9-6: A Parting of Ways

After some children are kidnapped by Tentaclaw, Wes ends up deciding to leave his father’s shadow.

Last time on Power Rangers: The Vector Cycles were introduced and Lucas tried to get a modern driver’s license.

 

Highs and Lows

The pre-credits sequence is of a battle with a nameless, retro-looking monster, both small and supersized.  It ends in victory, mostly led by Wes.  At the clock tower, Wes is sitting on a ledge when Jen finds him.  The brunette admits he’s a “great” Red Ranger, which leads into some playful silliness between the two.

Later, Mister Collins and Wes are near the limo at the park while the butler Phillips cleans the windshield.  It’s brought up how Wes is to inherit his father’s business and is to go to Harvard.  Wait.  Is he just eighteen then, or are they discussing a graduate program?  Or am I overthinking this?

Some kids in the park are playing baseball- the ball overshoots and bounces off the front of the limo, not visibly damaging it that I saw.  Phillips just goes “nice hit”.  The boy, who I presume is the ‘Frankie’ listed in the credits, comes over to apologize and retrieve his ball.  Opting to keep it, Mister Collins tells the kid to leave.

All the kids are upset, as is Wes.  Mister Collins just feels that the kid has just learned “a good lesson”.  Look, it’s the park.  Kids are going to be playing in it; if you don’t want to risk your expensive car getting hit by a ball, then don’t park near such places.  Giving Wes the ball to throw away, Mister Collins goes into the limo- the door is held open by Phillips.  Once the limo has driven away, Wes gives back the ball to the kids’ joy, telling the boy “hit a homer” before putting on his motorcycle helmet.

Some Cyclobots are trying to give Ransik a massage- first they’re too soft and then too hard, so the angry mutant punches the head off of one.  Nadira comes in, as she has a plan- kidnap somebody important and then ransom them for money.  Money for what?  She just steals jewelry and the like.

Picking out a mutant to animate, she starts the still dramatic process and evilly giggles.  Tentaclaw emerges- there’s a strong robotic (?) body with a small, tentacled creature as the ‘head’ that can detach.  In 3000, this mutant kidnapped the mayor.  First off, mayor of what?  Second, did the mayor escape…?  Because clearly Tentaclaw had to have been captured to be here.  I think some details are missing.  In any case, the trio is pleased with their scheme.

School Bus Taken

A school bus is driving along; the kids are playful and noisy, but the driver seems indulgent.  Due to a superficial resemblance, I will be calling him Lin-Manuel instead of ‘the driver’.  Tentaclaw arrives, the head creature going into the bus to hold the group hostage.

Circuit alerts the team that there are mutants on the highway back at the clock tower.

The head beams in his body, which tosses aside Lin-Manuel so it can drive.  On the Vector Cycles, the Rangers give chase after the bus to the kids’ excitement.  A claw grabs Lucas and then Jen is off her cycle as well.  The remaining trio get blasted off theirs, the monster tossing out a note, done in the classic cut-out newspaper/magazine letters style.  As the bus drives away, the kids are saddened and dismayed.  The note states that they want ten million by noon at the fountain.  Wes leaves to get the money while the others focus on trying to find the kids.

Back at the mansion, Mister Collins is reviewing a contract with a white lady, a white guy, and a black guy that will have him take over both their companies.  An anxious Wes shows up at the door to speak with his dad.  Although annoyed, Mister Collins does step out into the hall to speak with him.  Wes explains the situation, his father countering that it’s the police’s problem, not his.

On the one hand, this is a somewhat understandable perspective.  On the other, Mister Collins simply dismisses out of hand the dangers being faced by the kidnapped children.  His callousness is highlighted when after denying the idea of spending that amount on a ransom, he then simply signs a check for the exact same amount for the contract.  I’m aware that this is a monumental coincidence, but I’ll let it slide because it’s for the plot’s sake as well as to underscore that it’s selfishness and not practicality that has Mister Collins wanting to be uninvolved in the ransom.

Upset, Wes goes to the top of the stairs as Phillips comes up.  The blond expresses his doubts to the butler, who’s aware that Wes might want to make his own footsteps instead of following in his father’s.

In a warehouse, the kids are freaking out as they’re being contained by a force field of some kind.  Cyclobots, Tentaclaw, Gluto, and Nadira are present.  The pink-haired woman yells at Tentaclaw for kidnapping “a busload of noisy brats” instead of somebody important, not realizing how valued children are by society in general in this era.  I’m assuming that in 3000, where genetically engineered test tube babies are the norm, that children aren’t viewed in the same way.  Gluto wants to eat them while Nadira wants her ten million dollars.  The kids are still highly upset.

The quartet have been looking for the kids to no avail.

Wes is still at the mansion as the three businesspeople take their leave to their limo out front.  Inspired, he goes down to the car to lie that there’s an issue with the check and that he’ll take it and they’ll get their money later.  Somehow they believe him (possibly knowing him as Mister Collins’ son).

Jen spots the abandoned school bus- contacting the others before approaching.

Heroics Not for Hire

A morphed Wes rides his Vector Cycle to the fountain, having a metal box with him.  Some of the villains show up, Nadira having the Cyclobots check that the money is in the box.  Instead of calling Tentaclaw to release the kids, she does so to tell him to “destroy those kids”.

I can’t even be angry for the Rangers continually believing the villains will play fair over the seasons, as the one time most of a team tries to be genre savvy on the subject Casey is correct in thinking Jarrod won’t attack him when defenseless.  It’s a lose-lose situation in this franchise.  Well, to be fair there was that time with the ‘Power Coins’ that were actually chocolate when Lord Zedd tried his hand at the whole kidnapping thing but the Rangers had learned their lesson from when Rita captured their parents last season.

The kids are panicking when the quartet shows up to save the day.  Wes fights Cyclobots as Nadira and Gluto walk off, ultimately using his Chrono Saber to help him get the metal box back before driving away.  I’m not sure why Nadira and Gluto didn’t teleport away- overconfidence probably.

Lucas, Trip, Katie, and Jen are fighting Cyclobots while Frankie tries to use his baseball bat to destroy the force field containing them.  The quartet has been restrained when Wes shows up to help out.  Lin-Manuel takes point in getting the kids away via the bus.  Wes throws over the ball, telling Frankie “hit a homer” again.  I wonder if the boy will connect the dots later on.  Frankie calls out “Go Rangers!” before hopefully leaving with the others.

The five work together against Tentaclaw, Wes using scan mode to take out the tentacles.  Jen uses V5 on the head, weakening it before they combine weapons to use the Vortex Blaster on it.  But the body is still aware despite the head having gone back to action figure mode, so it exposes its mutant DNA in order to supersize.

The Time Force Megazord is formed in Mode Blue for the battle in Silver Hills.  The Time Jet is called for to act as a blaster for it, the mutant soon exploding.

6collinsmen

Wes sneaks back home with the metal box.  I’m not sure why he didn’t stay morphed and go back to the bank to return the money.  Mister Collins in angry at his son… but then reporters show up to talk about the kidnapping and whether or not it’s true that his money was used to pay the ransom (I’m guessing a bank employee spilled the beans).  At first Mister Collins plays the media as they head down the stairs, but then Wes manipulates his father into donating the money to the children’s home.  He then tells his father that he wants to make his own future.  Phillips nods at him before the blond leaves.

The quartet is playing checkers and having popcorn when Wes shows up with a duffel bag, wanting to move in.  Jen tells him, “Welcome home,” before they shake hands.  Trip clearly wants to hug him, because he’s a sweetie.

Conclusion

Although Wes’ relationship with Jen has greatly improved, in this episode he became disillusioned with his father and the course set out for him by Mister Collins.  The fact that it turned out those kids were presumably foster kids who likely couldn’t easily afford another baseball makes Mister Collins’ behavior even harsher.

Hmm.  I think there’s a parallel in Mister Collins seeing his son as an extension of himself and his legacy and how in this episode the mutant had a head and a body, both of which were sentient- it being a bit of surprise when the latter turned out to be so.

Phillips doesn’t seem surprised by Wes wanting to do something besides what his father has laid out for him.  I have to wonder if that’s because the two of them are both alike than different in their drives.  It’s just that Wes’ wasn’t really awakened until he met the others (and that he’s more invested in helping others).  Dang it, now I want backstory on Mister Collins and his rise to power.

Jen played a minor role, but the other three were barely a presence here except during combat.  The kids, even Frankie, were more plot devices than characters, as was the bus driver.  Also, I’m assuming that the bank just let the Red Ranger take the ten million, rightfully trusting there was a reason, given how the eight past seasons did happen.

I wonder where Mrs. Collins is.  Maybe Mister Collins got bitter after her death or the divorce…?  It’d help to know what happened to her to better understand the dynamic between father and son.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Nadira captures Circuit to prevent the Megazord from being called for.

 

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