With some help from Koragg, the team sets out to request that the Tribunal of Magic reverses Imperious’ dark wish.
Last time on Power Rangers: Imperious managed to capture Jenji so he could make, well, a dark wish.
Black and White
The Rangers are horrified by Briarwood being a wreck. Furthermore, all the color has been leeched out of it, leaving the city in black and white. Toby is now a homeless person, complete with a shopping cart to contain his belongings. Furthering their confusion, he doesn’t recognize Nick. “The darkness” took over four months ago. Nick points out that’s when he arrived in Briarwood and they “became… you know who”.
I’m surprised that Chip didn’t make even an oblique Harry Potter reference. Possibly the situation is too serious for joking around. Music has been banned but Toby secretly listens to it anyway. Some Hidiacs and a Styxoid show up to rough him up and break his gizmo. It’s at this point that the five realize their morphers are gone. Nick runs into the tree, failing to teleport.
Down in the Underworld, Imperious and Necrolai are delighted with their victory. Apparently he ‘let’ the Rangers keep their memories as a painful reminder of what once was. Possibly similar manipulation is why he’s still around but Daggeron is not.
The five walk to Rootcore, which has been torn down and chucks of the Xenotome are on the ground. Evidently Udonna has suffered some kind of mental breakdown, leaving Clare to become the ‘maternal’ one of the pair. Neither has been using a comb lately. There’s something concerning about the idea that it’s very possible that if this had ‘actually’ happened Udonna wouldn’t have broken down but this was more ‘fine-tuning’ by Imperious.
Then again, given Clare’s claim that “there’s no more good magic in the world” it’s very possible that Udonna would suffer a sanity slippage after being linked to her magic for decades. Clare’s relationship with magic has so far been too spotty for a strong bond to have been formed; or maybe her powers while used for good aren’t necessary good in and of themselves.
Wandering the woods, the five are dismal about these sudden changes. Chip lists off everything that has happened and how “this is officially as bad as it gets”. On the one hand, no truly genre savvy person would ever say anything along those lines. On the other, Koragg then appearing turns out to make their situation better.
Koragg shows up, having been looking for them as “we need to talk”. He sticks his blade into the ground, which is picked up by an annoyed Nick. His teammates have to literally hold him back. Vida stresses that they can at least hear him out and Madison points out they have no magic to defend themselves with.
Holding his blade back out towards him, Madison says they’ll talk. Taking it back, Koragg wants to know how the world has changed. Vida recaps their loss of Jenji so Koragg correctly hypothesizes what must have happened. To the Rangers’ confusion, Koragg claims that Fifty Below and Fightoe are as much his enemies as theirs. Chip points out that makes no sense.
“Not because they did [defeat you guys], but how they did it and how they tried to get rid of me. But most of all, those two are planning to overthrow the Master,” Koragg explains.
Nick half-jokes, “So you want darkness to rule the world, but not if they don’t do it nicely.”
Getting up into the younger man’s face, Koragg refutes, “Without honor, victory is meaningless. It is the one thing in this world that no one can take from you.”
That… that is incredibly heart-breaking in hindsight.
As seen above, Koragg has a degree of purple left on him but it’s relatively muted. Almost as if he’s in a grey area between good and evil, hm? Turning around, Koragg goes on to say, “I would battle them myself, but my magical powers have also been taken away. But I can help you get your powers back and defeat Fightoe and Fifty Below.”
“And you guys took his sword away from me,” goes Nick, laughing bitterly.
“No, no, no, no, no. Think about this. What choice do we really have? We know the outcome the way things are now. At least Koragg’s way we still might have a fighting chance,” Xander reasons.
So the Dark Wolf leads them through the woods, explaining that they must go the Tribunal of Magic in another dimension and ask them to reverse the wish. Without his powers, Koragg can’t transport them there but they can take the grown Fire Heart there. In this reality, Koragg was the one who found and raised Fire Heart. Um, but Necrolai was the threat in the episode where the Rangers and the dark forces were both trying to find the egg. Maybe here she was busy scaring civilians, something Koragg has no interest in.
The dragon now breathes blue flames and only has some red left on his body- the rest is monochrome. Apparently Koragg can manage to cast a quick spell that will cause Fire Heart to let the five ride him to this other dimension. Nick grudgingly thanks Koragg, who bids them farewell by saying, “Go with honor.”
Phineas shows up as the dragon flies off to ask if they’re the ones he spoke of. Koragg confirms that before stating this is the end of their alliance. Phineas goes “goodbye friend” as Koragg stalks off.
Journey to the Tribunal
As Fire Heart flies along, Chip can’t help but be excited about the adventure they’re on. Necrolai shows up to emit blasts from her eyes, but she’s no match for the dragon. It’s definitely interesting that she didn’t bring along the purple morpher that is the manifestation of Koragg’s magic.
Apparently Fire Heart can create wormholes to travel between dimensions. Not going to lie, that’s a pretty awesome wormhole. The dragon drops them off on a dune in a desert; everything and everyone is back in color now. Regardless, the youths are uneasy about being in a landmark-less desert. Matters aren’t helped when Fire Heart flies off.
They wander the desert until a warrior materializes out of the sand. I know this episode aired eight years before Captain America: Winter Soldier came out, but all I can think is ‘zombie Winter Soldier’ when I look at that guy. Xander attempts to talk with the warrior, but apparently the five must defeat him and a group of several warriors who pop out of the top of a nearby dune to go on to the Tribunal.
In the following extensive fight scene, it’s noticeably raining for Vida and Nick’s scenes but not for the other three’s as well as for the enemies’ charge. All the scenes are of one Ranger and their enemy/enemies. I’m not sure if it was raining one day of filming and not the other, or if the first few scenes were done with the rain effect before somebody decided it was too much work or what. The difference is rather jarring.
Once the enemies have been defeated, ‘zombie Bucky’ is the last to dissolve, only doing so after he gives Nick a key to use wisely. As they walk along, Chip is theorizing what it could be a key to when the group finds a pair of doors. One is wholly white while the other is black with a white frame.
Madison opens the wholly white door: it shows a busy Toby at the Rock Porium, the color back and everything. Madison and Nick both point out that it seems too easy to just go through there. Once Madison closes the door, it dissolves into sand. Chip opens up the other door which shows a swirling wormhole; the redhead holds the door open for his teammates and closes it behind him. It then also dissolves into sand.
At the Tribunal
The five dryly rise up out of a pool. They’re on a grassy hill overlooking a large body of water in a white open air temple-like location. The three Tribunals teleport in; other than each being a different hue (black, red, and white) they look identical. Apparently the five are the first to reach them in three centuries.
Xander steps forth to be chatty but they want things kept brief so he opts to hand things over to Nick. Nick explains the situation. The red tribunal wants to know why they want Imperious’ wish reversed and they’re unimpressed by wanting good magic back since their goal is to insure that there is magic, not what kind.
When he elaborates on how Imperious got ahold of their genie, Nick doesn’t feel anybody was responsible. I sort of want to blame the bad guys for setting up the situation, but the Rangers don’t know about that. And yes, they probably might have done a better job of remembering that Jenji is sentient and not a power source… but really, I suspect Jenji will be regularly used in the future just as he has been in the past.
The Tribunal opts to skirt the issue of whether or not the Rangers were responsible (possibly implying they don’t think they’re responsible) and asks about what they’d do if their request was granted.
“We would go back and fight the darkness and restore the world to the way it was. And there would be color and laughter, and people could be free,” Madison responds.
“And Toby would have his store back, and we’d all have music,” adds Nick.
“And Udonna would have Rootcore,” chimes in Vida.
“And we’d have our dragon back,” continues Xander.
“And I’d have my cape back,” Chip wraps up the team’s commentary. When the others just look over at him, Chip defends himself, going, “What? It may not mean much to you, but it does to me.”
After conferring amongst themselves, the Tribunal decides to not grant the five’s request and they’re promptly teleported back to Briarwood. Hidiacs and Styxoids are harassing citizens, and start to include the five in said harassment.
Unknown to the youths, the Tribunal is still watching via a picture in mid-air. They suspect the five will find it easier to give up than to keep fighting without magic. The Black tribunal, who is perhaps biased, feels they made the right decision. However, there’s a third part to this arc…
Despite the hope spot of Koragg of all people giving the five aid, the episode ends on a downer note. Although they made the journey all the way to the Tribunal of Magic, their request was rejected. And it now looks as if Imperious’ dark wish will remain reality.
I really did enjoy the scene between Koragg and the Rangers. It’s now basically canon that Koragg doesn’t destroy them because he views them as non-threats. Their victories are probably dismissed in his mind as being due to luck or because the monster was weak. To be fair, most monsters are weak compared to Koragg. His emphasis on honor is explained here: he feels that it is the only thing that another can’t take from you. Given what is later revealed about him, this is very much true in his case. His name and memories were stolen, his loyalty and moral compass largely reversed, his powers altered… yeah, his honor is the only part of him that’s just his right now.
However, I have to wonder if his magic didn’t fundamentally change and that’s why Imperious made sure it wasn’t part of Koragg by the time he set his plan to capture Jenji into motion. Certainly the morpher Imperious turned Koragg’s magic into didn’t make an appearance this episode, even though it would have useful for Necrolai to use it against Fire Heart.
The episode’s depiction of Udonna made me uncomfortable, all the more so since it was admittedly plausible to have happened… or at least forced to happen by Imperious. Yeah, this dark wish is very creepy when you consider just how many heads were messed with by it. I wonder why Koragg was partially unaffected, apparently able to remember both sets of memories. Maybe a being can be under only one mind/memory altering spell at a time?
Now I’m really curious about the Tribunal, even though I’m pretty sure they aren’t ever mentioned outside of this arc. Are they representative of the three kinds of magic or are they actually the sentient sources of said kinds of magic? What exactly gives them so much power? And I admittedly can see their point about not throwing around said power nilly-willy. Though I will be grumpy about how outside this arc using or not using Jenji is basically a non-issue. Then again, I suppose the problem was the Rangers trying to unnecessarily escalate a battle, which was a big no-no for Zordon.
… I wonder what if anything the older Mystics know about Zordon. They certainly could have teleported over to the Command Center for advice back in the eighties.
Next time on Power Rangers: By refusing to give up, the Rangers change the Tribunal’s minds and even receive Legend Mode.