16-28: The Spirit of Kindness

Casey and Whiger end up teaming up to save the other Rangers as well as civilians.

Last time on Power Rangers: Whiger took some of Casey’s tiger spirit.

 

Double Trouble

In the temple, Badrat and Rammer are to capture humans so that the villains will be able to harvest their fear whenever they want with less exertion.  The pleased monsters rhyme together.  Camille is not impressed.  It’s stated that due to their strong animal spirits, the Rangers must be worn down before they can be captured.  The pair of monsters mock the arriving Whiger, who bows slightly before Dai Shi.

Dai Shi is unimpressed that Whiger couldn’t defeat the Red Ranger.  Kneeling, Whiger is ready to accept his punishment.  Dai Shi takes away Whiger’s Rinzin power as the others watch on.  Taking in the golden aura for himself, Dai Shi also banishes Whiger.  The Phantom Beast staggers out of the throne room.  Scorch is upset by this development.

The following sequence needs to be transcribed in full, because it’s hilarious.

Sans RJ, the team is in JKP, wearing their work uniforms.  They’re gathered at the bar, sharing a pizza.  Fran is evidently reading a book on ferrous metals.  When they briefly see and hear something over at a booth, they head over collectively to check things out.  Upon seeing a white rat, they all yelp “rat”.

The camera cuts to them all on the counter, scared of the rat.  Theo even has a chair in front of him, as if he’s a lion tamer.  Fran has a closed umbrella as a weapon and tells the others, “Shouldn’t one of you go get the rat?  You’re Power Rangers.”

Lily visibly wants Theo to do it, but Theo jerks his head from Dom to the rat.

“Well…” Dom then sighs before continuing, “It depends how you look at it.  Fighting unspeakable evil is one thing, but rats- eek.”

Lily tries again, saying, “Casey’s our leader.  He should do it.”

“Me?  They didn’t teach me anything about this at Pai Zhua.”

Casey, you were there for about a week.  You barely learned anything there.

“All right, I’ll do it.”  Theo puts down his chair before telling the others, “I am ashamed of all of you.”

“Whoa, careful, Theo!” goes Fran.  “Does anybody know whether rats leap?”

“Leap?!” echoes Theo, getting back up onto the counter.  Similarly, Lily edges further away from the rat’s location as well.  Theo claims, “You know, I heard if rats are left alone, they eventually get bored and leave.”

In casual garb, RJ appears behind the group.  He tells them, “Mighty Power Rangers, your fearless mentor has come to save you.”

Aw, that’s sweet.  He implicitly included Fran as one of them.  Holding up a metal rat trap, RJ states, “Now, I just need some bait.  Ah, everyone loves a slice of pepperoni pizza.”

Putting a slice in the box, RJ heads around the counter and states, “Our furry friend will crawl in for a nibble of our delicious and famous pizza, and then I’ll slide in from behind and safely and humanely close the cage.”

After he puts the cage down on the floor near the booth, RJ muses, “Then I might just keep him around as a friend.”

He then emits what simply must be called a bark of laughter as it’s short yet loud (and very pleased with himself).  RJ continues, “And after I get him, the five of you will scrub every inch of this place.  And in the morning, I will retrain you in the fine art of something that all of you have forgotten…”

The camera briefly cuts away from RJ to show the rat going into the cage.  The cage door is heard shutting so RJ turns around and kneels down to pick it up.  Standing back up, RJ finishes, “Courage.”

… There’s a part of me that wants to see how RJ decided to teach his employees courage (and if Fran was included).  Ahem.  Obviously, the dialogue created the foundation for this hilarity, but it does lose something without seeing the actors bounce off each other wonderfully.  This season comes closer than most in being a true ensemble piece (Casey does get a good deal of spotlight as the Red Ranger, but the rest of the team isn’t neglected).

Dusted Away

Badrat and Rammer sprinkle their magic dust from their handheld mini-cauldrons (look, I’m not quite sure what they’re using).  When it lands on civilians, they get teleported away.

Up in the loft, the quintet is in their Ranger uniforms, playing soccer.  I can only surmise the ‘courage’ lesson got skipped over for whatever reason.  And I hope the JKP is closed at the time, otherwise Fran is stuck alone down there for no good reason (yet).  They get alerted to the attack via the TVs.

28Casey&RJ

Three of the Rangers use the vines to leave.  To Casey’s annoyance, RJ wants him to stay behind to keep the now caged Maurice company; there’s a brief tangent on how RJ thinks the rat is French, thus the name.  It’s soon admitted that RJ wants Casey to stay safe as he’s still weakened.  After RJ leaves as well, Casey crosses his arms, as he dislikes being left behind.  Whiger telepathically contacts Casey once again.  I’ve given up on ever getting an explanation on how Pai Zhua telepathy works.

The morphed quartet faces off against Badrat.  Lily is grumpy about there being another rat so soon.  They don’t fare well against Badrat.  Somehow the three guys can wield the Claw Cannon.  Okay, I could maybe buy RJ replacing Theo or Casey as RJ uses Tiger and Jaguar Zords for the Wolf Pride Megazord.  But Dom replacing Lily?  That came out of nowhere.  Did RJ fiddle with the Claw Cannon off-screen?

Spinning like a top, Badrat flies away.  Lilly rallies the guys by reminding them that they need to find the captured civilians.

Out in a wilderness, Casey confronts the weakened Whiger.  The beast is upset that he has no Rinzin nor honor anymore.

Out on a dock, Badrat is gloating when the quartet finds him.  Theo and Lily are now in Jungle Master mode.  Badrat does the spinning attack but then the dust doesn’t work on the four Rangers as their animal spirits are still strong.  A giant Rammer shows up.

The quartet decides to split up to take on the two monsters.  Dom tosses over his morpher blade for Theo to use.  The Wolf Pride Megazord is formed by RJ and Dom has the Rhino Steel Zord go into warrior mode.

Whiger fights an unmorphed Casey.  One wants his honor back and the other his animal spirit.  Casey tries and fails to retrieve it.  When Whiger nearly goes over the cliff, Casey pulls him back up to safety.  I suspect Casey knows on some level that neither would survive such a fall in their current states.

Whiger feels disgraced, not to mention confused by Casey saving him.  It turns out that Casey wants to help people and animals.  Casey’s morpher beeps so he has to leave.  The still-weakening Whiger realizes in G-rating terms that he’s dying.

Theo and Lily aren’t doing well against Badrat while Dom and RJ are fighting the massive Rammer in the background.  Combining his power with the Rhino morpher, Theo blasts Badrat.  Somehow the two monsters trade places so they can continue wearing down the Rangers.

Rammer gets the duo’s weapons away from them.  Dom and RJ also end up on the ground near their teammates.  Badrat shrinks down.  The two monsters use their dust again.  Weakened, the quartet vanishes.

Tiger Time

In a cavern, metal rat traps are scattered throughout (some dangling from strings).  The now demorphed Rangers can hear the civilians in other traps.  Dom thinks this is karma.  RJ counters that this is worse as they didn’t even get any pizza.  Rammer and Badrat show up to gloat and demand the captives’ fear.  Lily thinks they’re supersized but RJ correctly theorizes that they’ve been shrunken.  Theo karate chops Badrat’s stick when it gets poked into their trap; he goes on to claim he’s not scared.  Amused, the two monsters leave.  Dom hopes that Casey will find them.

Casey is alone in Ocean Bluff, unnerving him.  Whiger shows up to offer to take Casey to the others, admitting that Casey has no reason to trust him but neither does he have a choice.  His leg briefly fades out.  The journey to the captives’ cavern is skipped over.  Whiger points out which rat trap has the other Rangers in it (I’m not sure how he knows).

Casey goes to the rat trap.  In her armor, Camille shows up to fight both tigers.  Whiger protects Casey and has a plan, the Red Ranger knowing he has no choice but to trust him.  Whiger does a red energy thingy with Casey, which must have restored his tiger spirit.

The two of them tag-team Camille, ending with Red and White tiger spirit attacks on her.  She runs away but Whiger collapses as he’s about to fade away.  Whiger recognizes that Dai Shi is his enemy and Casey his friend; expressing a desire that Casey will stop Dai Shi, he then fades away.  Standing up, Casey puts on his morpher to silently morph.  He then uses his Shark Sabers to shatter the cages.

This frees the civilians, who teleport back to Ocean Bluff to be happy and relieved.  For whatever reason, the quartet returns to their normal sizes in the cavern instead of also returning to the city.

Rammer and Badrat are frazzled in Ocean Bluff when the morphed quintet finds them.  The former tries to bluff.  The trio goes into Jungle Master mode and do their catchphrases.  RJ and Dom do theirs as well.  The two groups charge at each other.  Casey uses his Shark Saber on both monsters, with no sign of where the others went.  He does an oceanic attack and then a tiger spirit attack.

Theo and Lily join in with up-close attacks, each going after a monster.  RJ and Dom blast the duo before the latter tosses his morpher over to Casey, who combines the powers to battle the two monsters.  Next, Casey does firing jets and the monsters explode.  The quartet is happy Casey’s back in action.

However, the two monsters then supersize.  The Jungle Master Megazord, Rhino Steel Zord in warrior mode, and the Wolf Pride Megazord are all formed.  Rammer and Badrat put up a good fight.  A full-fledged stampede using all the various Zords is used.  This destroys Rammer.  Badrat does a spinning attack.  Casey takes point in them doing a spin attack that explodes the monster.  All the Zords are pleased.

In his chef uniform, RJ is giving away Maurice to a girl who lost her pet.  I’m not sure if Maurice is supposed to be that lost pet or merely a replacement.  It turns out that RJ also made a pizza as a goodbye present, heading after the girl and parent (and cage) to give it to them.

Lily notes that kindness is what separates humans and beasts.  Casey points out that things wouldn’t have worked out for them without Whiger.

Scorch and Snapper are quietly talking to each other in the temple.  They don’t think Camille is fit to be a general, they think Dai Shi is losing control of the human he’s in, and they didn’t like how readily Whiger got banished.  I think the sentiment on the last is partially due to the fact that no one else (including Dai Shi) has had much luck in taking out the Red Ranger.

Conclusion

There was that extended amusing sequence, which provided some needed humor here.  Four of the Rangers got captured by the monsters, leading Casey to team up with a villain to rescue them.  Casey’s inability to just let Whiger fall led the Phantom Beast to realize who truly meant well.  It’s making me wonder what exactly caused the Beast War all those millennia ago.

Camille apparently isn’t adjusting very well to her new powers.  That, or even two weakened tigers (a dying Whiger and a newly restored Casey) were more than a match for her.  Dai Shi’s treatment of his underlings is already causing issues- the favoritism of Camille and dismissal of Whiger.

At least Fran got more than two lines here.  I recognize that the season is coming up on its conclusion, but it’s upsetting how she’s been sidelined lately.  RJ continues to be a good, if occasionally flippant, mentor.  His moments of levity seem to be more about cheering up others than any actual underestimating of the circumstances.

Casey can be headstrong, but he is very caring and earnest, which keeps him from being stubborn.  He’s having a gradual realization that there’s more than two options in morality (good versus evil) due to Whiger’s own Casey-induced epiphany.  This re-watch is just highlighting why he’s always been one of my favorite Red Rangers.

Four more episodes until RPM!

 

Next time on Power Rangers: Dom fails to romance the titular lady.

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