16-4: A Taste of Poison

Five powerful monsters are called upon and the Rangers learn that Jarrod has been possessed by Dai Shi.

Last time on Power Rangers: Casey got unorthodox training from RJ.

 

Quintuple Trouble

Within Dai Shi’s headquarters, Camille does a voiceover about the powers of the “Five Fingers of Poison” as she walks down a hallway, looking into each of their cells.  The white-sashed Rantipede is swift, the blue-sashed Naja is powerful, the red-sashed Stingerella lures in her prey before striking, the green-sashed Gakko can climb walls as well as surprise attacks, and the yellow-sashed Toady has a strong defense but is dull-witted.  The dark-haired villainess leads the group into Dai Shi’s throne room.  They bow before him before he gives them orders, desiring more power for himself.

Lily and Casey are working in the JKP kitchen, the latter commenting, “Sometimes I just can’t believe my life- shredding cheese one minute, shredding evil beasts the next.”

“Hey, this whole thing came out of nowhere for you, Casey.  It’s got to be majorly intense, especially for a cub,” she replies.  I have to wonder at her side-stepping how she feels about this situation- the first episode made it clear that Theo’s internally thrilled about being a Power Ranger.  Hmm.  Is she excited to be a hero, or is she more overwhelmed by the drastic changes?

In any case, Casey informs her, “Well, I’m not a cub anymore.  You don’t have to worry about me.”

Before Lily can voice her amusement, Fran tells the duo through the pizza oven, “One large Thrilla Gorilla Pizza, extra banana.”  To clarify, the pizza oven has ‘doors’ in both the kitchen and behind the counter up front.

Casey affirms the order but once the door’s shut he queries, “Bananas?”

Lily responds, “RJ says, ‘Everything’s better with bananas’.”

“Where is RJ, anyway?”

“No clue.  He’s been working on something in the garage for days,” Lily exposits before telling him, “You get the board, I’ve got the dough.”

I think it’d be less blatantly an info dump if the dialogue had gone something more like this after Lily’s amusing impression of their mentor:

“Is RJ still holed up in the garage on that ‘top secret’ project of his?”

“Yep.  Probably a redo of that Mount Kilimanjaro pizza disaster.  Anyway, you get the board and I’ve got the dough.”

They’ve scarcely started on the pizza making before a food fight breaks out.  It’s cute and silly, but Theo is unamused and practical when he comes in.  When their morphers beep, so they bolt as Fran enters the kitchen.  The brunette is not happy about the mess nor her co-workers’ departure.

Using the vines in the loft to exit through the circle, there’s a split-screen to see the trio morphing.  Civilians are fleeing from the five villains as Dai Shi is powered up by their fear back in his headquarters.  On a roof the trio are confronted by the quintet.

“By the Power of Dai Shi, Inner Beasts Arise!” they call out together to transform from their red Rin Shi modes into their monster modes.  Each gets a catchphrase before they chorus their team name.  Dai Shi rises from his throne as the fight begins in a plaza-like area.

Theo struggles against Rantipede and Lily has no better luck against Stingerella before going to her friend’s aid.  Casey uses his Jungle Chunk against Gakko but isn’t faring well, especially once Toady attacks.  Naja enters the fray and Casey ends up demorphed, his Solar Morpher falling to the ground before him.

Demorphed as well, his teammates go to him and they retreat.  Casey first grabs his morpher, though.  The trio ends up in a grassy area, presumably outside of Ocean Bluff, upset about having to face multiple monsters at once.  The quintet finds them and then Dai Shi shows up.  All shocked to see Jarrod, Casey says his name.

Camille shows up as well just before Dai Shi reveals his identity.  When Casey gets snarky, it’s revealed that Jarrod (and by extension, Dai Shi) blames him for his “humiliation”.  Yeah, no.  Casey was trying to prevent Jarrod from bullying a younger student.  Dai Shi ‘morphs’ into his armored form, tossing aside his cloak beforehand.

Casey is confident he can take on Dai Shi despite Lily’s concern.  Putting his morpher back on, Casey morphs and says his catchphrase.  There’s an impressive-looking spirit animal battle and then hand-to-hand combat as well as the others watch on.  Dai Shi clearly has the edge on Casey, causing the younger guy to demorph and his spirit tiger to vanish/retreat in the end.  Suddenly it’s raining as Dai Shi dismisses Casey as a threat.

He still has Stingerella poison him, ‘assuring’ Casey that it’ll be non-fatal but painful before he and the other villains leave.

Beach Battle

The show cuts to that night.  I’m kind of curious how the rest of the day went… particularly since it wasn’t clear when in the day that the trio left to do battle.

4quartet

That evening in RJ’s loft, Casey’s in a red hammock with the others lined up on one side.  Lily’s tending to him while Theo is certain that Casey will be fine.  RJ notes, “Freaky that Jarrod turned out to be Dai Shi.  But standing up to him sure took a lot of guts.”

“Or not a lot of brain cells,” counters Theo.

“Theo, I’m ignoring your negative energy.  Casey, I’m working on something new for you that you’re just gonna love.  You just power it up with your tiger spirit.  It’ll blow your mind.”

“Is it dangerous?” frets Lily.

“Casey already has one mommy,” Theo snarks.  “He doesn’t need two.”

“You don’t hear me complaining,” Casey replies.  Evidently he doesn’t mind being hovered over by Lily.

RJ wanders off.  Lily’s nurturing but Theo… not so much.  But I’m not fooled- he’s the one who called out “No!” when Casey got poisoned.  It’s not very clear just how poisoned Casey was by Stingerella.  He doesn’t seem to be in agony, but he does seem needier than usual, which often happens when someone is ill.

That night, Lily dreams of a Casey versus Dai Shi rematch out in the woods as the Five Fingers watch on.  It turns out she does have a room elsewhere in the loft (just how big is that space?!).

In the throne room, four of the fingers are bickering while Naja is silently grumpy.  They’re back in red Rin Shi mode.  I wish it was more clear on the rules- yes, they’re more powerful when in ‘monster’ mode, but why is there a red Rin Shi mode at all?

Lily wakes up to see a message on one of the TVs in the main room from Rantipede, challenging the Red Ranger to a fight.  Morphed, she goes to the beach to fight him.  The villain switches into monster mode.

Back in uniform, Casey and Theo see the battle on a TV so they make to leave.

As the fight continues, Lily calls upon her Jungle Bo to wield.  Her teammates show up, already morphed.  While Theo is annoyed that Lily went off on her own, the blonde is confident in her skills.  Rantipede then calls upon a bunch of Rin Shi.

In turn, Casey calls upon his new vehicle “Strike Rider Cruise”, which a red tiger-themed motorcycle.  He rides it as he takes on the minions.  There’s some obvious CGI bits, but overall it’s a good fight sequence.

Dai Shi calls for Camille.  Upon her arrival in the throne room, he expresses anger at her and Rantipede for the latter going off on his own.  She agrees to handle things and the show cuts to her arriving at the beach in her armored form.

The Rin Shi he had been fighting having been defeated, Casey takes her on.  ‘High speed’ and ‘attack’ modes are used, with Camille getting thrown into the air as there’s an explosion.  Theo is fighting the remaining Rin Shi while Lily manages to weaken Ranipede in an explosion.

Buggy Communications

Theo and Casey give kudos but then Rantipede gets up to remove the hood on his head.  It turns out it’s just a centipede/millipede wrapped into an orb.  Understandably, the Rangers are disgusted.  When the monster supersizes, the Jungle Pride Megazord is formed.

Although Camille is still armored, Flit has shown up to be excited for the battle.  I’m unsure how Flit got out of Camille’s stomach as a result.  There’s some hand-to-hand combat and the monster has a head-whip move.  It’s icky.  Casey rallies his teammates and the theme song music plays as they spin the monster around before tossing him aside.  Their spinning attack manages to destroy Rantipede.

Flit is pleased as Camille ‘demorphs’.  The dark-haired woman is understandably worried about Dai Shi’s reaction to this new defeat.

Lily is hand-washing dishes on RJ’s orders due to going off on her own, particularly without telling anybody.  See?  This is what I meant by Andrew overreacting.  This is much more a Doggie move.  Furthermore, the actual scolding was truly private, without Lily’s teammates and the viewers to witness it.

Casey thinks that Lily has a ‘thing’ for him but she corrects him that he’s like a “little brother” to her.  As Casey has sisters, he decides to treat her like one of them… which means a bubble fight breaks out.  Theo starts to come down the stairs and ends up going back to the loft after his “Must you?” gets no response other than them obliviously continuing their ‘fight’.

Conclusion

There were a lot of good one-liners in this episode, most of which I quoted in my review.  This season is so much happier than the previous one.  I suspect a good part of that is the chemistry between the core five characters- Lily, Theo, Casey, RJ, and Fran.  They all bounce off each other wonderfully.  It just highlights how… coolly the OO team interacted.  They were coworkers, not family like most teams are by the end.  And sometimes, like here, they gel much earlier than that.

Fran is already getting annoyed with her teammates’ random disappearances, starting her first mini-arc, .  Camille still wants to impress Dai Shi, which looks to be a futile goal.  There was the internal reveal of the Rangers (and RJ) finding out that Jarrod has been possessed by the villain.  RJ’s animal spirit still hasn’t been revealed, but it turns out he’s more skilled with Ranger technology than he let on in the first episode.  It makes me wonder if he was directly involved with the creation of the Solar Morphers and the initial weaponry.

I’m vaguely aware that Casey and Lily’s actors did date for a while (for all I know, they could still be an item but it seems invasive to Google that).  That makes this episode’s effort to make their bond platonic all that more unconvincing.  I’m more of a Theo/Lily shipper, but I can see where Casey/Lily is plausible.

The plotlet of defeating the Five Fingers has begun.  One down, four to go!

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Gakko takes on the trio.

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