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

POWER RANGERS TAKE FLIGHT

Episode 10: "Heiress Apparent, part 2"

This two-parter was completed on August 2, 2006, and released on May 3, 2008.  The title foreshadows Sasha's survival and Magda's downfall.  As explained previously, its original title was "Heir Apparent" until Power Rangers Mystic Force aired its own two-parter of the same name.

Writer:  Joe Rovang

[ Sentai footage is primarily from Jetman #14 and 18, but all sources are indicated. ]

In Jetman #18, Black is turned into a crystal as a result of Juuza's beam in the previous episode.  Meanwhile, amnesic in human form, Radiguet heals a girl who has cared for him.  As the four Rangers battle Juuza, Radiguet regains his memory and reveals Juuza's weak spot, the crystal on her forehead.  White strikes it with her sword, returning Juuza's victims to life.  In the quarry, the Rangers are joined by Black, and they defeat Juuza with the Phoenix Cannon.  She is still alive, but Radiguet kills her and takes her pod, from which a small worm hatches.

Footage from Jetman #14 is also used prominently, as that episode featured the sentai debut of the Phoenix Cannon.

As explained previously, I placed the Juuza/Magda episodes here to serve as the debut of the Phoenix Cannon, and for Sasha to play a role in the upcoming Strife escapade.


[ Fade in to EXT. APARTMENT ROOFTOP - As we left off from the previous episode, RED RANGER stands facing TRASK, who stands in the shade of an air conditioning unit.  A single NOBODY stands calmly nearby. ]

Like the previous episode, this episode takes place on Saturday, May 16, 1992.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Tell me about this queen.

TRASK:
Her name is Queen-Empress Magda.  If you don't destroy her now, your planet will become fodder for her empire.  Its resources will be stripped, no matter how inhospitable the Earth becomes.  Make no mistake, she will kill your planet.  Whether you humans live to watch the life choked from your world depends on whether your existence has troubled or bored her before then.

Presumably, Trask is not exaggerating.  Note that in episode 17, we will learn he has lived through the fall of a planet to Magda's empire.  That aspect of his character was not yet planned at this stage.

[ RED RANGER intently eyes Trask (off-screen). ]

TRASK (cont'd):
Fortunately, we have a solution.  But for that, I'll let my dear friend Dillik fill you in.  (pauses, then encourages Red Ranger)  ... Go ahead and say it.  "Dillik, tell me about it."

Trask's "dear friend" remark may sound insincere, but at least later in the series, he actually does consider Dillik a close friend (see episode 27).

[ We see Luke's HOVERBIRD floating nearby.  (Its lens is focused on the lone NOBODY standing nearby.) ]

[ RED RANGER rebuffs TRASK. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Don't toy with me, Trask.

[ TRASK rolls his eyes and points to the Hoverbird above (off-screen). ]

TRASK (whispering patronizingly):
He can't hear me!

Here we learn Trask can't be heard by electronic means either.  This later posed a problem, in that he was able to communicate over his ship's radio during his space battle with Luke (episode 13).  To this end, I invented the biophone (mentioned in episode 26), what is presumably a machine incorporating some biological components to allow Vampirians to use them.

[ RED RANGER briefly glances up at his HOVERBIRD nearby.  Then, keeping his eyes on TRASK, he speaks: ]

LUKE (Red Ranger, somewhat loudly, not amused):
Dillik, tell me about it.


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - Eager to explain, DILLIK replies into the central console. ]

DILLIK:
Well...!  It turns out your Hawkzord is carrying something called a "Phoenix Cannon."

Whereas most seasons of Power Rangers feature a mentor or helper who introduces new weapons, Dillik must presently fulfill that role.

[ During the end of DILLIK's line above, we see schematics of the Phoenix Cannon (from Jetman #14) in the monitor below. ]

Phoenix Cannon schematics Phoenix Cannon schematics Phoenix Cannon schematics

DILLIK (cont'd):
Based on the schematics, its power output should be more than four times the peak output of your Sky Enforcers' gravity ball.  It might be enough to destroy Magda, if you can catch her with her guard down.

I was torn on the matter of comparing the Phoenix Cannon's power to the Sky Enforcers'; at times, I felt a factor of four was too high, and other times too low.  It probably would have been safer to avoid the comparison altogether, but I felt it would be fitting for Dillik to mention.


[ EXT. APARTMENT ROOFTOP - Done listening to the voice in his ear, RED RANGER looks down distantly. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger, to himself):
"Phoenix Cannon"...

It seems Luke distantly remembers hearing about the Phoenix Cannon.

[ RED RANGER looks at TRASK. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger, cont'd):
So what's in it for you?

[ TRASK chuckles.  With a wave of his hand, he causes the NOBODY to vanish with a black ripple.  Luke's HOVERBIRD then flies away. ]

Trask is done with the Hoverbird, so the last Nobody isn't required further.

TRASK:
Well... I assume you'll want to use it to destroy the queen, which saves your planet and... (shrugs) ...helps me out at the same time.

[ RED RANGER shifts his weight impatiently. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
And how would I find her?

Trask's explanation makes sufficient sense to Luke to make him agree to the alliance.

TRASK (smiling):
I'll take you to her, as my prisoner.

In the previous episode, Magda assigned Trask to capture the Red Ranger.

[ RED RANGER eyes Trask (off screen). ]


[ INT. ICY CELL - The four unmorphed HEROES remain in the same cell (see previous episode).  PETE and MAGGIE are crouching in place (the icy walls and floor would be uncomfortable to lean against), while CHRIS and CASEY stand.  CASEY tries to blow hot breath on her hands to warm them.  Their breath remains visible in the cold air. ]

[ CHRIS repeatedly presses the lower, center button on his MORPHER (which has not been shown in use prior to this point), holding the button each time he speaks: ]

CHRIS (into his Morpher):
Luke!  ... (releases, then tries again)  Luke!  ... (and again)  Can you hear me, Luke?

[ He gives up in frustration. ]

PETE:
Nice try, man.

[ CASEY makes an apologetic face to CHRIS. ]

CASEY:
Still nothing?

CHRIS (admitting defeat):
Yeah, but I'm not surprised.  It never has worked while we're un-morphed.

This was a retcon I added at this point after noticing the Rangers only ever called each other while they were morphed, even when it would be practical to do so while unmorphed.  I felt it would be reasonable for the Ranger hardware to still contain a few bugs due to the timing of Trask's attack in episode 1.

CASEY (absently):
That's weird.

PETE:
Yeah, thanks a lot, "government."

This line amuses me, but I don't detail Pete's grudge against the government further.

[ MAGGIE glances toward the DISCARDS standing guard outside, then looks to her friends with a dawning realization. ]

MAGGIE:
Wait, you guys...  All we need's a second...

[ CASEY crinkles her face wearily. ]

CASEY:
Ohhh... Do we have to get our butts kicked AGAIN?

In the previous episode, it was mentioned that the Discards reacted with hostility of some sort when the Rangers first tried morphing in their cell (off-camera).

[ CHRIS straightens with silent resolve, clasping his MORPHER with his other hand. ]

CHRIS:
I'll do it.

[ PETE stands to face CHRIS, as does MAGGIE. ]

PETE:
Whoa, man.  (consults with the others)  If we do it, we do it together.

[ CASEY swallows and nods somberly. ]

[ Outside, SASHA steps out of the darkness, her STAR HANDLE in hand. ]

SASHA:
I wouldn't.  I don't blame you for trying earlier, but the second time, the Discards start to break things.  (shrugs innocently)  I mean, I'm no expert on human anatomy, but most species tend to get a little fussy when their endoskeletons fracture.  (waves them on)  But no, go ahead, it's your decision.

Sasha has apparently abandoned her ruse of being a mystical Earthen princess.

Sasha has apparently been involved in acts of brutality on previous worlds.

[ CASEY narrows her eyes at Sasha (off-screen). ]

CASEY:
Why are we really here?

PETE (displaying his Morpher on his wrist to illustrate his point):
Yeah... If you wanted our powers, you would've just taken them by now.

[ SASHA makes a displeased face. ]

Per her mother's experience, Sasha finds Ranger technology distasteful.

SASHA:
We have no use for your weapons.  We just want to know about them.  Who built them, where the rest of them are hidden... That kind of thing.

MAGGIE:
And what happens when you find out?

[ SASHA smiles coolly. ]

SASHA:
Well, then... We won't have any need to keep you any more, will we?

But would they be freed or killed afterward?  Surely the latter.

CHRIS (neutrally):
All right, we'll tell you.

PETE (to Chris, taken aback):
... What?

CHRIS (to Sasha):
Our powers were given to us by an ancient sage.

Chris begins this round of improvisation to try to satisfy Sasha.  Each of their contributions is a tongue-in-cheek nod to previous seasons of Power Rangers.  Here, the ancient sage may refer to Zordon or Ninjor in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-96), as well as assorted mentors in subsequent seasons.

[ SASHA eyes CHRIS suspiciously.  Watching her, PETE soon chimes in. ]

PETE:
... Uh, from the future.

This vaguely refers to Power Rangers Time Force (2001).

[ CASEY steps forward as well. ]

CASEY:
Yeah, on... another planet.

This refers primarily to the planet Mirinoi in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999).

[ MAGGIE joins the rest at the front of the cell. ]

MAGGIE:
... Underwater.

This refers to the Aquabase in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue (2000), but it could also remind readers of the planet Aquitar from Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers (1996).

[ SASHA intently eyes the four (off-screen).  Several seconds pass.  She then changes her posture, apparently somewhat satisfied. ]

SASHA:
All right, then.  What does this sage call herself?

Sasha's question indicates two things: that she is perhaps somewhat naive with regard to the origin of Ranger technology, and that she automatically thinks of important figures as female.

[ The four HEROES glance at each other. ]


[ EXT. SNOWY MOUNTAINS (DAWN) - A snowy cliff face is dimly illuminated in the light of dawn.  There, TRASK and LUKE appear together from a ripple effect.  Dressed in jeans and a warm coat, LUKE coughs as if punched in the stomach almost immediately upon appearing.  He shakes his head, regaining his bearings with an apparent pain in his head, and glares at TRASK. ]

I struggled to make sure the time of day in the Verkhoyansk Range was appropriate for the corresponding time of day in California.  I wouldn't be surprised it I learned my calculations were incorrect in places, though.

LUKE:
Thanks for the warning.

TRASK:
Oh, right... the altitude.  (smirks privately)

For some reason, the sudden change in air pressure doesn't bother Trask, but it does affect Luke.

[ TRASK then turns and addresses LUKE seriously. ]

TRASK (cont'd):
All right, listen, Ranger.  Magda needs to be lured out of her lair.  (winces briefly and shields his eyes from the dim daylight)  The only way to do that is to take what's most important to her.

I wanted to demonstrate that light still had the same effect on Trask even after he was depowered by Magda in the previous episode.  It's possible the experience has left him more sensitive to the light, however.

[ LUKE cocks his head slightly, listening. ]

TRASK (cont'd):
Her daughter.

LUKE:
You're going to kidnap the queen's daughter?

TRASK:
(chuckles)  No, my boy.  You are.


[ Break. ]


[ EXT. SNOWY MOUNTAINS (DAWN) - LUKE and TRASK continue their conversation beside a snowy cliff face at sunrise. ]

LUKE (incredulously):
So I'M going to make off with the princess while you free the Rangers...

TRASK (smiling with self-satisfaction):
They'll never see it coming.

[ LUKE eyes TRASK suspiciously. ]

LUKE:
How do I know you'll live up to your end of the bargain?

TRASK:
Well, I don't expect you'll be able to destroy Magda alone.  It's in my interests for your friends to escape.

[ LUKE ponders further for a while.  He then speaks: ]

LUKE:
All right.  Let's do it.

Once again, Trask's explanation makes sufficient sense to Luke.  Further, he appears to be telling the truth.


[ INT. DARK CHAMBER - In a pitch-black area, a hole opens in the wall, growing into a cavernous opening.  From the snowy mountains outside the opening, LUKE and TRASK enter, mostly in silhouette.  TRASK is now holding his sword.  The chamber's floor is covered with mist, similar to the queen's chamber. ]

[ As we see from the side, LUKE is led in front of TRASK like a captive, his wrists tied behind his back with a long, black leather strip (actually Trask's belt). ]


[ INT. ICY CELL - SASHA stands outside the cell with her arms crossed. ]

SASHA:
So, where are the rest of your weapons kept?

CHRIS:
Sorry, but that's all you get until you give US some answers.  Who are you really, if you're not human?  And why are you so interested in Power Rangers?

The Rangers have concluded from her previous remarks about human anatomy (above) that she isn't human herself.

SASHA (scowling):
You're in NO position to...!

[ Interrupting herself, SASHA turns, sensing something imperceptible. ]

SASHA (cont'd, grumbling to herself):
What is it this time?

She was similarly interrupted in the previous episode.

[ SASHA glances back at the HEROES with a scowl. ]

SASHA (cont'd):
We're not through here.

[ She leaves. ]


[ INT. QUEEN'S CHAMBER - SASHA comes running into the throne room, where MAGDA sits calmly with her staff.  SASHA watches warily as TRASK walks the captive LUKE into the room. ]

TRASK:
My queen, the Red Ranger.

[ SASHA nearly takes a step forward anxiously, but MAGDA motions for her to calm herself.  She reluctantly stands down and backs away from the throne to a position along the side of the red carpet. ]

[ Led forward, LUKE eyes MAGDA sharply. ]

[ As MAGDA watches him coolly, her voice echoes, though her mouth doesn't move. ]

Magda is able to communicate telepathically.

MAGDA (voice-over):
So, you think you can stop me, do you?

This is an homage to a line spoken by Rita Repulsa in the first episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

[ LUKE glances back at TRASK, then at SASHA, before returning his gaze to Magda (off-screen).  His reply is detached from his body as well.  As we alternate between replies, LUKE and MAGDA's wordless expressions convey the emotion of their thoughts, LUKE determined and MAGDA mildly amused. ]

LUKE (voice-over):
I will protect the Earth.

MAGDA (voice-over):
(chuckles)  You're playing with forces you don't understand.

LUKE (voice-over):
I understand that I've been given these powers for a reason, and that's to stop people like you.

Luke appears to attach cosmic significance to his being given Ranger powers.

[ At this point, LUKE twists his tethered arms as far around his left side as he can and calls into his MORPHER: ]

LUKE:
Sky Hawk!

[ In a red gleam, LUKE morphs into the RED RANGER.  He immediately tears his hands free from the makeshift shackles and lunges in SASHA's direction. ]

[ SASHA gasps. ]

[ With a swift slash from his sword, TRASK sends the lunging RED RANGER crumpling to the misty floor with a flash of sparks.  RED RANGER lands at SASHA's feet, causing her to step back.  TRASK is immediately upon RED, gripping the back of his neck and hoisting him harshly to his feet as though displaying some sort of trophy. ]

TRASK (to Magda):
They are a violent species, your majesty.  He wished to take your daughter from you.

It appears Trask has broken his alliance with Luke, but he will actually live up to his end of the bargain, albeit not in the way Luke was expecting.  Perhaps Trask believed this sequence of events (including the appearance of turning on Luke) was the only way to get the Rangers and Magda out of her lair.  He also probably wanted to demonstrate his supposed allegiance to Magda in the process.

[ RED RANGER writhes within TRASK's grip. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
You set me up...!

[ MAGDA coolly glances to one side. ]


[ INT. ICY CELL - The four unmorphed HEROES perk up inside the cell. ]

CASEY:
I heard Luke...!

MAGGIE:
Are you sure?

Presumably sound carries well in Magda's lair.

[ Just then, the DISCARDS outside the cell make a hasty exit into the darkness beyond, leaving the cell unguarded. ]

PETE:
Whoa, where are they going?

CHRIS:
They're probably after Luke!  Come on, now's our chance!

[ The HEROES nod to each other and ready their MORPHERS. ]

The Discards' power drain (previous episode) has not left them unable to morph.


[ INT. QUEEN'S CHAMBER - From the darkness (the direction in which Magda previously glanced) emerge numerous DISCARDS. ]

MAGDA:
Drain his powers and leave him to rot with the others!

Magda presumably intends to keep the Rangers alive until they have been interrogated fully.

[ The DISCARDS advance on TRASK and the struggling RED RANGER. ]

[ TRASK pulls RED closer to him and whispers: ]

TRASK (whispering):
Run.

Here we see Trask has actually not betrayed Luke.

[ TRASK's fingers loosen slightly, allowing RED RANGER to break free.  He dashes in the direction opposite the queen's throne. ]

MAGDA:
After him!

[ The DISCARDS scramble after RED RANGER as he vanishes into the shadows. ]

[ TRASK uses the momentary distraction to slip unnoticed into the darkness behind him. ]


[ EXT. SNOWY MOUNTAINS (DAWN) - Emerging from a cavernous opening in the snowy mountain cliff, RED RANGER stops in his tracks and whirls around, ready for a fight.  His fists are clenched. ]

[ We hear footsteps running ever closer from the darkness within the gaping cavern.  As it grows closer, RED RANGER tenses further, ready for battle. ]

[ The running footsteps grow even closer.  We see a close-up of RED RANGER's helmet as he watches alertly. ]

[ The footsteps stop.  Still nothing is seen in the cavernous darkness.  RED RANGER continues to watch warily. ]

[ Suddenly, hordes of assorted DISCARDS lunge out from the darkness. ]

[ Just before they reach RED RANGER, the DISCARDS all vanish in greenish-silver vertical streaks.  RED RANGER staggers forward a step, bewildered.  As he looks around, RED then vanishes with the same effect. ]

It isn't revealed why Luke and the Discards have to be outside before Dillik can teleport them.  We also don't know why he chose the quarry, though it may have been simply to give Luke a tactical advantage on his home territory.


[ INT. ICY CELL - In close-up, we see a yellow laser blast strike one of the crystalline cell bars and bounce squarely off of it. ]

[ The beam ricochets and strikes BLACK RANGER (the shooter, wielding his SKY BLASTER) in the shoulder with a flash of sparks, causing him to grip his shoulder in a bit of pain.  Initially startled, he looks YELLOW RANGER, whom we see beside him as we zoom out slightly.  BLACK and YELLOW look at each other, then over to PINK and BLUE, whom we zoom out to see on the other side of the cell with their arms crossed. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Yeah...

PETE (Yellow Ranger, simultaneously):
Okay...

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Ceiling shaft it is.

Apparently, the team debated escaping through the bars or the ceiling shaft off-screen.  They surely tried the bars first after hearing Luke's voice in that direction.


[ INT. STAIRWELL NEXUS - Emerging from a dark corridor, TRASK stops as he enters a large chamber, sword in hand.  As he looks around, we see numerous staircases leading in all directions, in all orientations (an obvious nod to M.C. Escher's Relativity. ]

This room was intended to build on the upside-down staircase implied through Sasha's sentai entrance in the previous episode.  It also demonstrated the strange nature of Magda's lair.

[ TRASK grunts, inconvenienced. ]

TRASK:
Silly witch.

[ TRASK gingerly leaps up, flipping such that his feet land in the proper orientation on a staircase above.  He then vanishes into the dark corridor beyond. ]


[ EXT. QUARRY - RED RANGER materializes in the quarry with the same greenish-silver streaks.  As he adjusts to the new terrain under his feet, he notices the crowd of DISCARDS some distance ahead of him.  Their backs initially to him, they twirl around to confront RED RANGER. ]

[ Staring down the creatures (off-screen), RED RANGER places his hand warily on his SKY BLASTER in its holster. ]

[ Without warning, several of the DISCARDS extend their hands and project yellow bolts of electricity which lock onto RED RANGER and appear to be draining red energy from him. ]

More of the Discards' ability to drain energy, as they did to the other Rangers off-screen in the previous episode.

[ Seemingly unable to break free from the electrical grip, RED RANGER groans. ]


[ EXT. ROCKY TERRAIN (Jetman #25, brightness enhanced from sentai) - Racing across a rocky terrain is an unmanned red buggy, the PHOENIX ROVER. ]

Phoenix Rover Phoenix Rover

The name of the Phoenix Rover imitates the Galactic Rover (also a single-passenger buggy vehicle) from Power Rangers in Space (1998).  If this series were actually produced, a TV audience wouldn't hear the Rover's name spoken until episode 33.

In contrast to Jetman, the Red Ranger will never be seen driving the Phoenix Rover in Take Flight.  This was due to the absence of usable footage, as most sentai appearances of a driver in the Rover were the unmorphed Red Ranger; further, he was frequently accompanied by the team's other vehicles, a motorcycle for Black and a Jeep for the others.  But the usefulness of a buggy vehicle is dubious anyway, given that the Rangers can glide over long distances and pilot jet Zords when needed.

The Phoenix Cannon's uses are as follows:

Ep. #Power SourceResult
10initial chargeDiscards destroyed
initial chargeMagda stunned
11five RangersRamenator destroyed
12Red, Yellow, BlueSasha knocked unconscious, Strife's arm severed
five RangersSnapshot destroyed
15five RangersPapyria destroyed
16five RangersReverbit destroyed
19Red, Yellow, Pink, BlueArcanum destroyed
22Black, Yellow, Pink, BlueFretter destroyed
RedShockra mostly unharmed
25five RangersSatellizard destroyed
26five RangersHammersham destroyed
27Red, Yellow, Pink, BlueLuxadillo destroyed
28five RangersTomato King mostly unharmed (Pete's dream)
30five RangersGog defeated but not destroyed
Red, Yellow, Blueblast reflected by Zin and Drek
35residual?blast overpowered by Trask, cannon destroyed


[ EXT. QUARRY (switch to Jetman #14) - The PHOENIX ROVER races off a cliff above. ]

Phoenix Rover races off cliff

[ US footage - The DISCARDS look up to their right at the object above (off-screen).  In their distraction, the flow of energy stops. ]

[ US footage - Freed from the electrical grip, RED RANGER catches his breath and looks up to his left. ]

[ In front of a black background, the PHOENIX ROVER transforms into a hefty cannon, the PHOENIX CANNON. ]

Phoenix Cannon transforms Phoenix Cannon transforms Phoenix Cannon transforms Phoenix Cannon transforms Phoenix Cannon transforms

[ From above, the PHOENIX CANNON floats down to the waiting RED RANGER below.  It stops hovering a few feet from the ground, positioned in front of RED RANGER's body as he grips its rear handles. ]

Red Ranger receives Phoenix Cannon Red Ranger receives Phoenix Cannon Red Ranger receives Phoenix Cannon

This footage comes from the Phoenix Cannon's debut in Jetman #14, which actually pitted the Rangers against Snapshot (see Take Flight episode 12).

[ RED RANGER speaks to the Discards (off-camera) as the camera slowly dollies around to the front side of the PHOENIX CANNON. ]

Red Ranger manning Phoenix Cannon Red Ranger manning Phoenix Cannon

LUKE (Red Ranger):
You want some energy...?

[ As shown in close-up, RED RANGER grips the cannon's motorcycle-like handles. ]

Red Ranger grips cannon's handles

LUKE (Red Ranger, privately):
Well, come and get it.

[ US footage - The DISCARDS begin to advance. ]


[ INT. ICY CELL - Assembled in the center of the cell, the four morphed RANGERS are shooting constant yellow laser beams from their SKY BLASTERS into the shaft above. ]

[ At the top of the shaft, we see the four beams slowly melting through a strong, solid surface above, with uncertain progress. ]

The Sky Enforcers would have been more effective, but at this point I was still aiming not to require the Enforcers in US footage.  That ambition would later go out the window in subsequent episodes.

[ Outside the cell, TRASK approaches, unseen by the RANGERS.  He suddenly stops, hearing something behind him, at which point he sinks into the darkness against the wall, vanishing from sight. ]

[ SASHA runs up and exclaims in consternation: ]

SASHA:
Rangers!

[ The RANGERS look over at Sasha (off-screen) as they continue blasting. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Hurry!

[ Gritting her teeth angrily, SASHA brandishes her STAR HANDLE.  With a flick of her arm, the device whips out a gleaming white tendril of light, a laser whip, which slices the crystalline bars apart.  The severed pieces fall away to the floor as her laser whip retracts into the STAR HANDLE. ]

This is the first appearance of the Star Handle's whip mode, which also appeared in Jetman.

[ The RANGERS watch nervously as SASHA sets foot into the cell. ]

[ Meanwhile, in the corridor outside, TRASK partially emerges from the shadows long enough to gesture his hand toward the Rangers and Sasha (off-screen). ]

[ SASHA and the RANGERS vanish in Trask's customary ripple effects. ]

[ TRASK then sinks back into the shadows, seemingly pleased. ]

Sasha won't realize that it was Trask who teleported them.


[ EXT. QUARRY (US footage) - The DISCARDS continue to advance. ]

[ Switch to sentai (Jetman #14) - Still manning the PHOENIX CANNON, RED RANGER looks down at the monitor in front of him (footage reversed from sentai). ]

Red Ranger looks down Red Ranger looks down

Red Ranger was actually looking up from his monitor in the sentai.

[ In the crosshairs of the cannon's monitor, we see the advancing DISCARDS (screen replaced with US footage, on-screen visuals mimicking sentai display).  The text "Target Lock" flashes beside the crosshairs. ]

Phoenix Cannon monitor (sample screen, US substitute not shown)

The sample image shown here is Snapshot standing in front of Sasha (her book from episode 12 appears over his right shoulder).

[ RED RANGER's thumb hovers over the trigger button for a moment and then presses it decisively. ]

Red Ranger presses trigger Red Ranger presses trigger

[ The PHOENIX CANNON's barrel shoots a large, fiery red blast. ]

recoil recoil

[ Jarred by an immense recoil, RED RANGER flies back from the cannon and careens wildly across the quarry. ]

recoil recoil recoil

Apparently the Phoenix Cannon is a little too potent to be fired by a single Ranger (this is revisited in episode 22).

[ US footage - A spiraling fireball (compare with sentai), meanwhile, strikes the advancing crowd of DISCARDS.  The entire group is enveloped in a massive, fiery explosion. ]

[ RED RANGER slams into a rock wall and rolls down onto the gravel below. ]

recoil recoil

[ US footage - As the flames subside, we see that the Discards are gone. ]

Good thing for Luke the Discards weren't able to absorb that much energy.


[ INT. QUEEN'S CHAMBER - On her throne, MAGDA grimaces angrily. ]

MAGDA:
My Discards!

[ From the darkness, TRASK rushes in urgently. ]

TRASK:
Your majesty, the Rangers have taken your daughter!

[ Scowling furiously, MAGDA grasps her floating staff from the air beside her and rises from her throne. ]

MAGDA:
It's time I dealt with these Rangers personally.

[ TRASK lowers his head reverently as MAGDA walks past him. ]

TRASK:
Yes, your majesty.  (smiles privately)

Trask's ploy is successful.


[ EXT. QUARRY - In the quarry, the four RANGERS look around in confusion, still wielding their SKY BLASTERS. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
The quarry!  How'd we get here?

A question that was sometimes difficult to answer when adapting the sentai footage.

SASHA (off-screen):
Rangers!

[ From afar, SASHA cracks her laser whip from her STAR HANDLE, striking the four RANGERS and causing them to fall back with a flash of sparks. ]

[ Rolling back, the RANGERS rise and regroup. ]

[ SASHA dashes forward.  As she runs, her STAR HANDLE gleams with a white light which solidifies into a long, thin rod similar to a fencing sword (compare with sentai).  She strikes at the RANGERS, assailing them with sparking blows. ]

This is Sasha's first battle with the Rangers, and the first appearance of the Star Handle's sword mode, which also appearaed in the sentai.

[ BLUE RANGER falls and rolls across the ground.  Also knocked back during the fight, BLACK RANGER regains his footing and reaches for his TALON SWORD. ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #29) - Shown in close-up, BLACK RANGER draws his TALON SWORD from its sheath. ]

Black Ranger draws Talon Sword Black Ranger draws Talon Sword

Early in the series, I made an effort to use sentai close-ups of the Rangers drawing their weapons from their holsters.  Eventually this trailed off, in part because the close-ups were tedious to research, but also because they seemed to interrupt the pacing of the battles.

[ BLACK sword-fights SASHA for a while before she twirls around, her STAR HANDLE extending again into its laser whip form, which slices across BLACK RANGER's ankles with a flash of sparks, causing him to crumple to the ground in pain. ]

[ YELLOW rushes to help BLACK RANGER to his feet. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Chris!

[ SASHA casually side-kicks PINK RANGER in the gut, knocking her back.  She then advances slowly on BLACK and YELLOW, her STAR HANDLE contracted back into its compact form. ]

[ As SASHA advances, sparks erupt in front of her, causing her to cover her face and recoil slightly.  She looks up just in time to see RED RANGER flying in to deliver a jump-kick into her chest.  Kicked, she stumbles back onto the gravel. ]

[ The RANGERS gather around RED RANGER. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Luke!

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Hey, are we glad to see you!

[ RED RANGER nods, his attention on Sasha (off-screen). ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
I'm glad you guys are okay.

[ Nearby, SASHA picks herself up from the gravel. ]

SASHA (chuckling bitterly):
You're going to pay for that.

[ SASHA extends her STAR HANDLE toward the Rangers (off-screen), but a shimmer of white light appears in front of her, causing her to pause. ]

[ From the shimmer appears QUEEN-EMPRESS MAGDA.  Her staff is by her side, and her eyes are initially closed.  She opens them and eyes the Rangers (off-screen) in a blaze of fury. ]

[ The four RANGERS startle behind RED. ]

This is the first time any of the Rangers other than Luke have seen Magda.

[ SASHA gapes. ]

SASHA:
Mother...!

[ YELLOW RANGER is alarmed. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
"Mother"?!

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Queen-Empress Magda.

[ Suddenly, MAGDA clutches her staff with both hands, preparing to use it. ]

[ RED RANGER assumes a defensive stance in front of the others. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Get ready, guys!

[ MAGDA cuts a swath through the air with her staff. ]

MAGDA:
Sleep.

[ Each of the RANGERS (shown in profile, one by one) is quickly struck by an invisible force: as his or her RANGER form jerks backward slightly, his or her civilian form falls backward, translucent and separate from the RANGER form. ]

I added the dream sequences primarily to extend what was an otherwise brief sentai battle, but I also found it to be an appropriate challenge in a battle against a powerful telepathic foe.


[ INT. VOID - CASEY, unmorphed, falls to the mist-covered ground with a grunt.  There is absolutely nothing but blackness around her.  As she recovers, she looks around, mystified, and slowly rises to her feet.  Her AVIMORPHER is absent from her wrist, but she doesn't seem to notice. ]

[ As she speaks, CASEY's voice is hushed by an eerie reverse echo effect (the echo just barely preceding her voice) which sounds as though she is trapped in a ghostly, claustrophobic limbo. ]

CASEY:
Guys...?

[ In the distance, we see a figure emerging from nothingness. ]

[ Noticing the figure, CASEY squints slightly. ]

[ The figure becomes clearer, revealing it to be CHRIS, his MORPHER absent as well.  He is smiling softly.  As he continues to walk closer, the darkness behind him melts away, revealing: ]


[ EXT. PARK - Now in the park, CHRIS approaches CASEY with open arms.  Flowers are in bloom all around them.  As CHRIS advances, CASEY blurts out a word... ]

CASEY:
Chris!

[ ...before his arms embrace her.  Caught by surprise, CASEY initially startles. ]

CHRIS:
I'm so glad you're okay.

Casey has had an unrequited crush on Chris since episode 5.  Here, her mind has wishfully created this fantasy while under Magda's dream spell.

[ Relaxing in his arms, CASEY leans her head against his shoulder and sighs gently, hugging him in return.  They remain in their embrace for a moment before CASEY finally pulls back to look at him. ]

CASEY (perplexed):
What happened?

CHRIS:
We won.

CASEY (astonished):
What?

CHRIS:
We defeated the queen, and Trask too.

[ CASEY can't seem to make sense of the news. ]

CASEY (shaking her head):
No... What are you talking about?

CHRIS:
You got knocked out during the fight.  (tenderly, stroking her cheek)  I missed you.

[ Growing flush, CASEY bashfully lowers her head and closes her eyes, drawing in a slow, deep breath. ]

The dreams also seem to involve ideas which are tempting for the Rangers to believe, because of the degree to which they want each to come true.


[ INT. JACOBS RESIDENCE, LIVING ROOM (NIGHT) - The camera pans through a medium-sized living room, not messy but well lived-in, several toys appropriate for an eight-year-old boy in plain sight.  As the camera continues to pan, we see CHRIS, alone, wandering through the room.  His MORPHER, too, is absent.  Outside the windows, it appears to be nighttime. ]

The script reveals Chris's last name, but a real-life TV audience wouldn't learn it until episode 13.

[ CHRIS stops in the center of the room, slowly looking around without telegraphing his emotions. ]

[ The distant chatter of two adults, a man and woman, can be heard from another room.  CHRIS perks up and looks toward a nearby open doorway (the room beyond unseen from this angle).  He advances slowly. ]


[ INT. JACOBS RESIDENCE, KITCHEN (NIGHT) - From inside a warm, inviting kitchen, we see CHRIS approach the doorway from the living room.  The man and woman's friendly banter continues. ]

[ Stopping their conversation, the smiling couple turns to face CHRIS from across the kitchen's center island.  An attractive couple in their early thirties, this is MR. and MRS. JACOBS.  MR. JACOBS is a tall man with black hair.  MRS. JACOBS is a brunette with a soft, natural beauty. ]

MRS. JACOBS (pleasantly):
Oh, hi, sweetie!

[ CHRIS seems unable to swallow at the sight in front of him, and he looks down and blinks hard in apparent anguish.  Struggling to contain himself, he moistens his lips and looks at the couple again, barely able to speak. ]

CHRIS:
Mom...  Dad...

Chris's however, is too good for him to believe.  His parents were killed in a car accident, as mentioned later in episode 21.


[ INT. FRANCO'S KITCHEN - In the kitchen of Franco's Italian Restaurant (see episode 8), we pan over to see PETE standing in his chef's uniform, his toque on his head.  He is puzzled to find a chef's knife in his hand and notices that he appears to be in the act of chopping mushrooms.  His MORPHER is not on his wrist.  As he remains perplexed, a gruff voice barks at him: ]

MR. FRANCO (off-screen):
Pete!

[ PETE startles and looks across the kitchen.  There stands MR. FRANCO, a muscular Italian man in his late fifties with silvery hair.  He is wearing a white chef's uniform with a toque taller than Pete's. ]

This is Mr. Franco's first appearance; his only other appearance in the series will be in episode 36.

PETE (somewhat timidly):
Um.. yes, Mr. Franco...?

[ MR. FRANCO advances. ]

MR. FRANCO:
Pete, I've seen a lot of screwball cooks in my day...

[ PETE's shoulders slump slightly, his self-esteem apparently draining away. ]

[ MR. FRANCO stops beside PETE. ]

MR. FRANCO:
But you...  (pauses, then smiles fondly and pats Pete on the back)  ... Well, gosh, son... I'm just really proud of you.

Pete is eager to receive praise from Mr. Franco, as hinted in episode 1.

[ PETE's eyes gleam with delight.  Just then, someone can be heard clapping nearby.  We see it to be SAM (see episode 8).  PATRICK (also see episode 8) then enters and joins in the clapping.  Elsewhere in the kitchen, applauding as well, is JESSIE, a young woman with dark hair, no more than nineteen years old, wearing a white dress shirt and black pants (a server's uniform). ]

Sam and Patrick appeared in episode 8.  Jessie was a character introduced here on the chance a future episode might use her in further detail; that didn't come to pass, however.  She was intended to be a no-nonsense type of person who didn't hesitate to tell Pete the truth on various matters.

[ PETE smiles happily at his applauding co-workers.  He looks out into the dining area, where numerous patrons, including STEVE and LENORE PATTERSON (see episode 8), are giving him a standing ovation. ]

[ PETE grins merrily at the crowd as even some cheers and whistles are heard.  He then enthusiastically takes MR. FRANCO's hand and shakes it vigorously. ]

PETE (bursting with delight):
Thanks, Mr. Franco!

Pete's dream is over-the-top, but I found it fun nonetheless.

[ MR. FRANCO beams back at him. ]

[ PETE turns and mugs for the crowd, which has now erupted in a full chorus of cheers.  He teasingly waves them off with an "oh, stop" gesture and bashfully smiles as the applause continues. ]


[ INT. ADMINISTRATIVE HALLWAY - In a hallway of administrative offices, we see a wooden door bearing the name tag, "M. Lu, Ph.D."  The door opens, and twelve-year-old GIRL emerges, escorted by MAGGIE (her face not yet shown), who wears a professional-looking blue suit (with no MORPHER). ]

GIRL:
Thanks, Doctor Lu.

Here, we learn Maggie's last name, and her intended career is revealed: she is in school to be a child therapist.

[ MAGGIE smiles as the GIRL departs. ]

MAGGIE:
You're welcome, sweetheart.

[ MAGGIE savors the moment before turning back to her office. ]


[ INT. COUNSELOR'S OFFICE - From inside the office, we see MAGGIE re-enter the office and startle. ]

[ Inside stands SEAN, a handsome young man of college age.  He is holding a small stuffed tiger, his face repentant. ]

This is Sean's first appearance, though he was mentioned in episode 4.  His gift of a stuffed tiger is a nod to the teddy bear seen in Maggie's bedroom in episode 4 (later to become Bobo in episode 14).

Maggie apparently retains some feelings for Sean, for him to appear in her dream.  It seems her wish for romance may equal or even exceed her desire for success in her career, though she probably wouldn't admit this consciously.

MAGGIE (off-screen):
Sean...!

[ SEAN speaks gently. ]

SEAN:
I'm sorry, Mags.

I never intended to specify Sean's transgression which ended their relationship, but it could easily be interpreted as infidelity.

[ MAGGIE stands transfixed at the doorway. ]


[ EXT. CITY STREET (NIGHT) - Seen from some distance behind, LUKE and an undisclosed brunette (possibly confused for LISA, though she is technically taller) walk arm-in-arm down the sidewalk at night.  They are both wearing slightly dressy clothing, as though on a date; LUKE lacks his MORPHER.  The woman laughs after something LUKE says (not heard clearly). ]

WOMAN (distantly, amused):
I should've known...

Luke and the woman (Dr. Bering) are discussing which famous person they would most like to meet in Heaven; Luke has apparently picked someone obvious.  This conversation is revisited in episode 11, such that it appears this exchange in Luke's dream is a revisit of an actual conversation they had aboard the space station.

[ We see the couple closer, from the side, though the woman's identity still isn't shown. ]

LUKE (chuckling):
All right, then... Who would you pick?

[ As the camera tracks in front of the walking couple, we pan over to LUKE's companion as she answers. ]

DR. BERING:
Probably... Richard Feynman.  (smiling)  He was a character.

Richard Feynman was a famous scientist who died in 1988; by many accounts, he was indeed a character.  Luke later adopted "Rich Feynman" as his alias at the aerospace museum while reliving a year back in time (episode 36), no doubt inspired by this conversation.

[ LUKE replies while in the process of turning his head to look at her. ]

LUKE:
Who?

[ LUKE stops dead in his tracks, astonished by the sight of DR. BERING. ]

LUKE (cont'd):
... Dr. Bering!  Y-- You're alive!

Luke had remembered a bit about Dr. Bering (though apparently not her name) while under hypnosis with Maggie (episode 2); as we see below, he assumed the space station had been destroyed with her aboard.

[ DR. BERING stops casually and turns to face him.  She smirks slightly. ]

DR. BERING:
Luke...  When we're on a date, I think it's okay for you to call me Vanessa.

Luke must have romantic feelings for Dr. Bering, to have dreamt about dating her.  This is a bodes ill for Lisa's chances for a relationship with Luke (and yet they do date later in the series).

LUKE:
But... how...?  There were explosions...  I thought the station was destroyed...

This dream will awaken in Luke a renewed concern for the space station and its crew (see next episode).  Any concern he's had to date has been off-camera.


[ EXT. SPACE - We see a glimpse of HAWK ONE flying out from the space station as a fireball billows out after it (from episode 1). ]


[ EXT. CITY STREET (NIGHT) - DR. BERING calmly shakes her head. ]

DR. BERING (gently):
No, Luke.

LUKE (stunned, muttering to himself):
So that ship Mrs. Patterson described WAS the space station...

Presumably it's mere chance that Luke's dream-inspired concerns are actually justified; this surely isn't Dr. Bering's spirit.

[ DR. BERING places a hand on his arm. ]

DR. BERING:
Luke, it's okay.

[ LUKE looks at her, speechless. ]


[ INT. JACOBS RESIDENCE, KITCHEN (NIGHT) - CHRIS remains in the doorway of the family kitchen.  He shakes his head in disbelief. ]

CHRIS:
This is impossible.  The accident...

[ MR. JACOBS steps forward. ]

MR. JACOBS:
Son, I know it's confusing, but we're here now.  We can all be together again.

[ His face crinkled in pain, CHRIS turns and hurries out of the kitchen. ]

CHRIS:
No!

[ Left alone in the kitchen, MR. and MRS. JACOBS look at each other with a sense of patient empathy. ]


[ INT. JACOBS RESIDENCE, LIVING ROOM (NIGHT) - CHRIS quickly reaches for the front door and pulls it open.  He stops abruptly as he stands in front of a gaping black void outside the door. ]

MRS. JACOBS (off-screen):
Sweetie, you've got to calm down.

[ Standing in the open doorway, CHRIS twirls around and locks his gaze onto his parents on the other end of the room. ]

CHRIS (firmly):
You're not my parents.  None of this is real.

Of all of the Rangers, Chris is least willing to accept the reality of his deepest desire coming true.

MR. JACOBS:
Chris, we can explain...

[ As seen in close-up, CHRIS clasps his hand around his noticeably bare wrist.  We tilt up to see determination on CHRIS's face. ]

CHRIS (to himself):
Magda.


[ Dissolve to EXT. QUARRY (DAY) - Matching the previous close-up on Chris, we dissolve to a close-up profile of BLACK RANGER standing stiffly in the quarry; other RANGERS may be seen in the background according to their previous line-up before they were struck with the queen's spell.  Still in close-up, BLACK RANGER's head twitches almost imperceptibly. ]

Chris is secretly awakening from his dream spell.

[ Nearby, SASHA approaches MAGDA while examining the Rangers (off-screen) from afar. ]

SASHA:
What did you do to them, Mother?

MAGDA:
The same thing I did to the Vanguards of Illam.

The Vanguards are named in dialogue for the first time.  I liked this name because of its double meaning as both the leading units of an army and innovators in a given field.

[ MAGDA advances, leading with her staff.  The camera pans to follow MAGDA as she walks by, leaving a bewildered SASHA behind. ]

MAGDA (cont'd):
They are lost in dreams.  They won't feel themselves ceasing to exist.

Here we learn that the Vanguards were destroyed by Magda after being cast into a dream state.  I found this parity to be appropriate in terms of continuity, and it also lent gravity to the Rangers' current predicament.

[ As MAGDA walks out of frame, she crackles with greenish-blue electricity which envelops her. ]

[ Nearby, SASHA nearly averts her eyes as the sound of electrical crackling is replaced with a monstrous roar.  The transformation completed (off-screen), SASHA grows suspicious. ]

It was a challenge to transition between Magda's US and sentai forms.

SASHA (to herself):
Wait a minute...  There were five of them...

[ Switch to sentai (Jetman #18) - MONSTER-MAGDA roars once more, flailing her arms before advancing.  Just then, spark explosions erupt around her from an unknown source, causing her to stagger back.  Her voice remains monstrous to match her monster body. ]

Magda blasted Magda blasted Magda blasted

The sparks erupting around Magda were actually fired by Gray (Strife) as the villains have arrived to lend support to Juuza's downfall.  Black then arrived in Condor Two and dove out to join the others, having been revived by White Ranger's earlier sword strike to Juuza's forehead crystal.  Careful examination of the sentai will reveal a gash in Juuza's forehead.

I didn't find Magda's sentai monster form to be particularly impressive.  In retrospect, I probably would have benefitted from scrapping this footage entirely.

MAGDA:
Who dares?!

[ His underarm wings extended, BLACK RANGER flies down. ]

Black Ranger flies down

In the sentai, Black Ranger has arrived after being revived by White's strike to Juuza's forehead.

[ We quickly zoom down on MAGDA from above. ]

Magda from above Magda from above

MAGDA:
You!

[ Shown in close-up, BLACK RANGER draws his TALON SWORD. ]

Black Ranger draws Talon Sword Black Ranger draws Talon Sword

I cut a sequence here wherein Black Ranger impales Juuza through the midsection with his sword.  He then leaps for his scissor-kick below.  I retained the sword-drawing shot above because the sword had to be in his hand for the scissor-kick.

[ BLACK RANGER leaps down with a flying scissor-kick (shown three times), causing MAGDA to fall back. ]

Black Ranger kicks Magda Black Ranger kicks Magda Black Ranger kicks Magda

[ MAGDA rolls back and rises with a growl. ]

Magda rolls back Magda rises

[ BLACK's feet land on the quarry ground.  He quickly slashes twice toward the camera with his TALON SWORD, the blade gleaming with purple trails of light (US addition). ]

Black Ranger lands Black Ranger lands Black Ranger's X strike Black Ranger's X strike

This is the first appearance of Chris's X-strike attack.  He and Casey will be the only Rangers shown performing it.

The sentai version of this attack seemed to be lacking something; therefore, I called for purple US slash effects to be added, and this became the Rangers' gleaming sword attack.

[ Slashed with a glowing purple X strike (US addition), MAGDA writhes. ]

Black Ranger's X strike Black Ranger's X strike

[ US footage - SASHA exclaims: ]

SASHA:
Mother!!

[ BLACK RANGER turns his back in slow motion as MAGDA erupts with spark explosions. ]

Black Ranger's X strike Black Ranger's X strike Black Ranger's X strike

[ In close-up, BLACK RANGER sheathes and compacts his TALON SWORD. ]

Black Ranger's X strike

[ Switch to US footage - The remaining four RANGERS, previously rigid and lifeless, snap out of their haze, shaking and clutching their heads dizzily as BLACK RANGER comes to their aid. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger, groggily):
What happened...?

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Some kind of hallucinations.

There was no sleep spell in the sentai.

[ BLACK turns to PINK RANGER nearby, placing a friendly hand on her shoulder. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger, cont'd):
Casey, you okay?

[ PINK RANGER startles and shrinks away, bashfully rubbing the back of her head. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Wha?!  Oh, uh... yeah...

Casey's transition from her dream activities to reality is a jarring one.

CHRIS (Black Ranger, to the group):
Come on, we've gotta hit Magda hard before she recovers!

LUKE (Red Ranger):
I've got just the trick.

[ RED RANGER extends his hand to something across the quarry. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger, cont'd):
Phoenix Cannon!

Unlike in the sentai, the Phoenix Cannon was last used elsewhere in the quarry, against the US-original Discards.  Therefore it made sense for the cannon not to be called in the traditional way on this occasion.

[ SASHA gasps as she watches something arcing over the quarry (off-screen). ]

I found it appropriate for the Phoenix Cannon to arc over the quarry since its recent use against the Discards nearby, but I had no corresponding footage, so Sasha's eye movement must imply it instead.

[ Switch to sentai (Jetman #18) - In a black void, the PHOENIX CANNON descends to the five waiting RANGERS, who brace it at waist level and look forward.  We then see two additional angles of the RANGERS holding the cannon, with RED manning the rear and the others along the sides. ]

Rangers receive Phoenix Cannon Rangers receive Phoenix Cannon Rangers holding Phoenix Cannon Rangers holding Phoenix Cannon

Every time the five Rangers used the Phoenix Cannon in Jetman, they were shown charging it with their respective energies (see episode 11).  Here, I cut this shot to give it new meaning in episode 11 when the Rangers are revealed to be able to charge the cannon themselves.  Dillik's surprise over this ability explains why he and Trask were willing to give the Rangers a powerful new weapon: they believed it only held enough charge for a few shots.

[ RED RANGER speaks as he looks down to the monitor below. ]

Red Ranger looks down Red Ranger looks down

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Target... lock!

[ In the PHOENIX CANNON's targeting system, we zoom in on the writhing MONSTER-MAGDA as the phrase "Target Lock" flashes on-screen. ]

Magda targeted

[ In close-up, RED RANGER's thumb presses the trigger button. ]

Red Ranger presses button

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Now!

[ The four front-most RANGERS each extend a fist just as an explosive burst fires from the PHOENIX CANNON. ]

Phoenix Cannon fires Phoenix Cannon fires

RANGERS (in unison):
Fire!

[ Shown in profile, the cannon shoots a fiery red blast resembling the shape of a firebird. ]

Phoenix Cannon fires Phoenix Cannon fires Phoenix Cannon fires

[ MAGDA staggers, roaring in protest. ]

Magda staggers

MAGDA:
This is my planet!!

[ The firebird screams down past the camera, its gleaming white eye filling the frame. ]

Phoenix Cannon's namesake Phoenix Cannon's namesake Phoenix Cannon's namesake

[ A spiraling fireball flies through the quarry and strikes MAGDA squarely in the torso with a bright white gleam.  She explodes in a large fireball. ]

Magda's apparent destruction Magda's apparent destruction Magda's apparent destruction Magda's apparent destruction Magda's apparent destruction

[ Switch to US footage - SASHA shrieks, horrified, as flames flicker out of focus in the foreground. ]

SASHA:
Mother!!

[ On the other side of a thick plume of smoke, MAGDA falls to the ground in her humanoid form. ]

Until the immortality retcon came along in episode 38, I merely expected Magda to be quite difficult to destroy.

It's unusual that Magda would revert to her human guise upon being defeated, but this appears to be a trait that she and Sasha share (see episode 24).


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - Watching the console monitor, DILLIK presses a button on the controls. ]

DILLIK:
That's my cue!

[ DILLIK looks around as generators throughout the station hum to life. ]

Dillik has successfully repaired the wormhole generator back to working condition, as Trask instructed in episode 8.


[ EXT. QUARRY - Still obscured by the smoke and flames around her, MAGDA lies barely conscious.  Suddenly, a sphere of yellow electricity crackles around her, which she notices but appears too weak to counter.  In a flash of yellow light, she winks out of existence, leaving behind a rounded hole in the earth where she lay (its curvature matching the sphere which took her, as though a hunk of rock was taken in the process). ]

As revealed in episode 38, Magda has been sent to an alternate Earth inhabited by Garavan's people.  I had no specific destination in mind when I wrote this episode, but I did intend for it to be another dimension (though the wormhole generator's dimension-spanning nature has yet to be specified by this episode).

[ As the flames slowly die out, SASHA runs up to the smoldering pit.  Gripping her STAR HANDLE fiercely, her eyes moist, she turns to the Rangers (off-screen). ]

SASHA (with a trembling, angry voice):
What have you done?!

In the context of episode 38, we see Sasha clearly doesn't know that Magda is immortal.  We also see she apparently cared deeply about her mother's well-being; I assumed this was due to her life being spent in close contact with Magda.

[ The five RANGERS watch speechlessly from a distance away.  (The Phoenix Cannon is no longer seen.) ]

[ SASHA purses her lips acridly and pulls her STAR HANDLE close.  In a flash of white light, she disappears. ]

[ The RANGERS look to one another.  RED RANGER sighs. ]

Luke wishes things hadn't come to this; after all, the Rangers believe they have just destroyed Magda.


[ Break. ]


[ Fade in to INT. LUKE'S APARTMENT - We initially see Luke's unoccupied apartment.  The time of day is ambiguous through the closed drapes. ]

[ We hear the sound of a door shutting, and LUKE (again dressed in his work clothes) soon strolls lazily toward the couch, tossing his keys haphazardly onto the end table after loosening his tie.  He collapses face-first onto the couch from exhaustion. ]

[ LUKE lies there for a while before tossing and turning, ending up on his side, looking absently at the wall above the TV.  After a moment, he lowers his eyes, thinking inwardly.  He then climbs over the couch and reaches for the phone.  He dials (555-0134, for those carefully watching his fingers) and waits in silence.  Moments later, he speaks tiredly: ]

This is the same number Lisa gave him in episode 6.

LUKE:
Hey.


[ INT. LISA'S APARTMENT - Though we don't see much of her apartment, we see LISA standing with a cordless phone (appropriate for 1992) beside an end table on which stands the phone's base station.  Also on the table is a small, silver designer picture frame with the original stock photo of a smiling family still in place, a barcode visible in the corner. ]

[ LISA cradles the phone on her shoulder for a moment before replying gently. ]

LISA:
Hey.  (pauses)  You okay?

This is the first time Luke and Lisa have spoken since she realized his identity in the previous episode.

[ As we follow the conversation, we cut back and forth between Luke and Lisa's apartments. ]

LUKE:
Oh, yeah, I'm fine.  (then, apologetically)  Lisa, listen... I'm sorry I didn't --

LISA (interrupting him):
Luke, you don't have to explain anything.  I'm just... glad you're okay. Do you need anything?  Like, can I do anything to help?

LUKE:
(sighs)  Not really.  I've just got some... (trails off)

LISA (smiling softly):
... things to figure out?

LUKE:
(chuckles somberly)  Yeah.

...such as Dr. Bering possibly being alive aboard the space station.

LISA:
Well...  If you ever wanna talk about it, you've got my number, okay?

[ LUKE nods and moistens his lips self-consciously. ]

LUKE:
... Thanks.

Lisa is reassuring here, but this apparent rejection seems to eat at her off-screen, given her later awkwardness around him in episode 14.


[ Dissolve to INT. QUEEN'S CHAMBER - Starting on the queen's vacant throne, we pan across the dark, deserted chamber until we reach SASHA sulking through the room, her STAR HANDLE hanging listlessly from one hand. ]

SASHA (to no one in particular):
Mother...  What have they done to you...?

[ SASHA approaches the throne platform, where she crumples, draping herself head-down onto the platform, her head buried in her arms.  Soon comes a voice: ]

TRASK (off-screen):
I'm sorry.

[ SASHA lifts her head and looks behind her.  Her eyes are reddened and her cheeks slick with tears. ]

Sasha can cry despite being inhuman.

[ From the other end of the chamber, TRASK advances calmly toward the throne area.  He is not carrying his sword. ]

TRASK:
First your empire, and now this...

[ Sitting more upright as TRASK draws near, SASHA dries her cheeks with the back of her glove. ]

SASHA:
How did you know?

[ TRASK squats absently beside the platform as SASHA collects herself. ]

TRASK:
You came with no generals, no entourage...  Just a squadron of puppet soldiers.

Trask refers to the Discards, having noticed she and Magda came with no other support.

[ He looks her in the eyes as she watches him, wide-eyed. ]

TRASK (cont'd):
You had no one.

[ SASHA's demeanor grows sterner. ]

SASHA:
We escaped with our lives.  ... Betrayed by our own people.  (looks down)  It wasn't the first coup... but... too many turned on us.

Sasha refers to prior insurrections, as Magda mentioned in the previous episode.  The final attempt was overwhelming, however, forcing Magda to flee with Sasha.

In the context of the immortality retcon in episode 38, the idea of Magda and Sasha escaping with their lives takes on new meaning: though Magda wouldn't have feared for her own life (at least in the absence of Ancients' tears), she presumably fled to protect Sasha, who was not fully immortal.

[ SASHA looks again into TRASK's eyes, appearing genuinely vulnerable. ]

SASHA (cont'd):
You won't turn on me, will you, Trask?

Sasha places tentative faith in Trask, even following his attack on Magda.  She may feel she has no other option at this point.  Of course, she doesn't realize his role in Magda's banishment.

[ TRASK gently covers her hand with his own. ]

TRASK:
I'm at your service... (lowers his head) ... my queen.

As explained in episode 16, Trask humors Sasha here, finding her passionate spirit intriguing; he wonders if he may find a use for her.  He will later come to realize she puts his mission in jeopardy, however (episode 14).

[ Cut to black. ]