THE TEN BEST EPISODES OF POWER RANGERS
As we slowly inch our way closer toward the beginning of a new season of Power Rangers, I thought it might be fun to revisit some favorite moments from the past 17 seasons. I created a list of personal favorite episodes a few months before "Power Rangers RPM" premiered in 2009. It seemed appropriate to update the list just a bit, in keeping with what may end up an annual tradition. Who knows. Maybe an episode of "Power Rangers Samurai" will end up on next year's list. One can only hope.
Given that there are 700 episodes in total, it's almost impossible to remember every great moment in the entire canon of the franchise. But for all intents and purposes, these are the big go-to episodes that I have in mind whenever someone might ask "What's your favorite Power Rangers episode?" or "Why do you watch this show?"
These ten are the reasons why.
Any multi-parters are counted as a single episode, since I've often considered them as such. Plus, it's kinda hard to make a top ten list when half the choices would end up being parts of the same exact story. And, of course, I decided to keep an Honorable Mention, only because it was included in the previous list, before the RPM update.
Honorable Mention- "Force from the Future" - Power Rangers Time Force
The Time Force season begins with a bang as Jen witnesses the apparent murder of her fiance at the hands of mutant criminal, Ransik, whom she and her friends chase through time, against orders. It is doubtlessly the most dramatic, effective opener to any PR season I've seen, and it begins one of my all-time favorite seasons of the entire franchise.
10.) "Escape the Lost Galaxy" - Power Rangers Lost Galaxy
Forced to work as miners under the ruthless Captain Mutiny, Mike proves he's more than just Leo's boring older brother, as he leads a slave revolt against their opressors, and makes a desperate sacrifice in the process. The episode was all-original, using no japanese footage or storyline whatsoever. And it was actually good.
9.) "Idol" - Power Rangers SPD
The return of Sky's old friend stirs up suspicion about his past whereabouts, and his current motives in Space Patrol Delta. In terms of writing, cinematography, and overall mood, it doesn't get much better than this as far as the post-Saban era goes. This is one ep I could recommend to non-fans, which would be quick and enjoyable, yet still easy to follow.
8.) "The Rescue Mission" - Power Rangers Lost Galaxy
This is NOT an example of a normal episode of Power Rangers. And that's exactly why it's one of the best episodes the show has ever done. The showrunners went completely out of the box to create a dark, atmospheric, action-packed, but still heartfelt story of the rescue of a drifting alien spacecraft, ravaged by a unique non-terrestrial stowaway.
7.) "Fighting Spirit" - Power Rangers Dino Thunder
After a long, annoying subplot about Tommy being stuck in a suit for ages, he "comes back" with arguably the best single episode of the DT season. Knocked unconcious by an experiment, he hallucinates a battle with all three of his past Ranger forms as he struggles to stay alive. The visual style of the dream sequences was leaps and bounds above what the show is used to shelling out. I also loved the strong spirit of heroism that Tommy's students embodied, even when hope seemed to be lost. It was the definition of superhero.
6.) "Doctor K" - Power Rangers RPM
It takes a lot to break into a list that's already pretty jam-packed with quality episodes, but "Doctor K" was just that good. An interesting anomaly in that it's the only episode on the list that focuses on a secondary character that is not an actual superhero. It tells the emotional story of the young scientist, taken by a shadow organization as a child and forced to create weapons, all the while being told that she is unable to go outside due to an illness that she later discovers does not exist. In a time when Power Rangers was often just a little too un-emotional to truly be effective, this one literally shines through.
5.) "Journey's End" - Power Rangers Lost Galaxy
My favorite season comes to a dramatic three-part conclusion as the space colony, Terra Venture is struck by an all-out attack just as it arrives at the New World. So many fans think of "Countdown to Destruction" as being the best season finale, perhaps because of its immense scope, but this one was the culmination of the season-long arc, and somehow managed to feel more epic and powerful. There was a full-circle feeling. The finales would never be quite as tightly-woven and perfect again...
4.) "Dawn of Destiny / Fight Against Fate / Destiny Defeated" - Power Rangers Time Force
Remember when I said Lost Galaxy was my favorite? Well, it's actually a tie with Time Force. And eps like this are the reason why. Wes comes face-to-face with his unborn descendent, who takes over his spot as Red Time Force Ranger, just as his father is about to pass away, and the flow of time ripped open by the vengeful Frax. Seldom had Power Rangers become as thoughtful, emotional, and theme-oriented as this.
3.) "The Power of Pink" - Power Rangers Lost Galaxy
For the longest time, this was my absolute favorite episode. It has nothing to do with the fact that it was part of a team-up with the Space Rangers, or that it included the popular Psycho Rangers. The ep displayed the true heroism of its lead characters, particularly Kendrix, one of my favorite Pink Rangers. The conclusion to her biggest battle left a lot of audience members (myself included) absolutely stunned. The team-up bits were really just the icing on an already amazing cake.
2.) "From Deep in the Shadows / Truth Discovered" - Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue
I don't know if Power Rangers will ever reach this level of awesome again. "Truth Discovered" features the most amazing, emotionally-charged Ranger-on-Ranger battle in the franchise, made all the more interesting by the fact that the combatants are siblings. The finale of the episode, however, was not a big, bombastic battle sequence. It was a scene between two people, who end up hanging off of a deadly-high ledge, where one of them simply lets go in order to keep the other alive. It also happens to be a Sixth Ranger intro episode, which is only an afterthought as to why this episode rocks.
1.) "Reinforcements from the Future" - Power Rangers Wild Force
This episode was written by a fan of the show (who just happens to be talented too), and it shows with the amazingly tight, detailed, heart-infused story. Again, this episode is a team-up, but the spectacle of having two teams together has little to do with why the episode is so good. It makes use of every single character (of which there are 19, not including the Mut-Orgs), and does this more interestingly than any other crossover episode could have even dreamed of. It not only picks up where the Time Force finale left off, but it adds a deeper sense of richness to the tapestry of both shows, blending them more efficiently than anyone could have expected. It's also just kickass and fun, like Power Rangers should be. For me, this is the best the show ever got.
And that's my list. Some that read this will doubtlessly agree, and disagree, with certain choices, but there you go. What do you think? Should I have included "Countdown to Destruction?" Am I an idiot for overlooking the Zeo and Turbo seasons completely? What about, uh... um... the one with the nunchucks? What should or shouldn't be on this list? Lemme know, if you are so inclined.