Time to summarize Mystic Force on Harry Potter’s 36th birthday!
Mystic Force ended with the Master’s defeat and a mingling of Briarwood and the magic woodland folk.
Overall, I enjoyed this season as much as I did ten years ago when it originally aired. I do wish a little more time/focus was given to the woodland being culture so that their aid in the finale would have had more weight.
Yet at the same time, I will acknowledge that the character focus was spread fairly thin over a large group. It’s not so much that Nick received more attention than his fellow core Rangers to their detriment. It was more that secondary characters got as many if not more scenes than the other four Rangers. Clare, LeeLee, Necrolai, Phineas, and Toby all had mini-arcs of their own. And that’s not even acknowledging that Udonna, Daggeron, and Leanbow/Koragg had their own arcs as well. Jenji had a role but not so much an arc.
In the final arc Snow Prince, Itassis, Matoombo, and Mystic Mother all got scenes too. Altogether there were eighteen characters who got moments and lines (even if just a few) in the finale. Twenty-one if you count the Master, Black Lance, and Iron Sculpin. That’s a lot of characters to discuss, so I won’t discuss all of them. Those last three are fairly flat anyway (they’re evil and want to take over the world).
“The Broken Spell” two parter, “Dark Wish” three-parter, and “Mystic Fate” two-parter were all team-centric.
Nick, later also known as Bowen, is team leader as Red Ranger and has power over fire. He’s often determined and sometimes, well, fiery. He got focus in “Whispering Voices”, “Legendary Catastros”, “The Light”, “The Hunter”, shared with Vida in “Hard Heads”, and shared with Daggeron in “The Snow Prince”. Plus he learned to be less critical of Madison in “Rock Solid”.
He learned who his birth parents were and grew into the role as leader and powerful force for good. Yet unlike what was repeatedly hinted, Nick was not critical in defeating the Master. Toby and Phineas took initiative in rallying their respective people and the eight Rangers united to take out the Master.
There was a subtle arc Vida of learning to herself be more openly compassionate and accepting that pink isn’t a weak color. Her element is air/wind. It’s actually pretty surprising it took until “Hard Heads” for her and Nick to clash given their stubborn, strong personalities. She and Chip shared “Code Busters” as well as the “Stranger Within” two-parter. Vida helped out Xander in “Petrified Xander” and he helps her out in “The Return” when she realizes Matoombo isn’t evil.
Energetic, impulsive Chip is the Yellow Ranger and has lightning powers. The arc of him learning to be less foolhardy was started but never really had a conclusion. As stated above, he shared the focus in “Code Busters” and the “Stranger Within” two-parter with his best friend Vida. Daggeron helps him out in “Soul Specter” but not a lot of him training Chip to be a knight was seen on-screen.
Vida’s twin, Madison is the Blue Ranger with power over water. Diffident where her twin is outspoken, Madison learned to speak up for herself (and others) over time. It started in “Rock Solid”. The most compassionate and empathetic of the team, she sought out and reassured Jenji in “Ranger Down”. It’s repeatedly hinted that she and Nick are attracted to one another, with the season ending with the implication they’ll start dating when he returns from explaining matters to his adoptive parents.
And yes, the character is probably named for the mermaid from Splash. I’m a bit surprised Vida wasn’t named Mariposa.
Xander is the Green Ranger with power over rocks and plants. He learned that being bossy doesn’t make him a leader in “Fire Heart” and to put less focus on his appearance in “Petrified Xander”. Daggeron gets Xander to learn the importance of training in “Inner Strength”. A scene in “Light Source Part 2” reveals that he was bullied when he first moved to Briarwood over his accent, so his charm is likely at least in part an effort to prevent that from happening again. But by the end of the season, he’s matured enough to be manager (even if he still prefers ‘supervising’ to working).
Udonna personally didn’t get an episode focusing on her. But she spent the first half of the season being the wise mentor after her Snow Staff was stolen in the second episode. She got renewed determination and hope after learning the truth about her husband and her son’s identity. I’m a little sad there weren’t more bonding scenes with her and Nick (even if the foreshadowing got laid on thicker). She ended up a damsel in distress for most of the “Light Source” two-parter but then proved her skills in combat once she got her Snow Staff back.
Clare was the central figure in “The Gatekeeper” two-parter and shared the focus with LeeLee and Phineas in the “Light Source” two-parter. She’s Udonna’s niece and a sorceress-in-training for nearly all the season. For a while her magic was sporadic if it worked at all but by the end she’s become quite adept at spells. She’s far more bubbly and open than her aunt, partially since she doesn’t have the redhead’s emotional baggage. Her mother was revealed as the previous Gatekeeper, but nothing was ever said about her dad.
Daggeron showed up roughly half-way through the season in “Long Ago”. The good side of his mentoring was seen in “Inner Strength” and “Soul Specter” while its flaws were seen in “The Snow Prince”. He more or less shares the focus with Koragg/Leanbow in the “Heir Apparent” two-parter. As the Solaris Knight, he had light-based powers.
He has a cat-like genie named Jenji, who’s a chatterbox and the main focus of “Scaredy Cat” and “Ranger Down”.
Leanbow/Koragg was never officially in the opening credits. But as just mentioned, he was key in the “Heir Apparent” two-parter and the central figure in the previous episode “Koragg’s Trial”. Plus he got as much attention in the “Dark Wish” trilogy as the core five Rangers. As Koragg he’s as focused on honor as Zuko (which is saying something). Once he’s Leanbow, he’s less so but only because he now has other things in his life (friends and family, for example). He’s the most powerful warrior of the eight and even Nick cannot beat him unless under the Master’s influence.
The owner of the Rock Porium, Toby gradually gets fed up with his five employees’ erratic schedules… until he learns they’re the Power Rangers, anyway. Very retro and hippie like, Toby proves to be very open-minded about music, magic, and even troblins. He and Phineas first bond in “Scaredy Cat” where he’s unaware of his true identity, but they continue to be friendly even after Toby learns the truth.
Half-troll, half-goblin, Phineas starts out the season as isolated. But he becomes friends with the Mystics, particularly Nick (who he turns out to have a connection with). And later on he starts dating LeeLee and ends up having a job at the Rock Porium. He’s friendly and often inadvertently inspires the Ranger he speaks to. He, LeeLee, and Clare share the focus in the “Light Source” two-parter.
LeeLee and Necrolai/Nikkei are also never listed in the opening credits but both are key figures in the show. As Necrolai, the vampire queen was a dangerous foe to the Rangers. At first her half-human daughter LeeLee half-heartedly supported her mom’s schemes as well as nursed a crush on Nick (which probably finished dying when he lashed out at her at the start of “Light Source Part 1”). But gradually she grew more and more compassionate and then teamed up with Clare and Phineas to prove herself more good than evil despite a prophecy stating she’d be the next queen of vampires (a plot line that was never resolved). It’s definitely interesting how her hair is straight for Underworld scenes but wavy/curly for human world scenes. I’m not sure what the symbolism is supposed to be, but it’s clearly too deliberate to be an accident.
In the end, her love for her daughter (and compassion for Itassis, who had been kind to her), made Necrolai switch from evil to good. Using her powers to revive Leanbow and Daggeron, she apparently became human. She took on the name Nikkei and started dating Toby by the final scene.
Two of the Ten Terrors decided not to fight for the Master anymore: Matoombo, because he dislikes hurting others, and Itassis, once she learned about courage and was then called out as a puppet of the Master.
… Yeah, see what I mean? Sure, the Red Ranger tends to get the most focus but in this season it was more that the rest of the attention got spread thinner than usual. I suspect things would have been better if the season hadn’t been cut down to thirty-two episodes opposed to thirty-eight. That’s about two hours of footage lost.
The latter pair of box sets have the same color set-up: pink, green, yellow, red, blue. But hey, it’s nice for the box to be Xander’s color, particularly given the focus on the magic forest and how their headquarters is a giant magic tree named Rootcore.
I adore the theme song (even if it’s just hitting my nostalgia button) and the core five’s uniforms are gorgeous. Their Ranger suits are also cool looking, but I do prefer the Ancient Modes. They just look so awesome. Udonna’s Ranger suit is also cool, and I do like her standard outfit. I want to raid Clare’s wardrobe because her outfits are always awesome.
But even with the character-focus issues, I do love this season. And not just because it was my introduction to Power Rangers (though that helps). Because I do love all the characters, even with the disjointed focus. The plot is well-done, the battle scenes are cool, the costuming department did a great job, and it’s fun to watch a lot of the time but the serious scenes aren’t out of place.
I do wish more had been revealed about the first set of Mystics, the woodland being societies, and how the magic forest and Briarwood integrated. Basically I want both a prequel series and a sequel series (plus some extra focus on the magic forest society in the series itself). I suppose it’s a good thing that I want to know more about this season rather than being satisfied with what was seen.
… Also, with all those characters, how come Nick’s adoptive sister was never seen or even mentioned again after the first two episodes?!
But sadly, this season has indeed come to an end and I must now review Operation Overdrive, starting with the first part of “Kick into Overdrive”.