Friday, April 27, 2018

Power Rangers Reflections Redux #05: Second Chances

Good news, it's another Reflections Redux.

Bad news, it's a repost of an older entry that may have been reposted on this blog a couple times already.

Originally written back in February 2007 as the 429th entry on DTM Blog Classic before being republished back in May 2010 as the 94th post of this blog. Said post is probably replaced with something else by the time you read this, but regardless, I thought it was worth mentioning. Anyway, today's a repost, but May will be seeing TWO NEW REFLECTIONS and neither one is in Mighty Morphin territory.

I actually went back and added a couple bits here and there, but nothing that would totally ruin the text. Also, it never occurred to me going through the recent edits that this was the episode that featured the child actor who grew up to become an adult murderer. Go figure.

Click the break for more.

So here's a completely random one from the second half of the first season. At this point, Saban had run dry on usable Zyuranger footage (the Super Sentai show from Japan that the original MMPR was based on), so in a completely baffling move that has yet to be repeated in future iterations of the franchise, he commissioned new Japanese footage to be shot. Just as well, because a cheap bastard like Saban couldn't pull off what was needed to keep the show going. It's also here where the footage (christened by fans as Zyu-2) is somewhat cleaner than before; you can still tell the two apart, but it doesn't have that aged grain that the older Zyu footage possessed in early episodes.

So we begin the episode at everyone's favorite Youth Center, where a bunch of kids have just discovered they made it to Ernie's soccer team. Seems baffling to me that someone like Ernie would run a soccer team, but I've seen far stranger cases before, so I'll let that pass. The only kid that seems to be depressed because he didn't make the team is Roger, who has this weird Southern accent that seems highly inappropriate in a Californian setting. So Jason and Zack, our two Rangers for the day, pressure (disguised cleverly as trying to convince) Ernie into holding a second try-out. That's cool; what are you going to do with all the extra signees? Make another soccer team out of them? Yeesh.

Now, before we jump into this episode any further, we need to address something with this episode because it's something that has been a particular talking point that is based more on allegations than actual factual mattersual... that went no where. Let's try that again.

Second Chances gained a bit of notoriety due to its guest star... supposedly. In 2004, former child actor Skylar Deleon and his wife were convicted in the murder of Jackie and Thomas Hawks. I won't dwell into the grim details of the murder - you can read up on that yourselves if you want -  but what made this story notable was that Deleon was a former child actor who appeared in a guest stint on Power Rangers. For a time, it was believed that Deleon played the guest character Roger, but turns out he was just an uncredited extra whose career languished and he turned to a life of crime. Deleon is currently sentenced to death.

So who played Roger in this episode? Well, according to a call sheet, Roger was played by child actor Kosmin Parker, who seems to have no other credits that I could find to his name. Hopefully, he's in better spirits than this other fellow.

Well, that was notably depressing. Let's go back to the moon and see what Rita's up to!

Meanwhile, Rita decides to create a soccer monster. Because in every episode of Power Rangers, we need to have some stupid gimmick monster show up that somewhat relates the teen plot. But hey, I digress. It works and you know it won't last long because he'll be done by the end of the episode (although he'd get some guest spots later in the show, but let's not jump ahead here.)

So now Jason and Zack are helping the kid Roger get better at soccer by tossing balls at him so he can stop them with his foot. Well, that's a bit unfair, isn't it? You're tossing the balls with your bare hands and you have to stop them with your foot? Why don't you just kick the ball? Or better yet, just kick the giant armadillo monster curled up into a ball that just appeared a few seconds later. That would have been funnier than the brief skit of putties kicking the monster around.

During the latest adventure of Bulk and Skull hilarities, Tommy's communicator gets busted, which leads to hilarity when it's been confiscated by the teacher whom assumes it must be some kind of pager. Hey, I'd say it's pretty impressive if the world of Power Rangers can invent watches with built-in pagers. I doubt we have that sort of thing... not that we really need it. You know, now that I think about it, maybe Tommy wasn't such a great Ranger after all. I mean, if your communicator is confiscated by MS. APPLEBEE, it's time to call it quits. But don't let the fanboys know about that or they'll throw a fit.

So while the Ranger get their asses kicked by this Soccerdillo, Tommy finally gets back his communicator, presumably by breaking into a martial arts routine and scaring the crap out of poor Ms. Applebee when his puppy-dog expression doesn't whoo her over. Tommy learns of the Rangers in peril and morphs into action. From there, the Ranger suddenly have the advantage over the monster, which prompts Rita to throw her magic wand and make the monster grow. And you know the routine from here on out; the Rangers summon their Zords, form the Megazord, they fight for a while, and then kill the monster with Ultrazord. Rita gets a headache. Hope she stocked up on some alcohol... seems to do the trick.

With the monster slain, we close the show with the revelation that the kid Roger made it to the soccer team, is appointed as captain... hey, wait a minute. The guy couldn't make the team the first time around, but now he's the captain?! Either he got way better or Ernie lowered his standards... I'm thinking it's the latter. Also, what about the previous captain who made it THE FIRST TIME? How do you break the news that he lost the role to a pipsqueak who couldn't cut it the first time? Do you think he'd be happy that he's a co-captain?

And of course, we close the episode with more Bulk & Skull hijinx. It gets too repetitive at this point and Bulk & Skull kinda lost their luster as a pure slapstick team, but the next season would give them a purpose and much needed energy. But that's the next season... and perhaps the next episode I'll be looking at.

Second Chance is a typically standard filler episode. Nothing particularly noteworthy happened here and it seemed like for the most part, nothing of note was going to happen until the second season was going to start up. But in any case, as far as fillers go, this isn't the worst of the lot, but it doesn't really stand out as a special filler either. It's just there.

In conclusion, Roger is not a murderer and any Ranger who gets their pager confiscated by Ms. Applebee does not deserve to be called the Greatest Evar.

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