Spoiler Warning: The commentary found here discusses events in this episode and beyond.  Read at your own risk!

POWER RANGERS TAKE FLIGHT

Episode 2: "In Formation, part 2"

This two-parter was completed on January 24, 2006, and released on March 15, 2008.  The title references both the team's formation and jets flying in formation.  It could also be seen as a pun on "information."

Writer:  Joe Rovang

[ Sentai footage is from Jetman #2 unless otherwise noted. ]

In Jetman #2, the Black and Blue Rangers discover their superhuman strength as civilians.  As Chokan joins Red Ranger in searching for the pair, a Jinnsect dispatched by Radiguet turns Chokan's jet into a monster (Wing King).  After a difficult meeting with Blue and Black, Red returns to base and dogfights Wing King.  The jet grabs Black, but Red frees him with the Hawkzord and tosses him his Morpher in mid-fall.  Together, the five Rangers fight Nobodies, and Red destroys Wing King by shooting his fuel line with his blaster.  Podling returns, but the Rangers destroy him with the help of a reluctant Black Ranger.  With a change of heart, Blue rescinds her earlier demand of payment for her services, but Black leaves in a huff.

Although I've omitted the previous episode recaps in these commented scripts, I chose Dr. Bering as the recap voice to keep her fresh in the audience's mind during her absence.  I also used her for the "next time" voice at the end of most episodes.


As mentioned in the previous episode's commentary, a scene in the car during the drive back was cut for brevity.

[ Fade in to INT. LUKE'S APARTMENT - CASEY and PETE watch over LUKE's shoulder as he unlatches and opens a metallic case smaller than a briefcase which rests on his couch.  The case has a dull silver-gray finish.  On its front is a small stylized bird emblem matching those seen on the RANGERS' suits. ]

Like the previous episode, this episode takes place on Saturday, April 18, 1992.

[ Shown in close-up inside the case, nestled in protective gray foam, are two additional AVIMORPHERS.  There are five slots for AviMorphers in the foam, with slots two and five occupied.  Slots one, three, and four are empty. ]

[ After seeing the contents, CASEY looks at LUKE in mild surprise. ]

CASEY:
Where'd you get them?

LUKE:
I don't know.  They said I had the case with me when they found me.  (gesturing to his own Morpher, then the others in the case) I had this one on my wrist and these inside.

This scenario is explained in Luke's later hypnotherapy session with Maggie.

PETE (gesturing to his own Morpher):
What about these two?

LUKE:
(shakes his head)  I didn't even know if there were any more.

...though one might assume.

CASEY (concerned):
Gosh... I wonder who they belong to.  Maybe somebody's looking for them.

This foreshadows Special Agent Turnquist's arrival in episode 26, though Taggart's approval of the Rangers' job by that point would deter him from reclaiming the Morphers.

[ PETE leans against a wall with his arms crossed. ]

PETE:
Yeah, but who says THEY'RE any better than those alien things in the quarry?

[ CASEY makes a dissatisfied face. ]

LUKE (closing the case):
Just to be on the safe side, let's keep this our secret for now, okay?

This is the initial basis for the team's secret identities.

[ CASEY gestures to her MORPHER skeptically. ]

CASEY:
So you want us to keep these...?

LUKE (sliding the case under the couch):
Pete's right.  If someone comes after us again, you guys need to be able to protect yourselves.

CASEY (making a face):
Oh, that's comforting.

LUKE (regretfully):
Listen, I'm sorry you guys got mixed up in this.  I guess it's real after all.

CASEY:
What do you mean?

LUKE:
Well, ever since I woke up in the hospital, I've been having these visions that didn't seem like they could be real memories.

[ LUKE has a flashback: ]


[ EXT. SKY - We see two AVIMORPHERS tumbling through the air in free-fall.  Also falling, RED RANGER drifts closer to them, his hands outstretched, and grabs them, one in each hand. ]

When the Morphers fell out of the case during his free-fall (see below), Luke only managed to grab two (Blue and Black), while Pink and Yellow fell elsewhere in the quarry (as recovered in episode 1).


[ INT. LUKE'S APARTMENT - LUKE's flashback ends. ]

LUKE (cont'd):
... But it looks like they are.

PETE (to Luke, rising from his leaning position):
So, have you tried going to a psychologist or someone to sort this stuff out?

CASEY:
Yeah, or like a hypnotist...?

[ LUKE shakes his head. ]

PETE (to Casey, inspired):
Oh!  Dude... Maggie!

Maggie is studying psychology to become a school therapist.  It was my original intent for her Ranger career to be detrimental to her grades; her retirement didn't occur to me until after the season's halfway point.

[ CASEY grins. ]


[ INT. APARTMENT HALLWAY - Beginning with a close-up of Maggie's door (5B), the door opens, revealing MAGGIE.  She is a slender young Asian woman in her early twenties, slightly shorter than Casey.  Her medium-length hair is pinned up behind her head haphazardly, and she wears small, round, wire-rimmed hippie glasses.  Her wardrobe is smart but modest, with a light blue color scheme.  She is wearing a long-sleeved shirt. ]

Margaret "Maggie" Lu is currently age 23, born in China on May 30, 1968.  She has little in common with her sentai counterpart, other than both being students (Maggie earning her Master's degree, while sentai Blue was in high school).

[ From Maggie's perspective, we see CASEY and PETE presenting a slightly bashful LUKE like proud owners of a new pet. ]

[ MAGGIE doesn't seem sure what to make of the scene. ]

MAGGIE:
Umm... hi.


[ INT. MAGGIE'S APARTMENT - This apartment, roughly the same size as Luke's, appears very light, open, and well-organized.  The furniture is modest but nonetheless elegant.  There are several bookshelves in various locations.  Various Chinese accent pieces can be found around the living room and nearby kitchen.  On the coffee table in the center of the living room is a generously sized wooden tray containing a Zen sand garden. ]

In an early version of this episode, Nobodies raided Maggie's apartment, and sand thrown from the Zen garden stuck to their gooey bodies, distracting them as the heroes escaped.  Though that sequence wasn't used, the sand garden remains.

[ In the center of the living room, PETE and CASEY sit on the couch, facing MAGGIE, who sits alone on a love seat.  She sits far back into the seat, as if bowled over by the conversation.  LUKE is standing beside and slightly behind the couch, his arms crossed. ]

CASEY:
So that's pretty much all we know.

PETE:
Oh, and we've gotta keep this a secret, by the way.

[ MAGGIE looks down at the floor and scratches her head in thought.  She then looks back up at her guests, perplexed.  She tends to use expressive hand gestures when she talks. ]

MAGGIE:
Umm...  Okay... So why are you guys... you know... here?

PETE:
We were kind of hoping you could hypnotize him to see if he can get back any more memories.

[ MAGGIE stands and paces behind her love seat. ]

MAGGIE:
Whoa, guys...!  Hypnotherapy is -- (flustered, searching for words)  I mean, I just can't --

[ MAGGIE comes full circle around the love seat and sits again, now in a forward posture. ]

MAGGIE:
Look, using hypnosis for memory recovery is really tricky.  If you ask the wrong questions, the patient can end up creating false memories, and there's all sorts of lawsuits...  And I'm not even trained--

[ CASEY gives a pleading, doe-eyed expression.  MAGGIE sighs. ]


[ INT. MAGGIE'S APARTMENT (LATER) - Cut to LUKE lying on Maggie's couch, his eyes closed and his hands folded on his stomach.  We see MAGGIE sitting on the loveseat, occasionally taking notes with a notepad and pen.  Her demeanor is calm and patient, but also somewhat detached and clinical. ]

Maggie seems adept at hypnotherapy despite her lack of formal training.  This was a matter of convenience for the plot.

MAGGIE:
And are you alone in the room?

[ LUKE replies calmly, his eyes still closed. ]

LUKE:
No, my parents are here.  My mom's crying because she's so glad I'm okay.

MAGGIE:
Good.  Now I want you to let yourself ease back in time, before the hospital.  What do you see?


[ Dissolve to EXT. DIRT ROAD - LUKE walks along the road which led to the quarry (see previous episode).  He is wearing a nondescript gray flight suit with black boots, his AVIMORPHER on his left wrist.  In his right hand is the metal case previously shown in his apartment.  The only marking on his uniform is a red patch matching the emblem on the metal case.  LUKE appears a bit dazed, and his suit is moderately dirty. ]

LUKE (voice-over):
I'm walking down a road.


[ INT. MAGGIE'S APARTMENT - CASEY watches from Maggie's kitchen.  She is holding a glass of water as she listens, enrapt. ]

A fitness enthusiast, Casey frequently drinks water as her beverage of choice.

LUKE (off-screen):
There's a metal case in my hand.

[ MAGGIE glances in CASEY's direction before continuing. ]

MAGGIE:
How long have you been holding the case?

[ LUKE's eyes are still closed. ]

LUKE:
It was in the Hawk with me.  I -- No, I dropped it while I was falling.


[ EXT. SKY - Holding the silver case, RED RANGER plummets in free-fall.  The case is wrenched from his hand during the tumble, and it pops open, scattering four AVIMORPHERS from within it. ]

Luke's fall and quarry events occurred as follows: Before the Hawk crashed in the quarry, Luke ejected (or was ejected); in mid-air, the case opened, scattering the Morphers.  While trying to grab them, Luke neglected to slow his fall with his underarm wings (d'oh), but he succeeded in grabbing two (Blue and Black) before hitting the ground; Yellow and Pink were lost elsewhere in the quarry (and found in episode 1). Upon demorphing, a stunned Luke (the landing soon leaving him with amnesia) placed his two spare Morphers into the case and wandered away, to be found by a passing motorist on the road nearby.


[ EXT. QUARRY BOTTOM - LUKE lies on the quarry ground in his dirty flight suit.  He seems nearly unconscious but holds two AVIMORPHERS in his hands, a third on his wrist.  We zoom out to focus on the open metal case which crashes to the ground several yards away from LUKE.  He turns and begins crawling over to it, the two AVIMORPHERS still in his hands. ]

That's one sturdy case, considering it's not described as being broken in Luke's apartment.  And yet the wind can blow it open...?


[ INT. CHRIS AND PETE'S APARTMENT - This apartment, similar to the others in size, contains various mismatching pieces of furniture, including a sofa facing a small TV on a stand against the wall.  A video game system (Super NES) is connected to the TV but lies on the floor, its controllers left strewn across the carpet where its players last left them. ]

As revealed in episode 7, Chris and Pete are currently growing apart, but they still find time for video games.  Their waning friendship was not planned at this point.

[ Sitting in a love seat which faces the far window (its back toward the apartment door) is PETE, anxiously watching the TV (which is tuned to a show appropriate for 1992).  His arms are crossed, and he seems to be barely focused on the program.  His foot is twitching back and forth with nervous energy. ]

[ By the window, CHRIS is lounging in an easy chair, sketching (with his right hand) in a large sketch book containing drawings of various aliens and mystical creatures (whenever these contents happen to be shown).  CHRIS is a moderately tall young man in his twenties with regularly poor posture.  His black hair hangs in long, messy strands.  He wears a grunge outfit consisting of loose-fitting stone-washed jeans and a gray and black plaid flannel shirt over a white T-shirt.  His feet are covered with socks. ]

Wayne "Chris" Jacobs is currently age 23, born on February 24, 1969.  While his sentai counterpart was a cheating, womanizing gambler, Chris is an artist whose parents were killed in a car accident.  They share an initial mistrust of Red Ranger, however.

[ CHRIS looks up at Pete, seeming to notice something is amiss. ]

[ PETE glances over at Chris and makes a transparent attempt to act casual, nodding a greeting to Chris.  CHRIS raises a skeptical eyebrow.  When CHRIS speaks, he regularly fails to enunciate, as if putting forth the minimum amount of effort required to speak. ]

CHRIS (nods a hello back):
Hey.

[ CHRIS considers returning to his drawing but then looks back up at Pete searchingly. ]

CHRIS:
New watch?

Good eye.

[ PETE looks around, feigning innocence. ]

PETE:
Huh?  (suddenly "notices" the AviMorpher on his wrist)  Oh, yeah.

CHRIS (nodding nonchalantly):
Cool.

[ Despite an awkward pause of mutual silence (though the TV is on), CHRIS then resumes drawing.  As moments pass, PETE seems ready to burst.  Finally he can't restrain himself. ]

PETE (torturously):
...All right!  I'll tell you!  (very seriously and deliberately)  But you've GOT... to keep this... a secret.

I thought this was some amusing characterization for Pete, but it also helped to advance the plot of the episode.


[ EXT. CITY PLAZA - We see people walking through the plaza with shopping bags, couples enjoying strolls, and children running around a fountain or statue. ]

[ Nearby, a large egg-shaped grayish-green POD, perhaps two feet tall, sits partially hidden in the bushes nearby.  It matches the pod shown connected to PODLING in episode 1. ]

[ The sunlight can be seen glimmering through a tree branch above, which sways slightly in the breeze.  In close-up, we then see the sun and shadow falling on the POD, at which point the POD pulses with a brief yellow glow. ]

In Jetman, Podling's pod was the origin of the Jinnsects.  In Take Flight, it grows alien moss which collects solar energy for Podling's later use.

[ Underneath the POD, a green texture begins to grow outward along the ground, creeping over the nearby concrete of the plaza.  This expanding green blanket appears plant-like in nature and isn't necessarily hideous-looking, resembling a sort of moss, but its manner of growth, led by odd, winding tendrils, nonetheless appears alien and unfamiliar.  Nearby, people grow alarmed over the expanding green substance and begin to flee.  One MAN trips, and the growth spreads over his body, seeming to freeze him with an arm extended as he tries to get away.  The growth retains his body shape after covering him. ]


[ INT. MAGGIE'S APARTMENT - LUKE continues to lie on the couch with his eyes closed. ]

MAGGIE (off-screen):
What do you remember before you got inside the Hawk?

[ We see MAGGIE, still taking notes.  CASEY is now standing behind her, drinking from her glass of water. ]

LUKE (off-screen):
I'm... in a place where I can see the stars outside my window.

MAGGIE:
It's nighttime?

LUKE:
No.  I'm in space.


[ INT. SPACE STATION QUARTERS - We flash to LUKE in his flight suit looking out a window, outside of which is outer space.  The room is a sparse but not uncomfortable-looking private living area.  LUKE is wearing his AVIMORPHER. ]

LUKE (voice-over):
I spend weeks up here.  They have me run test flights.

[ As LUKE's voice-over continues, LUKE turns away from the starry window, aware of someone else in the room. ]

LUKE (voice-over):
I remember... a woman.

[ DR. BERING stands in the doorway, a pleasant, accepting smile on her face.  This is a much less businesslike DR. BERING than we've seen before. ]

Until writing this flashback, I had not intended to include any romantic feelings between Luke and Dr. Bering.


[ INT. SPACE STATION CORRIDOR - We suddenly cut to DR. BERING in a corridor of the space station as it quakes violently.  She urgently hands the metal AviMorpher case to the viewer (unseen).  Her expression is almost pleading. ]

DR. BERING:
Please!  Go!

As later speculated in episode 37, one might assume that without future-Luke's help distracting Will, this Luke might never have escaped with the Morphers.

[ An alert tone similar to that of the space station's consoles interrupts the scene, serving as a transition as we cut to Maggie's apartment (below). ]


[ INT. MAGGIE'S APARTMENT - Cut to a close-up of LUKE as the alert tone interrupts the previous scene.  LUKE's eyes open, and we then see him sit up and look at his AVIMORPHER.  As seen in close-up, the AVIMORPHER's display appears like an ordinary watch (the time being 3:25), but a small red light blinks in the upper left corner.  LUKE presses the side button closest to the red light, and the display becomes a view from his HOVERBIRD's perspective above the plaza as the green growth continues to engulf the area at a creeping pace. ]

[ We then see MAGGIE and CASEY. ]

CASEY:
What is it, Luke?

LUKE (rising and heading toward the door):
Stay here.

[ MAGGIE and CASEY are both mystified, with CASEY moderately insulted. ]

CASEY:
What--?  What's going on?

[ In his haste, LUKE slams the door slightly on his way out.  Left alone in the room with MAGGIE, CASEY makes an indignant noise. ]

On multiple occasions, Luke will fail to include the others when he rushes off to do what he feels is right.


[ EXT. APARTMENT ROOFTOP - LUKE emerges from a metal door leading onto the rooftop.  He presses the lower right button on his AVIMORPHER.  Moments later, his HOVERBIRD zips onto the scene, stopping several feet away from him.  LUKE nods appreciatively to the HOVERBIRD. ]

LUKE:
Show me the way?

This is the only instance of a Ranger talking to a Hoverbird.  Conveniently, it served as the basis for Trask's arrival below.

[ The HOVERBIRD turns and flies off at a more reasonable speed in the direction of the city.  LUKE runs toward the ledge at the edge of the roof and vaults off of it.  As he does so, he calls out: ]

LUKE (cont'd):
Sky Hawk!

[ In mid-leap, LUKE morphs into the RED RANGER with a red gleam. ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #1) - RED RANGER's underarm wings are shown opening in close-up. ]

Red Ranger opens his wings

[ His arms spread wide, RED RANGER glides off into the distance.  When he is almost out of sight, the camera slowly pans back to the rooftop area. ]

[ In the center of our frame of view, within a shadowed area, TRASK appears with a ripple effect.  He is looking in the direction in which RED RANGER flew off.  A wicked smirk appears on his face. ]

At first, I was apprehensive about the idea of the villains discovering the Rangers' identities and home so early in the series.  In writing the series, however, I forced myself not to shy away from naturally derived twists even when they threatened my expectations of the status quo.


[ INT. CHRIS AND PETE'S APARTMENT - CHRIS is leaning forward in his chair, his elbows resting on his knees.  PETE paces the room. ]

CHRIS:
So, this guy drags you out to the middle of nowhere, makes you dig up some sci-fi watches, and you get attacked by aliens?

PETE:
Well, yeah, but...

CHRIS:
I dunno, man.  It sounds like he's jerking you around.  What's with all the secrets and stuff?

Chris's negative feelings toward Luke were required by the later sentai footage of Black Ranger being antagonistic toward Red.


[ INT. MAGGIE'S APARTMENT - MAGGIE, still on the love seat but with the notepad on the seat beside her, has been listening to CASEY, who is now sitting on the sofa. ]

CASEY (in the middle of a conversation):
I dunno.  I guess he just has a lot to deal with right now.

MAGGIE:
And he probably hasn't had a chance to tell anyone--

[ Without warning, the lights go out, and MAGGIE and CASEY look around, puzzled. ]

The power outage was caused by Podling's power drain, not by Trask.

MAGGIE:
What is it now?

CASEY:
I don't know, but I don't like it.


[ EXT. CITY PLAZA - RED RANGER's feet land on the plaza ground, which has been blanketed with the green substance.  He looks around but then suddenly realizes the substance is growing up his feet.  He pulls free and leaps up onto a nearby stone wall which hasn't yet been completely covered.  He draws his SKY BLASTER out of his holster and surveys the area. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Where is this stuff coming from?

[ With their black liquid ripple effects, several NOBODIES appear atop the wall, approaching RED RANGER from either direction.  Using nimble aerial acrobatics, RED RANGER leaps over the NOBODIES while fighting and blasting them, all along the top of the somewhat narrow wall.  When the first NOBODY is knocked off, it lands on the nearby green substance and is entombed by it.  The rest subsequently fall off as well upon being struck or blasted. ]


[ INT. MAGGIE'S APARTMENT (DARK) - PETE opens the door to the darkened apartment, CHRIS behind him.  The lights are also out in the hallway outside, except for some emergency flood lights. ]

PETE:
Hey, the power's out all over the building.

[ CASEY and MAGGIE get up. ]

CASEY:
I know, and Luke took off.

[ PETE enters disbelievingly.  CHRIS remains in the doorway. ]

PETE:
What?  Where'd he go?

CASEY:
He didn't tell us.

CHRIS (not enthused):
Maybe he went back to his home planet.

CASEY (startled, to Pete):
You told him...?

PETE (defensively):
Look, now's not the time to get into who told who about what...

[ Just then, a fire alarm begins to sound throughout the building.  The GROUP exchanges glances.  Having been leaning against the door frame, CHRIS begins to leave in the direction of the hallway's stairs. ]

We're left to wonder how Trask triggered the fire alarm.

CHRIS:
All right, well... see you guys.  (exits)

CASEY (to the rest):
Come on, we'd better get out of here.


[ INT. APARTMENT HALLWAY (DARK) - As the THREE leave, PETE heads the other way, back toward Luke's door at the end of the hall.  As MAGGIE shuts her door, she and CASEY look back at PETE. ]

MAGGIE (loudly, over the blaring alarm):
Pete?

[ At the right end of the hall, BARRY emerges from his own apartment and looks down the hallway, puzzled. ]

BARRY (to Pete, loudly):
Hey man, do you hear that?

Barry was intended to be a comic relief character.  Here, he also manages to distract Pete from going back for the Morphers.

[ PETE looks conflicted, glancing toward Luke's door at the left end of the hall, but instead pats BARRY's shoulder and motions toward the stairs. ]

PETE:
Yeah... Let's get out of here.


[ EXT. CITY PLAZA - We see a bird's-eye view flying over the city plaza, which is almost totally blanketed in the alien green substance.  Our view is bordered in black, in the shape of RED RANGER's visor, such that we are seeing through his visor as he glides over the area.  Various lumps in the green blanket below are indicative of possible humans entombed beneath. ]

[ We see a close-up of RED RANGER from beneath as he scans the area below. ]

[ Back inside RED's helmet, we see more of the blanketed plaza.  A red blip pulses in front of his field of vision and narrows to a point up ahead, blinking as an attention indicator. ]

[ From in front of RED RANGER, we see him bank to his left. ]


[ EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - Outside the main entrance of the apartment building (in the shadow of the building itself), CASEY, PETE, and MAGGIE gather.  Other tenants are gathered in various clusters as well, some talking idly and others looking up at the building curiously, though nothing appears to be wrong.  If they happen to be visible in any shots during this scene, a group of young adults in grunge attire hangs out across the street.  CHRIS is among this group, though he is not shown directly at this point. ]

I had to be careful to afford for shadowy areas whenever Trask was scheduled to appear on Earth in the daylight.

R.J., Danny, and Robin haven't yet been introduced (see episode 7), but this group of friends demonstrates that Chris isn't part of the Ranger pals.

CASEY (to Pete):
So, what were you trying to do back there, anyway?

PETE:
The extra Morphers are still in Luke's room.  What if somebody tries to take them?

[ MAGGIE is shown in a solo shot looking toward the apartment building. ]

MAGGIE:
Do you know if Luke locked his door?

He didn't, because of the emergency which caused him to leave Maggie's apartment in a hurry.

[ MAGGIE is startled as she looks back to see TRASK standing in place of CASEY and PETE. ]

TRASK:
Be a dear and find out, would you?  I'm sure your friends would appreciate it.

MAGGIE (anxiously, looking around):
What did you do to them?


[ EXT. CITY STREET - With his group of grunge friends, CHRIS casually glances across the street but fixes his eyes curiously on MAGGIE.  We see his perspective from across the street as MAGGIE uncomfortably exchanges words with TRASK (no audio heard), whose back is only seen from this vantage point.  With a heavy heart, MAGGIE soon turns and hurriedly re-enters the building, at which point TRASK vanishes with a subtle ripple effect. ]

[ CHRIS startles and looks around at the other clusters of people standing outside the building, but we see that none appear to have noticed the spectacle.  CHRIS rises and trots across the street after checking for traffic.  Sirens can be heard in the distance. ]


[ INT. LUKE'S APARTMENT (DARK) - MAGGIE looks all around the unfamiliar (and dark) apartment, soon finding the metal case under the sofa.  She sets it on the sofa and opens it, looking at the MORPHERS within.  She nearly closes it to leave with them, but she has a second thought and looks inside once more. ]


[ INT. APARTMENT HALLWAY (DARK) - MAGGIE emerges with the metal case in her hand.  One of the MORPHERS is strapped on her left wrist.  She hurries to her own apartment and disappears inside.  Moments later, she emerges with an encyclopedia volume (the letter "B") balanced in her right hand, the case hanging from her left hand as she holds the MORPHER within speaking range of her mouth.  The encyclopedia volume is opened to mid-way through (to the "Birds" article).  As she reads aloud, the book lit by the emergency lights in the hallway, she gingerly manages to close the apartment door with a well-timed tug from her foot.  She then proceeds toward the stairs. ]

MAGGIE (into Morpher):
Umm, Sky Kiwi...  Sky Ostrich.  Sky Emu.  Sky... Duck.  Sky Goose.  (exits upstairs while continuing)  Sky... no.  Sky Quail....

Maggie demonstrates her problem-solving abilities and methodical nature.

The "no" in Maggie's dialog arises as she skips over "swan," which shares the family Anatidae with ducks and geese, as she knows that swan is already reserved for Casey's Morpher.


[ EXT. CITY PLAZA - The POD's original location is now completely covered with the green substance.  Still in its original position, the POD now has several thick roots and tendrils connecting it to the ground, spreading out presumably in a network through the green landscape. ]

[ Roughly thirty feet from the POD, a hail of yellow laser blasts rains down on an area, vaporizing several square yards of green substance, revealing the concrete underneath.  RED RANGER lands in the clear spot and fires at the POD, but the lasers bounce harmlessly off its exterior.  The POD then unleashes a flurry of yellow electricity which painfully crackles around RED RANGER.  During the blast, RED drops his BLASTER, and we see it engulfed by the nearby green substance. ]

[ Through the electricity, RED RANGER attempts to shield himself with his forearms, where the electricity then begins to gather.  Beneath the crackling energy, a gauntlet of bright red light begins to gleam on RED's right wrist. ]

Red Ranger's Battlizer seems to appear without Luke's request; this phenomenon does not occur again in the series.

[ Seen in close-up, RED RANGER looks down to his gleaming wrist.  He then breaks the electrical flow by flinging his hands out wide.  Finally, he punches forward with his right fist, shattering the gauntlet away from his hand (cut to shot below). ]

The red gleam was a trick I used under the impression that I would not have US Battlizer props at my disposal if the series were actually produced; some props I considered necessary to include in US footage, but I managed to avoid US Battlizers.

[ Sentai (Jetman #38) - As the fragments of red light dissipate (US addition), RED RANGER's extended fist bears a white device, a BATTLIZER, which covers the backside of his fist and gloved forearm, a thin strap and handle gripped in his fist.  RED draws his fist back near himself in a battle-ready position. ]

Red Ranger's Battlizer Red Ranger's Battlizer Red Ranger's Battlizer

Here we see an advantage to writing a Power Rangers season only after all episodes of the sentai series have been reviewed: I'm able to use footage from a very distant episode (here, Jetman #38) when it suits my purposes.  I believe Power Rangers would benefit from altering its production schedule to allow the full sentai series to be analyzed before writing begins.

By the way, the weapons I'm calling "Battlizers" violate a few of the standard Battlizer conventions in Power Rangers: namely, each Ranger will have one (rather than it being limited to the Red Ranger), and they will not give their users any special armor, which I considered unnecessary toy placement.  As they function merely as gauntlets to boost the Rangers' punching abilities, I regard them as similar to Andros' Battlizer in Power Rangers in Space (1998), the first Battlizer (and my personal favorite); though Andros' eventually gave him special armor as well, my fondest memories of his Battlizer were merely the combat-related functions before the armor debuted.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Battlizer, power up!

[ As the green substance slowly attempts to contract around the empty space where RED RANGER stands (shown in close-up), he begins running forward, the substance unable to grip his feet as he runs.  He then leaps into the air. ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #30) - As he leaps through the air, RED RANGER delivers a leaping punch toward the camera with the BATTLIZER (shown twice).  A third shot shows his powerful punch downward toward the camera as he lands, his fist nearly filling the frame.  As he punches, his fist glows with red light (US addition). ]

I may have gotten carried away with the gleams here; future Battlizer usage would only feature gleaming punches in Striker Mode.  Readers may choose to assume this punch used the Striker Mode if they prefer.

Red Ranger's leaping Battlizer punch Red Ranger's leaping Battlizer punch Red Ranger's leaping Battlizer punch

These pictures may not show it clearly, but this shot would erroneously include Red Ranger's Sky Blaster in his holster; as you'll recall, his blaster should still be stuck in the moss at this point.

[ From a long shot, we see RED RANGER strike the POD with his glowing BATTLIZER punch in slow motion.  Seen in close-up, a crack rips down the back side of the POD, and an explosion fills the frame.  RED RANGER is flung back from the explosion, the Battlizer no longer on his wrist.  He lands face-down on the green substance, which dissolves before his eyes, revealing the original pavement (though perhaps a bit dirtier than before).  Nearby, the MAN with the extended arm is freed as his green prison dissolves around him.  Restored to life, the MAN gasps for air.  He appears unharmed, though his skin is reddened in places similar to a rash or mild chemical burn. ]

Luke presumably recovered his Sky Blaster in front of the startled man.

I included burns on the man to indicate that not everything in my series may be reversed without repercussions.


[ INT. APARTMENT STAIRWELL (DARK) - MAGGIE continues upstairs, reading from her encyclopedia while holding the case and speaking into her MORPHER.  She is squinting to try to read from the book in the relatively dim emergency lighting. ]

MAGGIE:
Sky Eagle, Sky Buzzard, Sky Falcon, Sky Kestrel...

Here, Maggie unwittingly mentions the name of the Sky Kestrel, which the Rangers obtain from Illam in episode 22.  This was intentional.  It may even help to introduce this bird name to readers unfamiliar with the term prior to the Zord's debut.

[ Suddenly, the lights come back on.  MAGGIE briefly looks up before continuing her reading and stair-climbing. ]

MAGGIE:
Oh, that helps!  (continuing)  Sky Crane, Sky Gull, Sky Dove...


[ INT. APARTMENT HALLWAY (LIT) - CHRIS enters from the stairwell in a hasty search of the area.  The lights are all on. ]

CHRIS:
Maggie?

[ CHRIS opens Maggie's apartment door and peeks in with no success. ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
Maggie?

[ CHRIS then checks his own apartment and finally Luke's, continuing to call out.  Not finding her, he grunts in frustration but then looks back to the stairwell.  He then hurries back up the hall and up the stairs. ]

Apparently nobody locks their doors during a fire alarm.


[ EXT. APARTMENT ROOFTOP - MAGGIE opens from the metal door.  Only the metal case is now in her hand, the AVIMORPHER still on her left wrist, visible despite her long sleeves.  She looks around, at which point TRASK is unexpectedly standing several yards away in the shadows. ]

TRASK:
Something up your sleeve, human?

[ Still standing in the door frame, MAGGIE opens the case briefly to show him the final AVIMORPHER inside. ]

MAGGIE:
I brought them both like you said.  Now where are my friends?

TRASK:
You'll give me the box first.

[ MAGGIE sets the case down beside her and uses her foot to slide it back, just within the doorway. ]

MAGGIE (slyly):
I'll just leave it right here.

[ She steps aside, allowing the door to begin slowly swinging shut behind her. ]

MAGGIE (cont'd):
You can get it, right?

Maggie has already deduced his vampiric nature with some confidence; this will be discussed further in episode 4.

[ TRASK scowls helplessly as the door then shuts behind her.  He then eyes MAGGIE with sinister intentions. ]

MAGGIE (into her Morpher):
Sky Swallow.

[ With a blue gleam, MAGGIE morphs into the BLUE RANGER. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
You weren't really going to let my friends go anyway, were you?

[ TRASK unleashes a green blast from his hand, but BLUE RANGER does an acrobatic cartwheel out of harm's way and into the nearby sunlight as a spark explosion erupts from where she stood.  With another hand gesture, however, TRASK causes BLUE RANGER to vanish with a ripple effect. ]

Maggie performed gymnastics in high school (her trophy seen in episode 4).  Her acrobatic cartwheel reflects this.

[ Nearby, CHRIS swings the metal door open, the case in his hand.  As he looks around, however, he finds the rooftop empty.  Shortly, there is a sound of landing footsteps nearby, and CHRIS turns to find himself face-to-face with the RED RANGER.  CHRIS looks him over for a moment before speaking.  CHRIS's tone is generally displeased. ]

CHRIS:
Are you Luke?

One wonders what Luke was thinking upon being confronted in such a manner.

[ RED RANGER nods softly.  CHRIS then unlatches the case and shows RED RANGER the contents, a single remaining AVIMORPHER.  RED looks up from the MORPHER to meet CHRIS's unforgiving gaze. ]


[ EXT. QUARRY - BLUE RANGER stands in the middle of the quarry, looking around. ]

Trask's fondness for the quarry isn't explained, but it does have the significance of being the location where the Morphers were found.

CASEY (distantly, off-screen):
Maggie?!  Is that you?

[ BLUE RANGER turns and finds PETE and CASEY running to her from some distance away.  They soon reunite, PETE and CASEY coming from the right side of the screen. ]

CASEY (disbelievingly):
What... happened...?  Are you okay?

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Yeah.  I think I met another one of your alien friends.  (notices something over their shoulders)  And I think there's the rest of them!

[ A small crowd of NOBODIES approaches. ]

PETE:
Here we go again.  (brings his Morpher into position, then speaks to Casey)  Morphing time?

Close to the original morphing call from the first several seasons of Power Rangers ("It's morphin' time!").

CASEY (bringing her Morpher into position):
You got it.  Sky Swan!

PETE:
Sky Owl!

[ CASEY and PETE are morphed into the PINK and YELLOW RANGERS with respective gleams.  As the three RANGERS turn to face their attackers, they notice additional crowds of NOBODIES advancing from other directions (though not from behind them). ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Retreating time?

An additional play on "morphing time."

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
You got it!  (turns to retreat)

[ Sentai - PINK and YELLOW are seen running through the quarry.  YELLOW looks back and hurries BLUE, who catches up to them as they run. ]

Blue catches up to Yellow and Pink

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Come on!

[ Two NOBODIES are seen firing from their hands.  As the three RANGERS stop in their tracks, they're engulfed in a fiery explosion.  They land nearby. ]

Nobodies fire Yellow, Blue, and Pink blasted Yellow, Blue, and Pink blasted Yellow, Blue, and Pink blasted

[ Above, the RED and BLACK RANGERS are seen flying down side-by-side (Jetman #26).  They land near the others and approach as the others get up. ]

Red and Black Rangers fly down Red and Black Rangers arrive

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Guys!  Are you all right?

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Luke!

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Are we glad to see you!

[ As seen from a low-angle shot below, the RANGERS gather in a circle and look at each other. ]

Rangers look at each other

In a number of ways, Jetman was a clear homage to Gatchaman (1972-74), an anime which was highly influential to sentai at large.  One clear similarity was the team's roster: while Gatchaman included G1 (Eagle, the leader), G2 (Condor, the leader's rival, dies in the finale), G3 (Swan, female), G4 (Swallow, ten-year-old boy), and G5 (Owl, heavy-set), Jetman included Red Hawk (the leader), Black Condor (the leader's rival, dies in the finale), Yellow Owl (heavy-set), White Swan (female), and Blue Swallow (youngest, female).

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Wait a sec... Chris...?  And Luke...?

In the sentai, this conversation extended a bit longer and then transitioned to Wing King's approach (see episode 3).  A Nobody fight was also cut but later used in episode 5.

[ Suddenly, PODLING leaps in and flies between the RANGERS, causing them to spark as they fall back.  PODLING lands nearby with a slobbering growl.  He is now lacking his pod previously seen connected to his posterior in episode 1. ]

Podling flying in Podling flies through Rangers

An eagle-eyed viewer might notice Red Ranger erroneously holding his Talon Sword as Podling flies by, though it isn't apparent in this picture.

[ US footage - YELLOW RANGER gestures toward the monster (off-screen). ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Hey, Mr. Friendly looks like he lost a little weight.

[ US footage - RED RANGER thinks a moment, and we briefly see a flashback of RED RANGER pulling PODLING out of his warp (from episode 1).  In the flashback, PODLING's pod is connected to him.  We then return to RED RANGER, who has a realization. ]

Admittedly, I might not have needed to point out the pod loss.

flashback to Red Ranger pulling Podling out of his warp

LUKE (Red Ranger):
He was the one who left that pod downtown...!

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
What pod?

LUKE (Red Ranger):
I'll tell you later.

[ PODLING extends his long, clawed tentacle from his mouth, and it grabs YELLOW RANGER's neck. ]

Podling extends tentacle Podling extends tentacle Yellow Ranger grappled

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Hey, what the heck...?

[ YELLOW falls and begins to be dragged across the ground. ]

Yellow Ranger dragged

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Let go of me...!!

[ YELLOW continues to be dragged across the ground. ]

Yellow Ranger dragged

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Guys, help me!

[ RED RANGER reacts. ]

Red Ranger calls out

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Pete, use your blaster!

[ We see a close-up of YELLOW RANGER's SKY BLASTER in his holster as he's being dragged. He then grabs it. ]

Yellow Ranger finds blaster

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
My what...?  (grabs his blaster)  Hey, I've got a blaster!

[ YELLOW points his SKY BLASTER at his attacker and unleashes a series of yellow laser blasts.  PODLING sparks, and YELLOW is freed.  The other RANGERS join him as he rises, touching his neck. ]

Yellow Ranger fires Podling sparks Rangers join Yellow Ranger

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
(gasping)  Not cool...

[ RED RANGER draws his SKY BLASTER from his right hip and addresses the others. ]

Red Ranger grabs blaster Red Ranger's instructions

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Guys, do what I do!  Ready?

[ BLUE RANGER nods and reaches for her own blaster. ]

Blue Ranger nods

[ RED RANGER unsheathes his TALON SWORD from his left hip (the hilt unfolding out of the sheath), then inserts it in compacted form into the rear of his SKY BLASTER.  He then presses it forward, completing the formation of his SKY ENFORCER. ]

Red Ranger draws Talon Sword Red Ranger assembles Sky Enforcer Red Ranger assembles Sky Enforcer

[ We see all five RANGERS holding their completed SKY ENFORCERS in a ready position, with the exception of BLACK RANGER, who skeptically examines his ENFORCER with an unenthusiastic grunt. ]

Rangers with Sky Enforcers

[ Nearby, PODLING roars angrily. ]

Podling roars

[ RED RANGER prepares to fire. ]

Red Ranger prepares to fire Enforcer

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Ready, fire!

[ With the exception of BLACK, the RANGERS' ENFORCERS simultaneously fire steady laser beams matching their Ranger colors.  BLACK RANGER, meanwhile, turns away disinterestedly. ]

Rangers fire Sky Enforcers

White Ranger's beam looks pretty white here to me, but there will be plenty of occasions in Jetman where her related energy color will be pink.

[ As a force bubble from the four laser beams flickers around PODLING, a glowing blue rift opens in the air above him.  He begins to float upward toward the rift, though the lasers seem to be somewhat holding him back for the moment. ]

Podling nearly escapes

CASEY (Pink Ranger, off-screen):
He's getting away!

[ US footage - RED RANGER looks over his shoulder. ]

I replaced a sentai shot here to allow for more dialogue.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Chris, we need you!  If we don't get this guy while we have the chance, there could be big trouble!

Podling's threat on the city was my attempt to justify the Rangers' use of lethal force against Podling.  This proved difficult at times, as I often had to cut footage of the monsters attacking civilians or causing grievous destruction.

[ BLACK refuses, turning his back. ]

Black Ranger refuses Black Ranger refuses

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
I think YOU'RE trouble!  (grumbling inwardly) You can fight your own enemies.

In addition to being suspicious of Luke, Chris may also be reluctant to attack unidentified foes, as seen again against a Discard in episode 9.

[ We see a long shot of PODLING being continuously blasted, the rift still above him.  RED RANGER continues to plead with the disinterested BLACK RANGER. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Chris, you don't understand...!

[ Just then, PODLING unleashes a hail of yellow electricity which blasts the RANGERS during their laser fire, causing BLACK RANGER to fall.  We see him roll back and look at the RANGERS, his ENFORCER still in his hand. ]

Podling electrocutes Rangers Black Ranger rolls back

[ US footage - We see successive close-ups of YELLOW RANGER (Pete), BLUE RANGER (Maggie), and PINK RANGER (Casey), each groaning painfully through the continued bombardment of electricity. ]

Added a few US shots to emphasize Chris's realization that his friends (acquaintances?) are in danger.

[ US footage - In close-up, BLACK RANGER looks up from his friends' predicament to the monster above. ]

[ BLACK RANGER rises and aims his ENFORCER.  He fires a purple beam.  Together, the five lasers form a force bubble around the hovering PODLING, causing him to explode in a large fireball, flinging the RANGERS back.  By this point the rift is gone. ]

Black Ranger fires Enforcer force bubble Podling explodes Rangers fly back from explosion

The Rangers have unwittingly rendered Podling's race extinct.  I found it satisfying to add grim subtext to demonstrate that, though the Rangers weren't depicted in a villainous light, their actions sometimes had unforseen negative consequences.

[ US footage - The RANGERS land on the quarry ground.  They each soon get up, breathing somewhat heavily.  As they rise, RED RANGER and BLACK RANGER lock gazes, after which BLACK turns to walk away.  Fade to black. ]


[ Fade in to INT. APARTMENT STAIRWELL - CASEY, PETE, and MAGGIE are walking down the stairs in fairly good spirits, particularly PETE.  Behind them is LUKE, and quite some distance behind the rest of the group is CHRIS, intentionally taking his time as they all head down the flights of stairs.  They are all wearing their MORPHERS (under the guise of wristwatches), as they will be in the future unless otherwise specified. ]

The fate of the silver case is unresolved.

PETE:
Man, that was awesome.  I didn't know we had it in us.

CASEY (to Luke, behind her):
Hey, Luke, it sounds like you got rid of that guy's pod thing just in time.

Luke explained about the pod off-camera.

PETE:
No kidding.  I kinda wonder what that green stuff was though.  Maybe I could've used it in some recipes...

I find this to be an odd thought.

[ CASEY makes a face and thwacks PETE gently with the back of her hand. ]

LUKE (smirking):
What I'd like to know is how Maggie managed to figure out her morphing code.

PETE:
Hey, yeah!  We only told you ours!

[ MAGGIE smiles coyly and pauses on the steps, looking back at the others. ]

MAGGIE:
What...?  Like it's hard to come up with "Sky Swallow"...?

It's worth noting that Maggie didn't morph right here, despite speaking her morphing code.  One might assume that the Morphers require their wearers to speak directly into them or shout more loudly than casual conversation; otherwise, the Morpher must be able to detect conversational context.

PETE:
Swallow?!  Give me a break!  You did not just come up with "Sky Swallow" off the top of your head!

[ MAGGIE reaches down and picks up her discarded encyclopedia volume. ]

MAGGIE (smiling):
Well, I only tried about thirty others before I got it...

[ PETE and CASEY laugh as they continue downstairs with MAGGIE.  Meanwhile, LUKE waits for CHRIS.  CHRIS continues, allowing LUKE to walk beside him.  After a moment, LUKE speaks. ]

LUKE:
Hey, umm... Thanks for helping out.

[ CHRIS nods silently.  LUKE searches for words, but before he can come up with something to say, CHRIS has outpaced him in his descent.  LUKE stands alone in the stairwell, pondering.  The shot holds.  Fade to black. ]

Although I've omitted the "next time" teasers in these commented scripts, I regularly tried to emphasize the upcoming episode's differences from the sentai, where possible.  Of course, I also didn't want to reveal too much.