This episode was completed on August 1, 2007, and released on August 23, 2008. Its title refers to oddities encountered by the Rangers and Dillik upon their respective returns to Earth.
Writer: Joe Rovang
[ Sentai footage is primarily from Jetman #36, 37, and 38, but all sources are indicated. ]
In Jetman #36, Chokan takes the Rangers to a mountain resort. They relax until White falls prey to Tran's plan, which involves special ants which make people ravenous for meat. After defeating White and the other ant-people, the Rangers battle Tran until he combines his ants into a monster (Formico). Once the Kestrelzord destroys the monster, Tran is mocked by his fellow villains, prompting him to run away. Inside a cave, he forces himself to transform into an adult form, Tranza (whose actor also played a principal villain in Liveman).
In Jetman #37, the Rangers are outperformed by a stranger who reveals himself as Emperor Tranza; he then succeeds in defeating both the Rangers and his fellow villains, declaring himself leader of the villains. Red trains but is soon challenged by Tranza; Radiguet's monster Two-Fish, however, breaks up the fight, leading Tranza to return to base to put the villains in their place. Weary from his fight, Red remains unmorphed but nonetheless prompts the others to destroy the monster by shooting his missiles.
Due to their focus on Tranza (whose footage I was unwilling to use), these two episodes left me with little remaining content; hence, I combined them into a single episode here. I also threw in Satellizard from Jetman #38, as it had greater relevance to this episode's introduction of (initially non-growing) biomass monsters than to the Hammersham plot; see the commentary in episode 26 for a summary of Satellizard's source episode. Further, I wanted to use Formico's Kestrelzord battle before the Mega Kestrelzord and Battlezord were introduced.
My early plans for this episode involved the Rangers hiding the Kestrelzord in the mountains and visiting Casey's parents, who happened to be nearby; this would have explained the distinct terrain in the background during the Formico battle. By the time I reached this episode, however, I'd decided on the time-traveling duplicates plot (see episodes 36 and 37), and I found it much more interesting to have the Rangers return home to find things mysteriously taken care of.
[ Fade in to EXT. HOUSE, DRIVEWAY (NIGHT) - We see the edge of the woods near the Rangers' house. Crickets are chirping all around. The moon, if shown, is waning gibbous. ]
This scene takes place on the evening of Sunday, July 19, 1992; the Rangers have been gone since midday on the previous Saturday.
[ The crickets fall silent as a bright blue beam of light from above splits the darkness, beaming the five HEROES down. The light fades, and we see the HEROES in their most recent Earth clothes (see episode 21): LUKE is in his work clothes, holding his jacket and tie in his hand, while the others are in casual clothes. As in the previous two episodes, none of their hairstyles requires a blow dryer or product, and neither of the girls is wearing makeup. LUKE now sports thick brown stubble, the beginnings of a beard. Over CHRIS's shoulder is a large black sack which appears to hold laundry. ]
The heroes are wearing the clothes they wore when they were teleported to Illam during episode 22. Their laundry consists of black uniforms they wore during their journey home, as salvaged from the Vanguard base on Illam.
Notes on Luke's pre-beard can be found in the commentary for episode 23.
I liked the touch of the crickets falling silent.
[ Taking a brief look around, the HEROES are visibly relieved. (The crickets eventually resume chirping.) The HEROES head toward the house, CASEY detouring to her parked car to run her hand over it. (The top is up.) ]
Ohh, home sweet home! Hello, moon! Hello, trees! (runs hand over car) Hello car!
[ CASEY pauses, puzzled, as the others pass her by. ]
CASEY (cont'd, confused):
Wait a minute...
Casey's car would have been left at the cafe where she and Chris were eating lunch before they responded to the monster army crisis (episode 21). Future-Casey has secretly brought it home.
[ CHRIS stops and looks back. The others pause as well as he speaks. ]
What is it, Casey? (puzzled) Hey, how'd your car get here? (others pause)
[ CASEY warily takes a step back from the car. ]
That's what I'd like to know!
What are you guys talking about?
We were out at lunch when Sasha attacked.
Yeah, I left the car at the cafe. I don't know how it got here!
[ LUKE, MAGGIE, and PETE exchange a mystified glance. ]
[ INT. HOUSE, DOWNSTAIRS (NIGHT) - MAGGIE unlocks the door, and LUKE enters cautiously as she pockets her key. He flips on the lights. All appears to be in order. ]
Maggie carrying a key in her pocket is a parallel with episode 16.
[ The HEROES enter, examining the house. Last inside, CHRIS shuts and locks the door. ]
Well, everything looks normal...
[ LUKE peers into the laundry room. Inside, his blue bicycle is hanging on a rack mounted to the wall. ]
Except... I didn't bring my bike home either. I left it at work.
Luke was at work when he had to leave to fight Shockra and the other monsters (episode 21). Future-Luke brought his bike home.
What? Come on, dude, are you messing with us?
[ LUKE shakes his head, his eyes transfixed on the bike. ]
[ CHRIS sets down his laundry sack. The HEROES continue to examine the house suspiciously. (CHRIS and CASEY stay close, his hand on her back.) ]
What's going on here?
[ INT. HOUSE, DINING ROOM (NIGHT) - PETE examines the dining room table, where he finds a pile of eight newspapers (including two thicker Sunday editions), none of them bagged. A fruit bowl in the center of the table contains just a few apples. ]
Okay, this is freaky.
[ MAGGIE looks on from the edge of the living room. ]
[ PETE takes an apple from the fruit bowl and studies it. ]
I know we had more fruit than this. Like, a pear and a banana. (places it back in the bowl) Oh yeah, and there's a week's worth of newspapers on the table.
Future-Casey brought in the newspapers and ate the fruit before it went bad, as seen in episode 37.
[ MAGGIE looks back at the others (off-screen) with concern. ]
[ INT. HOUSE, DOWNSTAIRS (NIGHT) - CHRIS, CASEY, and LUKE exchange suspicious glances. They then look up at the stairs. ]
[ INT. HOUSE, CASEY'S ROOM (NIGHT) - CHRIS opens the door to Casey's room. Nothing seems abnormal. The room is decorated simply but with a girly, pink theme. ]
[ INT. HOUSE, ATTIC (NIGHT) - CHRIS ascends the stairs into the attic and turns on the lights. Nothing appears amiss. ]
[ CHRIS approaches the desk, where his sketch book lies (see episode 15). He opens it and flips through numerous pages of drawings, ultimately coming to white unused pages. He closes the book, seeming satisfied. ]
Future-Chris would have had no reason to come to the house and draw in his younger counterpart's sketch book. This is an important part of Chris's identity, though, so he makes sure to check it.
[ INT. HOUSE, UPSTAIRS (NIGHT) - CHRIS descends from the attic stairs into the upstairs hallway. At the other end of the hall, LUKE emerges from Maggie's room beside the staircase leading downstairs. He holds a photocopy of a typed letter in his hand. ]
[ LUKE holds up the letter. ]
[ Dissolve to INT. HOUSE, LIVING ROOM (NIGHT) - The HEROES are gathered in the living room. PETE and MAGGIE share a chair and ottoman, while CHRIS, CASEY, and LUKE share the couch. MAGGIE reads from the letter, apparently in the middle of it. ]
"... I'm very sorry this has come up on such short notice, but I hope you'll understand. I expect to return on Sunday, the Nineteenth."
"Sincerely, Maggie Lu." Except that's not my signature.
So whose is it? And how'd they know we'd be back today?
It's not specified which of the future heroes wrote and signed the letter, but by this point I was planning to have Maggie give her powers to Lisa later in the series, and so Maggie wouldn't have been present back in time to cover for her younger self.
Could it be the Thadians...?
Certainly not; Casey seems to overestimate the aliens' abilities. (She is, of course, referring to their new allies from episodes 23 and 24).
Well, it's dated last Saturday.
Plus, they don't know that much English.
Wait, last Saturday? So, it's the day we left...
That's too weird. But... I guess if somebody was covering for us, that explains why we didn't get any phone messages.
Not a one? Or did future-Casey delete a few trivial messages?
Yeah, except Maggie's the only one with a copy of a letter.
[ CASEY ponders. ]
LUKE (reaching for the phone):
I'm gonna give Detective Morales a call. ...See if he knows anything.
[ Wipe to INT. DETECTIVE MORALES' HOME, KITCHEN (NIGHT) - In a moderately sizable kitchen, DETECTIVE MORALES paces while talking on the phone. He is wearing casual house clothes. Several children's drawings are stuck with magnets to the refrigerator. ]
This is the only time we see Detective Morales at home. From this scene, we learn he has young children.
No. No, I haven't. It's been really quiet, actually. Are you guys all right?
As seen in episode 37, Detective Morales paid a visit to Luke on the day of the monster army incident to check on him; he's now asking for a second time if they're all right.
[ INT. HOUSE, DINING ROOM (NIGHT) - LUKE stands by the dining room table as he talks on the phone. ]
Yeah, we're fine. Just kinda tired. (listens a moment, then chuckles politely) We will. (listens) No, I think we're okay. Thanks though. (pauses) Bye. (hangs up)
[ MAGGIE stands in the living room doorway. ]
[ LUKE distantly shakes his head. ]
[ Dissolve to EXT. SPACE STATION - TRASK'S SHIP is once again docked with the space station. ]
This scene takes place either very late the evening of the 19th, or early in the morning on the 20th.
[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - DILLIK cheerfully strolls into the command center (not yet shown fully) from the direction in which he left (see episode 23). He carries a metal suitcase. ]
Dillik is returning from visiting Sasha on Illam (see episode 24).
Dillik's suitcase carries his VR helmet which he uses to control Strife (again, see episode 24).
Traaa-aaask, I'm home!
[ DILLIK halts in his tracks upon seeing the center of the room. The central console is missing, leaving only a circular connection port and several bolt holes on the floor. ]
W-- What happened here...?
Trask used the Jinnsect he found in episode 24 to create an assistant, Mainframe, from the central console. This was Jinnsect #5, recycled after its original use as a Somebody in episode 3. My early plans for the series had this Jinnsect used for Zephyros instead (as his episode was planned to take place much later in the series).
[ DILLIK startles as heavy metallic footsteps begin to plod down an adjoining corridor, growing closer. ]
We don't hear Mainframe's loud metallic footsteps in other scenes because this sound reflects Dillik's enhanced hearing.
I don't like the sound of that!
[ DILLIK flees down the hallway leading to his lab, taking his suitcase with him. ]
[ INT. SPACE STATION, OUTSIDE OF DILLIK'S LAB - Suitcase in hand, DILLIK rushes up but recoils as he sees the door is open. Inside, we see his work table has been moved aside, and the refiner in the wall has been modified and expanded, now occupying more of the room. Dr. Bering's cryogenic container is absent. ]
Per Trask's orders, Mainframe has begun modifying the biomass refiner to create monsters. As Dr. Bering's cryogenic container was in the way, Mainframe moved it to Dillik's quarters instead.
W-- Someone broke into my lab! (desperately looks around) Oh no! Frozen scientist!
[ The metallic footsteps thud in the distance. DILLIK flees. ]
[ INT. SPACE STATION, DILLIK'S QUARTERS - DILLIK ducks into his private quarters (see episode 6) and locks the door with the wall controls. He then sets his suitcase down and leans with his back against the wall, catching his breath. At this point, he notices the cryogenic container beside him. DR. BERING is still frozen within. ]
[ DILLIK sighs with relief. ]
Oh, frozen scientist. Good, you managed to get away. Who's responsible for all this? (pauses) Come on, now's no time for the quiet game!
Dillik's grip on reality regarding Dr. Bering seems fragile.
[ The metallic footsteps approach outside the door. DILLIK grows anxious. ]
DILLIK (cont'd, hushed):
Shh, he's here!
[ A moment later, there is a polite knock on the door (though whatever is knocking has a composition much harder than human knuckles). ]
[ DILLIK watches the door with wide eyes, standing in front of the cryogenic container protectively. ]
DILLIK (to the container):
[ The door panel's lights change as the door unlocks itself. The door begins to slide open, to DILLIK's horror. ]
[ As the door moves aside, we see... ]
[ MAINFRAME stands outside the door. He is a bulky, robotic creature whose broad upper torso shape is vaguely reminiscent of the command center's missing central console. A JINNSECT is embedded in his shoulder. ]
[ MAINFRAME speaks politely with an electronic voice. ]
[ DILLIK startles. ]
He knows my name! (studies Mainframe) Wait a second... you're the missing control panel, aren't you? You've got a Jinnsect and everything... But how? All the Jinnsects were destroyed...
[ TRASK strolls into view behind MAINFRAME, who enters the room to make room for TRASK to stand at the doorway. (TRASK does not actually cross the threshold of the doorway.) ]
All but one.
[ Dissolve to INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - TRASK fumbles with the controls on the central console (which is back in place for this flashback). ]
TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
While you were away, I studied our video archive.
I did wonder whether Trask's invisibility to electronic equipment meant he shouldn't be able to press buttons on the central console, but the need was too great for me to maintain otherwise. Also, he had already been seen working controls in various spacecraft (episodes 13 and 17). (Technically, I suppose he should have been able to operate physical buttons but perhaps not conductive flat-screen panels. Which type is in use here is up to the set crew who designed the space station set, hypothetically speaking.)
[ In a close-up of the monitor, we see timestamped footage (from episode 3) of the SOMEBODY melting, after which a slimy JINNSECT retreats into the ravine in the quarry. ]
TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
I saw that one Jinnsect had survived and gone into hiding.
Jinnsects survived the melting of their organic Somebody hosts (episodes 3 and 18); in all other cases, a defeated monster would have been resurrected in giant size.
[ EXT. QUARRY RAVINE (NIGHT) - As seen in the previous episode, TRASK holds onto the rock face with one arm as he removes a black pod from a rocky nook. ]
TRASK (voice-over, cont'd):
I found it hibernating in the quarry.
[ INT. SPACE STATION, DILLIK'S QUARTERS - TRASK continues his story. MAINFRAME stands beside him. ]
... And I used it to create our dear friend Mainframe here.
MAINFRAME (with a nod):
Hard to believe that this polite fellow could cause so much trouble in the finale. (Has he adopted elements of Dillik's personality after being exposed to him for the past few months?) Over the course of the remaining episodes, I tried to depict Mainframe as experiencing a range of new emotions, despite his beginnings as a subservient assistant. By the finale, he will have grown into an imposing foe.
[ DILLIK appears confused. ]
TRASK (with a chuckle):
My mission is far too important to be sidetracked by your leave of absence. In all likelihood, the Rangers won't destroy themselves.
Trask's apparent ambivalence toward Dillik's departure probably hides his private disappointment.
The Rangers... Did they come back?
TRASK (looking to Mainframe):
It looks that way.
An unidentified craft was detected entering Earth atmosphere from deep space earlier tonight. Its design seems comparable to the Sky Flyers.
So you... think Mainframe can beat the Rangers...?
Up to this point, no Jinnsect monster has been used for anything other than a physical foe to the Rangers. Mainframe will be the longest-living Jinnsect monster, with a lifespan of 75 days; his nearest contender, Zephyros, survives for 42 days.
[ TRASK laughs. ]
Dillik, Mainframe is my new technician. He's been developing a technique for synthesizing creatures from our biomass supply.
In Jetman, the villains began using a new method of monster creation halfway through the series (beginning with Luxadillo in Jetman #25). This was done by combining living creatures with inanimate objects, with the help of new Jinnsect-like bugs which were dull red in color and differently shaped. From an early planning phase, I intended not to use the red bugs, as I found a one-time transfer of Jinnsects into this dimension to be more compelling, and the Jinnsect-sharpshooting plan would have been awkward to dismiss mid-series. Instead, I made biomass their origin (though I had originally planned for Dillik to develop this technique).
[ DILLIK looks disappointed. ]
TRASK (to Mainframe):
In fact, you were just finishing up, weren't you, Mainframe?
[ MAINFRAME straightens. ]
Uhh, yes sir.
[ MAINFRAME exits dutifully. TRASK smirks and then looks to DILLIK. ]
Don't look so glum, Dillik. Once the human threat is eradicated, you'll be remembered in galactic legend. All without lifting another finger.
[ DILLIK appears unsatisfied. TRASK, however, turns to leave. ]
I'll leave you to settle in.
[ DILLIK calls out after him. ]
H-- Hey Trask, don't you want to know about Sasha?
Sasha is alive and recovering on Illam, as Dillik discovered in episode 24.
[ TRASK pauses but doesn't look back. ]
[ He leaves. ]
[ DILLIK looks aside disappointedly. ]
[ Dissolve to EXT. CITY (MORNING) - We see the sun low on the horizon as the day begins. ]
Most of the rest of this episode takes place on Monday, July 20, the day after the Rangers returned to Earth.
[ INT. FRANCO'S KITCHEN - As SAM and PATRICK are preparing the kitchen, PETE sheepishly pokes his head in from the locker area (see episode 8). He is wearing his chef's uniform, minus the apron and toque. ]
[ PATRICK looks up. ]
Hey, is Mr. Franco here yet?
No... You need him?
[ PETE pulls his apron from a locker and ties it around his waist. ]
Nah... I was just wondering how he took last week.
[ SAM appears confused. In the background, MANNY (see episode 8) heads into the cooler. ]
What do you mean?
You know, me being gone. Was he... you know...
[ SAM and PATRICK exchange a perplexed glance. ]
You lost us. What happened last week?
[ PETE is puzzled in return as he puts on his hat. ]
PETE (with a chuckle):
You didn't notice I wasn't here for a week?
Pete, are you okay?
Yeah, Pete, you were here all week. You... don't remember?
Future-Pete filled in during Pete's week away from Earth.
[ PETE blinks, stunned. ]
I was... here...?
[ PETE walks over to a cleaning schedule on a clipboard on the wall. He scrutinizes it closely. ]
PETE (inwardly, cont'd):
That's my handwriting...
[ PATRICK approaches, concerned. ]
Pete, what's going on?
[ PETE whirls around and laughs. ]
Man, I'm just messing with you.
[ PATRICK pauses, glances back at SAM, and then chuckles tentatively. SAM cocks her head curiously. ]
[ PETE frowns slightly, concerned, and then distractedly proceeds to the handwashing station. ]
[ Dissolve to INT. DOLI'S APARTMENT (MORNING) - In the kitchen, CHRIS rummages through the fully-stocked refrigerator. ]
Grandma, where'd you get all this food?
[ In the living room, DOLI sits in her chair reading the newspaper. ]
You brought it on Saturday, Gaagii.
Indeed, future-Chris brought Doli groceries while Chris was away, as the Rangers were gone just over a week, and Chris would have missed his normal grocery delivery this past weekend (he last brought her groceries the Saturday prior, in episode 21).
[ CHRIS stands and looks back in his grandmother's direction with a concerned frown. ]
[ Wipe to INT. BIKE SHOP (MORNING) - CHRIS unlocks the bike shop and enters. Once inside, he examines the bikes, particularly those behind the counter. ]
[ Soon, he turns to the counter and pulls out a group of yellow service receipts. He flips through them with increasing concern. Finally, he looks up and stares blankly out the window. ]
Future-Chris also filled in at the bike shop.
This is crazy...
[ INT. MUSEUM LOBBY - FRIEDA is working at the front computer when LUKE enters in casual clothes. His face is now cleanly shaven. ]
FRIEDA (without looking up):
Hello, Luke. Right on time.
[ LUKE is taken aback. ]
W-- You knew I was coming? I-- I'm not scheduled today, am I?
Luke doesn't work on Mondays.
[ FRIEDA smiles and looks up at him. ]
No. Somebody told me you'd be coming this morning.
FRIEDA (with a smile):
Future-Luke's conversation with Frieda is described below.
[ LUKE cocks his head in bewilderment. ]
I'm sorry, come again?
Before you left yesterday, you told me you couldn't explain, but that you'd come in this morning with no memory of the past week. You said it was... (in a hushed tone) ...Power Ranger-related.
[ LUKE shakes his head, stunned. ]
That's impossible. I-- I was away all week.
[ LUKE considers. Meanwhile, FRIEDA reaches for something beside the computer terminal. ]
Can I --
FRIEDA (interrupting him, with a video cassette in hand):
...see the security tape? Sure.
[ LUKE remains perplexed. ]
[ INT. SECURITY OFFICE - At a bank of monitors showing views from throughout the museum, FRIEDA inserts the video cassette and presses play as LUKE watches. In the monitor, we see timestamped footage of LUKE working in uniform in the afternoon. ]
Our first glimpse of one of the Rangers' time-traveling duplicates.
[ Watching the footage, present-day LUKE scrutinizes the video. ]
It really is me...
You said you'd be confused, but you wanted me to tell you everything would make sense eventually.
[ LUKE continues to study the monitor, as though haunted by the sight. At one point, the LUKE in the recording glances up at the camera with a seemingly self-conscious smile as he passes by. ]
This mirrors Luke's self-consciousness on-camera in episode 4.
[ Break. ]
[ INT. BIKE SHOP - Behind the counter, LUKE talks on the store's phone. Nearby, CHRIS repairs a bike. ]
LUKE (into phone):
Right. Well, let's just keep our eyes open. All right. Later.
[ LUKE hangs up. ]
LUKE (cont'd, to Chris):
Pete says everyone thinks he was there all week too.
Casey's shift starts at two, but I'll bet she'll tell us the same thing.
This is so strange. Who could it have been? I mean, my double totally looked like me.
In "A Bad Reflection On You" (MMPR season 1), the Twin Man monster disguised himself and Putty Patrollers as evil duplicates of the Rangers (including their civilian forms). That hasn't happened here, of course.
I dunno, it seems like they did a pretty good job covering for us. They even took out our trash! Why would a monster do that?
I don't really ask questions anymore.
[ LUKE grunts and absently looks out the window. ]
[ INT. SPACE STATION, DILLIK'S LAB - MAINFRAME stands with his fingertips against the refiner machinery in a state resembling meditation. His eyes are glossed over with a pattern suggestive of bits of data flowing through his mind. Beside him, a few pieces of machinery shift slightly and reconstruct themselves in new formations, but the sound of stirring machinery suggests most of the work is happening out of view. ]
Mainframe's power of technopathy arguably makes him one of the most powerful Jinnsect monsters (though Arella from episode 22 probably outmatches him in raw power). His initially timid personality, however, hinders his potential (at least until the finale).
[ DILLIK self-consciously approaches. ]
So, how's it going?
[ MAINFRAME startles out of his trance and releases his fingers, causing a piece of machinery nearby to burst and release a small amount of steam. DILLIK startles as well. The machinery then grows silent. ]
Oh! Dillik! I'm sorry... I didn't hear you come in.
[ MAINFRAME touches the wall with one hand, and the burst machinery reassembles itself. ]
[ DILLIK tries to reply while watching the self-repairing machinery. ]
No, no... I should've knocked... That's, uh... that's a nice power you've got there. Technopathy?
[ MAINFRAME looks at his hand. ]
Yes, thank you. (to Dillik) Would you like me to build you something?
[ DILLIK takes a step back. ]
DILLIK (anxiously, trying to be polite):
N-- No, thanks, I'm okay.
Dillik is initially uncomfortable around Mainframe, but he will befriend him by the end of this episode.
Mainframe! What's the status?
[ MAINFRAME quickly turns as TRASK enters the room. ]
Uh, almost ready, sir!
Well, hurry up, already! Every minute you waste is another minute the Rangers stand undefeated!
[ MAINFRAME bows and returns to his work. ]
Yes sir. (turns, resumes)
[ As MAINFRAME's hands latch onto the wall of machinery in the foreground, we focus on DILLIK in the background as he watches carefully. ]
[ EXT. CITY STREET - LUKE takes a walk down the sidewalk with LISA, who wears her work uniform (see episode 21). ]
This is gonna sound pretty strange, I'm sure, but...
[ LISA is unable to hide a faint smile, which LUKE notices. ]
For Lisa's reaction in this episode, I planned out a sequence of events (shown in episode 37) wherein future-Lisa would tell future-Luke that present-Lisa was feeling down about the missed date, but that when he went to visit her, he rushed out after things got physically intimate; at that point, I planned, future-Lisa would explain to present-Lisa that she and the others were from the future, and that her present-Luke would return shortly. Following this experience, Lisa is now privately amused as Luke remains unaware of this entire incident.
What is it?
[ LISA shakes her head, composing herself. ]
No, I'm sorry. It's nothing. What were you going to say?
Well, it's hard to -- (stops, turns to Lisa) We were away from Earth for a week, and I think somebody may have been impersonating me.
Yeah, I -- I want to apologize for missing our date last Saturday, but... did I?
(chuckles) You did, but it's okay. You called to cancel, actually.
Future-Luke did call to cancel, indicating he wasn't feeling well, but she omits the part wherein he eventually came to talk to her in person.
Really? What did I say?
Just that you weren't feeling well.
Oh. That's it?
LISA (perhaps hiding something):
Yep, pretty much.
Hmm. But did I --
[ He is interrupted when his AVIMORPHER chimes. ]
Darn it. They didn't waste any time.
Go get 'em, tiger.
LUKE (with a sober chuckle):
[ As he begins to depart, LISA notes: ]
Hey, Luke, don't worry too much about those doubles. I'm sure everything will make sense eventually.
[ LUKE pauses and looks back. ]
That's what Ms. Gillespie said. I mean, what she said I said.
Future-Luke is seen giving Lisa this reassurance in episode 37.
[ LISA looks down self-consciously. LUKE approaches. ]
Wait... Lisa, did he say anything else to you?
[ LISA sheepishly looks up at him. ]
Future-Lisa probably told her that she wasn't supposed to tell herself anything.
I use this exchange to delay Luke from joining the others against Two-Fish; in the sentai, Red was busy fighting their new foe, Tranza.
[ EXT. MOUNTAINS (Jetman #37) - On a rocky ridge overlooking a mountain town lands TWO-FISH, a fish monster with a second fish head embedded in his torso. He speaks with a gurgling, dissonant voice. ]
So, this is what it's like topside! The mountains, the trees...
[ We begin with a close-up of TWO-FISH's first head and pan down to the second. ]
I don't like it. (second head gurgles)
[ The four RANGERS, minus Red, fly down (Jetman #47). ]
At this point, Chris had to leave work; Casey's shift hasn't begun, and Pete is on his midday break. Maggie's activities are, as usual, unspecified.
[ US footage - The four RANGERS land in front of a rocky slope (compare with sentai). ]
[ TWO-FISH starts forward and exclaims: ]
The Power Rangers!
[ US footage - BLACK RANGER takes a step forward. ]
CHRIS (Black Ranger):
What'd they do, run out of ideas and slap a Jinnsect on a fish?
The Rangers don't know there was a specific reason the villains usually avoided using living creatures as Jinnsect hosts.
[ We see TWO-FISH's hands in two close-ups as he shakes them and clenches his fists. ]
Jinnsects are old news, man! I'm a cut above!
So much for the Rangers' strategy of shooting Jinnsects before they can resurrect their monsters in giant size (see episodes 19, 21, and 22).
[ We zoom in on TWO-FISH's stomach-head as he prepares for an attack. ]
Firing mackerel missiles!
[ The stomach-head's jaws open. From it extend two fish-headed missiles which then fire. ]
[ US footage - The RANGERS leap aside as the missiles strike near them and erupt in a large smoke explosion. BLACK RANGER somersaults and leaps into the air. ]
[ BLACK RANGER draws his TALON SWORD and makes several preparatory slashes in the air as he flies down toward his target. ]
CHRIS (Black Ranger):
[ Looking up, TWO-FISH startles. ]
Hey, watch it!
[ The stomach-head opens its jaws again and fires two more missiles. ]
[ The missile (US addition) strikes BLACK RANGER in the torso, engulfing him in a fiery explosion. ]
[ Sword in hand, the smoking BLACK RANGER lands on the rocks and is quickly surrounded by the YELLOW, PINK, and BLUE RANGERS. YELLOW protectively holds his hands out wide. ]
CHRIS (Black Ranger):
(groans) I got schooled.
This is a pun on the monster's piscine nature; I did in fact check to make sure this terminology was in use in 1992, and to my surprise, it was. (Searching newsgroup archives within a set date range proved invaluable as I was trying to avoid anachronisms.)
PETE (Yellow Ranger):
[ TWO-FISH fires again. ]
[ The camera races just over the ground from the missiles' perspective as they race toward the scrambling RANGERS. ]
[ The RANGERS are flung forward by a large smoke explosion. BLUE and BLACK roll to the right, while PINK and YELLOW roll left toward a shack of some sort. ]
[ EXT. CITY STREET - LUKE continues to speak with LISA. ]
Lisa, you've got to tell me if he said anything else. Please.
You just... apologized. That's all.
[ LUKE studies her. ]
[ LUKE nods silently, apparently accepting her answer. ]
I have to go.
[ LISA nods and looks down. He leaves. ]
[ EXT. MOUNTAINS (Jetman #37) - TWO-FISH advances. ]
Come on, Rangers... Is that the best you've got?
[ US footage - The RANGERS begin to rise (compare with sentai). ]
[ We zoom beyond the RANGERS to TWO-FISH in the background as he prepares to fire. ]
[ The stomach-head's jaws open once again, and two more missiles extend into position. ]
[ US footage - PINK RANGER calls out: ]
CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Quick! Sky Blasters!
[ PINK RANGER quickly draws her SKY BLASTER in close-up, followed by BLACK, BLUE, and YELLOW. We zoom out from PINK RANGER as the four RANGERS unleash a barrage of yellow laser fire from their blasters. ]
In the sentai, this plan was devised by Red, who was unmorphed and held upright by Chokan nearby. Instead, I chose to make this plan Casey's, due to her blaster proficiency, and I moved her blaster-drawing shot in front of the others accordingly (fortunately, the "quartet fires" shot happened to zoom out from the White Ranger anyway).
[ Struck, TWO-FISH's missile-laden stomach erupts in sparks, and TWO-FISH detonates in a massive fireball. ]
[ US footage - The RANGERS whoop triumphantly. ]
MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Nice one, Casey!
[ BLACK RANGER nods to PINK. ]
CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Definitely. Good call.
[ PINK RANGER giggles. ]
CASEY (Pink Ranger):
[ BLUE RANGER looks around. ]
MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Hey, you guys notice something? No Jinnsect, no giant monster!
Good thing there wasn't a Jinnsect; they didn't seem to be paying much attention anyway.
In the sentai, most of these animal-based monsters were able to grow of their own volition or did so automatically after being destroyed (though one growth, Hammersham's, was triggered by Tranza specifically). We therefore don't know why this monster wouldn't have grown, other than the fact that it would have disrupted the episode's pacing. Growths were also missing from Jetman #29 (Vang) and Jetman #33 (Gluestreak).
[ They look as well. ]
PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Hey, you're right!
[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - TRASK, MAINFRAME, and DILLIK stand watching the main viewscreen on the rear wall (previously unused). The screen shows the residual flames from the previous explosion (compare with sentai). ]
[ DILLIK ponders. ]
[ TRASK slowly turns and speaks to MAINFRAME with barely restrained anger. DILLIK looks on. ]
Mainframe... why didn't that monster grow?
I was worried about that. The fractal matrix must have misfired. It's very hard to predict how much --
Here I attribute monster growths to something called a fractal matrix, evoking magnification of an existing pattern across a larger scale. I considered that use of this growth technique could grow (or shrink) monsters by a repeating factor, but that any size greater than their skyscraper height would have been prohibitive due to requiring exponentially larger amounts of energy. In my mind, this explained why monsters (and Sasha, and assorted demons) always grew to roughly the same size, coincidentally the same scale at which Megazords were built.
[ TRASK's voice grows louder. ]
I don't want excuses, Mainframe. I want results! Send down another one, and make it work this time!
[ MAINFRAME turns and trudges toward the exit. ]
[ TRASK barks: ]
[ MAINFRAME hurries out of the room. DILLIK watches. ]
[ EXT. PARK (Jetman #38) - We see a pair of reptilian gray legs plodding through the grass. In close-up, we see SATELLIZARD, a gray reptilian monster running through the park with a demented, breathy laugh. A dish of some sort is embedded in his chest. ]
This monster was featured only briefly in Jetman #38; there, he was destroyed and his red bug frozen for research, though it eventually served to resurrect Hammersham (see commentary in episode 26).
The purpose of Satellizard's dish is unspecified.
[ His wings spread and his BATTLIZER on his wrist, RED RANGER flies down. ]
[ We follow over RED RANGER's shoulder as he flies across the park toward SATELLIZARD. The running monster stops in his tracks with a curious grunt. ]
[ RED RANGER performs a flying BATTLIZER punch (shown three times). His fist connects with SATELLIZARD's torso, causing the monster to spark and fly back. ]
[ Smoking, SATELLIZARD flies through the air and rolls across the grass. He rises with a manic, snorting grunt. ]
[ As RED RANGER lands, the other RANGERS join him. RED calls into his wrist. ]
PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Whoa, another one?
LUKE (Red Ranger):
[ The PHOENIX CANNON transforms and descends to the RANGERS. Their energies charge it. ]
[ We zoom in on SATELLIZARD from afar as he shimmies anxiously. His voice is breathy and manic. ]
You'll never win, Rangers!
[ RED RANGER presses the trigger button. The cannon fires. ]
RANGERS (in unison):
[ The phoenix blast spirals and strikes SATELLIZARD, engulfing him in bright light. ]
At this point in the sentai, Red Ranger sprayed the fallen red bug with what may have been liquid nitrogen from his Sky Blaster, freezing it for study. This freezing ability of the Sky Blasters never reappeared. Further, I had no reason to introduce it in Take Flight.
[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - TRASK, MAINFRAME, and DILLIK watch the ensuing explosion (US footage) in the viewscreen. ]
[ DILLIK ponders. ]
[ MAINFRAME is already retreating from the room by the time TRASK spins around. DILLIK turns to look in time to see MAINFRAME leaving the room. DILLIK then looks to TRASK and notes coolly: ]
I'll go see what I can do.
[ DILLIK departs. ]
[ EXT. HILLSIDE (Jetman #36) - A number of glowing yellow ant-like shapes coalesce into the image of a giant yellow and purple ant, which then yields to FORMICO, an armored black ant warrior with a cannon for a right arm. ]
Formico's name is taken from the word "formic": of or pertaining to ants.
In the sentai, Formico was assembled from ants which had previously caused people (including White) to ravenously crave meat. This was Tran's final plot before transforming into Tranza.
[ The RANGERS flip and leap over the camera (Jetman #37). ]
[ FORMICO notices the arriving Rangers (off-screen). He speaks with a frenetic, buzzing voice, his head twitching slightly. ]
[ FORMICO cocks his cannon arm. ]
Glad you could make it.
[ BLACK RANGER issues a declaration, pointing briefly at the monster (off-screen). ]
In the sentai, Formico took a single shot at the Rangers, Chokan, and unmorphed White before growing. To reinterpret this as a more extended fight against the Rangers, I inserted some footage of the Rangers from their prior clash with Tran, and two angles of Formico's single blast were turned into multiple blasts. White Ranger doesn't appear in the sentai shots because she remained unmorphed until the Zord battle.
CHRIS (Black Ranger):
All right, creep, we've taken out two of you already. But let me guess... You think you have a shot.
[ FORMICO holds his cannon ready. ]
[ INT. SPACE STATION, DILLIK'S LAB - DILLIK and MAINFRAME watch a monitor (see episode 7) which has been set up on the work table. In the monitor we briefly see a glimpse of the previous scene. ]
[ DILLIK watches carefully. MAINFRAME turns to him. ]
I don't know what Trask will do to me if I fail again, Dillik. We've used up our biomass supply already!
Here we learn that three consecutive monster creations can exhaust even a generous biomass reserve; this was my attempt to explain why biomass monsters were never used in large armies.
It's okay. I think we got it this time. (thinks) But just in case, let's send out a trigger pulse.
But he's supposed to grow when the Rangers destroy him!
Look, Trask's not going to care when he grew if he destroys the Rangers. Plus, this way we can test the fractal matrix without worrying about the Rangers' weaponry as a variable.
On top of which, I had no footage of Formico being attacked in small scale.
[ MAINFRAME concentrates, his eyes glossing over with data. ]
[ EXT. HILLSIDE (Jetman #36) - RED RANGER leaps through the air with his TALON SWORD ready. ]
[ FORMICO fires his cannon. ]
[ A smoking RED RANGER (the smoke a US effect) flies over the camera and crashes against a nearby tree. ]
In the sentai, Red was thrown back by Tran's telekinesis.
[ The YELLOW and BLUE RANGERS ready their SKY BLASTERS. ]
[ FORMICO fires. ]
[ BLUE and YELLOW are flung back by spark explosions. ]
In the sentai, Tran's telekinesis pulled Blue and Yellow's Sky Blasters from their hands and caused them to fire on the duo from above.
[ BLACK RANGER leaps with a karate chop. ]
In the sentai, Black was attacking Tran, but the villain teleport-dodged for a while and then left Black with nothing but a cape in his hand.
[ FORMICO leaps. ]
In the sentai, Formico was leaping to grow.
[ US footage - FORMICO's fist punches BLACK RANGER out of the air. ]
[ BLACK RANGER flies back. ]
Black flew back after Tran's cape exploded in his hand.
[ US footage - BLACK RANGER lands on the grass. The other four RANGERS help him to his feet. ]
CASEY (Pink Ranger):
LUKE (Red Ranger):
Hang in there, guys. We can take this guy.
MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Yeah, but what if they keep coming? Is this going to be another marathon battle?
Like the fifteen monsters in episodes 21 and 22.
PETE (Yellow Ranger):
This is probably a bad time to remind you guys that you didn't think we needed eleven Rangers.
In episode 24, Pete suggested keeping the six Power Coins as backup, but Luke felt they managed as-is and chose to leave the coins with the Thadians.
[ Amidst yellow electricity, giant FORMICO re-materializes above from red energy and looms overhead. ]
In the sentai, Formico merely grew on Tran's order.
Ha! You look just like ants!
[ US footage - The RANGERS react to the giant monster above (off-screen). ]
PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Whoa! These guys can grow too!
[ INT. SPACE STATION, DILLIK'S LAB - DILLIK cheers, and MAINFRAME looks relieved. (The monitor isn't shown from this angle.) ]
We did it, buddy!
Dillik is now more comfortable with Mainframe.
Now, let's see what the Rangers picked up on their travels...
[ EXT. MOUNTAIN VALLEY (Jetman #36) - Giant FORMICO turns as the KESTRELZORD lands in robot mode in front of two large cottages. ]
The cottages go unexplained here, but in the sentai, the Rangers were on vacation with their mentor, Chokan.
Who goes there?
[ The KESTRELZORD assumes a ready position. ]
This is the Kestrel's first use on Earth.
[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (Jetman #39) - RED RANGER pumps his fist. ]
LUKE (Red Ranger):
Kestrelzord, battle ready!
[ EXT. MOUNTAIN VALLEY (Jetman #36) - FORMICO and the KESTREL step to our right in equal measures, the KESTREL keeping in front of the cottages. ]
Aw, look at those human homes... It sure would be a shame if somebody stepped on them!
[ FORMICO fires his cannon. ]
Now get out of the way!
[ After a spark explosion, the KESTREL marches forward, seemingly unfazed. It then leaps into the air. ]
[ Flying over the monster's head, the KESTREL delivers a passing kick to FORMICO's face (shown twice). ]
[ FORMICO rolls back and clutches his face upon rising. ]
Ohh, right in the mandibles!
[ The KESTREL lands and delivers a punch to FORMICO's chest, causing a burst of sparks. It then delivers a backfist to the monster's face, causing another burst. ]
[ Finally, the KESTREL kicks FORMICO in the midsection, causing him to fall. ]
Hey! Nothing below the thorax!
[ The KESTREL fires its chest beam. ]
[ Rising, FORMICO is struck by the beam, triggering a spark explosion. ]
(groans) Is that your best?
[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (Jetman #36) - PINK RANGER points before returning to her controls. She shifts her joysticks forward. ]
CASEY (Pink Ranger):
You guys just never give up, do you? (turns) Kestrel Slash, now!
[ EXT. MOUNTAIN VALLEY (Jetman #36) - The KESTREL shrieks, assumes a quick ready stance, and then leaps into the air. ]
[ The KESTREL flies overhead. ]
[ FORMICO reacts. ]
Hey! Get down from there!
[ Both of the KESTREL's hand talons open (Jetman #43). ]
[ The KESTREL performs its glowing X slash. ]
[ Struck with the crisscrossing blue energy streaks, FORMICO slowly falls, his body gleaming with golden rays of light. He hits the ground and explodes. ]
Though this maneuver failed to destroy Sasha's monster form in episode 22, the Kestrel Slash is the Kestrelzord's routine finishing move.
[ The KESTREL lands and poses, the cottages in the foreground. ]
[ INT. SPACE STATION, DILLIK'S LAB - DILLIK and MAINFRAME seem slightly let down by what they see on the monitor (not shown from this angle). ]
Well, that didn't go very well.
[ DILLIK pats MAINFRAME encouragingly. ]
You know what? That's okay.
Yeah! Look, this isn't the first monster to get destroyed by the Rangers' Megazord... or whatever you call that thing. We've just gotta think of the big picture. Monsters are disposable. The Rangers' Zords aren't. We'll wear 'em down eventually.
Dillik is citing Trask's similar encouragement from episode 17.
MAINFRAME (more cheerfully):
Yeah, I guess you're right.
[ DILLIK and MAINFRAME notice TRASK standing in the doorway. They immediately grow quiet and straighten their posture. A moment passes. TRASK then speaks calmly and walks away. ]
Let's beat them next time, gentlemen. (leaves)
Trask refrains from berating Dillik and Mainframe for their defeat, perhaps as a form of agreement with Dillik's point (which of course was his own, originally).
[ Once Trask is gone, DILLIK looks at MAINFRAME and smiles. ]
[ INT. HOUSE, DOWNSTAIRS (NIGHT) - LUKE, CASEY, CHRIS, and MAGGIE are sitting around the living room when PETE enters from the front door, wearing his chef's uniform (slightly soiled) with his tote bag in hand. He shuts and locks the door behind him. ]
So, did you guys have as weird a day as I did?
Totally. This whole duplicate thing has really been freaking me out. People saw me at work all week!
Future-Casey also filled in for her at Booksmart.
[ PETE drops his bag and has a seat on the floor. ]
The weird part is how much they acted like us. It's almost like they WERE us.
PETE (in a melodramatic voice):
From the fuuuuture! (pauses) Wait a minute.
As in previous episodes, Pete's theories are usually wacky, but sometimes right.
That would totally explain it. It was our future selves! Dude, that's so it! We came back in time to save our jobs!
Except they didn't come back in time willingly.
[ The others maintain somber expressions. ]
(laughs) Oh, man, I nailed it.
[ MAGGIE stands and leaves the room. ]
PETE (cont'd, confused):
Hey, what's wrong with Maggie?
Uhh, dude... No one saw Maggie while we were gone. There were only four of us. That letter wasn't even in her handwriting.
This seemed like a grim realization, appropriate as a lead-in for Maggie's focus next episode.
Oh. (then, more gravely) Ohhh...
[ The four contemplate in silence. Fade to black. ]
[ Moments later, we fade in to INT. POLICE STATION (DAY) - DETECTIVE MORALES looks up from his desk and stands as a group of agents in suits, led by SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST, approach en masse. SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST is a tall man in his late thirties. He does not wear a wedding band. ]
This scene takes place on Tuesday, July 21, 1992, the day after the triple monster threat.
[ SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST flashes a badge which DETECTIVE MORALES barely has time to examine. ]
SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST:
Detective Morales, my name is Special Agent Turnquist. I'm with the United States Air Force. I'll be needing all of your documents relating to the Power Rangers and non-human entities in this area.
When I wrote this scene, I didn't plan for Special Agent Turnquist to reappear. He seemed appropriate to include in the helicopter scene in the next episode, however, and from that point, he simply became a fixture of Project Phoenix.
[ DETECTIVE LONG (see episode 13) notices the disturbance and approaches. ]
In episode 13, Morales had a discussion with Detective Long about mysterious aspects of Parkview's destruction.
[ DETECTIVE MORALES replies to the agent: ]
DETECTIVE MORALES (gruffly):
Under whose authority?
SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST:
I'm not at liberty to divulge that, Detective.
[ SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST gestures to his agents, who begin rummaging through the detective's file cabinets and desk drawers. ]
[ DETECTIVE MORALES calls out to DETECTIVE LONG. ]
Get the captain on the phone!
The captain is apparently unsuccessful in deterring Turnquist, as mentioned in the next episode. I don't actually know what would happen if a special agent from a secret agency within the Air Force tried to take files from a police station, but hopefully this scene isn't distractingly unrealistic.
[ DETECTIVE LONG nods and picks up a phone. ]
[ In close-up, we see one of the agents removing a folder labeled, "Parkview Apartments" (see episode 13). ]
This was the file Morales used while investigating the destruction of Parkview; it was around this time that he became suspicious of Luke, ultimately leading to his discovery of the Rangers' identities.
[ Cut to black. ]