15-7: At All Cost

Ronny’s competitive spirit is wearing on her friends.  Meanwhile, Andrew buys himself a dragon scale to power the Defender Vest.

Last time on Power Rangers: Rose got possessed by a pirate ghost but the first jewel was obtained by the heroes.

 

A Morning Jog and Its Fashions

As part of their routine, evidently the Rangers go jogging.  Spencer is accompanying them as he drives along in a golf cart, and has added a straw hat to top off his typical suit.

7ExerciseGarb

I do like the five’s exercise garb even if there is a lot of black being worn.  All five have on black slacks and white sneakers with grey details.  Mack has on a mostly red tee and Will has a black zip-up long-sleeved shirt and has a grey towel with the team logo on it over his shoulders.  Dax has on a blue and black tee and an indigo wristband on his left wrist.  Ronny has on a white undershirt and a yellow hoodie with elbow-length sleeves.  Rose has on a black hoodie pullover vest and pink-grey tee.

Mack decides to pick up his pace, causing him and Ronny to get into a race which she wins.  She’s playing a racing video game in the rec room by the time her tired teammates arrive.  Will throws his towel at her and Dax flops over onto the floor.

Competition and Consequences

In his volcanic lair, Moltor is yelling at his Lava Lizards before coming up with a plan.  Meanwhile, four of the Rangers are playing a board game together.  A hyper Dax is enjoying himself and is delighted when he wins a particular car despite being unable to pronounce it.  Ronny is eager for her turn and when she gets a card that lets her obtain any one item of another player’s Dax gets worried.

Rose points out that Ronny doesn’t need to be quite so competitive, especially when it’s a game among friends.  Andrew and Mack arrive with a case on wheels to reveal the new Drill Blaster.  When asked if anybody besides Mack wants to try it out, Rose states she and Spencer are going to go over “Zord motherboards”, Will wants to take some beauty rest, and Dax wants to mourn the loss of his ‘car’ and hands the token over to Ronny, who’s excited to try out the new weapon.

Down in a firing range, the two are morphed for the test.  Ronny is slightly amused when the kickback from the Drill Blaster causes Mack to fly backward into a wall.  But then the same thing happens to her.  Thus Andrew needs to find something to power the shield that’ll neutralize the kick.  They’re then distracted by an alert of a horde of Lava Lizards nearby.

The five arrive to see that the minions are fighting each other.  Moltor spots the humans and blasts them with his lightning.  One Lava Lizard is triumphant over his fellows so Moltor gives him the upgrade that transforms him into the half-dragon half-lizard monster Volkan.  When the team tries to charge at the new monster, Moltor just blasts them with his lightning again.  He wants to leave with his monster, but then Mack gets up so Volkan blasts him back down.  As his teammates go to check on him, the duo leaves.

Back in the volcano, Moltor is impressed with Volkan and has a plan to give the monster an edge over the Rangers.

Mack is reporting to his dad down in the base what they saw.  Andrew uses an anthropological lens to view the Lava Lizards’ actions, which causes Ronny to be unwittingly hypocritical to her teammates’ non-amusement.  It turns out Andrew bought a dragon scale from a record store owner in Briarwood.  Everybody who watched Mystic Force knows what’s going on; my teenage self totally flailed with glee at this point when I first watched this episode back in 2007.

Andrew wants Mack to try out the shield/blaster combo first… which is unusual, given his usual overprotective act.  Maybe he’s deliberately trying to be less zealous about his son’s safety?  In any case, Ronny is upset since she has the highest scores and knows she’s highly competent.  Mack is fine with Ronny going first.

7Mack&Ronny

Later, Mack is reading in the rec room when Ronny tries to get him to play foosball with her.  When she tries to call him on out on being afraid of losing, he responds truthfully that he doesn’t have fun playing games with her.  Spencer shows up to alert them that Andrew wants the Rangers to escort the scale from the warehouse to the mansion.  Ronny lingers to ask the butler if she’s fun to play with and he’s rather colorful and blunt when he tells her truth.  In short: nope.

Powered by a Scale

The two van drivers get ambushed by Moltor and Volkan and the five morphed Rangers show up.  Moltor, who has already obtained the scale, has the monster attack the five.  In the ensuing fight, there seems to be a noticeable lack of teamwork.  Mack gets his teammates to fire at the monster’s back (its weak spot) when he forces Volkan to stay still.

Moltor steps in to defend his monster to first batter Mack and then blast all five.  By the time the smoke clears the duo has vanished to Mack’s worry.

Down in the base, Andrew again stresses he prefers being called ‘Andrew’ over ‘Mr. Hartford’ which he views as his father’s name.  Dax, apparently obliviously, calls him out on wanting to be seen as someone “young” to Rose’s amusement.

Moltor and Volkan are in a warehouse planning to raise the temperature until the scale expands and surrounds the monster, heightening its power and defenses.

Ronny finds Spencer cleaning up by the pool table.  The butler does a title drop as he explains the issues with just how intense Ronny is when competing.  In his day “playing was fun” rather than winning.  Then Ronny is alerted that the others have found Moltor and runs off (alas, her superpower [nor anyone else’s] isn’t used although it’s referenced in the first scene).  Spencer muses that he ought to ask for a raise.

In uniform, the five show up in a rundown area.  Moltor shows up to blast them down, but they get up and morph.  Telling his teammates that “he’s mine”, Mack has them head off to find Volkan while he fights the villain.  The quartet finds Volkan and the scale in an area so hot even their suits won’t protect them for long.

Moltor retreats, claiming to hate “big noises”.  Mack tells Spencer (whose response isn’t seen or heard) to release the Zords and the Megazord is formed.  The Cement Driver (8) is called for and for some reason its exit has it drive through a waterfall.  Megazord Mixer Formation is created as the heat rises and thus it’s nearly time for the explosion.

Cement is created and sprayed over the warehouse to contain the explosion.  Volkan to Moltor’s shock is unchanged.  The five exit the Megazord.  There’s a flashback showing how the quartet led by Rose obtained the scale before exiting the warehouse.

They each go, “Kick into Overdrive, [Color] Ranger!” before they chorus, “Call to Adventure!  Power Rangers Operation Overdrive!”

Then comes a huge explosion behind them.

“Are you through?” grumbles Moltor in a bit of meta commentary on all the talking that occurs around the time of the morphing.

“We’re just getting started!” refutes Mack.  He charges despite Volkan’s blasts which do stall the other Rangers.  Mack battles Volkan and gets the upper hand to Moltor’s upset.  Rose hands the dragon scale over to Ronny, who then contacts Andrew.

Mack and Ronny talk about her letting him go first (or if she should) and induce Will to point out that now’s not the time.  The Defender Vest is formed around Mack once the scale is put in.  Getting out the Drill Blaster, Mack uses it against Volkan twice.  The second time has the others around him and the monster is destroyed in a huge explosion.  Moltor grumpily leaves.

Will, Dax, and Rose return after an afternoon of fun to find Mack and Ronny still at their game of foosball.  Spencer (through the vest) expresses his irritation when Mack comments/snarks about how he’s only played the butler in the past.  Ronny is initially astonished by her loss before accepting it and wanting to play again.  However, the others are uninterested.  Weirdly, only Will is wearing his color for this final scene (a black jacket over a greyish tee).  Dax squeaks by as he’s wearing a dark blue-grey hue.  Ronny’s in blue and Mack is in blue and brown.  Rose is in white and black with bits of red.

Spencer goes down to the base to give Andrew his tea (a pot, a cup with saucer, and sugar bowl on a platter).  Andrew thinks they need to find the Hou-ou Bird as depicted in one of his books to start their quest for the second jewel.

Conclusion

There’s a good moral here about not being so competitive that you make games not fun for others and yourself.  Furthermore, I appreciate how Ronny’s competitive nature was hinted at not only by her occupation but also by some of her actions in “The Underwater World”.

I did like Will pointing out that expressing the lesson learned shouldn’t be in the midst of a battle.

Mack is shaping up to be a good leader, but I am growing worried by the fact that Spencer is serving as the team’s moral compass opposed to Andrew, their ostensible mentor.  It’s definitely concerning how in that last scene only Will is wearing his color (and that just might be thanks to black being a common color in wardrobes).  On the one hand, maybe the wardrobe people wanted the Rangers to be less color-coded.  On the other, their lack of wearing their color could easily symbolize a lack of connection to it (similar to how rarely Jack wore red outside of his uniform in SPD and how that turned out).

I think there were some low-key hints about Mack’s true past here- he was so isolated he only ever played foosball against Spencer (and there’s something tragic in that Andrew never played with him) and Andrew evidently hasn’t had the time to adjust to being the elder Hartford (rather than him being a midlife crisis of some kind).  Now I’m wondering what Andrew’s dad was like as well as when/how he died or if he’s still alive and they’re just not close.

Unless I missed it, I don’t think the Cement Driver was foreshadowed, but then again the focus was on the Drill Blaster and the Defender Vest.  And I adore the Mystic Force tie-in even all these years later though I’m still curious how Toby spent the money he got for the scale… expanding the Rock Porium, probably.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Will seemingly betrays his teammates and joins up with Miratrix.

 

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