This episode was completed on April 16, 2006, and released on April 12, 2008. The title refers both to Busster, and to Luke and Lisa's brush with the law.
Writer: Joe Rovang
[ Sentai footage is from Jetman #12 unless otherwise noted. ]
As Yellow and White take a bus to go hiking, a mystery unfolds as passengers begin vanishing; in actuality, they're being eaten by the Jinnsect-infected bus! After eventually freeing the passengers, White and Yellow call the others, but White is hurt protecting a woman from a rockslide. The Skyforce Megazord destroys Busster, and the Rangers go hiking.
Coincidentally, this sentai episode also featured a detective in search of a thief (the culprit turned out to be the bus driver). I was not aware of this when I wrote this episode, as I only wrote from the available sentai footage long after having edited out the scenes with Japanese actors (thanks, Adobe Premiere). Detective Morales' role here stemmed only from the result of my desire to show off Luke's character by pairing him with a thief.
I chose to place Jetman #12's adaptation here because I felt its Zord fight served as an adequate introduction for the Skyforce Megazord. In the sentai, however, the Megazord debuted in Jetman #6, which became the Disastros battle in episode 13.
[ Fade in to EXT. SKY - We follow Luke's HOVERBIRD darting through the sky on patrol over the city. After a while, we crane down to a street below as the HOVERBIRD flies off. ]
[ EXT. CITY STREET (from previous) - LUKE is walking down the sidewalk, hymnal in hand (see episode 3). He wears a red polo shirt, brown leather jacket, and khakis. He is peacefully taking in the sights as he walks, his demeanor collected and serene. ]
The first portion of this episode takes place on Sunday, April 26, a week after episode 3. This is presumably Luke's second visit to his new church.
[ Suddenly, a young woman, LISA, collides into LUKE from behind. She may be as young as twenty years old. Her long, straight hair hangs down from a dark-colored knit cap, and she is wearing a long-sleeved T-shirt and baggy denim overalls with a knit backpack purse over one shoulder. ]
Originally, Lisa was created only for this episode, though I wasn't averse to the idea of reusing her character in the future.
[ The collision causes LUKE to drop his hymnal, and LISA stumbles as if caught off-balance, planting her hand against LUKE's jacket. ]
Lisa is secretly stashing her stolen necklace in Luke's jacket.
Oh! I'm sorry!
[ LISA picks up LUKE's hymnal and hands it back to him. ]
I'm really sorry... I totally wasn't looking where I was going..
[ LUKE smiles unassumingly and accepts the book. ]
[ LISA glances at the hymnal and smirks coyly with mock reprimand. ]
Late for church...
LUKE (smirking, returning her playfulness):
Ten o'clock service. Already done.
[ LISA makes a mock "aha" expression. Before she can speak, a SECURITY GUARD approaches from behind. He is firm but not rude, and he appears to be slightly winded. ]
Excuse me, miss...
[ LISA turns. ]
Miss, would you open your bag please?
[ LISA seems caught by surprise. ]
What...? W-- I guess so...
[ As the SECURITY GUARD takes and looks through her backpack, LISA exchanges glances with LUKE, who appears concerned. She shrugs innocently. ]
[ Soon done with the backpack, the SECURITY GUARD hands it back. He doesn't seem satisfied but moves on nonetheless. ]
Sorry for the trouble.
[ As the SECURITY GUARD walks off, LUKE continues to watch him and speaks to LISA. ]
What was that about?
Probably because of the way I dress. I'm not all PREPPY, so I've gotta be up to something.
That or the shoplifting.
[ LISA glances at LUKE's outfit. ]
LISA (contritely, cont'd):
... No offense.
I enjoyed playing up the contrasts between Luke and Lisa. I think this contrast probably made them interesting to each other, so long as they remained friendly and open-minded.
[ LUKE switches his hymnal to his left hand and extends his right hand. ]
My name's Luke.
[ LISA eyes him for a moment before shaking his hand. ]
LISA (shaking his hand):
[ LISA nods toward his hymnal. ]
So are you, like, a preacher or something?
[ LUKE chuckles and consciously clasps the book. ]
No, it's a loaner. I just moved here.
Yeah? Where from?
[ LISA nods contemplatively. ]
Small-town guy, huh? Why'd you want to come to the city?
Well, I... wanted to find out who I am, but, uh... (trails off)
[ LISA continues to listen intently, expecting more. LUKE notices her anticipation and is forced to finish his thought. ]
Luke probably finds her intent interest disarming but inviting. Lisa, in turn, seems drawn in by Luke's genuineness and lack of duplicity.
... Well, being at home was only gonna show me who I used to be.
[ LISA mulls over Luke's statement with earnest respect. ]
So how long have you lived here?
[ LISA appears lost in thought from Luke's previous reply. ]
Huh? Oh, um.. a couple years. (changing the subject) Hey, you wanna get something to eat?
Lisa isn't eager to discuss her own family life, which has been difficult. She does find Luke's approach toward the past refreshing, however.
[ They walk off together. As they leave, LISA briefly glances back over her shoulder in the guard's former direction. ]
[ EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - Establishment shot. ]
[ INT. CHRIS AND PETE'S APARTMENT - In the kitchen, PETE, wearing an apron, is mixing a batch of cake batter with an electric mixer. ]
[ At the apartment door, CASEY pokes her head inside and calls out somewhat loudly. ]
[ PETE leans over to see her through the kitchen divider as he turns the mixer off. ]
Oh, hey, Casey.
[ CASEY enters and shuts the door. ]
[ PETE removes the mixing bowl and begins pouring the batter into a greased cake pan. ]
It's a cake for Terri, down the hall. She got that internship she wanted.
As shown in episode 13, Terri and Julie are roommates; in episode 7, Julie takes Casey to pick up her car from the shop (where it has been since episode 5).
[ Just then, CHRIS emerges from the apartment's shared bathroom at the near end of the adjacent hallway. His hair is still wet from a shower, and he's wearing his standard black and gray grunge clothes. In his hand is a wad of worn clothes - a T-shirt and boxers. ]
CASEY (awkwardly, almost blushing):
Casey got a crush on Chris in episode 5.
[ Furrowing his brow slightly, CHRIS opens the utility room door opposite the bathroom and tosses his old clothes into a hamper inside. As he closes the door, CHRIS keeps his eyes on CASEY suspiciously. ]
Chris won't learn the source of Casey's odd behavior until episode 15.
[ PETE continues scraping his batter into the pan with a spreader. ]
PETE (to Casey):
So how was your date yesterday?
Pete is referring to Casey's "date" with Barry in the previous episode.
[ As CHRIS exits down the bedroom hallway (his bedroom on the left end), CASEY answers PETE but seems to be speaking loudly enough for CHRIS's benefit. ]
Well, it wasn't really a date...!
Casey clearly doesn't want Chris to think she's in a relationship. At this point, however, Chris is indifferent.
[ Once CHRIS is gone, CASEY relaxes and becomes herself with PETE. PETE, meanwhile, is too busy smoothing his batter to notice CASEY has been acting strangely. ]
All right, so it was a... "friendly drive to the movies." Did you have fun?
[ CASEY makes a displeased face. ]
Well, yeah, it was fine...
[ PETE looks up from his preparation. ]
Well, my car got kinda messed up, and now I don't know how I'm gonna get to work tomorrow.
Casey's car was damaged after being possessed by Traffico in the previous episode.
[ PETE is almost amused, not sure whether CASEY is joking. ]
PETE (gesturing with his spreader):
Well, there's a bus stop, like, half a block from Booksmart...!
I considered myself fortunate to be able to link this episode's bus plot so closely to the events from episode 5.
Yeah, but I've never ridden the bus before...
Coming from a wealthy family, Casey is perhaps a bit spoiled in the beginning of the series.
PETE (enrapt, putting the spreader down):
Are you serious...?
[ CASEY looks at him sheepishly. PETE eases up upon seeing she's sincere. He wipes off his hands on a dishrag at the same time. ]
PETE (gently, cont'd):
All right, look, tomorrow we'll take a dry run before work, okay? Like, eleven or so... We'll go ride around for a while, and it'll be fine.
Casey and Pete both work evenings.
[ CASEY nods timidly. ]
[ EXT. SKYLINE (TIME-LAPSE) - In fast motion, we see the sun arcing through the sky and setting behind the city skyline, at which point the stars come out. ]
[ INT. LUKE'S APARTMENT (NIGHT) - LUKE enters his apartment and turns on the lights. Outside his apartment window is darkness. ]
Luke and Lisa have apparently spent the entire day together. She has given him her phone number.
[ Removing his jacket, LUKE notices something in its side pocket. He reaches in and pulls out a silver and pearl necklace. The necklace is brand-new and, as LUKE notices, still has a small price tag ($69.99) attached. ]
Not the most expensive of necklaces, but Lisa's shoplifting was more of an illogical compulsion rather than anything practical.
[ As LUKE thinks for a moment, we flash to: ]
[ EXT. CITY STREET (DAY) - In a slow-motion close-up, we see LISA's hand slipping the necklace into LUKE's coat pocket as she collides with him from behind. ]
[ INT. LUKE'S APARTMENT (NIGHT) - Still pondering the necklace, LUKE glances at his AVIMORPHER's watch display (the time is 10:12 PM). He then tosses his jacket onto the couch and removes a scrap of paper from his pants pocket. He unfolds it, revealing (in close-up) a hand-written "Lisa" and a phone number (555-0134). Pausing a moment, LUKE then sets the paper and necklace on his kitchen counter. ]
555 numbers have been frequently used in fiction, but only 555-0100 through 555-0199 are currently reserved for this purpose; as such, all phone numbers in Take Flight are limited to this range.
I referenced this site in choosing a 555 number for Lisa; I chose this particular number because it was used by Marla in the movie Fight Club.
[ Dissolve to EXT. STARRY SKY (NIGHT). ]
[ INT. SPACE STATION, DILLIK'S QUARTERS (NIGHT) - Slowly zooming out from the starry sky (above), we can soon see that the view of the stars was through Dillik's window aboard the space station. Once zoomed out from the window, we slowly pan around the room, originally an officer's quarters now retrofitted into Dillik's bedroom. Throughout the room are various odd light fixtures with cast a dim glow in various hues, their colors shifting slowly. The most prominent fixture in the room, however, is a large three-pointed web structure occupying half of the room diagonally. Attached to the walls in three places, the web is suspended roughly three feet from the floor and resembles a triangular hammock. A fluffy bedding material is sewn over the web's connecting strands. ]
[ Strewn upon the web-bed is DILLIK, snoring loudly and not wearing his normal protective suit (he remains decent with the aid of blankets covering him, but a bare arm shows that his skin is grayish-white with green spots, a pattern only hinted at by his facial coloration). ]
[ In the distance, a metallic clunk echoes dully through the space station. DILLIK startles awake and looks around blearily, his webbing bouncing with elasticity as he moves around. ]
At the time I wrote this, I did not have Dillik's exceptional hearing in mind, but it can easily be interpreted in that context.
[ Scanning the room, DILLIK eventually ventures a timid response in the direction of the open door which leads to an adjacent corridor. ]
Since the previous episode, Trask has set out to train in preparation for Magda's arrival (see episode 8).
[ He receives no response. ]
Dillik is referring to the robot he tested in the previous episode, or perhaps to the incomplete Strife (see episodes 4 and 7).
[ Silence again. ]
This is the first hint the audience receives that Dr. Bering may still be alive, in cryogenic suspension (see next episode). The term "frozen scientist" was used simply to foreshadow her return, but I later had Dillik continue to use the term as her name.
[ Still receiving no response, DILLIK continues to look around fearfully. His last guess is said in the most hushed tone of all. ]
DILLIK (cont'd, hushed):
Dillik apparently fears that the Power Rangers will invade the space station and come after him; coincidentally, they will in fact raid the station in episode 32, something I did not foresee at this point.
[ Just then, a NOBODY ambles around the corner and looks into the room with a curious gurgle. Its posture is non-threatening. DILLIK sighs in relief. ]
Ohh, thank goodness!
[ DILLIK opens a hidden panel in the wall beside him and drags out his two-piece yellow and orange protective suit. He talks as he gets his legs into his loose-fitting leggings (if seen during his dressing process, he is wearing gray spandex-like shorts). ]
What are you still doing here? I thought I sent all you guys to Earth! (pulling the top portion of his suit down past his head) You don't want to spend your... tiny little lifespans cooped up in here.
We learn Dillik has been releasing Nobodies to live out their remaining days on Earth; this Nobody is a member of battalion 2, which was just used once the previous day (episode 5).
[ The NOBODY uncurls its fingers, presenting something in its hand (cut away before the object is shown). DILLIK stares at the object for several seconds, then looks at the NOBODY in what could be either astonishment or dread. ]
The Nobody has found one of Magda's scouting seeds on Earth; see episode 8. Even after writing this scene, I still hadn't decided on the form Magda's object would take.
Where'd you find that...?
[ Break. ]
[ EXT. BUS STOP - CASEY and PETE are in a short line (CASEY in front) boarding a blue and white bus (fair match with sentai, identical match not required). The bus's number is 12, and the route name on the front is "Daly City." Also on the side of the bus is the Valley Rapid Transit logo (see episode 4). ]
Unlike other fictional cities and town in this series, Daly City is a real town near Oakland.
The bus's number is a nod to the Jetman episode from which this episode was adapted (#12).
Most of the rest of this episode takes place on Monday, April 27, the day after Luke and Lisa's first encounter.
[ INT. BUS - As CASEY steps up to board, PETE coaches her from behind. ]
Now, just put your sixty cents into the box...
Sixty cents seemed to be a reasonable bus fare for 1992.
[ CASEY searches the front of the bus for a moment before finding the coin acceptor. ]
[ She drops her change into the appropriate slots, at which point she expects something to happen, but PETE pats her on the back. ]
That's good, go on.
[ As PETE climbs the steps, he flashes a thick paper bus pass to the DRIVER, who nods. PETE escorts CASEY toward the back of the bus, nearly three-quarters of the way back, and sits at the window. The bus is not packed but contains roughly one-and-a-half dozen passengers. None are sitting behind PETE and CASEY's row. ]
Pete has a frequent rider pass, as he rides the bus to and from work. This is more economical than paying per ride. After researching the history of magnetic swipe cards in public transit, I decided a paper pass would be safer for 1992, but this may have been parachronistic (the opposite of anachronistic).
[ As CASEY takes the aisle seat, she looks around in relief. ]
Well, that wasn't too bad.
Yeah. Just remember, you're waiting for bus number twelve.
What about on the way home?
(chuckles) It's still number twelve.
So this one bus goes both ways?
Casey's ignorance reflects my own as I researched bus travel; I've had little experience with buses myself.
Well, no, there are lots of number twelves. Some go down to Daly, and some go up to Brighton.
[ CASEY giggles self-consciously. ]
Jeez, I sound like a total flake...
Nahh... (upbeat) ...You know, you learn by doing it.
[ EXT. BUS STOP - The bus's door closes, and the bus pulls away from the curb. ]
[ EXT. CITY STREET - LISA, in another outfit of a similar style to the first, meets LUKE on a street corner. He is wearing a red T-shirt, jeans, and his same brown jacket. ]
LISA (smiling slightly):
So, you're kinda eager, huh? I just gave you my number last night...
Lisa doesn't seem to be off-put, even under the impression that Luke wanted to see her again so soon out of eagerness.
Hey... Listen, that security guard yesterday... (removes the necklace from his pocket) Was he looking for this?
[ The smile instantly drains from LISA's face. She answers after a brief delay. ]
Did Lisa enjoy Luke's company so much that she forgot about the necklace?
I seriously don't know what you're talking about. That thing's not even my style anyway. (looks uncomfortable) You know-- I gotta go.
Again, Lisa's stolen items don't tend to reflect items she needs or even wants.
[ LISA turns to leave, but LUKE walks after her. The necklace is still in his hand. ]
Wait, I'm not trying to get you in trouble!
[ LISA stops and turns back toward him. ]
LUKE (cont'd, sincerely):
I just want you to take it back.
[ LISA laughs sharply, appalled by the idea. She then responds. ]
If somebody did lift it, I'm sure it came from some chain store that's never gonna miss it anyway. Like they need an extra seventy bucks in their fat wallets.
Way to give yourself away, Lisa.
Well, unless the employees trying to make a living get penalized because of it, or prices go up for everybody because the store can't afford the insurance...
Not my problem.
Look, I don't know your situation. You hardly told me anything about yourself. But do you really not think you have more potential than this?
Lisa is generally reluctant to talk about her past; it may be assumed her current lifestyle is at least partially driven by a troubled adolescence. Luke's remark here regarding her potential seems to resonate with her, though it pains her to admit to herself.
[ LISA glares at him for a while. When she finally speaks, her tone is more plaintive than angry. ]
What do you do, just go around the city "saving" people?
Lisa is making a biting reference both to his religion and his belief in her potential, but it carries an unexpected additional meaning in the context of Luke's Ranger identity.
[ LUKE squirms slightly. Just then, both LISA and LUKE notice a POLICE OFFICER standing beside LUKE, his eyes on the necklace in his hand. LISA and LUKE exchange glances. ]
[ INT. BUS - CASEY is talking in a somewhat private tone with PETE as the bus drives down the street. ]
So while we're in the tow truck, he tells me about all these things he's seen in the paper... The moss at the plaza, the blackout... And then he starts talking about the "flying people"...
Casey reveals the conversation she and Barry had in the tow truck on their way home from the Nobody incident in episode 5.
The "flying people" may partly refer to episode 4, in which Maggie morphed and flew off from a public street; people have probably also seen them flying over the city to and from Parkview, but presumably no one has identified Parkview as their base of operations.
PETE (grinning, wide-eyed):
... And I go:
[ Flash to INT. TOW TRUCK - Both CASEY and BARRY are riding in the front seat of the tow truck, the TOW TRUCK DRIVER at the wheel. CASEY and BARRY are in their clothes from episode 5. ]
Oh, yeah, the Power Rangers!
[ BARRY and the TOW TRUCK DRIVER both give CASEY an odd look as she realizes what she's said. ]
[ INT. BUS - PETE raises his eyebrows. ]
Then what happened?
Well, I told 'em I thought I'd seen the name in the paper somewhere.
[ PETE chuckles. ]
Man, maybe the, uh, Power Rangers should, like, introduce themselves... Like, have a press conference or something.
I wanted to address society's and the media's reactions to the Power Rangers early in the series.
CASEY (rolling her eyes):
Oh, yeah, can you see Luke going for that?
The others apparently regard Luke as private and secretive with regard to their Ranger activities.
Heh.. I guess not.
[ CASEY looks out the window for a moment before continuing. ]
Then again, people are coming up with some crazy ideas because they don't know any better. Like, Barry thinks the Hoverbirds are little UFOs. He's sure I got abducted on Saturday.
Again referring to events in episode 5.
[ PETE laughs softly and presses the lower right button on his AVIMORPHER. Moments later, his HOVERBIRD appears outside his bus window, following along beside the bus from a distance of a few feet. Watching it with his head cocked, PETE is amused. ]
I guess it kinda looks like a little UFO...
Pete and Casey don't yet realize the Hoverbirds are connected with alien attacks, but this incident will prove it.
[ EXT. CITY STREET - We see the left side of the bus as it drives down the road, as though from the Hoverbird's point of view. Inside, we see PETE looking out the window. ]
[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - DILLIK is worriedly pacing across the room. A small black box rests on the central console. ]
The box contains the object found by the Nobody, that being a scouting seed (see episode 8).
DILLIK (to himself):
Come on, Trask, where are you?
Trask has been missing since some point in or after episode 5 (exactly two weeks from now in episode 8, Dillik will note he has been missing for roughly two weeks). Trask will return in episode 8.
[ DILLIK stops to catch a look at the central console's monitor (not seen). ]
[ INT. BUS - CASEY continues speaking to PETE. ]
No, but he thinks they're responsible for all the stuff that's been going on lately.
[ PETE looks down, staring into space, then answers moments later. ]
Maybe he's right...
Oh, Pete, cut it out.
PETE (with growing momentum):
No, really... Think about it... Every time the aliens attack us, there's a Hoverbird nearby!
That's what they do! They look for trouble!
PETE (shaking his head):
No, no, no... When we found the Morphers, the aliens came after the Hoverbird. And when you were looking for Luke in the park...
Pete refers to events in episodes 1 and 3.
[ CASEY stops to think for a moment. ]
Actually, Maggie got attacked as soon as I found her on my Hoverbird the other day... And the Nobodies attacked us after I distracted Barry...
Casey refers to events in episodes 4 and 5. Had they been aware of Trask's trip to Parkview following Luke's use of his Hoverbird in episode 2, they might have listed it as well.
[ With a sense of dread, CASEY and PETE slowly turn to look at the HOVERBIRD following the bus out their window. ]
[ Suddenly, the bus swerves slightly, alarming the passengers. One of them, PASSENGER1, reacts: ]
[ At the wheel, the BUS DRIVER attempts to look out through the windshield toward the grill of the bus, slightly toward the right side. The bus is still moving. ]
BUS DRIVER (confused, slightly alarmed):
Something hit the bus...!
Dillik has sent a Jinnsect to infect the bus after seeing Pete and Casey in the Hoverbird. This is Jinnsect #9 of 46.
What was it?
BUS DRIVER (dumbfounded):
[ Suddenly, the windshield and windows frost over with a dark, opaque color. PETE and CASEY watch alertly, while the rest of the passengers startle. ]
Per the ruby monster in episode 4, I continued the trend of Jinnsect larval forms turning opaque.
What's going on?!
[ INT. POLICE STATION - From across the room, we see LUKE at a desk speaking with DETECTIVE MORALES (see episode 5). LUKE's jacket is draped over the back of his chair, and both he and DETECTIVE MORALES appear to have been sitting there for some time, based on their body posture. DETECTIVE MORALES finally nods in the direction of the camera, and LUKE rises, takes his jacket, and approaches the camera. He takes a seat beside LISA, who sits among a row of chairs along the wall. ]
Detective Morales reappears from episode 5, wherein he investigated the case of the missing ruby. He has therefore met Luke previously. Morales will play a more prominent role in future episodes, something I didn't have in mind while writing this episode.
Though not revealed in the series, Detective Morales's first name is Ramon.
LISA (somewhat apprehensive):
So what did you tell them?
The truth. I found the necklace in my jacket, but I didn't see who put it there.
Though he hasn't lied, Luke has intentionally withheld the truth.
You seriously went with that? "I don't know how it got there"?! Do you know how many times they hear that? It's like the shoplifters' credo!
But it's true.
[ LISA leans her head back against the wall behind her and groans. ]
What is your problem? All you had to do was tell them I did it...
Lisa may not be used to selfless sacrifices made on her behalf; she seems as disarmed by it as she is frustrated that Luke hasn't saved himself.
[ DETECTIVE MORALES approaches. ]
[ LISA sighs, stands, and heads toward the detective's desk (off-screen). ]
[ As LUKE sits alone, his MORPHER suddenly issues an alert tone. LUKE looks at the blinking light in the MORPHER display and looks around anxiously. ]
[ EXT. BACK ROAD - Bus #12, its windows and windshield dark and opaque, careens down a remote road. Its front is not shown prominently, though a JINNSECT may be seen briefly, embedded in the front left side of the bus's grill area (compare with sentai). ]
[ INT. BUS - At the front of the bus, the BUS DRIVER struggles with an unresponsive wheel and pedals. He then looks down toward the front right side of the bus, which begins to buckle. The warping and cracking continues down the side of the bus as tendrils snake down from the front of the bus. ]
[ PETE looks around anxiously and rises slightly from his seat. ]
It looks like it's morphing time... We've gotta get everyone out!
This is another play on, "It's morphin' time!" (see episode 2).
[ CASEY glances toward the back of the bus, which is empty. She nods her head in that direction for PETE's sake, and he nods in agreement. ]
[ CASEY then gets out of her seat and rushes up the aisle toward the front of the bus. As she does so, PETE sneaks into the back of the bus, unnoticed by the other passengers. ]
Everybody just stay calm! (makes a face and blurts out:) ... The Power Rangers will save us!
Casey seems to have a hard time not blurting out terms she isn't supposed to know. One wonders if anyone found her knowledge of the Power Rangers suspicious in retrospect.
[ Through their fear, the passengers frown in confusion and look at one another. Some can be heard muttering, "Power Rangers...?" ]
Their name hasn't been made public, aside from Casey's utterance to Barry and the tow truck driver. This episode will change that.
[ Hidden in the back seat, PETE privately speaks into his AVIMORPHER: ]
[ We then see YELLOW RANGER emerge from the rear seat. He announces himself to the passengers and rushes to the nearest emergency exit window. By this point, the bus has begun to tremble a bit, as though driving over unpaved ground. This will continue until the bus later stops. ]
How far-fetched is it that Pete could sneak into the back and morph without anyone deducing his identity? You decide.
In the sentai, it was White Ranger who morphed, while Yellow remained unmorphed until White freed him from the monster's tentacles.
PETE (Yellow Ranger, in a bold voice):
Stay calm, everyone! Yellow Ranger here!
[ YELLOW RANGER tugs on the handle, but the tendrils running through the metal have fused the exit shut. He then rears back and punches the opaque glass, but it resists his attack with a dull thud. He clutches his hand and looks around, chuckling awkwardly as passengers around him begin to grow concerned. ]
Pete neglects to try his Battlizer to escape. This is because I intended not to make the (hypothetical) US prop department recreate the Battlizers.
[ Just then, the bus comes to a screeching halt, jostling the passengers forward. PETE's voice yelps slightly as YELLOW RANGER bumps against the seat in front of him. CASEY, standing in the aisle, nearly falls but steadies herself on a nearby railing. Once the bus has come to a stop, the front door opens of its own accord, and a deep, monstrous voice (with a New York accent) echoes through the bus. ]
Last stop! Everyone off!
In the sentai, a giant mouth and tentacles appeared inside the bus, which was eating passengers over the course of the ride. Here, Busster merely continues to fulfill his transit role, though why he dropped everyone off at the quarry is a mystery. Maybe Dillik suggested it over his special frequency (see episode 16).
[ YELLOW RANGER looks around in confusion, as do CASEY and other passengers. The BUS DRIVER then snaps to attention, waving everyone out. ]
Come on, this way!
[ EXT. QUARRY - As CASEY and the other passengers stream out of the bus, CASEY looks around and realizes: ]
We're in the quarry!
[ INT. POLICE STATION - As LUKE watches the display of his AVIMORPHER (not shown), DETECTIVE MORALES approaches again. ]
Mr. Branson, you're free to go.
[ Touching the upper left button of his AVIMORPHER to clear the screen, LUKE looks over at the detective's desk, where LISA sits expressionless. ]
LUKE (standing, to the detective):
[ LUKE takes another look in Lisa's direction. He then reluctantly departs. ]
[ INT. BUS - As the BUS DRIVER exits, YELLOW RANGER rushes toward the exit, now the last person inside. ]
[ EXT. QUARRY - Outside the bus, YELLOW RANGER nearly escapes, but the door quickly snaps shut, trapping him half in and half out of the door. ]
[ Nearby, CASEY gasps. ]
[ YELLOW RANGER struggles with the door. From a shot inside, we see him draw his SKY BLASTER and pepper the steering area with yellow lasers, causing sparks to erupt throughout the bus as a roar is heard. The door releases just enough for YELLOW RANGER to slip out. Landing on the quarry ground, he rolls onto his feet and looks back. ]
I needed a way to make the monster grow immediately into giant form; I assumed that shooting a monster's pupal form in its innards would be traumatic enough to trigger a growth. The sentai featured no such trigger as far as I could tell.
[ Beginning with the JINNSECT in its front, the bus is enveloped with yellow and white light. ]
[ YELLOW RANGER quickly escorts the people, with the exception of CASEY, toward the other side of the quarry (compare with sentai). As the people's backs are turned, CASEY shouts into her MORPHER: ]
Would no one have noticed Casey's absence, followed by Pink Ranger's appearance? Oddly, it seems no one did.
[ Morphing with a pink gleam, PINK RANGER looks upward as the bus (unseen) grows to giant size. ]
[ Sentai - The giant bus monster, BUSSTER, appears from white insectoid energy. ]
[ Below, PINK RANGER reacts and calls into her left wrist. ]
CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Ohh..! Sky Flyers!
[ EXT. DOWNTOWN (sentai) - The five FLYERS fly by a reflective building. ]
[ INT. HAWK COCKPIT (Jetman #26) - RED RANGER clenches his fist. ]
LUKE (Red Ranger):
We're on our way, Casey!
The others are late for various reasons: Luke was being questioned, Chris was at work, and Maggie was in class.
[ EXT. QUARRY (US footage) - Near a rock wall, YELLOW RANGER looks up at the nearby monster as he stands protectively in front of the huddled people. ]
[ Sentai - From his yellow eyes, BUSSTER fires a multicolored beam toward the ground below. ]
[ From below, we see a rock wall quaking as boulders begin to fall. ]
In the sentai, Busster's beams caused an explosion around White, Yellow, and the few surviving passengers before the rockslide began.
[ US footage - Looking up as the ground shakes briefly, YELLOW RANGER quickly presses the group of people against the rock wall, bracing them as several boulders strike glancing blows against his back, causing bursts of sparks where they hit. ]
In the sentai, it was White Ranger who protected a woman from the bus, the boulders striking her back.
[ Sliding from foot to foot, BUSSTER twirls one of his own tendrils in his hand. ]
You're mine, Yellow!
[ Nearby in the quarry, PINK RANGER draws her SKY BLASTER and fires a series of yellow lasers at the monster above (unseen). ]
CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Stay away from them! (fires)
[ As BUSSTER prepares to stomp, he modestly erupts in sparks. ]
[ US footage - YELLOW RANGER and the rescued people look on and cheer. ]
In the sentai, White handed off her passenger to Yellow before drawing the monster's attention.
[ Still smoking, BUSSTER looks down. ]
I cut a shot looking over Busster's shoulder because a stage light's shadow appeared prominently on his back.
[ As seen from above, PINK RANGER waves her arms to get the monster's attention. ]
CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Hey you, you big bag of bolts! Over here!
I cut Busster picking up White before throwing her down (she recovered by gliding down) because it accomplished nothing and looked extremely fake.
[ We see from below as BUSSTER prepares to stomp toward the camera. ]
[ US footage - Nearby, YELLOW RANGER starts to rush forward, leaving the people behind. ]
PETE (Yellow Ranger):
[ US footage - As a massive shadow falls over PINK RANGER, she stumbles and covers her head with her arms. ]
CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Uh oh. (stumbles and cowers)
I don't recall why this was to be re-shot in US footage, except perhaps to add the shadow over her.
[ EXT. SKY (Jetman #4) - In the sky, the CONDOR and HAWK simultaneously fire a series of lasers. ]
I used this attack in place of the standard back-to-back diving attack shown in the sentai because that attack seemed overused in Jetman.
[ EXT. QUARRY - With his foot still in the air, BUSSTER erupts in a spark explosion and stumbles back. ]
[ Below, PINK RANGER looks up and rises to her feet. ]
CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Huh...? The Flyers! Good timing, guys!
[ EXT. SKY - The five FLYERS fly overhead. ]
[ INT. SWALLOW COCKPIT (Jetman #26) - BLUE RANGER speaks. ]
MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Sorry we're late!
I opted for a Blue Ranger remark here, while Red called out plaintively in the sentai.
[ EXT. QUARRY - YELLOW RANGER waves frantically to the sky as he runs up to join PINK RANGER. Upon reaching her, he pats her on the shoulder, and she nods. ]
PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Way to go, guys! (pats Pink) Come on, you ready?
CASEY (Pink Ranger, nodding):
[ Looking skyward, YELLOW and PINK both salute with their right hands to their left shoulders. A green beam from above teleports them up as white energy. ]
PETE / CASEY (in unison, saluting):
Let's do it! (both beamed up)
[ INT. OWL COCKPIT (Jetman #7) - YELLOW RANGER situates himself in his cockpit. ]
I felt it was appropriate to show them getting situated here; this was lacking in the sentai.
PETE (Yellow Ranger):
[ INT. SWAN COCKPIT (Jetman #7) - PINK RANGER situates herself. ]
CASEY (Pink Ranger):
[ EXT. SKY (Jetman #6) - The camera zooms in on HAWK ONE as the five FLYERS fly in formation. ]
[ INT. HAWK COCKPIT (Jetman #8) - With the other FLYERS visible through his canopy, RED RANGER thrusts his fist forward. ]
LUKE (Red Ranger):
Let's do it! Megazord formation!
This shot takes the place of the "Rangers insert Morpher devices" shot shown in the sentai.
[ EXT. SKY (Jetman #5) - The five FLYERS fly up into the sky with colored trails. ]
I included this shot here and in subsequent episodes as a regular lead-in to the Megazord's assembly, as it was visually appealing and a pleasant ritual to begin the assembly sequence. Jetman reserved this shot for the Cruiser assembly only.
[ INT. HAWK COCKPIT - As RED RANGER steers with his control stick, the CONDOR and SWAN take position above, as seen through his canopy. ]
Even by Jetman #12, the sentai was still including its full-length Megazord assembly sequence. I trimmed it down more readily in subsequent episodes.
[ INT. CONDOR COCKPIT - We see over BLACK RANGER's shoulder as he controls the Condor with his control stick. In the monitor in front of him, we see a remote view of the CONDOR and SWAN beginning to transform. ]
CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Stage one, here we go...
I enjoyed the idea of the Hoverbirds providing these external vantage points during assembly. To my knowledge, Jetman offered no explanation of the monitor displays shown here.
[ EXT. SKY (US footage) - Shown in close-up, Chris's HOVERBIRD is flying through the sky, watching the CONDOR and SWAN transform (off-screen, though the image below is faintly reflected in its camera eye). ]
[ Sentai - With the HAWK flying beneath them, the CONDOR and SWAN fold up their wings and front sections to form feet and legs. ]
[ INT. HAWK COCKPIT - On RED RANGER's other side, we see the OWL and SWAN take position above. ]
[ INT. SWALLOW COCKPIT - Over BLUE RANGER's shoulder, we see the OWL and SWAN beginning to transform in her monitor. ]
MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Activating stage two.
[ EXT. SKY (US footage) - Maggie's HOVERBIRD is flying through the sky, the OWL and SWALLOW transformation (below) reflected in its camera. ]
[ Sentai - With the HAWK beneath them, the OWL and SWALLOW detach various pieces (the OWL losing its lasers, and the SWALLOW losing its WING BLADE) and fold their front sections into their bodies. Hands then arrive from the left and connect with the two Flyers, forming arms. ]
[ INT. HAWK COCKPIT - Over RED RANGER's shoulder, we see the HAWK beginning to transform in his monitor. ]
LUKE (Red Ranger):
Stage three, let's do it!
[ EXT. SKY (US footage) - The HAWK's transformation (below) is reflected in Luke's HOVERBIRD's lens. ]
[ Sentai - The HAWK folds up into a boxy torso shape, the camera focusing on a golden hawk emblem emblazoned across its chest. It gleams briefly. ]
[ Below, the CONDOR and SWAN connect to the HAWK's waist section. The now-completed legs take an offensive stance. ]
[ From above, the OWL and SWALLOW connect to the HAWK's shoulders. As shown in close-up, the OWL's hand clenches as it connects. ]
[ The camera then zooms in on the MEGAZORD's head as it rises from within the robot's chest. With flashes of light and electricity, we zoom out as the SKYFORCE MEGAZORD stands ready, the Rangers' emblem gleaming behind it in blue light. ]
[ EXT. QUARRY (Jetman #31) - Shown in close-up, the MEGAZORD's feet land on the ground. We then pan up the MEGAZORD's body as it stands arms by its side. ]
I included this shot for a more dramatic first appearance for the Megazord.
[ Nearby, BUSSTER slides back and forth on his feet before charging. ]
Ahh, I've got some competition, eh?
Busster's secret scheme was to create a stranglehold on the public transit industry by eliminating his competitors; he assumed the Megazord was one such competitor, as it was the Rangers' transportation, after all.
[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (Jetman #5) - Two gray joysticks flip up from within RED RANGER's control panel. ]
[ Jetman #6 - RED RANGER grips the joysticks as the other RANGERS man their stations. He then thrusts the joysticks forward, one after the other. ]
This shot was taken from Jetman #6, which was the sentai's debut episode for the Megazord. In the sentai, it was White Ranger who grabbed her joysticks to fight Busster, due to her prior bus incident (and you know, for all those people the bus devoured).
LUKE (Red Ranger):
All right... Skyforce Megazord, online!
[ EXT. QUARRY - The MEGAZORD assumes a ready stance and then charges. As BUSSTER and the MEGAZORD approach, BUSSTER ducks the MEGAZORD's punch. They lock arms, and the MEGAZORD begins punching BUSSTER with a series of backfists with its left hand. It then rears back and punches with its right hand, but BUSSTER catches the punch in his split tire hand. He then kicks the MEGAZORD in its waist and slashes its chest with his other hand, causing a burst of sparks. ]
In the sentai, before winding up for its final punch, the Megazord repeatedly kicked Busster in the crotch. Is this why Busster then kicks the Megazord in the crotch -- I mean, "waist?"
[ The smoking MEGAZORD staggers back and braces itself, but BUSSTER then unleashes a long tendril which wraps around the MEGAZORD's neck. A smoky pulse then fires through the tendril, causing a burst of sparks and smoke. ]
You're mine! (fires pulse)
At this point in the sentai, the Megazord throws a Vane Dagger (see episode 34), stabbing Busster in the midsection. I considered this too violent and cut it accordingly (also, the dagger vanished in the next shot of Busster, so it would have been a continuity issue as well). At this point, I was not omitting the Vane Daggers from the series intentionally.
[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - The RANGERS are shaken in the cockpit, but RED RANGER continues to grip his joysticks. ]
LUKE (Red Ranger):
[ EXT. QUARRY - The MEGAZORD yanks hard on the tendril, causing the wailing BUSSTER to fly over the MEGAZORD (shown from various angles). The monster lands on his back nearby. ]
[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - RED RANGER looks slightly surprised but then pumps his fist and then presses a button on his controls. ]
LUKE (Red Ranger):
All right, not bad! Now let's finish him off!
[ As RED RANGER presses the first of four buttons on his controls, the monitor in front of him lights up with a schematic of the Megazord's Phoenix Blade. ]
LUKE (Red Ranger, off-screen):
[ RED RANGER then shifts his left joystick forward. ]
[ EXT. QUARRY - The MEGAZORD brandishes its PHOENIX BLADE. Shown in close-up, the PHOENIX BLADE gleams from the hilt with a swirl of white energy, followed by flaming energy which flows up the PHOENIX BLADE's blade. ]
[ We see a close-up of the MEGAZORD's feet as it leaps into the air. The MEGAZORD is then seen flying over the camera, the PHOENIX BLADE glowing with blue energy. Lightning crackles behind the MEGAZORD until a glowing blue vortex appears behind it. ]
The writing on the Megazord's left foot says "Jet Swan," the sentai name of Swan Four. I cut a few extreme close-ups of this text throughout the series, but most shots of the text remain out of necessity. One may assume this was a secondary naming convention for the Flyers.
[ Below, BUSSTER rises and looks up agitatedly. ]
Uhh, I don't like where this is going..!
[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - The RANGERS speak in unison before looking to their respective controls. ]
RANGERS (in unison):
[ EXT. SKY - Flying forward, still in front of its blue vortex which soon turns red, the MEGAZORD delivers a horizontal slash with its glowing blue PHOENIX BLADE. ]
[ EXT. QUARRY - The sparkling blue slash slices through BUSSTER, causing him to recoil with a groan as white beams of light streak out of his body. He falls and explodes in a fiery explosion. ]
[ The MEGAZORD's feet are shown landing nearby. The MEGAZORD lowers its sword and stands tall. ]
[ Dissolve to INT. CHRIS AND PETE'S APARTMENT - PETE enters, followed by CASEY. They both appear exhausted and collapse onto separate pieces of furniture with a sigh. As CASEY speaks, PETE flips on the TV, which is showing a news report. ]
Oh, I thought we'd never get home! Those reporters were everywhere...
One may wonder how Casey and Pete re-integrated back into the group of passengers. I shall leave that to the readers' imagination.
[ PETE nods toward the TV. ]
[ On TV is STACY KEENE, correspondent for Channel 6 (see episode 4), reporting from outside a building downtown. ]
STACY KEENE (on TV):
...calling themselves, the "Power Rangers."
Stacy was last seen reporting on the museum's ruby exhibit in episode 4. Here, I needed a reporter to break the news of the Power Rangers to Spring Valley, and Stacy fit the bill. Recycling one-shot characters was appealing to me for the sake of continuity.
[ The TV image cuts to PASSENGER1 from the earlier bus ride, a microphone held in front of him. He speaks to a reporter (off-camera). His comments begin mid-speech, having been edited for time. He, too, is downtown. ]
PASSENGER1 (on TV):
-- so the Yellow Ranger just, like, beamed into the back of the bus and took us to shelter, and the White Ranger shot these lasers at the monster and almost got squished...
Apparently the passengers assumed Yellow Ranger had beamed into the bus, as they were later shown beaming up into the Megazord. In actuality, the Zords' teleportation beams were line-of-sight only and would not have been able to send Pete into the bus.
[ CASEY reacts with a frown. ]
"White Ranger"?! I'm pink!
You're about half-and-half.
This was a nod to my choice to refer to Jetman's White Swan as Pink Ranger. Casey firmly believes she is pink (confirmed in episode 30), but Pete's ambivalence reflects that either description could be equally plausible.
[ The report continues with an excerpt from an interview with PASSENGER2. ]
PASSENGER2 (on TV, mystified):
And then they beamed up into this... giant robot...! I've never seen anything like it!
This Earth has never seen Power Rangers or giant robots. Thanks to the fact that I set Take Flight in an alternate dimension, the Rangers' debut in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers can remain equally fresh for the citizens of Angel Grove.
[ PETE looks at CASEY. ]
Boy, that Megazord beats the heck out of the flaming jet of doom.
CASEY (moderately amused):
The Cruiser? (makes a face) Yeah, I didn't like that either.
Presumably all that rattling (episode 5) was too intense for some of the Rangers. This helped to explain why the Rangers would routinely use the Megazord in the future when either mode could destroy monsters.
[ They resume listening to the TV, which has now returned to STACY KEENE. ]
STACY KEENE (on TV):
-- have launched a full investigation, though there's been no word yet from the mayor's office. But for the people rescued today, it seems the Power Rangers are here to help. Nancy...?
This "full investigation" will culminate in Detective Morales's discovery of Luke's identity (see episodes 13, 16, 17, and 18). When this episode was written, I didn't know what outcome this investigation might have, but it seemed like a logical response from the local government.
[ PETE flips off the TV. ]
Well, there's our press conference.
The Rangers have now gone public.
Yeah, not bad, I guess.
[ CASEY looks at the watch display of her AVIMORPHER. ]
CASEY (cont'd, with a groan):
Ohhh, I have to get ready for work.
[ CASEY exhaustedly rises from her sitting position and heads toward the door. ]
Thanks for coming out with me this morning.
Yeah, no problem.
[ CASEY pauses at the door. ]
Oh, and I'm pink, by the way.
[ PETE chuckles as CASEY shuts the door behind her. ]
[ Break. ]
[ INT. MUSEUM GALLERY - LUKE is in a formal uniform guiding a group of people toward the gift shop. ]
This scene takes place on Thursday, April 30, 1992, which would be Luke's second day on the job and three days since the Busster incident.
... And you can find some really nice color prints in our gift shop. Again, my name's Luke, and I hope you enjoyed your tour.
[ As the group disperses, LUKE spots LISA near the atrium, where she's been waiting for him to finish. She is smiling faintly. He approaches, happy to see her. ]
Luke apparently spoke of his museum job at some point on their day together.
You know, you look pretty good in uniform.
How have you been? Is everything okay?
Luke apparently hasn't called Lisa since their being detained. He seems not to be interested in initiating a relationship with her.
Well, the charges were dropped...
We don't know exactly why Detective Morales dropped the charges; it might have been due to a lack of evidence, or perhaps he was taken off the case to research alien and Ranger activity.
LUKE (surprised but neither outwardly positive or negative):
Really...! Did you...?
LISA (ashamed, shaking her head):
I couldn't do the confession thing yet.
Lisa is making some progress, but she still has a ways to go. I felt this type of reform was more palatable than the instant transformations frequently seen in Power Rangers.
[ LUKE lowers his eyes in response. ]
LISA (wistfully optimistic):
But I took back the necklace.
[ LUKE raises his eyebrows and meets her gaze again. ]
LISA (cont'd, proudly):
Yeah, I got a seventy dollar credit for it!
[ LUKE blinks, speechless. ]
In case it isn't clear, Lisa was joking that she had returned stolen merchandise for a store credit, suggesting she hadn't reformed at all.
LISA (cont'd, sheepishly):
Yeah, that was a joke... Sorry, bad taste. I really did give it back though. Jeez, it was humiliating. I thought I was gonna die. (takes a breath) But I did it.
Lisa has apparently been inspired by the potential Luke sees in her.
Well, I'm proud of you.
LISA (rolling her eyes self-deprecatingly):
Yeah, well... Thanks for-- You know.
LUKE (smiling softly):
LISA (bashfully, after a pause):
So... I'll see you around..?
[ LUKE nods with a continued smile. ]
[ LISA smiles in parting. ]
[ As LISA exits, LUKE turns with a contented smile and returns to the gallery. Fade to black. ]
By this point, I didn't have specific plans in mind for Lisa; rather, this ending simply seemed like a natural conclusion for the episode.