15-26: Red Ranger Unplugged

Mack’s identity crisis coincides with the Fearcats’ latest scheme.

Last time on Power Rangers: Mack learned he was an android.

 

Just Programmed?

The episode opens with Mack staring at some cupcakes made by Spencer.  Dax shows up, having discovered that Mack got the latest Baron novel from his adventure book club.  Mack admits that he’s confused about whether or not he likes cupcakes and adventure books.  At first Dax thinks Mack has amnesia and reintroduces himself, drawing out the ‘a’.  Mack clarifies that he’s unsure what’s him and what his software was programmed to do.

“This is what’s known as an identity crisis,” Dax realizes.  “You need to do some soul searching.  Try new things, see what fits.  My father always told me, ‘Dax, you can be whatever you want to be, just as long as you’re not a stuntman’.”

Mack concurs with Dax’s sentiment, apparently not absorbing the latter half of his comments, saying, “It’s time for an upgrade.”

I’m not sure whether or not that was a deliberate reference to his robotic nature.

The Fearcats are in a warehouse, wanting to find the Octavian Chalice.  It turns out there is now a female Fearcat to help fight the Rangers.

Upset that his ice screen is showing him “new Fearcat energy”, Flurious calls for Norg.  The yeti slides down, suffering from a cold and sneezing.  Flurious wants to be rid of the Fearcats so he tells Norg to gather the Chillers, track down the Feacats, and destroy them.  When the yeti sneezes again, the icy snot lands on Flurious’ back to his disgust.

Mack has gone for a punk look, including a wig, and has taken up the electric guitar.  His teammates show up, mostly confused although Dax is excited.  They all end up encouraging him, presumably due to the recent upheaval in his life.

Spencer de-plugs the speakers to alert them that they’re needed down in the command center (they sometimes call it that, but it’s a base because there is only one Command Center).  And of course, that bit is probably either inspired by the episode title or did the inspiring.  The butler is not happy about the loud music.  Andrew does a double-take when he sees Mack, especially as the others are in uniform.  He refocuses to reveal that there’s a new Fearcat.

Tyzonn recognizes her as Crazar to Ronny’s confusion, just saying, “Long story,” in response.

“We’ll have to hear it later.  Go!  And Mack, you might want to put on something more appropriate.”

Uh… okay then.  On the one hand, yes, that outfit isn’t exactly practical for Ranger activities.  On the other, policing your grown child’s wardrobe is rather unnerving.  If Mack is mature enough (he’s clearly not old enough) to help save the world, then he can pick out his own puttyin’ clothes.  And besides, his outfit isn’t out of line for some of the more ‘punk’ Rangers, who are admittedly mostly girls.

And honestly, I don’t recall reading about/watching any other instance where a mentor disparaged a Ranger’s attire in favor of the team uniform.  Well, to be fair, there might have been one off-screen with K because of how rarely RPM wears anything else, but it’s post-apocalypse and she’s a teen who grew up in a think tank.  She’s allowed to have issues.

Taking off the wig, Mack leaves.  Andrew blinks a few times as he returns his focus to the screen.

The six show up to face off against Crazar, whom Tyzonn thought had been destroyed.  Leaping, he morphs when she blasts the line-up.  As they fight, Mig and Benglo are nearby, wanting to obtain the Octavian Chalice.  Norg leads some Chillers after the duo.

Tyzonn and Crazar continue to fight.  Having morphed, the other five blast at her.  In response, she creates five evil Ranger clones.  The only way to tell them apart is that the clones have black neck cloth instead of white.  While Crazar and Tyzonn continue to fight, the other Rangers engaged in a color-coded battle where the evil copies have the upper hand.

Blasting Tyzonn, Crazar wants to destroy him but he blasts her as he gets back up.  Crazar teleports away, which somehow undoes the spell that maintained the copies.  Tyzonn is worried.

Mig and Benglo are searching a forest for the Octavian Chalice.  Norg sneezing alerts them to their followers.  The Fearcats take on the Chillers while Norg hides behind a log.  Once the minions have been defeated, the yeti retreats.  Mig has a plan to stop any other pursuers.

Grief and Anger

Down in the base, Tyzonn admits to the others that Crazar was there the day of the cave-in.  Since she didn’t leave with Mig and Cheetar, he thought she had been buried in the cave.  He opens up that one of his teammates was his girlfriend Vella and they were to get married (the word fiancée is oddly not used).  Andrew is sympathetic while Ronny pats Tyzonn on the arm.

There are two different spots with Fearcat signatures.  Andrew wants to go find Mack to talk to while Tyzonn goes after Crazar and the other four head after Mig and Benglo.  Up in the mansion, Andrew sits down next to Mack on the couch, who was practicing the guitar sans speakers.  The brunet is prickly and confused, asking, “Am I allowed to have my own life?”

Andrew tries to reassure Mack about this and confirms that it wasn’t ever in his programming to be a Power Ranger or want to be one and how in that moment he seemed almost… he trails off, realizing his misstep too late.  Finishing the sentence by going “Human?” Mack then leaves to help his team.

Will, Dax, Ronny, and Rose are in the woods, chasing after Mig and Benglo.

In a quarry, Crazar taunts Tyzonn about his girlfriend and they then fight.  Huh, that was actually a well done bit of foreshadowing.  Because after all, if Vella had indeed been ‘lost’ to the cave-in, then there’s no way Crazar could have known about their relationship.  Most of the time it seems that the Fearcats don’t even remember Tyzonn’s name, so why would they remember that he has a girlfriend?

Mack arrives to help up Tyzonn, the two guys charging as there’s an explosion.

The quartet ends up netted over a crevasse.  Mig and Benglo show up to briefly gloat and to blast through most of the rope so that the four will soon fall down into the hole.  Dax eventually manages to access Will’s laser shooter to wield and then uses his own zip shooter to get himself, Will, and Rose free before the net falls down.  Ronny somehow used her super speed to escape.

To be fair, I watch The Flash and thus know how versatile that ability can be with some imagination.  I just wish this season was a bit better about remembering that the Rangers have powers.

Aliens & Robots

26tyzonnmack

Tyzonn and Mack morph to take on Crazar.  The latter soon becomes the Red Sentinel Ranger and the Rangers work together to batter the Fearcat.  But she then supersizes.  Andrew alerts the others about the situation so they can come help.

Mack sends the Sentinel Knight after Crazar.  Supersized, he fights the Fearcat.  Demorphing, Tyzonn starts to use a rock to start etching something into the ground.

“What are you doing?” Mack asks.

“It’s an old Mercurian battle spell.”

“Does it work?”

“Occasionally,” Tyzonn admits.

The Sentinel Knight’s fight with Crazar ends up impacting the duo twice, Mack at one point punching a boulder before it can strike Tyzonn, who continues work on the spell as the fight continues.  The Sentinel Knight ends up goes back to sword mode to protect himself from further battering.  The Ultrazord shows up with the other four Rangers; Mack leaves to join them while Tyzonn continues his spell.

Crazar ends up having the upper hand; Mack sends out the non-initial Zords to form the DualDrive Megazord.  Tyzonn finishes the spell and alerts them about it.  Once Mack gives the go-ahead, first there’s a blast from the Megazord and then Tyzonn uses his abilities to activate the spell.

Its power destroys Crazar, which Tyzonn states was for Vella.

In the ice cave, Flurious is, well, furious with Norg.  Before Flurious carries out his threat to destroy the yeti, he reveals that the Fearcats are going after the Octavian Chalice.  This information is apparently important enough that Flurious lets Norg live.

Andrew shows the team recent footage of the Fearcats leaving a cave with a “cup” but then tells them to take a break.  Mack is back to appreciating cupcakes and adventure novels, although Spencer has put in earplugs in case of future ‘concerts’.  The team all laughs.  Andrew is still worried about his son.

Conclusion

Poor Mack; he’s trying to figure out whether or not he’s been ‘programmed’ to be the ideal son.  Well, he did manage to upset his dad with a punk look, which would hint that his usual preppy self is ‘preferred’ by Andrew.  I am glad he decided to still enjoy adventure novels and cupcakes.

Andrew messed up big time by his inadvertent reminder that Mack isn’t human.  Their scene only had close-ups on one of them, not both (I wanted to get a screen-cap of them but nope, not possible).  That highlights the divide between them right now.  I think the show wants us to be equally sympathetic to them, but right now I’m Team Mack.  It’s not just the building an android son- it’s doing that and then lying about it for over two years to him.  Small wonder Mack had an identity crisis.

A bit more of Tyzonn’s past is revealed here: one of his teammates was his fiancée, which highlights why getting revenge on the Fearcats was so important to him.  I just wish that more about his other teammates was talked about to highlight that romantic bonds aren’t the only important ones, especially given how this is a franchise that typically features platonic team bonds.  But it makes sense that the pain of losing Vella specifically made him stay quiet until now; we saw that with Doggie in SPD.

It doesn’t help that familial bonds this season are treated… weirdly once Mack’s revealed to be an android.  Most seasons are much better about showcasing friendly and familial bonds, with less emphasis on romantic ones.

… Um, how can Mack eat cupcakes if he’s an android?  If Andrew figured out how to turn food into electric energy, that might explain Mack being able to eat as well as Andrew’s billions.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: The Fearcats use the Octavian Chalice to sic Agrios on the team.

 

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