When three of the Phantom Beasts are revived, the three living Masters get targeted.
Last time on Power Rangers: Casey prevented five crystal eyes from ending up in the hands of evil.
Dance, Dance, Dance
One night in the loft, Lily is dancing with a brunette about her age whose name is Gabby. It’s quickly exposited that she is Master Phant’s niece and unwilling to push herself for dance competitions. In his JKP uniform, RJ shows up to ask for Lily’s help down in the kitchen. Gabby takes this chance to leave, agitating Lily.
Rin Shi and Camille are in the throne room, having failed to find Jellica anywhere in the temple. Dai Shi is certain that she’s just hiding. Indeed, in the cavern Jellica places the three crystal eyes just in time for the special alignment of starlight to revive the trio of Phantom Beasts. They introduce themselves as General Snapper, Whiger, and Scorch. Jellica commands them to destroy Dai Shi.
Dai Shi swivels on his throne as he and Camille hear thudding. She goes into armored mode to defend her lord and crush. He gets up as well. The trio of Phantom Beasts get the double doors open and enter the throne room. Jellica follows them in. Getting in Dai Shi’s face, she wants the trio to destroy both him and Camille.
However, the trio then destroys her. They materialize their eight Phantom Beast warriors, who list off their names: Sonimax, Dynamere, Unidoom, Runner, Badrat, Grinder, Osiris, and Leapus. Their “ancient power”, Rinzin, is claimed to be even more powerful than Zocato. They want Dai Shi as the Phantom Beast King. Dai Shi is unsure he can trust them- after all, look how trusting the three Overlords turned out. The trio claims that if they had sided with him during the original war, then they would have won against… uh, the humans? The Pai Zhua? Look, the details of this original war a bit vague. Dai Shi wants them to capture the three masters to prove their loyalty.
Master Swoop is serenely practicing with his fan out by a lake when Scorch finds him
Lily is visiting Master Phant about Gabby. He tells her “[Gabby] won’t try because she’s afraid to fail”. The blonde doubts she’s the “right coach for her”. Master Phant opens up about how he once saw Gabby dancing gracefully, but she stopped as soon as she realized she was being watched, afraid of being judged. He leads her to realize that Gabby’s love of dance must be nurtured to overcome her fear. Thanking him for his encouragement/wisdom, Lily makes to leave.
Theo has gone to visit Swoop, worriedly finding the now burned and tattered fan. Okay, this scene and Lily’s last line indicate that they at least visit their respective masters on a semi-regular basis.
Stage Fright and Starlight
Lily and Gabby are dancing again in the loft. It seems to be going better this time. Gabby is still nervous about competing. Lily recounts a story about her own first competition and how she overcame her fear. Casey, in his JKP uniform, shows up to get Lily. Gabby wants to dance and for Lily to be there at the competition.
Down in the kitchen, Theo shows the broken fan to Casey, Lily, and Dom. He’s afraid that something has happened to his secondary mentor. RJ has gone to check on his dad. Lily volunteers to go check on Master Phant.
It turns out that Master Finn lives in a little beach shack. Its location isn’t stated; for all I know, it could be right outside any Ranger city, not just Ocean Bluff. One of the Phantom Beasts is up on a nearby ridge. Down in the shack, RJ talks to his dad about how the stars aligned perfectly the previous night. For some reason, the brunet isn’t in purple. Master Finn has a special telescope shut for light in case things get dark. When his morpher beeps, RJ has to go. Master Finn warns his son that if Dai Shi has the crystal eyes, then they must be destroyed. Moments later is when Whiger makes his move.
There’s a shockwave in Ocean Bluff. The four male Rangers show up, already morphed. In fact, Theo and Casey are in Jungle Master mode. Dom realizes that this monster has the “spirit of the boar”. The monster introduces himself as Sonimax. The Rangers are bemused by him not being one of Dai Shi’s warriors. It’s clarified that he’s a Phantom Beast warrior. Okay… what is the difference and how can the Rangers tell it? I mean, for all they know they just missed out on the upgrade from red Rin Shi mode. I mean, Casey’s instinct was right- but I’m curious how he could tell that Sonimax was more powerful than one of Dai Shi’s warriors almost at once, given the powers that some of those monsters have displayed.
Another sonic attack batters the guys, making RJ a bit snarky. They take on Sonimax but he’s a tough foe.
Lily arrives just in time to see Master Phant get thrown into the air. General Snapper gets attacked by her cheetah spirit. Getting in front of the elderly man, Lily puts on her Solar Morpher and morphs, the full sequence seen. She uses the Jungle Mace against the Phantom Beast. Phant struggles to his feet to wield his own mace so they can tag-team against Snapper. When they’re both thrown into the air, Phant gets hurt (in a G-rated manner, of course).
Lily goes into her Jungle Master mode but doesn’t fare well against Snapper. The Phantom Beasts grabs ahold of Phant and they teleport away before Lily can react.
The guys are still fighting Sonimax as best as they can. An angry Lily shows up to fight the monster, stating her catchphrase. Lily and Theo briefly compare notes, making RJ worry about his dad. On the one hand, this episode showing how the Finns have reconnected is adorable. On the other hand, it’s a bit weird how nonchalant Casey is being about things. Dom being or at least acting blasé is a Thing with him, so that’s unremarkable. But Casey? Either he doesn’t want to flare up RJ’s insecurities or he’s trying to be a stoic leader. Those are Watsonian reasons- clearly the Doylist reasoning is that the episode needed to be streamlined for one Ranger per Master.
Sonimax gets back up, leading the quintet to charge and fight the monster.
Gabby has reached the auditorium (maybe?) for the freestyle dance competition. She watches the others prep, having been given the number 15. She’s anxious and clearly is waiting for Lily to show up, in a nice combination of camera footage and non-verbal acting.
The Rangers unite their spirits to attack Sonimax, who supersizes in response. The Jungle Master Megazord, the Wolf Pride Megazord, and the Rhino Steel Zord in Warrior Mode are all formed. Camille and Flit are watching from nearby as the battle unfolds.
Lily calls upon the spirit of the Elephant to use the Jungle Mace on Sonimax. A supersized General Snapper shows up to knock over Dom’s Zord and use Rinzin power.
Gabby’s number is called; she’s clearly anxious and upset by Lily’s absence. Again, kudos to the actress for excellent non-verbal acting. Look, this is a franchise that is more than willing to insert voiceovers instead of letting the actors act with their faces instead of words. Okay, it’s mostly Time Force, but it’s still a valid point.
General Snapper uses Rinzin power to toss aside the other Megazords before he and Sonimax teleport away.
When she finds Gabby out front of the structure, Lily apologizes. Gabby did go on and got second place to her pleasure. Lily is certain that her uncle will be proud when he sees her dance again. As Gabby walks off, Lily promises both of them that he will see Gabby dance again.
The trio of Masters are tied up in the cavern as the crystal eyes are put back into place. The Phantom Beasts and Dai Shi show up. Master Swoop, interestingly enough, tries to get through to Jarrod. Dai Shi insists that Jarrod cannot resist… and neither will they. The Rinzin power gets used on the three Masters.
In uniform, the five Rangers have regrouped in the warehouse area. RJ is worried for his dad and the group is confused about why the masters were kidnapped at all. There’s rumbling, making Lily grumpy. There’s a powerful electric blast.
Three Rangers show up. All three have white as a dominant color, but each has their own secondary color- light green, cyan, and black.
“They look like… Power Rangers,” goes Casey.
Three of the Phantom Beasts were revived and are seemingly loyal to Dai Shi at this point. Similarly, the three living Masters have been captured by the forces of darkness. I get that the team isn’t quite aware of how color-coded things get, as that’s a rather meta aspect to be aware of, but really. Light green elephant, cyan shark, and… huh. The Bat Zord is more blue-black than actual black, but still. The helmets alone should be a giveaway.
Though I am curious- now that the Masters have been ‘corrupted’, will the primary (colored) trio still be able to call upon the Bat, Elephant, and Shark spirits? I can’t remember either way at this point.
Gabby’s subplot was mostly to showcase some dancing and to add a moral about how competing isn’t destined to end in failure. In other words, not letting your fears be dominant- a moral previously highlighted during “Ghost of a Chance, Part 2”. Also, Gabby’s ‘color’ is pink. I wonder what her animal spirit is.
I am a bit curious about Phant’s sibling now, and how that familial relationship functioned over the decades. Did Phant stay in touch during his self-imposed exile? For that matter, did Phant ever visit his family while an active Pai Zhua teacher? I’m still stuck on how Master Phant was retired yet Master Mao kept teaching for millennia, possibly even before the Beast War.
I really do need that history textbook on the Ranger-verses, as I’m certain it’d answer a lot of my questions. And a geography textbook- where exactly are the Masters’ homes in comparison to Ocean Bluff? Master Phant’s was supposedly isolated, but Lily is readily traveling between his place and the city here. I presumed that the Finn emotional estrangement was accompanied by a physical space as well, and that might be the case, maybe.
At this point I’m starting to suspect that the team has somehow gotten access to the original Rangers’ teleporting capabilities. That, or one of the Mystics taught them a teleportation spell. Or they’ve been borrowing the SHARC. Or they’re using wormholes like an intra-planetary Stargate system.
It’s not emphasized, but Dai Shi and Camille do seem to be more equal footing now. And all three Overlords have been destroyed again, with it being unlikely they’ll be revived even in another ten millennia.
Similarly, Masters Phant’s and Finn’s character development were shown here- both are less brusque and more openly caring. Swoop was awesome and adept to begin with, so his moment was trying to reach Jarrod. Now I’m curious if the three Masters ever interacted with or ever mentored Jarrod. I want some kind of prequel novella starring Jarrod, Dom, and RJ.
Next time on Power Rangers: Theo’s twin shows up for a visit.