is Angel Grove’s media keeping a lid on the frequent monster attacks?  But wouldn’t have his relatives warned him about the monster attacks before his visit, or at least griped about them?  Maybe Joe was just expecting something more scary than weird.

Allen and Rocky spot the confrontation and start to head over.  Bulk and Skull head in front of Joe, but that only means that they get turned into footballs when struck by the monster’s oversized one.  Next Allen and Joe are transformed as well.  Upset, Rocky morphs to try fighting Centiback, but soon has to contact Zordon.

Zordon plans to have Alpha contact the rest of the team.  Rocky dodges the monster’s ball.  When his morphed teammates arrive, a weakened Rocky warns them to avoid Centiback’s football.

Rita is upset until Zedd reassures her.

Some Tenga Warriors teleport down.  Rocky explains why they have to avoid the football, pointing at the transformed humans.  He then uses “geek” as an insult when taunting Centiback.  That’s odd, given Billy’s ‘proud and nerdy’ status, as well as how Bulk and Skull used to dismiss the original team as geeks/nerds/dweebs.

The ensuing battle is more of a football game.  The Tengas force Tommy to stay still long enough for Centiback to throw his ball at the White Ranger, transforming him.  Billy, Kimberly, and Adam are all transformed too in rapid succession.

Rocky and Aisha get free.  The former runs towards the monster, dodging minions.  When the duo fights, Centiback ends up throwing the ball at Aisha, transforming her.  Centiback gloats about his nearing victory.  Struggling to his feet, Rocky contacts Zordon about heading to the Command Center.  He teleports away just in time.  Initially upset, Centiback decides to use this time to plan how to stop the Red Ranger.

Strike That, Reverse It

A helmetless Rocky speaks with Zordon and Alpha, theorizing on how to break the spell.  It involves inverting the energy beam.  I thought technobabble was Billy’s department?  I mean, obviously he’s not available right now, but this is the first indication that Rocky could act as the Smart Guy just as easily.  It’s unexpected, is all.

11Ninjor&Rocky

Ninjor shows up when mentioned.  I think he’s legitimately bored after millennia of puttering around in his temple and wants an excuse to get out and fight evil.  He and Rocky must work together to save the day, as Centiback took the transformed humans into the mountains and a snowstorm is coming.  Uh, in California?  Wait, what month even is this taking place in?  Obviously, this is during the school year, but when?  I’m guessing somewhere in October.

Rocky and Ninjor teleport to somewhere in the wilderness where Centiback (and the footballs) are.  Ninjor’s sports metaphor has to be corrected by Rocky.  The Red Ranger catches the monster’s ball in his bucket-like device and then tosses it towards four of the balls.

The four civilians are restored to normal.  Alpha states he’ll teleport the dazed quartet back to the football field, although the camera only shows them leaving.  Ninjor catches the monster’s ball in his bucket-device to toss towards the five Rangers, restoring them to normal.

Tommy checks on his teammates.  Saba speaks up that he’s okay too, in an overdue reminder that he still exists as a sapient being and not just as a sword.

Unhappy, Rita and Zedd supersize Centiback as the snowstorm arrives.  The Rangers run away from the massive monster before calling upon their Ninjazords.  There’s a snow effect as they each go “[Color Animal] Ninjazord, Power Up!” but it’s gone as the Zords arrive and form the Megazord.  Ninjor supersizes as well.

The battle itself is snowy, Ninjor soon going into warrior mode.  Centiback is soon destroyed, pleasing Ninjor.

Goldar reports this latest defeat to Zedd.  At first, Zedd and Rita squabble with each other before mutually deciding to blame Finster, Goldar chiming in.

At the outdoor café, the team is unwinding.  It turns out that Joe found a way to keep Allen on the team.  Stone shows up with a football; Bulk and Skull state the truth of what happened but Stone doesn’t believe them.  I wish that somebody had spoken up about how the duo was being honest.  And honestly, Stone should have given them some doubt, given what’s been happening over the past few years (?).  Understandably, Bulk and Skull are now skittish about footballs.  When Bulk’s fruit salad ends up on him, the team is more amused than anything.

Joe and Allen show up, having gotten Allen tested for dyslexia.  There’s a brief explanation on it as well.  It turns out that Mister Wilton, now aware of the issue, is able to help out.  Everybody’s pleased that Allen doesn’t have to quit the football team.

Conclusion

My big question is: are Tommy and Billy also on the football team, or is “Football Season” being disregarded entirely?  Did they (and Jason and Zack) drop out once they realized they were stretching themselves too thin in terms of activities?  Are they just back-up players?  What’s going on?!

The end credits bit is just Zedd, Rita, and Centiback in the moon fortress, with certain bits obviously sped up for some reason.  It’s never clarified why the Tengas can safely hand Centiback’s ball but the Rito cannot.  Ninjor shows up to assist Rocky when the rest of the team gets turned into footballs.

Suddenly Rocky is smart enough to find a way to reverse Centiback’s transformative magic, although Alpha conjured up the actual devices.  This level of smarts came out of nowhere, although it could be argued that Rocky’s struggle with chemistry last episode had more to do with public speaking nerves than inability.

The moral about dyslexia not having to hold people back is all right, but I suspect neither Uncle Joe nor Allen will return.  It does seem like Mister Wilton is taking over the ‘roles’ of Miss Appleby and Mister Kaplan alike as the reoccurring teacher.  On the one hand, this is further evidence that years are indeed passing in-universe.  Maybe Miss Appleby teaches freshmen and sophomores, while Mister Wilton handles junior and senior courses.

All things considered, this episode was fairly lackluster for me.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: The villains try to sow discord amongst the team.

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