13-35: Insomnia

After an overheard conversation, B-Squad can’t sleep and start reflecting on their time as Rangers.

Last time on Power Rangers: A vengeful ex-classmate of Doggie’s went after the team.

 

Eavesdroppers Never Hear Anything Nice

The episode gets kicked off when B-Squad overhears Kat and Doggie talking.  The earlier part of the conversation was Kat realizing Doggie was distracted and him apologizing for not listening to her commentary.  He goes on to admit that he’s been wondering about… and Kat finishes “Isinia?” for him.  Doggie asks for her opinion on the possibility of her still being alive.

35ListeningToDoggie

“I don’t know- it’s been a long time.  Hope can be a dangerous thing if you let it consume you,” she replies as B-Squad wanders by.  I suppose like everything else, too much hope can be a bad thing, particularly if no action is taken in conjunction with it.  Doggie opts to change the subject to commenting he still has hope that A-Squad is alive and sometimes he wonders if they never left then Gruumm would be defeated by now.  Discomfited, the five leave.  In hindsight, I wonder if Doggie had picked up on their presence and deliberately changed the subject to avoid them asking about Isnia.  And as a chess-master mentor, he might have wanted to see if they’d speak up or stick around to hear the rest of their conversation.

But I love just how close and in-tune Doggie and Kat are to each other’s feelings in this scene.  They make a great team to mentor the Rangers and to lead Earth’s SPD base.  But even more important is the way they not only respect each other, but clearly care for one another.

Jack and Z

Late that night, Z goes to the rec room for a drink from the food simulator.  As the Yellow Ranger, she’s in a yellow nightgown that has a red-orange pattern near the hemlines as well as off-white pajama pants and yellow fuzzy slippers.  Her brown hair is in a sideways ponytail by a yellow hair tie.  She’s startled by Jack speaking up from where he’s lounging on the couch in off-white pajamas which are apparently reversible with the other side being red.

As team leader, Jack is convinced it’s his fault Gruumm hasn’t been stopped yet.  An extended flashback to the opening two-parter ensues as Z reminds him where they started out.  Next come scenes from the “Sam” two-parter and part of the battle against Stench and Thrasher in “SWAT, Part 2”.

I appreciate the reminder of the pair’s close bond, since it hasn’t been shown a lot after the opening two-parter.  I do wish their brother-sister connection had been utilized more often.

Sky’s Blue Mood

Showing up in a blue SPD t-shirt and grey sweat pants, Sky admits it’s his fault that B-Squad isn’t as close-knit as A-Squad was.  And, well, I’ll admit that he’s the most prickly and aloof member of the team, as shown on screen via clips from “Beginnings, Part 2”, “Confronted”, and “Walls”.

Z argues that they’re become closer since they first formed the team: the five reuniting in “SWAT, Part 2”, fighting Drakel in “Abandoned”, and forming the Megazord.  I think it’s a clip from the first time they do so, but frankly all the Megazord-forming sequences start to blur together over time.

But Sky is still unconvinced that the five of them can stop Gruumm.

Bridge Comfort Eats

In a pale green onesie (complete with gloves!), Bridge comes into the rec room to eat a cupcake to his teammates’ bafflement, so Sky asks him why he’s doing so.

35CupcakeTime

“I always eat when I’m responsible for the end of the world,” he tells Sky.  While I suspect he’s slightly exaggerating, apparently Bridge is a comfort eater.  Bridge knows he’s sometimes annoying to his teammates.  Intermixed with clips from “Abridged” and “Wired, Part 2” are snippets of various teammates shouting his name from aggravation.

The other three do handstands to show solidarity.  Added to more clips from the aforementioned pair of episodes is a clip of their warehouse fight in “Robotpalooza”.  They reassure Bridge that his unique abilities and worldview have helped a lot in the fight against Gruumm.

The Final Piece- and Piecing Together the Plan

With pink curlers in her hair and wearing a pink robe over her white pajama shirt and pants, Syd comes in carrying Peanuts (I appreciate the continuity of her having a favorite plush).  She feels her tendency towards self-centeredness has caused their lack of victory.  There are flashbacks to her learning Z is her roommate in “Confronted”, her feelings about her birthday in “Stakeout”, and her initial distaste for RIC in “Dogged”.

Z reminds her of what happened later in “Dogged”, where her faith in RIC was rewarded.  Syd is pleased with herself briefly, but then worries Doggie became the Shadow Ranger due to them not being good enough.  I’m not quite sure how the ensuing flashback to “Shadow, Part 2” works since for parts of it the B-Squad weren’t there- maybe they saw the footage later?

Anyway, it’s followed by Doggie and Gruumm’s battle on wheels in “Dismissed” as well as Doggie scolding the team in “SWAT, Part 1”.  The five are feeling pretty sorry for themselves by this point, but then Bridge and Sky realize that there must be a reason why Gruumm hasn’t simply blown up the planet.

Syd remembers the diamond theft from “Walls” and the attempted gold theft from “Perspective”.  Bridge theorizes, “I got it!  Gruumm’s master plan is to open up a mega jewelry store.  It’s perfect.”

When his teammates are unimpressed, Bridge admits, “Okay maybe it’s not that perfect.”

35Theorizing

Bridge recollects the iridium Gruumm stole during “Samurai”, and they figure it could be a giant weapon… but Sky points out that “would need radioactive material to power the reactor”.  Bridge correctly suggests Gruumm got a piece of the meteor from “Impact”.  I don’t remember the meteor being called radioactive, but maybe that’s a detail that got conserved since SPD’s priority was stopping it from wrecking the city and not studying its contents.

B-Squad realizes that the hemotech plasma is needed to pull the weapon together just as Doggie shows up in the rec room.  I’m going to guess he can’t sleep due to thoughts about Isnia.  The Rangers all try to explain at once, so Doggie tells them to be quiet.

Jack comments on what they overheard.  Doggie elaborates that they didn’t stick around long enough to hear the tail end of his talk with Kat, where they agreed that if A-Squad was good enough to have beaten Gruumm by now they wouldn’t have gotten captured in the first place like B-Squad hasn’t been.  Sky reveals what they’ve figured out, and Doggie agrees they do need to take action.  He assures them that they’ll be ready to combat Gruumm, but first they need to get some sleep.

Over on Gruumm’s Ship

“Insomnia” actually opens and closes with scenes on Gruumm’s spaceship, with a scene marking the midway point between the Rangers examining their own flaws and then working together to figure out Gruumm’s plan.  It’s a well-done framing device.  In summary- Mora freaks out over whatever she sees in the room and flees, Gruumm drags her back in and purple CGI smoke nears her, and then she’s been brainwashed/cursed-into-obedience by the Magnificence, which is an eye on a long stalk sticking out of a giant bowl containing an equally big brain.

So… that confirms that brainwashing is a thing that happens in SPD.

Conclusion

I appreciate how the show justified in-universe the clip show.  I’ll acknowledge that some sort of summing up was needed before the final battle, especially given how subtle Gruumm’s overarching plan has been compared to most Power Rangers villains who mostly have in-fighting and throw monster after monster at the Rangers.  Gruumm apparently has an actual plan he’s been working at to complete over the past several months.

The five all examine their own flaws, but are reassured by the others that their virtues outnumber them.  I think Doggie was a bit underhanded in how he managed their eavesdropping, but I do understand why he’d want to keep Isnia’s possible survival private for the time being and therefore would change the subject to something where the mention of hope would be understandable.  Besides, maybe even with Kat (or maybe especially with Kat) he doesn’t want to talk about Isnia too much.

Only three episodes of SPD left!

Next time on Power Rangers: Jack meets a girl and then A-Squad returns.

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