9-15: Clash for Control, Part 2

Wes and Eric take up opposing sides on how things should be handled in Silver Hills.

Last time on Power Rangers: Wes and Eric (and a mutant) ended up in the time of the dinosaurs to retrieve the Q-Rex.

 

Put on Pause

The Q-Rex is rampaging in Silver Hills to the six Rangers’ worry.  Wes contacts Circuit, who sends for the Time Force Megazord.  I really want to know what Captain Logan is making of this situation.

My theory on what happened in 3000:

Circuit’s message: Hi… the Q-Rex got found but it’s currently being controlled by a mutant.  Could the Time Flyers be sent to 2001 to stop it, please?

Captain Logan: O_o

*underlings all panic*

In any case, ‘mode red’ is entered.  Commandocon sics the Q-Rex onto the Time Force Megazord and the Rangers clearly struggle against this foe.  Eric realizes, “Oh man, this is all my vault.”

Verbatim from my live-blog: Eh, he’s already more self-aware than most versions of Erik.  And this is true.  Eric has realized that Wes was telling the truth about the mutant planning to control the Q-Rex and now the other Rangers are in danger because of him.  Of course, Commandocon would have mind-controlled the Q-Rex if nobody had followed him back in time, so maybe Eric will start rationalizing things soon.

Alex is watching a hologram of the battle in his darkened room so he sends the Time Shadow back to 2001 as well.  Through an eclipse, the Time Shadow arrives.  The show doesn’t decide whether it’s light or dark out for a bit, but settles on daytime.  Eric is initially astonished by its appearance but quickly realizes it’s here to help the Rangers.  I appreciate the continuity that Eric wasn’t around to see the Time Shadow before, since it was also implied that Eric’s been away from Silver Hills (otherwise he and Wes would have run into each other soon).

The Time Shadow theme is heard as the two gang up on the Q-Rex.  Circuit confirms that an attack injured it, but it’s still tough.  The five end up demorphed on the ground as the Q-Rex stomps off.  The Rangers are dirty and probably bruised, while Commandocon is pleased.  Finding a cave, the Q-Rex lays down and roars in pain.  Suddenly I’m suspecting some kind of connection to the Galactabeasts and/or Wild Zords.

Eric is bragging to Mister Collins.  The latter’s smirk confirms that he’s manipulating Eric’s ambition to ensure that he gains a Megazord, ‘conceding’ it’d be impressive for Eric to get control of the Q-Rex.

Circuit warns the team that they only have two hours only the Q-Rex has healed and they need the Quantum morpher back.  In the cave, red light emits from the Zord.

Red versus Red

Wes goes to the Silver Guardians building.  Coming down the stairs, Eric taunts the blond about his nerve coming here after the “disrespect” he showed his father.  It’s definitely interesting that’s how Eric sees it- of course, his probable source is Mister Collins, who probably has a skewed view of what happened.

15Wes&Eric

When Wes wants to talk to him alone, Eric does nod and follow him out of the building.  They end up in an industrial area to do so, as Wes still wants the Quantum morpher back.

Eric rather reasonably points out that if he can’t control the Q-Rex, then Wes and the others won’t have better luck.  I’m less sure if he’s onto something with his claim that Wes is angry/jealous that Eric is now a Ranger too.  Wes never flat-out says that Eric’s wrong, though that could be because he knows it’s futile to argue on the subject as well as a distraction from the real issues at hand.  While the black-haired man is overconfident about wanting to become the Rangers’ leader, he’s not entirely wrong.  “Rookie Red Ranger” is a trope for a reason, after all.

Wes is incredulous, however Eric smirks since he knows something the other man doesn’t.

The other Rangers are planning in the clock tower when Mister Collins and another guy shows up.  In what’s probably foreshadowing, the other guy has to remind Mister Collins that he owns the place when the businessman remarks that the place looks familiar.  To their confusion, Mister Collins wants to hire them.

Eric is explaining Mister Collins’ plan to Wes, who thinks he’s joking.  Again, Eric has a point in that capturing Ransik would go smoother if they had access to Bio-Lab’s technology and money.  But considering what went down when Andrew Hartford used his money and technology to fund a Ranger team… then again, things did go relatively smoothly with the government-funded Lightspeed Rescue, SPD, and RPM.  It’s a complicated decision; I love it when the show acknowledges (even if this case is unintentional) how things aren’t always black and white.  I mean, I also love how idealistic this show is and how it’s guilt-free enjoyment of exploding giant monsters.

Twisting the knife, Eric calls Wes selfish for not thinking about that and that his friends would be better off without him.  I suspect the latter sentiment is Eric projecting his own issues onto the blond, but the former… well, maybe Wes can be a bit oblivious to his friends.  He got a bit condescending with Lucas in the car initially and didn’t even fake interest in Trip’s invention (though the latter does have the Doylist excuse of needing to help start Trip’s mini arc).  Eric flat-out says that Wes will have to take the Quantum morpher from him by force, so they both morph and start fighting.

Even though the Q-Rex was in a cave, Commandocon has it rise up again.  I’m guessing this is the stock footage of the Q-Rex’s arrival…?  The mutant gives more orders to the Megazord and gives chase as it’s swift.

Wes and Eric continue fighting.  Although Wes is genuinely worried, Eric feels the other man is being selfish.  I will concede that Wes hasn’t been clear on why Eric should hand over the Quantum morpher.  It’s not like anybody else can use it right now, and I suspect power transfers have to be mutually consensual.

Upon seeing that the Q-Rex has returned, Wes repeats his demand for Eric to hand over the Quantum morpher.  Eric thinks he can handle the situation and heads off.  A battered Wes follows… yeah, to be fair, Wes has had a rough day: he traveled through time on the wing of the TF Eagle; he got chased, head-butted, and swatted off a cliff by a T-Rex; he got attacked by a mutant; he nearly fell when the ground cracked under his feet; he was involved in a Megazord battle that ended in a draw; and now he’s been attacked by Eric.  He’s going to be very sore tomorrow; heck, he’s probably sore now.

Silver Guardians arrive near the attack because a client’s business is nearby- the interim commander tells them to get the people within out safely.  There are lots of scared civilians as the Q-Rex resumes its rampage.  At one point, it gets electrocuted and I’m not sure why.

The morphed quartet are happy to see Wes, as they didn’t take Mister Collins’ offer to Eric’s confusion.  The Quantum Ranger thinks they’ll regret it.  Circuit arrives to inform them that he’s called for the Time Flyers so they head off.  More to himself than them, Eric says, “Good luck, Power Rangers.  You’re going to need it,” before heading off in the opposite direction.

Quantum Power!

More of the Time Flyers’ trip back in time is seen as the Rangers run to the attack site.  Again, they go into mode red, with the Time Ship launched as well.  There’s an eclipse and the Time Shadow arrives.  The Shadow Force Megazord is formed.  In response, Commandocon exposes his mutant DNA to supersize as well.  Circuit is worried for the team- rightfully so, as the laser nets are ineffective.  Commandocon is pleased as the Q-Rex battles the Shadow Force Megazord.

On a roof, Eric frets, “Oh man, they think they can handle the Q-Rex alone.”

The lack of self-awareness on Eric’s part is stunningly hilarious.  He thinks he has to do everything himself, but there’s no doubt in his mind that others need help.  To be fair, in this case he’s right.  As the Rangers continue to struggle, Eric realizes, “If I don’t help, they could be destroyed.”

His suit’s AI informs him again that “the voice identification for the Quantasaurus is locked”.  Eric promptly tries it anyway.  AI tells him to destroy the blocking device, so Eric distracts the Q-Rex from the other Rangers to Wes’ worry.  Spotting the blocking device, Eric destroys it with his blaster.  He then takes control of the Q-Rex, as confirmed by his AI.

Trip is happy about this… Wes is more resigned, as he knows this will only encourage Eric’s grip on the Quantum morpher.  Under Eric’s instructions, the Q-Rex takes on Commandocon.  The Quantasaurus Megazord mode is accessed and used.  Adorably, it retains its tail.  Wes is awed.

Eric gives orders for the attacks, but does follow the AI’s suggestion of “Max Blizzard” to finish the mission.  After an explosion and freezing (that sort of weirdness is part of why I love this franchise), Commandocon goes back to action figure mode.  The Q-Rex reverts to dino-mode.  Going onto its head, Eric observes, “Yeah, I knew I would be able to gain control of the Q-Rex.”

The Rangers and Circuit are back on the ground.  The latter admits that Eric is a “loose cannon”.

In his Bio-Lab office, Mister Collins listens to Eric’s report.  They shake hands and Mister Collins puts him in charge of the Silver Guardians.  Both pleased, they go their separate ways.

Wes concedes that Eric’s point back in the clock tower.  Jen decides to mess with Wes by pointing out the benefits to the others.  When the blond gets overtly hurt, the brunette reveals she was kidding.  Katie points out that’s out of character for her.  Wes gives chase first, but all four of the others end up chasing a giggly Jen up the stairs.

I think this makes it official that Jen shows her softer and more playful sides around Wes (as the final scene shows, they’re not always the same side).  These are aspects of her that her teammates have rarely or never seen.  This makes me curious about what exactly Jen and Alex’s relationship was like.

Conclusion

I’m really enjoying this arc of Eric becoming a Ranger and gaining the power he desires that way.  Despite the others’ worries, I think Eric does have an altruistic side that’ll be fostered by him stepping up to the plate against Ransik and the other villains.  More and more I’m seeing Eric as the converse of Erik in the human-mutant debate, yet they’re so much alike in other ways.  They’d hate each other so much for the traits they share (oblivious to how alike they are) as well as their opposing views regarding mutants.  Yet already this Eric is slightly more aware/compassionate than the ‘canon’ Magneto.

He now has a Megazord in the Q-Rex.  This two-parter’s title has layers to it.  It wasn’t just about who got the Q-Rex, but also who got to lead the Rangers and the Silver Guardians.  Usually episode titles are either more straightforward and/or punny than that (for example, “Crown and Punishment”).

Mister Collins continues to want to expand the Silver Guardians’ influence (and therefore his own).  Maybe he’s heard about how the military was officially involved with Lightspeed Rescue?  I suspect why that season, SPD, and RPM went smoothly is because those behind the suits wanted to help defend Earth (and other planets in SPD’s case) against evil.  Ostensibly that was Andrew’s goal, but he was also the source of the problem by finding the Corona Aurora.  Plus, they were largely jewel hunters opposed to defending civilians.

I still think that every Ranger city should have a similar organization, if a more altruistic one.  Maybe have different payment requests depending on what the owner can afford…?  Though they’d need better technology and weaponry to fend off supervillains.  Not helping is that Mister Collins is already backtracking from respecting Wes’ decision to stay out of the Silver Guardians.  Or maybe he sees it as a loophole to talk to the others and not Wes.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Lucas protects a scientist’s young daughter from a mutant.

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