You can say what you like about Power Rangers, but THIS is fantastic writing:
The mentor, Doctor K, has just informed the Rangers that the enemy’s technology just surpassed their own and there’s nothing they can do about it. Ziggy says, “But wait, their stuff can’t be better than our stuff. We’re the good guys! Right?”
Doctor K spits out tech babble, and shoots down each Rangers’ suggestions. Summer says, “Are you telling us to just give up, Doctor?” to which she replies “I’m telling you I don’t have all the answers.”
In response the team starts talking over each other until Ziggy yells, “Hold it! Hold it! Hold everything, people. In times like this, one question needs to be answered. Are we, or are we not, the good guys?”
Doctor K stares at him and says, “Tell me, what’s it like?”
“What’s what like?”
“Being stupid your whole life?” Then she says, “Is it as wonderful as it seems?”
This exchange is read like a joke. Ziggy’s the clown, he makes light of situations, he’s probably trying to cheer everyone up. Doctor K, she’s snarky, she’s rude to Ziggy, she’s deadpan and doesn’t have a sense of humor. You almost laugh at this until you realize—they’re both dead serious.
This entire episode was the most beautiful PR writing I’ve seen since Time Force (probably better than that too) and this isn’t the only scene that struck a chord. Doctor K was a prodigy and she was basically kidnapped and stuck in a government facility her entire life, developing a psychological fear of sunlight because she was brainwashed to believe it would kill her. Added on top of that all she wanted her whole life was to go outside and in attempting to do so she created and released a computer virus by accident, thus ENDING THE WORLD.
And here comes Ziggy, whose past is not all rainbows and sunshine, who worked as a bad guy for a while because he never had a place to fit in, who is an accidental Ranger and never wanted this but coped with knowing that he was a good guy and was making the world safe for kids who were once like him. Now his world is shattered, because if they’re not the good guys then who are they? Where’s the line? How do you know?
Doctor K knows. She knows she can’t be called a good guy. She ended the world because she wanted to go outside. A teenager killed billions of people because of a stupid want that never should’ve happened in the first place. She has no idea what it’s like, being innocent and naive. She doesn’t have that pleasure, not like Ziggy does.
As a writer my jaw was totally slack this entire episode. They seriously walked the line that season considering this is a kid’s show. Scott’s brother died right freaking next to him, for God’s sake. Dillon is a walking Trojan horse, was experimented on and memory-wiped and has moments where he almost kills his own friends because he’s half computer. Summer’s only friend was her butler who was more like a father to her than her actual one, and he died in her arms. It should be said that the acting in RPM was better than any season since, I dunno, Dino Thunder maybe (and if not then, then definitely Time Force). It really sold the whole plot.
I cried in this episode. I haven’t cried in any Power Rangers episode ever but THIS… this was beautiful.