9-32: Beware The Knight

Wes defeats a dragon to obtain the Battlefire so he can defeat the titular character.

Last time on Power Rangers: Wes and Jen investigated a new gym that turned out to be a front for Frax’s latest scheme.

 

In the Dark of the Night

Before a mysterious cave one dark and stormy night, there are two knights on armored horses.  To help out the viewers, one is clad in white and the other in black.  They tilt at each other, the white knight getting unhorsed.  On foot, the black knight approaches to obtain a box containing the “battle fire”.  The white knight gets in a speech about how the black knight will never get its power due to lacking a pure heart before apparently dying.  Holding up the box in triumph, the black knight laughs evilly.

In their white jumpsuits, the team returns to the clock tower at night.  They’re worn out by a cleaning job, their moods not lifted when Jen reveals that there’ll be another one tomorrow.  Wes cheers up Trip by revealing that his brief phone call was to order pizza… but then he ‘volunteers’ Trip to pick it up.  The others all head upstairs, presumably to change and/or get cleaned up.

Trip is grumbling to himself as he walks back with the two large pizza boxes.  He sits down to bite into a slice, only to get interrupted by Katie contacting him via morpher hologram.  I’m pretty sure that’s a relatively frivolous usage of the morpher.  Trip manages to lie that he’s not eating pizza, but as soon as the message has ended and he’s gone for another bite the green-haired guy hears thunder and a whinny.  He soon finds the charging black knight to his fear and confusion.

Although he manages to roll out of the way of the knight’s sword, Trip finds that his hat got sliced in two.  When the knight comes back for another attempt, Trip gets over a wall to escape.  The black knight soon leaves.

Back in the clock tower, the quartet, now in their usual garb, is getting worried by how long Trip is taking to return.  Katie is worried for Trip while Wes is more focused on obtaining pizza.  Trip returns.  The others are initially excited to see the pizza boxes before realizing that the pizzas within have been smushed.

Recounting the story, Trip shows his hat as evidence.  Wes thinks that Trip is making up a story to disguise the fact that he dropped the pizzas.  Jen and Katie both gently pat the underside of Trip’s chin before walking off.  Trip is miffed at how his teammates disbelieved him.  Given what’s been happening in Silver Hills, it’s far from impossible that an evil knight would show up.

The black knight returns to the cave’s interior with the Battlefire box.  There’s a dragon watching on.  Slicing at the box with his sword, the black knight realizes that the white knight wasn’t lying about how only someone “pure of heart” could open the box.  He decides to go find somebody matching that description, telling the dragon to watch over the box.

It might be the next night when the team is leaving a movie theater that was showing “Frankie Chang Vs. the Ant People”.  I think we can guess who picked it.  Katie found it scary, while Wes found the story as believable as Trip’s.  This leads Lucas to tease the younger man to his annoyance.

When they hear screaming civilians, the team heads over to see the black knight on his horse.  Trip declares, “See?  I told you!”

The black knight charges at them.  Four of them get out of the way, but Wes stands his ground until the last possible second at which point he leaps over the horse as the steed continues to gallop away.

That morning, the team is worn out.  Trip and Circuit have scoured the database and can only surmise that the black knight isn’t a mutant.  On the one hand, the episode clearly meant that to be true.  On the other hand, it’s also been proven in past episodes that Circuit’s database isn’t complete.  It’s entirely possible that there is information out there on the knight- mutant or not- that Circuit simply lacks the access to.  Wes wants to be ready for the black knight’s return.

Nothing New Under the Moon

There’s a full moon as the black knight gallops out of the cave.  In Silver Hills, there’s a couple in a car.  The lady keeps preventing kisses to gauge how deeply the guy cares for her, creating dramatic irony.  They spot the horse just before the black knight sticks his sword through the roof.

They get out of the car, the guy hiding behind the woman and running off when the knight challenges him to protect the woman.  She opts to run off and I suspect they won’t be going on another date.  The morphed quintet arrives, the black knight deciding to destroy them.  They, including Wes, fail to defeat the villain, who rides off on his horse.

Wes calls for the Strata Cycle, causing its arrival sequence.  I still don’t understand how Wes gets on it while it’s still in the wormhole.  The blond follows the black knight into woods and towards the reddish mist, but suddenly the knight vanishes.

The team searches the woods the following day to no avail, frustrating them (particularly given their tiredness between last night and today’s activity).  Wes decides to stay until sundown as he suspects the black knight will be back, telling the others to head back to the city to keep an eye on things there.  Jen tells him to be careful and Wes puts his outer shirt back on.

Wes is restless as he leans against a tree.   Jen is moping on the windowsill when Lucas brings her a mug, having already poured himself one (I don’t know if it’s coffee or tea or what).  Lucas reassures her that “he’ll be okay” and offers to take over watch for a bit.  Good to see that Lucas continues to ship them.

The black knight starts to have his steed gallop.  The whinny wakes up Wes and he watches the knight’s departure.  Once the knight is out of earshot, Wes contacts Lucas via morpher about the villain’s approach and Wes’ plan to backtrack the knight’s path.

Using a flashlight, Wes follows the hoofprints in the mud.  Now he finds the cave with the reddish mist.  I think the implication is that it only exits to Silver Hills at night, maybe?  I have no clue what’s going on with its magic as the episode isn’t clear on it.  He enters and finds the box.  There’s an angry dragon, however.  Its CGI is as obvious as the dinosaurs’ in the “Clash for Control” two-parter.  The dragon breathes fire as it ponderously heads after Wes, who decides to confront the dragon.

Morphed and on their Vector Cycles, the other Rangers are heading after the black knight.

Wes dodges the dragon as it tries to use its snout as a blunt weapon.  In midair, Wes morphs, which somehow saves him from getting toasted by the dragon’s fire breath.  Blasting at the dragon, Wes then calls upon his Chrono Saber to wield against the dragon, which soon explodes.

Picking up the box, Wes can open it.  This causes a magical hologram of the white knight, who exposits on how Battlefire will grant the user “Red Battle Warrior” mode and warns that only the user can stop the black knight.

The New Mode

The quartet has ended up in a space crowded with crates and metallic/plastic barrels (I’m not sure what they’re made of).  The black knight is about to destroy Jen when Wes shows up.  When the black knight kicks Jen aside, the other three go to her.  Once Jen is standing, having been helped up by Katie, Wes checks on her and she assures him that she’s okay.

32RedBattleWarrior

Opening up one hand, Wes reveals that he has obtained the Battlefire and goes into Red Battle Warrior mode via a transformation sequence.  It does look rather magitech-y, as seen above.  Battle Fire Saber is the mode’s weapon.  Suddenly the duo is in a ring of fire.  Presumably out of habit, Wes does a circular motion before the final blast that explodes the black knight.

The next day, Wes is carrying a sword as the team goes to the now-dark cave.  When Wes sticks the sword into the ground, this somehow magically seals the cave.  Wes states, “Your reign of terror is over.”

Back in the clock tower, Wes is telling an exaggerated version of his fight against the dragon.  Most tellingly is the fact that the dragon now has three heads.  Jen calls him out on this, as in the version he told her the dragon only had two.  Trip returns and has to sheepishly confess that this time he actually did drop the two pizza boxes.

Conclusion

This episode was… okay.  I’m left confused by who and what the black knight is.  Presumably he’s not a mutant, and it’s unlikely he’s a time traveler as he was never shown being thrown by Silver Hills’ appearance or the Power Rangers’.  Yet he’s dressed up as a medieval knight and has a dragon for a guard dog.  Even less is known about the white knight… such as what was his connection to the Battlefire and why he couldn’t use it against the black knight despite having been able to put a magical hologram into the box.

It’s rather low-key, but Jen and Wes are clearly still smitten with each other (and Lucas ships it).  I’m not quite sure what was going on with Trip’s subplot.  Maybe he was meant as a red herring about who could open the Battlefire box?  Hopefully Trip being taken advantage of by his teammates will be brought up in a later episode.  Between his treatment of Trip and his exaggerated storytelling at the end, Wes didn’t come across as exactly ‘pure of heart’ here.  Then again, he is the Red Ranger and ergo gets all the cool upgrades.

The usual suspects for the bad guys didn’t show up at all.  Frax is presumably still recovering from the events of last episode, but I’m less sure what Ransik, Nadira, and the others are up to.  Mister Collins is likely still recovering, while Eric is possibly taking a more hands-on approach to the business side of Silver Guardians due to that.

I have to wonder how- if at all- this ties into Mystic Force.  There’s knights and dragons and what is clearly magic.  Were the two knights leftover from the war between the original Mystics and the Underworld in the eighties?  Seriously, what was going on here?  It’s a nifty story overall, but it’s a bit of an out-of-genre experience for a season largely focused on time travel and mutation.  You know it’s seriously out of left field when an episode can be called out-of-genre given how Power Rangers as a whole takes an ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ approach to fantasy, science fiction, and superhero tropes.

It’s hard to believe I’m now four-fifths done with this season.

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue and Time Force team up to stop Vypra.

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