Lucas confronts a fellow ex-racecar driver.
Last time on Power Rangers: Eric had to get back control of the Q-Rex… again.
Life is a Highway
Lucas is driving a car, Wes riding shotgun while the others are in the back. It turns out that the blond ate nearly all the doughnuts to the trio’s annoyance. His teammates’ antics cause Lucas to swerve repeatedly on the road. This causes a motorcyclist police officer to come after them. The officer smugly sentences Lucas to attend traffic school. An amused Wes eats the last doughnut.
That night in the time ship out in the woods, Frax has picked out a criminal’s canister to reanimate. However, Nadira wants to revive a frozen race car driver so he can take her shopping. Ransik claims he “can’t” say no to his beloved daughter, but I wonder if it’s partially to snub Frax… and because he knows that by ‘shop’ Nadira really means ‘steal’ which also cause havoc in the human city.
Later, Nadira goes to a jewelry store, where the Asian employee is flattering about the numerous items picked out, presumably in hopes of a big sale. Nadira opts to take them all; the mutant Dash takes off once she’s in the car, making the pink-haired woman squeal in delight.
The convertible zooms along as she cackles, police cars trying to pursue them. A reckless driver, Dash somehow can make the car fly over an obstacle. As a result, the police cars can’t follow them. There’s a brief travel sequence to a ridge overlooking Silver Hills at night. Nadira and Dash get flirty and she transforms/upgrades the car before getting cuddly with her new “personal driver”.
The next morning, Jen reads part of the article on the theft over breakfast. Wes gets a bit snarky towards the quiet Lucas.
Nadira and Dash are driving along in the modified car when the morphed Rangers show up on their Vector Cycles. Instead of leaving, Dash opts to confront the Rangers. Lucas walks over to his teammates’ confusion, all them ‘putting away’ their blasters (evidently, they get teleported to and from the Rangers’ hands- where they go when not being used, I have no idea). After Lucas powers down, it’s made clear that he knows this particular mutant.
Prickly, Dash is confident that he’s the better driver. He gets back into the car to Nadira’s pleasure and they drive away, going around Lucas.
Lucas opens up how they knew each other back when both were race car drivers once the group is back at the clock tower. Dash ended up street racing for fun and more thrills. After a terrible accident, Lucas had to testify against him and the other guy ended up frozen. It’s left unclear what happened to make the accident so awful but it’s likely at least one bystander got hurt (or worse, which would explain the oblique reference).
Under the Surface
In the time ship, Nadira is sharing her loot with Dash but is dismissive towards Gluto, making the mutant leave. Shifting into human mode, Dash wants to check out life in 2001. Magically (?) shifting into slightly more normal garb, Nadira decides to go with him. As they wander down a street, Nadira gets distracted by window shopping with planning to steal stuff.
Evading her (and dropping the façade of being into her), Dash goes to a diner. He opts to eat ketchup on a banana, grossing out Lucas when he shows up. One, I can only figure that off-screen Dash somehow contacted Lucas about where and when to meet him. Two, I did have the initial intended reaction of disgust to Dash’s snack… but when I started (over) thinking. Tomatoes are basically a superfood while bananas are a source of potassium; it’s very possible that mutants have differing dietary needs than normal humans.
Lucas admired Dash’s racing skills, while Dash thinks that Lucas ratted him out. Huh. I wonder how exactly Lucas was involved- was he street racing too? Was he merely aware which car Dash used in such races and therefore could tell Time Force that? Honestly, I half-suspect that in a more cynical series that there was a ‘bust’ for street racing involving both of them, but Dash got a harsh sentence due to being a mutant while the human Lucas got community service to further underscore the anti-mutant sentiments of the future. Also, when and why did Lucas join Time Force… was it somehow linked to this event, given how Dash has been frozen for two years (with the scary implication that the mutants are still aware to some degree).
In any case, Lucas counters that Dash should take responsibility for his actions. Basically, a case of “I wouldn’t have needed to tell Time Force anything if you hadn’t caused a major car wreck”. In the past, the duo has raced against each other six times and it’s currently a tie so Dash challenges to a final race. Lucas has Dash agree to turn himself in if he wins. Despite being confident he’ll win, Dash doesn’t offer any counter deals.
Trip contacts Lucas via morpher about a letter on him attending traffic school. When the dark-haired man looks back around, Dash is gone.
Rules for a Reason
The teacher at the Silver Hills Driving School is African-American. He thinks Lucas is ‘bored’ when the Blue Ranger flashbacks to his earlier chat with Dash. When it’s time for a practical lesson in a car, it’s the same time as Nadira stealing again with Dash as the getaway driver.
Jen contacts Lucas about the latest theft, making him take off immediately. Clearly Lucas learned nothing from the events of “A Blue Streak”. As soon as the car briefly stops, the teacher exits, regretting how he left the army. Lucas refuses to race Dash on the streets. Calling him chicken, Dash drives off. Despite his claim, Lucas heads after him in an effort to yell at him about how this is exactly what got Dash into trouble before and to stop blaming others for his own mistakes.
Lucas bumps into Dash, making both cars stop. Some kids chase a ball into the street, and leave happily as they’re completely oblivious to their close call. Somehow this makes Dash realize what Lucas meant and he decides to surrender himself.
Nadira promptly uses a gizmo on him, smug as the morphed others arrive. She uses the currents to compel Dash to fight the Rangers as it’s apparently the same device that was used on Notacon. I wonder if Dash ditching her earlier clued her in that something was up, so she was aware that he was generally nonviolent and therefore would need a ‘jolt’ in that direction.
Dash attacks the group, leading Lucas to morph. It’s confirmed that Dash can’t control himself as he uses a sword to fight the Rangers. Nadira goes, “Let’s quit the small talk, shall we?”
She does a thing to make Dash supersize so Lucas contacts Circuit. The Time Fliers are sent back in time and the Time Force Megazord in mode red is formed. There’s a battle in downtown. While apologetic, Lucas leads the attack against Dash. Although not in control of his actions, Dash can tell Lucas that he’s willing to pay his debt to society and change his life once his term’s up. He wants Lucas to take him in.
A pleased Lucas does the time freeze, turning Dash back into an action figure. Lucas states, “Goodbye, Dash. I will see you again.”
Later, he puts the Dash figure into a canister and speaks reassuringly to it. His teammates are nearby, worried about him. I’m not sure if the brief clip of Dash getting first place after a race in the future is a flashback, a flash-forward, or a daydream of Lucas’ or Dash’s.
Back in the clock tower, Lucas puts the canister in with the others. Trip shows up to alert Lucas that there’s someone downstairs to see him. It’s the driving school teacher (and now his name is revealed to be Mister Graves). Lucas is aware that he probably failed, but it turns out that Mister Graves is aware that Lucas is a great driver and wants him to teach him to be a race car driver.
Lucas gets persuaded to do so while his teammates laugh.
A little more of Lucas’ backstory was revealed- before being a Time Force officer, he was a race car driver, which explains his need for speed. The reason for his career change is unknown, but I do suspect it has something to do with Dash’s arrest. I’m left wondering how a mutant could have a high-profile career like being a race car driver. Huh. What if anti-mutant sentiment was on the rise and therefore fewer tracks were letting Dash race, causing him to turn to street racing to continue the career he loved and excelled at? The bit towards the end indicates that Dash could be in mutant form when receiving a trophy, so he wasn’t ‘passing’ for human while racing.
As far as the actual episode goes, Dash was a daredevil who wanted more risks and thus turned to street racing. His change of heart was rather abrupt and didn’t make a lot of sense, which is probably why I’m looking so hard for alternative explanations.
This episode focused on Lucas and his former friend/colleague Dash. Their personalities were similar enough that it’s clear why they were friends, but Lucas has a stronger moral compass, explaining why their paths diverged.
I really do think Ransik lets Nadira go steal as much and as often as she pleases not only to spoil her but because he knows her actions make life harder for the humans just as much as any of Frax’s schemes.
Where were Eric and the Silver Guardians during all of this? Did the robbed stores not pay for their protection? Could Nadira have deliberately sought out such stores to avoid such ‘pests’ as she and the other villains likely see them as, given how they’re not treated as deliberate threats. Well, except for Eric, but he’s the Quantum Ranger.
To go further off-topic, I have to wonder if part of Eric is upset with Wes is because he’s not seeing that Wes is rejecting his innate privilege and standing up for his own ethics, instead viewing it as a belated teenage rebellion of sorts- only doing what Mister Collins would disapprove of. And it recently occurred me that the name ‘Silver Guardians’ might not just be an obvious reference to the city, but to emphasis that the group comes in second-best to the Rangers. Well, I doubt it was deliberate but it’s still nifty.
Next time on Power Rangers: Wes, Lucas, and Trip all end up smitten with the same woman.