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

POWER RANGERS TAKE FLIGHT

Episode 27: "Shadows in the Dark"

This episode was completed on October 7, 2007, and released on September 6, 2008.  Its title refers to the Shadow Rangers, or more specifically, their continued existence during the evening hours.

Writer:  Joe Rovang

[ Sentai footage is from Jetman #25 unless otherwise noted. ]

In Jetman #25, Maria's experimentation with a new monster-making technique produces a monster (Luxadillo) capable of creating shadow duplicates of people.  While Black loafs around playing poker with attractive girls, the others confront the monster and Maria (Sasha), resulting in the creation of four Shadow Ranger duplicates.  Their powers ultimately drained by their duplicates, the Rangers are saved only when the sun is hidden by clouds, causing the Shadows to disappear.  That night, Maria exerts herself to form a dome of daylight over the city, resurrecting the Shadow Rangers.  His comrades' powers and lives at risk, Black goes after Maria but is overpowered by the Shadows and Luxadillo until the others give him a break.  He attacks Maria on her rooftop but is in turn attacked by Gray, who nearly strangles him to unconsciousness until his motorcycle intervenes, and he succeeds in blasting Maria.  Night falls once again, and the Rangers join Black against Luxadillo, whom they destroy with the Phoenix Cannon and Kestrelzord.

Out of all the episodes in Take Flight, this episode and episode 20 (Zephyros) were the closest adaptations of their respective sentai episodes.  I pondered more radical reinterpretations of this footage for the sake of originality, but ultimately no arrangement made as much sense as the original one (at least not without losing large amounts of usable footage).

The Shadow Rangers featured here are quite similar to those in the aptly-titled Power Rangers Turbo episode "Shadow Rangers," in which evil Ranger duplicates were dependent on light to exist.  They also bear similarities to the Shadow Rangers in the Power Rangers Wild Force episode "The Master's Herald, part 2," in which black-colored duplicates of the Rangers mimicked their moves, and damage taken to the Shadows affected the Rangers (an element of this Jetman episode which I didn't adapt).


[ Fade in to INT. DARK CHAMBER - In a misty area (last seen in episode 10), MAINFRAME materializes from greenish-silver vertical streaks.  He looks around warily. ]

This scene and the next take place on Wednesday, July 22, 1992, continuing from the previous episode.

MAINFRAME:
Dillik...?  (pauses)  Sasha...?

[ He begins to explore the area cautiously. ]


[ INT. QUEEN'S CHAMBER - MAINFRAME enters the throne room.  He pauses to examine the red carpet under his feet. ]

[ As MAINFRAME is distracted, DILLIK emerges from the darkness.  His greeting startles MAINFRAME. ]

DILLIK:
Mainframe!  (Mainframe startles)  What are you doing here?

MAINFRAME (relieved):
Oh, Dillik...  I'm glad I found you.  Listen, I messed up.  Trask knows you're Strife, and he knows you're here with Sasha.  (looks around)  Where is Sasha, anyway?

Mainframe spilled the beans in the previous episode.

DILLIK:
She went out for a little bit.  But, wait, back up.  Is Trask okay?  Did he get arrested?

Dillik is worried for Trask after Sasha told him of her plan involving Kora (previous episode).

Sasha is actually out spying on events in the space station and taking off in Kora's abandoned ship (see below).

MAINFRAME:
No.  He froze Kora.  She's still in the command center.  It's kind of creepy, actually.

DILLIK:
(sighs in relief)  Well, I'm glad he's okay.  I guess he's kind of mad at me, huh?

MAINFRAME:
I guess.  He walked away kind of stunned after I told him about Strife.  Almost like he was... sad.

Trask is generally more sad than angry when Dillik seems to betray him (also see Dillik's departure in episode 23).

[ DILLIK ponders. ]

MAINFRAME (cont'd, dourly):
I'm sorry I told him about you.  I messed up.

DILLIK (distractedly):
No, it's okay...

MAINFRAME:
Anyway, I should go back home before he notices I'm gone.  Here.

[ MAINFRAME extends his hand.  The machinery comprising his palm unfolds and produces a small, oblong device, a COMMUNICATOR, which he hands to DILLIK. ]

MAINFRAME (cont'd):
Let's keep in touch.

The communicator was introduced just for this episode, but it gets used in further episodes as well.

[ DILLIK nods and takes the COMMUNICATOR.  MAINFRAME vanishes with greenish-silver vertical streaks. ]

[ DILLIK ponders. ]


[ Break. ]


[ INT. DARK CHAMBER - SASHA cheerfully leads DILLIK through a misty area (last seen in episode 10).  DILLIK is wearing his clear helmet. ]

SASHA (teasingly):
Come on already!  You're so slow!

DILLIK:
I can't see anything.

SASHA:
Maybe if you took off that helmet...

DILLIK:
Oh, no!  If we're going outside, my allergies would go crazy.

I finally explain Dillik's helmet and previous aversion to visiting Earth.  I didn't originally have allergies in mind; once I did, though, I included it in a few more episodes (most notably, episode 40).

[ SASHA smirks at him. ]


[ EXT. SNOWY MOUNTAINS (MORNING) - SASHA and DILLIK emerge from the rock wall into the mountains, which are lit in morning light.  Snow covers the landscape, but it is not actively snowing.  Nearby rests the silver spaceship seen in the previous episode. ]

DILLIK:
Boy, it's cold out here!  Does your mother pick the coldest places she can find?

The present tense of Dillik's question is one of several clues which will lead Sasha to realize his role in Magda's banishment.

SASHA (with a gentle smile):
Actually, yeah, she did.  (gesturing to the ship) So, what do you think?

[ DILLIK studies the ship. ]

DILLIK:
Where'd it come from?  It doesn't look like human technology.

Dillik wasn't present when Kora arrived at the space station.

SASHA:
I'll give you a hint...  I don't think Trask's friend is going to be needing it any more.

[ DILLIK frowns absently. ]

DILLIK:
That poor lady.  Frozen solid...  I guess it beats being sent to another dimension though.

Dillik can't keep his mouth shut.  This remark in particular seemed a little contrived, but I felt it was pivotal for Sasha's unraveling of his coverup.

SASHA:
Wait, how'd you know about that?

DILLIK (awkwardly):
Um... a-- about what?

Dillik almost got caught here, but Sasha was actually asking about Kora, not about the "another dimension" remark.

SASHA:
Kora.  I took a peek in the space station, and she was frozen.

Now that her plan to have Kora arrest Trask has failed, wouldn't Sasha be worried Trask would come after her next?  Perhaps she's overly comfortable with Strife around (see previous episode).

DILLIK:
Oh.  M-- Mainframe stopped by to tell me.

SASHA:
Really...  What else did he say?

DILLIK (innocently):
Oh, nothing...

For some reason, Dillik is hesitant to tell Sasha much about his relationship with Trask.

[ SASHA frowns slightly but then redirects her attention to the ship. ]

SASHA:
So, come on!  What do you think?

DILLIK:
It's nice.  I'm sure I can do something with it.

SASHA (teasingly):
Jeez, Dillik, what do I have to do?  Kidnap a pilot too?

DILLIK:
Sorry.  I do like it.

Dillik is distracted thinking of Trask.  By this point, I can't help but think of the song "Guy Love" from Scrubs.

[ SASHA smiles softly. ]


[ INT. HOUSE, DOWNSTAIRS - MAGGIE descends the stairs, wearing a slightly more formal outfit than usual.  She carries a bag containing a few folders and notebooks. ]

The rest of this episode takes place on Friday, July 24, 1992, two days after the Hammersham and Kora incidents (episode 26).

[ As she comes down the stairs, MAGGIE passes CHRIS, who is sweaty in a black running suit, but he appears full of energy and in a good mood.  He jogs up the stairs two at a time. ]

CHRIS:
Mornin'!

I figured that after a while of dating Casey, Chris would have a bit more zest for life.  Here, they've been jogging in the cemetery, as Chris has apparently adopted her morning exercise routine.

[ Taken aback, MAGGIE looks back at him and stumbles slightly as she continues downstairs. ]

MAGGIE:
Uhh... morning...

[ As he disappears upstairs, MAGGIE continues downstairs, where she finds CASEY in a pink running suit, sweaty as well.  She is drinking water from a glass. ]

MAGGIE:
Hey.

[ CASEY takes a breath after finishing her glass. ]

CASEY:
Hey, Maggie!  You're up early!

MAGGIE:
Oh, yeah, I'm observing a summer school class this morning.

CASEY (coyly):
Wow, busy day.  Observing in the morning, and rock-climbing at night!

This is the planned day of Maggie and Drew's date (see previous episode).  Coincidentally, she'll be busy with Ranger duties on this particular night (this really was just a coincidence).

MAGGIE (bashfully):
Yeah...

CASEY:
You should've seen Drew yesterday.  He tries to play it cool, but you can tell he's excited.

MAGGIE (sardonically):
Well, that's good.  Crush one guy, and make another one happy.  I guess it balances out, huh?

Maggie has dumped Sean by this point, having realized things weren't going to work out (see previous episode).

[ CASEY smiles sympathetically. ]

CASEY:
Hey, if you knew it wasn't going to work out with Sean, it's best for both of you that you called it off.

Casey also echoes this approach to relationships with Lisa in episode 35.

MAGGIE (sheepishly):
Yeah, I guess...


[ INT. KORA'S SHIP - DILLIK tinkers under the piloting controls of Kora's ship (the layout seeming customized for two humanoid pilots as an afterthought, though using design elements not found commonly in Dillik's handiwork).  Dillik's clear helmet rests on the other seat. ]

[ In close-up, we see DILLIK installing the COMMUNICATOR.  Once it's in place, he sits up in the pilot's seat and works a small monitor in front of him.  Initially, we see only static. ]

DILLIK:
This is Dillik calling Mainframe.  Repeat, Dillik to Mainframe.

[ MAINFRAME appears on-screen, standing in the space station's command center. ]

MAINFRAME (from monitor):
Dillik!  Good to hear from you!  How's everything Earth-side?

DILLIK:
(shrugs)  Eh.  Kinda boring.  Sasha's storing up her energy, and I've been tinkering with Kora's ship.  What's it like up there?  How's Trask doing?

I had to explain what Dillik and Sasha would have been doing on Earth in the two days which have passed.  Also, Sasha storing up her energy helps to make her later daylight effect slightly more plausible.

MAINFRAME (from monitor):
I haven't seen him much.  I think he's just been staying in his room, mostly.

DILLIK:
Hmm.  Have you tried anything to cheer him up?

MAINFRAME (from monitor):
Cheer him up?!  I can't even be in the room with him without thinking he's going to put a sword through me!

DILLIK:
(chuckles)  Be serious, Mainframe.  Let's see, what could cheer him up...?  (thinks)  I know!  You should make a monster!

Mainframe is serious about his concern, but Dillik finds the idea ridiculous, apparently oblivious to Trask's willingness to hurt others.

MAINFRAME (from screen, skeptically):
I don't know...  He hasn't been all that cheery about any of our monsters so far.

DILLIK:
Well, you never know.  The next one could be the one that does the Rangers in.  You just have to keep trying.

MAINFRAME (from monitor):
I guess....

DILLIK:
Hey, could you patch me in to the Rangers' cameras so I can watch?

MAINFRAME (from monitor):
Um... okay.

[ MAINFRAME's image is sequentially replaced with five Hoverbird views, each patrolling over or through the city. ]

This was necessary so that Dillik would be able to watch the ensuing Shadow Ranger incident.


[ EXT. BIKE SHOP - The black-striped HOVERBIRD flies by the bike shop, which it passes without stopping. ]

Just a transitionary device.


[ INT. BIKE SHOP - CHRIS is working on a bike behind the counter.  He is wearing (and will continue to wear in future episodes) slightly more attractive clothing than his previous grunge attire.  Around CHRIS are numerous other bikes awaiting repair. ]

Chris's evolving wardrobe was another sign of Casey's influence on his personality.

[ Through the front door enters MR. FISCHER, a tall, older man with a wiry gray beard.  His physique is strikingly gaunt, but he maintains an appearance of spry fitness.  He wears a biking outfit. ]

The owner of Chris's bike shop is finally revealed.

MR. FISCHER:
Hello, Chris.

[ Startled, CHRIS rises and quickly wipes his hands with a rag. ]

CHRIS:
Wow!  Mr. Fischer!  Welcome back!

MR. FISCHER:
Thank you.  (looking around) Looks like business is doing well.

CHRIS:
Yes, sir.  Uh, how was Europe?

[ MR. FISCHER absently wanders the shop.  As he speaks, CHRIS's AVIMORPHER chimes, unnoticed by MR. FISCHER. ]

MR. FISCHER (absently):
Hilly.  (more seriously) Chris, I've heard some troubling rumors.  (Morpher chimes)  Some people have been telling me the shop has been closed at odd hours.

[ Distracted by his blinking MORPHER, CHRIS stammers. ]

CHRIS:
Ummm... o--odd hours...?

MR. FISCHER:
For instance, Wednesday afternoon.

This refers to the Hammersham incident (episode 26), for which Chris had to leave work.

CHRIS:
Oh, that.  W-- Well, I got done kind of early...

MR. FISCHER (noting the bikes awaiting repair):
"Done?"  You mean every bike back there came in today or yesterday?

CHRIS:
Uh, no, sir...

MR. FISCHER:
Oh, so the rest of them must all be waiting for parts...

CHRIS:
Well, a couple of them are.  But no, sir, not all of them.

Chris remains honest despite the risk to his employment.

[ MR. FISCHER gives CHRIS a stern look. ]

MR. FISCHER:
Chris...  I left you in charge because you were a very hard worker.  This isn't what I was expecting to hear when I came back.

Indeed, Chris was quite diligent, always opening the shop right on time.  He has had to make exceptions for Ranger duties, however.

[ CHRIS hangs his head. ]

CHRIS:
Yes, sir, I know...

This was my way of delaying Chris's arrival in the Luxadillo encounter.  In the sentai, Black Ranger was busy gambling poolside at a resort with women dressed in skimpy bunny costumes; this episode apparently served to awaken his team spirit.  (Plus, a Black Shadow Ranger would have been a bit redundant, visually.)


I cut prior scenes of Luxadillo creating shadow duplicates of people, partially because of the Japenese extras therein, but also because the shadow duplicates could have been interpreted as mistrust of dark-skinned people.  As such, the Shadow Rangers are now left as Luxadillo's only shadow creations.

[ EXT. PARK - The four RANGERS (minus Black) flip over the camera. ]

At this point in the afternoon, Luke and Casey have had to leave work; Pete is still on his midday break.  Maggie was probably done with her observing by this point.

[ The RANGERS land and strike their respective battle poses (compare with sentai). ]

I used US footage of the Rangers landing because the sentai Rangers were attacked in unmorphed form on-site.

[ Switch to sentai - LUXADILLO, an armadillo monster with a spotlight in his chest, waves his arms excitedly. ]

Luxadillo Luxadillo

LUXADILLO:
I've been waiting for you, Rangers!

[ LUXADILLO's spotlight shines in close-up. ]

Luxadillo's spotlight Luxadillo's spotlight

[ We see over LUXADILLO's shoulder as a purplish light shines from the monster.  Purple blobs of energy are drained from the startled RANGERS, flowing out through their feet and re-materializing in front of them as SHADOW RANGERS, four completely black but otherwise identical duplicates of the Rangers.  (Note that Sasha is to be airbrushed out of the shot via a US effect.) ]

Luxadillo creates Shadow Rangers (Sasha to be removed from shot) Luxadillo creates Shadow Rangers (Sasha to be removed from shot) Luxadillo creates Shadow Rangers (Sasha to be removed from shot) Luxadillo creates Shadow Rangers (Sasha to be removed from shot) Luxadillo creates Shadow Rangers (Sasha to be removed from shot)

Maria (Sasha) was present during this battle in the sentai, but I chose to omit her for story purposes; fortunately, she would not be difficult to airbrush out of this shot.

[ The four RANGERS are startled.  YELLOW RANGER briefly points at himself as they recoil. ]

Rangers startled Rangers startled

RANGERS (in unison, minus Pete):
It's us!

PETE (Yellow Ranger, simultaneously):
It's me!

[ The SHADOW RANGERS wordlessly mimic the Rangers' reaction. ]

Shadow Rangers

[ We zoom in on RED RANGER as the RANGERS remain startled. ]

Rangers startled Rangers startled

LUKE (Red Ranger):
He duplicated us!

[ LUXADILLO laughs. ]

Luxadillo

[ RED RANGER strikes his trademark pose. ]

Red Ranger's pose

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Let's get 'em!

[ The RED SHADOW RANGER mimics his pose. ]

Red Ranger's pose

In the sentai, the Rangers' and Shadows' poses alternated several times in quick succession; I rearranged these shots to relax the pace and show each pose complete before the next was shown.

[ PINK RANGER poses. ]

Pink Ranger's pose

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Ready!

[ The PINK SHADOW RANGER mimics her pose. ]

Pink Ranger's pose

Though I describe Pink Ranger's duplicate as the Pink Shadow Ranger, this put me in an awkward position when the Shadows later gained the Rangers' colors: at that point, Pink's Shadow Ranger only bore white on black.  This detail escaped my attention when I first decided to name White Swan "Pink Ranger."

[ BLUE RANGER poses. ]

Blue Ranger's pose

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Set!

[ The BLUE SHADOW RANGER mimics her pose. ]

Blue Ranger's pose

[ Initially hunched forward, YELLOW RANGER slaps the ground and charges forward, inter-cut with shots of the YELLOW SHADOW RANGER charging as well. ]

Yellows charge Yellows charge Yellows charge Yellows charge Yellows charge

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Hike!

In the sentai, Yellow Ranger and his Shadow struck sumo poses; I had no way to explain this, so I trimmed the shot up to Pete's charge, and I added a "Hike!" to give his ground-slap a football context.  (Did Pete play football in high school?)

[ YELLOW RANGER locks arms with the YELLOW SHADOW RANGER.  They shove each other back and begin striking each other's chests in equal measures.  They then punch each other, their fists apparently colliding, and both are knocked back. ]

Yellow fights Shadow Yellow fights Shadow Yellow fights Shadow Yellow fights Shadow Yellow fights Shadow Yellow fights Shadow Yellow fights Shadow Yellow fights Shadow

Of course, these chest slaps are sumo moves as well, but less blatant ones.

[ YELLOW RANGER rolls across the grass and rubs the back of his head in astonishment.  As his voice continues, we see the YELLOW SHADOW RANGER mimicking his gestures. ]

Yellow astonished Yellow astonished Yellow astonished Yellow's Shadow

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
He's copying everything I do!

[ PINK RANGER unsheathes her TALON SWORD. ]

Talon Sword

Note the patch on Pink's midsection in this shot (a black stain is peeking out from underneath where a previous take's sparks apparently marked up the suit).

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Talon Sword!

Casey uncharacteristically goes for the Talon Sword over her Sky Blaster.

[ The PINK SHADOW RANGER does the same. ]

Shadow Talon Sword

[ They both charge, wielding their blades.  They meet, striking each other twice in tandem.  Their blades bounce off each other during a third swing. ]

Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow

[ After stumbling back, PINK RANGER leaps into the air, as does the PINK SHADOW RANGER.  They meet in mid-air in slow motion with simultaneous strikes to the other's midsection. ]

Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow Pink vs. Shadow

[ In close-up, we see BLUE RANGER opening one underarm wing.  The BLUE SHADOW RANGER does the same.  They repeat for the other wing. ]

wings wings wings wings

The sentai showed both of Blue's wings opening, and then both of her Shadow's wings opening.  I preferred this arrangement.

[ Her wings open, BLUE RANGER flies through the air, as does the BLUE SHADOW RANGER. ]

wings wings

[ Both opponents perform a series of flips in tandem.  BLUE RANGER then leaps forward with a blade hand attack.  The BLUE SHADOW RANGER does the same.  They collide in midair and both fly back. ]

Blue and her Shadow Blue and her Shadow Blue and her Shadow Blue and her Shadow Blue and her Shadow Blue and her Shadow Blue and her Shadow

[ RED RANGER and the RED SHADOW RANGER leap into the air.  On RED RANGER's right forearm is his BATTLIZER, while the RED SHADOW RANGER bears a black BATTLIZER on his left arm. ]

Battlizer vs. Battlizer

[ In mid-air, the RED SHADOW RANGER delivers a backfist with his BATTLIZER, which RED RANGER blocks before countering with his own BATTLIZER backfist.  The RED SHADOW RANGER blocks in kind. ]

Battlizer vs. Battlizer Battlizer vs. Battlizer Battlizer vs. Battlizer

[ US footage - In close-up, we see the RED RANGER's feet land on the grass, and he quickly rebounds into the air once more.  The RED SHADOW RANGER does the same. ]

The sentai went straight from one midair attack into the next.

[ RED RANGER delivers a flying BATTLIZER punch, as does the RED SHADOW RANGER.  Their fists collide, causing a spark explosion. ]

Battlizer vs. Battlizer Battlizer vs. Battlizer Battlizer vs. Battlizer Battlizer vs. Battlizer

[ Switch to US footage - RED RANGER lands rolling across the grass as the other three RANGERS come to his aid.  His Battlizer is no longer present. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Luke!

The sentai version of this regrouping process was a bit jarring visually, and it included an exuberant response from Yellow which would have seemed odd coming from Pete.

[ The SHADOW RANGERS re-enact the previous shot, their order mirrored from the Rangers'. ]

[ As the SHADOW RANGERS regroup in the foreground, we zoom in on the distant RANGERS, who regroup as well. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Dude, this is crazy!  They're matching all of our moves!

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
We'll never make any headway on these guys!  It's like trying to crawl into the world on the other side of a mirror, but your dumb mirror-self keeps getting in your way!

[ The other RANGERS look at PINK.  She notices their gaze. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger, cont'd):
What?

Well, I know what you're talking about, Casey.

At this point in the sentai, Red and White jump-kicked the Yellow and Blue Shadow Rangers in hopes of avoiding their own duplicates' counterattacks, but the Yellow and Blue Rangers were knocked back as well, indicating that damage taken to the Shadows affected the Rangers as well (in this regard, they were similar to Onikage's Shadow Rangers from Power Rangers Wild Force).  I found this behavior's logic to be too squirrely; for example, why didn't the Red and White Shadow Rangers perform jump-kicks here?

[ RED RANGER ponders, but the four RANGERS suddenly grow weak. ]

The weakness sequence was more drawn-out in the sentai than it had to be, and Sasha was in one shot, so I just stuck with US footage here.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
What we need is a way to -- (Rangers grow weak)  Hey, what's happening?

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
You guys feel that?

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
I feel so weak!

[ Unable to remain upright, the RANGERS fall to the ground and continue to writhe. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger, weakly):
What's going on?

[ Flexing with newfound power, the SHADOW RANGERS begin to glow with Ranger-colored energy.  The energy then migrates to their helmets, vests, gloves, belts, and boots, giving them highlights matching the Rangers' suits (compare with sentai).  (Note that certain designs in their helmets remain black, and that the PINK SHADOW RANGER's pink energy has actually given her white portions rather than pink.) ]

The sentai featured a somewhat sloppy dissolve between the Shadows' two forms; I felt this could be done better in US footage.

[ Switch to sentai - Each SHADOW RANGER strikes his respective Ranger's pose, speaking with a sinister version of his respective Ranger. ]

Red Shadow Ranger Red Shadow Ranger Yellow Shadow Ranger Yellow Shadow Ranger so-called Pink Shadow Ranger so-called Pink Shadow Ranger Blue Shadow Ranger Blue Shadow Ranger

Poor Pink Shadow Ranger...  Not even a speck of pink.

EVIL LUKE (Red Shadow Ranger):
Shadow Hawk!

EVIL PETE (Yellow Shadow Ranger):
Shadow Owl!

EVIL CASEY (Pink Shadow Ranger):
Shadow Swan!

EVIL MAGGIE (Blue Shadow Ranger):
Shadow Swallow!

[ The RANGERS weakly attempt to rise. ]

weakened Rangers weakened Rangers

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
They've got our voices!

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
And our powers!

[ LUXADILLO curls into a ball (footage reversed from sentai). ]

Luxadillo curls Luxadillo curls

Luxadillo's ball form is reminiscent of Soccadillo from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers season 1; that particular monster was from sentai footage filmed for the US market (dubbbed "Zyu 2") rather than being from Zyuranger itself.

LUXADILLO:
I'll see you later, Rangers!

[ LUXADILLO flies away in the form of a large armored ball (footage reversed from sentai). ]

Luxadillo departs in ball form

I reversed this shot of Luxadillo to get him out of the scene.  In the sentai, he briefly attacked the Rangers (after the Shadow Blaster fire) and then shielded Maria and the Shadows from the Phoenix Cannon blast; unmorphed Black then arrived but was punched by the monster.

[ US footage - The RANGERS start forward. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Hey, come back here!

[ The RED and YELLOW SHADOW RANGERS draw their SHADOW BLASTERS, duplicates of the Sky Blasters. ]

Shadow Blasters

EVIL LUKE (Red Shadow Ranger):
Shadow Blasters!

[ The BLUE and PINK SHADOW RANGERS draw theirs as well. ]

Shadow Blasters

[ The four SHADOW RANGERS then aim their blasters in unison. ]

Shadow Blasters

Shadow Blasters

[ US footage - RED RANGER stops in his tracks. ]

[ The SHADOW RANGERS unleash a barrage of blue laser pulses from their blasters, causing the RANGERS to erupt in sparks. ]

Shadow Blasters Shadow Blasters Shadow Blasters Shadow Blasters

I thought the blue lasers were an interesting visual contrast to the Rangers' normal yellow lasers; kudos, Jetman.

[ US footage - The smoking RANGERS fall back onto the grass. ]


[ EXT. ALLEY - CHRIS hurries out the bike shop's back door.  (As he does, the subtle sound of a motorcycle approaching can be heard, though it isn't distractingly obvious.) ]

The motorcycle is future-Chris approaching to take Chris's place with Mr. Fischer.

CHRIS:
Man, I thought he'd never leave!  (into his wrist)  Sky Condor!


[ EXT. BIKE SHOP - Walking along the storefront adjacent to the bike shop, MR. FISCHER stops, apparently remembering something, and turns back.  He is astonished to find the bike shop's lights off and front door locked, a "Closed" sign in the window. ]

As seen in episode 37, future-Chris will explain that the closing was a bad practical joke; he then reveals he has a girlfriend, which makes Mr. Fischer go a bit easier on him.


[ EXT. PARK (US footage) - The four SHADOW RANGERS flip over the camera in various directions. ]

[ The SHADOW RANGERS surround the fallen RANGERS, who appear unable to rise. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger, weakly):
Stay back!

EVIL CASEY (Pink Shadow Ranger):
Sorry, Rangers, there's a new team in town.  The Shadow Rangers.

[ In the sky, the edge of a cloud briefly passes in front of the sun (with a larger body of clouds to come). ]

[ As the SHADOW RANGERS approach their respective RANGERS, the cloud's shadow sweeps across the park, briefly casting the PINK SHADOW RANGER in shadow and causing her to dematerialize.  Once the cloud's shadow passes, however, the PINK SHADOW RANGER promptly reappears.  Both the RANGERS and the SHADOW RANGERS appear equally startled by the phenomenon. ]

In the sentai, a cloud passed in front of the sun, making the Shadows vanish instantaneously as they attacked the fallen Rangers with their swords (humorously, just before they vanished, Shadow Red's sword could be seen bending tremendously as the stunt actor pulled his sword strike to avoid really hitting Red Ranger).  I cut this shot because of the bending sword, and because the jump-cut of the vanishing Shadow Rangers was less than ideal.  Further:

In my version of the vanishing sequence, I chose to include two darkenings rather than one so the Rangers would know that the Shadows were sure to reappear as soon as the light returned.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
What just happened?

[ The larger body of clouds then blocks out the sun more completely. ]

[ The park is cast in shadow, at which point all four SHADOW RANGERS fade from existence.  Alarmed, the RANGERS sit up and look around. ]

At this point in the sentai, the episode went to commercial and then opened with the weakened Rangers back at the base, which failed to explain how the Rangers had escaped from Maria and the monster.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
They're gone!

[ BLUE RANGER examines her hands. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
And I feel stronger already...

[ PINK RANGER stands and looks skyward. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
They disappeared when it got dark...

[ The others rise as well. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
It's like they need light to exist.

[ YELLOW RANGER looks at the sky. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Anybody know the forecast?

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Mostly cloudy, I think.

My explanation for how we could reach nighttime without seeing the strong sunlight again.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Well, that's good news for us.  Let's try to find out what's going on with our powers.

[ BLACK RANGER lands nearby. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Guys!  Are you all right?

[ YELLOW nods. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
We are for now.  What happened to you?

[ BLACK hangs his head. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
(grunts)  My boss picked a great time to come back.  I'm sorry, you guys.  I should've come sooner.

This contrasts with Black's reason for being late in the sentai, that being poker with babes.

[ RED places a hand on BLACK's shoulder. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Actually, it's probably a good thing you weren't here.  That would've just been one more Shadow Ranger.

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
What are you talking about?

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Let's get out of here.  We'll explain at the base.


[ Wipe to EXT. MILITARY BASE (NIGHT) - At nighttime, we see an expansive military base in the mountains, well-lit and well-patrolled.  At the center of the complex, and our focus of interest, is a massive hangar which stands over 25 stories tall. ]

This is essentially my counterpart for Skycamp, the pyramid-shaped base downtown in Jetman (which I made the Vanguard base on Illam).  I will later refer to this facility as the Phoenix base.


[ INT. HANGAR - In a relatively dark hangar (compare with sentai), BLACK RANGER stands alone, looking upward. ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #41) - With a low angle, the camera tracks across the hangar, the KESTRELZORD and SKYFORCE MEGAZORD towering above in repair stations.  As we reach the MEGAZORD, we see its left arm being lowered into position.  A stream of sparks, as though from some sort of welding process, pour from the connection, which we then see in close-up.  Finally, a long robot arm extends in front of the MEGAZORD and triggers more sparks. ]

Kestrel and Megazord in hangar Kestrel and Megazord in hangar Kestrel and Megazord in hangar Megazord under repair

At this point in Jetman #41, the Zords were being repaired from their first battle with Brimstone (see episode 34).  Other hangar repair instances occurred in Jetman #23-24 (between Infernis battles), Jetman #44-45 (between Gigazord battles), and Jetman #49 (between Raguem battles).

[ As BLACK RANGER continues to watch, the other four RANGERS eventually join him from behind.  PINK RANGER glides her hand over his back, prompting him to look over the wrong shoulder before looking at her. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Oh, hey!  How'd it go?

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Well, they said everything looks good for now.  Our power levels are a little low, but they're coming back.

Compare with the effects of Brimstone in episode 34.

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Yeah, we'll be back to normal by the morning.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
But then we're gonna have to worry about round two when the sun comes up.

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Hmm.  So we need to take out that monster as soon as possible.

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
If we could find him.  It looks like he's keeping a low profile.

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
So what do we do?

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
You guys should go get some rest.

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
What about you?

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
I'll keep watch.  I'm a night owl.  (glances at Yellow)  ... I mean condor.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
That's not a bad idea, actually.  (ponders)  So, you'll call us if anything happens?

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Absolutely.

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Be careful, okay?

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Yeah, we don't exactly need a fifth Shadow Ranger to deal with.

[ BLACK nods but then looks back at BLUE RANGER. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger, to Blue):
Didn't you have a date tonight?

[ BLUE hangs her head. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger, sullenly):
Don't remind me.

CASEY (Pink Ranger, to Black, softly):
She had to cancel.

They will later have a date in episode 28, but Maggie will be disappointed by their lack of intellectual connection.  Also, see Drew's activities below.

LUKE (Red Ranger, to Black):
All right, seriously, though...  Call us if anything happens whatsoever.

[ BLACK nods. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Don't worry.  I doubt I'll find anything anyway.


[ Dissolve to EXT. ROOFTOP (NIGHT) (sentai) - At night, SASHA walks to the ledge of a roof atop a tall building downtown.  Her STAR HANDLE is in hand. ]

Sasha on rooftop Sasha on rooftop

[ US footage - SASHA stops near the ledge. ]

SASHA (grumbling inwardly):
I can't believe I'm doing this.

In the sentai, Luxadillo was Maria's (Sasha's) plan to begin with, so she needed no convincing.


[ EXT. HARBOR (NIGHT) - BLACK RANGER lands atop a tall structure overlooking the harbor at night.  He coolly surveys the area. ]


[ EXT. ROOFTOP (NIGHT) - SASHA mutters to herself at the edge of the building. ]

SASHA (inwardly):
Seriously, how did Dillik talk me into this?


[ We flash back to: INT. KORA'S SHIP - In the main pilot's seat, DILLIK works the monitor controls, while SASHA sits beside him with her arms crossed, apparently bored.  DILLIK's clear helmet rests between them. ]

DILLIK:
Come on, Mainframe, where are you?

SASHA:
Dillik, you've been out here for hours.  Don't you think --

[ The monitor reveals an image of MAINFRAME in the command center.  He appears somewhat anxious. ]

MAINFRAME (from monitor):
Hi, Dillik.  Sorry I haven't been in contact.  I've been busy freaking out.

DILLIK:
What happened?  Where did the Shadow Rangers go?

MAINFRAME (from monitor, anxiously):
They can't exist without ambient light.  The clouds are gone now, but Spring Valley won't see morning for hours.

[ SASHA listens. ]

DILLIK:
Well, that's okay, right?  Eltar wasn't built in a day.

Dillik's expression called for a reference to an ancient civilization, so why not Eltar?

MAINFRAME (from monitor):
No, it's terrible!  The Rangers are regaining their energy by the minute!  By tomorrow morning, Luxadillo's spell will have worn off, and we'll have to catch them all over again!

In the sentai, the reason for the daylight dome was that the Shadows would succeed in draining the Rangers' powers (and lives) if they existed past midnight; I found this cutoff arbitrary, so I had no interest in including it.  Rather, the villains are now in the more desperate position, as they want to resume the power drain before their current progress is undone.

DILLIK:
Hmm...  They probably won't fall for it a second time.  All right, so... What?  We just send Luxadillo where it's daytime, right?

MAINFRAME (from monitor):
No good.  They'd be out of range.

I had to come up with a solid reason for the daylight dome, so I wanted to rule out "send the Shadows to India."

[ DILLIK ponders. ]

DILLIK:
So we need daylight in Spring Valley in the middle of the night...

[ SASHA scoffs. ]

SASHA:
That's easy.  My Star Handle can -- (pauses)

DILLIK:
Can what?

[ SASHA hesitates a moment, but she eventually responds: ]

SASHA (poutily):
My Star Handle can light up the city.

Sasha probably wasn't eager to help, but her boastfulness got the better of her.

[ DILLIK's face brightens. ]

SASHA (cont'd, protestingly):
Dillik...

DILLIK:
Please...!

[ SASHA clenches her jaw and glares at DILLIK.  He maintains a pleading, puppy-dog expression. ]

SASHA (teeth clenched):
Fine.

DILLIK (delighted):
Hooray!

[ In the monitor, MAINFRAME bows appreciatively.  His signal then ends. ]

MAINFRAME (from monitor):
Oh, thank you, your majesty!  (signal ends)

DILLIK:
You're the best!

SASHA (grumbling):
Yeah, yeah...

DILLIK (more seriously):
Really, though.  Ever since your mother disappeared, you've shown so much strength and determination...

This is another clue which will give away Dillik's secret.

[ SASHA cocks her head slightly. ]

SASHA:
What do you mean, "disappeared?"  The Rangers destroyed her.

DILLIK (anxiously):
Uhh... I-- I know.  I-- I was just...  

[ SASHA primps with a faint smile. ]

SASHA:
But thank you.


[ EXT. ROOFTOP (NIGHT TO DAY) - SASHA continues to look out into the city at night. ]

SASHA (muttering):
I really need to stop getting suckered into these things.

She's referring to her roles in the Arcanum and Zephyros plots (episodes 19 and 20).

[ SASHA aims her STAR HANDLE into the night sky. ]

[ Sentai - A thin beam of light cuts through the darkness, focusing into a point high above the city.  The point gleams with blinding light, giving way to a dome of daylight over most of the city below. ]

Sasha creates daylight Sasha creates daylight Sasha creates daylight Sasha creates daylight Sasha creates daylight

This event was my principal reason for giving Sasha light-based powers all along.

[ In close-up, we see SASHA's face, now in daylight, as she seems to struggle slightly, but stubbornness may prevent her from expressing the difficulty of the task. ]


[ INT. LISA'S APARTMENT, BEDROOM (NIGHT TO DAY) - LISA is asleep in her bed when daylight begins streaming in from the windows (off-screen).  LISA grimaces and rolls over in her sleep. ]

In the sentai, the reaction shots were limited to a drunk Japanese businessman who celebrated the light in the sky for a reason I don't understand.


[ INT. COFFEE SHOP (NIGHT TO DAY) - Beside a window, DREW sits in a booth opposite an attractive young woman, perhaps twenty.  They are engaged in pleasant banter (not heard) when the windows light up from daylight.  Coffee shop patrons murmur in surprise. ]

Who is Drew with in this scene?  Another girl he asked out after Maggie canceled (and would he keep it a secret from Maggie)?  Or could there be a more innocent explanation?  I decided to leave this up to the audience (but I tend to think he picked up a new girl).

[ Confused, DREW peeks out the blinds.  It appears to be daytime outside. ]


[ INT. PATTERSONS' HOUSE, KITCHEN (NIGHT TO DAY) - STEVE stands at the kitchen sink drinking a glass of milk in his pajamas.  Suddenly, it turns to day.  STEVE is perplexed. ]


[ EXT. STADIUM (DAY) (sentai) - We zoom out from a cluster of stadium lights, from which LUXADILLO emerges as green energy and materializes below. ]

Luxadillo returns Luxadillo returns Luxadillo returns Luxadillo returns Luxadillo returns

LUXADILLO:
Is it morning already?!

Luxadillo's features strongly resemble a six-banded armadillo (common to South America); unlike most armadillos, this species is active during the day.  Hence, I could get away with Luxadillo being dormant in the dark.


[ EXT. PLAZA (DAY) (sentai) - In an urban plaza, the YELLOW and RED SHADOW RANGERS fade into existence in mid-stride.  They stop and strike battle poses. ]

Yellow and Red Shadow Rangers return Yellow and Red Shadow Rangers return Yellow and Red Shadow Rangers return Yellow and Red Shadow Rangers return

[ Elsewhere in the plaza, the BLUE and PINK SHADOW RANGERS fade in as well and strike their own poses. ]

Blue and Pink Shadow Rangers return Blue and Pink Shadow Rangers return Blue and Pink Shadow Rangers return Blue and Pink Shadow Rangers return


[ EXT. HOUSE (DAY) - Wearing a T-shirt and boxers, LUKE opens the front door and blearily peers out into the daylight.  He seems unable to make sense of the sight. ]

In the sentai, the four shadowed Rangers were bed-ridden and agonized as the Shadows terrorized the city; Black then set out on his motorcycle to set things right.

[ Wearing an abundantly long oversized T-shirt, MAGGIE is next out the door.  LUKE steps outside to make room for her, and she joins him on the front step. ]

MAGGIE:
This can't be good.

[ They are joined by PETE, wearing a T-shirt and draped in a sheet, and CASEY, in pink pajamas. ]

PETE:
What the heck?

CASEY:
It's not morning yet, is it?

[ CHRIS's voice emanates from their MORPHERS. ]

CHRIS (from Morphers):
Uhh, guys...


[ EXT. PLAYGROUND (DAY) - Near a playground (compare with sentai), BLACK RANGER speaks into his left wrist while looking up at the clear, bright sky. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger, cont'd):
I think something happened.

[ Sentai - The RED SHADOW RANGER flips over the camera and leaps in with a flying kick. ]

Shadow Red's kick Shadow Red's kick

In the sentai, Black Ranger was attacked by the Shadows and Luxadillo while he was on his motorcycle searching for the source of the daylight (Maria).

[ The RED SHADOW RANGER's flying kick strikes BLACK RANGER in the chest, sending him flying back. ]

[ BLACK RANGER rolls across the dirt.  He quickly finds himself surrounded by the four SHADOW RANGERS. ]


[ EXT. HOUSE (DAY) - As LUKE speaks, the four heroes ready their MORPHERS. ]

LUKE:
Let's do it, guys!  (all ready)


[ EXT. PLAYGROUND (DAY) (sentai) - Wielding his TALON SWORD, BLACK RANGER lands in front of the RED and YELLOW SHADOW RANGERS, who also wield TALON SWORDS.  With a flurry of blows, BLACK manages to fend off all four sword-wielding SHADOW RANGERS. ]

Black Ranger fights Shadow Rangers Black Ranger fights Shadow Rangers Black Ranger fights Shadow Rangers Black Ranger fights Shadow Rangers Black Ranger fights Shadow Rangers Black Ranger fights Shadow Rangers Black Ranger fights Shadow Rangers Black Ranger fights Shadow Rangers Black Ranger fights Shadow Rangers


[ EXT. ROOFTOP (DAY) - SASHA continues to concentrate as she holds her STAR HANDLE firmly aloft. ]


[ EXT. PLAYGROUND (DAY) (sentai) - The YELLOW and PINK SHADOW RANGERS perform simultaneous leaping TALON SWORD strikes. ]

Yellow and Pink attack

[ Struck, BLACK RANGER sparks and falls onto his back.  The RED and BLUE SHADOW RANGERS are immediately upon him, grappling his arms and lifting him to his feet.  He struggles but is unable to resist as they drag him aside. ]

Black Ranger beaten Black Ranger beaten Black Ranger beaten Black Ranger beaten Black Ranger beaten Black Ranger beaten

[ Nearby, LUXADILLO awaits as the SHADOW RANGERS drag BLACK RANGER before him. ]

Black Ranger beaten Black Ranger beaten Black Ranger beaten

LUXADILLO:
That's right.  Bring him this way, Shadows...

[ BLACK struggles. ]

Black Ranger struggles

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Would you get off me...!

[ LUXADILLO advances.  We zoom in on his spotlight. ]

Luxadillo advances Luxadillo advances

LUXADILLO:
Don't worry.  This won't hurt a bit.

[ BLACK continues to struggle as he glances at the SHADOW RANGERS. ]

Black struggles Black struggles

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Look, you've got all the Shadow Rangers you need!

[ LUXADILLO is suddenly struck with spark explosions. ]

Luxadillo blasted Luxadillo blasted Luxadillo blasted

[ BLACK and the SHADOW RANGERS look up. ]

wha?

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
What?

[ The four RANGERS fly down, their wings extended. ]

Rangers fly down Rangers fly down Rangers fly down

[ The four RANGERS land and grapple their respective SHADOW RANGERS, allowing BLACK to break free. ]

Rangers free Black Rangers free Black

[ BLACK nods and clenches his fist with determination. ]

Black Ranger freed Black Ranger freed

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Thanks, guys!  I'll take care of this armadillo monster.  He's had it!

[ YELLOW struggles with his SHADOW RANGER, who tries to elbow him.  We then pan to RED, who struggles with his own SHADOW RANGER.  RED appears slightly weak. ]

Yellow struggles Yellow struggles Yellow struggles Red struggles Red struggles

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Don't risk it, man!  (nearly gets elbowed, grunts)  The daylight's the problem!

LUKE (Red Ranger):
You've gotta stop this... (grunts) ...power drain!

In the sentai, Black already knew that Maria was the source of the daylight; I don't know what they were discussing here.

[ BLUE RANGER struggles to restrain her SHADOW RANGER, but both tumble to the ground. ]

Blue struggles Blue struggles Blue struggles

[ PINK struggles with her SHADOW RANGER as well. ]

Pink struggles Pink struggles Pink struggles

[ The YELLOW SHADOW RANGER throws YELLOW to the ground and stomps on his stomach. ]

Yellow Ranger having a hard time Yellow Ranger having a hard time Yellow Ranger having a hard time Yellow Ranger having a hard time

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
(grunts)  Ow!

[ RED calls out to BLACK while struggling with his SHADOW RANGER.  We zoom in on BLACK RANGER as his pumps his fist and sets out. ]

Black Ranger sets out Black Ranger sets out Black Ranger sets out Black Ranger sets out

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Find the light source!

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
I'm on it!  (departs)


[ EXT. PLAZA (DAY) - BLACK RANGER touches the left side of his helmet with two fingers while rushing through the plaza.  No other people are seen in the area. ]

A Hoverbird makes it quite easy to find the source, as compared to Black's scouring of the city on his motorcycle in the sentai.

I originally wrote this scene with Black Ranger alarming a few pedestrians, but then I remembered this was supposed to take place during the middle of the night (daylight aside).

CHRIS (Black Ranger, inwardly):
Let's see what we've got here...

[ He stops suddenly. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger, cont'd):
What...?  That's impossible!

The Rangers thought they destroyed Sasha in monster form on Illam (episode 22).  Further, they jettisoned her Star Handle in deep space in episode 23.  Now both are back.

[ With a burst of renewed determination, BLACK takes a running leap into the air. ]


[ EXT. ROOFTOP (DAY) - SASHA continues her efforts.  Some distance behind her, BLACK RANGER lands on the roof. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Sasha!

[ SASHA twirls around, briefly lowering her STAR HANDLE, at which point the sky begins to darken.  SASHA resumes her efforts, returning the light to its full levels, but she appears worried by BLACK's presence. ]

[ Meanwhile, BLACK RANGER advances, his hand on his SKY BLASTER. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
I'm going to have to insist you put down the Star Handle, Princess.

In the sentai, Black Ranger tried to strike Maria (Sasha) with his Talon Sword, but Gray (Strife) took the blow before giving Black a beating.  Aside from Maria's Japanese actress being visible in this sequence, I considered a Talon Sword attack too violent for use against a relatively defenseless faux-human opponent.

[ Suddenly, a massive spark explosion erupts around BLACK, hurling him into the air. ]

[ Smoking, BLACK RANGER flies over the edge of the building and plummets earthward. ]

In the sentai, Gray (Strife) fought Black on the rooftop for a while; I had to cut it because Strife's right hand was bandaged, and I had no way of explaining this.  (Earlier in their base, Gray had caught Radiguet's sword blade in his hand, defending Maria from the blow; Maria had then delicately bandaged his hand in a white cloth.)


[ EXT. PLAZA (DAY) - Still smoking, BLACK RANGER lands painfully on the pavement below.  As he collects himself, he quickly looks up. ]

[ Sentai - STRIFE sails down the side of the building. ]

Strife leaps down Strife leaps down


[ EXT. PLAYGROUND (DAY) (sentai) - In ball form, LUXADILLO flies through the air.  He smashes his way past the four RANGERS, causing them to spark as they fall to the ground. ]

Luxadillo attacks Rangers Luxadillo attacks Rangers

[ Nearby, LUXADILLO uncurls with a somersault as the four sword-wielding SHADOW RANGERS gather in front of him. ]

Luxadillo and Shadows Luxadillo and Shadows Luxadillo and Shadows

[ The smoking RANGERS rise weakly.  RED RANGER rallies them, and they drag themselves forward to continue their battle. ]

Rangers soldier on Rangers soldier on Rangers soldier on

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Come on, guys!  Chris needs more time!  Let's do it!

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger, faintly):
Okay...  (Rangers charge)


In the sentai, Gray pummeled Black in the plaza below the site of their earlier rooftop battle, nearly strangling him to unconsciousness.  Just then, Black called his motorcycle; on auto-pilot, it struck Gray and gave Black a chance to fire his Enforcer at Maria, restoring the darkness to the city.  Gray's bandaged hand, the violence of the fight, and the lack of an ending caused me to omit this fight.

Instead, I chose to use Strife and Black's final battle from Jetman #50, as I had no further plans for Strife beyond this episode, and it served to leave Dillik especially vulnerable as Sasha turned on him.  Jetman #50 is summarized in commentary for episode 35.

[ EXT. INDUSTRIAL PARK (DAY) (Jetman #50) - STRIFE hurls BLACK RANGER over his head.  BLACK, sword in hand, slams onto the concrete on his back. ]

Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife

At this point in Jetman #50, Black had remained to fight Gray as the others set out to help Red against Radiguet (see episode 35).

[ STRIFE lunges forward with a karate chop, but the downed BLACK RANGER deftly stops it between his crossed ankles.  He slings STRIFE's hand away and delivers a kick to his face (shown twice). ]

Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife

[ STRIFE reels into a stack of boxes nearby.  As he recovers, BLACK attacks with his TALON SWORD, striking STRIFE with two ineffective blows.  His attacks continue, but STRIFE swats them away before striking BLACK in the chest with a strong blow which causes him to spark and stagger aside.  STRIFE is quickly upon him, and he hurls BLACK into the air. ]

In the sentai, there was a substantial interlude addressing Red, White, and Radiguet between the time Gray was knocked into the boxes and Black attacked with his sword.

Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife Black Ranger vs. Strife

[ Landing on his back, BLACK RANGER quickly tries to rise, but STRIFE immediately fires his shoulder cannon.  A massive, fiery explosion sends BLACK flying without his sword. ]

Black tries to rise Black tries to rise Strife fires shoulder cannon Strife fires shoulder cannon explosion explosion

[ With STRIFE approaching from some distance away, BLACK RANGER lands on his back once again. ]

Black Ranger lands

[ US footage - As BLACK scrambles to sit up, he reaches for his SKY BLASTER.  At the same time, his TALON SWORD lands beside him.  He takes it. ]

[ BLACK RANGER assembles his SKY ENFORCER (Jetman #25). ]

Sky Enforcer Sky Enforcer

[ US footage - BLACK aims his ENFORCER and fires a purple beam. ]

In the sentai, Black fired his Sky Blaster and Echo Blaster after landing on his back; the combined beams were what severed Gray's arm.  As I hadn't yet introduced the Echo Blasters by this point, my only option was to use the Sky Enforcer, despite the unlikelihood that it could sever Strife's arm.

[ STRIFE erupts in a large burst of sparks.  His smoking shoulder cannon lands on the pavement, followed shortly by his severed left arm.  We tilt up to view STRIFE's reaction.  He fires his wrist blaster. ]

Strife blasted Strife blasted Strife disarmed Strife disarmed Strife returns fire Strife returns fire

Strife lost his other arm to the Phoenix Cannon in episode 12, but he reattached it fairly easily.

STRIFE:
Lucky shot!  (fires)

The "lucky shot" remark was my attempt to make the severing slightly more plausible.

[ Now upright, his weapon still in hand, BLACK RANGER erupts in a large burst of sparks and tumbles back. ]

Black Ranger blasted Black Ranger blasted Black Ranger blasted

[ US footage - In slow motion, the SKY ENFORCER tumbles through the air.  With a brief purple gleam, it separates, and the SKY BLASTER and TALON SWORD drift apart. ]

I had to show the Enforcer separating, because Strife would soon pick up the Talon Sword in the sentai footage.

[ Smoking, BLACK RANGER rolls across the pavement, seeming to shelter his face.  A thin stream of smoke pours from the right side of his helmet.  Slowly, he lifts his head, revealing a gaping hole where half of his visor once was.  Circuitry and wires are visible where the helmet has been broken away, and underneath is Chris's face. ]

Black Ranger down Black Ranger down visor broken visor broken

I found it peculiar that Chris survived the shoulder cannon blast with no apparent injuries, and yet the wrist blaster was what broke his visor.  Lucky shot, I guess.

Of course, the face we're actually seeing under the visor here is Gai Yuki, the sentai Black Ranger.

Broken visors were also seen in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999) and Power Rangers Time Force (2001).


[ Break. ]


[ EXT. PLAYGROUND (DAY) - The four RANGERS seem barely able to defend themselves against the SHADOW RANGERS' attacks. ]

In Black's original battle with Gray in Jetman #25, there was only one interlude showing the Rangers fighting the Shadows; due to the length of the final battle from Jetman #50, I had to cut away twice.


[ EXT. INDUSTRIAL PARK (DAY) (Jetman #50) - Barely able to stand, BLACK RANGER clutches a metal apparatus, against which he leans as he catches his breath.  The right side of his helmet remains broken. ]

Black Ranger catches his breath Black Ranger catches his breath Black Ranger catches his breath

[ Standing some distance in front of his discarded cannon and arm, STRIFE coolly bends down and picks up Black Ranger's TALON SWORD.  He speaks before advancing slowly with ill intent. ]

Strife with Talon Sword Strife with Talon Sword Strife with Talon Sword Strife with Talon Sword Strife with Talon Sword

STRIFE:
This ends here, Black Ranger.  You'll never threaten Sasha again.  (advances)

Would Dillik have actually had Strife finish Black Ranger off?  It seems so.

[ We slowly advance on the weakened, desperate BLACK RANGER from STRIFE's perspective, the TALON SWORD extended menacingly.  At the last moment, BLACK notices something (off-screen). ]

Strife advances on Black Ranger Strife advances on Black Ranger Black notices something Black notices something

[ Some distance away lies Strife's cannon. ]

Strife's discarded cannon Strife's discarded cannon

[ BLACK reacts as STRIFE places the TALON SWORD's blade against his shoulder.  STRIFE pauses a moment in silence before drawing back to strike. ]

Black's impending demise Black's impending demise Black's impending demise Black's impending demise Black's impending demise Black's impending demise

[ Just as the blow comes, BLACK slips aside, causing STRIFE to hit the object behind him with a flash of sparks.  STRIFE turns as BLACK somersaults to safety and leaps forward.  He reaches out in midair. ]

Black evades Black evades Black leaps Black leaps Black leaps Black leaps

[ Nearby, BLACK RANGER plucks the cannon from the ground as he somersaults over it.  He spins and braces the cannon on his shoulder. ]

Black Ranger grabs Strife's cannon Black Ranger grabs Strife's cannon Black Ranger grabs Strife's cannon Black Ranger grabs Strife's cannon Black Ranger grabs Strife's cannon

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Heads up!

[ STRIFE reacts, the TALON SWORD still in his hand. ]

Strife reacts Strife reacts

[ BLACK fires a rapid series of fiery blasts. ]

Black fires Black fires

[ STRIFE is engulfed in a wave of giant spark explosions and fireballs (partial US effect). ]

Strife explodes Strife explodes Strife explodes Strife explodes (not shown: final US explosion)

[ The TALON SWORD flies through the air. ]

Talon Sword

[ Switch to US footage - Nearby, the sword lands amidst a patch of dry weeds. ]

In the sentai, the cannon blasts didn't destroy Gray; rather, Black caught his Talon Sword and impaled Gray through the midsection, wounding him fatally.  A while later as Gray lay dying, unmorphed Black offered him a cigarette as a tribute to his worthiness in battle.  Then, as Gray died, he heard Maria's piano music in the distance.

[ His helmet still damaged, BLACK RANGER wobbles a moment, drops the cannon with a clatter (off-screen), and drops off-camera to his knees. ]

[ Nearby lies a flaming heap of robotic debris, the remains of Strife. ]


[ INT. KORA'S SHIP - A stunned DILLIK slowly removes his VR helmet.  He stares ahead for a moment until looking down at the helmet in his lap. ]

DILLIK:
It-- It's over...


[ EXT. PARK (DAY) - RED RANGER tumbles back, falling amidst the other three RANGERS.  He seems barely able to stand. ]

Make that three cutaways.


[ EXT. ROOFTOP (DAY) - SASHA seems to be growing weary, having braced her STAR HANDLE arm with her other hand.  Her eyelids droop slightly. ]

SASHA (muttering):
Dillik, you owe me big-time...  You're just lucky you're good at flattery.

[ DILLIK's previous line echoes distantly. ]

DILLIK (voice-over):
Ever since your mother disappeared, you've shown so much strength and determination...

[ SASHA changes her gaze slightly as the words repeat. ]

DILLIK (voice-over):
Ever since your mother disappeared...

[ She frowns slightly. ]

DILLIK (voice-over):
Does your mother pick the coldest places she can find?  (repeats)  Does --  Does --  Does your mother...

The pieces are coming together.  I suppose it isn't surprising that Dillik, scatterbrained as he is, failed to keep Magda's banishment a secret.

[ SASHA's eyes begin to widen apprehensively. ]

DILLIK (voice-over):
I guess it beats being sent to another dimension though.

[ SASHA now appears fully terrified. ]

DILLIK (voice-over, from previous episode):
I started building him after I finished the wormhole generator...

[ SASHA withdraws her STAR HANDLE and recoils in horror. ]

SASHA (anguished):
Dillik, no...!

[ Above, the blue sky fades into total night. ]

In the sentai, Black merely blasted Maria (Sasha) from below with his Sky Enforcer; in Take Flight, she leaves before Chris gets a chance to confront her again.


[ EXT. PARK (DAY TO NIGHT) (sentai) - As the SHADOW RANGERS charge with their swords in hand, LUXADILLO in the background and RED RANGER in foreground, the light drops to near-darkness, and the SHADOW RANGERS fade from existence.  LUXADILLO stands alone in the darkness. ]

night falls night falls night falls night falls

[ RED RANGER stands with renewed vigor.  His gaze initially fixed ahead, he then looks up at the night sky. ]

Red rises Red rises Red rises

LUKE (Red Ranger):
They're gone!  (looks up)  It's night again!  (nods privately)  Good job, Chris.

Except it wasn't Chris's doing here.  (In the sentai, Black restored the night with hardly a minute until midnight.)

[ US footage - YELLOW RANGER surveys the darkened park, a hand over his brow. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Yeah, but where'd that monster go?

Hoverbirds, anyone?


[ EXT. ALLEY (NIGHT) (sentai) - BLACK RANGER weakly staggers into a wide alley, where he collapses.  As he tries to rise, LUXADILLO rolls onto the scene in ball form. ]

Black Ranger weakened Black Ranger weakened Luxadillo rolls in

Luxadillo may be diurnal, but there's still work to be done!

[ US footage - BLACK RANGER rises warily, his visor remaining broken. ]

I kept Black's visor broken here from his battle with Strife; clearly in the sentai, it wouldn't have been broken.

In writing this episode, I wondered whether a Ranger could fix his or her broken helmet simply by demorphing and then re-morphing.  It seemed remotely plausible, but I decided this would ruin the gravity of a Ranger's suit or helmet being damaged.  Rather, it should stay damaged until it's repaired.  (In Power Rangers, the re-morph strategy actually seems to be more prevalent.)

[ LUXADILLO rolls forward and bounces up, slamming into BLACK RANGER's chest.  BLACK sparks and tumbles onto his back (a broken US visor perhaps composited over his helmet as he falls). ]

Luxadillo bounces in Luxadillo bounces in Luxadillo strikes Black Ranger Luxadillo strikes Black Ranger Luxadillo strikes Black Ranger Black Ranger falls

[ In slow motion, LUXADILLO uncurls and pounces on the fallen BLACK RANGER, pinning him to the ground. ]

Luxadillo pounces on Black Luxadillo pounces on Black

[ US footage - With LUXADILLO's armored back in the foreground, we see BLACK RANGER struggle under the monster's weight. ]

The sentai showed Black struggling as his wrists and ankles, shown in close-up, were pinned to the ground; I shan't specify what this reminded me of, but I was uncomfortable with it, so I cut those shots.

LUXADILLO:
You ruined everything!

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
(grunts)  Get off me, you overgrown --

[ Suddenly, LUXADILLO erupts in sparks and rolls off of BLACK RANGER. ]

Luxadillo blasted Luxadillo blasted Luxadillo blasted

[ US footage - BLACK quickly rolls over and looks further up the alley. ]

[ Nearly silhouetted in the dark alley, the four RANGERS relax after having fired their SKY BLASTERS. ]

Rangers in shadow Rangers in shadow

[ US footage - BLACK reacts. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Guys!  (pauses)  That's really you, isn't it?

In the dark, it's a bit hard to tell them from the Shadow Rangers, and there are also mysterious duplicates on the loose.

[ The RANGERS twirl their SKY BLASTERS in unison and holster them.  Having holstered his blaster, RED nods before calling into his left wrist. ]

Rangers holster their blasters Rangers holster their blasters Red Ranger Red Ranger Red Ranger

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Sure is!  (into wrist)  Now, Phoenix Cannon!


[ INT. CONTROL ROOM - In a military control room, a technician in a black version of the space station uniforms (see episode 1) works several controls.  On one monitor in front of him is the PHOENIX ROVER (see below). ]


[ EXT. ROCKY TERRAIN (NIGHT) (sentai) - The PHOENIX ROVER drives over a rocky terrain and then races off a cliff. ]

Phoenix Rover Phoenix Rover

Presumably Project Phoenix wasn't responsible for every subsequent deployment of the Phoenix Rover; this is probably just a special circumstance, given that the Zords (home to the Rover) are currently under repair in the hangar.


[ EXT. ALLEY (NIGHT) (sentai) - The PHOENIX CANNON transforms and descends to the four RANGERS below. ]

Phoenix Cannon transforms Phoenix Cannon transforms four Rangers receive Phoenix Cannon four Rangers receive Phoenix Cannon

At this point in the sentai, it was actually the five Rangers who used the Phoenix Cannon on Luxadillo.  I used this four-Ranger sequence (omitted from earlier in the episode) because Chris was weak and had a broken visor here.

[ US footage - BLACK RANGER stumbles to his feet and moves aside. ]

[ The four RANGERS are shown holding the PHOENIX CANNON from both sides. ]

four Rangers with Phoenix Cannon four Rangers with Phoenix Cannon

[ RED RANGER looks down at his monitor. ]

Red looks down

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Target lock!

[ The target lock screen zooms in on LUXADILLO's spotlight. ]

target lock target lock

LUXADILLO:
It wasn't supposed to happen like this!

[ RED presses the trigger button. ]

Red Ranger fires

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Fire!

[ The firebird blast bursts forth from the PHOENIX CANNON.  It flies down and strikes LUXADILLO, destroying him in a giant flare. ]

Luxadillo destroyed Luxadillo destroyed Luxadillo destroyed Luxadillo destroyed Luxadillo destroyed Luxadillo destroyed

In an earlier sequence which I omitted, Luxadillo easily blocked the Phoenix Cannon's blast with his armored backside, leaving us to wonder why he succumbs so easily this time.  (Was it simply because one more Ranger was present here in the sentai, or just that he didn't turn around this time?)

[ In the night sky, a spiky trail of red energy (US effect, compare with previous episode) spirals upward and gives way to LUXADILLO's giant form.  He bends down. ]

red energy trail (US effect) Luxadillo reborn Luxadillo reborn

The spiky trail called for with a US effect would serve to cover up the bug-shaped presence flying up to recreate Luxadillo (as I'd chosen to omit the red bugs responsible for these animal monsters in the sentai).

LUXADILLO:
It's lights out, Rangers!

[ Switch to US footage - As the RANGERS regroup below, they are joined by BLACK RANGER and immediately react to the sight of his broken visor.  PINK tries to caress his helmeted face. ]

In the darkness and the haste of the moment, the Rangers failed to notice his visor until now.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Whoa!

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Chris!

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Oh my gosh!  What happened to you?!

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
I'm okay.  We've got a monster to fight.

[ RED nods, perhaps reluctantly, and calls into his wrist: ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Sky Kestrel!


[ EXT. SKY (NIGHT) (Jetman #31, footage tinted from sentai) - The KESTRELZORD flies overhead in warrior mode.  The footage is tinted a dark blue to give the impression of night. ]

Kestrel warrior mode Kestrel warrior mode

Though this sentai episode contained the only complete version of the Kestrelzord's transformation to warrior mode (which I used in various other episodes), I omitted it in this episode because the Kestrelzord was already in warrior mode in the hangar.  (Correction: The only complete version without Japanese text at the bottom of the screen giving the robot's name.)


[ EXT. ALLEY (NIGHT) (US footage) - The five RANGERS beam up in blue light. ]


[ EXT. CITY (NIGHT) - The KESTRELZORD squares off against LUXADILLO. ]

Kestrel and Luxadillo Kestrel and Luxadillo Kestrel and Luxadillo

I cut a mouth blast from Luxadillo, as it didn't do much for the battle, the Kestrel's reaction seemed out of place, and I'd already omitted the mouth blast in small scale because of Japanese actors in the scene.

[ LUXADILLO quickly curls into a ball. ]

transform and roll out

LUXADILLO:
Can't catch me!  (curls)

[ LUXADILLO rolls forward in ball form.  He then bounces into the air and strikes the KESTRELZORD with a burst of sparks.  He repeats from the opposite direction. ]

ball attack ball attack ball attack ball attack ball attack

[ The ball flies in for a third strike. ]

ball attack


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (US footage) - At his controls (his visor still broken), BLACK RANGER thrusts his right joystick forward. ]

Obviously, I had to reshoot this shot because of Black's broken visor.

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Kestrel punch!


[ EXT. CITY (NIGHT) - The KESTREL punches forward, striking the ball with a burst of sparks.  It flies back, bounces, and reverts to a dazed LUXADILLO. ]

ball punch ball punch ball punch ball punch ball punch ball punch ball punch

LUXADILLO:
Ohh, I feel a little light-headed!


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (US footage) - BLACK presses a button. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Thermo Beam!


[ EXT. CITY (NIGHT) - The KESTREL fires its chest beam.  LUXADILLO erupts in sparks. ]

Thermo Beam Thermo Beam Luxadillo blasted Luxadillo blasted

I cut a shot of Red Ranger pumping his fist and jerking back on his joysticks (already used in episode 13) because it seemed to have little purpose here, and there was no point in repeating it.

[ The KESTREL then strikes a battle pose and leaps into the air.  It flies overhead. ]

Kestrel leaps Kestrel leaps Kestrel flying

[ We zoom in on an anxious LUXADILLO from above. ]

Luxadillo reacts Luxadillo reacts

LUXADILLO:
Uh oh!

[ The KESTREL's talons open.  It then performs its glowing X slash. ]

Kestrel talons Kestrel talons Kestrel Slash

[ Struck by the attack, LUXADILLO falls backward, gleaming with golden rays of light.  With a final gleam, he explodes in a fireball. ]

Luxadillo's demise Luxadillo's demise Luxadillo's demise Luxadillo's demise Luxadillo's demise

[ The KESTREL stands triumphant as flames burn in the foreground. ]

Kestrel triumphant Kestrel triumphant Kestrel triumphant

At this point in the sentai, Gray (Strife) carried the unconscious Maria (Sasha) down a foggy street at night before vanishing.


[ Break. ]


[ INT. QUEEN'S CHAMBER - DILLIK staggers numbly through the chamber.  He drops his VR helmet to the misty floor and approaches the stairs. ]

SASHA (off-screen):
Well, look who it is.

[ DILLIK looks around.  He finally spies SASHA standing upside-down on an inverted staircase leading into a black void above.  Her arms are crossed, and she holds her STAR HANDLE. ]

SASHA (cont'd):
If it isn't the person who banished my mother.

[ DILLIK is startled, but his anxiety suggests he has been caught in a lie. ]

DILLIK:
W-- W-- What...?

[ SASHA flips through the air and lands in front of DILLIK.  He takes a step back as she advances hungrily toward him, her STAR HANDLE clenched firmly in her hand. ]

SASHA (embittered):
You and Trask.  To think I trusted you...!  (shouting)  Where is she?!

Sasha's loyalty to her mother trumps any camaraderie she had with Dillik (which was based on tentative trust anyhow).

[ DILLIK staggers backward and stumbles on the steps, falling into a seated position. ]

Too bad for Dillik that he no longer has Strife for self-defense.

DILLIK:
I-- I don't know...!  S-- Some other dimension...

Aside from Dillik's off-handed remark about being sent to another dimension, this is the first definitive confirmation the audience receives that Magda was banished to another dimension.  Her destination will be shown in episode 38.

SASHA (sharply):
Well, you know what, Dillik?  You're going to bring her back.

DILLIK:
I-- I can't!  The wormhole generator's been destroyed!  I-- I upgraded it to transfer matter, but I don't know how to build one from scratch!  I don't even know how the humans managed to do it!

In episode 17, I somewhat carelessly referred to the wormhole generator as a device the humans had developed.  By this point, however, I intended to raise the question of how the humans were able to build such an advanced machine (the answer is provided in episode 33).

[ SASHA is silent for a moment.  She then transforms her STAR HANDLE to sword mode. ]

SASHA:
Then I guess your life ends here.

[ SASHA rears back to skewer DILLIK with her weapon.  DILLIK flinches.  SASHA is suddenly struck with an orange beam from off-screen and melts into a puddle of black slime on the floor, where the mist has parted.  Her STAR HANDLE clatters to the floor as well, its blade retracting automatically. ]

In one quick moment, Sasha has been eradicated.  (She will not return, except in the form of a clone, sans memories, in episode 30.)  I intended for this moment to be unexpected and jarring.

[ DILLIK recoils in a combination of astonishment and alarm.  He looks across the chamber. ]

[ TRASK emerges from the darkness, his BIOMASS GUN in hand.  He approaches. ]

Trask intended to melt Sasha in episode 16, but Strife intervened.  Now it's Trask who's intervened to save Dillik.

TRASK:
I hope I'm not interrupting.

[ DILLIK stands, delighted. ]

DILLIK:
Trask!

Dillik left Trask to pursue Sasha in episode 23, but at this moment, he's delighted to see Trask and not particularly concerned about Sasha.

TRASK:
Hello, Dillik.

[ TRASK returns his BIOMASS GUN to his coat and summons a biomass canister with a ripple effect.  A blue beam from the bottom of the canister draws the black liquid into it, and it then seals. ]

I considered that Radigan (Radiguet's monster form) could possibly be interpreted as Sasha (see episode 30), given that its face was seen in her monster form's torso in episode 22, but at this point I merely had Trask collect her biomass because it seemed like the reasonable thing to do.

TRASK (cont'd):
How's life?

DILLIK (stunned):
I-- I--  (pauses)  Well, better now...  But-- But how did you know I was in trouble?

TRASK:
Mainframe told me Strife was destroyed, so I knew you were defenseless.  Then when Sasha turned off her little light show and came here, I was worried she might think you'd outlived your usefulness.  (chuckles)  I didn't know it was because you couldn't keep a secret.  But I should have figured.

Trask stressed the need to keep Magda's fate a secret in episode 11.

[ DILLIK sighs heavily while staring distantly at the misty ground. ]

DILLIK (wearily):
I guess she and I weren't meant to be together.  You can't build a partnership with a secret like that between you.

[ TRASK is silent for a moment.  He then speaks. ]

Dillik still doesn't know that Trask killed Omos, but Trask may consider this irrelevant to their partnership.

TRASK:
Would you like to come back to the station?

DILLIK:
Yeah, I'll be there soon.  I wanna collect my thoughts a little.

[ TRASK nods and turns. ]

TRASK (gently):
We'll be waiting for you.

[ DILLIK looks up at TRASK. ]

DILLIK:
Hey, Trask...?

[ TRASK stops and looks down. ]

DILLIK (cont'd):
Would you get rid of me if I outlived my usefulness to you?

[ TRASK bends down and picks up the STAR HANDLE. ]

TRASK:
Probably.

[ DILLIK blinks. ]

[ TRASK tosses DILLIK the STAR HANDLE.  DILLIK catches it clumsily. ]

TRASK (cont'd):
But your usefulness to me is that you're my friend.

Aww...

[ DILLIK smiles faintly. ]

TRASK (cont'd, with a smirk):
Nice robot, by the way.  You had me going.

Trask is no longer hostile about Dillik's Strife deception (see previous episode).

[ DILLIK smiles further. ]

DILLIK:
Thanks.

[ TRASK vanishes with a ripple effect.  DILLIK looks down absently. ]

I didn't intend for Dillik to be up to anything mysterious here; he's simply been through a lot today.


[ Dissolve to INT. LAB - CHRIS, helmetless in his Black Ranger suit, sits on an exam table in a laboratory as the other helmetless RANGERS stand around him.  Under CHRIS's right eye is a small bandage.  In the background at a workstation, a technician in a lab coat is working on Black Ranger's visor. ]

Lucky for Chris he only needed a small bandage after a hit like that.  Incidentally, Chris's helmet breakage is the only suit failure in this series, aside from demorphs from power loss.

PETE:
You're kidding.  How's that even possible?

CHRIS:
I don't know, but it was her.  Star Handle and all.

CASEY:
But we destroyed her on Illam!

CHRIS:
Yeah, well, now she's back.

At the time, it didn't occur to me to make the Rangers suspect Sasha could be a duplicate.

LUKE:
We'll be ready for her next time.  The Megazord will be back online soon.

PETE:
So, how'd you get her to stop lighting up the city?

CHRIS:
I didn't.  I was busy with Strife the whole time.

MAGGIE:
But why would she just stop?

LUKE:
There's no telling.  Good for us that she did, though.  Those Shadow Rangers were tough.

The Rangers don't know that Sasha is dead.  When they encounter her clone in episode 30, they will believe it's still the original.

CASEY:
Creepy too.  I hate fighting myself.

Casey fought an evil version of herself in episode 15.

PETE:
Hey, you think it's possible... (pauses)

CASEY:
What is it?

PETE:
Well, what if our duplicates last week were Shadow Rangers?

Clearly they aren't, but it seemed like a reasonable line of thought, and not too devious of a red herring.

[ The RANGERS ponder. ]

CASEY:
You think?

LUKE:
I guess it's possible...  Kinda weird that they helped us while we were gone though.

PETE:
Hmm, yeah...  That is weird.  But you know what?  There were four each time.  No Maggie last time, and now no Chris.

MAGGIE:
Well, yeah, but Chris just avoided the monster's beam today.

PETE:
Well, I know, but all I'm saying is, maybe there's an explanation just as simple for why you didn't have one last week.  Who knows how they got made?

Pete's on to something here.

MAGGIE:
Hmm...

LUKE:
My duplicate said everything would make sense eventually...

CHRIS:
Yeah, how's that going?

LUKE:
(shakes his head)  It doesn't yet.

[ CHRIS chuckles. ]

[ The camera backs away from the RANGERS and ultimately passes through several walls, revealing technicians in various labs.  The camera emerges from the building, revealing: ]

I chose this moving shot to transition between scenes so that the audience could be sure this was a single moment; yes, there really are two Chrises living in parallel.


[ EXT. MILITARY BASE (NIGHT) - Having emerged from a medium-sized building in the military complex, the camera turns and accelerates, zipping over the mountains and into nearby Spring Valley.  We soon fly down to: ]

As in the days of the Command Center in Power Rangers, the Rangers' base is now separated from the city by a range of mountains.


[ EXT. INDUSTRIAL PARK (NIGHT) - The camera arrives at Strife's smoldering robotic remains.  We hold on a shot of the scattered debris as the sound of a motorcycle approaches.  It stops with its front wheel just in frame.  We tilt up to reveal a BIKER in black, on a sleek black motorcycle (appropriate for 1992).  His identity is hidden behind a reflective black motorcycle helmet.  On his left wrist, however, is an AVIMORPHER. ]

[ The BIKER removes his helmet, revealing his identity to be Chris, his attention idly focused on the wreckage.  Cut to black. ]

I hadn't planned to show the duplicates until their actual episode (see episode 36), but this ending seemed appropriate here, given the Rangers' musings over the duplicates; it also confirms that the duplicates, whoever they are, are almost certainly not Shadow Rangers.

By this point, I hadn't planned out how future-Chris would get his hands on a motorcycle while repeating their year back in time (see episode 36), but I figured I could make up a reason eventually.  For now, it just looked cool, and it lent to the impression that this wasn't the Chris we were familiar with.