The trio faces their fears to obtain Jungle Master Mode as well as a new Zord each. RJ is less lucky…
Last time on Power Rangers: RJ let himself be held captive by Dai Shi to spare his students.
Facing Their Fears
Camille shows up to escort RJ out of his cell to the stadium.
Over in the spirit world, the two trios face off. Master Guin does the introductions of herself and the two guys; Master Rilla wants the Rangers to prove themselves worthy of being their students. Theo is confident, while Master Guin opts to see if Lily can face her fears first.
The blonde gets teleported to a space covered in cobwebs (and therefore spiders), now in normal garb. Amusingly enough, her shirt has a butterfly design on it, highlighting that she’s okay with certain bugs.
Casey nudges Theo into going along with things. The black-haired guy gets teleported onto a stage, also in normal clothes, where people (and an unseen announcer) are waiting for him to do karaoke. Theo doesn’t want to sing, as he doesn’t want to be seen as a “complete loser”.
Dai Shi is in a ‘cage’ surrounded by excited Rin Shi. I think this might be the throne room space… but whether or not it’s supposed to be so Watsonian-ly, I don’t know. Camille pushes RJ into the cage. The brunet doesn’t want to fight Dai Shi, particularly after Dai Shi states his intention to claim RJ’s wolf spirit for his own. Jellica and Carnisoar are waiting to see if their lessons have paid off. Dai Shi’s massive energy attack throws RJ against the side of the cage as Camille smirks. RJ is understandably stressed out.
A confident Casey gets teleported into what seems to be his old bedroom, also in normal attire. Initially baffled, Casey stresses out when there’s something in the closet. Panicking, Lily tries to find the way out of the cave-like space. Theo is stressed out, as he’s hated public singing since his third-grade recital. Given how it’s later shown that Theo’s twin does have musical talent, I wonder if that influenced his fear. Meanwhile, Casey is freaking out over his childhood fear.
RJ gets beaten up by Dai Shi to Camille’s great pleasure. I half-suspect she’s further attracted by this display of physical prowess. In any case, RJ refuses to give over his animal spirit or even risk it by using it. Dai Shi therefore does an energy attack that evidently injuries RJ’s wolf spirit. In slow-mo, RJ collapses to the villains’ pleasure. Jellica and Carnisoar decide that they can use RJ as bait to lure out the Rangers. Dai Shi stalks off while Camille is smug. RJ struggles to his feet.
Stressed out, Lily struggles through the webs towards the entrance. After falling on the ground, she sees a spider on her shirt and her inner monologue realizes that they’re not so bad. Master Guin shows up to give Lily kudos for facing her fear and realizing she was essentially making a mountain out of a molehill.
Theo gets further mocked by the announcer. Admitting to himself that he’d only do this for RJ (what, and not Lily?), Theo sings despite initial jeering from the crowd. When he finishes, the crowd does applaud. Master Lope shows up to congratule a very relieved Theo.
Casey is frazzled and then decides that this can’t be happening. He opens the door to reveal the spirit world on the other side. Back in uniform, Casey admits to Master Rilla that he never looked in there as a kid (presumably at night, since during the day he’d need the stuff in there). The three Masters think the trio has to stay to keep learning from them (this test has gotten them access to the masters’ animal spirits), but opt to let them return upon learning that Dai Shi has escaped.
Uh… so it’s a matter of the spirit world residents not letting anybody go back? Could the three Masters return themselves if they decided to break the rules? I mean, is the Tribunal from Mystic Force supervising this as well? Are these rules followed as a matter of honor or is someone/something enforcing them? And will that enforcer let this infraction slide due to the importance of the trio’s mission? Or would the enforcer dismiss it as that past Rangers or other Pai Zhua students could take up the mantle? Obviously in the end the trio would return (right?) but I think the show just missed out on an interesting mini-arc.
The Status Quo Shifts
Fran is doing dishes in the kitchen and hears the TV from up in the loft. She justifies to herself that RJ wouldn’t mind her going up there to turn it off.
Dai Shi does a speech back in the quarry, threatening the trio’s “beloved master”. In uniform, the trio arrives to be confident in themselves. Uh… were they transported back to the forbidden room or somewhere closer by?
Impressed by the loft, Fran sits in RJ’s chair and witnesses via the screens the trio morphing. Fran goes, “They’re Power Rangers?!”
Leaping down, Dai Shi removes his cloak and goes into his armored mode. Fran is eating potato chips as she watches, akin to RJ. The trio takes on Dai Shi, but he retains the upper hand.
Tied to an upright log, RJ watches on worriedly. Casey does an animal spirit attack on Dai Shi, but the villain only does one back at him. The trio has ended up on the ground, but Casey has faith that they have more power than ever. Using the Claw Booster, Casey achieves “Jungle Master Mode” complete with an upgrade sequence.
Camille does a Big No while RJ is pleased. The villainess orders the Shadow Guards to join Dai Shi. There’s a split screen for Theo’s and Lily’s upgrade sequences.
“Whoa,” goes RJ. “Now that is a major upgrade.”
Camille is silently furious.
The Rangers each get a modified catchphrase before chorusing one together while there’s a huge explosion. Camille observes, “I don’t like where this is going.”
Theo takes on a Shadow Guard. The way he can basically manhandle a massive boulder makes me wonder if the upgrade gives them further enhanced strength. Lily takes on the other one, using her “Cheetah Jabs” to success. Both take out their opponents.
“They can’t do this to us!” Camille declares.
“Those are my students. There’s nothing they can’t do,” RJ informs her proudly.
As the theme music plays, Dai Shi and Casey battle. When Dai Shi ends up back in ‘normal’ mode, Camille worriedly goes to her “master” to check on him. Similarly, the trio goes to RJ. Lily and Theo cut the red cords and RJ reassures them.
The Shadow Guards revive and supersize. The trio calls upon their new Zords: the Gorilla, the Antelope, and the Penguin (which has a hoverboard).
Flit shows up as Camille tends to Dai Shi, who’s lying on his side. The three Zords take on the duo. Camille remains upset; one Shadow Guard takes on the remaining energy of its fallen counterpart.
RJ suggests that they combine so they do so, forming the Jungle Master Megazord.
Dai Shi stands, Camille supporting him. It’s a surprisingly sweet moment. Once the Rangers quickly win, the villains opt to retreat.
“I knew they could do it.” Despite feeling where Dai Shi spiritually wounded him, RJ is happy.
The quartet is happy to return to the loft, RJ particularly pleased to be home. Sniffing, RJ makes some comments which are clearly influenced by ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. Because RJ has a wolf spirit. I love this show so much. Fran is having a drink up on the upper level and greets the group by going “Hello, Rangers… Power Rangers,” to their shock.
Matters get shaken up here: the Rangers not only get new Zords, but a new mode; RJ’s wolf spirit has been wounded by Dai Shi; and Fran has learned what exactly her coworkers have been dashing off to do. This two-parter was as awesome as I remembered.
I still wish we’d seen more of the trio’s initial talk with Fran about their secret identities… did they try to convince her otherwise? How did they emphasize she can’t tell anyone? Did they apologize for leaving her to handle JKP alone so often? Did Fran shrug it off now that she knows they were off saving Ocean Bluff instead of, say, bowling?
There is a cynical part of me that wonders just how powerful these three Masters could be, given that they were the ones destroyed by Dai Shi in the battle ten millennia ago. Unless there was a sneak attack by Dai Shi to take out the Pai Zhua’s heaviest hitters… in which case, why not take out Mao with them? Maybe before going evil, Dai Shi was friends with Mao and at that time Dai Shi couldn’t kill his friend… and maybe Mao couldn’t kill him, instead sealing Dai Shi in a box. Ten millennia later, however, they no longer have any such compunctions. Of course, maybe Dai Shi meant archenemy when he called Mao his “old friend” back in the first episode and thus this theory can’t be true. In which case, maybe Mao just got lucky? No, that makes even less sense.
The trio had to face their fears to pass the masters’ test. Theo needed to take others’ opinions/reactions less seriously (possibly hinted at in “Blind Leading the Blind” when he multitasked to please his parents and teachers), Lily needed to realize that spiders weren’t as scary as she thought they were (Zack feels for her), and Casey learned to confront the unknown head-on. The main thrust for all three was that the actual fear wasn’t as scary as they had built it up to be in their minds.
Dai Shi continues to be a serious threat to the Rangers. I’m pretty sure the third and final Overlord will come into play soon so that Dai Shi can continue honing his powers in hopes of defeating his enemies. Camille remains quite smitten with him, although it’s less clear how he feels about her (at least he doesn’t want her gone).
Next time on Power Rangers: Lily’s personality alters under the influence of a monster’s quill.