16-10: Blind Leading the Blind

Master Swoop mentors Theo in the ways of focus and the Jungle Fan.

Last time on Power Rangers: Casey taught a moral to a kid, while Carnisoar ‘taught’ Dai Shi/Jarrod the reverse.

 

The Perils of Multitasking

At JKP, Theo is multitasking in a booth when Lily drops by.  He’s quite pleased with himself… up until Lily points out that he accidentally filled the cheese shakers with salt.  Some customers are grossed out to Fran’s bewildered concern.  Theo promptly retreats.

Carnisoar and an armored Dai Shi are duking it out in the throne room.  Camille is anxiously peering from behind a pillar.  Dai Shi ends up demorphed and Camille tries to interfere despite her fear when it looks like Carnisoar would take out his foe.

Annoyed, Carnisoar calls upon his minions Bai Lai and Carden.  Two bird-themed monsters (a white crane and a black crane) fly into the throne room.  He gives them orders.  It’s not clarified until towards the end that Bai Lai is the black one and Carden the white one.

Theo finds RJ and Casey meditating up in the loft to his amusement.  He’s certain that his mind is sharp enough not to require ‘focusing’.  But then RJ points out that the fridge wasn’t closed by Theo the previous night.  Walking on his hands, Theo exposits that he did his chores like that then.  Unamused by the perishables perishing, RJ wants his students to focus on what they’re doing when they’re doing it.  When the alarm blares, Casey notes that they’ll need to grab “Lil”.

The morphed trio finds the monster duo.  Master Swoop is in a nearby alley.  In the ensuing battle, the villains have the upper hand.  Also, I noticed that Bai Li’s face vaguely resembles Lord Zedd’s.  While it’s likely a coincidence, it’s still interesting.

Theo opts to help his friends before taking on Carden, who then takes advantage of the gap to attack.  When the monsters supersize, the Jungle Pride Megazord is formed and quickly combined with the Elephant spirit.

Watching on with Flit, Camille comments, “I can’t believe I’m saying this… but I actually hope the Power Rangers win this time.”

Despite his presence, Flit doesn’t commentate on the battle.  After knocking over the Megazord, the monsters leave to gain more power so they can open up the vortex (that’ll destroy Ocean Bluff).  Elsewhere, Master Swoop leaps away.

Holy Bat Flying!

RJ’s in his chair when the unmorphed trio returns.  Theo wants to multitask by planning for the next battle while making pizza sauce to Lily’s annoyance.  Suddenly Master Swoop arrives.  RJ prevents them from attacking, rising up with an orange in hand.  Evidently Master Swoop was RJ’s favorite teacher when he was a student and Master Swoop notes that RJ taught him “a few tricks” too.  It turns out that under his sunglasses Master Swoop is indeed blind; his bat spirit sensed “a sonic disturbance in the skies”.

Is that anything like a disturbance in the Force?  Also, it’s a bit pointed that the master with the Bat spirit is blind, but oh well.  Matt Murdock, Toph Bei Fong, and Chirrut Îmwe are similar examples of having enhanced other senses/abilities due to their blindness.  I half-suspect that Pai Zhua masters change their surnames to be punny after becoming one.

Master Swoop asks to speak with RJ alone.  Once the trio leaves, the masters discuss Theo’s recent scatterbrain behavior and how Master Swoop believes he can help him.

10Swoop&Theo

The show cuts to Master Swoop and Theo walking in some foggy woods along a dirt path.  There are angular wood arches spaced alone it.  In any case, the point is to improve Theo’s focus.  Highlighting his current lack is that Theo briefly walks on his hands- he’s so antsy he can’t even walk normally for an extended period.

Carden and Bai Lai want to scare people so they’ll collect enough energy to open up the vortex.  I only just realized the similarities to Monsters, Inc.  Well, it has been a long-standing tradition in the Power Rangers franchise that positive emotions are more powerful than negative ones, well before that Pixar film.

At his TVs, RJ tells the duo that Theo’s off training with Master Swoop.  Lily tartly observes, “I hope he trains fast.”

After a split-screen morphing, she and Casey arrive where the monsters are in the city.  As the vortex is nearly open, the battle takes place.  The Rangers use their weapons for some of the time.

Theo and Master Swoop are in a field near a river, the former confident he can do whatever he’s asked to.  It turns out that Master Swoop can fly while holding his fan to Theo’s astonishment.

Casey and Lily are having a rough time against the monsters.

Master Swoop has continued to levitate.  Rallying himself, Theo tries to use his fan to fly without success.  He’s told to focus.  There’s a brief montage of Theo failing hilariously, although Master Swoop is understandably unimpressed.  Theo tries to say it’s due to their different animal spirits.

After Master Swoop gives clearer instructions on how to focus, Theo manages to float briefly but soon crashes into the river.

Although frustrated, Casey and Lily continue to fight Carden and Bai Lai.

Now dry on the riverbank, Theo opens up to Master Swoop how he was expected to juggle various tasks throughout his life due to the expectations of his parents and teachers.  Master Swoop is reassuring.  They train in tandem with the fans and what look like tai chi moves near the river.  They end up levitating over the river together as well.

Batty Balance

The monsters are pleased when Lily and Casey get thrown into the air by an explosion.  Furthermore, the vortex is nearly ready.  A morphed Theo shows up with his new Jungle Fan to his teammates’ relieved happiness.  Charging, Theo takes on Bai Lai.  Once the crow monster is on the ground, the crane monster attacks Theo.  His teammates cheer when Theo has similar success against Carden.  The monsters then simultaneously attack Theo, but he remains focused and calls upon a second Jungle Fan.  Furthermore, Theo can levitate at will now.

Carden and Bai Lai supersize again.  The Jungle Pride Megazord is formed again as Master Swoop ‘watches’ on in the rain, telepathically contacting Theo.  The spirit of the Bat is called upon to first destroy the vortex and then combine with the Megazord, giving it the ability to fly.  The monsters pursue it into a wooded mountainous area with a river (possibly the same space where Theo trained).  The Swoop Attack is used to attack the monsters to Master Swoop’s pride.

Carden, the crane monster, emerges from the rubble to vow revenge for the destroyed Bai Lai.

Theo levitates down in the loft where the others are.  Master Swoop and Theo say their goodbyes; Master Swoop basically trolls Theo a bit, but he quickly catches on to his amusement.

Conclusion

I’m left with so many questions.  Is the telepathy a one-time thing to alert the student that they can access a new spirit animal Zord?  Is it a common thing for masters and students- did RJ and Master Swoop ever have telepathic conversations?  Could the trio learn to telepathically communicate between themselves?  Why hasn’t RJ ever telepathically contacted them?  Why weren’t Lily and Theo more surprised by the telepathic contact- is that a sign that it’s a typical Pai Zhua power?  Does RJ know how to levitate?  If he does, could he and Theo teach Lily and Casey how to do it?

Actually, let’s be honest.  The special effects budget can’t afford frequent levitating so those questions will likely remain unanswered.  When (if) a morphed Theo levitates in the future, it’ll likely be due to recycled Super Sentai footage.

While the episode never flat-out denounces multitasking, it’s made clear that people do their best work when they focus on a single task.  Otherwise mistakes are all too frequent and in general the results are a poorer quality.  I suspect Theo did better at multitasking when one, he wasn’t a superhero, and two, had a paying job.  It’s probably easier mentally to switch between types of homework than to switch from martial arts training/fighting, working at a pizza parlor, and doing heavy reading.

RJ’s been wearing mostly grey so far.  I suspect he’s trying to be low-key about what color his animal spirit is, just like what specific animal it is.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Camille tries to improve her lot in life.

 

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