Casey mentors a young boy on the difference between the easy and right ways, while Carnisoar teaches Jarrod a similar lesson from the opposite perspective.
Last time on Power Rangers: Lily and Master Phant learned from each other.
Of Red (and) Kites
A preteen boy is walking down a street when he spots a big red kite in a toy store window for $4.99. Two boys exit, wanting to buy Jungle Karma Pizza since there’s also video games there. It turns out the new toy store has attracted plenty of kids to JKP. Fran somehow ends up covered in flour, causing RJ to revise his estimate of when he’ll be out of the red to “maybe six” years instead of five. I guess his ‘covered in flour’ moment didn’t count because he was experimenting for a new pizza and it was partially deliberate to teach a lesson to his new pupils.
The armored Dai Shi finds a massive boulder in the woods and uses energy attacks to shatter it. Using a life talon, he revives Carnisoar from his tomb. There’s a battle between them, with multiple Black Lion attacks used. But Carnisoar is a fierce foe and Dai Shi ends up demorphed. According to him, his remaining goodness ‘weakens’ Dai Shi so it’s time to erase his humanity via time travel.
Camille calls upon the eel, who’s in red mode. Its grin makes me very grateful that usually the masks don’t move. The eel is ordered to cleanse the city before Dai Shi’s return.
“Grammar school” is the term used, which is a reminder of this season being filmed in New Zealand and not California. The USA uses ‘elementary school’ instead. Jarrod didn’t cheat that day when a boy stole the answers to a test, leading him to fail it. What, did he not study for it? Because pop quizzes are one thing, but pop tests seem like a very scary concept. Carnisoar magically nudges the preteen Jarrod to grab the answer sheet to read in order to enhance his darkness.
The young boy lost his quartet to a broken arcade game. Casey off-handedly apologizes as the out-of-order sign had fallen, but the boy steals a five-dollar-bill from a table in response. As that was his tip that was stolen, Casey chases after him. Antics ensue as they run through the streets.
Casey catches up to him in front of the toy shop. The boy is defensive but does introduce himself as Josh. It probably helps that Casey crouches down so that Josh gets to look down at him, instead of up, as seen above. That sort of thing helps when dealing with people. The teen opens up that he badly wanted a skateboard as a kid, so he moved a neighbor’s lawn every Saturday until he had saved up enough money. He concedes that the right way and the easy way are rarely the same.
Down a Slippery Slope
Slime is causing trouble elsewhere in Ocean Bluff. As they run, the trio morphs and they each get a screen for their sequence (Casey, Theo, and Lily in that order). They prevent a car accident from occurring before facing off against the eel … who then does the worm.
“Just when I think these monsters can’t get any weirder,” Lily notes.
Once the eel goes into monster mode, Casey uses his weapon to no avail against it. Lily’s and Theo’s weapons are also ineffective when they attack it together. The monster’s skin is too slippery to maintain the kinetic energy for an effective attack. Casey’s nun-chunk energy attack fails as well, as does his attempt at hand-to-hand combat.
The monster happily does the worm to the trio’s anger. A wave of slime sends the Rangers sliding away, amusing the eel. All slippery and sticky, Lily and Theo enter the loft. RJ has a bowl of pretzels while sitting in his chair. His silliness is not appreciated by the duo. Evidently Casey left to check on something.
Jarrod frequently visited a family farm as a boy as his parents were almost never around. He managed to spearhead the effort to save the farm. To his anger, Carnisoar undoes that good deed and the farm turns overgrown and abandoned.
A worried Casey goes to the toy store… and Josh bought the kite. I’m assuming that means the $4.99 included tax, since otherwise he couldn’t have afforded it even with the stolen money.
Jarrod is getting roughed up by bullies as a preteen. He didn’t use his kung fu against them because they were inferior opponents. Uh… I thought the rule was to warn the attacker thrice and then defend yourself. Obviously, spirit animal attacks would be over-the-top, but some basic blocks and punches would likely be acceptable.
Carnisoar rightfully points out that Jarrod is breaking the code now- in fact, the whole plot got kicked out because Jarrod was wrongfully aggressive towards a ‘cub’ who was probably the equivalent to a white belt. So the preteen Jarrod angrily takes out the bullies with martial arts.
Casey is disappointed that Josh picked the kite over his integrity. Theo and Lily, morphed, are fighting the monster nearby. Casey has Josh ‘hide’ nearby. When the boy expresses his admiration for the Power Rangers, Casey points out that Josh is a thief and that he has to choose either to be a good guy or a bad guy.
… I’m not sure how Josh has missed that Casey’s red outfit looks rather familiar and that the RED Ranger is currently missing from the fray. Maybe he figures that a Power Ranger wouldn’t be working at a pizza parlor? To be fair, that is a pretty good cover.
Hard Work Works
Josh gives the kite to Casey before leaving for safety. Inspired by the kite, Casey morphs. He shows up with the kite as basically a shawl. There are now Rin Shi as well. Theo volunteers himself and Lily to fight them while Casey fights the eel. The Red Ranger uses the kite to de-slime the monster while his teammates take out the minions.
The monster despairs once he’s de-slimed. Lily and Theo show up, having defeated the minions. The trio uses the Claw Cannon against the eel to cause an explosion to Casey’s happiness. As sunset begins, the eel turns out to have survived and supersizes.
They form the Jungle Pride Megazord. The monster manages to weaponize the worm to some success. Casey takes point in getting the eel off of them. The Elephant Spirit is called upon to combine with their Megazord, and the “Jungle Mace Sonic Spin” is used to destroy the monster.
Camille is stressing out in the throne room when Carnisoar and Dai Shi teleport in. The latter is angry at her failure, and Carnisoar easily eggs him into punishing her. She ducks behind a pillar to avoid the blast and she’s upset at his master already for changing Dai Shi for the worse.
Casey is taking easy at JKP because Josh is cleaning his tables for him now. It’s a quarter per table- a deal Lily and Theo eagerly accept. I wonder if RJ will grumble about child labor laws or let it slide because he’s not officially paying the boy- his employees are.
I’m left rather confused about Jarrod’s backstory now. He was originally a lonely but well-meaning kid who turned to martial arts for… discipline? A sense of community? I know that bullied kids sometimes turn into bullies, but it was never clarified why that was in Jarrod’s case. Were there other bullies at the Pai Zhua Academy when he was younger and he grew to think that was the standard interaction between senior students and cubs? But wouldn’t have the masters interfered before then? Or were Jarrod’s actions in the season premiere the first time he (or any bully) had done it before the masters, particularly Master Mao?
Also, I’m rather skeptical that Carnisoar actually took him back in time. The ‘Christmas Carol’ style of time travel isn’t usually how time travel works in this franchise. Sometimes there are stable time loops and other times they change stuff up by traveling back. However, in the latter case, the original timeline’s memories are typically retained by the time travelers. So Jarrod ought to be able to cling to the knowledge that he was once better than that… and personality-wise, should still be going by the original timeline. Time travelers interact with their surroundings in most instances in this franchise. Maybe Carnisoar made them invisible to the past people? That, or he’s just playing mind games to manipulate Dai Shi/Jarrod into being more callous and cruel. I wouldn’t put that past him.
This episode highlights that minor slips in integrity can lead to larger ones down the line. Casey emphasizes to Josh that doing the right thing is important for his own sense of self, and not just about treating others right. Although Casey did mentor Josh about morality here, they were really the B-plot (with the eel as the C-plot). The A-plot was about Carnisoar pressuring Dai Shi/Jarrod to be more evil.
Next time on Power Rangers: Theo gets mentored by Master Swoop.