16-7: Pizza Slice of Life

When RJ leaves for a de-fishing trip, things spiral out of control at JKP.  Meanwhile, Naja attempts to stage a coup against Dai Shi.

Last time on Power Rangers: Both Casey and Theo got insecure, albeit for different reasons.

 

While the Boss is Away…

Theo and Fran head through the front entrance of JKP, while Casey and Lily are already working.  Fran, Lily, and Theo end up in the kitchen, where RJ is ‘in disguise’ as he’s going to a fly-fishing contest to disturb the fish to keep them from getting caught.  I really wish the show had inserted clips of his antics throughout, because I’m certain RJ was amusing.

Pointing out that somebody needs to be left in charge, Theo lists off some qualities before stating “me”.  RJ decides to put Casey in charge just as the Red Ranger enters.  Although Casey is more baffled than anything, the brunet then leaves.  Fran and Lily don’t want Theo to be in charge.  Casey doesn’t want to be in charge so he divvies up the responsibilities, Lily manipulating Theo into agreeing to be the waiter.  Poor Fran ends up the ‘floater’ while Casey’s just relieved not to be the boss.

In a hallway, Naja corners Camille.  He wants to stage a coup and kill Dai Shi, the reveal of which causes Camille to go on the offensive.  She soon goes into her armored mode but then heads for some stairs.  They fight in the stairwell.  Weirdly, the windows have sunlight streaming through them, despite the purplish overcast sky used for the establishing shot of Dai Shi’s palace.  After Camille manages to poison Naja, he uses a “life talon” to heal himself and then goes into monster mode.

They end up in a sunny courtyard that I swear is the one from the first episode.  Has Dai Shi taken over the Pai Zhua Academy…?  If he had, wouldn’t that have come up?  The other two options are either the limited budget meant sets got reused or this footage made sense in the Super Sentai.

Naja is angry as they keep fighting due to Camille’s rejection and by her causing him to use up one of his life talons.  He doesn’t understand Camille’s faith in Dai Shi and ends up leaping onto a roof before leaving to her own upset.

Back at JKP, Casey has gotten Fran to dress up as the JKP mascot Pepperona (a slice of pizza) to attract customers.  The brunette isn’t happy about the suit.  Theo and Lily squabble over who gets Fran’s assistance, the squabble causing a table to topple over.  Casey refuses to get involved and take responsibility.  As the duo keeps fighting, Fran falls over as well.

Camille has chased Naja in the woods and the fight has resumed.  Naja backhandedly compliments her once she’s on the ground.  The explosion causes her to be tossed through the air onto a beach, ‘demorphing’.  A laughing Naja leaves.  Clearly sore, Camille is walking on the beach when an annoyed Dai Shi finds her.  He ends up manipulating her, dangling the ‘carrot’ of his affection before her.  But he does bring up the valid if risky technique of Camille absorbing her opponent’s power instead of deflecting it.

On the one hand, I do feel sorry for Camille being used this way.  On the other, last episode had her do something similar with Toady.  I wonder if she’ll realize the parallels.

Casey, Lily, and Theo all arrive at a table at the same time.  They’re all angry at each other for not ‘pulling their weight’.  Their squabble causes the couple at the table to leave JKP, stating their intention not to come back.  Yeah, the interpersonal friction is officially affecting the business.

Powering Up, Stepping Up

Having snuck back into his chamber at Dai Shi’s palace somehow (surely there are Rin Shi guards- has the news of Naja’s treason not filtered through the ranks yet?), Naja sacrifices two life talons to bring back Ranipede and Gakko.  I guess he didn’t want to deal with the two lovebirds again?

Lily is sitting at a booth when Casey stops by to check on her.  They get distracted when Fran is rushing around, looking for the fire extinguisher.  Fran finds it and uses it in the kitchen… just as Theo opens the other pizza oven door, getting himself covered in white foam to Lily’s amusement.

Casey’s morpher beeps so he puts on his shades.  An armored Camille is waiting for them, so the trio leaves, putting an annoyed Fran in charge of ‘everything’.  When the morphed trio arrives on the beach, Camille states her intention to have their power so it’s time for a fight.

They soon call upon the Claw Cannon to send a fireball at Camille, who manages to absorb the blast.  After the second attempt to the same results, Lily starts to realize that the villainess wants to be attacked but the guys get distracted.  After the third blast, Camille leaps away to their confusion.

7JKPQuartet

The trio arrives back at JKP, which is a mess.  A startled Fran ends up tossing a pizza into the air, where it lands on Theo.  Apparently “rush hour” happened while they were away… wait, just how long where they gone?  One hour, two, three…?  An understandably fed-up Fran quits.

As they clean up, Theo and Lily snap at each other.  Casey admits that this whole mess is his fault because he didn’t step up as the boss like he does as the Red Ranger.  Lily agrees to him being properly in charge and Theo doesn’t argue against it, so Casey decides that they need to get Fran back.

Dai Shi is meditating upon his throne when the three Fingers of Poison sneak in and attack.  An invisible Camille protects her master.  Willing to prove himself in combat as the leader, Dai Shi armors himself.  Camille takes on Naja while Dai Shi fights the revived duo.  Once Rantipede has been destroyed again, Gakko retreats.  Camille wants to destroy Naja herself, which Dai Shi is fine with yet he has her give chase when the monster flees.

In Ocean Bluff, Gakko starts to cause fear in humans to increase his power.

A confused Fran returns to JKP.  Casey and Lily both apologize, while a sitting Theo has to nudged with the mop before he does so as well.  After he doubles and then triples her salary, Fran accepts Casey’s offer to have her return.  But then their morphers beep so they have to leave again with Fran in charge.  An impressed Fran sits down, admitting to herself, “They had me at ‘I’m sorry’.”

Finding Gakko, the trio morphs in a three-way split screen.

Naja is in a quarry.  Camille finds him and they fight again.  I’ve noticed that some of her standard outfit, particularly the midriff, can be seen under her armor.  I’m not sure what to make of that.  The monster is confident he’ll destroy her, but she absorbs his lightning ball attack.

“You have no power over me, Naja.  Take this!”

Her attack throws him into the air and he’s baffled by her increased strength.  I’m more amused by the possible Labyrinth reference.  Camille wants to destroy him and Dai Shi shows up to watch.  Naja tries to manipulate Camille into teaming up with him as he rises up.

However, she just cuts off his three remaining life talons and blows him up.  Catching the three items, she wants to give them to Dai Shi but he’s already left.

The trio are fighting Gakko as the theme song plays.  Theo acknowledges Casey as team leader before they use the Claw Cannon to destroy him.  Casey comments, “One leader, one direction, one less bad guy.”

The quartet is working together smoothly now.  A happy RJ returns, seemingly impressed… but he wants Casey to pay off Fran’s raise.  It doesn’t make any sense for that to be literal and I suspect the writers just wanted a joke to end the plotline on.  Also, I want to know how RJ knows about the raise… did Fran call/text/email him to check that Casey could do that?  Does RJ have his pizza parlor bugged like he does the city (for watching Ranger battles)?

I wonder if RJ is mostly okay with this because Fran is doing more pizza-y work than the trio due to them frequently going off to fight evil.  But he couldn’t just give her a raise since even if they logically understood why, the trio wouldn’t be entirely happy with the pay disparity.  Yet by doing this, RJ got Casey to practice his leadership in a non-combat situation and made the trio give Fran the raise she deserves.  It’d be in line with his out-of-the-box mindset.

Camille and Dai Shi are in the throne room, where she’s hurt by his brusque manner.

Conclusion

The Ranger and villain plotlines were largely independent of each other.  Casey learned to step up more as a leader while Camille continues to try gaining Dai Shi’s affection.  Worryingly, Dai Shi isn’t above manipulating her on that subject.  Fran got lured back into working at JKP after briefly quitting, again showing how stressful her situation is due to her co-workers’ frequent and unpredictable absences.

There are no more Fingers of Poison- Gakko and Rantipede were destroyed again while Naja was destroyed as well.  This leaves Dai Shi at loose ends for now, since I’m unsure how exactly the metal objects that turn Rin Shi into monsters are created/found.  Camille has mastered the technique of absorbing her foes’ attacks to boost her own power, which will surely be problematic for the heroes going forward.

RJ was scarcely in this episode, but what little screen time he had was memorable.  Theo seems to be accepting Casey more, while Lily is still fond of both her teammates.  I’m half-convinced that the extra time of the Rangers in their civilian identities is a budget-savings measure, but since I really love such scenes I’m not complaining.  The title lampshades that this is largely a ‘slice of life’ episode opposed to an action-oriented one.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Lily is determined to learn from Master Phant.

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