14-10: Petrified Xander

Xander uses one of Clare’s potions to get rid of a pimple in a piece of poor decision making.  Meanwhile, the team finds the Fire Heart’s chest and get Toby to figure out how to open it.

Last time on Power Rangers: Chip used a Dawn Crystal to temporarily defeat Necrolai in order to reverse Vida’s transformation into a vampire.

 

Mirror, Mirror

Chip, Vida, and Xander are at the Rock Porium trying to figure out the half-scroll.  LeeLee is the one to point out that Xander has an admittedly large zit on the tip of his nose.  He looks in a mirror to be worried about the mar to his good looks to Vida’s sardonic amusement.  Chip realizes that maybe the two halves of the scroll are mirror images of each other.

There’s a brief interruption by a jubilant Toby, who has figured out a complex 3-D puzzle of some kind in less than an hour.  He thinks he’s talented enough at puzzles to be hired by a government agency of even the Power Rangers.  Chip and Vida lack poker faces and barely manage to distract him.

At Rootcore, the five realize that when put next to a mirror, the now complete image resembles Mount Fuego.  Xander takes notice of Clare’s latest potion which turns “sad, dull-looking flowers [into] perfectly gorgeous [ones]”.  Intrigued, and possibly remembering that Clare was more competent than he expected last episode, Xander spritzes a bit of the ‘perfection potion’ on his nose before the others out of Rootcore to search Mount Fuego.

Chest Time

LeeLee visits her irritable mom down in the Underworld, having eavesdropped on Chip’s solution to figuring out the half-scroll.  It’s revealed here at that some point Necrolai turned LeeLee’s father into a worm for some reason.  I wonder if it was even before LeeLee was born, given how she had to have been conceived prior to the final battle.

Xander is thrilled that the pimple is gone to Vida’s annoyance.  They find an entrance to a cave with two doors, although first Vida gets slimed.  Picking the first door, Vida finds a magical-looking chest.  A curious Xander opens the second door, unleashing a monster.

Ending up back out on the hillside, the duo fights the monster.  Vida uses tornado power to defeat it.  Before following her, Xander realizes one upper arm has begun to sprout.  Gathering around the chest, the five learn that there’s an hour deadline to figure out how to open the chest before the Fire Heart ceases to exist.  Styxoids and Hidiacs attack them, so the team morphs and defeats them.

This failure causes Morticon to destroy a Styxoid himself and to rage over Necrolai.  The vampire queen goes to Koragg for help.  She probably figures- correctly- that Koragg hates Morticon more than he does her.  Having returned to Rootcore, the five don’t know how to open the chest.  Nick tries to pull a leaf out of Xander’s hair but fails to do so.  Spreading his arms out, Xander inadvertently reveals his arms are becoming covered in bark.  Xander’s miffed at his teammates’ amusement, but Vida points out not unreasonably that he’s always been amused when Clare gets turned into something.

10CuriousToby

Chip realizes that Toby could solve the puzzle so the four take the chest to him at the Rock Porium.  Xander turns up late in a trench coat, sunglasses, and fedora.  Vida is amused by his freaking out and he confesses what he did to her.  As she leaves, Xander spots in a mirror that the bark is reaching up to his face.

Entling Xander

At Necrolai’s suggestion, Koragg sends the monster Skullington after the Rangers.  Vida finds an upset Clare at Rootcore, since the flowers she tried out her potion on have now died.  Xander barely manages to teleport into the forest and he now resembles a baby Ent.  That might not be a coincidence as Mystic Force was filmed in New Zealand, aka Middle-Earth.

He encounters Phineas, who points out, “Green is your color” but is sympathetic towards not fitting in due to appearances so he leads Xander to his campsite home.  They sit side by side, Phineas cracking himself up with his jokes which don’t amuse Xander.

Vida shows up, assuring Xander that Clare is working on the antidote.  Hopefully Udonna is helping her, otherwise the cure might end up being worse than the problem.  Xander’s upset with himself since he got himself into this mess.  Vida apologizes for her earlier comments, admitting she’s so used to Xander being confident and unruffled that she didn’t realize he could be insecure and have hurt feelings.

10Xander&Vida

She assures him that he doesn’t have to be “Xander the Great” since just by being Xander he’s great.  He acknowledges that he’s more than a pretty face and gets to his feet but he’s begun to take root.  As seen above, Vida now has a few green highlights in her hair, possibly done by the crew to stress her and Xander’s friendship for this episode.

“The Last Dragon Egg”

The other three are watching Toby through his office window when Udonna alerts them to nearby “dark energy” so they head out to take on the monster and Hidiacs.  Clare shows up just in time with the antidote so Vida turns herself into a rain cloud to, well, rain the antidote down on Xander.  I would have thought clouds would be Madison’s jurisdiction, but then again the two are twins.

Back to normal, Xander thanks Vida and gets a new spell code.  The three rush off, leaving a returning Phineas to think a nearby tree is a transformed Xander.  While the others take on the Hidiacs, Xander goes after Skullington.  Using his new “Mystic Force Fighters”, which are basically red boxing gloves, Xander takes on the monster in what looks like a pocket dimension.

“Dance like a butterfly, strong as a tree,” he goes during the fight.  Besides the obvious allusion, it doubles as a nod to Vida’s role in boosting his self-confidence.  Xander defeats the monster and the others join him; now everybody can use the spell.

Having papered his walls and used thread to link various sheets, Toby has figured out the riddle just in time.  Proud of himself, Toby wants to know what’s inside.  Xander distracts him by asking, “Toby, if a tree makes a mistake in the forest, and a friend comes to help it, does the tree learn its lesson?”

Once at Rootcore, they open up the chest to see a large copper-hued egg.  The Rangers are bemused, but Udonna reveals that it must be “the last dragon egg”.

Conclusion

The truth behind the Fire Heart is revealed here: it’s the last dragon egg.  Luckily, the Rangers are the ones who have access to it despite LeeLee’s eavesdropping.  I can’t wait for it hatch!  At this point I think Morticon has alienated both Koragg and Necrolai, which doesn’t bode well for him.

Xander, akin to Zack, is revealed to be rather insecure under that confident and flirty persona.  Here he explicitly admits he doubts he has much to offer besides his looks, which is definitely an unusual trait to be given to a male character.  Vida realizes her brash attitude hurt his feelings and apologizes before assuring him that he’s a great guy.  I suspect part of her lack of insight is because it’s probably pretty obvious when Chip and Madison suffer from hurt feelings and Vida is the type who doesn’t mope and has confidence in her abilities.  Furthermore, she might not have realized the blasé façade Xander put up when he first moved to Briarwood and was teased over his accent was a façade.

There was a subtle bit of character development in Xander using the potion.  Sure, he was desperate to get rid of the pimple but he might have realized Clare isn’t as foolish as he thought after he accidentally freed Vida by thinking she was a trapped Clare.  Now I’m wondering if he’ll be more sympathetic to her transformations in future episodes.  Also, I’m wondering if Xander’s nature powers interacted with the plant potion in an odd way, inducing his transformation.

While I am enjoying the depths Toby, Clare, Phineas, and LeeLee are getting as secondary characters, I’m starting to worry it’s coming at the cost of less character development for any Rangers not currently getting an episode’s focus.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Clare’s heritage is revealed to her, the team, and the villains.

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