3-4: Ninja Quest, Part 1

Trouble ensues when Rito Revolto arrives.

Last time on Power Rangers: The team defeated the Repellator and Dex was sent to Earth for his spin-off.

A Plot is Hatched

Near the lake, the Angel Grove versus Stone Canyon Volleyball Championship is occurring.  It turns out that Ernie has a new outdoor café… this is the first this is mentioned.  Was there a time skip when it was built/bought?  Or did Ernie not bring it up until it was complete for some reason?  The Rangers are the Angel Grove team.  Wait, everybody was fine with transfer students from Stone Canyon being on the Angel Grove team?!  Isn’t that a conflict of loyalties?  Yes, this isn’t pro sports but still, something is off about that.

Rita is blindfolded because “Zeddie” has a gift for her: a new telescope.  While Zedd is very in love, Rita is secretly disgusted by him but does like the gift.  Suddenly there’s a crash elsewhere on the moon to their bafflement.  The minions help up their masters.

Billy missed the ball to the others’ confusion.  The blond ‘felt’ the rumble somehow but the others didn’t.  Okay, is the show going to explain that?  Is Billy more in-tune with the moon somehow?  Surely that ought to be Tommy, given his past experiences there.  There isn’t even enough data for me to form a head-canon on this!

Rito Revolto emerges from his crater and stretches before placing some eggs in one of the moon’s crevices.  Uh… wait a second.  This version of the moon has crevices?  I mean, maybe the real moon does, but I always pictured it as largely smooth except for the various impact craters.  He buries the eggs to hatch later.

When he arrives in the moon fortress, Zedd orders Goldar to grab him.  But Rita is pleased to see her brother to the minions’ worry at there being two of them now.  Admittedly, Rito is rather amusing.

Zordon and Alpha 5 are worried since “the parametric spectrometer is acting up again” and therefore they cannot tell what’s happening on the moon.  The robot gets to work to try repairing it.  I can only surmise that Rita has some sort of anti-parametric spectrometer technology if this is a repeated occurrence.

The crowd is cheering on the lake beach as the volleyball game.  The Rangers are enjoying themselves.

Via her new telescope, Rita notices the buried eggs.  Rito messes with Zedd’s staff until Zedd grabs it from him.  It turns out that the eggs are a belated wedding present.  Zedd scoffs at Rito’s claim that he could get rid of the Power Rangers.  Rito counters, “Couldn’t do worse than you.”

It’s official: I like Rito.  That was a great burn, all the more so for being true.

Rita is inspired to have a plan that involves Rito as a decoy.  The present Finster agrees to make the army of monsters needed for it.  Rito has an idea too but Finster, Rita, and Zedd don’t want to hear it.

Grand Goals

The Angel Grove team wins the game, with Billy doing the winning save.  The two teams shake hands afterwards in a show of good sportsmanship.  Ernie decides that it was such a good game that both teams get a free lunch at his new café.

Five of the Rangers are eating at a table, in normal attire instead of their reddish volleyball team uniforms from before.  A bit of dialogue clarifies that Tommy is off returning the volleyball net… I want to know why this is a thing.  Why not have Tommy there?  This makes no sense either in a Watsonian or Doylist way.  Unless Jason David Frank was off-set that day or something, but that merely highlights what a flimsy excuse this was.

Two teenage girls are talking about the Power Rangers, their secret identities, and how they like men in uniform.  Bulk and Skull overhear and are intrigued.  There’s a sign for the “Junior Police Patrol” nearby.  In any case, the duo claims to the crowd of teens to be joining said Junior Police Academy.  So… is this a shift at last in their subplots?  Because that would be greatly appreciated.

Finster is working on the monsters in his lab.  Rita is on the arm of Zedd’s throne while Zedd himself is sitting on it when Finster comes in prior to the monsters, claiming he’s given them new powers.  Apparently four monsters constitutes an army to these villains.  Rito is determined to be victorious to Rita’s amusement, but she gets annoyed at how easily her brother gets lost.

The four monsters and Rito teleport down in a wooded area.  Rito has to be reminded that only the four monsters hide as he’s the decoy.  The flea monster thinks that Rito is a “doofus”.  I can vaguely recognize the monsters, but the flea is the only one that stands out to me, partially due to the aforementioned line.

Rito lounges on the ground, already bored.

The alarms blare to Alpha’s worry.  The device is still broken so they can only alert the Rangers.

4Quintet

Back at the outdoor café, the quintet is amused by the duo’s announcement.  Kim’s communicator beeps and Alpha alerts them that there’s a situation.  The brunette informs him that Tommy isn’t present, so the robot states that he’ll contact Tommy to have him meet up with them there.

Power Breakdown

The six are in the woods when Rito leaps out, causing the six to morph.  Zedd and Rita cross their staffs to combine their powers to supersize Rito, whose comment indicates that he’s done it previously.  That might explain why Rita was so blasé about the plot, if supersizing isn’t always a final stand type scenario.

The Rangers call upon the Thunderzords and the transformation sequence feels longer than usual to me.  Tommy calls upon the Tigerzord.  The Thunder Megazord gets formed and Tommy leaps onto his Zord as it charges.  Getting into his Zord’s cockpit, Tommy has the Tigerzord go into warrior mode.

There’s a bit of banter between Rito and Tommy before the fight.  Rito holds his own against the pair of Zords.

Goldar alerts Zedd that it’s time.  Zedd and Rita again combine their powers to supersize the quartet of monsters.  There’s a snarky Rito as the Rangers realize “it’s a trap!”

The heroes are outnumbered and the Thunder Megazord gets knocked down to Rito’s amusement.  Rocky alerts Alpha while Rito attacks Tommy.  Zordon points out the risks of overloading the Zords as Alpha tries to maintain the Zords’ power levels.

Once back up, the Thunder Megazord wields the Thunder Saber.  Rito is interestingly calm as he fights Tommy despite the White Ranger’s snark, but Rito does laugh evilly when the two Zords are clearly battered.

There’s a very stressed out Alpha as Zordon worries.  Poor Alpha gets zapped by a console.  Zordon attempts to warn Tommy that the Zords are at risk of being overloaded- I’m not sure if the others heard this message or not.  Tommy is willing to take that risk.

Alpha can’t do anything and the control panel flares up again.

The villains are thrilled and Zedd rejoices, “Finally!  The destruction of the Power Rangers!”

The monsters continue to batter both Megazords.  An annoyed Rito does the final attacks; Rita’s comment in response reveals that he’s her “baby brother”, which makes me curious what exactly their childhoods were like.

The six teens land in a grassy space, battered and demorphed.  The two upright Megazords flail and then fall apart.  There’s lots of exposed wiring and explosions.  Kim tries to near them.  One of the guys calls out her name- I think it’s Billy, but it might have been Adam.  Certainly, Adam is the one who holds her back at first, though Billy joins in as the brunette is the one most upset by the Zords’ destruction.

Notice who isn’t trying to keep Kimberly safe?  Admittedly they’re all in too much shock to be reassuring each other yet, but Adam and Billy still held Kimberly back from going towards the massive explosions.  Tommy- her boyfriend- did not.  And yeah… maybe if the Rangers had retreated when Zordon suggested it, then the Zords could have survived.

However, the meta plot of needing the excuse for new Zord battle footage meant that the Thunderzords had to be ‘taken care of’ one way or another.

Conclusion

The status quo gets altered here: there’s a new outdoor café for Ernie’s Gym and Juice Bar, Bulk and Skull intend to join the Junior Police Academy, Rito has joined the moon fortress crew, and the Thunderzords have been destroyed.  This was largely a plot-focused episode, with the ‘old guard’ of Billy, Tommy, and Kimberly the only Rangers to get any real attention.  Adam was involved in keeping Kim safe at the end, but the focus was on Kimberly’s sorrow at losing the Zords and Billy also held her back.  And the café scene had Billy and Kimberly sitting basically side-by-side; their close friendship continues to be so cute that I cannot even with them.

Rito is a surprisingly refreshing villain.  He does act like a doofus at times, true, but he has flashes of cutting insight and the plan wouldn’t have succeeded without his martial skills.  It’ll be interesting to see where the show takes his character.

Primarily this episode sets up the foundation for the rest of the season, given the first three episodes were largely set up for the Masked Rider spin-off.  It’s hard to believe that I’m now closer to starting Zeo than I am to “Day of the Dumpster”.

Next time on Power Rangers: The team goes in search of Ninjor.

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