Last week we discussed the Wild Force Rangers, computer generated Zords, cell phone morphers, and as we last left a teaser to the obligatory team-up episode. Can Punch McRockfist handle a ticket from…wait, when did the Silver Guardians get permission to hand out speeding tickets? Let’s dive into the second part of Linkara’s retrospective.
About this team-up:
- I think my favorite part, outside of the Wes/Jen reunion is watching Taylor and Eric sort of bond. I think it’s the first time friendships crossed Ranger teams since the Space and Lost Galaxy Pink Rangers. They also make a nice couple.
- The Mutorgs are possibly the best of the Ranger team-up foes. Yes, this includes the returning Psycho Rangers. This group really required the Rangers to combine their resources in ways none of the other team-ups have. Granted its by a slim margin that they win, but that’s only because the Psychos are already established as Ranger foes while the Mutorgs were new to this team-up. Plus while the Psychos made the Space Rangers on edge for more episodes, the Mutorgs actually sent two teams running.
- The best part (although as stated not my favorite) is that this is where Ransik finally gets the redemption that didn’t really happen in Time Force. There, he was only sorry that his hatred of humans nearly led to him killing his daughter. This episode is where Ransik finally pays his debt to society and at least appears to let go of his hatred. I’m not sure he needed to lose his mutant DNA and it’s a bit of a trope to see the villain become fully human after giving up his evil ways. However, it does make him the first redeemed villain who wasn’t the victim of brainwashing.
Now we come to the part that really galls me about this series. The subplot with Dr. Adler and Master Org? Awesome concept. While Ransik had his own reasons for hating humans, Adler was evil before he became Master Org, and he actually kills a Ranger’s parents. (Granted he wasn’t a Ranger yet.) His motivations are unique for the franchise (although jealousy has created many a kids show villain before) and the end result would have made for a fantastic storyline.
But then the Captain Planet stuff jumps in. Animus is a terrible mentor character for every reason Lewis said. There had to have been a better way to test the Rangers’ loyalty to “nature” without endangering the citizens of Turtle Cove the way he did, and if he wasn’t being played (in human form) by a little kid I would have wanted to punch him dead in the face. At the very least I wanted to yell at him for what a jerk he was being. The heavy environmental message wasn’t needed and you kind of have two themes here, with Cole and Adler/Master Org being the center of the story of vengeance and obsession as the better theme. (Which also spread to Ransik in the team-up.) THAT’S what the theme should have been and it’s the rammed-in eco-theme that ruins this series for me, despite having so much that was actually rather good. You could say Animus ruined the entire series for me.
By the way, if the Orgs thrive on pollution then how the slagging smelter did they begin their attack 3000 YEARS AGO when there was no pollution, especially in an area like Animaria where there weren’t any toxins to survive off of! Yes, I know we don’t usually get a major origin story of where these monster come from, even in the original Sentai at times (I can think of a few where they have some origin that makes sense, including GaoRanger), but the Orgs have to have an origin somewhere if they somehow evolved into a race that thrives off of pollution and toxins. Maybe it’s because I’m a creationist, but I thought evolution needs to be caused by something that causes offspring to adapt. How did the Orgs exist if they need something that wouldn’t exist until well after the Industrial Revolution?
These and more questions won’t be answered next week as we get the other Ranger team-up and the action-packed conclusion of Power Rangers Wild Force.
- History of the Power Rangers: Wild Force (part 1 of 3) (bwmedia.wordpress.com)