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This article is about a/an episode in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

The Wanna-Be Ranger is the fourth episode of the second season & sixty-fourth episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

Synopsis

The Rangers find themselves seeing double when Lord Zedd attacks them with Primator, a monster that can impersonate one Ranger at a time.

Plot

While Jason, Kimberly, Tommy, Billy, and Trini, are enjoying a friendly basketball game, Zack shows up and scares Kimberley while wearing a white gorilla costume, that he was using to perform at his little cousin's birthday party. Zack then takes off the costume to join in the game. However, they are suddenly alerted by Zordon to the Command Center. Zordon informs the team that due to a galactic imbalance caused by the upcoming alignment the planets in the Solar System, he will be forced to temporarily lose his powers, leaving Alpha 5 in charge. After the Rangers teleport back to Angel Grove, Alpha expresses his sadness on being alone in "this big, scary Command Center".

Meanwhile, Lord Zedd senses the sudden flux in energy. Realizing Zordon's powers are down, he transforms Zack's gorilla costume into Primator, which possesses the power to shape-shift into the likeness of any of the Power Rangers, either morphed or unmorphed.

Back at the Command Center, a bored Alpha 5 is scanning the Viewing Globe when he sees a little boy, Dylan, who needs help in the park. He considers contacting the Rangers, but decides to help the boy himself, calling himself "Alpha Ranger". After scaring away Bulk and Skull, who are trying to discover the secret identities of the Power Rangers, Alpha finds Dylan and discovers that the boy has been separated from his mother. Alpha befriends Dylan, who teaches Alpha to play soccer. Squatt notices that Alpha has left the Command Center and notifies Zedd.

Meanwhile, Primator shape-shifts into a Billy look-alike and confronts Alpha and Dylan, but when "Billy" is caught in the reflective surface of his helmet, Alpha sees Primator's true form and realizes "Billy" is a fake. Primator attacks Alpha, who orders Dylan to run to safety and activates his self-destruct sequence so that Primator can't use him to find the Command Center.

With its plan thwarted, Primator transforms into a Zack look-alike and lures Kimberly and Trini into a trap, as the girls end up battling and defeating Zedd's Putties. Afterward, the girls return to the Youth Center and confront the real Zack, who says that he knew nothing about the Putty attack. Jason tries to contact Alpha at the Command Center but gets no response. The Rangers teleport there and find that Zordon has returned. Zordon briefs them on Alpha 5's predicament and reveals that they have mere minutes to save him from self-destruction. However, they must battle and defeat Primator first. The monster confuses the Rangers with his shape-shifting abilities, forcing them to retreat and regroup at the Command Center.

Zordon explains that Primator cannot maintain his shape-shifting ability upon seeing his own reflection, using Alpha's encounter with the Primator as an example. Equipped with a mirror, the Rangers teleport back to the battlefield, but somehow get separated. They find Tommy, seemingly in pain because of his waning powers, but become wise when "Tommy" suggests they surrender to Zedd. Using the mirror he brought with him, Billy is able to expose "Tommy" as the Primator. With Primator's shape-shifting powers now useless, Lord Zedd has no choice but to make his monster grow. After a harrowing battle, the Dragonzord and the Thunder Megazord destroy the monster, but the Rangers must still rush to help Alpha before he self-destructs. The Rangers teleport to Alpha's location, and Billy is able to restore Alpha's systems to full operation with just seconds to spare, and Dylan is reunited with his mother.

With Alpha's greatest adventure ended, Zordon chides him for leaving the Command Center unprotected and failing to inform the Rangers that he would be leaving, reminding Alpha that even though he meant well, a true hero knows the meaning of responsibility. Trini then teases Alpha about being grounded for a few thousand years, and Alpha laments not ever being able to learn to play soccer.

Cast

Notes

  • The original script title for this episode was "Where in the World is Alpha?" It was probably changed because Alpha's location is not a plotpoint in the episode and is revealed almost the instant that they arrived in the Command Center by Zordon.
  • The episode was adapted into the book Alpha, the Hero and the Primator would be used in Lord Zedd's Holiday Humbug, a picture book adaptation of the infamous Alpha's Magical Christmas."
  • Alpha 5 leaves the Command Center for the third time in the series' history. His first time outside was in "Power Ranger Punks" and the second was in "Life's A Masquerade," both from the previous season, though he most likely got Zordon's permission to leave so he could hang out with the Rangers for the latter.
  • Alpha expresses his sadness at being alone in this episode for the first time which happens again in the three part "The Wedding."
    • However, this is the only time that he expresses it willingly since he was under the control of Finster in that episode.
  • Alpha's gender (male) is again stated in this episode, but his programmed age is audibly confirmed by Primator when he is in Billy's form ("You are a naughty, naughty little boy, aren't you Alpha?").
    • This explains the reason why he has the teddy bear that he occasionally holds, and why he acts so innocent, endearing, and occasionally bratty.
      • With that being said, he is presumably under the age of 10 although anyone can have a teddy bear at any age.
  • First time the Red Dragon Thunderzord Transforms from Dragon to Warrior Mode through lightning and the first appearance of its Power Staff.
  • First of only two times that the Dragonzord fights alongside the Thunder Megazord.
    • This comes right after Zordon said the Dragonzord must now conserve what little energy it has left.
  • There was quite a lot of cut footage in this episode.
    • After Primator is knocked out of the Yellow Ranger disguise and unleashes his spear weapon, the show cuts a little bit of him using the weapon on the Power Rangers which was most likely due to censorship of violence after complaints from parents.
      • This is why Kimberly is randomly on the ground when the Rangers regroup.
    • A shot of the Primator's tail coming out from between Tommy's legs during the fight against him with his spear.
      • This was likely cut due to being very phallic imagery.
    • After Primator's transformation game is compromised and he electrocutes the Rangers, there was originally a really pointless sequence of the Rangers posing in front of a fountain or something. Then Jason and Tommy leap up and punch Primator like in the episode.
      • This was cut because we already had a scene of the Rangers posing at the very beginning of the fight when Primator disguised himself as Yellow and thus this was completely unnecessary.
    • Jason and Tommy blasting the Primator with their Power Weapons which was cut to remove unnecessary violence.
    • A scene of the Power Blaster being used on the Primator.
      • However, It was pretty obvious a Power Blaster formation was about to occur if one were watching the episode though. The Rangers very clearly did their traditional weapon pose right before Zedd made the monster grow.
    • The Dino Megazord and the Dragonzord attacking Primator.
      • All of that was either cut down (in the footage of the Dragonzord) or outright cut to remove visibility of the original Megazord.

Errors

  • The Primator's name suggests it should be pronounced “prim-a-taur”, but it is pronounced throughout the episode as “pri-ma-tar.”
  • During the "Today on Power Rangers" segment, Mallow calls the Thunderzords new despite the fact they were at least a full episode old.
    • Also, he says "coming this fall" despite the fact the episode aired on September 13th and Fall starts on September 22nd.
      • This was likely due to FOX Kids' scheduling.
  • The first shot of the "Today on Power Rangers"shows the Thunderzords with the Dairangers clearly visible on top of their heads.
  • The literal first line of the episode, "c'mon Tommy," clearly came from Zack despite the fact that he hadn't returned from his cousin's birthday party yet.
  • The Rangers don't react at all to Zack advancing on Kimberly in his gorilla suit.
  • When Jason answers Zordon's message at the start of the episode, Trini is right beside him but has vanished in the close-up.
  • When Zordon calls the Rangers near the start of the episode, the alarm sounds in the background despite there neither being a threat nor any urgency.
    • This was clearly only done to trick the audience into thinking that something was going wrong.
  • Alpha was scared of being in the Command Center for no reason.
  • Alpha leaves the Command Center which meant no one would contact the Rangers if there was an attack and put himself in danger.
  • Alpha's suit looks very fake in realistic lighting.
  • The footage of Bulk and Skull running away from Alpha is blatantly speed up since Alpha's hands throw a fit when they run off.
  • Alpha knew the Primator was acting as Billy despite never looking him in the eyes.
  • Alpha tells Dylan that the best thing to do when one is lost is to stay put when the real best thing to do would be find an authority figure like a police officer if he really couldn't find her.
  • Alpha had no idea what soccer was despite he knows about football from the events of "Football Season."
  • Dylan's line "soccer is a game where you kick a ball with your foot" was clearly read off of a cue card.
    • Also, despite Dylan being American, that line describes the type of football that is used in every country aside from America and not the American version. American football involves picking up and running with the football.
  • After Zordon disappears, Jason instructs Alpha and the other Rangers to keep in contact yet the next time the boys are seen, they are at Billy's lab conducting an experiment in which their ears are covered. They didn't appear to be doing anything aside from tuning a TV (something that does not need ear protection) and there was not a noise being produced that would not require ear protection.
  • After Primator-Billy catches Dylan's soccer ball, Dylan runs off but is suddenly right next to Alpha (who would be quite far away) when Alpha walked up.
  • Despite Dylan being grabbed by the Primator, he looked neither scared nor bothered.
  • Despite Alpha activating his self-destruct, he does not explode. The timeline in the episode is unclear, due to cutting between scenes, but there must have been at least a half hour between him activating it and the Rangers saving him.
    • Also, the point of a self-destruct program is to prevent information from falling into someone else’s hands.This self-destruct takes so long that the villains could easily take his information long before he'd explode.
  • When Kimberly and Trini arrive in the park after being tricked by the Primator, Kimberly immediately assumes that something was wrong and not that Tommy was simply in another part of the park.
  • Trini points out the Putties to Kimberly when she should already be able to see them.
  • The male Rangers were in the Youth Center when Kimberly and Trini arrived despite the viewers seeing them in Billy's garage not a minute before.
  • When Alpha falls over and says "ten minutes to self-destruct," a lump can be clearly seen in his "throat" before vanishing.
    • Also, Alpha says he would explode in ten minutes but the Rangers were able to save him despite their battle taking at least half an hour.
  • Tommy points out that Zordon was back to the other Rangers which they would clearly be able to see.
  • Zordon says that Alpha "activated his self-destruct mechanism" despite Alpha earlier calling it a program and programs and hardware being vastly different.
  • When Zack says "let's kick this bogus baboon", Kimberly and Trini are looking at him but are suddenly looking forward before they morphed.
  • How did the Primator manage to become Trini and hide in their roll call when they were facing him?
    • Also, the Rangers somehow didn't see him move despite staring and posing at him. Also, his teleportation had a loud and very distinctive sound effect.
  • In the wideshot of the Rangers arriving to confront the Primator, Zack is next to Kimberly and Trini is next to Jason but the roll call has them swap positions for no reason.
    • This was literally only done to let the Primator disguise as otherwise it would be painfully obvious who was the fake.
  • The Primator disguised as the Yellow Ranger was visibly a few inches shorter than the real Yellow Ranger, a weird discrepancy for a monster meant to mimic the Rangers to fool them and should have made it immediately realize who was the real Yellow Ranger since Trini isn't a midget.
    • The Zyu2 production team likely noticed this and filmed the rest of Primator's scenes accordingly: only the Black and Red Rangers are seen alongside Primator disguised as them and both are filmed so any discrepancy in height is better hidden.
  • In the two Yellow Ranger sequence, the Primator-fake has visible clasps on the helmet while Trini does not... except for one-shot (the second shot after all six Rangers and the disguised Primator pose) where they've switched helmets.
  • Kimberly asked the Trinis who was the fake one when this would only lead to more arguing and resolve nothing.
  • When Jason challenged the Trinis to fight him, the Trini on the right gleefully accepts with the one on the right showing hesitation. However, the hesitant one proved to be the Primator so why was Trini so gung ho about attacking Jason?
  • Jason pulled out the Power Sword from his belt when it was not on his belt before this.
  • Based on their original positions and movements during the fight between Red Ranger and the disguised Primator, it was actually Primator who was beaten back and rejoined the others.
    • In the uncut Zyu2 footage released nearly twenty years later, this is indeed the case as Primator (in the form of the Red Ranger) attacks the others while they are off-guard.
  • During a close-up of Jason and the Primator fighting, the background changes behind the fake Red Ranger between his warning and attacking. It goes to the seafront to a blank blue sky.
    • In addition, the lighting in the first shot of them fighting had abysmal lighting despite the fact that the sun was to their right.
  • The Rangers ran over to Not Zack despite the fact that he hadn't proven he was Zack and them knowing how well the Primator was at imitating people.
  • The Rangers never consider using their Blade Blasters on the Primator after defeating Not Trini.
    • Also, the timeline between Zack going over the cliff and the Primator makes no sense. It appears that the Rangers only had to run down the sea front yet Primator was able to get out of the ocean, change without being seen, and get into position.
      • Even though the monster could teleport, the Rangers should have found this weird.
  • Instead of being logical and fighting the Primator with ranged weapons, Jason charged in with his bare hands against the Primator.
  • Kimberly is seen having fallen down after Primator turned into Fake Jason despite the fact that he had not attacked them yet due to the afore-mentioned cuts in footage.
    • Also, the cut footage means that the Rangers jump positions between them regroup. around the fallen Jason and being confused wh was the real Jason.
  • When the Primator hits the Rangers with his Red Ranger eye blasts, the Rangers were sent flying before the hits even landed.
  • Zordon discovered the Primator's weakness despite not being available when Alpha discovered it by accident.
  • Although the mirror used to outsmart Primator was stated to belong to Kimberly, it was blue and has a picture of the Triceratops Coin on its back when Billy uses it.
    • This is because the mirror was taken from Zyu2 footage, which tapped into the characterization of the Blue Ranger as being technologically adept. Other one-off devices from Zyu2 footage would similarly be blue and/or feature the Triceratops Coin imagery.
  • The Dino Megazord is briefly visible beside the Dragonzord when Primator blasts them, and its right shoulder can be briefly seen in the corner of the screen when the Dragonzord begins to go one-on-one against the monster at the beginning of the fight.
    • The latter was likely kept because it's mostly obscured by smoke and sparks (the Megazord's horns being the only real sign of the error) and the latter because it's very brief.

Songs

References

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