Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Ending Of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once & Always Explained

Contains spoilers for "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once and Always."

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" on the small screen, and Netflix is celebrating with fans through the TV special "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Once and Always." The special sees some of the original cast reunite for a new "Power Rangers" story that catches fans up with beloved characters and pays respect to fallen Rangers. The story finds the Rangers taking on Robo Rita Repulsa (voiced by Barbara Goodson) as she kills Yellow Ranger Trini in battle and captures other Rangers to power her nefarious new device. With Billy (David Yost) and Zack (Walter Jones) being the only original Rangers left, they must team up with old allies and guide Trini's daughter Minh (Charlie Kersh) as they attempt to stop Robo Rita from enacting her evil plans. 

"Once and Always" provides fans with a feast of "Power Rangers" nostalgia, as it features some beloved members of the original "Mighty Morphin" cast and delivers a classic storyline. It's basically got everything that fans would want to see — incredibly fun action, a delicious ooze of cheesiness, and some meaningful story moments that push the legacy of these characters and the franchise forward. It's a true celebration of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" that no fan will want to miss, and it features some moments worth talking about. So let's delve into the ending of "Once and Always" and take a look at how it pays respects to fallen favorites.  

Robo Rita's origins

Once again, the Rangers are forced to face off against Rita Repulsa — but not in the way that fans are used to. She's now a robot and has a much more sinister look. Yet she still has her vicious personality that comes with that iconic cackle, and her deadly magic wand that makes her very tough for the Rangers to defeat. Plus, she still has her Putty Patrollers to cause mischief around Angel Grove and take the Rangers on in battle. But how did Rita Repulsa take on this robotic form? After all, she was redeemed by Zordon's sacrifice in "Power Rangers in Space" and even became an ally to the Rangers at times. 

Well, Zordon's sacrifice simply allowed for Rita's evil to be purged from her and become scattered across space. Thus, when Billy attempts to resurrect Zordon, he accidently causes Rita's evil force to be reawakened and possess Alpha 8 (voiced by Richard Steven Horvitz). Once Rita's energy takes over Alpha 8, she's able to turn into her robotic form, and Robo Rita is born. Billy's mistakes cause a lot of consequences for the Rangers — including the death of Trini and Robo Rita capturing other Rangers from across the galaxy. They're forced to face their old foe who's more powerful than ever.  

Calling all remaining Rangers

After Robo Rita captures most of the original Rangers, Billy and Zack are the only two left but know that they can't take on Robo Rita on their own. They decide to call for backup and fans are treated with the arrival of two classic Mighty Morphin Rangers. The first to arrive is Kat (Catherine Sutherland), the second Pink Ranger. Rocky (Steve Cardenas), the second Red Ranger, arrives shortly after. Having both Kat and Rocky appear is actually a big deal, since their presence helps tie the legacy of the franchise together. 

Although they aren't a part of the "original" cast, Kat and Rocky play special roles in the history of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers." Kat still has a family with Tommy in the canon, making her presence add more to that storyline, while Rocky brings some good humor and cheesiness to the special that gives it a light, upbeat feel. Although this special doesn't utilize the entire original cast, having Sutherland and Cardenas reprise their roles is just as special, and helps earn the "Once and Always" name. 

Robo Rita's collection

Robo Rita's plan to use Robo Snizzard's (voiced by Daniel Watterson) powers to paralyze Rangers in place and then use snakes to bind and shrink them leads to a lot of Rangers being captured. Most of the original team is captured, and when Billy and Zack activate the Bandora Protocol, a lot of Rangers end up on Robo Rita's radar thanks to Robo Minotaur's (voiced by Ryan Cooper) ability to track Rangers when they're in their suits. By the time Robo Rita's machine is all powered up, she's collected quite the assortment of Rangers. Eagle-eyed fans will likely spot a lot of notable favorites in her collection.

Aside from the original Mighty Morphin Rangers, fans can see that Robo Snizzard has also captured Rangers from "Wild Force," "Dino Thunder," "In Space," "Lost Galaxy," and "Beast Morphers." They can all be seen in Rita's collection, and it acts as a great Easter egg for fans to obsess over. As an added fun fact, the figurines used to show the Rangers captured in Robo Rita's collection actually come from the Lightning Collection toy line, making it an even bigger homage for fans. It's certainly sad to see so many Rangers caught in Robo Rita's collection, but it results in one of the special's best nods to the franchise. 

What it means to be a Ranger

Although Minh wants to help Zack, Billy, and the other Rangers stop Robo Rita, Zack doesn't allow her to because she's fueled by revenge. Minh clearly wants Robo Rita wiped out for killing her mom, but she doesn't understand that revenge isn't what the Rangers are about. When Zack gets some alone time with Minh, he scolds her for taking her mother's morpher and trying to fight the Putties on her own. He tells her that she seeks revenge, not justice, and that being a Ranger is more than just going to kick butt and saying fun lines. Rather, he says that it's a selfless path and that it's important to set aside your ambitions to do what's right. 

It's a moment that helps define what being a Ranger means, and acts as a pivotal moment in Minh's arc. Zack's conversation with Minh is really the heart of this special's story and embodies how this special really celebrates the legacy and impact of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers." It's also where Zack talks more about Zordon and how Billy is trying to right the wrongs caused by his attempts to try and bring him back. Zack's heart to heart with Minh is one of the special's most memorable moments, serving as a real turning point in the story for Minh. 

Minh confronts Robo Rita

Even though Minh is told by Zack not to go anywhere while they set up a trap for Robo Snizzard and Robo Minotaur, she ultimately decides to try and go after Robo Rita herself. After scoping out which car she should take, she ultimately chooses to take the RADBUG and go fight Robo Snizzard and Robo Minotaur. On the way, she ends up taking out a group of Putties that are harassing and attacking a stranded couple, making it her first real act as a hero saving the day. 

When she arrives at the junkyard, Minh starts taunting the two trapped lackeys and tries to morph into the Yellow Ranger. Unfortunately, it doesn't work and she's laughed at by Robo Snizzard and Robo Minotaur. Minh does get her wish of facing Robo Rita, though, as she suddenly appears and the two get into a big brawl. Minh puts up a decent fight, but she's no match for Robo Rita's power, and gets defeated while being reminded of her mother's fall. Although Minh does has some admirable fight in her, her desires for revenge are still overwhelming, leading her to become captured by her worst enemy. 

Robo Rita's plans

For most of the special, it's unclear what exactly Robo Rita has planned and why she's collecting different Rangers from across the galaxy. She's obviously using the energy of the Rangers to power some kind of machine, but what that machine does is unclear until she delivers a big villain rant. Once the machine reaches full power, it will be able to create a time portal for her to go back to the moment when Rita was released from the Space Dumpster. There, Robo Rita would inform her younger human self of everything that led up to their demise and how she could possibly defeat the Rangers once and for all. 

With her knowledge of future events, Robo Rita plans to rule the world with her younger self and kill the Rangers before Zordon can even select them to become Power Rangers. It's probably one of Rita's most vile plans to date, and the idea of there being two Ritas running around truly defines "double trouble." Now that the Rangers know about Robo Rita's plan, they'll do everything they can to stop it. 

Minh becomes a Ranger

Before the Rangers can attack Robo Rita and stop her plan, she goes after Billy again, as she did in the past, with a blast from her magic wand. However, just like her mom did, Minh decides to jump in front of Billy and take the blast herself. Given how Minh blamed Billy for her mom's death, it's pretty meaningful and selfless to see her make the same sacrifice. Minh also seems to suffer the same fate at first since, she isn't moving and looks unconscious. However, she suddenly awakens and gets visions of her mom that act as some pretty cool nostalgia for Trini fans. 

There's a bunch of archived footage shown though Minh's eyes from the original series, establishing a big connection to her mom that fans will certainly appreciate. After waking up, Minh notices that her mother's morpher is glowing, and Billy recognizes this as a sign that Minh can now morph into a Ranger. Zack even allows Minh to say the iconic "Morphin Time" line as she officially morphs into the Yellow Ranger. Because Minh made the same selfless sacrifice her mom did, she's earned the right to become a Ranger. It's a touching moment that really shows how Minh rightfully continues Trini's legacy. 

The big fight

With everyone now suited up for battle, it's time for the Power Rangers to take Robo Rita and her cronies down, resulting in an epic fight sequence. There's nothing more satisfying than seeing the Power Rangers decimate a bunch of enemies, and there are some really fun moments with them using their iconic weapons. From Minh using her daggers to cut down Putties to Rocky using the Red Ranger's sword to destroy Robo Minotuar, this big finale fight sequence doesn't disappoint, and is a real treat for fans. However, to really free everyone and stop Robo Rita's plans, they need to defeat Robo Snizzard — who has been grown and transformed by Robo Rita's magic. 

So, like any great "Power Rangers" action sequence, it's time for them to call on their Zords to form the Megazord. The sequence of the Zords rushing into battle and quickly forming is undeniably epic, and the battle with the giant Robo Snizzard in space is just perfection. There's plenty of nicely designed combat and an epic explosion when the group finally defeats Robo Snizzard and walks away like certified action heroes. The special's finale fight is just the cherry on top of this celebration of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," and leads into some big final moments. 

Robo Rita's plans ruined

Although Robo Rita is severely wounded in battle, she's still able to muster up some energy to try and get the portal working. She does, and the machine projects the scene of Rita emerging from the Space Dumpster. It's a pretty cool moment of nostalgia and it seems like Robo Rita's plans might work. However, after the Rangers defeat Robo Snizzard, the trapped Rangers are freed and taken out of the machine. This results in the device being powered down and the portal closing up. 

Robo Rita is obviously furious about her plans being foiled, but before she can do anything Minh traps her with her daggers and Zach walks up to deliver the killing blow. With one shot of Zack's blaster, Robo Rita erupts and bursts into purple flames. Once again, the Power Rangers have saved the day, and they get to admire the Megazord standing on the Moon with the Earth in the background. It's an epic shot that encapsulates the Rangers' efforts. 

Chatting at the Juice Bar

With the day saved and all the trapped Rangers collected, a couple of former Mighty Morphin Rangers — the second Yellow Ranger Aisha Campbell (Karan Ashley) and the second Black Ranger Adam Park (Johnny Yong Bosch) — come to help the fallen Rangers back into shape. They say that they're taking the rescued Rangers to Aquitar so that the Aquitians can return them to their proper form. It's another incredible reunion that this special offers, and it allows for Kat and Rocky to part ways on good terms. 

As for Billy, Zack, and Minh, they head to the Juice Bar to talk about everything that's happened and tell Minh that she's now a part of the team. Billy and Minh also have a real bonding moment that lets them talk more about their past transgressions. Not only does this solidify how much they mean to each other, but also how much Trini meant to both of them. The Rangers are once again a true family, and Zack and Billy even start to reminisce on their glory days while Minh eagerly listens. This special ends on a trip down memory lane — which feels incredibly fitting and makes it a true celebration for the fans and the cast alike. 

Could there be more?

At the moment, there's been no sequel or follow-up special announced for "Once and Always," but there most certainly will be another anniversary special sooner or later. The "Power Rangers" franchise has always provided fans with meaningful and epic anniversary specials that they can obsess over with a good dose of nostalgia. "Once and Always" marks the 30th Anniversary of "Mighty Morphin," so it should be expected that in five years we could see a special for the 35th Anniversary. 

"Power Rangers" continues to be one of the most beloved pop culture franchises of all time, and its dedicated fanbase that spans multiple generations will always be around to celebrate it. Plus, it seems like original cast members are always willing to step back into their Ranger characters, so it's safe to say that fans will see them again. Also, with the death of franchise legend Jason David Frank, there will surely some kind of special that will pay homage to his character, Tommy. In short, yeah, we'll see more "Power Rangers."

How does the special pay tribute to fallen Rangers?

"Once and Always" is more than just a celebration of "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers," as it also pays respects to two of its fallen Rangers. At its heart the special is for Thuy Trang, who played Trini and died back in 2001 due to complications from a car accident. The central story of Trini dying and having Minh fulfill her role feels like a true passing of the torch moment that is full of emotion and really pays homage to the legacy of the Yellow Ranger. The archived footage of Trini shown when Minh morphs into the Yellow Ranger is a great way to pay respect to Trang's time in the role, and the conversations about Trini at the end of the film have some real heart. 

There's also a scene played from the original series — specifically the Season 2 episode "The Song of Guitardo" — in which Kimberly is singing the song "Down the Road" with Zack. The flashback ends on Tommy and Trini looking at each other before fading to a dedication for Trang and Jason David Frank. With Frank's recent passing, there will likely be a full-on dedication for him in a future special. All in all, it's great how "Once and Always" pays homage to two of the Rangers that started it all.