9-13: The Quantum Quest

Eric obtains a morpher of his own!

Last time on Power Rangers: The Silver Guardians, especially Eric, were introduced.

 

A First Ditch Effort

An excited young woman calls for Doctor Hammond, who’s presumably the head of the archeological dig occurring out in a sandy/rocky area.  A whole group of hatted people goes into a cave tunnel, where the Q-Rex is painted on the wall.  Partially buried is a metal box, Doctor Hammond brushing away dirt to further expose it- he doesn’t recognize the metal it’s made of, which is interesting.

Nadira is crying as she watches some kind of sitcom on TV… suddenly there’s static before it shows a news report on the discovery, as the box was found in dirt going back to the Jurassic period.  While his daughter is upset over not seeing the end of her show, Ransik is pleased as he knows the box is from Time Force.

Although grumpy, Nadira hands over Brickneck’s containment unit to Frax for reanimation.  As I predicted, the process has grown less dramatic since the pilot.  That, or the villains have done repairs and/or alternations to make it more efficient.  Brickneck is loyal to Ransik and the villains want to obtain “the powers of the Quantum Ranger”.  The show then cuts to the credits, which now include Eric (largely unmorphed but bits of footage of his morphed self).

Back at the camp, the mysterious box is put into a larger box for transport.  Brickneck and some Cyclobots arrive to attack the archeologists, the young woman from before going to the injured Doctor Hammond.  The Silver Guardians arrive in their black vehicles just as the mutant grabs the box.

Laser bullets are used on the charging minions, some of whom topple into a trench.  Archeologists are running past the Silver Guardians to get to safety.  They struggle to get the box.  Removing his shades, Eric flat-out tackles a Cyclobot but fails to attack Brickneck.  Wes comes to his friend’s rescue, with his teammates nearby (all five are morphed).  He asks, “Are you okay?”

“I don’t need your help!” snaps Eric before running off.  Jen gives chase after Brickneck, who has the box.  Eric is near enough to overhear how the box contains “the Quantum Controller” and thus the powers of the, well, Quantum Ranger.  The black-haired man is clearly interested in the idea.

While Lucas, Trip, and Katie go to Jen, Wes leaps from behind Brickneck to grab the box.  But he’s soon thrown into the air by a blast and the box goes flying away as well.  His teammates go to Wes’ side to check on him.  Brickneck decides to leave for now instead of searching for the box.  Possibly due to his psychic powers, Trip knows that Wes is in bad shape so the group leaves for the clock tower.

As the Silver Guardians call out for Eric, he leaves in a different direction as he’s gained the box.  Finding a secluded spot in Silver Hills, he takes out the Quantum Controller to look it over.  After a moment’s hesitation, he tries to stick his hand in.  There’s a brief yellow glow but nothing else happens.  After tucking the controller behind a crate, Eric leaves.

Mister Collins is walking down a hallway with two other men.  Apparently, it’s now common knowledge at Bio-Tech that Wes is the Red Ranger (then how will the others’ secret identities be kept?).  There’s a brief voiceover of Wes’ firm opposition to joining his dad’s team before Mister Collins refuses to get his son involved with the Silver Guardians.  I appreciate that Mister Collins is respecting his son’s boundaries at least a little.

Eric joins the trio on a ‘bridge’ above the lobby.  He wants to replace Commander Porter as the leader due to him being “loyal and dedicated” as well as a talented fighter.  Mister Collins refutes that he doesn’t know or trust Eric so he puts the guy in Silver Guardian garb who was talking with him in charge.  With a voiceover of his own, Eric states his determination to be the leader.

It’s interesting that Eric’s first instinct wasn’t to show that he found the Quantum Controller- possibly suspecting that it might be given to somebody else as his initial effort to bond with it failed.  Leadership is a major component in being a Red Ranger, so it makes sense that Eric wants it.  Of course, whether or not he’s good at it yet is another thing entirely.  Also, I wonder if the fact that Wes and Eric used to be friends played a role in Mister Collins’ dismissal of the latter.  Maybe he thinks he’ll be like his son, or maybe he heard Wes’ side of Eric’s departure and thinks he’s a quitter.  I don’t know.

Search for the Controller (Everybody’s Done It At Least Once)

A bandaged-up Wes is unconscious back in the clock tower.  I half-suspect he hadn’t fully recovered from the injuries inflicted by Univolt and that’s why he got so hurt by Brickneck.

Circuit explains to the others (we viewers see the actual events) about how both the Quantum Controller and its Zord, the Quantasaurus Rex, were lost in time back when Time Force was first experimenting with time travel.  The interesting thing is that the quartet needs this refresher, implying it’s not recent history.  Just how long has Time Force been around and how has it been meddling with the timeline?

At a storage depot, Brickneck and Cyclobots have arrived as they’ve tracked down the Quantum Controller’s energy signature to there.  Circuit alerts the team to their presence so the quartet leaves.  Moments later, Wes wakes up and goes after them upon the robotic owl telling him where they went.  Belatedly Circuit tries to stop him, but he ought to know by now that injured Rangers tend to go to their teammates’ aid regardless of their physical state.

On their Vector Cycles, the morphed quartet arrives at the storage depot.  Brickneck has the minions continue searching for the Quantum Controller with the gizmo while he fights the Rangers.  The mutant easily batters them as the Cyclobots head in the right direction.

Eric shows up to see some heading up the stairs and first attacks those still on ground-level.  I think he uses a different stairwell to reach the others on an upper level.  Even without a morpher, Eric is a badass.  The other Rangers are struggling against Brickneck.  After defeating the remaining few Cyclobots, Eric obtains the controller but when he steps out into an open space there are two Cyclobots with blasters at the ready.

Wes again comes to his friend’s rescue and they fall down into a warehouse.  Eric is not amused while Wes wants the Quantum Controller as well.  More Cyclobots show up so they team up to take them on.  Wes primarily wants to protect his friend but Eric has laid claim to the Quantum Controller.  They’re both badasses against the minions (I do wish I was better at describing fight scenes) but Eric ends up tiring faster than Wes.

I really do think it’s because Eric lacks a morpher opposed to a difference in their endurance and/or fighting skills.  After all, Wes got beat up by Brickneck earlier that day.  My theory is that a minor healing factor is among the ‘default’ powers of a morpher, along with increased strength, reflexes, agility, durability, endurance, fighting skills, and the knowledge on piloting Zords.  Though that last one might be a ‘sometimes’ skill, depending on who made the morphers.

Also, I want to know what sort of ‘morphic’ metal was used to create the Quantum Controller.  What is the Ranger equivalent to mithril or adamantium…?  Or do different ‘made-up’ metals create different types of morphers?  Seriously, where is the book on the pseudo-magictech of this verse?

A Quantum Change

Eric has his hand in the Quantum Controller when a Cyclobot blasts it, causing it to glow brightly and cause the Cyclobots nearby to fall down.  Circuit flies in, worried about Eric bonding with the morpher.  Having overextended himself, Wes can’t stop the kneeling Eric from properly bonding with it, the ‘box’ shapeshifting into a wrist morpher.  He pleads, “Eric, no!  Eric, you don’t know what you’re getting into.  Listen to me.  This is not about us!  Please don’t do it!”

Um.  It’s already too late.  Eric has bonded with the Quantum morpher.  Unless a special process is done (see “The Power Transfer”) it’s encoded to his DNA.  That’s why Wes himself became a Ranger- because Alex’s morpher was still encoded to his.  Actually, I wonder if that’s a hint that he was still alive, or maybe the morphers do stay ‘linked’ to their users beyond death.  Hmm.

Though there are two interesting things here.  One, Wes might regret how little he knew about what he was getting into as a Ranger, as he’s been discovering that it’s not all just kicking butt.  He clearly doesn’t regret becoming a Ranger, given last episode, but maybe he feels the circumstances could have been better.  Two, Wes seems to be under the impression that Eric is doing this to show up Wes himself.  Maybe he thinks that this is just another way for Eric to try to prove himself, rather than help others (not that he’d be exactly wrong at this point in time).

Eric stands up as Wes remains prone.  The black-haired man calls out, “Quantum Power!”

There are a lot of sparks as Eric morphs for the first time.  Circuit panics while Wes hides due to falling rubble.  Lightning flares off Eric’s morphed self.

“Eric… is that you?”

Okay, at this point I’m honestly concerned that Wes might have a bit of a concussion from his fight with Brickneck.  He was shown with a bruise on his head while demorphed.  Eric called out ‘Quantum Power’ while wearing the Quantum Controller/Morpher and now he’s ‘gone’ with a new red-and-black Ranger standing where he was.  Who do you THINK it is?!

“Yes, it is,” Circuit informs Wes.

There are dramatic close-ups on the Quantum Ranger’s suit and gear.  Wes asks Circuit for info, but the robotic owl admits, “Unfortunately, I don’t have any information on this Ranger.”

Wait.  Time Force created the Quantum Controller.  Surely it would have been in the files about the ‘theoretical’ powers and gear of the Quantum Ranger?  Unless it was classified or deleted due to being deemed unneeded.  Maybe Circuit doesn’t have the complete database on Time Force technology.  That’d be an interesting twist.

Lucas, Trip, Katie, and Jen are still struggling against Brickneck when there are lots of mini-explosions around the mutant.  Eric dramatically taps his blaster against his other gloved hand.  Seriously, with their flare for drama, Eric and Erik would get along superbly if it weren’t for the fact that their personalities would be like nitroglycerin and nitroglycerin together.

Three of them are impressed, while Trip is more worried about whether or not he’s no their side.  It’s interesting that the psychic one is concerned, especially as at this point Eric is on his own side alone.  Katie briefly thinks, at this distance, that it’s Wes given the suits’ similarities.

13QuantumRanger

Eric is Eric as he comes down the stairs.  More Cyclobots are called upon but he easily defeats them.  Wes shows up to tell his teammates what in the name of Zordon occurred.

It turns out that the Quantum suit comes with a limited AI to help its user make sound tactical decisions.  Although useful, I have to wonder why it was installed- surely a ‘newbie’ to Ranger magitech wasn’t intended to receive the Quantum Controller.  There are a lot of Cyclobots so Eric switches his weapon from blaster mode to blade mode.  After they’ve been destroyed, it’s time for Eric to fight Brickneck.

Both are arrogant, but Eric has the edge now in skill and power.  The Freeze Strike mode/attack is used on Brickneck to revert him into an ‘action figure’ in the explosion’s aftermath.  Like any true badass, Eric doesn’t look at the explosion.

Katie is impressed as Eric does a slo-mo walk.  Perched on a shipping container, Circuit frets, “But how is Eric going to use such power?”

Eric approaches the astonished quartet.  Wes steps forward to ask, “Eric… are you all right?”

“Never been better.”  I suspect that instead of being snarky or dismissive, that Eric is being honest.  The increased energy and vitality of being a Ranger could be detectable.

Instead of just ending on the two Red Rangers facing off, the show decided to impose footage of their unmorphed faces above them just to underline who’s under the helmets.  Poor Wes- he’s not getting along with his dad or former friend.  But with the latter, it’s mostly Eric being prickly.  The two Collins men just can’t figure out how to make their perspectives/ideals compatible at this point.

Conclusion

Eric is now a Power Ranger, but he hasn’t joined the team.  In fact, it was clearly stated that his goal is to lead the Silver Guardians.  After bonding with the Quantum Morpher, he’s a better fighter than ever.  This episode showcased his determination and fiery spirit, with most of the Rangers shunted to the side.  And what does the ‘CGD’ white lettering on Eric’s uniform baseball cap stand for?

Wes has determination and zeal in plenty as well, but he’s far more idealistic in general.  Yet there are hints that being a Ranger is causing him to mature.  He’s certainly more level-headed than he was in the first episode.  I wonder if Eric or Mister Collins will ever realize how much Wes is changing.

I have to wonder if the Silver Hills (name-dropped once as where the archeological dig was and clearly the geographical feature the city is named after) are near the desert where the Command Center is located.  Sometimes I wish there was a map of the Rangers-verse so I could orient myself as to where the cities are.  Maybe it’d be included in my hypothetical “History and Magitech of Power Rangers” book.

And what was the goal of the archeological dig?  Maybe they’re researching whatever ancient society lived in/near those caves.  They must have suspected they’d find something major, otherwise why shell out the funds for the Silver Guardians’ protection?  Actually, more information on how ‘normal’ people lived during the villains’ initial attacks on Earth would be interesting.  Modern-day people have enough trouble with monsters that supersize- how did people from three to ten thousand years ago cope?

I don’t think I mentioned it last time, but yeah… the Silver Guardians aren’t ‘allowed’ to use real bullets as this is a kids’ show.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Wes and Eric end up back in the age of dinosaurs!

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