Power Rangers is a show with a lot of nostalgia behind it. Many kids growing up in the 90s watched excitedly as the technicolor teens with attitude battled against hoards of aliens and monsters. Of the series as a whole, though, the part most fondly remembered is the Saban era: A fan term used to describe the period of the show which went from Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers to Power Rangers Time Force/Power Rangers Wild Force, depending on how you count it. In this article, I’ll be covering my top five episodes from this era.
Green With Evil Part 1 (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Season 1, Episode 17)
Green With Evil, as a whole, is an arc often considered the best of the first season and is seen by many as the point at which Power rangers started to hit its stride. Of the arc, I’d say the first episode is the best of the lot due to how well Tommy is built up. He’s introduced as being able to rival Jason in martial arts, Kimberly is immediately taken with him and even Rita considers him an appropriate recipient for the Dragon Power Coin, after a good round of brainwashing of course.
Once given the coin, he more than lives up to the hype as he is single-handedly more effective than any monster Rita had deployed up to that point. He’d infiltrated and heavily damaged the Command Center, cut Zordon off from our dimension, and given Alpha a virus. Further to that, he also proves a powerful enough force to send the Rangers scurrying in retreat with their tails between their legs.
Having an episode end with the Rangers’ defeat was a very bold move which absolutely worked to the show’s advantage. It established Tommy as a force to be reckoned with and had fans eager to see the Rangers triumph against their brainwashed classmate and bring him back.
As a mostly episodic series the multi-part stories like Green With Evil are often the most fondly remembered episodes and out of all the multi-parters Green With Evil is the highest rated.
Countdown To Destruction Part 2 (Power Rangers In Space, Episode 43)
Both Countdown to Destruction parts are sure to be near if not at the top of any list ranking Power Rangers episodes and for good reason. It’s the culmination of all of Power Rangers up until that point and is a fitting conclusion to the Zordon era.
I rank the second part the highest as that’s the episode that actually wraps everything up and has the best moments, like Bulk and Skull’s “I’m Spartacus” moment and, of course, Zordon’s sacrifice. For an episode that was intended to cap the show off and be the last we’d get of Power Rangers it’s the best we could possibly ask for, we see our heroes triumph over insurmountable odds, a heroic sacrifice and unlikely heroes rising to help save the day. What more could you possibly want?
The Wasp With A Heart (Power Rangers In Space, Episode 10)
The Wasp With a Heart is the only single part episode on this list but that just goes to show how strong an episode it really is. It focuses on a monster called Waspicable who, despite his name, doesn’t have a monstrous bone in his body. He is compelled by fellow insectoid monster Sting King to fight the Rangers and cause chaos which he reluctantly does until he forms a friendship with Cassie. Cassie realises that he actually doesn’t want to fight and would much rather befriend humans and tend to flowers.
It’s a change in pace from the norm as, instead of destroying Waspicable, the other Rangers befriend him as well, once Cassie explains that he doesn’t want to fight. The idea of there being monsters that don’t want to cause harm is an idea I really enjoy because it can be a great opportunity to show another point of view to the battles the Rangers fight.
The Power of Pink (Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, Episode 31)
This is the second half of the Lost Galaxy/In Space crossover and is a spectacular episode. It is well known for featuring the first death of a Ranger as Kendrix’s actress, Valerie Vernon, had been diagnosed with Leukemia and had to be written out of the show. The death of Kendrix as she protects a former Pink Ranger is a wonderfully produced piece of Power Rangers history and it’s amazing how tastefully they managed to do it.
The episode also wraps up the Psycho Ranger plot thread from In Space as the Pink Psycho Ranger is finally defeated after surviving an attack that killed the rest of her teammates in the previous episode. As a crossover episode, it is also well worth a watch since it’s always fun to see current and past Rangers fighting together.
White Light Part 1 (Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, Season 2, Episode 17)
As an episode, White Light Part 1 does a wonderful job of building tension and suspense. To begin with we’re told fan favourite Tommy Oliver will be returning and, much like the Rangers, we the audience are very excited to see him back as his return is sure to mean something good. Not only that but Alpha and Zordon leave the Command Center and shut it down to embark on some secret mission. This leaves the Rangers cut off from them and causes Zedd to assume he has a perfect opportunity to strike. The episode ends with a great cliffhanger, Billy finally finds Zordon and Alpha and is able to watch them as they work on their mission: A new Power Ranger!
Since the loss of the Green Ranger powers we hadn’t seen a sixth ranger. Seeing the two working on one is a really fun moment that, if you were watching for the first time, would be sure to get you hyped up for what it could mean.