15-23: Ronny on Empty, Part 1

Moltor and the Fearcats team up, leading to the capture of Will, Ronny, and the Sentinel Knight.

Last time on Power Rangers: The team, particularly Tyzonn and Rose, encountered Fearcats on their day off.

 

Halloween Bash

Will and Dax are playing billiards when Ronny scares them by having dressed up as a ghoul.  No, not like the ones from Lost Galaxy, though that would have been scarier.  Admittedly this is more of a trick when the team deals with monsters on a regular basis… Dax is ready to use his cue stick as a weapon while Will more reasonably grabs his tracker from his upper sleeve.

Under her costume she’s wearing a black tee that has the Operation Overdrive logo on it.  I guess that answers what the team wears under their color-trimmed jackets.  Will’s own jacket is open while Dax’s is done up properly.  The blonde is excited because her favorite holiday, Halloween, is coming up.  Will dismisses it as for kids.  Andrew uses the intercom to call for the team.  As they head out of the rec room, Ronny reveals her plans for the mansion’s Halloween party.

The five head down to the base where Andrew opens up the lit Centurion Torch to reveal a secret compartment that contains a golden scarab beetle encased in amber.  Rose is confused but Andrew assures the team he’ll send it to a lab for analysis.  He’s also been working on a new fleet of Zords for them to use.

Moltor has somehow obtained gyros and tries to use them to activate a new dino-themed giant robot to no avail.  He exits the cockpit to grumble at the Fearcats down on the cave floor about how the “gyro generator” is useless.  Mig and Benglo cackle evilly as they have a new plan before leaving.

Norg slides down into the ice cave and wants to do “trick or treat” for the penguins.

Flurious complains, “Norg, you’re like the pet I never wanted.”

Then his ice screen alerts Flurious that somebody’s using his gyro technology and he rightfully suspects Fearcat involvement.  He tells Norg to call up the Chillers as it’s time to do some action.

Civilians in San Angeles are fleeing from the attacking Fearcats.  Mig and Benglo view them as “worthless” and don’t understand why the Rangers care about them.  They suspect that protecting others will be the Rangers’ undoing.

In the rec room, Spencer is happily decorating the rec room for Ronny’s upcoming Halloween party.  While still a bit bemused, Tyzonn got an explanation on the holiday from Rose off-screen.  Will remains grumpy so Dax bats a silver balloon at the other man.

The Sentinel Knight is scooping out pumpkin guts for a jack-o’-lantern.  Suddenly the alarm blares and Andrew alerts them that there’s a situation.

Captured!

In a battered part of San Angeles, a morphed Tyzonn finds the Fearcats first.  His teammates and the Sentinel Knight arrive moments later.  Mig and Benglo somehow call on Moltor, who ‘flames’ in.  The trio blasts the group and the Fearcats grab Ronny while Moltor fights the others.

Ronny does her best to fight off her captors.  Will realizes the situation and the Sentinel Knight suggests that he use him in sword mode to defeat the Fearcats.  But then Moltor kidnaps Will (and the sword) before the Black Ranger can do anything.  The villains teleport away with their captives, upsetting the other four.

Will and Ronny, both now demorphed, are tied up with red webbing to a tree in a forest somewhere.  The villains walk off out of normal hearing range to talk.  While Will is confident they can escape, Ronny’s afraid the Fearcats want to use herself similar to what they did in “Man of Mercury, Part 1”.

Moltor sticks the sword into the ground and creates a “containment field” (the red webbing) on him to prevent him from acting.  Why and how the Sentinel Knight didn’t do anything before that point is beyond me.  Benglo points out that capturing the Black Ranger wasn’t part of the plan and Mig points out the Sentinel Knight is too powerful to be drained with their device.  But Moltor wants to convert the Sentinel Knight to evil since his energy can’t be drained to power their device.

23Ronny&Will

At Ronny’s query, Will uses his super hearing and learns that Moltor wants to destroy him personally.  Ronny remains oblivious.  Will gets out a laser gizmo to try cutting through the webbing.

The other four Rangers return to the base.  Andrew is scanning the area while Tyzonn’s afraid the “Fearcats won’t waste time” enacting their scheme.  While unsaid, I suspect he’s also concerned what Moltor will do to his teammates given what the being did to him.

The new Zords aren’t ready yet and Andrew wants the team to go to Egypt as the beetle is from there.  The priority ‘must’ be doing more research on where the fourth jewel is.  Mack is understandably upset by this.  Andrew claims to be concerned but has faith the duo will escape on their own.  The quartet exits the base.

Okay then.  This is just even more proof that Andrew is not fit to be a mentor.  Look, a large part of the Power Rangers ethics is to work together as a team and to go to your teammates’ aid as needed.  Besides, do all four of them need to go to Egypt to do research?  Send Rose while Mack, Dax, and Tyzonn go comb the woods for their captured teammates.

I get that finding the jewels of the Corona Aurora is why Operation Overdrive exists, but I feel the actual priority is ensuing that the villains don’t use Ronny’s energy for evil.  The Fearcats already did that in “Man of Mercury, Part 1” as I stated earlier: this is not a theory but fact.

While it’s a different franchise, it’s a clear creed in Stargate SG-1 that teammates are not to be left behind unless under dire circumstances, in which case the others go back as soon as possible.  Andrew Hartford just waved that off like it was nothing.

dofp ny promo
dofp ny promo

This sort of behavior is not acceptable!  How often has a Ranger (admittedly usually the Red one) has gone after to rescue his captured teammate(s)?  A LOT.  To leave them in the clutches of the villains is discomfiting.  Besides, Andrew was not nearly as sanguine when Mack was captured back in “Follow the Ranger”.

Divided They Fall

Will and Ronny escape to run through the misty woods, pursued by the villains.  Ronny demands to know what he heard and grudgingly Will does so.  As the villains catch up to them, Ronny has Will run while she lingers to get recaptured to divert their attention from her teammate.

A few Lava Lizards do look for him, but Will climbed a tree and the minions didn’t look up.  Will contacts Andrew and explains the situation.  Andrew suggests he come back but Will thankfully refuses, going, “No Ranger left behind,” before going radio silent unless he contacts them.

SEE?!  This is what I was talking about!  I know that Samuell Benta is a jerk, but at least his character has ethnics.  Then again, this is a basic principle in science-fiction/fantasy: don’t leave behind teammates/friends.  This sort of nonsense is why I wanted the senior Rangers to stick around.

The villains take Ronny to a chamber that also has a converter to turn the Sentinel Knight evil, with them thinking there’s the possibility it’ll destroy him.  Clearly they missed the briefing about Excelsior being the only device capable of that… or they’re just that arrogant.  Or the writers forgot.  One of those three options.

In the woods, Will encounters Flurious, Norg, and Chillers.  The icy being has his minions attack.  Will morphs and calls upon his HoverTech Cycle.  Flurious tells Norg to go find the Fearcats’ hideout so the yeti flees.  On his HoverTech Cycle, Will takes out the Chillers but Flurious teleports away before he can attack the villain.

Moltor activates the converter.  The Fearcats force Ronny to touch the drainer gizmo.

Will is searching the woods and finds Norg.  Focused on finding Ronny, Will is dismissive towards the yeti.  I can’t really blame him for that, especially as Norg lacks any relevant knowledge about the situation.

The quartet has arrived in Egypt, Dax in the short-sleeved variant of their uniform.  They visit a dusty old curio shop.  The storekeeper is astonished by the golden scarab beetle.

Enough energy has been drained from Ronny to power his giant robot so Moltor wants to leave.  The power beams itself over to said giant robot.  The Fearcats want to continue the draining but Moltor leaves regardless.  The Sentinel Knight escapes, going into humanoid mode, and briefly fights the Fearcats before the conversion takes hold of him, putting him under their control.

Giant Robots, Giant Threats

Once activated, Moltor’s giant robot emerges from a mountain.

The storekeeper gets out a book to briefly explain how the legendary “Sican beetles” are thought to be found deep in the sands of the Giza desert.  Dax is oddly snarky in response.  Andrew alerts the team that there’s a situation so the quartet bolts.  Unfortunately, Miratrix was eavesdropping… I have to wonder how she found them in the first place.

Morphed, the four land in the forest by jumping out of the SHARC.  Mack and Tyzonn call for the Zords: the DriveMax Ultrazord and the Flashpoint Megazord are formed.  A giant Sentinel Knight attacks as well as the giant robot to the quartet’s confusion.  To top it off, Lavadactyls then attack.

The Ultrazord takes flight to combat them while Tyzonn tries to get through to the Sentinel Knight.  But he just goes into sword mode and attacks the Flashpoint Megazord.  The battle continues, with the Ultrazord dividing back into individual Zords at its end.  Mack, Dax, and Rose end up landing in the ocean (?) nearby.  Moltor is smug about the nearing victory.

Andrew dispatches the Battle Fleet, with the trio lifted up when one of them rises out of the water.  Upset, Moltor calls for more Lavadactyls.

In terms of Zord numbers, Mack is 14, Dax 16, and Rose 18; presumably this means Will is 15 and Ronny 17.  The “floating fortress” is used against the attacking Lavadactyls.  I have to wonder if this was at all inspired by Marvel’s Helicarrier, which was a staple long before the Avengers movie.

By this point the giant robot needs recharging so Moltor leaves with it.  Andrew tells the trio to return to the base.  Miffed, they do so.  Tyzonn is there too.  Andrew admits that the new Zords aren’t fully operational yet.  Spencer assures them that everything will work out fine.  Andrew’s focus remains on finding the fourth jewel before anybody else does.

Will is wandering the foggy woods, determined to find Ronny.  Down in the hideout, Ronny is weak from having her energy drained and goes “help me” to the Sentinel Knight as she kneels down out of exhaustion.

Conclusion

These episodes actually aired in August 2007, not during autumn.  I suppose this clarifies that Operation Overdrive ‘actually’ began in May if Halloween is just after the team’s six-month anniversary.  The opening credits now include the Sentinel Knight, the upcoming battlizer, and the new Zords.

In this episode, the aloof and arrogant Will proves himself more moral, selfless, and ethical than Andrew Hartford.  Admittedly, this is a low bar and keeps getting lower as if this is a game of limbo.  Ronny is more of a damsel in distress here than receiving any character development beyond a love of Halloween which means costumes, tricks, and treats.  Similarly, the Sentinel Knight and Tyzonn continue to be baffled by Earth culture while the former gets converted to evil.

Again, the villains prove to be more effective when they work together.  It’s in the heroes’ favor that usually such alliances fall apart due to the villains’ arrogant and abrasive personalities.

The Battle Fleet Zords were briefly seen here and presumably will be more heavily featured in the second half, which will entail the conversion of the Sentinel Knight to evil being undone and Ronny getting rescued.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Will is determined to rescue Ronny.

 

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