|This article is about a/an episode in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.|
On Fins and Needles is the 56th episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (Season 1)
Jason and Tommy are teaching yet another martial arts class together. Rita Repulsa sends the Slippery Shark to put a spell on the two. The spell turns them into enemies. The Rangers have to find a way to stop the two from fighting.
Jason and Tommy are again shown teaching a martial arts class, while Zack and Billy watch from the side. The students do well, and Zack positively comments that the classes are a great way to prevent the kids from getting into outside trouble. Both Jason and Tommy remind their students before dismissing the class that any martial arts is to be used for self-defense only, and only as a last resort, as in if every other way besides fighting does not work.
Rita watches them from the moon and is annoyed by their teamwork. Wanting to split them up and make them enemies, Rita takes Goldar's suggestion of using the Slippery Shark monster's rivalry spell to help put her plan into action. The Putties are sent down to attack Jason and Tommy as they walk through the park discussing their classes. During the battle, Slippery Shark's boomerang is thrown at each of them by the Putties, and once they each catch it, they are shocked and put under the spell, and it immediately kicks in once the Putties are defeated. The spell works its magic on both Jason and Tommy with ugly results, with them being openly hostile to one and other and soon insulting each other. After fighting over their performances during the battle, Tommy accuses Jason of being arrogant and thinking he's better than everyone else and says that he is sick of taking orders from him. Jason harshly tells him that if he doesn't like it, he can get lost, and further remarks that the Power Rangers were doing just fine before he showed up, leaving him angered and presumably hurt. Rita watches the arguing from her Moon Palace and is pleased with the spell's results.
The next day at school, Trini and Kimberly notice Jason and Tommy's hostility toward each other as the spell's effects on them continue to take effect. When asked about the karate classes by the girls, Tommy says the he had quit them and accuses Jason of always showing off, and the two combat each other verbally once again. Bulk and Skull notice their arguing and find it amusing. Trini encourages Jason and Tommy to sit down and talk things over, but Bulk and Skull encourage them to 'settle it like men,' and because of the spell's effects, Jason and Tommy agree and the situation becomes so hostile that a fight almost breaks out right then and there in the hallway. Thankfully Miss Appleby steps into the scene and Kimberly and Trini are thankfully able to get them out of trouble by saying that the two were just practicing moves. But the issue is far from over and as the crowd in the hall disperses, the girls continue to wonder what happened with the two of them.
Rita continues to be pleased with the spell's progress and the evil team figures that the time is right to send down the Slippery Shark to wreak havoc in Angel Grove. At the Command Center, Alpha 5 tries to pinpoint the Shark's location but because of the monster's speed and elusive skill, he is unable to do so.
Later on at the Youth Center, Bulk and Skull have turned Tommy and Jason's dilemma into a money-making opportunity by selling tickets for a fight between the two to anyone who is interested. Jason and Tommy have each accepted the challenge and are more than willing to fight each other to the finish. Bulk and Skull soon begin the match and the two friends-turned-enemies begin circling each other angrily. Billy, Trini, Zack and Kimberly step in and Zack tries to get them to just shake hands and forget about the whole thing, reminding them of what they teach their students, but Jason and Tommy both refuse and the hostility between them in the air continues to grow and surely enough, the anticipated fight almost breaks out when, thankfully, Zack's communicator goes off and he is able to stop the two just in time as they charge at each other. Zack tells the two that it's time to go, and thankfully the two cease the fight, but agree to do so later. The abrupt departure of the two contestants cause the crowd to turn on Bulk and Skull, who are chased out of the place by the upset crowd after saying that the fight has been delayed.
The Rangers teleport to the Command Center and the two Rangers are still as hostile as ever, with Tommy even pushing Alpha out of his way at one point. Zordon explains the situation with the Shark and notes both his speed and power. Tommy and Jason continue to press each other's buttons and Zordon tries to tell them the truth, that they are under the Shark's spell and have been pinned against each other and Billy realizes that this must be Rita's ultimate goal - to use the two's rivalry to split up not only them, but the team as well. Zordon says that there is nothing the rest of them can do to break the Shark's hold on them, and that the only way to free them is for them to put aside the rivalry and work together, and the best way to do that is to send them into the battlefield alone against the Shark.
Jason and Tommy morph, teleport to Angel Grove and make a deal - if Tommy destroys the Slippery Shark, he gets to take over as the team leader. If Jason destroys him, Tommy must turn in his Power Coin. The two agree to the terms and go their separate ways. Jason is the first to find him, and because of the monster's speed and underground maneuvering he is knocked off his feet while dodging his fin, and is not even able to stop him with his Blade Blaster. The Shark taunts him and is soon out of his sight. It soon finds Tommy and gives him trouble as well, at one point even surfacing from under the ground and striking him.
When the Slippery Shark proves elusive once again, Jason and Tommy then run into each other again and, after more heated arguing, each say that their respictive plan would bring down the shark and agree to see which plan works. The Shark soon strikes again, and the two Rangers finally realize that they will not stand a chance against him if they don't start to work together and because they decide to do so, the spell on them is finally broken. Jason and Tommy decide to combine their respective ideas on how to weed the Shark out of the ground and trap him and are successful in doing so together.
The other Rangers are happy to see the two working together again as they watch from the Viewing Globe, and when the Shark begins to overpower them, Zack leads the remaining Rangers into morphing and joining the fight. The Shark proves tough, but Jason and Tommy land blows on him. When the monster pulls his underground tricks on the Rangers again, Zack is able to flush him back up to the surface with his Power Axe's Cannon Mode and the Rangers form the Power Blaster. But Rita, seeing her monster in trouble, makes him grow immediately and the Power Blaster just misses him.
The Rangers call for both the Megazord and Dragonzord, but once again, the Slippery Shark proves too fast and they are initially unable to keep up with him. But with teamwork, they are able to set him back and break his fin weapon with the Power Sword. The Rangers then proceed to finish the monster with one final slash from the Power Sword and Angel Grove is safe once again.
Later at the Youth Center, Jason and Tommy resume teaching their class, and are soon interrupted by Bulk and Skull, who have been mobbed by the earlier crowd and because of it they each look like a tornado blew past them. The two demand that Jason and Tommy start fighting, saying that they owe them a fight from earlier, but they turn them down and Bulk and Skull's efforts to force them comedically and ultimately fail. The two friends then tell their class that there is always a better way than fighting and Jason and Tommy happily shake hands in front of their students.
- Austin St. John as Jason Lee Scott (Mighty Morphin Red Ranger)
- Thuy Trang as Trini Kwan (Mighty Morphin Yellow Ranger)
- Walter Jones as Zack Taylor (Mighty Morphin Black Ranger)
- Amy Jo Johnson as Kimberly Ann Hart (Mighty Morphin Pink Ranger)
- David Yost as Billy Cranston (Mighty Morphin Blue Ranger)
- Jason Frank as Tommy Oliver (Mighty Morphin Green Ranger)
- Paul Schrier as Farkas "Bulk" Bulkmeier
- Jason Narvy as Eugene "Skull" Skullovitch
- David Fielding as Zordon (face)
- Robert L. Manahan as Zordon (voice)
- Romy J. Sharf as Alpha 5
- Richard Steven Horvitz as Alpha 5 (voice) (as Richard Wood)
- Machiko Soga as Rita Repulsa
- Barbara Goodson as Rita Repulsa (voice)
- Takashi Sakamoto as Goldar (Zyuranger Footage)
- Danny Wayne Stallcup as Goldar (American Footage)
- Kerrigan Mahan as Goldar (voice) (as Ryan O'Flannigan)
- Takako Iiboshi as Finster
- Robert Axelrod as Finster (voice)
- Minoru Watanabe as Squatt
- Michael J. Sorich as Squatt (voice)
- Hideaki Kusaka as Baboo
- Dave Mallow as Baboo (voice) (as Colin Phillips)
- Steve Kramer as Slippery Shark (voice)
- ??? as Peter
- ??? as Melissa
- Billy's fear of fish from "Something Fishy" is mentioned.
- The Slippery Shark will appear again in "A Reel Fish Story", but is referred to as Shark Monster.
- For the second episode in a row, during the "log on" sequence, it is Trini and not Kimberly who logs on with a phrase related to the enemy of the day ("Let's fry this fish!").
- One of the students who Tommy and Jason are training at the start of this episode is named Melissa, sharing the same name as Kimberly's deaf friend back in "Different Drum".
- This was the first time a monster places a spell on two rangers to ruin their friendship, something that would be repeated in the future. This was also the second time in which Tommy was placed under a spell since "Green With Evil."
- Tommy threatening that if he defeated the monster first, he would become leader of the Power Rangers would ironically come true when he assumed the White Ranger powers in White Light the following season (and because of Austin St. John leaving the show in a pay dispute).
- It is common knowledge that, in real life, St. John and Jason David Frank (who played Jason and Tommy respectively) did not get along well, which ironically is the polar opposite of their characters.
- A similar plot from this episode would later be used in the Power Rangers Megaforce episode, "United We Stand" as well as the Power Rangers Dino Charge episode, "No Matter How You Slice It".
- The image of Tommy and Jason high-fiving on the Viewing Globe is mirror-flipped (as evidenced by the Blade Blaster and Dragon Dagger holsters being on the wrong side).
- Jason calls the Power Blaster the Mega Blaster. Similarly the Megazord's Power Sword was called the Mega Sword earlier in the season.
- Despite the Rangers having been facing Slippery Shark as they assembled the Power Blaster, their missed shot as the monster grew came from behind it.