The Rangers pretend to have forgotten Zack’s birthday party to make him feel bad. Rita’s latest monster, Knasty Knight, has a fancy sword.
It’s late at the Juice Center and Billy, Trini, Kimberly, and Ernie are hard at work preparing for Zack’s surprise birthday party. Billy’s latest invention, the Cake-O-Matic, is on the fritz and covers Ernie in cake mix.
Jason arrives with a bucket of paint, while Ernie claims to have super secret info on the Power Rangers: they defend Angel Grove like Batman defends Gotham. Not sure what’s so super secret about that, though. Jason proceeds to feed him false information, to ensure the true identities of the Rangers are kept a secret and tells Ernie that they’re aliens.
Bulk and Skull show up and of course have to make fun of everyone and cause trouble. “We would have invited you, but animals aren’t allowed,” quips Kimberly. They end up colliding with poles, knocking themselves out, and sparing us of any more tomfoolery.
On the Moon, Goldar takes a nap as Rita confers with Finster on a new monster: the Knasty Knight, one that they used before to murder the inhabitants of Zarnac 3.
Squatt, Babbo, and Finster forge a sword that can cut through any material in the universe. Rita spouts some horrible-sounding poetry that summons Knasty Knight. Like the previous episode’s monster, Knasty Knight isn’t made out of clay and cooked in the Monster Matic like Rita’s other monsters.
The next day at Angel Grove High, Zack gives hints to Kimberly that it’s his birthday, but she pretends to have forgotten all about it and says nothing. This hurts Zack’s feelings, so he leaves. The other Rangers show up and reassure Kimberly that it’s okay if Zack’s hurt now because he’ll get really happy later at his surprise party.
Fight with a Knight
Zack wanders around outside and mutters about how selfish his friends are. Rita and Goldar appear to wish him a happy birthday. That’s nice of them. Squatt and Baboo are also there with a video camera (?).
Knasty Knight also appears. Zack morphs into the Black Ranger and duels the knight one-on-one. “This is not the way I wanted to spend my birthday!”
Zordon senses a disturbance in the Morphing Grid and gets the Rangers to help Zack fight the knight, but because of Knasty Knight’s super awesome sword, their weapons get fried. Even the Triforce beam from their Blade Blasters has no effect on the knight.
Rita throws her staff to make Knasty grow, though he could have clearly ended the fight then and there without her help. The Rangers summon the zords, form the Megazord, and find that the Power Sword is no match for Knasty’s sword, which, as you remember, can cut anything in the universe.
Zack somehow realizes that Knasty Knight reflects their power back at them. The solution is to reflect his power back at him and then some (?). I’m not sure what that means because all the Megazord does is fire eye lasers at Knasty. The Megazord then gets bathed in light, its Power Sword reforms and destroys Knasty Knight. Lame.
After the battle, the Rangers enter a darkened Youth Center. The lights switch on and a large crowd of people wish Zack a happy birthday. The Cake-O-Matic starts malfunctioning again and a dance montage starts, set to weird music with lyrics like “So today is your birthday” and “You can get away with anything you want to.”
Finally, Zack gets his featured episode. Was the long wait worth it? Well…
The whole surprise birthday thing is a very common trope. Zack’s behavior to his friends seemingly forgetting his birthday is a pivotal moment for us, the audience, in determining where our sympathies lie: should we side with Zack, whose friends are conspiring against him to make him feel bad so he can feel good later, or should we side against Zack because he’s taking the whole birthday thing too seriously? The real question is, what exactly is a Cake-O-Matic, and how is it different from an oven?
One thing’s for sure, the song at the end was really weird. I tried to see if I could find any information on it, but all I found were people wanting to know the same thing. Perhaps it was made specifically for this episode.
Knasty Knight was certainly formidable. It was a welcome change seeing the Rangers struggle with an opponent and having their weapons get damaged. The weird eye laser thing from the Megazord was such a cop out, though and ruined the fight.
Some of the voices were a bit off in this episode. Goldar seems to alternate between throaty and snarly every other episode, Zordon has the more pronounced, British-like accent he had in the first episode, and Alpha 5 sounds like he has a cold.