14-16: Soul Specter

For the halfway episode, Chip gets himself into trouble via a cursed bottle while Koragg goes up against the Solaris Knight to see if he’s a worthy foe.

Last time on Power Rangers: Xander didn’t appreciate Daggeron’s teaching methods (i.e., he wanted the Green Ranger to actually practice outside of lessons, the horror).

 

Double Trouble

Apparently Koragg has been off forging a new weapon with “the last of Morticon’s dark magic” and the blade he picked up after Morticon’s defeat.  In any case, Gnatu and Spydex are a pair of monsters out in the park along with a group of Hidiacs.  Gnatu is the female ‘brains’ of the operation while Spydex is male and has the power to steal a person’s life force.  It’s not quite explained how that works.

The six Rangers show up to protect as many civilians as possible, but Chip gets held back by Hidiacs while the monsters take the life forces from a dad and his daughter.  Once freed, he takes on Gnatu who easily evades his attack and teleports away.  Chip expresses his guilt over not being able to help the limp civilians despite the others reassuring him that it’s not his fault.

Down in the Underworld, Imperious is impressed by how Gnatu’s plan is coming along, sparking a rivalry between the two villainesses.  Necrolai conjures up a black bottle as part of her own plan.  Koragg teleports in, having completed his weapon.  Imperious attempts to establish his dominance over Koragg to no effect, the Dark Wolf leaving to seek out the Solaris Knight.  The dark wizard just goes scornfully, “What a puppet,” which is more than a snarky remark upon re-watching.

Back at Rootcore, Xander is using the magic computer to keep an eye out for any dark energy while Madison is looking through books in a so far futile effort to find any useful spells.  Chip is restless and frustrated despite Daggeron trying to calm him down.  Jenji is feeding Fire Heart with Nick and Vida watching on.

16AmusedUdonna

When the two wonder if they’re feeding the baby dragon too much, Udonna points out, “Well, I’ve always found it pays to give a dragon all he wants to eat before he wants to eat you.”

This spurs Jenji into tossing a lot of the remaining brussel sprouts at Fire Heart to the humans’ collective amusement.  In any case, at first glance this looks like a regular teasing remark, possibly inspired by Udonna having known dragons in the past.  Of course, the interesting thing is that her husband’s title was the Dragon Warrior.  Usually the show basically pretends physical affection beyond hugs doesn’t exist, so I doubt there was any deliberate ‘nudge, nudge’ element to the comment.  That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist…

Koragg telepathically contacts Nick about him wanting to battle the Solaris Knight in the “twilight dimension”.  Jenji is very worried for someone who’s had minimal interaction with the Dark Wolf but then again Udonna warns Daggeron that Koragg is a “fierce warrior”.  Daggeron refutes, “I was taught by the best.”

That’s another seemingly innocent remark that gets a lot more interesting in hindsight.  What is that, the third this episode?  In any case, Daggeron takes off in the Solar Train.  Xander alerts the others about a dark magic signal so they leave on their Mystic Racers.

The Titular Curse

Spydex is at the location, hanging upside down on a webbing.  Chip goes after the monster but Nick’s the one who gets a life force orb free.  Chip grabs it but Gnatu snatches it out of his hands to return it to her fellow monster.

Koragg and Daggeron meet in a modern-looking city that’s lit in purplish light.  They start to battle, Koragg wanting to see if Daggeron is worthy of being called a knight.  Imperious is using the oblong crystal in his fan as a crystal ball to watch both battles alternately.

Nick reassures his teammates when they reach the mid-air web Spydex has made and is in the center of it before he, the twins, and Xander start tight-roping their way across.  Spydex slashes the twins’ strand apart so a dangling Xander uses Mystic Muscles to swing to their rescue.  Nick reaches Spydex but is tossed off the web and has to turn some patio furniture into a safe landing pad.  I’m not happy about Xander ‘having’ to rescue the twins- especially when Vida has power over air.  Can’t she use the Fairy Wings to fly?

Conjuring up the Mystic Fighters, Chip dashes to the center of the web and fights Spydex in a battle that ends with them crashing into the concrete in an explosion.  Weakened, the monster then super-sizes.  Elsewhere, Koragg and Daggeron continue to fight, with the former stating his belief  that using powers for good is “a waste of [their] talents”.  Soon afterward, Koragg beats Daggeron and comments, “And you call yourself a knight,” as he leaves.

The Megazord is formed to take on Spydex, but they revert to their uniforms when a life force orb gets loose and shrinks down.  But they’re blasted by Gnatu, who takes the orb back before the duo teleports away to the Rangers’ annoyance.  Chip finds the black bottle and opens before Madison can even finish her worried statement about that being a bad idea.  He’s promptly affected by dark magic, developing a vortex on his torso and creates a tornado when his shirt is pulled up.

Necrolai calls it a “soul specter” before flying off.  As they return to the dragon’s head entrance, Udonna comes out and sums up the curse.  The only cure is the “Staff of Topaz” at the top of Mount Isis according to Daggeron as he approaches.   The other Mystics will stay behind to protect Briarwood while he and Chip go on the journey.  Udonna is concerned about the journey.

Up a Mountain

Imperious is pleased at how the villainesses’ plans are coming along but is miffed at how Koragg didn’t destroy the Solaris Knight.  Koragg tells him to “back off” as he only obeys the Master.

The Solar Train arrives near the base of the mountain, Chip and Daggeron ready to head up it.  Spydex and Gnatu continue to steal people’s life forces with the ultimate goal of using them to power up a device that will destroy a sizable chunk of Briarwood.  Having collected enough, a spiky red ball is formed.  The four Rangers show up in an effort to stop them.

16Chip&Daggeron

Chip and Daggeron struggle up the mountain, cliff-climbing for a bit of the way.  Chip eventually comes to a stop, exhausted and wanting to just stop.  Daggeron sits next to him, admitting he wanted to quit a lot when training to be a knight and that he’d truly be a bad teacher if he let his student quit before they even began.  Inspired by the goal of becoming a knight, Chip has the energy to keep moving.

The other Rangers are struggling against Gnatu and Spydex as the duo reaches the top of Mount Isis.  Chip collapses, weakened by the soul specter.  Daggeron approaches the Staff of Topaz but Koragg blasts him and grabs the Staff.  I suspect it was easier for him to get up the mountain without a cursed person along.  In any case, Koragg and Daggeron have a rematch.

It’s very awesome, lots of explosions and flying attacks.  Alas, Chip is probably too out of it to be watching.  Koragg calls upon Catastros to form his Megazord so Daggeron creates his.  The battle continues to be epic as the two are evenly matched in power and ability.

Back in Briarwood, the four are losing against Gnatu and Spydex.  Gnatu puts the red spiky ball in the device; Nick rallies the others and they charge at the monsters.  Daggeron manages to obtain the Staff of Topaz.  Acknowledging that Daggeron might be a “worthy opponent after all”, Koragg then teleports away.  Daggeron uses the Staff to save Chip, who is okay with brutal training if it means he’ll become a knight.

Fending Off Evil

With the other Rangers stopped again, Gnatu starts the fuse, but Chip somehow stops it with a blast from his crossbow before blasting the two monsters as well.  There’s a brief reunion between the five before they go after the two monsters.  Daggeron gets out the spiky ball to their relief.

The five all use super speed somehow to take on the monsters.  Chip tries to take out Gnatu, who shoves Spydex in the way so he’s destroyed instead.  This breaks the spell and the people- including the dad and daughter- are restored to normal.

Gnatu now super-sizes and tries to step on the Rangers, who then form the Megazord.  She tries to fly off but the Megazord can fly too, so she’s soon destroyed.

Later, Chip is demonstrating his archery skills to Daggeron just outside Rootcore.  Daggeron proves he’s good with a bow as well before accidentally revealing that Udonna was married to Chip’s surprise.  Now the subtitles spell his name ‘Liambo’.  Daggeron tells Chip “he was the bravest man I ever knew” and reports what he and Udonna believe what happened to him as well as acknowledging he wasn’t present at the Great Battle without saying why.  Daggeron hands over the bow, distracting Chip by mentioning he has a lot of training ahead of him so the redhead fires another arrow.

Conclusion

This was a solid episode where Daggeron proved his mettle to Koragg.  Interestingly, Daggeron did better when there was an immediate threat to his student rather than a simple battle between enemies.  I wonder if Koragg had a hypothesis on the subject and that’s why he went to Mount Isis.

Chip’s lack of foresight got him into trouble this episode, but he has a good heart and plenty of courage, which means with training he will make a great knight as Daggeron clearly knows.  I wonder if the two instances I thought were him being genre blind were in fact him not thinking the situation through before acting.

Imperious and Koragg continue to rub each other the wrong way.  The supporting cast- LeeLee, Clare, Toby, and Phineas- weren’t present.  Well, Jenji and Fire Heart were; interestingly they seem to be on good terms here when next episode the former lashes out against the latter.  Udonna only has a small part this episode, but she got the best line.  There was plenty of foreshadowing here for the big reveal of the season (not that I’m going to say it until it comes up but I will keep pointing out how the show has been hinting towards it).

This is the halfway episode.  By now the heroes and villains have all been well-established.  The risks are getting higher and the battles tougher.  Morticon was defeated and the Gatekeeper’s power drained, so Imperious and the Solaris Knight joined the fray.  Hints are being laid out for a future reveal; they’re actually reasonably done, especially given the age range of the intended audience.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Jenji gets jealous of Fire Heart.

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