Theo and Casey clash over Lily (Theo’s possessive of his friend, Casey’s tired of being treated as the new guy by the Blue Ranger) to her annoyance.
Last time on Power Rangers: RJ trained Theo when he lost his confidence after a fight went poorly.
Name of the Game
In the JKP, Theo is dressed up and waiting for Lily, who’s late to his mixed concern and annoyance. When he bumps into Fran, the brunette makes a joke about her watch being “twenty-hour hours ahead” as Theo wants to double-check the time. It turns out that the duo goes to a new place to try out for lunch every second Tuesday. Despite Theo’s denials about it being a date, Fran finds it adorable. RJ shows up to reveal that “she’s upstairs getting her groove on with Casey”, complete with gestures/moves. Theo promptly dashes off to the brunet’s confusion.
Wait. Just how long have the Rangers been in Ocean Bluff? I know a few days passed in last episode, but I thought it’d only been a month or two at the most since the trio’s arrival. That’s not much of a tradition (given that I highly doubt they did this back at the Pai Zhua Academy). Or maybe there’s longer downtime periods between episodes than we’ve been seeing. On a related note, I have to wonder how long it took the trio to travel from the academy to Ocean Bluff and what that trip was like. I’m half-assuming that they brought along extra uniforms and their luggage was tucked away nearby before entering JKP and they later retrieved it post-battle, because otherwise… yeah, those uniforms would have been a lot dirtier and sweatier.
Over in Dai Shi’s palace, Stingerella is dismissive towards Toady (who has a crush on her). They end up in monster mode and she beats him a bit before leaving to his upset.
A song plays as Lily dances, Casey watching and cheering her on in RJ’s chair. Theo shows up to feel left out as the song ends. RJ shows up too, his presence enough to get Casey awkwardly out of his chair. Lily wants to bring both guys on the lunch “appointment” (Theo’s new term for it). She also has a new dance move that’ll require both of them- one to throw her, one to catch her. Both guys want to catch her. Theo clearly wants to do so since he’s sweet on her, but I suspect Casey wants to catch her due to being taller (he knows Theo is strong, but tall… not so much). I think that would make Casey the better option, but then again I don’t know much about dancing.
Agreeing that “teamwork is the name of the game”, RJ is working on the Claw Cannon, which will require all three to power it. Suddenly I’m remembering why I head-canoned RJ as Billy’s cousin all those years ago: they share an animal spirit and they’re both skilled with Ranger technology. Similarly, I suspect RJ was fudging the truth about just how he obtained the morphers- that speech of his sounded more Fran-ish than RJ-ish, if that makes sense.
Casey and Theo get in an argument basically over Lily to her miffed bafflement. Theo because he like-likes her, and Casey because Theo dismissed him as the ‘new guy’. The alarm goes off.
Stingerella and some Rin Shi do a dance routine out in Ocean Bluff. Why? Why in the name of the morphing grid would you do that? That’s possibly the second-least intimidating thing they could have done (the first being that hopping the Rin Shi do sometimes).
Morphed, the trio shows up to battle the Rin Shi but do poorly. Stingerella moves in to attack all three as Toady watches on admiringly from the shadows. He (wrongly) thinks it’s a romantic gesture when Stingerella grabs Theo in order to destroy him. His brief POV is oddly anime-like.
Toady supersizes to ‘save’ his crush and claws up the concrete near the Rangers. In response, the trio forms the Jungle Pride Megazord. Flit and Camille are watching on; she backhands him when he gets snarky. Stingerella and the Rin Shi decide to retreat. The spinning attack weakens Toady. Somehow the villain hears Flit’s mention of Stingerella, distracting him. Camille wants him to “finish the battle” but he runs off crying. Even Flit is unamused.
I Don’t Dance
Camille goes to Toady’s chamber to find out what his deal is. When he confesses that she rejected him, Camille claims she’s playing hard to get and manipulates him. I’d be more upset… expect it turns out that Camille does seem to know how villainesses’ minds work. Revigorated, Toady leaves. Camille does want the duo to work together to destroy the Rangers.
In the throne room, Naja is upset with Dai Shi. He ‘morphs’ and promises it’ll be Naja’s turn soon enough; the villain going into monster mode as well. I’m not sure why Dai Shi went into his armored mode here- to remind viewers he had it…? Maybe that’s the Doylist reason; perhaps the Watsonian one is that he wanted to intimidate the lesser villain by a show of power.
Up in the loft, the trio are in their Ranger uniforms. Barefoot and in grey, RJ basically wants to have a dance-off with the bad guys. Theo instantly claims, “I don’t dance.”
“Great,” responses Casey. “More dance time for the new guy.”
Having switched to their ‘casual’ Ranger uniforms, the guys are mentored by Lily in a montage as a pop song plays. RJ is continuing work on the Claw Cannon, and at one point has to stop himself from moving to the beat. The alarm blaring ends the montage, but the guys are still cranky at each other. There’s a three-way screen for the morphing sequence.
Stingerella and the Rin Shi have returned. A rock song plays as the Rangers battle the minions, more successfully this time. The villainess is astonished that the minions were destroyed.
Showing up, Toady makes his declaration before fending off the weapon-wielding Theo and Lily. The villain’s slime force field (just go with it) is used to protect against Casey’s tiger spirit, as well as the other two’s big cat spirits. Stingerella then attacks to weaken the trio before revealing herself to now return Toady’s feelings. Arm-in-arm, they make to leave but the Rangers give chase.
Theo contacts RJ about the Claw Cannon. Casey attacks the monsters while the others hold the new weapon. RJ is worrying back in his chair (the other two guys are still unhappy as the battle goes poorly for them). Pleased, Toady carries off Stingerella in a bridal carry.
… Yeah, that similar scene in “Shadow, Part Two” back in SPD just got a lot more romantic, as the showrunners clearly show here that they know the implications of that position. I don’t know for sure, but I suspect that Bruce Kalish wasn’t the only person to work on SPD through this season.
Work This Out
Casey and Theo are upset with each other back in the JKP’s courtyard, their fight ending when Lily arrives to schold them. Telling them to “work it out”, she walks off. Theo opens up about how close he is Lily and didn’t want to ‘lose’ her to Casey, so he overreacts. And Casey admits he overreacted to Theo’s overreaction, as he didn’t like the reminder of being the ‘new guy’. They fist-bump and are ready to defeat the amorous villains.
In Rin Shi mode, the couple are planning to cause a volcanic eruption out in a forested area when they’re found by the morphed trio, who have their weapons at the ready. When Toady and Stingerella switch to monster-mode, they teleport in the Claw Cannon (that’s another thing- RJ had to be partially involved in the morphers’ creation, otherwise he couldn’t make compatible technology).
Lily and Theo use their energy to charge up the weapon while Casey stalls the monsters. They alert him once it’s charged, Casey leaping over to use it (possibly by adding more energy…?).
Toady is certain that his force field will protect them, but the Claw Cannon’s attack shatters his force field and destroys him while Stingerella gets tossed into the air. Vowing revenge for Toady, she supersizes.
This means the Jungle Pride Megazord gets called upon again. Flit and Camille watch on as the spinning attack is used first to free the Megazord from a swarm of scorpions and then to destroy Stingerella. Obviously, Camille is upset by yet another loss.
Theo’s sitting at a booth when Fran joins him. He’s still adjusting to being a trio instead of a duo. He gleefully leaves when RJ shows up to tell him that Lily’s waiting himself outside for a “lunch thing”. Fran gets up and RJ puts an arm around her, both sighing “Ah, love,” before chuckling/giggling.
I ship them so much. They’re both adorkable, idealistic brown-haired people who are smart (Fran reads a lot, while RJ is more hands-on regarding his talents). And their chemistry together is just lovely.
Also, I’m more confused than ever about the timeline. Have two weeks passed during this episode, or has the schedule for the “lunch thing” been changed? Possibly the dance montage did take place over an extended period while the villains had their ‘honeymoon’.
I’m amused that the booklet’s synopsis for this episode is “The friendship between Theo and Lily is tested by the Yellow Ranger’s budding platonic relationship with Casey”. Like, seriously? Theo and Lily have ‘just’ a friendship as it lacks modifiers (I don’t mean any disrespect to that state), while she and Casey have a ‘platonic’ relationship (and in media, a relationship typically indicates a romantic one so even though it specified as non-romantic there’s a slight indication that it might not stay that way). The episode itself was pretty clear that Theo’s smitten with Lily, even if her feelings about him are probably less romantic at this point (an interesting parallel to the villains of the episode, actually).
On the one hand, this episode was about Lily. On the other, it was mostly about the guys’ fighting over her (Theo because he has a crush, and Casey mostly due to being insulted by Theo calling him the new guy [though it’s not unfeasible that Casey completely lacks a romantic interest in Lily despite last episode’s ending]). Furthermore, Lily got annoyed by both guys… but it wasn’t really ‘tested’. Theo just had to learn to ‘share’ and get reassurance that Casey wasn’t a romantic rival.
Part of the problem is that Lily does have great chemistry with both guys- I can see where some people would ship her with Theo and others ship her with Casey. Meanwhile, the two guys play off each other well. There was another reminder that Casey is uncomfortable with being a comparative ‘cub’ to his teammates, although it’s made clear that Theo wouldn’t like sharing Lily’s attention with anyone. Thankfully, Lily didn’t hold with any of that nonsense.
Only Naja remains of the Five Fingers of Poison. The Claw Cannon is the Rangers’ powerful new weapon, created for them by RJ. In regards to the overarching plot, the main elements introduced/confirmed were: Theo has a crush on Lily (possibly he’s in denial but he definitely won’t be telling anybody else), Casey’s still sore over being the new guy, and RJ has serious skills in creating Ranger technology.
Next time on Power Rangers: Things go poorly at JKP when Casey’s in charge after RJ goes on a de-fishing trip… mostly because Casey doesn’t actually take charge.