8-20: The Omega Project

A boy named Simon alerts the Aquabase to an approaching asteroid capable of wiping out Mariner Bay.

Last time on Power Rangers: Queen Bansheera was partially restored to a physical form.

 

Not Just Stargazing

One night Joel visits a young African-American boy named Simon, who is particularly very intelligent and curious about space.  Furthermore, he wants to work at Lightspeed but is disgruntled when Joel only tells him he’ll be able to work wherever he wants ‘someday’.  It’s never clarified how these two know each other: uncle and nephew, siblings with an age gap, part of some Big Brother program, or what.

Olympius has a plan to alter an asteroid’s path so it’ll wipe out Mariner Bay, pleasing his mother.  Simon even briefly spots the asteroid in his telescope, unaware of the danger.

Angela is holding a briefing down in her lab.  First up, she’s modified the Battle Boosters so they can use the Max Solarzord by remote.  While not stated, it’s certainly clear that it’s because Ryan’s no longer around.  Plus, she has designed the Omega Megazord which impresses Chad and Kelsey.  Joel arrives late, with a bouquet of daisies behind his back.  The other four Rangers are interested in watching Joel’s latest effort to ask out Angela… but then Simon hacks Joel’s morpher’s frequency and causes him to reveal the daisies’ presence before he meant to.  Matters aren’t helped when the Captain shows up to be unamused by Joel’s antics.  Joel ends up handing over the daisies to him.

Joel takes the Jeep to pick up Simon, mostly to express his annoyance with the boy for making him look unprofessional in front of his teammates and boss (and crush, but he doesn’t mention that).  But Simon explains he looked more into the nearing asteroid and is certain it’ll strike Mariner Bay.  To prove it, he has a binder full of papers covered in equations.  So Joel takes Simon with him back to the Aquabase.

Angela is bemused by the boy’s presence and mostly ignores Joel’s efforts to talk to her as she’s in the middle of testing for the Omega Zords and doesn’t think he has anything of substance to say.  Simon sneaks off to her office, locking himself in to use the computer to meddle with the testing.  Joel and Angela realize what Simon’s up to… or at least, they think so.

20Quartet

She manages to get into her office and sees he’s pulled up footage of the asteroid on her computer.  Simon elaborates on the situation and she’s impressed by the work he’s done, even giving him a kiss on the cheek.  This makes Joel cranky to the point he doesn’t leave when the alarms start blaring- Angela has to tell him to go.

Asteroid M

The five form the Lightspeed Solarzord and charge it up before blasting at the asteroid from Mariner Bay.  But they have to recharge before emitting another barrage.  Olympius assures his worried mother that he’ll block out the sun to leave them powerless.

Carter is setting the lasers to recharge when Olympius shows up to use his star power to trap the Lightspeed Solarzord in a bubble of darkness.  The five leave the cockpit to attack; I’m presuming it’s outside the bubble as it’s daylight for the fight scene.

Simon is looking over his equations as a curious Angela looks on.  The Battle Boosters are activated, but Olympius is a tough foe.  Then Angela contacts the Rangers to return to the Aquabase so they can activate the Omega Zords.

Jinxer is delighted by the demons’ nearing victory.  Bansheera stresses she’ll be in charge with Olympius as her second-in-command.  Unlike most secondary villains in Power Rangers, Olympius seems to be completely fine with this.  He does seem truly fond of his mother, but also he might be aware he doesn’t yet have enough respect from the other high-ranking demons (Loki, Vypra) to command them unilaterally.  Furthermore, he is still adapting to being a mature demon.

20Salute

Simon and Angela watch on as the Rangers take a platform down to the new Zords.  There’s a final countdown prior to the activation and the train takes off!  The duo heads over to Rescue Ops, where Captain Mitchell and Simon salute each other.  As seen above, it’s adorable.

Once in outer space, the Omega Crawler is formed.  Chad fires the lasers to create a landing space for the Omega Crawler.  They find the location to bury the first explosive.  Dana uses the drill arms to create the hole and Kelsey inserts the explosive.  She’s not happy when Joel expresses his concerns as she’s “nervous enough” to begin with.

Carter and Chad are both uneasy, and they must plant a second explosive before they can leave.  The Omega Crawler flies over a ridge and the process is repeated, sans Chad creating the landing spot.  Bansheera has rock pillars rise up to trap the Omega Crawler before it can take off.

Angela, the captain, and Simon are all worried.  Carter initiates the Omega Megazord so they can set off the explosives manually by using the Omega Missiles.  Joel is rightfully worried as after the explosions the asteroid starts to fall apart.

Simon is freaking out to the point Angela has to hold him back.  The screen the Aquabase personnel are watching for Ranger footage turns to static as the asteroid fully blows up in a massive explosion.  Everybody in Rescue Ops is worried, but then Carter’s voice comes over the radio.  And the screen recovers to show that the Omega Megazord is okay, as are the Rangers, to everyone’s relief.

The five come down to Rescue Ops and receive a round of applause.  Angela, Joel, and Simon have a moment before she heads off to check on the other Rangers.  Joel and Simon head off to be near the briefing room entrance.  Giving Simon his hat, Joel explains he wants the boy to ask Miss F out for a date since she likes him better.

Joel, no.  If you know that she doesn’t like you, then don’t try tricking her into a date.  It’s not cute, it’s unsettling.  Not to mention it’s sexist (and stalker-ish) to pursue a woman even after she’s made her lack of interest clear.

177charles

Everybody feel better?  I certainly do.

Simon heads off and the two have an unheard conversation.  He tells Joel she accepted and the two of them will be going to the planetarium (Joel forgot to clarify that Simon is asking her out for Joel, not for Simon himself).  Joel takes back his hat; Simon and Angela head off.  His four teammates understandably laugh at him for trying to use a kid to ask out Angela as Joel stalks off in another direction.

Conclusion

For some reason, Ryan is not so much as mentioned in this episode.  Clearly he’s left the city, but it’s a little weird not to have Carter, Dana, or the Captain to not have an offhand mention of how they miss him or worry how he’s doing.

I suspect the Omega Megazord is more or less the updated version of the Super Train.  I’m glad to have that dangling plot thread resolved.  And it’s refreshing that so far Olympius is fine with playing fiddle to his mother.

Joel needs to get it through his head ‘no means no’ and I’m not even sure why he’s so hung up on Angela.  Yes, she’s pretty and smart and brave.  But she’s made it very clear she’s not interested in dating him, so why isn’t he flirting with another female personnel- someone who might be more interested in him?  I also don’t like his attempted underhanded methods here and am generally not amused by his dogged pursuit despite her previous rejections.  If I was in Angela’s shoes, his antics would just have me more determined to say no, not less.

Although his link with Joel is unexplained, I did like Simon.  And even if he’s a one-off character, it’s nice to have a black boy who’s good at science and math given the general stereotypes.  But I really would have liked some justification as to how Simon and Joel know each other.  It’s certainly something that it looks like Joel could get better romantic advice from Simon than vice versa.  Concerning, perhaps?

I’m now halfway through Lightspeed Rescue!  As I discussed last time, evidently this second half of the season will have two subplots.  The core five Rangers fighting demons in Mariner Bay while Ryan has a solo quest to find out how to seal them away before Queen Bansheera is fully revived.  Even if Ryan wasn’t seen here…

 

Next time on Power Rangers: When four magical crystals are stolen, the fifth and final one is used as bait but the plan fails.

 

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