Katie travels further back in time to assist a timid poet.
Last time on Power Rangers: Lucas protected a scientist’s young daughter from the mutants.
Down the Time Hole
It’s nighttime with a full moon. At the clock tower, Katie and Trip have gotten some gears working. But when he steps out onto the balcony as Jen and Lucas show up, Trip reports back that the hands still aren’t working. Coming back in, the green-haired alien realizes that the pendulum rod is stuck. Katie offers to check out the upper level. Just as she reaches the base of the stairs, Wes shows up to warn her against going up there. It is still cobwebby up there. Wes offers to show her why shouldn’t head up there.
A trunk contains a painting of Walter Brown, a former occupant of the clock tower who supposedly haunts the place. The others, at a table, are incredulous. The story goes that Walter fell in love only once but was too cowardly to admit it so now his pining ghost haunts the clock tower. Trip and Lucas scoff before it’s time for bed. Katie feels bad for a “lonely ghost”.
Jen and Katie are sleeping when the latter wakes up when she hears creaking. She tries to wake up her friend, but the brunette just wants to sleep. Getting dressed, Katie pokes around with a flashlight and ends up heading to the ‘forbidden’ floor to investigate. Walter’s ghost is briefly seen, freaking out Katie to the point that she falls back down the stairs and somehow into a time hole.
She lands outside the clock tower in olden times (a specific date isn’t given, but things look British-ly colonial). A living Walter helps her off the street and leaves. Weirded out, Katie realizes she’s across the plaza from the clock tower.
Walter doffs his hat to a young, pretty lady named Gwen, who thanks him for the poem he wrote and gave her since she likes them. The brawny Drake gets possessive of her and shoves Walter into some horse droppings. Gwen tries to protect Walter from Drake; the mention of Walter’s name induces Katie to flashback to the painting. Sometimes I wish the show was a little more trusting in its audience’s intelligence, as this was earlier this very episode- I think even a goldfish would be able to connect the dots without a flashback.
After ordering Walter to unload a wagon of burlap sacks, Drake drags off Gwen despite her protesting that it hurts. Walter tries to say that he shouldn’t treat her that way, but backs down when Drake gets up into his face to Gwen’s disappointment. Calling Walter a coward, Drake leaves.
Walter goes to the wagon to start unloading. Thanking him for his earlier assistance, Katie offers to help. He dismisses her, as sexism was even worse back whenever this was than it was at the turn of the millennium. But Katie displays her super strength, bragging, “Stronger than I look.”
“Gosh,” is all that Walter can say.
Love Triangle Antics
The duo ends up in a tavern later, drinking from silver goblets. I think the show might have slid this by the censors, because I really doubt it’s lemonade in there. Walter tells Katie that his father built the clock tower but he lacks that sort of skill. Instead, he likes to write poetry. Katie likes his poem, which to me is sweet but… well, I’m not huge on poetry so I’m not certain but I doubt it’s Frost-level as the scriptwriters were limited by their own skill (and if they were that good at poetry, they’d be writing that instead).
Drake shows up to be mad at Walter, thinking he’s lazing about instead of doing his task. But one of his hanger-ons vouches that the wagon has been unloaded. After a bit of taunting, Drake grabs the paper to read out loud. He mockingly reads the poem, doing a double-take when he realizes who it’s about. When he goes to tear it up, an angry Katie stops him.
Spotting a pair of guys arm-wrestling, she challenges him and baits him into it by suggesting Drake might be scared. Due to her super strength, Katie wins. The two hanger-ons reassure Drake while Walter’s impressed by her. However, Drake fires Walter in retaliation. Fired from what, exactly? Doing whatever tasks Drake didn’t want to do? Actually, that’s probably what Walter did.
Katie apologizes but Walter’s relatively blasé, although he is concerned that Drake will only get angrier after Katie standing up to him.
Out on a street, Gwen overhears Drake yelling to his hanger-ons about telling Walter a lesson. She passes by Katie on her way to the clock tower, which is working at this point in time. Within, Walter is on his bed when Gwen arrives to warn him about Drake’s plan. As he makes to pack up, Walter thanks her for the warning. Gwen makes to go but then admits that she’ll miss his poems and her hope that she’ll be able to read a whole book of them someday. After she leaves, Walter is wistful.
Katie shows up to try talking some sense into Walter about standing up for what he believes in, asking if he believes in Gwen when that doesn’t work. Walter silently walks away to Katie’s annoyance. Walter rides off on his horse.
Drake and his two hanger-ons arrive at the clock tower to beat up Walter. Katie isn’t scared of Drake and pushes him into the foundation. He swings a shovel at her in response but she’s a Power Ranger and thus he’s outclassed and ends up in a basket.
Katie initially has the upper hand against the other two, but one rolls a barrel over to knock her over. Gwen whacks Drake with her parasol to his anger. Walter shows up to warn Drake away from her. The two guys end up fighting while Katie’s restrained back by the two hanger-ons. Seeing Gwen watching on, Walter uses his brains to find a way to gut-punch Drake. Katie’s pleased for him.
Gwen is pleased with Walter, who asks to escort her to her home. They’re more smitten with each other than ever. Katie starts to applaud, soon joined by the crowd.
A New Normal
The bell tolls, making Katie look up. Suddenly, Jen is waking up Katie because of another attack by Ransik. Somehow Katie is both back in her pajamas and bed. Jen is anxious to fight evil.
Morphed, the five Rangers fight Cyclobots in a field. The Vortex Blaster is used. The mutant exposes his mutant DNA to supersize. Katie contacts Circuit and the Time Fliers are sent for via a time hole. The Megazord takes on the mutant, who can apparently turn invisible. In any case, the fight is quickly over with.
Back at the clock tower, Katie has been recounting her ‘dream’ to her friends. Wes knows the new story about Walter because Katie’s actions changed the past. Going to the trunk, Katie sees that the painting is now of both Walter and Gwen because they got their ‘happily ever after’.
Lucas insists that ghosts don’t exist, when suddenly the bell tolls and sways. Four of the Rangers are uneasy, but Katie’s pleased as she likely suspects that it was Walter saying ‘thank you and goodbye’.
On the one hand, I can see why the DVD could (and did) shunt this episode forward, since it doesn’t advance the overall plot nor involves Eric in any way. However, it makes no sense for “The Legend of the Clock Tower” to occur right before “Future Unknown” since it was in the latter episode that Katie came to terms with risking altering the time stream to improve/protect lives. Unless maybe they meant for this experience to enlighten her that this isn’t a stable time loop? But the connection should have been clearer for that to be the case.
And were there any more ‘ripples’ in the timeline besides the story changing? If Gwen and Walter had children, that would really have impacted things. Are there more/different people in Silver Hills now? Hmm. Is it possible that the episode’s placement was altered to indicate that Eric is one such descendant, and he literally didn’t exist before now in the new episode line-up? The eerie thing is that if Katie notices any such changes, her teammates won’t understand since they don’t remember the original timeline.
Between this and the “Return of the Green Ranger” trilogy, I’m guessing the Ranger-verse alternate history somehow involves California being heavily settled by the British early on. This was largely an out-of-genre experience, with the Megazord battle being basically tacked on as filler. Which is a little weird, considering how this season is called Time Force. There ought to be more time travel.
Speaking of which, I’m not sure where the time hole came from here. I doubt Walter’s ghost could create one. Though I now have the fascinating idea that time travelers could be prone to briefly ‘popping over’ to other times while else-when. I get the Doylist reason for Katie being back in her PJs and bed towards the end (to try a Red Herring of it having been Just a Dream) but I suspect the Watsonian reason is that Katie was so disoriented upon her return post-clapping that she just changed back and went to bed without really thinking about it. After all, when a morphed Wes traveled back in time on the TF Eagle’s wing, he ended up demorphed and unconscious afterwards. Although that was a much longer trip, I suspect that being outside a vehicle while time-traveling can be hazardous, especially multiple times in a short time period (Katie couldn’t have been there more than eight hours).
Sexism did mildly impact the plot (Gwen societally couldn’t do much against Drake, Walter dismissed Katie’s strength based off of her gender) but nobody batted an eye at Katie being an African-American woman in pants and a stomach-baring top. Look, I could buy Angel Grove’s colonials focusing on the witch part- though that would have been interesting if Kimberly and Aisha had been stressed as witches based off of their ‘masculine’ garb. This is made egregious by the lack of black extras in colonial Silver Hills (not that there were many if any in colonial Angel Grove that I saw). Hollywood, non-white people did exist before the 1960s. On the other end of the spectrum, racism and sexism were worse back then. I understand the need to keep things G-rated, but a few mild insults from the villains could have stressed just how narrow-minded they were.
Suddenly I’m appreciating the new Beauty and the Beast movie more than ever (possibly helped along by Drake being a clear Gaston expy), and I’m a white girl. I can’t properly comprehend how African-American ladies appreciated having two of their own as heroic figures in that movie as well as multiple black villagers. It’s not a lot, but it is a step forward.
A final note: it would be hilarious to do a fan-fic where the time-traveling Katie runs into the team in colonial Angel Grove.
Next time on Power Rangers: Jen and Wes work together to save their teammates.