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Icon-mmpr.png 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 and tells Alpha to take him to the Command Center. However 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 and Zordon explains the monster's shape shifting ability, making Kimberly realize that Primator disguised himself as Zack to trick her and Trini. Kimberly apologizes to Zack and he say's it's alright and the Rangers morph. 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 give up. Jason kicks "Tommy" down, saying the real one never gives up so easily. Using the mirror he brought with him, Billy is able to expose "Tommy" as the Primator. With Primator's shape-shifting powers now obsolete, 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 plot point in the episode and is instantly revealed by Zordon when the Rangers arrive at the Command Center.
  • The episode was adapted into the book "Alpha, the Hero" and 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 fourth time in the series' history. His first time outside was in Power Ranger Punks and the second was in Life's A Masquerade, though he most likely got Zordon's permission to leave so he could hang out with the Rangers for the latter and because everyone thought he was in costume. In the episode The Spit Flower, Tommy also asked for Alpha's help to fix Kimberly's float that had been wrecked by Putties with comical results.
  • 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 ten although anyone can have a teddy bear at any age.
  • This is the first time the Red Dragon Thunderzord transforms from Dragon to Warrior Mode through lightning and the first appearance of its Power Staff.
  • This is the 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.
    • The real Red Ranger was the one who warned the others about the fake, who attacked them.
    • A shot of the Primator's tail coming out from between "Tommy's" legs during the fight against him with his spear.
    • After Primator's transformation game is compromised and he electrocutes the Rangers, there was originally a sequence of the Rangers posing in front of a fountain. 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 due to time restraints.
    • 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 Megazord and the Dragonzord attack 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 started on September 23nd that year.
      • 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.
  • When Jason answers Zordon's message at the start of the episode, Trini is right beside him but has vanished in the close-up.
  • 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 which prevents them from hearing their communicators. They did not 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.
  • 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 being 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 possibly 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.
  • When Zack says "let's kick this bogus baboon", Kimberly and Trini are looking at him but are suddenly looking forward before they morphed.
  • In the wide shot 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 Primator disguise himself as otherwise it would be painfully obvious who was the fake.
  • 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 is not short.
    • 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 have switched helmets.
  • Kimberly asked the Trinis who was the fake one when this would only lead to more arguing and resolve nothing.
  • 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 the Zack disguise despite the fact that he had not proven he was Zack and them knowing how well the Primator was at imitating people.
  • The Rangers never consider using their Blade Blasters on Primator after defeating his Trini disguise.
    • Also, the timeline between Zack going over the cliff and Primator reappearing 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 Primator with ranged weapons, Jason charged in with his bare hands against him.
  • Trini calls Billy by name in front of Dylan while they're morphed upon arriving to assist Alpha.
  • 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 who was the real Jason.
  • When Primator hits the Rangers with his Red Ranger eye blasts, the Rangers were sent flying before the hits even landed.
  • Zordon discovered 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 Power 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 Power Coin imagery.
  • 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 former was likely kept because it is mostly obscured by smoke and sparks (Megazord's horns being the only real sign of the error) and the latter because it is very brief.

Songs

References

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