The Youth Center, and this time Kimberly is teaching a class, her other specialty apart from the balance beam being the grapevine, it seems. Do no adults except Ernie work at that place? Jason is in charge of the Karate class, Trini does the Tai Chi. There is no way Zach does not teach Hip Hop (Kido), and Billy… there’s maybe some kind of robotics workshop? It’s a pretty decent business model for the Center, actually, but what if there is a Rita emergency when Kimberly’s leading the cool down? These Power Kids really need to examine their priorities.

Billy’s into the class, but when unmorphed his klutziness knows no bounds, and he ends up careering around on a towel cart. Trini helps him up, and it suddenly occurs to me that those two would make a great couple, especially since she is his link to the more mundane world, kind of like Paige and the geniuses of Scorpion. To wit:

BILLY: I’m intrigued by the rhythmic modulations yet daunted by the coordinating movements of the appendages.
ZACH: Say what?
TRINI: He can’t dance.

Thank you, Translator Trini!

Also having difficulty with the moves is an unnamed deaf girl left flatfooted when Kimberly – who can sign! – forgot to sign the moves. Nice one, Kimberly.

All this rhythmic modulation, meanwhile, has given Rita an idea: she will turn music against the Power Rangers! She demands a musical monster of Finster, “Like the Pied Piper, only meaner!”—and isn’t it nice to see Rita’s been studying up on her Earth fables?

Back at dance class, Bulk ends up in a dance battle with Zach, and WHAT is Zach wearing on his head, a rasta tea cosy? (Jason’s back in his red tank top, by the by.) Bulk’s pants split again, and it’s all quite sad really.

Rita is still demanding her musical monster (“The waiting is putting a strain on my natural beauty!”), and we soon learn that he is called the Naughty Gnome, “a wonderfully ugly creature who plays a hypnotic accordion.” An ACCORDION? He is tasked with luring away some kids for the Power Rangers to rescue, and when they do he will then seduce them with his, er, accordion music, too. This is just as unwieldy as all the other of Rita’s plans – why can’t the Gnome just go straight to our heroes? Oh, I know! Because Unnamed Deaf Girl is resistant to the Gnome’s magic, and after ineffectually following her kidnapped girlfriends to a dark cave, she goes, not to the police, but back to the Youth Center where she writes a note to Jason: “Help, my friends are in danger.”

He springs into immediate action. “Quick, come on, we’re gonna go get your friends!” Isn’t it lucky she happened to get her message to a secret superhero? And isn’t it lucky for Rita’s plan that Unnamed Deaf Girl happened to be unaffected by her monster? How were the Powers Rangers supposed to know where the girls were, or even that they had been taken, else?

Our heroes battle it out with the Naughty Gnome and then Megazord up when he gets supersized. The musical monster belatedly tries some Pied Pipering, but while the giant robot seems oddly affected by the discordant racket, it does nothing to prevent the lightning-infused Mega Sword from dealing today’s monster the death blow.

The girls get rescued – “You should have seen the Power Rangers, Kimberly, they were great!” – and Kimberly explains what happened thusly: “Melissa ran for help when this totally manky monster hypnotised you and trapped you in a cave.”

Hey, Deaf Girl gets a name! And then they all go for ice cream. Because, hey, that whole monster/kidnapping/cave thing was no big deal, let’s go play video games at the arcade!

Then all of a sudden Billy can breakdance. Because, sure.

NEXT TIME: Food fight!

Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
“Different Drum” (S01E05)
Written by Julianne Klem | Directed by Jeff Reiner
September 10, 1993 | Fox Kids

About the author

RACHEL HYLAND

Rachel Hyland is Editor-in-Chief of Geek Speak Magazine and, she is pretty sure, the one true queen of Fantastica, raised in obscurity to protect her from the dark lord Sinisterium. If you see her magic sword, get in touch via twitter: @rachyland or Instagram: @rachelseesdeadpeople. The fate of the many worlds may just depend upon it.