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

POWER RANGERS TAKE FLIGHT

Episode 20: "Monstrous Ambitions"

This episode was completed on April 16, 2007, and released on July 19, 2008 (just a little late for its intended setting of July 4).  The title refers to Zephyros' ambitions to prove his evil nature.

Writer:  Joe Rovang

[ Sentai footage is from Jetman #28 unless otherwise noted. ]

In Jetman #28, Tran's blowdryer monster issues a challenge to the Rangers one night.  (I'm unclear on why a Jinnsect monster was used at this point after two animal-based monsters, Luxadillo and Tachyderm, had already been used.)  The next day, Zephyros receives a battalion of Nobodies and lures the Rangers to a baseball stadium.  Nearby, Zephyros shames the Nobodies by helping an old lady with her groceries despite his wish to prove his evil nature.  The Nobodies grumble in a field, but Zephyros then ambushes the Rangers in an industrial area, where he's ultimately distracted by a friendly puppy, and the Nobodies leave.  Zephyros dreams of being catered to by the villains after defeating the Mega Kestrelzord in giant size.  Later, Zephyros throws two girls into a lake, but his fiery blast only delight them by making their hair soft and lustrous.  The Rangers then arrive and convince him he doesn't need to be evil, but he's then attacked by Nobodies and Tran.  The Rangers triumph with the help of the Phoenix Cannon, and Zephyros survives to become a hair stylist.

My adaptation of this episode used a great deal of footage from the sentai episode, but I moved the Nobody waterfront attack (the climax in the sentai) to the beginning as Sasha's plan to make him grow; his sentai nighttime debut then came after his escape, as part of his wish to prove his evil nature.  I cut his Mega Kestrelzord fight because the Kestrelzord hasn't been introduced, and the girls at the lake were unusable.  Finally, since the scene with the dog became my last Zephyros scene, I had to use a few inserts to convey his departure from the scene, and I hid him inside a truck while the Rangers escorted him out of Spring Valley.  At this point, I had no intention of revisiting Zephyros's cut Zord battle (it had no ending, and I had exhausted almost all usable Zephyros footage), but see episode 31.

I chose to adapt this episode here because its footage fit perfectly with the idea of the villains trying to provoke a monster into growing.  Originally, it was intended to take place much later in the series, using the Jinnsect which had escaped in episode 3.  Once I abandoned that idea, I was free to turn that Jinnsect into Trask's new helper while Dillik was gone (see episode 25).


[ Fade in to INT. HOUSE, ATTIC - CHRIS sits at his desk as CASEY stands behind him.  He is in the process of showing her some drawings from his sketch book.  (Both are wearing the same clothes as from the end of the previous episode.) ]

This episode takes place on Saturday, July 4, 1992, the same day as Barry's medal ceremony in episode 19.  It was strictly a happy coincidence that I was able to set the first day of Zephyros' events on Independence Day, as previous episodes' settings had left me at this point in time.

Chris is showing Casey his drawings, which appears to be progress in their friendship since episode 15.

Presently, Pete is on his midday break, Luke is off for the day while the museum is closed (mirroring the real-life schedule of the Oakland Museum), and the others are off on Saturdays.

CASEY (pointing):
Oh, that's cool.  I like that guy.

[ CHRIS nods humbly.  CASEY looks at the opposite page. ]

CASEY (cont'd):
Wow, is that our house?

CHRIS:
Yeah.

CASEY:
That's really neat!  It's, like, floating in space, huh?

This could be seen as foreshadowing their impending voyage through space (episodes 22 through 24).

CHRIS:
Uh-huh.

CASEY:
I like it a lot.

CHRIS:
Thanks.

[ MAGGIE's voice calls out from downstairs. ]

MAGGIE:
Hey, Casey, phone call!

[ Puzzled, CASEY looks at the phone nearby. ]

CASEY (loudly):
Uhh, thanks!  (then normally, to Chris)  I didn't hear it ring.

CHRIS:
I keep the ringer off.

Not integral to the story, just a minor detail which seemed fitting.

CASEY:
Oh.  (picks up the receiver)  Hello?  Oh, hi, Mom!  Yeah, happy Fourth to you too!

[ CASEY pauses and is startled by what he hears. ]

CASEY (cont'd):
His what?!  (pauses)  No, I didn't get an invitation!

I assumed Casey's wedding invitation was lost in the mail at some point following the Parkview disaster (episode 13).

[ CASEY excitedly places her hand over the phone to address CHRIS. ]

CASEY (cont'd, to Chris):
My brother's getting married!  (into the phone)  When is it?  Wow, that's like, a month away!  ... No, it's not a big deal, Mom.  He probably just sent it to the wrong address or something.  ... No, Mom, I -- (sighs)  Yes.  (pauses, then with renewed enthusiasm)  I know!  ... What?

I included this dialog for the sole purpose of setting up her departure in episode 28 (due to her absence in Moleworm's sentai footage).  Any discussion of not being able to go due to the Flyers' state of disrepair was added merely as a logical outcome of present goings-on.

[ The glee drains from CASEY's face and is replaced with a frown. ]

CASEY (cont'd):
Um, I don't know...

CHRIS (whispering):
What is it?

[ Still occupied by the phone call, CASEY waves her hand to shush him, turning away. ]

CASEY:
Mom, I... I just have a lot of things --  (pauses)  Of course I do!  No, Mom --

[ Seemingly cut off, CASEY pulls the phone from her ear and hangs up with an exasperated growl. ]

Casey's relationship with her mother has been strained since she insisted on remaining in Spring Valley despite the alien threat (see episodes 12 and 15).

CHRIS:
What's wrong?

CASEY (still agitated):
I told her I didn't know if I could go!

CHRIS:
Oh.  (pauses)  Why?

CASEY:
Because it's in New Jersey!  With the Flyers totaled, I'd be stuck out there if you guys needed help!

I chose New Jersey as David's place of residence because it was far away, and because New Jersey seems to have a relatively large population of Coptic Christians (I had decided when describing Casey's father in episode 13 that he was a Coptic Christian who had come to the United States after being persecuted in Egypt).  We don't know what events led David to settle in New Jersey while the rest of the family ended up in California.

[ CHRIS ponders. ]

CHRIS:
Hmm.  That is kind of a problem.  (pauses)  Hey, I thought your brother lived out in Daly.

CASEY:
No, this is my other brother, David.  My "little" big brother.

I needed to clarify here that the brother getting married wasn't Todd, who lives nearby.  Todd's home in Daly City fits with his mention in episode 14 that he only works in Spring Valley.

CHRIS:
Hmm.

CASEY (slightly tongue-in-cheek):
Stupid monster attacks.

[ CHRIS chuckles softly. ]

CHRIS:
Well, we'll think of something, okay?  Don't worry about it.

The issue will be resolved by episode 28, by which time the Flyers are repaired and the Kestrel serves as backup.

[ CASEY nods.  Just then, her MORPHER chimes. ]

CHRIS (cont'd, rising):
Speak of the devil.

[ They rush downstairs. ]


[ EXT. WATERFRONT PARK - At a waterfront, SASHA and a battalion of ten NOBODIES (each wielding a sword) approach someone (off-screen).  SASHA wields her STAR HANDLE in sword mode. ]

This is Nobody battalion 6, the final group of Nobodies to appear in the series.  Their tenure will span only this episode.

SASHA (sinisterly):
Come now, there's no need to make this difficult...

[ Sentai - Beside a stone wall, a blue blow-dryer monster named ZEPHYROS reacts with worry.  He speaks with a throaty but somewhat meek voice.  A JINNSECT is embedded in his shoulder, and his left hand is an oversized brush. ]

Zephyros Zephyros

Dillik created Zephyros using Jinnsect #31 of 46, leaving the fifteen Jinnsects which will be used in Sasha's monster army (next episode).

Zephyros' name is a variant of Zephyrus (or Zephyr), the Greek god of the west wind; fittingly, he was the gentlest of the winds.

In the sentai, this waterfront park scene was the climax for the episode as Nobodies and Tran (no US counterpart) confronted Zephyros.  I've reinterpreted it as part of Dillik's plan to provoke a monster into growing.  I was especially proud of this particular reinterpretation.

ZEPHYROS:
Look, lady, just leave me alone!

[ SASHA and the NOBODIES advance. ]

SASHA:
Like I said, Zephyros, this'll only hurt for a second.

[ Switch to sentai - ZEPHYROS reaches for a switch on his chest. ]

Zephyros reaches for switch Zephyros reaches for switch

ZEPHYROS:
I warned you!

[ ZEPHYROS turns his switch, firing up the sound of a large, fiery turbine. ]

Zephyros turns switch

At this point, Zephyros had not yet been attacked; rather, he was accosting two teenaged girls at the lake, but his fire merely dried their hair to perfection.

[ From the large blower in his head, ZEPHYROS spews a stream of fire. ]

fire!

[ US footage - As the flames blow in their direction, SASHA recoils, and the NOBODIES take cover.  Sparks soon erupt around SASHA, and she dives into the water on her left. ]

[ ZEPHYROS flees toward the camera. ]

Zephyros flees Zephyros flees

ZEPHYROS:
I'm outta here!

[ Switch to US footage - Rising from the water, dripping wet, SASHA barks at the Nobodies (off-screen). ]

SASHA:
Get him!

This humiliation will cause Sasha to begrudge Dillik and Trask for charging her with this task (see episode 24).  Further, it's probably her inspiration for abandoning Dillik's plan and building a monster army instead (see next episode).  She will fight the Rangers once more this episode, however.

[ Sentai - In a line, the NOBODIES brandish their swords and charge. ]

Nobodies charge Nobodies charge

[ The NOBODIES are seen running toward the camera through the grassy waterfront park. ]

[ Sentai - In their customary order, the five RANGERS each leap over the camera. ]

Rangers leaping Rangers leaping Rangers leaping

[ The RANGERS land in front of the NOBODIES, halting their progress. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Hey, guys, what's the rush?

[ Sentai - Nearby, we find ZEPHYROS hiding behind a tree near the water. ]

Zephyros hiding Zephyros hiding Zephyros hiding

ZEPHYROS:
Huh?  The Power Rangers...?

In the sentai, this scene was Zephyros' final encounter with the Rangers; in Take Flight, it's his first.

[ The NOBODIES charge. ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #13) - RED RANGER unsheathes his TALON SWORD. ]

Talon Sword

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Talon Swords!

[ The five RANGERS brandish their TALON SWORDS and engage the NOBODIES in combat.  Of them, PINK RANGER seems least adept at swordfighting. ]

Continuing Casey's aversion to swordfighting (see episode 15).  Chris will give her a lesson of sorts in the next episode.

[ From the water's edge, SASHA scowls, her outfit still soaked. ]

[ Switch to sentai - While swordfighting a NOBODY, BLUE RANGER is slashed and knocked down, as is BLACK RANGER behind her.  (PINK and YELLOW are also visible in the background.)  We whip-pan over to RED RANGER as he successfully fends off two NOBODIES while two others circle him.  In the background, behind his tree, is ZEPHYROS. ]

Zephyros hiding Zephyros hiding Zephyros hiding Zephyros hiding

[ Watching, ZEPHYROS clenches his fist as he speaks.  Once he's done, something catches his attention to his right. ]

Zephyros behind tree Zephyros behind tree

ZEPHYROS:
The Rangers have these guys occupied.  As soon as they're done, I'll make a break for it!  (turns)  Huh?

[ Six NOBODIES scramble down a grass hill toward the camera. ]

incoming Nobodies incoming Nobodies

[ As the NOBODIES attack, ZEPHYROS rolls under a sword slice, knocks another NOBODY to the ground, and hits several more.  He stomps on a downed NOBODY and knocks another aside, blocking and striking with his brush arm. ]

Zephyros fights Nobodies Zephyros fights Nobodies Zephyros fights Nobodies Zephyros fights Nobodies Zephyros fights Nobodies Zephyros fights Nobodies

ZEPHYROS (during combat):
Look, I don't wanna hurt you guys, but I told you... I'm not growing!

As in the sentai, Zephyros seems not to be as dedicated to destruction as most other Jinnsect monsters, similar to Bobo (episode 14).  Unlike Bobo, however, Zephyros will seek to prove his evil nature, while Bobo sought to prove otherwise.

[ A NOBODY leaps through the air with its sword. ]

Zephyros fights Nobodies

[ The NOBODY lands in front of ZEPHYROS but is knocked away.  As the monster continues fighting off his attackers, we dolly around to see RED RANGER and the others continuing to fight in the background. ]

Zephyros fights Nobodies Zephyros fights Nobodies Zephyros fights Nobodies

[ US footage - After making short work of the remaining four NOBODIES, the RANGERS notice the monster (off-screen). ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Hey, why are the Nobodies attacking that monster?

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Some kind of trick...?

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Wait...  You guys, if they take him down...

LUKE (Red Ranger):
They're trying to make him grow!

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
We've gotta help him!

Though the Rangers have discovered that they can sharpshoot Jinnsects before they grow (see episode 19), they would prefer not to risk it whenever possible.  Further, they have no reason to wish destruction upon a monster who isn't hurting anyone, and his victimization by Nobodies makes him even more sympathetic to the Rangers.

[ A NOBODY delivers a successful strike to ZEPHYROS' chest, causing a burst of sparks.  The NOBODY strikes a second time across his stomach. ]

Nobody slashes Zephyros Nobody slashes Zephyros Nobody slashes Zephyros

[ PINK RANGER leads the RANGERS in rushing to ZEPHYROS' aid.  Swords in hand, they help him up.  In front of the others, RED RANGER switches sword hands and draws his SKY BLASTER. ]

Rangers aid Zephyros Rangers aid Zephyros Rangers aid Zephyros Rangers aid Zephyros

Fitting that Casey is most concerned for the monster's welfare, given her stance toward living creatures (see episode 3).

[ US footage - We see over RED RANGER's shoulder as he shoots a series of yellow lasers at the NOBODY crowd.  They spark and fall to the ground.  RED then turns to the monster (off-screen). ]

This shot was redone in US footage because the sentai showed Tran in the shot.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Go on!  Get to safety!

[ As the four RANGERS help ZEPHYROS to his feet, PINK asks a question, and BLACK hurries the monster along. ]

Zephyros' escape Zephyros' escape

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Can you walk?

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Or better yet, run!

[ ZEPHYROS rises, nods, and hobbles away down a nearby embankment. ]

Zephyros' escape Zephyros' escape

ZEPHYROS:
(nods) Yeah, good idea!  This way looks good!  (off-handedly, hobbling downhill) Oh, ground's a little soft.  That's okay though.

Zephyros' dialog was a source of amusement for me.

[ Switch to US footage - Still in wet clothes, SASHA joins the fallen NOBODIES as they pick themselves up off the ground. ]

SASHA (to the Nobodies):
Worthless, all of you!

[ SASHA plants her heel against one NOBODY's butt, shoving the NOBODY face-first into the dirt. ]

I intended that this abuse drove the Nobodies to ally with Zephyros.

[ SASHA vanishes with a white gleam.  The NOBODIES awkwardly collect themselves and their swords and then vanish with black ripple effects. ]

[ The RANGERS relax. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Power down!

RANGERS (in unison):
Power down!

[ RED and then the others demorph with respectively-colored gleams. ]

CASEY:
All right, that was weird.

PETE:
Yeah, I never figured we'd be rescuing monsters.

Bobo aside.

MAGGIE:
We should probably keep an eye on him.  I doubt Sasha's going to give up.

PETE:
Yeah, but as soon as we find him on the Hoverbirds, they've got him!

Per the Rangers' Hoverbird discovery in episode 6.

[ LUKE makes a frustrated face. ]

LUKE:
Pete's right.  Probably the worst thing we could do for him is to let our Hoverbirds find him.  Let's all switch off seek mode.  (reaches for his Morpher)

CHRIS:
Dude, are you crazy?  The valley's defenseless if we can't see what's going on!

I found this to be an interesting dilemma.  It seemed like the only way to avoid leading the villains directly to Zephyros, however, and it also fit with footage showing the Rangers searching aimlessly for Zephyros on two occasions (there were no Hoverbirds in Jetman).

[ LUKE reconsiders, lowering his MORPHER. ]

LUKE:
Hmm.  Good point.  Especially with the fireworks tonight... it'd be hard to hear anything.

The fireworks simply fell into this episode as a result of its placement right around July 4.

MAGGIE (to Luke):
Well, what about Detective Morales?  Couldn't he call us if he gets any reports of anything?

Morales became their ally in episode 18.

LUKE:
Good idea, Maggie.  I'll stay home tonight in case he calls.  Oh, but Lisa...

Luke tends to volunteer himself first and then think of Lisa second (see episode 40).  Here, we see he had plans to take Lisa to the fireworks show.

PETE:
Whoa, whoa...  I'm working tonight.  Just give him my work number.

This was just the logical outcome of the Rangers' existing work schedules on this particular day.

LUKE:
You sure?

PETE:
Yeah, no problem!

LUKE:
Thanks, Pete.

[ LUKE presses his MORPHER's upper right button. ]

LUKE (cont'd):
Seek mode off.

[ PETE, MAGGIE, and CASEY follow suit.  They look to CHRIS, who hesitates a moment before pressing the same button on his MORPHER.  The scene contracts to black like a TV being shut off. ]


[ Fade in to EXT. CITY PLAZA (NIGHT, sentai) - ZEPHYROS arrives at the top of a staircase downtown. ]

Zephyros downtown Zephyros downtown Zephyros downtown

This was Zephyros' debut in the sentai.

ZEPHYROS:
Those Rangers... treating me like someone who needs pity...

As Zephyros' motivation for trying to prove his evil nature, I indicated here that he didn't appreciate the Rangers' help (pity) in retrospect.

[ In close-up, we dolly around ZEPHYROS. ]

Zephyros downtown Zephyros downtown Zephyros downtown

ZEPHYROS:
They can pity themselves when I'm done with them!

[ ZEPHYROS' eyes flash. ]

Zephyros downtown

ZEPHYROS (pleased):
Ooh, yeah... that sounds threatening.

[ ZEPHYROS aims his brush arm and fires incendiary blasts. ]

Zephyros fires Zephyros fires

ZEPHYROS:
Take this, empty car!

Beyond demonstrating that Zephyros wasn't as menacing as he wished, this line also helps to reassure the audience that no one perished inside.

[ Below, a parked sedan explodes in a fireball. ]

car explodes car explodes car explodes

[ ZEPHYROS speaks passionately.  He then aims his nozzle toward the night sky and fires an explosive blast skyward. ]

Zephyros pleased Zephyros pleased Zephyros' sky blast

ZEPHYROS:
All the empty cars in the world won't stop me!  Mua ha ha ha!  Evil laughter!  (fires skyward)

This episode was surely the most fun I had writing dialog in Take Flight.

Zephyros' declaration of "Evil laughter!" makes me think of "Battle Cry!" in Power Rangers S.P.D. (2005), though the latter instance seemingly wasn't meant to be laughable.


[ EXT. NIGHT SKY - A sparkling streak flies high into the sky.  It then explodes in a large burst of fireworks. ]

In the sentai, as coincidence would have it, Zephyros' skyward blast took the form of fireworks; they spelled out the message, "Jetman come to K-602."  I've instead transitioned to the fireworks show here as though Zephyros launched the firework, but as shown below, he was actually burning a message onto the side of a building.


[ EXT. FIELD (NIGHT) -  In a field crowded with adults and children stand MAGGIE, CHRIS, and CASEY.  The field is lit occasionally by the fireworks above, the booms echoing afterward.  People in the crowd occasionally whoop or exclaim in reaction to the fireworks. ]

I had not yet imagined that time-traveling duplicates were sharing this time with the current Rangers, but this scene will be revisited in episode 37.

[ A short distance ahead, LUKE and LISA are contently reclined on a blanket as they watch the fireworks. ]

[ Elsewhere, seen from a distance, are R.J., DANNY, and ROBIN (see episode 7).  They stand goofing around near a wall, not incredibly interested in the fireworks display. ]

We're left to wonder why Chris's friends are here if they don't much care about the fireworks.  I simply included them as an alternate means for Chris to get home.

[ During the show, CHRIS and CASEY stand somewhat close to each other.  At one point, CASEY whoops and applauds for a firework (off-screen).  As she lowers her hand, her fingers barely brush by CHRIS's.  Without turning her head, CASEY glances in CHRIS's direction. ]

Casey's crush (see episode 5) continues despite Chris's suggestion that they remain friends (episode 15).

[ CHRIS continues watching the show, apparently unfazed. ]

[ CASEY's fingertips twitch almost imperceptibly outward, searching in the direction of CHRIS's hand. ]

I imagine that her heart was racing quite a bit here.

[ CASEY again glances over anxiously, this time turning her head slightly. ]

[ CASEY's fingers timidly inch ever closer to CHRIS's hand. ]

[ Without warning, CHRIS leans down to CASEY, apparently to make an unrelated comment. ]

CHRIS:
You know --

[ In one quick movement, CASEY kisses CHRIS, her lips awkwardly hitting only half of his mouth (due to poor aim); CHRIS is silenced in the process.  They both recoil in surprise, and CASEY bites both of her lips as a look of panic appears on her face. ]

I thought this type of awkward incident would be fairly relatable to the audience.  Here, Casey may have been almost as surprised by her impulse as Chris was.

As revealed in episode 37, future-Chris was proposing to future-Casey in the background at this moment.

[ MAGGIE curiously looks in their direction (perhaps more aware of a disturbance than the kiss itself). ]

[ Bewildered, CHRIS continues to stare at CASEY.  More fireworks burst off-screen. ]

[ Her eyes darting between CHRIS and MAGGIE, CASEY blurts out: ]

CASEY:
... I gotta go.

[ LUKE and LISA look back. ]

[ CASEY makes a hasty exit as the fireworks continue. ]

CHRIS:
Casey...!

[ CHRIS looks at MAGGIE as Casey is gone. ]


[ EXT. CITY STREET (NIGHT) - YELLOW RANGER explores the charred remains of a burned-out sedan (compare with sentai).  Faint fireworks may be heard far off in the distance. ]

Pete briefly excused himself from work after a call from Detective Morales regarding the car explosion and the scorched message.

[ YELLOW looks up and sees a large message scorched onto the side of a building above.  Its full text may appear only briefly and contains various misspellings (see below for content).  PETE's thoughts are heard in voice-over. ]

PETE (voice-over):
"Dear Power Rangers, I am evil."  Hmm.  Misspelled evil.  "Tremble before my..."  (pauses)  "...fiery blowy-ness."  (scratches his helmet)  Huh.  "Sincerely, Zephyros.  P.S.: Thanks for saving me."

I like the P.S.  I also like that he would have misspelled "evil."  We're left to wonder what the public at large would think of this message.

[ YELLOW reads further, noticing more. ]

PETE (voice-over, cont'd):
"P.P.S.: I am evil."

[ YELLOW looks down even further. ]

PETE (voice-over, cont'd):
"P.P.P.S.: Mua ha ha ha.  Evil laughter."  (pauses)  That's weird.

[ YELLOW looks around. ]

PETE (voice-over, cont'd):
Well, guess I'd better get back to work.  Detective Morales will call back if anything else comes up.

[ YELLOW RANGER departs. ]


[ EXT. REST AREA (NIGHT) - CASEY sits on a railing beside an outdoor restroom facility.  The occasional boom of fireworks can be heard. ]

[ MAGGIE joins CASEY on the railing.  CASEY doesn't look at her. ]

MAGGIE:
Hey.  What's wrong?

[ CASEY shamefully glances in MAGGIE's direction. ]

CASEY:
He didn't tell you?

MAGGIE:
What?  No.  You know Chris...  He hardly says anything.

[ CASEY is optimistically surprised. ]

CASEY:
Oh.

MAGGIE:
So what's going on?

[ CASEY shakes her head. ]

CASEY:
I don't wanna talk about it.

[ MAGGIE nods respectfully, though slightly disappointed. ]

MAGGIE:
Okay.

[ MAGGIE begins to stand, but CASEY holds her arm, keeping her in place.  She whispers a few sentences into MAGGIE's ear, causing MAGGIE to gasp in surprise. ]

Casey didn't divulge her original crush to Maggie (see episode 15), but she does confide in her here.


[ EXT. FIELD (NIGHT) - LUKE approaches CHRIS. ]

LUKE:
Hey, is something wrong with Casey?

CHRIS (awkwardly):
Uhh, just a... misunderstanding.

LUKE:
Really?  She looked pretty upset.

[ CHRIS looks into the distance. ]

CHRIS (distractedly):
No, uhh, I think she's okay.

[ CHRIS pats LUKE on the arm and departs in the direction of his attention. ]

CHRIS:
Hey, uh, I'm gonna catch a ride with Danny and R.J.  I'll catch you guys later, okay?

[ LUKE is puzzled as CHRIS leaves. ]

LUKE:
Yeah, okay...


[ Dissolve to EXT. FIELD (DAY) - The sun shines brightly on a clear day. ]

The rest of this episode takes place on Sunday, July 5, 1992, the day after the Rangers' first encounter with Zephyros.

[ Switch to sentai - Talking to himself, ZEPHYROS treads through a field near an industrial area. ]

Zephyros talking to himself Zephyros talking to himself

ZEPHYROS:
There's gotta be some way to prove I'm the toughest guy around...

[ Nearby, ten NOBODIES appear to spring up from the ground. ]

Nobodies spring up

[ ZEPHYROS reacts, raising his arms. ]

Zephyros reacts

ZEPHYROS:
(yelps)  Don't shoot!

In the sentai, this scene preceded any attacks on Zephyros by the Nobodies.

[ The NOBODIES eagerly run up to ZEPHYROS and stand at attention. ]

Nobodies run up to Zephyros Nobodies line up

ZEPHYROS (cont'd):
Hey, what...  What are you doing?

[ ZEPHYROS scratches his head and looks up and down the line of Nobodies (off-screen). ]

Zephyros puzzled Zephyros puzzled Zephyros puzzled

ZEPHYROS:
Y-- You're not here to attack me?

Presumably the Nobodies resented their mistreatment by Sasha and now unite under Zephyros after having seen him stand up to her the previous day.

[ The NOBODIES gurgle in near-unison (albeit unintelligibly) as they raise their swords and then salute Zephyros (off-screen). ]

Nobodies salute Nobodies salute

[ ZEPHYROS paces in front of the line of NOBODIES while lecturing them.  His voice is stern.  He ultimately stops facing the last NOBODY in line. ]

Zephyros lectures Nobodies Zephyros lectures Nobodies Zephyros lectures Nobodies Zephyros lectures Nobodies

ZEPHYROS:
Well, that's very kind of you.  But!  ... we need to set a few ground rules.  Number one:  I'm the boss.

In the sentai, Zephyros was quite verbose, leaving ample opportunity for some fun dialog.

[ US footage - The NOBODY at the left end of the line listens attentively.  We dissolve to some time later, as the NOBODY nearly nods off, but it shakes its head and resumes listening. ]

ZEPHYROS (cont'd, off-screen):
Number two:  No attacking the boss. (time passes) ... Number forty-six:  Stay out of the water in a thunderstorm.  I can't stress this enough, men!  Number forty-seven...

[ ZEPHYROS begins to pace in the other direction as his lecture continues. ]

lecture continues lecture continues lecture continues

ZEPHYROS (cont'd):
Never pet a dog you don't know.  But enough of that.  What's really important is that we have a good battle cry.  Now, personally, I like "Abandon everything!"

Ironically, Zephyros ends up playing with a dog he doesn't know later in the episode, though I didn't have that in mind when I had him list this rule.

This battle cry was intended to be random and nonsensical.

[ The NOBODIES stand in profile. ]

Nobodies in profile

ZEPHYROS (cont'd, off-screen):
What do you say, men?!

[ The NOBODIES nod and clench their fists with a concordant gurgle. ]

Nobodies clench fists Nobodies clench fists

[ ZEPHYROS continues to pace in front of the NOBODIES. ]

Zephyros paces Zephyros paces Zephyros paces Zephyros paces

ZEPHYROS:
Not even close.  But never mind that!  What really matters is that we're gonna be the best team the world has ever seen!

[ In close-up, ZEPHYROS points at himself.  He then points at the Nobodies (off-screen) and raises his arm triumphantly. ]

mostly me but also you guys

ZEPHYROS (cont'd):
(inwardly) Mostly me... (loudly to Nobodies, raising arm) ... but also you guys!!

I have no idea what Zephyros was saying in the sentai, but I certainly enjoyed the dialog I ended up with.

[ The NOBODIES triumphantly pump their arms into the air twice, gurgling synchronously. ]

Nobodies cheer

[ ZEPHYROS throws up his hands. ]

Zephyros throws up his hands

ZEPHYROS:
Yeah, that's it!


[ EXT. BASEBALL STADIUM - In a medium-sized baseball stadium (compare with sentai), a GROUNDSKEEPER sweeps up paper debris in the dugout. ]

[ Soon, the GROUNDSKEEPER notices a series of thuds and clatters from the adjoining hallway. ]


[ INT. STADIUM HALLWAY - Entering from outdoors, the GROUNDSKEEPER investigates the source of the noise.  Upon coming to an equipment closet, from which baseball equipment has been scattered, he reels back as a NOBODY turns to look at him. ]

[ The GROUNDSKEEPER scrambles down the hallway to escape. ]

This was a lead-in to the baseball sequence in the sentai.  Here, I included a groundskeeper so that somebody would report the monster activity to the police (see below).


[ INT. HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - MAGGIE is stretched out on the couch reading a psychology book (her clothes are now different). ]

[ PETE enters through the front door wearing his chef's uniform. ]

Pete has come home for his midday break.  Luke is at work, while the others are off on Sundays.

PETE:
Honey, I'm home!

MAGGIE:
Hey, Pete.

[ PETE shuts the door and enters the living room. ]

PETE:
Any progress yet?

[ MAGGIE glances toward the ceiling. ]

MAGGIE:
Nope.  They're still not talking to each other.

PETE:
Jeez, that must've been some kind of misunderstanding.  (pleading)  Come on, Maggie, you can tell me!

MAGGIE (with a smirk):
I'm sorry, Pete.  I promised I wouldn't.

[ PETE hangs his head and heads into the dining room. ]

PETE:
All right...

[ The phone rings, prompting PETE to poke his head back into the living room as MAGGIE answers. ]

MAGGIE:
Hello?  (pauses, grows serious)  All right, thanks, Detective.

As the Rangers' Hoverbirds remain inactive, Morales has passed along the groundskeeper's report of trouble at the baseball stadium.

[ PETE enters as MAGGIE hangs up. ]

PETE:
Trouble?

MAGGIE:
Yep, at the baseball stadium.  (shouts toward the ceiling)  Hey, you two!  Suck it up!  We've got trouble!

An uncharacteristic outburst from Maggie.  She seems to be less restrained around Pete (and we always have the attitude spell from episode 4 to fall back on).

[ Surprised by the outburst, PETE chuckles.  They head toward the front door. ]


[ EXT. BASEBALL STADIUM - The five RANGERS land near the left foul line (compare with sentai).  They scan the area. ]

Luke has had to leave work to join the others here.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Are you sure this is it?

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
He's not at the coliseum, is he?

My initial version of this line was, "Do you know of any other baseball stadiums in town?" to which Pete replied dejectedly, no.  I eventually revised this approach, as I found it unlikely that Spring Valley wouldn't have a larger stadium (on par with the Oakland Coliseum, known at the time of this writing as McAfee Coliseum).

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
No, this is the right place.

[ ZEPHYROS' voice echoes distantly through the stadium, causing the RANGERS to perk up. ]

ZEPHYROS (distantly, off-screen):
All right, men, who's ready for some team-building exercises?

I don't know what (if any) reason Zephyros had for assembling a Nobody baseball team in the sentai, but I interpreted it as part of Zephyros' wacky approach to training his private battle squad.

[ Switch to sentai - ZEPHYROS rises from a stairway leading into the stands. ]

Zephyros in stands Zephyros in stands

ZEPHYROS:
I know I sure --  ... Power Rangers!

I believe Zephyros intended to lure the Rangers here in the sentai, but here, I've made him surprised by their arrival.

[ US footage - The RANGERS react. ]

The Rangers were unmorphed for a while in the sentai.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Hey, Zephyros, come on, man!  You're not supposed to be here!

LUKE (Red Ranger):
You need to get somewhere safe!  Just lay low and don't bother anybody!

[ ZEPHYROS replies, swinging his brush arm. ]

Zephyros in stands Zephyros in stands

ZEPHYROS:
Nice try, Rangers!  But no dice!

[ ZEPHYROS advances in the stands.  Below, we zoom in on the five RANGERS (US composite over sentai). ]

Zephyros in stands (not shown: US Rangers over sentai actors) Zephyros in stands (not shown: US Rangers over sentai actors) Zephyros in stands (not shown: US Rangers over sentai actors)

ZEPHYROS (cont'd):
You guys just know we'll give you the worst bruising ever!

[ US footage - The RANGERS look at each other, puzzled. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
"We?"  Who's he talking about?

[ ZEPHYROS waggles his hand in the air and then raises his brush arm. ]

Zephyros waves Zephyros waves Zephyros announces Team Zephyros

ZEPHYROS:
Wait a sec, let me just...  (softly) Over here, guys!  Yeah.  (loudly) Presenting... Team Zephyros!

[ A team of NOBODIES, dressed in white baseball uniforms and holding baseball bats, emerges from the far dugout.  (One is dressed as a catcher.)  The NOBODIES line up, remove their caps, and give a bow before returning their caps to their heads. ]

baseball Nobodies baseball Nobodies baseball Nobodies baseball Nobodies

[ US footage - The RANGERS react. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
The Nobodies are working for Zephyros now?

[ BLACK RANGER assumes a defensive stance. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
That's the part that bothers you?

[ ZEPHYROS thrusts out his brush arm. ]

Zephyros calls out

ZEPHYROS:
All right, men...  Abandon everything!!

The first use of his battle cry in battle.

[ The NOBODIES suddenly turn and charge at the Rangers (off-screen), bats in hand. ]

Nobodies charge Nobodies charge

[ US footage - The RANGERS charge. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Let's play ball!  (Rangers charge)

[ A NOBODY with a baseball bat and a simple, funnel-shaped megaphone takes a running leap into the air.  It gurgles boisterously through the megaphone and swings its bat like a club with its other hand. ]

Nobody with megaphone

[ RED RANGER unsheathes his TALON SWORD. ]

Talon Sword

[ RED uses his sword to fend off the NOBODY as it lands.  He then fends off two other bat-wielding NOBODIES.  In the background, YELLOW, BLACK, and PINK fight NOBODIES of their own. ]

Red Ranger fends off Nobodies Red Ranger fends off Nobodies Red Ranger fends off Nobodies

[ PINK RANGER rolls back from an unseen attack.  She quickly recovers and leaps into the air, but a NOBODY grabs her foot and slams her onto the dirt as more NOBODIES swarm in front of her.  Above, a NOBODY swings its bat downward. ]

The sentai fight proceeded Red, Black, Blue, White, Yellow.  For some reason that now escapes me, I felt it flowed better in this order.

Pink rolls Pink leaps Nobody grabs Pink's foot Pink Ranger hits the ground Pink Ranger hits the ground Nobody swings

Upon landing in the sentai, White Ranger covered her head in shame after she'd been slammed to the ground; I cut that moment.  Further, I switch to US footage because the sentai White Ranger merely remained in place and gasped when the bat struck nearby; I preferred that she dodge and react in a tougher manner.

[ US footage - PINK RANGER yelps and rolls aside as the bat strikes the turf inches from her head. ]

[ BLACK RANGER kicks at a NOBODY as it prances with a baseball glove and a megaphone, but it vanishes and reappears behind him (each teleportation featuring a US black ripple).  BLACK performs two more kicks, each missing as the NOBODY teleports, and as he blocks and counters the NOBODY's subsequent punch, he suddenly finds himself surrounded by NOBODIES.  They tackle him, their bats, gloves, and megaphone coming down on him. ]

Black Ranger's Nobody troubles Black Ranger's Nobody troubles Black Ranger's Nobody troubles Black Ranger's Nobody troubles Black Ranger's Nobody troubles Black Ranger's Nobody troubles Black Ranger's Nobody troubles Black Ranger's Nobody troubles

The Nobodies appear more skillful here than in previous fights; perhaps Zephyros' training made them more formidable.  This turned out to be a fitting final episode for the Nobodies, though I didn't realize this would be the case as I wrote it.

[ US footage - BLUE RANGER performs a series of acrobatic flips across the field.  Nearby, a NOBODY dumps out a bucket of baseballs.  They roll under BLUE's feet, causing her to slip and land on her butt.  Another NOBODY leans into frame and gestures to indicate she is out. ]

In the sentai, a Nobody lifted Blue Ranger's skirt and examined her (spandex-clad) butt; she turned and slapped him across the face.  Presumably this was a play on ill-mannered baseball players, but I considered it inappropriate for use in my series.

[ A NOBODY is seen spinning in a circle.  We pan up to see YELLOW RANGER on his shoulders, being spun around as he yells in protest. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Hey, I'm getting dizzy!  Cut it out!

Nobody spinning Yellow Ranger Nobody spinning Yellow Ranger

This is a play on Yellow Ranger's attack whereby he does likewise to his opponents.

[ The NOBODY finally hurls YELLOW RANGER through the air. ]

Nobody throws Yellow Nobody throws Yellow Yellow flies through the air

[ US footage - The other RANGERS catch YELLOW as he lands and help him to his feet. ]

In the sentai, Yellow latched onto Red Ranger like an infant and then made a "pew" gesture of some sort.  He then fell off.

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Pete!

[ ZEPHYROS brandishes his brush arm and aims it forward. ]

Zephyros issues a command Zephyros issues a command

ZEPHYROS:
Now, men, Operation: Surging Breaker!

A surging breaker is a type of wave which rolls quickly up the beach, generally without breaking; it can be particularly destructive.  Zephyros has presumably used the name of a wave to represent the wave of baseballs soon to inundate the Rangers.

[ NOBODIES flip through the air in opposing directions. ]

Nobodies flipping Nobodies flipping

[ Five NOBODIES land some distance from the RANGERS, and five more land twice that distance away. ]

Nobodies in position Nobodies in position

[ The far NOBODIES ready their bats. ]

Nobodies at bat Nobodies at bat

[ The near NOBODIES (the center of whom is the catcher) face the far group (off-screen) and adjust their hats.  We zoom in to the perplexed RANGERS in the background - notably, RED RANGER. ]

pitchers ready pitchers ready Red perplexed

LUKE (Red Ranger):
What are they doing?

I cut a brief shot of one of the pitchers dislodging mud from his shoe and lifting his other foot to pitch.  I found this distracting and superfluous.

[ The near NOBODIES each pitch a baseball toward the far group (off-screen). ]

pitches thrown pitches thrown

[ In turn, the batting NOBODIES hit their respective pitches. ]

batters swing batters swing batters swing

[ A flurry of baseballs strikes the RANGERS, causing them to spark. ]

Rangers bombarded Rangers bombarded Rangers bombarded

[ ZEPHYROS prepares to fire from his nozzle. ]

Zephyros ready

ZEPHYROS:
You're outta here, Rangers!

[ ZEPHYROS blows a jet of air from his nozzle. ]

Zephyros' gust

[ Blown back, the RANGERS are sent flying through the air. ]

Rangers blown back Rangers blown back Rangers blown back Rangers blown back

[ The boots of RED and BLACK are shown rebounding off the stadium wall. ]

Red rebounds Black rebounds

It isn't visible in these pictures, but Red and Black leave muddy footprints on the wall.

[ RED RANGER extends his underarm wings. ]

Red Ranger's wing

[ BLACK and RED leap together through the air, their underarm wings extended. ]

Black and Red

[ PINK, YELLOW, and BLUE leap as well. ]

Pink, Yellow, and Blue

[ ZEPHYROS aims his brush arm and fires an incendiary blast. ]

Zephyros fires Zephyros fires

ZEPHYROS:
No, really - get out of here!  (fires)

[ BLACK and RED are struck with sparks, and the camera flips dizzily.  The same happens to PINK, YELLOW, and BLUE. ]

Rangers blasted Rangers blasted

Originally, I wanted to transition directly from Zephyros' gust to the Rangers being launched out of the stadium because the winged blast sequence seemed a little shabby (and wind made more sense as the propulsion method), but I noticed the Rangers had to be smoking when they landed outside, so the blast stayed.


[ EXT. CITY PLAZA - Smoking, the RANGERS land outside the stadium.  In the foreground swarm the NOBODIES (still in uniform), and between them strolls ZEPHYROS. ]

Rangers land Rangers land Zephyros and Nobodies approach

ZEPHYROS:
Well, Rangers, you gave it a sporting try.

[ ZEPHYROS advances slowly as the NOBODIES romp around behind him.  He then checks behind him on either side before cheering.  The NOBODIES then thrust their fists into the air with a mighty collective gurgle. ]

Team Zephyros cheer Team Zephyros cheer Team Zephyros cheer Team Zephyros cheer Team Zephyros cheer

ZEPHYROS (cont'd):
But unfortunately, nothing can match the awesome power of... (looks back)  Ready, guys?  ...the best team in the world... Team Zephyros!!  (Nobodies cheer)

[ The smoking RANGERS groan as they try to rise, but only RED RANGER makes it to a crouching position. ]

Rangers laid out

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Man, we're really off our game to let THESE guys beat us.

[ ZEPHYROS shakes his brush arm crossly.  While ranting, he clutches his head, then gestures to himself and then looks back to point at his team (off-screen). ]

Zephyros fumes Zephyros fumes Zephyros fumes Zephyros fumes

ZEPHYROS:
Hey, what the heck is that supposed to mean?!  (clutches head)  Ugh, you still don't get it!  (points to self)  I'm the best, and these guys --  Huh?

[ Up a flight of steps, a small grocery cart rolls out of control.  An ELDERLY WOMAN with an umbrella chases after it exhaustedly. ]

woman chases cart woman chases cart

ELDERLY WOMAN:
Wait!  Stop those groceries!

Normally I would have cut this type of sequence, as it featured a Japanese civilian and a grocery cart not commonly seen in the West, but its usefulness to the story was just too great, and I found it amusing as well.  I don't think the English dubbing would be too terribly out of sync with the footage...

I cut a shot of several items unnaturally leaping out of the cart, though we see the aftermath as she picks them up.

[ As the ELDERLY WOMAN desperately collects a few fallen items, she cries out after the escaping cart. ]

woman chases cart woman chases cart

ELDERLY WOMAN (cont'd):
No, my eggs!  They're organic!  (wails)

One of my favorite lines.

[ The RANGERS rise from the pavement.  RED advances urgently, but ZEPHYROS stands in their way.  He then turns. ]

Rangers react Rangers react Zephyros blocks their path Zephyros looks

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Ma'am, watch out for the steps!

ZEPHYROS:
Not so fast, Rangers!  (turns)  What steps?

[ The cart careens down the steps as the ELDERLY WOMAN cries out. ]

careening cart careening cart

ELDERLY WOMAN:
Oh, please!  My crepes!!

"Crepes" was my best attempt at matching the woman's mouth movements.  I don't recall, though, why I opted for crepes over grapes.

[ The cart continues to bounce violently down the steps. ]

careening cart

[ ZEPHYROS makes a declaration and rushes out of frame.  In the background, the RANGERS react. ]

Zephyros to the rescue Zephyros to the rescue

ZEPHYROS:
Huh?  (advances)  I got 'em!  I got 'em!

[ ZEPHYROS catches the wayward cart.  The ELDERLY WOMAN begins descending the steps as he lifts the cart and carries it to her. ]

Zephyros to the rescue Zephyros to the rescue

ELDERLY WOMAN:
Oh, thank you!  Thank you!

[ The ELDERLY WOMAN meets ZEPHYROS at a level platform midway down, and he sets the cart down for her. ]

woman meets Zephyros woman meets Zephyros

ZEPHYROS:
Well, it's certainly no trouble, ma'am.

ELDERLY WOMAN:
Oh, you're a lifesaver!

[ The ELDERLY WOMAN happily inspects the grocery cart and finds her carton of eggs undamaged.  Beaming, she holds them up and bows her head gratefully to ZEPHYROS. ]

eggs undamaged eggs undamaged eggs undamaged

ELDERLY WOMAN (cont'd):
Let's see... All twelve eggs!  (smiles and bows)  You saved them!

[ ZEPHYROS awkwardly bows and rubs his head bashfully. ]

Zephyros bashful Zephyros bashful

ZEPHYROS:
Uhh, yeah, no problem.  Gee whiz, lady.

[ US footage - Below, the RANGERS react with surprise. ]

I reshot this reaction shot to allow for more dialog.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
He just helped that lady!  But why...?

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Maybe he's just a softy at heart!

CASEY (Pink Ranger, clasping her hands):
Awww...!

[ The NOBODIES cover their faces in shame. ]

Nobodies shamed

[ Meanwhile, ZEPHYROS carries the cart to the top of the steps and sets it down.  The ELDERLY WOMAN follows and bows appreciatively, taking the cart once it's been released. ]

Zephyros carries cart Zephyros sets cart down woman takes cart

ELDERLY WOMAN:
Oh, you're so kind!  I can't tell you how much I appreciate this!  Thank you!

ZEPHYROS:
The pleasure's mine.

[ The ELDERLY WOMAN strolls off cheerily. ]

woman takes cart woman strolls off cheerily

ELDERLY WOMAN:
What a nice man!  (hums)

ZEPHYROS (off-screen):
Bye now!

[ The ELDERLY WOMAN happily looks back as ZEPHYROS waves goodbye. ]

Zephyros waves

ZEPHYROS (cont'd):
Have a nice day!

[ The ELDERLY WOMAN contently walks out of frame.  Just at that moment, ZEPHYROS launches into a frenzied tirade. ]

Zephyros' tirade Zephyros' tirade

ZEPHYROS:
Yeah, you'd better walk away!  You don't wanna see what happens when I unleash the full fury of my fiery...

[ The ELDERLY WOMAN turns back, hard of hearing. ]

hard of hearing hard of hearing

ZEPHYROS (cont'd, off-screen):
F-- fiery... uh...

ELDERLY WOMAN:
Eh?

[ ZEPHYROS suddenly grows contrite.  He then waggles his finger at her sternly. ]

contrite Zephyros Zephyros' wisdom

ZEPHYROS:
Uhhh...  I said, hold on to that cart nice and tight!

[ The ELDERLY WOMAN nods and smiles pleasantly.  She bows appreciatively several times and continues to walk away. ]

pleased woman pleased woman pleased woman

ELDERLY WOMAN:
Ahhh... yes!  (laughs, walks away)  What a strange costume...

I had to work in the "costume" line (while her back was turned so I wouldn't be bound by her mouth movements) to explain why she didn't seem to be concerned by being helped by a monster.  One wonders if she knew about the Power Rangers, even.

[ Now alone, ZEPHYROS smacks his brush arm and gestures animatedly in frustration.  He then shrugs and turns back toward the steps (off-screen) but is flummoxed by what he sees. ]

frustrated Zephyros frustrated Zephyros flummoxed Zephyros

ZEPHYROS:
Awww, dang it!  I'm evil, I tell ya!  (shrugs, turns)  Ehh.  Where were we, men?  (startles)  Whaaa...?!

[ As BLACK RANGER thumbs his nose, we zoom out to find that the RANGERS have clobbered the NOBODIES, who are now strewn about the pavement. ]

Black thumbs nose Nobodies clobbered Nobodies clobbered

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Sorry, man.  Your friends got a little rowdy.

[ US footage - PINK RANGER speaks.  We then pan over to YELLOW. ]

Reshot for more dialog.

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Look, Zephyros, you're obviously not a bad guy.  You don't need to be hanging around these creeps.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Yeah!  Look, man, we wanna be your friends.  You're just gonna have to take it easy and let us get you out of the city.

[ ZEPHYROS furiously swishes his brush through the air.  He then twirls in a huff and departs. ]

Zephyros furious Zephyros furious

ZEPHYROS:
Never!!  (turns)  Let's go, men!

I slightly truncated the beginning of Zephyros' retort because I didn't have that much for him to say.

[ The NOBODIES pick themselves up and begin to scurry off.  YELLOW RANGER, in the middle of a response, is startled by one of the NOBODIES as it taunts him with its hat upon retreating. ]

Nobodies depart Nobodies depart Nobodies depart

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Aw, come on, we just wanna -- (spooked) Hey, get off me!  What's your problem?!

[ As YELLOW threateningly raises a fist to the departing NOBODIES, we zoom in on the RANGERS.  BLUE strokes her chin and looks to RED. ]

Nobodies depart Nobodies depart

PETE (Yellow Ranger, cont'd):
Yeah, get outta here!

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
He's gonna be a hard nut to crack.  His self-image is so wrapped up in being evil...

[ RED looks to the others and then replies.  YELLOW crosses his arms and nods confidently. ]

Nobodies depart Nobodies depart

LUKE (Red Ranger):
We'll get through to him somehow.

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Right!

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Yeah... no problem.

I felt Blue Ranger's pontification in the sentai was a nice opportunity to show off her psychological insight.


[ EXT. FIELD - In the same field as earlier, the NOBODIES hurl their baseball equipment to the ground.  They toss their uniforms into another pile. ]

equipment clothes

[ The NOBODIES tear off their clothes in disgust.  They huddle crouched among the weeds, one of them hatefully smacking its megaphone against the ground. ]

disgusted Nobodies disgusted Nobodies disgusted Nobodies disgusted Nobodies

[ ZEPHYROS paces nearby.  He pounds his brush arm angrily. ]

Zephyros angry

ZEPHYROS:
Those Power Rangers...!  Next time we'll squash 'em flat!

[ The NOBODIES privately gather together, gurgling amongst each other. ]

huddle

ZEPHYROS (off-screen):
Hey, what are you guys talking about?

[ As a few of the NOBODIES glance back non-inclusively, one of them gestures reassuringly for Zephyros to stay put.  Their gurgling continues. ]

huddle huddle

[ ZEPHYROS eagerly approaches the pack.  Most ignore him, while others rowdily toss clumps of grass in his direction. ]

Zephyros excluded Zephyros excluded Zephyros excluded

ZEPHYROS:
Hey, come on, guys!  That sounds important!  (grass thrown, grunts exasperatedly)  Hey, come on!  This next mission's the evilest ever!

[ The NOBODIES all look at Zephyros (off-screen).  They then dismissively toss their grass clumps aside and rise lazily. ]

Nobodies indifferent Nobodies indifferent Nobodies indifferent

I found it challenging to try to fit dialog into the Nobodies' assorted reactions in this scene, but I'm fairly pleased with how it turned out.


[ INT. HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - PETE is sitting on the couch watching TV (in different clothes) when the phone rings.  PETE grunts and calls out: ]

PETE:
Who do you bet that is?

I didn't have much I wanted to accomplish here, so I made this intervening scene quite brief.  The intervening scene in the sentai also happened to be quite brief as well.


[ EXT. INDUSTRIAL SITE - The RANGERS dash through an industrial complex, scanning the area.  They stop and look around. ]

Luke has just finished his shift at the musem, while Pete has had to delay his arrival for his evening shift.

Rangers searching Rangers searching Rangers searching

LUKE (Red Ranger):
He's gotta be around here somewhere!  (they stop)

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Well, let's keep looking!

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Right.

[ Shown from a distance, the RANGERS run off. ]

Rangers searching

[ In another section, the RANGERS look around further. ]

Rangers searching Rangers searching Rangers searching

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
He's not here either!

LUKE (Red Ranger):
We'll get him!

[ The camera pans around the expansive complex. ]

industrial complex industrial complex

CASEY (off-screen):
This place gives me the creeps.

The panning shot made the complex seem slightly creepy to me, so I added Casey's line to that effect.

[ US footage - PINK RANGER bashfully looks to BLACK.  He continues to scan the idea. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger, cont'd):
Uhh, Chris... isn't this where you fought that robot that protected Sasha?

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
If you say so.

Chris feels awkward toward Casey since their kiss the night before, but further, he actually retained no memory of his first fight with Strife (episode 12), as he was under Snapshot's soul-stealing spell at the time.  I assumed this was the same location, though.

[ We tilt down another corridor in the complex.  ZEPHYROS' evil laughter echoes distantly. ]

industrial complex industrial complex

[ The RANGERS listen in all directions as the laughter continues. ]

Rangers listen

Oddly, one of the most challenging parts about dubbing this episode, I felt, was making up dialog for this relatively lengthy exploration sequence.

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Where is that coming from...?

LUKE (Red Ranger):
He's close.

ZEPHYROS (off-screen, closer):
Evil laughter!

[ The RANGERS spin around as we whip-pan to the left.  Some distance away, ZEPHYROS and the NOBODIES dash out. ]

Rangers spin whip-pan Zephyros emerges Team Zephyros

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
There!

ZEPHYROS:
Ha ha ha!

[ US footage - The RANGERS assume defensive stances.  Behind them is a metal warehouse wall. ]

I reshot this so that the ensuing US fire sequence wouldn't have to match the wall behind the Rangers in the sentai footage.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Come on, Zephyros...  Why don't we give this a rest?

[ ZEPHYROS advances a step, shaking his brush arm, as the NOBODIES stir behind him. ]

Zephyros retorts Zephyros retorts

ZEPHYROS:
Nice try, Rangers!  But feel free to "stick around!"

[ US footage - The RANGERS look at one another. ]

More of the US wall.

ZEPHYROS (off-screen, cont'd):
Mua ha ha!

[ ZEPHYROS crosses his arms and extends them. ]

Zephyros' order

ZEPHYROS (cont'd):
Operation... Stick 'Em!

Apparently, Zephyros' plan (which he considered the "evilest ever") involved sacrificing four Nobodies to glue the Rangers to the wall and bake them with his flames.  We're left to wonder why the four unlucky Nobodies agreed, or whether they were fully informed in advance.

[ Switch to US footage - Four NOBODIES leap into the air. ]

In the sentai, five Nobodies leaped, as would make sense to tackle five Rangers.  The problem was that six Nobodies remained with Zephyros, and only ten Nobodies were supposed to be present.

[ Sentai - ZEPHYROS blows a powerful stream of air from his nozzle. ]

Zephyros' gust

I took this shot from elsewhere in the episode; in the sentai, the five Nobodies glommed onto the Rangers and turned into what looked like branches wrapped around the Rangers (I find this baffling).

[ Accelerated by the gust, the NOBODIES rocket toward the RANGERS, their arms held out wide. ]

[ The RANGERS barely have time to back up a step before the four NOBODIES impact, splattering into black goo all around the RANGERS.  The RANGERS are not only knocked back against the wall behind them, but the goo also adheres them to its surface. ]

This US-original sequence is more in line with the Nobodies' nature in Take Flight.

I cut a lengthy preamble by Zephyros before he turned his switch; again, I didn't have anything important for him to say at that point.

[ Switch to sentai - ZEPHYROS speaks and turns his chest switch. ]

Zephyros speaks Zephyros speaks switch

ZEPHYROS:
And now for the roast!  (turns switch)

[ As the remaining NOBODIES look on (one particularly awestruck), ZEPHYROS spews a stream of fire from his nozzle. ]

fire fire

From the looks of that awestruck Nobody, I suppose Zephyros didn't clue them in fully beforehand.

[ US footage - The glued RANGERS are bathed in flames.  They groan and writhe, and sparks erupt from their bodies at random intervals. ]

Here, the Rangers writhed with Nobody-branches on them in the sentai.

[ As the firestorm continues, the NOBODIES cheer in gurgles and prance excitedly.  ZEPHYROS concurs. ]

Nobodies cheer

ZEPHYROS:
Ha ha!  Yes!  Fiery!

[ Three NOBODIES leap and cheer in delight. ]

Nobodies cheer

[ US footage - The RANGERS continue to roast in the flames.  The goo on and around them bubbles and scorches under the intense heat. ]

In the sentai, the branch-laden Rangers continued to burn, and a fiery red energy enveloped them.

[ A dog, meanwhile, begins licking ZEPHYROS' foot.  The monster looks down, distracted. ]

dog licking Zephyros' foot Zephyros looks down

ZEPHYROS:
Hee hee!  Hey, what the heck?  Oh, a doggie!

[ Switch to US footage - The soot-covered RANGERS fall limply, the wall behind them charred black with the exception of the Rangers' silhouettes. ]

This was a fun image I borrowed from the sentai.  I would have been willing to use that sentai footage, if not for the crazy Nobody branches used previously.

[ Still smoking, the RANGERS groan on the ground, barely conscious. ]

In the sentai, the Rangers writhed but weren't "barely conscious," per se.  They weren't smoking, curiously.

[ Switch to sentai - The dog now licks ZEPHYROS' chest switch, as the monster is now crouched with the dog on his lap. ]

dog licking switch dog licking switch

ZEPHYROS:
(laughs)  What, do I smell like food or something?

Only after I wrote that line to explain the dog's compulsive licking did I realize that he just might smell like food, as a result of rescuing the lady's groceries earlier.  To my knowledge, the sentai didn't attempt to explain the dog's fervent licking aside from it just being a friendly puppy.

[ US footage - The charred RANGERS look on, beginning to pick themselves up off the ground. ]

Again due to the US wall.

I cut a shot of what looked like Zephyros brushing the dog's teeth with his oversized brush arm.  (That may or may not have been what he was supposed to be doing.)

[ Giggling, ZEPHYROS falls onto his back, the dog under his arm.  The NOBODIES are startled by the sight. ]

giggling fit giggling fit

I cut this shot short because the puppy in the footage appeared to writhe out of discomfort and/or fear from being pinned under the falling monster.  I found this distracting (and distressing).

[ US footage - The RANGERS stand, transfixed by the sight. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
A ticklish monster...?

As a matter of fact, Pete's noodle cup (the pupal form of Ramenator) seemed to be ticklish (episode 11).

[ With ZEPHYROS now on his back, the dog licks on the turbine under his mouth.  ZEPHYROS emits a muffled giggle. ]

giggling fit

[ ZEPHYROS squeals with ticklish delight. ]

giggling fit

ZEPHYROS:
(giggles) I can't take it!  Please, no more!

I cut a shot of Zephyros squealing even further while the dog simply looked around in confusion.  This seemed out of place.

[ US footage - The RANGERS idly dust themselves off. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Just, uh, let us know when you're done over there.

[ Prostrate on the ground, ZEPHYROS gestures for help as the dog remains on top of him, but the NOBODIES look between each other and the monster.  As ZEPHYROS continues his flailing, the NOBODIES wave to the Rangers (off-screen) and indifferently turn their backs on ZEPHYROS.  As they walk away, ZEPHYROS begins to sit up, the dog running off. ]

prostrate Zephyros Nobodies wave Nobodies leave dog leaves

ZEPHYROS (giddily exhausted):
Ohh, help me up, fellas!  (no response)  Oh, come on, guys!  What are you waiting for?  (Nobodies wave, stroll off)  Hey, wait!  Where are you going?  Come back!  (dog leaves)  Aww...  (grunts, sits up)

This was the end of this scene in the sentai.  I had to gather shots from other locations in the episode to fill in for his departure.

[ ZEPHYROS sits up in the direction of the camera and clenches his fist in frustration. ]

Zephyros sits up Zephyros curses Zephyros curses

In this shot, Zephyros was sitting up after having fallen off a roof in the industrial area; he had somehow gotten up there since the puppy incident and had been daydreaming about defeating the Mega Kestrelzord and being waited on by the villains.

ZEPHYROS (cont'd):
Ohhh, I blew it!  I'm such a loser!

[ Switch to US footage - The RANGERS approach with a friendly demeanor.  (Their suits are now cleaner.) ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Hey, man...  Quit worrying about trying to impress people.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Yeah.  There are a lot more rewarding things in life than being tough.

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Like that warm feeling you get when you help somebody!  Or... when you pet a puppy!

When I wrote that line, I wasn't even thinking of the recent dog incident, but it was appropriate with or without that context.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Besides, bullying people only impresses jerks anyway.  Are they the kind of friends you want?

Ah, Rangers, you're so wise.

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Let us help you, Zephyros.

[ Sentai - ZEPHYROS nods and rubs his head. ]

Zephyros gives in

ZEPHYROS:
All right, Rangers... you win.

This shot was recycled from Zephyros' encounter with the grocery lady.

[ SASHA stands on a roof above, her STAR HANDLE in hand. ]

SASHA:
Funny, that's not the way I see it.

[ Looking up, the RANGERS react. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Oh, great.

[ Sentai - ZEPHYROS clutches his head, gestures animatedly, and turns. ]

Zephyros excuses himself Zephyros excuses himself Zephyros excuses himself

ZEPHYROS:
Ohh...  You guys have been great, but I'm outta here!

This shot was recycled from Team Zephyros' confrontation with the Rangers outside the baseball stadium.

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Go, guys.  Get Zephyros to safety.  I'll take care of Sasha.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Right.

[ RED, BLUE, and YELLOW begin to depart in Zephyros' direction (off-screen), but PINK stands her ground, causing them to pause. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
I'm staying too.

Casey is committed to Chris despite their recent awkwardness.

[ BLACK nods before leaping skyward. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Let's do it then!  (leaps)

[ PINK leaps as well.  RED, BLUE, and YELLOW continue their egress. ]


[ EXT. WAREHOUSE ROOFTOP - Atop a warehouse in the industrial complex, SASHA squares off with the BLACK and PINK RANGERS as they land in front of her. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Haven't you learned your lesson yet, Princess?

SASHA:
What, are you going to lecture me about being nice too?

Sasha's condescension toward the Rangers' so-called lecture could be seen as a twist on the morals found in early seasons of Power Rangers.  It reminds me of Jenny Hunter's condescending remark to Kat in one episode of Power Rangers Turbo (1997), which was notable mixing up the "rival turns friendly" cliché.

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Would it make a difference?

SASHA:
Not really, no.

[ BLACK shrugs, and the fight begins.  Between battling BLACK RANGER with martial arts, SASHA fires bluish-white lasers from her STAR HANDLE at the two RANGERS.  PINK returns fire with her SKY BLASTER. ]

Sasha has previously battled four Rangers on two occasions (episodes 10 and 19) and fought Maggie alone in episode 14.

[ SASHA fends off both RANGERS using martial arts.  Finally, BLACK RANGER manages to kick the STAR HANDLE from her hand.  It flies through the air, and PINK RANGER catches it.  BLACK then secures SASHA in an arm lock. ]

[ Above, the red-striped HOVERBIRD watches. ]

I found it necessary to let Luke watch this battle from afar for his own peace of mind, but further, I needed a way for Dillik to watch the battle from afar.  To that end, Luke has used manual control to guide his Hoverbird to the battle site.

[ BLACK RANGER speaks to the captive SASHA as she struggles. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
All right, Princess, you're pretty powerless without that wand, aren't you?

As Maggie surely observed in episode 14.

[ SASHA struggles bitterly. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger, cont'd):
What do you say, Casey?  We give her to the police?

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Yeah, I could see that.

I was initially at a loss to figure out what Rangers would do with a captive, powerless villain.  Giving her to the police seemed reasonable, though she probably would have been transferred into military custody.

SASHA:
You'll never --

[ Before she can finish her sentence, SASHA vanishes with greenish-silver vertical streaks. ]

Dillik was watching and has teleported her to safety.

[ Surprised, BLACK and PINK look to the sky. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Well, so much for that.  (looks at Star Handle)  What do we do with this?

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Let's go somewhere safe, and maybe we can try... (shrugs) ... destroying it, or hiding it, or something.

As seen in episode 32, destroying it here would have caused a fairly sizable explosion.  Further, Maggie had (fortunately) been unsuccessful in breaking it in episode 14.

[ PINK nods. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Okay.


[ EXT. INDUSTRIAL SITE - Below, BLACK and PINK land but are startled by someone some distance ahead of them (off-screen). ]

We're left to wonder why they jumped down rather than flying off.  My Strife footage was at ground level, and yet I preferred a rooftop for Sasha's fight.

[ Sentai (Jetman #5) - STRIFE walks toward them. ]

Strife walking Strife walking Strife walking

I use a few assorted shots of Strife here.

[ BLACK places himself in front of PINK as they both strike defensive stances. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
It's him!

[ Switch to sentai (Jetman #50) - With BLACK RANGER in the foreground (US composite over sentai), STRIFE draws closer.  His demeanor is not overtly aggressive.  After a moment, he extends his hand. ]

Strife confrontation (not shown: US Black Ranger over sentai actor) Strife confrontation (not shown: US Black Ranger over sentai actor) Strife confrontation (not shown: US Black Ranger over sentai actor) Strife holds out his hand (not shown: US Black Ranger over sentai actor)

At this point in Jetman #50, Strife was preparing for his fateful showdown with Black Ranger, which is featured further in episode 27.

STRIFE:
My name is Strife, Rangers.  You have something that belongs to a comrade of mine.  I believe it's known as a "Star Handle."  Of course, we won't have to resort to violence if you'll simply... (extends his hand) ... hand it over.

Here, the Rangers are informed of the names for Strife and the Star Handle.

Dillik apparently doesn't care to fight the Rangers while they aren't engaged in harming Sasha.

[ With STRIFE's extended hand in the foreground, BLACK RANGER looks back to PINK (both US composites over sentai).  After a moment, PINK hands him the STAR HANDLE. ]

Strife holds out his hand (not shown: US Rangers over sentai actor)

[ US footage - Shown in a close-up profile, BLACK RANGER accepts the STAR HANDLE (perhaps off-screen) and stares down Strife (off-screen). ]

[ Shown in similar profile, STRIFE eyes Black Ranger (off-screen) in return. ]

Strife in profile

[ Switch to US footage - BLACK RANGER takes a step back and hurls the STAR HANDLE into the air toward his left.  He then presents his empty palms to Strife (off-screen). ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
It's all yours.

[ Sentai (Jetman #34) - Looking in the direction of the airborne Star Handle (off-screen), STRIFE steps forward and grunts with annoyance.  He then advances out of frame. ]

Strife looks Strife looks Strife advances

No time to punish the Rangers.

[ BLACK looks to PINK RANGER. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Well, that should keep him busy for a little while, anyway.  Ready to get out of here?

Beyond protecting Sasha at times, Strife hasn't done anything to merit the Rangers' aggression here (also, Chris probably doubts they could defeat him alone, so it's best to part ways while he isn't being violent).

[ PINK nods. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
After you.

[ BLACK and PINK leap into the sky. ]


[ EXT. SKY (sentai) - PINK RANGER extends her underarm wings (Jetman #19). ]

Pink wings Pink wings

[ BLACK RANGER extends his wings as well (Jetman #2). ]

Black Ranger in flight Black Ranger in flight

[ US footage - Together, BLACK and PINK soar through the sky. ]


[ EXT. INDUSTRIAL SITE (Jetman #34) - STRIFE scans the ground until spying something among some vegetation nearby (off-screen).  We pan down (transition to US footage), revealing the STAR HANDLE. ]

Strife searching located pan down pan down Star Handle

At this point in Jetman #34, Gray (Strife) found Red's Morpher devices (actually fakes) during Red's plot to trick him into taking the Battlezord to the villains' base.


[ Break. ]


[ EXT. MOUNTAIN HIGHWAY (SUNSET) - A black pickup truck with a camper shell drives down the highway at sunset. ]

Pete is now quite late to work.  He don't know what excuse he used.

PETE (voice-over):
Man, this is pretty cool.  I've never commandeered anything before!


[ INT. PICKUP TRUCK - Inside the pickup, LUKE is driving while MAGGIE sits in the passenger seat and PETE sits in the center.  Behind PETE, the rear window into the rear section is open (though we don't see Zephyros from this vantage point). ]

MAGGIE:
Yes you have!  We used that moving truck to trap that blob monster!

Originally, Pete's line stood without rebuttal, but I then remembered the moving truck incident (episode 15).

PETE:
Oh yeah.  Well, this is cooler.

LUKE (nodding toward his Morpher):
Yeah, well, I'm just glad Casey and Chris are okay.

MAGGIE:
Definitely.  Now all we need to worry about is where to hide Zephyros.

As revealed in episode 31, they will settle on the hills of the nearby town known as Windvale.

[ PETE turns in his seat to speak toward the rear. ]

PETE:
Hey man, can you, like, turn back into a hair dryer?  You could lay low like nobody's business.

The irreversibility of monster transformations has been a staple of Take Flight from the beginning, though that solution would have been helpful to allow US footage of Zephyros.  Instead, I've settled on having just his hand recreated.

[ ZEPHYROS' finger waggles through the window. ]

ZEPHYROS (off-screen):
Yeah, why don't you just turn back into a baby human first and tell me how that goes?

[ PETE turns back around and nods understandingly. ]

PETE:
Huh.  Point taken.

[ MAGGIE snickers. ]


[ EXT. CEMETERY HILLSIDE (SUNSET) - On a grassy hillside overlooking the cemetery, CHRIS and CASEY are reclined on a blanket. ]

[ After a moment of silence, CASEY turns to CHRIS. ]

CASEY:
Um... about last night...  It was a... reflex or something.  I dunno.  But I'm sorry.

[ CHRIS chuckles without making eye contact. ]

CHRIS:
It's not a big deal.  (pauses)  So, do you think you're gonna go to the wedding?

[ CASEY makes a face and looks at the sunset again. ]

CASEY:
Ehh, probably not... unless I leave my Morpher here with you guys.  You know, so you could... find a substitute.

I found this idea interesting; Lisa probably would have filled in for her.  Ultimately, though, I didn't plan to go in this direction, as the Zords would be operational in time for the wedding.

[ CHRIS glances at her with a smirk. ]

CHRIS:
I dunno about that.  You're kinda irreplaceable.

Aww.

[ CASEY looks at him and smiles bashfully as he looks away.  A moment passes. ]

CASEY:
Hey, can I ask you kind of a personal question?  You don't have to answer if it's weird though.

[ CHRIS looks to CASEY, listening. ]

CASEY (cont'd):
What kind of, um, "person" have you always pictured yourself with?

The subtext here is that Casey isn't sure he likes girls (see episode 15).

CHRIS:
Like, girlfriend...?

CASEY:
Okay, yeah.

[ CHRIS resumes looking at the sunset. ]

CHRIS:
I don't think about it.

I found it appropriate to delve into Chris's reluctance to enter into a relationship at this point.  Even as I wrote this dialog, I wasn't sure which way it would end up going.  Happily, though, she convinces him to give himself a chance.

[ CASEY blinks. ]

CASEY:
Like, not at all?

[ CHRIS shrugs. ]

CHRIS:
I don't see why everybody has to be in a relationship.

[ CASEY makes a face. ]

CASEY:
Well... don't you get lonely?

[ CHRIS's demeanor grows harsher. ]

CHRIS:
Of course I get lonely.  (calms)  I'm just... not the relationship type.

[ CASEY looks down. ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
I mean, yeah, of course it sounds nice.  But relationships are for nice people.  People with bright, happy futures.

[ CASEY looks at him. ]

CASEY:
What makes you think you don't have a future?  Or that you're not a nice person?

CHRIS:
(chuckles)  Have you seriously looked at me?  What am I gonna offer as a boyfriend?

CASEY:
Maybe you could give yourself a chance and find out.

[ CHRIS shakes his head. ]

CHRIS:
You can do better than me.

CASEY (gently):
Maybe you could let me decide that...?

[ CHRIS looks at her a moment and then lowers his gaze.  After a while, he speaks: ]

CHRIS:
I'm sorry.

[ Moments pass. ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
If I was in a relationship, I'd want to do it right.  ... be the kinda guy that you deserve, do all the right things...  (meets her gaze)  I just... don't know how to do those things.

CASEY:
Like I know what I'm doing?  This isn't a game with some referee calling you over every rule you get wrong...  Just... (with a smile) ...be nice to me, and I'll let you slide on the rules.

[ CHRIS cracks a very faint smile.  After a moment, they look once again at the sunset, and CASEY leans her head against CHRIS's shoulder.  The camera rises over the hillside.  Fade to black. ]

I liked leaving their relationship on a hopeful note without being unrealistically mushy.