9-14: Clash for Control, Part 1

The mutant Commandocon, Eric, and Wes all go back in time in an effort to obtain the Q-Rex.

Last time on Power Rangers: Eric became the Quantum Ranger.

 

Down the Time Hole

Nadira fretfully complains to her father about there being six Rangers now, but Ransik’s plan is to get ahold of the Q-Rex before the heroes.  Gluto tries to be pleased, but he doesn’t know what it is.  The Quantasaurus Rex is the “most powerful Megazord” created by Time Force (I appreciate the loophole there to ensure it’s not the most powerful Megazord).  Frax continues to exposit and there’s a flashback.  Ransik picks out a mutant who’ll travel back in time to retrieve it for him.

There’s a shot of a leafy jungle with a volcano off in the distance.

The Silver Guardians are training hard outside a building.  Eric is a badass… I wonder if he’s actually holding back now due to him being a Ranger and his opponents being normal guys.  He’d claim it’s not out of altruism but to keep his Ranger status a secret, of course.  When the five other Rangers show up in civilian garb, Eric seems almost amused (and reveals he was definitely expecting them).

The group goes to an isolated spot.  Eric actually says “finders keepers” about the Quantum morpher, apparently forgetting how archeologists found the box and that both Brickneck and Wes briefly had it before he got ahold of it.  Also, the Rangers themselves are forgetting that once bonded to a person, morphers aren’t easily reassigned, which is egregious given how that’s the initial reason they gave Wes the Red morpher.  Trip at least should know how morphers and the bonding process works.

Also, I bet they haven’t told Captain Logan about how the Quantum morpher has been found and got bonded to a 21st century man.  Because the only worse outcome would be the villains having it.  And they clearly want to try getting it back from Eric before that.

A portal opens up in the nearby sky to the group’s concern just before the opening credits, which now have more footage of the Q-Rex.  In any case, the mutant Commandocon is using his staff to create the “time hole” to teleport through.

When Trip figures out what the plan must be, Eric starts to dash off but then morphs.  This time the actual morphing sequence is seen.  He then calls for the TF Eagle… which is new.  Clearly, Eric has been experimenting with his new powers and tech off-screen.  I have to wonder how long it’s been since last episode… a few days, probably, since I can’t imagine the team taking even a week before approaching Eric.  But maybe it’s been about a day and Eric’s just been taking initiative with his new abilities and access to technology.

Wes decides to leap after him, morphing (with his sequence seen as seen) just beforehand.  He lands on a wing of the flying device.  While confused, Eric doesn’t do a barrel roll to get rid of Wes.  The TF Eagle travels through the time hole.

Dinosaurs Galore

A demorphed Wes regains consciousness in a leafy jungle with a pterosaur flying overhead.  Eric, also demorphed and reloading his laser gun, informs him they’re one hundred fifty million years in the past.  I wonder if either his suit’s AI or the TF Eagle’s gizmos told him this, or if Eric’s just hazarding a guess.

As Eric goes over to the landed TF Eagle, three very fake dinosaurs are seen.  It’s both hilarious and sad how I can tell that the show probably extended its budget for these effects… but they look so bad.  Maybe it’s a kids’ show thing, as both SG-1 and the Lord of the Rings trilogy (both being filmed around 2001) have much better special effects.  Eric shakes his head at Wes’ wide-eyed reaction to seeing dinosaurs.

Eric grumbles at Wes, who’s worried about Ransik gaining control of the Q-Rex.  Like last episode, Eric tells Wes “I don’t need your help”, grabbing at Wes’ red outer shirt before shoving him to the ground.  Wes gets promptly distracted as he landed right before a nest of baby dinosaurs.

14Eric&Wes

Rumbling occurs to mutual unease… a very, very fake T-Rex shows up.  Eric briefly grabs at Wes before yelling “Let’s go!” and they run away.  Both end up ‘head-butted’ by the T-Rex and tossed aside.  Yeah, I think the ‘superhuman durability’ bit just became canon, since otherwise they’d be dead.

The T-Rex goes after Eric first, but Wes grabs him and they get out of the way.  In a direct parallel to the previous scene, Wes grabs at Eric before they resume running… at least until they reach a cliff.  Wes ends up thrown off it by the T-Rex’s tail while he’s trying to help his friend.  Although worried for Wes, Eric takes the chance to go between the dinosaur’s legs when he spots a cave directly along that path.

It’s barely deep enough to keep out the T-Rex, which soon stomps off in annoyance.  Finding a way into another part of the cave, Eric goes in, getting dusty in the process.  In a rare (but understandable) moment of vulnerability, Eric gets startled by a rock he himself caused to fall.  Eric then finds the same artwork seen in the previous episode of the Q-Rex, along with an image of a volcano.  This enables him to piece together that must be where the Q-Rex is.

Wait.  Who did that cave art?  Aliens, I suppose, but who?  This is long before the Dark Days, so I doubt it’s any of the known major players… unless Zordon dropped by when he picked up on the energy reading and figured the art would help people find the Megazord.  This could be when he got the idea for the Dinozords.  Yeah, that theory is now my head-canon.

Wes is unconscious but alive.  I’m telling you, Power Rangers have superhuman durability and a healing factor among other boosts.  Waking up, he stares up at the cliff, very sore and dirty.  Contrary to common sense, he goes towards the basically erupting volcano.  Well, maybe he saw the cave art in the TV news report and thus made the deduction (Eric was busy going to the attacked site and probably thinks news is biased anyway).

Back in the clock tower, Trip and Circuit are using technology (including the hologram screen) in effort to find the trio, but have only gone back a few millennia (so… around the time of the Orgs’ original attacks, then?).  Jen is determined to find them (but probably mostly Wes, even if she won’t say so).  Katie is worried, while Lucas hopes that if they can’t find the duo that they’ll find their own way back.  Uh… how?  Can the TF Eagle create time holes too?

Wes falls down a smaller distance… and it turns out he fell into a giant footprint.

Eric gets found by the Q-Rex, who goes into its cave after some stomping around.

Commandocon is pleased at having found the Megazord but Wes kicks him in the back before morphing, the sequence seen again.  Some comments are traded back and forth in the fight, including Wes telling the mutant that “I’m a Power Ranger!  I’ll never give up!”

However, the mutant manages to beat up Wes to the point that he can’t stand up.

The Q-Rex is grumpy in its cave… so it’ll get along great with Eric, then.  Introducing himself to the Megazord, Commandocon uses his staff to put the Q-Rex under his control.  There’s lots of blue lightning as the mutant cackles.

Red versus Red

Waking back up, Wes stands up.  However, a morphed Eric arrives and has his blaster aimed at the other man.  Not believing Wes when he tries to warn him about the situation, Eric attacks him.  Of course, this episode opened with Wes and the others trying to get Eric to hand over the Quantum morpher… small wonder he’d figure that they wouldn’t want him to have a Megazord.

Commandocon has the Q-Rex “rise up” while the two Red Rangers fight (Eric’s winning, of course).  The mutant opens up another time hole, having the Q-Rex enter it before him.

Spotting the new time hole, Eric runs off, with Wes chasing after him.  And of course the volcano is erupting.  A crevasse opens up and there’s stock footage of an avalanche seen.  The ground starts to crack under the duo’s feet, so Eric calls for the TF Eagle and gets in while Wes flounders on the splintering ground.

As Wes falls, Eric returns to rescue him.  He claims it’s just to make them even (uh-huh, whatever you need to tell yourself, Eric, you totally just had a Han Solo/Maui returns to aid the hero moment).  They travel through the time hole.

Out of Control

Circuit, along with a hologram, alerts the others to the returning travelers so the quartet leaves.  Both Ransik and Nadira are pleased with what their hologram is showing them.

The morphed quartet shows up as the Q-Rex comes through the time hole with Commandocon.  The mutant continues to use his staff to control the Megazord.  Trip is initially happy, but the quartet soon realizes the trouble ahead.

Jen is particularly happy to see Wes when the TF Eagle comes through.  Wes thanks Eric, who tilts the TF Eagle to ‘let off’ the other man.  The others hurry to where Wes is falling (again- this just isn’t his day).

The Q-Rex is continuing its rampage under Commandocon’s control.  Having landed, Eric tries to command the Megazord, only for the AI to respond “voice identification blocked” to his confusion.

While Jen takes point in checking on Wes, everybody is worried about the situation.  Frax, Gluto, Nadira, and Ransik teleport onto a roof.  The brown-haired man exclaims, “Finally, my reign begins!”

Conclusion

Despite (or maybe partly because) the bad dinosaur CGI, I really enjoyed this episode.  There was plenty of action and time travel.  For a series called Time Force, there really isn’t a lot of it.  Eric showed he does care about Wes (even though his words indicated grumpy annoyance).  Even though they mostly worked together to help each other out, there’s still a degree of mistrust due to Wes not wanting Eric to be a Ranger while Eric wants to be one.  To be fair, Eric doesn’t quite want to be a Ranger for the right reasons yet.

Lucas, Katie, Trip, and Jen were all side-lined while Mister Collins didn’t show up at all.  This episode was all about the Q-Rex, Eric, and Wes.  At this point, everything is going well for Ransik, highlighting the danger present at the episode’s cliffhanger.

Wait.  Isn’t there an arc somewhere either in the comics or the animated 90s show where Magento and Professor X get stranded in the Savage Land, which has dinosaurs?  Is this a homage to that?!  Obviously, the Q-Rex comes from the Super Sentai, but maybe the American crew decided to make another X-Men parallel?  Or at least, to make the parallels stronger.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Eric has skewed priorities.

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