|This article is about a/an episode in Power Rangers Zeo, the second installment in the Zordon Era.|
The Puppet Blaster is the eighth episode of Power Rangers: Zeo.
King Mondo turns Puppetman, the robot companion of Captain Pete, into a monster that can make little kids misbehaving servants for the Machine Empire. All because, as he says, "I hate the laughter of human children!".
At the Youth Center, Ernie is hosting a live show of Captain Pete and The Puppetman much to the enjoyment of the kids. However, King Mondo is disgusted by the laughter of children, and thinks about trying to bring them under his control. When Queen Machina askes how he’ll do it, Mondo says through the Puppetman.
At the park, Adam teaches Tanya the basics of martial arts while also practicing for a competition, and she learns the moves quickly. At the Youth Center, Lieutenant Stone assigns Bulk and Skull to watch over his nephew Arnie, but the kid proves to be quite the handful. Meanwhile, Klank finishes a device that can control Puppetman, and while Mondo wants him and a squad of Cogs to go down and plant it, Machina and Prince Sprocket tell him that the Rangers are near the vicinity. However, Mondo isn’t too concern, sending the Cogs down anyway. Despite Rocky wanting to get in and fight them, Tommy holds him down, reminding him and Kat that they can’t risk hurting the kids. One of the Cogs plants the device onto Puppetman, and after Klank turns on the device, Puppetman turns evil, just after the Rangers leave the audience to see Zordon and figure out what’s going on. Puppetman hypnotizes the kids into his slaves, and has them destroy the set while attacking the adults.
Tommy contacts the Power Chamber and tells Zordon what’s going on, and Billy correctly deduces that the kids are being controlled by Puppetman. Adam and Tanya are contacted, and they teleport to the Youth Center to join the others, before all five morph. Puppetman has the kids act as shields for him, making the Rangers reluctant to fight him at the risk of hurting the kids. Seeing this in the Power Chamber, Zordon tells Billy to find Puppetman’s power source, while the Rangers stand their ground as the kids march towards them. Meanwhile, Machina suggests that they send Puppetman down to the satellite broadcast center so he can transmit a beam strong enough to control all the children in Angel Grove, and Puppetman teleports out, with the Rangers going back to the Power Chamber.
As Puppetman makes his way to the satellite, he hypnotizes more kids along the way, all while the Rangers watch in the Power Chamber. Billy reveals that he and Alpha created a new device that could break up Puppetman’s frequency, the Defender Wheel. With this, the Rangers teleport to the broadcast center to stop Puppetman. Although Puppetman is more than a match for the Rangers, Tommy summons the Defender Wheel from Zeo Zord 5, and uses it to knock Puppetman down, destroying his transmission and freeing the kids. Klank throws Orbus to Puppetman and has him grow giant sized, forcing the Rangers to summon the Zeo Zords and form the Zeo Megazord. After a brief scuffle, Tanya uses Zeo Two Battle Helmet to destroy Puppetman’s buzz saws, while Adam uses Zeo Four Battle Helmet inflict more damage. However, it’s not enough to destroy Puppetman, but Billy found that King Mondo has a direct link to Puppetman’s nose, so if they destroy the nose, they’ll defeat Puppetman. They do so, and finish Puppetman off, much to Mondo’s annoyance.
Back at the Youth Center, Captain Pete and a repaired Puppetman perform for the kids, with Alpha adding a deflector to prevent King Mondo from corrupting him ever again. Bulk and Skull continue to have a hard time with Arnie, but when Stone returns, the latter tells him how the Power Rangers saved them.
- Jason David Frank as Tommy Oliver (Zeo Ranger V Red)
- Johnny Yong Bosch as Adam Park (Zeo Ranger IV Green)
- Steve Cardenas as Rocky DeSantos (Zeo Ranger III Blue)
- Nakia Burrise as Tanya Sloan (Zeo Ranger II Yellow)
- Catherine Sutherland as Katherine "Kat" Hillard (Zeo Ranger I Pink)
- David Yost as Billy Cranston
- Paul Schrier as Farkas "Bulk" Bulkmeier
- Jason Narvy as Eugene "Skull" Skullovitch
- Gregg Bullock as Lt. Jerome Stone
- Richard Genelle as Ernie
- David Fielding as Zordon (face)
- Bob Manahan as Zordon (voice)
- Donene Kistler as Alpha 5
- Richard Steven Horvitz as Alpha 5 (voice) (as Richard Wood)
- David Stenstrom as King Mondo (voice)
- Alex Borstein as Queen Machina (voice)
- Barbara Goodson as Prince Sprocket (voice) and Orbus (voice)
- Oliver Page as Klank
- Bruce Block as Captain Pete
- Paul Pistore as Puppetman (voice)
- Puppetman says that today’s secret word is “Power Rangers”, but “Power Rangers” is two words, not one. Maybe he was just being silly.
- Debut of the Defender Wheel.
- Arnie is the first of Jerome Stone's relatives to appear in PR. The second is Jenny Hunter.
- Several canned sound effects play continuously throughout the "Captain Pete" scenes at the Youth Center (even the scenes where the kids trash the place); this makes it difficult to understand what any of the characters are saying. The only exception is when the Rangers are morphed and in the Ohranger footage.
- First time the Zeo Power Pods in sword mode are used in battle.
- The Zeo Megazord fight was used in a PC game Power Rangers Zeo PowerActive Words.
- The puppet robot Puppetman throws water on one of the Cogs, shorting him out, as opposed to the last episode where several of them traveled through a small pond and had no problems with it.
- Captain Pete is a parody of, and tribute to, children's television hosts, such as Captain Kangaroo (with whom he shares a title and theming), Soupy Sales, Pinky Lee and Pee-wee Herman (the latter was played by comedian and actor Paul Reubens, who was taking a much-needed sabbatical from playing the character at the time due to not only burnout from playing the character full-time on Playhouse, but also due to negative media attention following a minor scandal in 1991). One of the elements of Pete's show, the "secret word", is taken directly from Pee-wee's Playhouse, but rather than screaming, a bucket of cold water, a banana cream pie or confetti is thrown at the person that says the secret word. Like Pee-Wee with Conky 2000 and Magic Screen, the Captain has a robot friend of his own that he loves and cares about - the Puppetman. This is not only confirmed when Pete introduces him, but when he runs away then hides in fear over his friend's transformation. He even softly says to himself "Oh no!". Another of the elements of Pete's show is pieing, popularized by Mr. Sales.
- Pete's style of comedy and children's show hosting is very similar to Pee-wee's. For instance, he refers to the viewing audience (even the parents and the Rangers) as "boys and girls" during his introduction, and has similar mannerisms to Pee-wee too.
- Puppetman, in turn, is a loving homage to Conky 2000, who always provided the secret word(s) on Playhouse and is one of Herman's closest friends.