After finding the crown part of the Corona Aurora, Andrew Hartford sets out to create Operation Overdrive.
Last time on Power Rangers: Mystic Force defeated the Master of the Underworld, ushering in a new era of unity between Briarwood and the magical forest.
Archeological Adventures of Andrew
The episode starts out with Mack’s self-insert fantasy based off of the pulp novel he’s currently reading in a hammock outside the white Hartford mansion. It ends when he falls off the hammock (apparently a habit of his). Spencer, the snarky butler, comes over with some lemonade which evidently needs more sugar. Mack wants to go on archeological adventures with his dad. According to Spencer, Andrew Hartford has spent a decade and an enormous amount of money in the quest to find something Spencer doesn’t think exists.
So of course the show cuts to Andrew finding it on an outcropping of rock in a cave somewhere (weirdly, this isn’t specified). But after he takes it, there’s a sonic boom of light (or something) that reaches two planets which are likely on opposing ends of the circle. On one, Flurious awakens, and on the other Moltor does.
Andrew barely makes it back to the other side of the cave where the entrance is. The Sentinel Knight shows up to info-dump the results of Andrew’s discovery and how “there is not much time” to prepare.
Six Months Later (Yes, Really)
Next up comes a montage where the four each find a little gizmo that when triggers, causes a mini-hologram of Andrew to pop up and give personalized messages.
Dax Lo is an unappreciated stuntman who wants to become a big-name actor. Given how dependent this series is on stunts, I’m not sure whether this how most stunt-folk actually feel or if it’s a tongue-in-cheek depiction. Ronny Robinson is an undefeated race car driver. Will Aston got hired to break into Andrew’s own vault in Brazil for his ‘test’.
Rose Ortiz is attending “Wickerbridge University of Technology” in London and has to stop her robot from wreaking havoc after her professor apparently meddled with it. Her gizmo was on her stuff, attracting her attention when it clattered to the ground.
The four go to the Hartford mansion, confused by why they’ve been contacted. Mack comes in- he’s intrigued by there being guests while they initially think he got a message too. When Andrew and Spencer come in, his dad literally pushes him out of the room and shuts the doors. Then he more graciously nudges Spencer out of the way by telling him to go get lemonade for the others.
Andrew reveals that not just the world, but the universe, is at risk. Mack and Spencer are both eavesdropping by a vent. Three days ago, Moltor and Flurious reached Earth. As seen above, the four are blasé (possibly remembering the previous fourteen years). Next comes an info-dump on the Corona Aurora.
Rose takes on the middle of the story about a pair of brothers trying to steal the Corona Aurora in order to misuse its incredible powers. But the crown transformed the pair into their current forms and banished them to separate planets. She reveals she took a course on “Ancient Universal Legends” and I am so intrigued that’s an actual course in this reality. Please, please tell me Professor/Doctor Cranston taught it.
Despite the crown being able to protect itself, Andrew explains that the Sentinel Knight opted to scatter the six parts of the crown (six jewels and the crown itself) across the then-backwater planet of Earth millennia ago.
Yeah, the episode uses the term “millennia” which makes me think ten to thirty thousand years ago, not way back when Pangaea was a thing as brought up towards the finale. Maybe there was time travel involved…? Of course, that’s not even going into why the Sentinel Knight decided to make the crown more vulnerable after an attempted theft as one of my sisters pointed out. Besides, it would have been more effective to put each part on a different planet.
Andrew shouts into the vent for Spencer before continuing his plea for their aid, finishing with “I can turn you into Power Rangers.”
Dax is intrigued and Will outright scornful; disbelieving him, the four turn to leave. Now mostly energy opposed to a physical form, the Sentinel Knight shows up to confirm Andrew’s story.
Flurious and his minions (Chillers) find an ice cave to dwell in, which is inhabited by the yeti Norg. Moltor is already comfortable in a volcanic lair and gets data from an informant (wait, what?) about where to go.
The group has gone down to a high-tech base under the mansion. The four’s genes are altered by a “DNA re-sequencer” to make them stronger and smarter; they’ve also changed into their Ranger uniforms which are black with trim in their Ranger color. Dax is a bit worried about turning into a fly-like monster. Andrew’s plan is to get his own genes altered and become the Red Ranger.
Mack used the elevator to reach this underground base, curious about what’s going on. Andrew takes his son up to the main mansion, evidently explaining things off-screen. Adoring his dad, Mack wants to help (being a Power Ranger would be a bonus).
Dax, Will, Ronny, and Rose have gone out to the front lawn of the mansion. Ronny is not amused by Dax’s ramblings. Will’s senses have been enhanced- he can see the Lava Lizards hiding among some far-off bushes. The numerous minions leap out to attack the group, which struggles as they’re new to combat.
They get felled and are very much outnumbered but an upset Ronny gets back up and discovers she now has super speed, which she uses to take out multiple Lava Lizards. I’m amused by Dax calling her “a blur” since Barry was briefly known as the Blur early on The Flash. Then Dax super-leaps to avoid an attack. Rose, after wondering about what her power will be, learns she can become invisible.
Spencer comes out with sandwiches and sees the battle. Mack is still insisting on helping despite his dad’s protests and matters aren’t helped when Spencer bursts in to tell Andrew about what’s going on the lawn. Andrew heads off to get the crown.
On an ‘ice screen’ akin to his brother’s ‘lava scrying bowl’ Flurious sees the battle and thus commands the Chillers to retrieve the crown. Spencer approaches the four, holding Mack back by the back of grey jacket, as they retreat towards the mansion.
Three of them get bikes to ride. Spencer drives the yellow Jeep with Andrew in the passenger seat while Rose and Mack are in the back. But all four vehicles stop as there are Chillers in front of them and Lava Lizards behind. Andrew hands out the morphers from a box and gives them the “activation code”. By this point Andrew is annoyed by his son’s insistence on wanting to help.
Facing the Chillers, the selected quartet morphs. Spencer is put in charge of watching Mack, but when he leaves the Jeep Andrew is attacked by Lava Lizards and drops the Red morpher. Mack gets out and uses said morpher to become the Red Ranger.
Somehow the battle between the Chillers and Rangers shifts to a quarry location. Mack has a Drive Lance; Will has a Drive Slammer (a definite reference to the Thing with his call of “It’s Slammer Time!”); Dax has the Drive Vortex (a weaponized fan thing-y?); Ronny has the Drive Claws (okay then); and Rose has the Drive Geyser, which is basically a powerful water gun.
Moltor arrives but the five come to Andrew’s rescue. More Lava Lizards come over, one of them holding the crown they forced away from Spencer. Activating the volcano near San Angeles, the villains then teleport away.
As I earlier pointed out, how the Corona Aurora ended up on Earth makes no sense. Also, I’m a bit dubious about Andrew wanting to be both mentor and Red Ranger. Like, that’s just too much authority invested in one person in regards to this series. Mentors and Red Rangers each have a role to play (as does the rest of the team, of course) but nobody else has considered merging the two. It just comes off as arrogant to me.
Mack and Ronny sound different than I remember, but then again it has been nine years since I last heard their voices. Dax is a ditz and Will is smug. Spencer is snarkier than I remember and it’s worth noting that his actor David Weatherly played Barliman Butterbur in Fellowship of the Ring. It’s nice that Nic Sampson (Chip) has returned to voice the Sentinel Knight, but I’m less enthused about Kelson Henderson’s latest character Norg.
I am impressed neither by the theme song nor the five’s weapons. The costumes are professional I suppose, but it’s weird for them to be mostly black when there’s a Black Ranger on the team. With Mystic Force and RPM, their uniforms showcase enough of their color I don’t mind there being black and in the former’s case there is no Black Ranger.
Expect more grumbling about how things could have been improved as I go through the season.
Next time on Power Rangers: Mack leads the team to rescue his dad from Moltor.