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

POWER RANGERS TAKE FLIGHT

Episode 28: "The Worm and the Whale"

This episode was completed on October 15, 2007, and released on September 13, 2008.  Its title is a play on the title of the independent film The Squid and the Whale; here, I'm referencing Moleworm (the worm) and the demon-eater (whom I originally envisioned as a space whale).

Writer:  Joe Rovang

[ Sentai footage is from a variety of sources, including Jetman #4, 7, 27, 29, 39, 43, and 46.  All sources are noted. ]

Though this episode serves as a repository for sentai battles which would have otherwise been unusable (this mashup style of episode being an occasional staple in Power Rangers), it wasn't originally planned this way; more notes to follow.

Jetman #4 is summarized in the commentary for episode 5.

In Jetman #7, Red's grandmother intends to find him a wife, but a girl she introduces to him is captured by Maria's mirror monster (Mirrormite).  Unwilling to break the mirror (and hurt the captives within), the Rangers are helpless until Red's grandmother reflects the monster's beam, trapping Maria as well.  The monster releases everyone, and the Rangers destroy the monster with the Sky Enforcers and the Megazord.  (I omitted this episode because it contained little usable small-scale monster footage, and because the mirror plot just didn't inspire me.)

In Jetman #27, the souls of Blue, Black, and then Yellow are captured by a demonic hearse summoned by Radiguet.  It turns out they're being held in the afterlife by spirits of dead monsters (Spoutfire, Ramenator, Facetia, and Papyria), so Red meditates with the help of a priest (and the prayers of Chokan and White) to go in after them.  After enduring a number of ordeals in the spirit world, Red manages to morph and find the others.  They blast their monster captors, causing them to grow, and the spirits of the Zords (!) are summoned to this realm.  Spoutfire and Papyria fall, but Ramenator and Facetia possess the Megazord until the priest casts them out (while White's praers keep Red on his toes).  The Mega Kestrelzord proves victorious, and the Rangers are freed.  (I was willing to use this episode here, but I wasn't sure what sort of ending to use, as the Mega Kestrelzord wasn't yet introduced.)

In Jetman #29, Radiguet pursues two humanoids from another dimension into ours.  As the Rangers mistake one of them for a villain, Radiguet creates a samurai armor monster which turns the other, her husband, into an evil warrior (Vang).  Red fights desperately to recover the girl's mate, recalling his loss of his own fiancée, and he ultimately grapples the warrior as the others blast off his armor.  (Before writing episode 18, I had considered using Will for this armor plot, but ultimately the Japanese actors were just too prominent to salvage much.)

Jetman #39 is summarized in the commentary for episode 22.

In Jetman #43, the Rangers' mentor, Chokan, unwittingly inhales a shrunken monster (Moleworm) as she smells from a bouquet of roses secretly sent by Radiguet.  Meanwhile, Black has an unpleasant meeting with White's parents (as the two are currently dating).  Chokan sets up the Rangers in the quarry, and their Echo Blasters backfire; back at the base, they discover a monster inside her.  White uses a shrink ray on the Megazord, allowing the others to hunt the monster inside Chokan's body.  Before the shrink ray wears off, they escape through a tear, and White takes them outside.  Downtown, Chokan soon comes to the rescue in the Kestrelzord and destroys the monster.  (This footage was fine to use, but I did choose to avoid the shrink ray idea.)

In Jetman #46, Tranza creates a monster from Yellow's childhood fear, a tomato demon (Tomato King) who terrorizes only him.  The Rangers find him a powerful foe, and Yellow runs away, with Blue on his tail.  As the others struggle against the giant demon in the Kestrelzord, Blue convinces Yellow to conquer his fear by eating tomatoes, which results in the demon's head being eaten as well, and the Kestrel finishes him off.  (This would have been a fun comic relief episode, but it contained abundant Japanese actors and signage.  Also, I originally considered the monster's head being eaten to be too gruesome, but my stance channged for some reason once it became just a dream.)

My earliest plans for the series called for the Rangers to encounter an imposing but awe-inspiring force, and a space whale immediately came to mind.  Later, when it came time to adapt the Moleworm battle, I found the idea of shrinking the Megazord a bit hokey, but setting the battle inside an enormous entity was fine, and that reminded me of the space whale!  Further, I also thought to link Jetman #43 (Moleworm) with Jetman #27 (dream battle) because White Ranger was absent from both battles (this was my reason for setting up Casey's brother's wedding as far back as episode 20).  At the last minute, though, I realized I could also sneak in a number of discarded sentai episodes, as dreams didn't have to make much sense or have tidy endings.  Using this technique, I unexpectedly ended up using every Jetman monster over the course of my series, and the only sentai episodes left un-adapted were those strictly featuring Tranza or vampire-Maria.

Note that my plans for the space whale were in place before the web cartoon Homestar Runner did a feature on the job of "space whale scrubber."  The origin of the space whale archetype eludes me, but my earliest exposure to the idea was in the animated movie Pinocchio in Outer Space (1965).


[ Fade in to EXT. CITY STREET (MORNING) - LISA is walking down the street in her work clothes.  As the sound of distant jets grows louder, LISA pauses and looks up. ]

The first few scenes of this episode take place on the morning of Tuesday, July 28, 1992, four days after the Shadow Ranger incident.

[ Sentai (any Jetman intro from #25 through #51) - From Lisa's vantage point, we see the five SKY FLYERS flying over the city in formation. ]

Flyers over city Flyers over city

For a while, I completely overlooked this shot, as I didn't spend much time scouring the intros for unique footage (my mistake!).  When I did come across it, though, I made a note to use it as soon as possible; the opportunity arose here as the Flyers made their return, and a witness (Lisa) takes notice.

[ LISA smiles fondly. ]


[ EXT. TESTING GROUNDS (Jetman #4) - At an expansive outdoor facility, we see several target structures, and long rows of red and white poles resembling smokestacks.  In the foreground (US composite over sentai) is a sign reading, "Weapons Testing Facility.  No Trespassing."  (This sequence features footage from Jetman #4 unless otherwise noted.) ]

This sequence wasn't usable when I first adapted Jetman #4-5, as the Rangers weren't affiliated with the military at that point.  For the Flyers' return to working order, however, I realized I could revisit it.  (As the Rangers were unmorphed in the sentai, however, I had to insert cockpit shots from other episodes.)

testing grounds (not shown: US sign)

This establishment shot was too important to pass up, but I clearly had to do something about the Japanese text on-screen; my solution was to add a sign in the foreground.

We don't know the purpose of the Rangers' flight over the city prior to their testing session here, aside from it giving me an excuse to use the footage of the Flyers over the city.


[ INT. SWALLOW COCKPIT - BLUE RANGER makes a gesture with her index finger before reaching for the lever beside her.  She pulls it down. ]

Currently, only Chris has had to leave work to test the Flyers; Luke and Pete are off, Casey goes in later, and Maggie's activities are unspecified.

Blue Ranger pulls lever Blue Ranger pulls lever

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Wing Blade, detach!


[ EXT. TESTING GROUNDS - The WING BLADE detaches and flies down. ]

Wing Blade Wing Blade Wing Blade

[ The WING BLADE cleanly slices through six consecutive poles.  It then returns to the SWALLOW and reattaches. ]

Wing Blade slices poles Wing Blade slices poles Wing Blade returns Wing Blade returns


[ INT. OWL COCKPIT (Jetman #26) - YELLOW RANGER gives a thumbs-up. ]

Yellow Ranger gives thumbs-up

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Good job, Maggie!


[ EXT. SKY (Jetman #26) - The OWL flies by. ]

Owl Three Owl Three

PETE (voice-over, cont'd):
Oh yeah, Owl Three's doing just fine.


[ INT. SWAN COCKPIT (Jetman #26) - PINK RANGER comments. ]

Pink Ranger

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
The Swan checks out too!


[ INT. HAWK COCKPIT (Jetman #26) - RED RANGER nods. ]

Red Ranger

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Ditto for the Hawkzord.


[ INT. CONDOR COCKPIT (Jetman #26) - BLACK RANGER coolly thumbs his nose before reaching for his joystick. ]

Black Ranger Black Ranger

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
I think the Condor needs another test...


[ EXT. TESTING GROUNDS - The CONDOR flies low through the testing grounds.  It then flies through one of the black target panels (shown twice). ]

Condor Two Condor flies through target Condor flies through target

PETE (voice-over):
Nice!


[ EXT. SKY (Jetman #10) - Elsewhere, OWL THREE lifts a large boulder with its OWL CLAW. ]

Owl lifts rock Owl lifts rock

PETE (voice-over, cont'd):
Hey, Casey, how about a little target practice?


[ INT. SWAN COCKPIT - PINK RANGER replies. ]

Pink Ranger Pink Ranger

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Aww, Pete, I thought you'd never ask!


[ EXT. SKY - The OWL flies by with its boulder in tow. ]

Owl with rock


[ INT. OWL COCKPIT - YELLOW RANGER clenches his fist and pulls the lever beside him. ]

Yellow pulls lever Yellow pulls lever Yellow pulls lever

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
All right, here goes!  Owl Claw, release!


[ EXT. SKY - The OWL releases its boulder, allowing it to fall. ]

Owl drops rock

[ Flying straight upward, the SWAN fires a series of pink lasers from its front. ]

Swan fires lasers

[ The lasers narrowly miss the OWL. ]

Swan lasers Swan lasers

PETE (voice-over):
Whoa!  Easy!

[ The SWAN continues to fly upward, firing its lasers. ]

Swan lasers

In the sentai, White was originally quite useless at flying her Zord, and in this sequence, she couldn't hit the falling boulder no matter how hard she tried, leaving it to Red to rescue her by shooting it.  This was unacceptable for Take Flight.

Of note, this is the only time the Swanzord was seen firing its lasers in the sentai.


[ INT. SWAN COCKPIT - From Pink's vantage point, we see the boulder explode. ]

boulder explodes

[ PINK RANGER is shaken in her cockpit as light flares in front of her. ]

Pink Ranger shaken

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Whoooaa!


[ EXT. SKY - The SWANZORD shakily levels off. ]

Swan levels off Swan levels off


[ INT. SWAN COCKPIT (Jetman #21) - PINK pumps her fist and then works the controls on her left. ]

Pink Ranger in control Pink Ranger in control

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
No problem!


[ INT. CONDOR COCKPIT (Jetman #5) - BLACK RANGER gives a salute to his left. ]

Black's salute

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Nice one!


[ EXT. SKY - The five FLYERS swoop down and over the camera, leaving colored trails behind them. ]

Flyers with trails Flyers with trails

This was a shot I hadn't had a chance to feature previously, but it seemed like a nice, pleasant image which would particularly aggravate Trask.


[ EXT. SPACE STATION - Now docked to one of the spare airlocks, in addition to TRASK'S SHIP, is KORA'S SHIP (see previous episode).  It will remain docked here in all further establishment shots until further notice. ]

Dillik flew Kora's ship to the station after Sasha left it outside their Siberian base (episodes 26 and 27).

[ We hear TRASK roar furiously (voice-over), followed by a shattering crunch sound. ]


[ INT. SPACE STATION - TRASK stands contorted in a feral position by the main viewscreen, in which his sword is now firmly embedded.  The viewscreen is cracked and smoking.  DILLIK and MAINFRAME stand contritely on the other side of the room (MAINFRAME more timid than DILLIK).  Kora's cryogenic container is no longer present. ]

TRASK (growling inwardly):
How can the Flyers be back online?!

The slow but steady progress against the Zords was the primary factor keeping Trask calm in the face of repeated losses (see episode 17).  Thus, seeing the Flyers back in working order is particularly aggravating to him.  Additionally, I felt it was an appropriate lead-in to the upcoming demon escapade as Trask tried something new.

[ DILLIK politely replies: ]

DILLIK:
They seem to have repaired them.

[ TRASK nearly retorts but manages to calm himself.  He forcefully pulls his sword from the viewscreen with a crunch. ]

TRASK:
I see that.

[ He dispels his sword with a ripple effect and begins to exit. ]

DILLIK:
D-- Do you want us to send a monster?

[ TRASK stops and turns to DILLIK. ]

TRASK:
And what good would that do, Dillik?

[ DILLIK looks searchingly at MAINFRAME. ]

DILLIK:
Um, well...

[ TRASK turns away in disgust, cursing under his breath. ]

TRASK:
Months' worth of progress, gone!

[ MAINFRAME furtively leans over to DILLIK. ]

MAINFRAME (quietly):
I don't see what's the problem.  You guys took care of the Flyers once already, right?  You can just do it again.

DILLIK (quietly):
Well, yeah, but --

[ TRASK turns back to them.  MAINFRAME quickly straightens anxiously. ]

TRASK (coolly):
The problem is that our monsters were supposed to wear down the Rangers' Zords to the point of disrepair.  Now that they can repair them, our battles simply equate to a waste of biomass.

[ MAINFRAME eases slightly, pondering. ]

MAINFRAME:
So you want something you can repair too?  (considers)  Well, Dillik and I were just --

DILLIK (interrupting him):
Uhh... (chuckles)  We're working on it.  We just need some time.

Foreshadowing their Zord project, which they began after clearing out the holding bay in episode 26.

[ TRASK eyes them suspiciously. ]

TRASK:
Hmm, yes, well...  Carry on, then.  (turns)  I think I'll do a little exploring.  (over his shoulder)  Try not to set the station on fire, will you?

[ DILLIK nods. ]

DILLIK:
Yes, sir.

He did so several times during the missing time in episode 1.

Dillik hasn't yet claimed the leadership role Trask offered him in episode 23.

[ TRASK exits. ]

[ MAINFRAME approaches the broken viewscreen.  DILLIK accompanies him. ]

MAINFRAME:
Why didn't you want to tell him?

DILLIK:
Oh, I don't know... I guess I was hoping to surprise him.

Plus it's more suspenseful if the audience doesn't know what they're up to.

[ MAINFRAME places his hand on the broken viewscreen, prompting it to repair itself. ]

MAINFRAME:
Do you really think it'll be able to beat the Rangers' Zords?

DILLIK:
Well, it's got the speed and firepower...

At this point, Dillik and Mainframe were constructing the Battlezord from plans found aboard the space station computers, not realizing it already existed (see episode 30).  I wasn't sure how they planned to fire the Quad Cannon (the military's solution for this is revealed in episode 40); I'll go out on a limb and speculate now that a giant monster could have held it.

MAINFRAME:
Yeah, I guess...

[ Once repaired, the viewscreen turns on, revealing a graphical, scale representation of the solar system (depicting the planets in their positions from approximately 6:00 PM UTC on July 28, 1992).  Some distance beyond the orbit of Neptune is a red blip. ]

[ DILLIK notices the monitor. ]

DILLIK:
Hey, what's that?

[ MAINFRAME glances at the monitor. ]

MAINFRAME:
Oh, the humans call that Pluto.  You know, Pluton.  Plutoni.  (in Mandarin Chinese)  Mingwangxing.

By my estimation, these are the most frequent labels used across the Earth to describe Pluto.

[ DILLIK curiously points at the opposite edge of the solar system. ]

DILLIK:
No... Pluto's over here.

Look here for a simulation of the solar system at this point in time, courtesy of NASA's Solar System Simulator.  (When I first reread this episode to add commentary, I thought the location of Pluto in the script was a mistake, but the red blip is some distance beyond the orbit of Neptune, not necessarily Neptune itself; Pluto is opposite the blip but happens to be close to Neptune at this point.)

[ MAINFRAME does a double-take and scrutinizes the red blip.  He then looks at DILLIK. ]

MAINFRAME:
What IS that?

It's a bit of a contrivance that the demon-eater happens to be in the neighborhood while Trask is looking for an alternative to standard monsters; let's just say if the demon-eater hadn't been around right now, Trask would've found something else instead.


[ EXT. TOPIARY (Jetman #7) - In a public topiary surrounded by neatly sculpted trees, MIRRORMITE charges.  She is a green-skinned monster with a large, rectangular, mirrored panel over her torso, in the corner of which is a JINNSECT.  (This scene is blurred along the edges, a US effect, to indicate a dream sequence.) ]

Some shots in this sequence are used out of order.

Mirrormite Mirrormite

This dream is an anachronism in a way, in that it features a new Jinnsect monster after the Jinnsects were used up (episode 21).

[ RED RANGER leaps through the air with a two-footed kick.  BLUE RANGER and BLACK follow with synchronized jump-kicks, as do PINK AND YELLOW. ]

flying kicks flying kicks flying kicks

[ In sequence, each of the jump-kicks harmlessly bounce off MIRRORMITE's torso. ]

flying kicks ineffective flying kicks ineffective flying kicks ineffective

[ The RANGERS fall and roll back together.  First to rise to a crouching position, RED RANGER briefly crosses his fists and then reaches for his SKY BLASTER. ]

Rangers fall back Rangers fall back Red reaches for Sky Blaster Red reaches for Sky Blaster

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Sky Blasters!

[ YELLOW and PINK, and then BLACK and BLUE, draw their blasters as well. ]

Sky Blasters Sky Blasters

[ The RANGERS fire their SKY BLASTERS in unison, but the lasers reflect off of MIRRORMITE and strike the RANGERS.  They spark and fall back. ]

Sky Blasters fire Sky Blaster lasers reflected Sky Blaster lasers reflected Sky Blaster lasers reflected Sky Blaster lasers reflected

[ US footage - Smoking, PINK RANGER quickly rises, drawing her TALON SWORD.  She charges. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Talon Sword!

[ We zoom in on MIRRORMITE as she continues forward.  (A US effect may be used to make her mirror surface appear more reflective.) ]

Mirrormite advances Mirrormite advances Mirrormite advances

[ US footage - Upon approaching the monster (off-screen), PINK RANGER stops suddenly, startled. ]

[ In MIRRORMITE's mirror, PINK RANGER is reflected (US composite over sentai).  She is startled to see a JINNSECT embedded in her chest. ]

Mirrormite's mirror

There was no Jinnsect image in the sentai.  In fact, at no point in Jetman was there ever a mention of Jinnsects infecting living beings, to my knowledge.  Here, Mirrormite was displaying his numerous captives.

This dream about a Jinnsect inside Casey could be seen as a vague reference to a monster within, as the demon-eater is now experiencing.

[ MIRRORMITE quips: ]

Mirrormite

MIRRORMITE:
Nice addition, Pink Ranger!

[ US footage - PINK RANGER drops her TALON SWORD and desperately claws at the JINNSECT in futility.  In the background, the sky begins to smear with a variety of surreal colors. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
(shrieks)  Get it out!  Get it out!

In retrospect, I wonder whether this would be too intense for younger viewers.


[ INT. HOUSE, CASEY'S BEDROOM (NIGHT) - CASEY startles awake, panicked, but is relieved to find no Jinnsect in her chest.  She takes a moment to catch her breath. ]

This scene and the previous nightmare take place on the evening of Thursday, July 30, 1992, two days after the Flyers were tested.  This has been Moleworm's first day of mining for demon energies, and this is now the demon-eater's first attempt at contacting the Rangers.

CASEY (with a sigh):
I need a vacation.

This foreshadows Casey's trip to her brother's wedding.  Further, all of the Rangers (minus Maggie, plus Lisa) will go on a Hawaiian vacation in episode 35.

Casey thought her nightmare was caused by the stress of repeated monster battles; she didn't realize it was triggered by an outside presence.


[ Wipe to INT. HOUSE, LIVING ROOM (NIGHT) - CHRIS and CASEY are snuggled together on the couch watching a fictional wedding on TV. ]

This scene takes place on the evening of Friday, July 31, 1992, the second day of Moleworm's mining.

CASEY:
Ohh, she looks so pretty...

Of course, Casey has a wedding of her own in episode 40.

CHRIS:
Hey, isn't your brother's wedding coming up soon?

David's wedding was discussed in episode 20; Casey doubted she could go, but at the time, the Flyers were disabled and the Rangers had no Kestrelzord.

CASEY (wistfully):
Oh, yeah... next week.

CHRIS (briefly confused):
Well... aren't you going?

CASEY (taken aback):
Well, I... told them I couldn't go...

CHRIS:
Yeah, but you can now.  The Flyers are up and running.  You can fly back if anything happens.  Heck, you could even take the Kestrelzord...

[ CASEY ponders. ]

CASEY:
But it's such short notice...

CHRIS:
Are you kidding?  You're his sister!  Forget all the formalities.  I'm sure he'd want you to come.

[ CASEY considers. ]

CASEY (considering):
I guess you're right.  (looks up at Chris)  Will you come with me?

[ CHRIS makes an awkward face. ]

CHRIS:
Oh...  Well, a sister's one thing, but a sister's date?  I mean, they've got, like, food and stuff for only so many people, you know?

CASEY (wryly):
No, it's okay!  You don't have to eat anything, right?

Chris and Casey's sense of humor meshes a bit better now than it did earlier in the series.

[ CHRIS chuckles. ]

CHRIS:
Seriously, though, I'm on thin ice with Mr. Fischer.  If I tried to take off...

Chris thinks he's on thin ice, but future-Chris actually smoothed things over behind the scenes during episode 27 (see episode 37).

[ CASEY makes a sour face.  A car door can be heard shutting outside, causing CASEY to perk up. ]

CASEY:
Oh, Maggie's home!


[ EXT. HOUSE (NIGHT) - Dressed up somewhat and carrying a backpack, MAGGIE waves to DREW as he drives away in a well-serviced yellow Volkswagen.  Once his car is gone, she turns to enter the house.  She is smiling pleasantly. ]

Maggie and Drew have finally had their date, as it was interrupted the previous week by the Shadow Ranger incident (episode 27).


[ INT. HOUSE, LIVING ROOM (NIGHT) - MAGGIE enters as CHRIS and CASEY sit up expectantly.  CHRIS turns off the TV. ]

[ Upon shutting the door, MAGGIE pauses, noticing she's the center of attention. ]

MAGGIE (smirking awkwardly):
Um, hi...

CASEY (beaming, but with restraint):
So, how was the date...?

[ MAGGIE chuckles and enters the living room. ]

MAGGIE:
It was fine...

CASEY:
Just fine?

[ MAGGIE drops her bag and sits in the chair nearby. ]

MAGGIE (noncommittally):
Yeah, it was fine.

CASEY (sitting forward, seriously):
All right, what was it?

[ CHRIS listens as we hear a faint scratching sound on the back door.  He rises. ]

CHRIS (to Casey):
Cat's back.  I'll get it.

Odd that Moasi wants food when Maggie comes back; one might expect Casey's return to be the trigger, since it's mostly her cat.

[ As CHRIS departs into the kitchen, MAGGIE shifts uncomfortably in her chair. ]

MAGGIE:
What?  No... it was nothing...

CASEY:
Maggie, I promise I'm not gonna say anything at work.  You can tell me.  (pauses) ...if you want to.

[ MAGGIE considers for a moment.  She then volunteers: ]

MAGGIE:
Well, it's...  I mean, we had a good time.  It was fine.

[ CASEY listens. ]

MAGGIE (cont'd):
It's just...  We didn't really have a lot of meaningful conversation.

CASEY:
Oh.  (devilishly)  Ohhhh...!

Get your mind out of the gutter, Casey.  Sheesh.

[ MAGGIE teasingly sticks out her tongue. ]

MAGGIE:
Not like that.  We just... (shrugs) ...talked about everyday stuff.  Work, school, hobbies...  I kept trying to name books I've read lately, but he hadn't heard of any of them.

And yet he works at a book store.  (To be fair, though, he only serves pastry.)

CASEY:
Hmm.  I guess he won't be working the help desk any time soon...

[ MAGGIE chuckles softly. ]

CASEY (cont'd):
Well, so...  It was just a first date, right?  You don't spill your guts on a first date...  You get closer with time.


[ EXT. HOUSE, BACK YARD (NIGHT) - On the house's back porch, CHRIS opens the back door from the kitchen, a bowl of cat food in hand.  Waiting patiently, illuminated in the light from inside the house, is MOASI, a black and white cat (compare with Jetman #39).  MOASI meows politely.  Meanwhile, CASEY and MAGGIE can be heard talking inside, their voices indistinct. ]

"Moasi" is Navajo for "cat."  Presumably Casey got Chris's input when naming him/her.  Note that this may or may not be the "white kitty" mentioned in episode 15.

I had Chris feed Moasi at this point to let him give Casey and Maggie a chance to talk privately, but also to help inspire his imminent dream.  I considered amusedly that some astute readers might get apprehensive as soon as the script mentioned that Casey's cat was intended to match an upcoming sentai monster, but no worries, nothing happens to Moasi.

CHRIS:
Hey, teeny.  How's it going?

[ CHRIS sets the bowl on the porch beside MOASI, and the cat promptly begins eating.  CHRIS then notices a nearby water bowl and picks it up. ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
I'll get you some fresh water.


[ INT. HOUSE, LIVING ROOM (NIGHT) - We hear the kitchen door open and close as MAGGIE and CASEY continue their conversation. ]

MAGGIE:
I'm just worried it's the same problem I had with Sean.  I can't talk about anything that's really important, because most of it has to do with being a Ranger.

I was trying to build toward Maggie's decision to step down in episode 31.

CASEY:
Well, what about school?

[ MAGGIE rolls her eyes. ]

MAGGIE:
Yeah, school...  It's hard to talk about that without talking about being a Ranger.  I've been missing appointments all semester.

Originally as I was planning out the series, I considered that Maggie's grades would probably suffer at some point, and she might be put on academic probation for a time.  This eventually became one of her reasons for stepping down.


[ EXT. HOUSE, BACK YARD (NIGHT) - CHRIS returns with a fresh bowl of water and places it beside the food bowl, from which MOASI is still eating.  CHRIS strokes the cat's back, prompting it to rise for further petting as it continues to eat. ]

[ CHRIS smiles softly. ]


[ Dissolve to INT. HOUSE, ATTIC (NIGHT) - Now in boxers and a T-shirt, CHRIS crawls under his sheets and turns off his bedside lamp. ]


[ EXT. PARK - Transitioning from the previous scene, we zoom out from BLACK RANGER's black uniform to see him wandering curiously through the park.  He eventually reacts to someone off-screen.  (This scene is blurred along the edges, a US effect, to indicate a dream sequence.) ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
There's a monster here... I'm sure of it.  (startles)  What...?

[ Sentai (Jetman #39) - Beginning with a stylized cat head in a monster's torso, we zoom out to see ARTILLACAT, a black and white cat monster resembling Moasi, drawing a machine gun of some sort.  He aims it at Black Ranger (off-screen). ]

Artillacat Artillacat

ARTILLACAT:
Oh, hi, Chris!  Put 'em up!

[ BLACK RANGER shakes his head in dismay.  He then looks slightly to his left in surprise. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Moasi...  What did they do to you, little fella?!  (looks left)  What?  Strife...!

[ Switch to sentai - We see STRIFE walking across the grass (footage slowed from sentai). ]

Strife

CHRIS (cont'd, off-screen):
But... I destroyed you!

This dream is also anachronistic in a sense, in that Strife is present after being destroyed (episode 27).

Strife's return could be interpreted as symbolic of Moleworm digging up old demons which had once been put to rest.

[ ARTILLACAT looks up. ]

Artillacat looks up Artillacat looks up

ARTILLACAT:
Huh?

[ Jetman #25 - The four RANGERS fly down. ]

four Rangers fly down

[ US footage - The RANGERS land nearby.  BLACK RANGER briefly glances back at them. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Good to see you guys!  We've got trouble!

[ ARTILLACAT leaps through the air and slashes BLACK RANGER across the chest.  He slashes again, sending BLACK flying. ]

Artillacat's leaping attack Artillacat's leaping attack Artillacat slashes Black Ranger Artillacat slashes Black Ranger Black Ranger flies

[ BLACK RANGER lands on the grass.  The other RANGERS come to his defense. ]

Rangers protect Black Rangers protect Black

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Chris!

LUKE (Red Ranger):
You okay?

[ STRIFE joins ARTILLACAT and points at the Rangers (off-screen). ]

Strife's order Strife's order Strife's order

STRIFE:
Now finish them!

[ ARTILLACAT aims his gun and fires a multicolored beam. ]

Artillacat fires Artillacat fires

[ Four similar beams strike the four RANGERS as BLACK remains on the ground.  The RANGERS recoil and glimmer with respectively-colored energy before shrinking into small shapes which drop to the ground. ]

shrink ray shrink ray shrink ray shrink ray

In the sentai, the Rangers were turned into small bust-like figurines.  Black Ranger then attacked Gray (Strife); that fight was shown in episode 22.

[ Switch to US footage - The four RANGERS fall, shrunken but otherwise unharmed, into the grass, the blades of which now nearly dwarf them.  The relatively giant BLACK RANGER scrambles over to them, his helmet surreally melting out of view to reveal CHRIS's head.  Meanwhile, the sky begins to smear with surreal colors. ]

CHRIS:
Guys!  Oh no!  What'd he do to you?

[ The tiny RANGERS clamor wordlessly for CHRIS's help, but he seems to be at a loss. ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
Guys, I'm sorry...  I don't know what to do...

[ As CHRIS inhales, the tiny RANGERS fly into his mouth, and to his horror, he swallows them.  He chokes and pounds on his chest in panic. ]

This is pretty random, and it reminds me of Homer randomly choking on his prized "300" balloon in the Simpsons episode "Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder" (1999), but I meant it to foreshadow the Rangers going inside the demon-eater.


[ INT. HOUSE, ATTIC (NIGHT) - CHRIS startles awake, gasping for breath.  He calms himself by placing his hand on his chest, and he takes a few deep breaths. ]

This scene and the previous nightmare take place in the early morning hours of Saturday, August 1, 1992, after Chris and Casey went to bed following the previous scene.  (Their own beds, that is.)

CHRIS (inwardly):
What the heck?!


[ Dissolve to INT. HOUSE, LIVING ROOM (DAY) - CASEY, CHRIS, MAGGIE, and PETE are gathered in the living room.  CASEY is the focus of attention. ]

This scene takes place later the same day (Moleworm's third day of mining).  Only Luke is at work right now; Chris and Casey are off on Saturdays, and Pete is on his midday break.

CASEY:
All right, so, what do you guys think?

CHRIS (matter-of-factly):
You should go, no question about it.

[ CASEY smiles broadly and bats her eyelashes at CHRIS. ]

CASEY:
I know what you think, sweetie pie.

Casey had some fun with nicknames for Chris in episode 21.

[ CHRIS sits back and crosses his arms. ]

PETE:
He's right, though.  There's no reason not to go.

MAGGIE:
Right.  You can fly back in no time if there's an emergency.  You've got the Swan or the Kestrel.

[ CHRIS calmly extends his hand, indicating his point has been proved. ]

[ CASEY ponders. ]

CASEY:
Hmm... all right.  Now I just need a plane ticket...

PETE:
(chuckles)  Yeah, right...

CASEY (earnest):
What?

[ PETE looks to CHRIS and MAGGIE. ]

PETE:
Well, you're taking a Zord to get there, aren't you?

[ CASEY looks to the others. ]

CASEY:
Are we allowed to do that?

[ MAGGIE rises with a chuckle. ]

MAGGIE:
I think you'll be all right.

Not sure what Zordon would have to say about this; arguably, it could count as using their "powers" (Zords) for personal benefit.


[ Dissolve to INT. HOUSE, MAGGIE'S BEDROOM (NIGHT) - We see MAGGIE asleep in bed, wearing a T-shirt under the covers. ]

This scene and Maggie's ensuing nightmare take place the evening of that same day.


[ Flash to EXT. DREAM CAVERN - The four RANGERS, sans PINK, explore a winding, mist-filled cavern.  (This scene is blurred along the edges, a US effect, to indicate a dream sequence; sentai shots during this scene, however, already have blurred edges.) ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Man, these caves go on forever!

Inspired by the Rangers' exploration of caves on Illam?

Note that Casey is absent in Maggie's dream, perhaps due to the heroes' recent conversation.  In the sentai, this wasn't any one Ranger's dream; rather, the four Rangers were trapped in the afterlife.  Had this not been a dream in Take Flight, I probably would have adapted it as a Shadow World (see Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue).

[ As the RANGERS round a corner into a larger area, they are startled by a presence (off-screen). ]

[ Switch to sentai (Jetman #27) - Previous monsters PAPYRIA and SPOUTFIRE stand menacingly.  PAPYRIA speaks with her original voice (see episode 15), while SPOUTFIRE mutters in a creepy, obsessive voice. ]

Papyria and Spoutfire

Papyria brought Chris's drawings to life in episode 15, and Spoutfire battled the Rangers uneventfully in episode 7.  Note that in episode 15, Papyria was only shown with this jagged mouth in giant form; it may appear here in small scale because the costume had already been modified (permanently?) by the time this Jetman episode was filmed.

This dream is more of an impossibility than an anachronism, as these monsters were destroyed.  Incidentally, it was Spoutfire's inclusion in this dream battle which compelled me to adapt his first fight from Jetman #3 so that he would be familiar here like the other three.

Like Strife's return, this dream could be interpreted as symbolic of old demons returning, but it takes on a new meaning when the Megazord is possessed below.

PAPYRIA:
Oh, hello, Rangers!

SPOUTFIRE:
...Rangers...

This is the first time Spoutfire is heard speaking.

[ Nearby, FACETIA and RAMENATOR cackle in their original voices (see episodes 4 and 11). ]

Facetia and Ramenator

Facetia put Maggie under a spell in episode 4, and Ramenator vexed Pete in episode 11.

[ RED and BLACK react. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Oh man, it's Papyria!

As I reviewed episode 15 upon writing this episode, it came to my attention that Chris had spoken Papyria's name without it being told to him on-screen.  Though that was an oversight at the time, I decided to run with it here.

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
And... some other monster we fought.

A joke on Spoutfire's lack of significance in episode 7.

[ BLUE and YELLOW react. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
And the ruby monster!

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
And that darned noodle cup!

None of the other monsters' names was known to the Rangers.

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
But we destroyed them all!

[ RED pumps his fist. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
And we'll do it again!  Sky Enforcers!

This is more of an anachronism, that the Rangers would use their Enforcers instead of the Phoenix Cannon (though perhaps the Phoenix Cannon wouldn't be able to get into a cave like this).

[ Switch to sentai - RED RANGER draws his SKY BLASTER and assembles his SKY ENFORCER. ]

Red Ranger draws Sky Blaster Red Ranger assembles Sky Enforcer Red Ranger assembles Sky Enforcer Red Ranger assembles Sky Enforcer

[ The four RANGERS ready their ENFORCERS and fire their respective beams. ]

Sky Enforcers Sky Enforcers Sky Enforcers

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Ready... aim... fire!  (Rangers fire)

[ The four monsters erupt in spark explosions.  When the smoke clears, we see them in giant size in a misty void with purple light swirling above.  They cackle wickedly. ]

monsters blasted monsters blasted giant monsters giant monsters

PAPYRIA:
What do you think of us now, Rangers?

[ SPOUTFIRE towers over the four RANGERS. ]

Spoutfire towers over Rangers

SPOUTFIRE:
...Rangers...

[ As the RANGERS scurry, RED calls into his wrist: ]

Red calls Red calls

LUKE (Red Ranger):
We need the Zords!  (into wrist)  Skyforce Megazord!  Sky Kestrel!

[ In the void, the SKYFORCE MEGAZORD and SKY KESTREL descend in the form of red and yellow streaks, respectively.  They solidify and stand ready. ]

Zords arrive Zords arrive

In the sentai, the four Rangers somehow summoned the "spirits" of the Zords to the afterlife.

This is the Megazord's first return to action since episode 17, though it's only a dream.

[ US footage - Below, the RED and BLUE RANGERS are beamed up in blue light, while YELLOW and BLACK are beamed up in green. ]

[ We zoom in on the KESTREL's face. ]

Kestrelzord Kestrelzord


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT - RED and BLUE, alone in the Kestrelzord, get situated in their normal seats. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Kestrel ready!

Kestrel ready Kestrel ready


[ EXT. DREAM CAVERN - We zoom in on the MEGAZORD's face. ]

Skyforce Megazord Skyforce Megazord


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - YELLOW and BLACK get situated in their normal seats as well.  YELLOW pumps both fists in BLACK's direction, while BLACK pumps one. ]

Megazord ready Megazord ready

PETE / CHRIS (Yellow and Black Rangers, in unison):
Let's do it!

Maggie's dream anticipates the need for the Rangers to split up in order to use the Megazord and Kestrel simultaneously; unlike some other secondary Zords in Power Rangers, the Kestrelzord doesn't fight on auto-pilot.


[ EXT. DREAM CAVERN - SPOUTFIRE and RAMENATOR charge, growling all the way. ]

melee melee

[ PAPYRIA and FACETIA charge as well. ]

melee melee


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT - RED RANGER thrusts his left joystick forward. ]

melee melee

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Let's do it!


[ EXT. DREAM CAVERN - The MEGAZORD and KESTREL assume fighting stances and then advance. ]

melee melee

[ The KESTREL leaps and performs a midair flip between PAPYRIA and FACETIA.  It then lands, turns, and delivers a slash to FACETIA, and another to PAPYRIA.  At the same time, RAMENATOR, in the foreground, is slashed by the MEGAZORD's PHOENIX BLADE.  We zoom out to see the MEGAZORD turn and slash SPOUTFIRE as well. ]

melee melee melee melee melee melee melee melee melee melee melee

In the sentai, the Kestrel actually did two flips, but I trimmed the second out because it looked especially unrealistic.  

[ The MEGAZORD finally thrusts the PHOENIX BLADE forward, though the result is unseen. ]

melee

In the sentai, the result was that the Phoenix Blade skewered Spoutfire through the midsection before the Megazord hurled the monster into the air.  I considered this too violent.

[ Nearby, the KESTREL is spinning PAPYRIA by her feet.  SPOUTFIRE lands in the foreground and rises, but the KESTREL then hurls PAPYRIA into him, and both collapse in a heap.  They roll apart. ]

melee melee melee melee melee


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT - We zoom in on RED RANGER as he thrusts his joysticks forward (off-screen). ]

finishers finishers

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Let's finish 'em off!


[ EXT. DREAM CAVERN - The KESTREL shrieks and leaps into the air. ]

finishers finishers


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - YELLOW and BLACK each give a thumbs-up, and we zoom in on BLACK as he thrusts his right joystick forward. ]

finishers finishers

PETE / CHRIS (Yellow and Black Rangers, in unison):
Right!

CHRIS (Black Ranger, cont'd):
Phoenix Strike!


[ EXT. DREAM CAVERN - The MEGAZORD leaps into the air. ]

finishers finishers

[ The KESTREL delivers its glowing slash.  Struck, PAPYRIA bellows as she gleams with golden light. ]

finishers finishers

[ The MEGAZORD delivers its glowing slash as well, and SPOUTFIRE shines with bluish-green streaks. ]

finishers finishers

This is the first time Spoutfire is actually seen falling to the Phoenix Blade, though it was implied in episode 7 (at that point, I had no giant Spoutfire footage).  In retrospect, it occurs to me that I might have been able to use the brief shot of Spoutfire being slashed in episode 7, but I would have had no explosion footage.

[ Glowing with their respective colors of light (US addition), PAPYRIA and SPOUTFIRE fall between the MEGAZORD (foreground) and the distant KESTREL, exploding in a fireball. ]

finishers finishers finishers


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (US footage) - BLUE RANGER pumps her fist before noticing something in her monitor. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
All right, guys!  Two down... (looks down) ... and two on the way!  Heads up, guys!


[ EXT. DREAM CAVERN - As FACETIA and RAMENATOR charge, they turn into streaks of red and yellow energy, respectively. ]

monsters to energy monsters to energy monsters to energy

[ The MEGAZORD turns to look just as the streaks fly into its chest and disappear.  The MEGAZORD convulses. ]

Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (US footage) - BLUE studies her monitor anxiously. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
The monsters have infiltrated the Megazord!  They're jamming its servos!

Monsters possessing the Megazord could be seen as symbolic of demons (or Moleworm) in the demon-eater.


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (US footage) - In close-up, YELLOW RANGER desperately tugs at his joysticks ineffectually. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Yeah, you're telling me!

In the sentai, Yellow and Black fell unconscious while the Megazord was possessed.

By this point, I've pretty much resigned myself to needing a full US Megazord cockpit (though it could be easily adapted from the existing US Kestrelzord cockpit).


[ EXT. DREAM CAVERN - After convulsing further, the MEGAZORD finally slumps listlessly. ]

Megazord possessed Megazord possessed


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (US footage) - YELLOW RANGER smacks his controls in frustration. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
It's useless!


[ EXT. DREAM CAVERN - The MEGAZORD comes back to life, first turning its head robotically and then brandishing its sword in the KESTREL's direction.  The KESTREL takes a step back. ]

Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed

This turn of events will be reversed when Mainframe hijacks the Kestrelzord in episode 29.


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (US footage) - BLUE RANGER reacts. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Incoming!


[ EXT. DREAM CAVERN - The MEGAZORD advances and slashes the KESTREL numerous times. ]

Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (sentai) - Sparks erupt as BLUE and RED are shaken. ]

Megazord possessed Megazord possessed


[ EXT. DREAM CAVERN - The MEGAZORD now wields its flail weapon, which it hurls.  The flail wraps around the KESTREL's neck, and the KESTREL is promptly yanked forward.  It flies past the MEGAZORD and lands some distance away, where the flail releases. ]

Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (sentai) - BLUE and RED are shaken, nearly collapsing to their respective controls. ]

Megazord possessed

At this point in the sentai, Blue and Red were knocked unconscious.


[ EXT. DREAM CAVERN - The MEGAZORD advances on the fallen KESTRELZORD, its PHOENIX BLADE once again in hand.  As it nears, it raises the blade for a final blow. ]

Megazord possessed Megazord possessed Megazord possessed


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (US footage) - BLUE RANGER reacts. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
He'll slice us apart!

In the sentai, White's distant prayer awoke Red Ranger just in time to roll the Kestrelzord aside.


[ EXT. DREAM CAVERN - The MEGAZORD swings the PHOENIX BLADE. ]

Megazord possessed Megazord possessed

After the Kestrel rolled aside, the priest helping the Rangers succeeded in casting the monsters out of the Megazord, and they were then destroyed by the Mega Kestrelzord.


[ INT. HOUSE, MAGGIE'S BEDROOM (NIGHT) - MAGGIE startles awake.  She then becomes aware of her surroundings and calms herself.  Finally, she notes: ]

MAGGIE:
That was strange.


[ INT. HOUSE, DOWNSTAIRS - CASEY stands by the door with two pieces of luggage beside her.  PETE, CHRIS, MAGGIE, and LUKE are sending her off.  (All wear different clothes from their previous living room scene, while LUKE wears his work uniform.) ]

This scene and the next two dream sequences take place on Sunday, August 2, 1992.  This is Moleworm's fourth day of mining.

Luke has left work to see Casey off.

CASEY (to the group):
All right, so...  You're sure I should go?

PETE (teasingly):
Would you get out of here already...!

[ CASEY giggles. ]

CASEY:
All right, all right...  (to Chris)  Oh, you don't mind taking care of Moasi?

[ CHRIS blinks hard, apparently realizing something.  He then nods. ]

CHRIS:
Yeah, no problem.

CASEY:
What's wrong?

CHRIS:
Oh, nothing.  Just a weird cat dream the other night.

He didn't remember until now.  It was the night before last.

MAGGIE:
Man, I had a weird one too...

Maggie's was last night.

CASEY (with a frown):
Me too, actually.  What is it, a full moon or something?

Casey's was the night before Chris's.

CHRIS:
Nah.  Anyway, yeah, I'll take care of him.

A skeptic, Chris doesn't believe full moons have any effect on dreams (or just about anything, for that matter).

[ CASEY nods and picks up her bags.  She glances awkwardly at the others and leans slightly in CHRIS's direction. ]

CASEY:
Well, okay.  I guess I'll, uh, go...

[ CHRIS glances self-consciously at the others.  They simultaneously turn their heads and whistle innocently. ]

[ CHRIS kisses CASEY's lips a moment.  She smiles. ]

This is their first kiss in front of the others.

CASEY:
Bye.

CHRIS (smiling softly):
See ya.

[ He escorts her outside, carrying one of her bags for her. ]

[ PETE puts his arms around MAGGIE and LUKE and fondly watches the couple exit. ]

PETE:
Awww...  They're such a great couple...

[ He soon snaps out of it and pulls away from MAGGIE and LUKE. ]

PETE (cont'd):
So, uh, how's Cupid treating you guys?

[ LUKE looks down. ]

LUKE:
I think Lisa's hiding something from me.

Has Luke been thinking about this since episode 25?  (She's actually hiding the secret of their duplicates, including that she has one.)

[ MAGGIE looks down. ]

MAGGIE:
I'm hiding things from Drew.

[ PETE makes a face. ]

PETE:
Wow, you guys are no fun.


[ Dissolve to INT. HOUSE, PETE'S BEDROOM (NIGHT) - PETE sleeps. ]


[ Flash to EXT. FIELD (Jetman #46) - TOMATO KING, a green monster with a giant tomato for a head, leaps through the air in a field just outside the city.  He delivers a swat as he descends, speaking with a goofy voice.  (This scene is blurred along the edges, a US effect, to indicate a dream sequence.) ]

Some shots from this scene were used out of order.

Tomato King Tomato King

Ahh, Tomato King...  A great villain.  Incidentally, the symbol on his crown is the Japanese character "Oh," meaning "king."  This is the same symbol seen on the Gold Ranger in Power Rangers Zeo (1996), as he was originally called "KingRanger" in the corresponding sentai.

TOMATO KING:
Red Ranger!

[ The target of TOMATO KING's attack, RED RANGER deflects the swat with his TALON SWORD.  TOMATO KING turns and fends off the PINK and BLACK RANGERS as they cartwheel past him, swords in hand.  The monster then faces RED again. ]

Tomato King Tomato King Tomato King Tomato King Tomato King

TOMATO KING (cont'd):
Take this!  Yah!  (turns)  Oh, you want some too?  Hi-yah!  (turns)  Now, where was I?

Apparently Pete is dreaming of the others' battling Tomato King before he arrives.  What, you've never had dreams in the third person?

[ RED, BLACK, and PINK simultaneously swing with their TALON SWORDS, but TOMATO KING flips out of the way. ]

Tomato King Tomato King Tomato King Tomato King Tomato King

[ Landing nearby, TOMATO KING readies a leafy vine and then throws it. ]

vine attack vine attack vine attack

TOMATO KING:
You look fit to be tied, Rangers!

[ The vine flies through the air.  The three RANGERS then find themselves wrapped together in the vine. ]

vine attack vine attack vine attack

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Hey!  Let us go!

[ TOMATO KING crosses his forearms. ]

vine attack vine attack

TOMATO KING:
Tomato Shocker!

[ The vine crackles with red electricity (US effect), causing the RANGERS to spark. ]

vine attack

[ TOMATO KING places his hands on his hips and nods his head weightily. ]

Tomato King victorious Tomato King victorious

TOMATO KING:
Ahhh...  Fine work, myself...

I liked Tomato King.  It would have been nice to use him further, but usable footage of him was scarce.

[ BLUE RANGER leaps in with a flying kick.  TOMATO KING turns just in time to get kicked in the face, sending him flying back.  He rolls across the grass. ]

kicked in the face kicked in the face kicked in the face kicked in the face

[ YELLOW RANGER pulls the vines off the three RANGERS.  He flings them aside as BLUE joins him.  While YELLOW continues speaking to the vines (off-screen), PINK greets him cheerily. ]

Yellow Ranger to the rescue Yellow Ranger to the rescue Yellow Ranger to the rescue

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Get off of them!  ...you... vines...!

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Oh, Pete!  You saved us just in time!

[ US footage - YELLOW RANGER gives a cocksure nose-thumbing gesture and looks at the monster (off-screen). ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
No sweat.  Now, who's this weirdo?

[ TOMATO KING springs to his feet and smacks himself in the head. ]

Tomato King rises Tomato King rises Tomato King rises

TOMATO KING:
I'm no weirdo!  I'm Tomato King!


[ EXT. TOMATO PATCH (NIGHT) - We zoom in on the soil beneath a spooky-looking, mist-filled tomato patch.  (This scene is also blurred along the edges to indicate a dream.) ]

TOMATO KING (voice-over, cont'd):
Born from tomato seeds planted over an ancient burial ground, given life by evil spirits...

Though this origin is wacky, we're left to wonder whether it's entirely false, as Vang was apparently a real demon captured by the demon-eater.  Could there be a real Tomato King?

[ Sentai - From behind a panel of windows (or more accurately, a paper wall in a Japanese home), we see TOMATO KING's silhouette rising menacingly.  (This shot is also blurred, a US effect.) ]

Tomato King rises

[ As Tomato King speaks, we then cut to numerous shots of different types of tomatoes (also blurred). ]

TOMATO KING (voice-over, cont'd):
...I am Tomato King!  Baron of beefsteaks!  Ruler of romas!  Lord of lycopersica!

"Lycopersicum" is the scientific name for tomatoes; I pluralized it as "lycopersica."


[ EXT. WOODS (NIGHT) (sentai) - TOMATO KING chases after a terrified young boy.  (This scene is already blurred.) ]

Tomato King on the prowl Tomato King on the prowl

TOMATO KING (voice-over, cont'd):
My hobbies include basket-weaving and scaring small children!

I don't know where the basket-weaving came from.

The "small child" here was a young Yellow in the sentai, as this was a flashback to his childhood fears.

[ The boy ducks behind a shack, but TOMATO KING emerges behind him. ]

Tomato King on the prowl Tomato King on the prowl Tomato King on the prowl Tomato King on the prowl

TOMATO KING:
Ha ha!  Oogity boogity!

[ The boy screams and runs away. ]

Tomato King on the prowl Tomato King on the prowl


[ EXT. FIELD (sentai) - TOMATO KING continues with a tomato in hand (the scene still blurred along the edges). ]

Tomato King, the legend Tomato King, the legend

TOMATO KING:
I also enjoy throwing tomatoes!

In the sentai, Tomato King survived the Echo Enforcers' blast and then lobbed a tomato at Yellow Ranger, sticking it onto the barrel of his Echo Enforcer.  This terrified Yellow to the degree that he immediately demorphed (a peculiar phenomenon which I don't believe has ever occurred in Power Rangers, though a lack of self-confidence once made the Rangers' powers "useless" in the MMPR season 1 episode "Crystal of Nightmares").  Of course, Pete wasn't terrified of tomatoes, nor had I introduced the Echo Blasters yet, so this part was unusable.  (I did manage to revisit it in episode 37, however.)

[ US footage - Over a black background, YELLOW RANGER stands in position to fire the Phoenix Cannon (off-camera). ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
That's great!  Hey, hold it right there, would you?

[ Switch to Jetman #14 - We see the RANGERS from both sides as they hold the PHOENIX CANNON ready.  They then fire. ]

Rangers with Phoenix Cannon Rangers with Phoenix Cannon Phoenix Cannon fires Phoenix Cannon fires

RANGERS (in unison):
Fire!

The Phoenix Cannon didn't appear in Tomato King's sentai episode.

[ The phoenix blast flies down. ]

phoenix blast phoenix blast

[ Jetman #46 - TOMATO KING flies back as he's blasted with a spark explosion. ]

Tomato King blasted

In the sentai, it was the Echo Enforcer blast which struck him here.

[ Switch to US footage - A fiery explosion erupts. ]


[ EXT. CITY (Jetman #46) - TOMATO KING cheerily springs up downtown in giant form.  (The scene is still blurred along the edges with a US effect.) ]

giant Tomato King giant Tomato King giant Tomato King

TOMATO KING:
Yaahh!  Look at me, Rangers!

I cut Tomato King trying to stomp on the Red, Black, and White Rangers after Blue had gone after the panic-stricken Yellow.

[ The KESTREL flies overhead.  It lands downtown, prompting TOMATO KING to turn to face it. ]

Kestrel vs. Tomato King Kestrel vs. Tomato King Kestrel vs. Tomato King


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (US footage) - The RANGERS man their controls.  (The blurred edges continue.) ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Sky Kestrel, power up!


[ EXT. CITY - The KESTREL shrieks and advances. ]

Kestrel vs. Tomato King Kestrel vs. Tomato King

[ TOMATO KING vaults over a building as he charges. ]

Kestrel vs. Tomato King

TOMATO KING:
Watch this!  (jumps)  Yeah!!

[ Grunting loudly, TOMATO KING locks arms with the KESTREL and ultimately head-butts it backward. ]

Kestrel vs. Tomato King Kestrel vs. Tomato King


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (US footage) - The RANGERS are shaken somewhat. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
This guy's trouble!

For the sake of time, I cut Tomato King pounding the Kestrelzord further, wrapping it in vines, and hurling it around.


[ EXT. CITY - TOMATO KING suddenly clutches his head. ]

Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem

TOMATO KING:
Ow, hey!  What's going on?!

I also cut the Kestrel pummeling the weakened Tomato King at this point.


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (US footage) - YELLOW points ahead. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Something's happening!


[ EXT. CITY - TOMATO KING crouches anxiously beside a building.  Suddenly, a large chunk disappears from the side of his head, as if bitten with a mighty, invisible chomp.  TOMATO KING clutches it, but then another appears in the other side of his head. ]

Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem

TOMATO KING:
Come on, now...  What is this?  (chomped)  What the...!  (chomped)  Hey!  Who's taking bites out of me?!

A demon is being eaten.  Get it?  Demon-eater?


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (US footage) - The RANGERS stare blankly ahead.  They then look at each other wordlessly. ]


[ EXT. CITY - TOMATO KING laments agitatedly until a third bite is taken from the back of his head.  He scrambles to feel it, twirling around.  In the background, the KESTREL emerges from behind a building, watching carefully.  We zoom in on it. ]

Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem

TOMATO KING:
Who goes around taking bites out of people?  (chomped)  Hey!  You bit me again!  Stop that!!  (zoom in on Kestrel)


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (US footage) - YELLOW throws up his hands and crosses his arms. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Well, I give up.  This is the strangest thing I've ever seen.


[ EXT. CITY - TOMATO KING rants agitatedly as the last parts of his head are eaten away, leaving him with nothing but a thin core. ]

Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem Tomato King's problem

These shots were interspersed with shots of Chokan and Yellow in the sentai, but they all came from a single extended take, which I was able to reconstruct here.

Soon after this point in the sentai, Tomato King was destroyed by the Kestrel Slash.


[ INT. HOUSE, PETE'S BEDROOM (NIGHT) - PETE snaps awake and sits up.  He stares ahead numbly, blinking a few times.  He then smacks his lips hungrily and gets out of bed in a T-shirt and boxers. ]

PETE:
Mmm, tomato sandwich...  (rises)

The symbolism of the dream seems lost on Pete, though I don't blame him.


[ INT. HOUSE, DOWNSTAIRS (NIGHT) - As PETE descends the stairs and heads toward the kitchen, we zoom in on the door to Luke's bedroom, beside the stairs. ]

Luke is the only Ranger who sleeps on the ground floor.


[ Dissolve to INT. HOUSE, LUKE'S BEDROOM (NIGHT) - LUKE sleeps in a T-shirt. ]


[ Flash to EXT. QUARRY (Jetman #29) - We see RED RANGER running forward, his TALON SWORD in hand.  We then see VANG, a serpent-themed samurai warrior, charging with a large, curved sword in hand.  (This scene also blurred along the edges, a US effect.  Also note that VANG's human eyes, if seen, should be obscured with a black US effect.) ]

Red Ranger vs. Vang Red Ranger vs. Vang Red Ranger vs. Vang Red Ranger vs. Vang

Having failed to get its point across by now, the demon-eater uses all of its strength to send a more straightforward message, this one featuring an actual captured demon, Vang.

"Vang" was merely a meaningless monosyllabic name on par with Gog, Zin, and Drek, but I liked it because it sounded like "fang" to parallel his serpentine appearance.  Only by coincidence is it a part of my last name (Rovang).

In the sentai, Vang was a humanoid visitor from another dimension (eyes shown here) who was turned into an evil warrior when Radiguet's monstrous samurai armor bonded to him.

I switched the order of the Vang and Red Ranger running shots.

[ RED RANGER and VANG meet and engage in a sword battle.  RED appears somewhat overpowered by VANG's mighty sword. ]

Red Ranger vs. Vang Red Ranger vs. Vang Red Ranger vs. Vang Red Ranger vs. Vang Red Ranger vs. Vang Red Ranger vs. Vang

[ RED attempts to kick VANG twice but is struck in the face with the handle of VANG's sword, knocking him back. ]

Red Ranger vs. Vang Red Ranger vs. Vang Red Ranger vs. Vang Red Ranger vs. Vang

[ RED RANGER rolls back and quickly rises, drawing his SKY BLASTER.  He prepares to fire but is then directed by a distant, echoing voice on his left. ]

Red Ranger vs. Vang Red Ranger vs. Vang Red Ranger vs. Vang Red Ranger distracted

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Sky Blaster!

DR. BERING (off-screen, echoing):
Luke...

LUKE (Red Ranger):
What...?

[ US footage - A translucent image of DR. BERING floats inches above the ground.  Her voice echoes like a ghost. ]

DR. BERING:
Luke, I have to tell you something of utmost importance.

[ RED RANGER reacts to the sight, lowering his blaster. ]

Red Ranger distracted Red Ranger distracted

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Dr. Bering!

[ VANG lunges forward with a sword strike.  He strikes RED RANGER with two sparking blows and then kicks him back.  In the background, DR. BERING's image floats nearby (US composite over sentai). ]

Vang strikes Vang strikes Vang strikes Vang strikes Vang strikes Vang strikes Vang strikes (Dr. Bering to be added)

In the sentai, the girl standing nearby was the (questionably young) bride of the dimension-traveler turned into Vang.  Her power, shown elsewhere in the sentai episode, was to transmute ordinary objects into weapons.

[ Switch to US footage - Still holding his sword and blaster, RED RANGER skids face-first across the gravel.  He rises and looks to Dr. Bering (off-screen). ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Dr. Bering, is it really you?

[ DR. BERING shakes her head. ]

DR. BERING:
No, Luke.  My true form is beyond your experience.  But I need your help.

[ RED repeatedly glances at Vang (off-screen). ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
You need MY help?  I've kind of got my hands full with this demon warrior here!

[ Sentai - VANG raises his sword while approaching slowly. ]

Vang approaches Vang approaches Vang approaches

[ DR. BERING speaks. ]

DR. BERING:
Luke, none of this is real.

[ RED RANGER retorts. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
He sure feels real!

[ DR. BERING replies patiently. ]

DR. BERING:
No, Luke.  Open your eyes.

But don't wake up completely.

[ RED RANGER faces DR. BERING with apparent disbelief.  As he speaks, the quarry dissolves into: ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
What are you talking about?  I --  (quarry dissolves)


[ EXT. VOID - The quarry yields to a black void, leaving RED RANGER and DR. BERING's image floating in nothingness. ]

[ Disoriented, RED RANGER unintentionally releases his weapons, and they tumble away into the void.  He then eases slightly and looks to DR. BERING as they slowly drift toward each other.  (Ultimately, they will begin to encircle each other.) ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Where are we?

DR. BERING:
We're in your dreams.  But in the real world, a grave crisis is looming.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
What kind of crisis?

DR. BERING:
The demon warrior you saw is real.  Or rather, he could soon become real once more.  His name is Vang.  He was a demon I captured from an alien world many thousands of years ago.  There are countless others like him.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
You capture demons?

DR. BERING:
I'm what some sapients refer to as a demon-eater.  I drift between inhabited worlds and gather those life forces whose restlessness and anger prevented them from passing on.

Apparently in this series there is some sort of afterlife or oneness with the universe which usually follows the death of sapients.  Demon-eaters roam the cosmos collecting those who haunt the living.

Certainly the ancient Red Ranger (episodes 33 and 40) qualifies as one whose restlessness prevented him from passing on; he probably won't rest until he finds Ninjor.

The demon-eater echoes Trask's use of the term "sapients" in episode 17.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Wait, did you say demon "eater?"

DR. BERING:
Yes.  My race uses their energies as sustenance.  But someone is stealing those energies from me, and he intends to unleash these demons on your world.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Who's doing this to you?

DR. BERING:
A traveler named Trask.

[ RED bristles. ]

DR. BERING (cont'd):
He has unleashed a parasite named Moleworm inside me.

[ RED looks to his right. ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #43) - From a cloud of mist appears MOLEWORM, a parasitic worm with drills for hands.  Each drill spins in close-up. ]

Moleworm Moleworm Moleworm Moleworm Moleworm

In the sentai, these shots took place in the villains' base (Radiguet was scheming while Tranza was busy admiring his giant war machine, Veronica).

[ RED recoils slightly. ]

DR. BERING (cont'd):
Please help me.  I'm using all my strength to send you this message.  I may not survive much longer.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
But where can I find you?

DR. BERING:
Your people are already aware of my presence.  Go to them.

LUKE (Red Ranger):
My people...?  Who?

[ DR. BERING vanishes, leaving RED RANGER alone. ]


[ INT. HOUSE, LUKE'S BEDROOM (NIGHT) - LUKE awakens. ]


[ Break. ]


[ INT. LAB - LUKE, CHRIS, PETE, MAGGIE, and SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST stand around a computer monitor as various technicians work in the background.  In the monitor is an image of a creature remotely resembling a whale "swimming" through space. ]

Most of the rest of this episode takes place on Monday, August 3, 1992, Moleworm's fifth day of mining, and six days since the demon-eater was spotted by Dillik and Mainframe.

SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST:
It entered our solar system last week.  We don't know exactly what it is, but it seems to be alive.

LUKE:
It must be the demon-eater...  The one from my dream.

PETE:
I'm glad one of us had a straightforward dream.  Then again, I guess I should've seen the symbolism in a tomato monster getting his head eaten.

MAGGIE:
So how are we supposed to help him?  ... her.  ... it.

LUKE:
She said there was a parasite in her.  (to Turnquist)  If we bring her here, can your doctors try to treat her?

Luke mistakenly thinks of the demon-eater as being on a human scale.

[ SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST glares at LUKE without amusement. ]

SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST:
Mr. Branson, the creature is over a thousand kilometers long.

[ The four HEROES gape at one another. ]

MAGGIE:
What is that, like a planet?

Maggie hasn't studied astronomy in depth.

SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST:
A moon, certainly.

PETE:
So... we could take the Kestrelzord inside it...?

The Kestrel has been the Rangers' primary Zord since they found it in episode 22.

SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST (snidely):
Ah, not to tell you how to do your job, Rangers... but the Skyforce Cruiser's firebird attack can phase through matter.  (shrugs)  I mean, unless you want to blast your way in...

This seemed like a reasonable ability for the Cruiser to possess, but fundamentally it was derived from the need to get the Megazord inside the demon-eater to match the sentai footage.

[ The HEROES look at each other. ]


[ INT. GUEST BEDROOM (DAY) - In a guest bedroom in someone's house, CASEY, helmetless but in her PINK RANGER suit, speaks into her wrist in a somewhat hushed tone.  The door is shut. ]

Casey has had to morph to get her Morpher's talk function to work (as detailed in episode 10).

CASEY:
Look, are you guys sure you don't want me to come with you?

LUKE (from her wrist):
No, I think it's better this way.  We can handle the Cruiser with four people.  There's no need to put you in danger too.

This was my way of explaining Pink Ranger's absence from the cockpit footage.  In the sentai, White was standing by Chokan's side as the microscopic Rangers navigated her insides.

[ CASEY nods soberly. ]

CASEY:
I guess.  (plaintively) But Chris...


[ INT. HANGAR - The four RANGERS stand in the hangar.  BLACK RANGER, standing apart from the others, somewhat bashfully replies into his wrist: ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Don't worry, Casey.  We'll be careful.

[ BLACK RANGER self-consciously glances over his shoulder at the other three.  He then softly speaks into his wrist: ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger, cont'd):
I love you.

This is apparently the first time Chris and Casey have exchanged the L-word.

[ The other three RANGERS awkwardly look away.  PETE discreetly hums to himself and the others: ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
We can all hear you...!


[ INT. GUEST BEDROOM (DAY) - Her eyes beginning to moisten, CASEY smiles broadly and gives a choking laugh through the beginning of her tears. ]

CASEY:
I love you too.


[ INT. HANGAR - BLACK RANGER awkwardly nods in silence.  He then confidently claps his hands together and looks ahead. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
All right, let's do this!

[ The others join him. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Right.

[ Sentai (Jetman #6) - Ahead in the dark hangar, the SKY FLYERS await. ]

Sky Flyers in hangar

It seems the Flyers are now kept in the hangar rather than holding in low-Earth orbit as they did in the earlier part of the series (also see episode 39).


[ Break. ]


[ EXT. SPACE - The titanic demon-eater floats in space as the SKYFORCE CRUISER flies past the camera.  The ship begins to glow red as it quickly recedes into an invisible speck long before ever reaching the colossus's surface (indicating the creature's enormous scale). ]

It was important to me that scale be depicted convincingly in this series.

[ We see the creature's craggy surface in close-up.  The glowing red CRUISER streaks through the surface without leaving a trace. ]


[ INT. CRUISER COCKPIT (BLOODSTREAM) (Jetman #43) - From the Rangers' perspective, we see out the cockpit's viewscreen as the Cruiser travels through the demon-eater's bloodstream. ]

bloodstream

[ The four RANGERS man their normal controls.  RED RANGER coolly looks from one side to the other. ]

bloodstream bloodstream

LUKE (Red Ranger):
All right, there's a reading up ahead.  Convert to Megazord mode.


[ INT. DEMON-EATER, BLOODSTREAM - Initially glowing with bluish-white light, the MEGAZORD sails through the creature's bloodstream. ]

Megazord in bloodstream Megazord in bloodstream

In the sentai, this glow was as residual effect from the shrink ray which put the Megazord inside Chokan's bloodstream.

[ The MEGAZORD lands on a solid surface of some sort and looks around warily. ]

Megazord in bloodstream Megazord in bloodstream Megazord in bloodstream


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (BLOODSTREAM) - The RANGERS look around cautiously. ]

Megazord in bloodstream

LUKE (Red Ranger):
All right, guys, keep your eyes peeled.


[ INT. DEMON-EATER, BLOODSTREAM - We see MOLEWORM's drills spinning in close-up. ]

Moleworm attacks

[ As the whirring sound continues, we approach the MEGAZORD from behind. ]

Moleworm attacks Moleworm attacks

PETE (voice-over):
Hey, do you guys hear that drilling sound?

[ MOLEWORM approaches, drills spinning.  His drills gouge into the MEGAZORD's back, causing it to spark. ]

Moleworm attacks Moleworm attacks Moleworm attacks Moleworm attacks

LUKE (voice-over):
Drilling sound?!  Stay sharp, guys!  (drilled, groans)


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (BLOODSTREAM) - The RANGERS are jostled slowly. ]

Moleworm attacks

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
I think we found him!


[ INT. DEMON-EATER, BLOODSTREAM - MOLEWORM writhes wordlessly in the currents. ]

Moleworm Moleworm

[ The MEGAZORD and MOLEWORM square off. ]

Megazord vs. Moleworm Megazord vs. Moleworm


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (BLOODSTREAM) - From the Rangers' perspective, we see MOLEWORM fire a burst of bluish-white energy from his sucker, striking the Megazord (off-screen). ]

Megazord vs. Moleworm Megazord vs. Moleworm Megazord vs. Moleworm

[ Sparks erupt around the RANGERS.  Recovering, RED pumps his fist and presses a button. ]

Megazord vs. Moleworm Megazord vs. Moleworm Megazord vs. Moleworm

LUKE (Red Ranger):
This guy's mincemeat!  Phoenix Blade!


[ INT. DEMON-EATER, BLOODSTREAM - The MEGAZORD brandishes the PHOENIX BLADE and charges. ]

Megazord vs. Moleworm Megazord vs. Moleworm

[ The MEGAZORD sluggishly strikes MOLEWORM a total of four times, each without so much as a spark. ]

Megazord vs. Moleworm Megazord vs. Moleworm Megazord vs. Moleworm Megazord vs. Moleworm

I assume most of the Phoenix Blade's ineffectiveness here comes from the difficulty of battling in a liquid medium (and a viscous one at that).

[ The MEGAZORD takes a step back. ]

Megazord vs. Moleworm


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (BLOODSTREAM) - The RANGERS appear startled. ]

Megazord vs. Moleworm

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Nothing!

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Oh man!

LUKE (Red Ranger):
We're too slow!


[ INT. DEMON-EATER, BLOODSTREAM - MOLEWORM charges, drills spinning.  He stabs the MEGAZORD and then slashes it, causing sparks with each blow. ]

Megazord vs. Moleworm Megazord vs. Moleworm Megazord vs. Moleworm Megazord vs. Moleworm Megazord vs. Moleworm

At this point in the sentai, the Megazord was knocked back into an area of green liquid, and then frothy blue liquid, before returning to the bloodstream battle.  I considered this a waste of time and of questionable physiological plausibility, so I cut it.

[ MOLEWORM then grapples the MEGAZORD, his sucker close to the MEGAZORD's face.  The MEGAZORD struggles to no avail. ]

power drain power drain power drain power drain

[ Yellow energy flows from the MEGAZORD into MOLEWORM.  The MEGAZORD's eyes pulse red as the energy flow continues. ]

power drain power drain


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (BLOODSTREAM) - BLUE RANGER examines her readouts and reports to the others as the cockpit lights flicker. ]

power drain power drain power drain

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
You guys, we're losing power in a hurry!  We can't keep this up!

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Oh man, we just got this thing fixed...

In the sentai, the Megazord had been working all along.


[ INT. LAB - SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST stands watching over the shoulder of a TECHNICIAN who sits at a control station. ]

TECHNICIAN:
Sir, the Megazord's losing energy rapidly!

SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST:
Try the recall sequence.

The recall sequence was my explanation for the sudden appearance of Moleworm and the Megazord on Earth.  Downtown Spring Valley wasn't a brilliant destination, of course...

The recall sequence will be used again in episode 40, though I wasn't planning at this point to use it again.

TECHNICIAN:
But, sir... we haven't tested teleporting the whole Megazord before...

SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST:
Well, now's as good a time as any, wouldn't you say, Private?

TECHNICIAN (stiffly):
... Activating recall sequence.


[ EXT. CITY - The MEGAZORD and MOLEWORM appear downtown from a bluish-white gleam of light.  MOLEWORM continues to drain energy from the MEGAZORD. ]

teleported teleported

In the sentai, the Megazord and Moleworm were flushed out in Chokan's tear, and White took the drop outside just as the shrink ray wore off (though I don't know what caused Moleworm to enlarge).


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - BLUE reports to the others as the lights continue to flicker.  The others are surprised, and YELLOW looks up. ]

teleported teleported

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
You guys, we've been teleported!

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
What...?  We're home!


[ EXT. CITY - The camera travels up the MEGAZORD's body as the energy drain continues. ]

power drain power drain power drain

CHRIS (voice-over):
And we're losing power just as fast as ever!

[ The MEGAZORD drops its arms and limply falls backward.  It crashes to the ground. ]

Megazord falls Megazord falls Megazord falls Megazord falls


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - The RANGERS are shaken.  The cockpit lights, meanwhile, are dark. ]

Rangers shaken


[ EXT. CITY - MOLEWORM approaches, drills spinning.  A red light pulsates within his sucker.  Suddenly, he looks to his left. ]

Megazord down Megazord down Megazord down Megazord down Megazord down

[ The KESTREL flies down and kicks MOLEWORM in the sucker, sending him flying. ]

Kestrel to the rescue Kestrel to the rescue Kestrel to the rescue Kestrel to the rescue

[ MOLEWORM crashes to the ground some distance away as the KESTREL lands in the foreground. ]

Kestrel to the rescue Kestrel to the rescue


[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (US footage) - The four RANGERS react.  (The cockpit lights remain dark.) ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
What...?

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Casey!

By this point in the sentai, the four Rangers were unmorphed in the cockpit as a result of the power drain.


[ EXT. CITY - We zoom in on the KESTRELZORD's head as it strikes a defensive pose. ]

Moleworm rises Moleworm rises


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (US footage) - Alone in the Kestrel cockpit, PINK RANGER mans the center controls.  She waves and then pumps her fist. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Hey, guys!  (pumps fist)  Kestrelzord, battle ready!

In the sentai, it was Chokan, the Rangers' mentor and the former site of the microscopic Moleworm battle, who now piloted the Kestrelzord.  White Ranger saw no action this episode beyond Chokan's earlier betrayal of the Rangers in the quarry.


[ EXT. CITY - MOLEWORM rises. ]

Kestrel vs. Moleworm Kestrel vs. Moleworm

[ MOLEWORM and the KESTRELZORD square off downtown. ]

Kestrel vs. Moleworm Kestrel vs. Moleworm

[ The KESTREL leaps.  It flies by, performing a flying punch (shown twice). ]

Kestrel leaps Kestrel leaps flying punch flying punch

[ The KESTREL lands with a punch to MOLEWORM and proceeds to pummel him with its fists. ]

Kestrel pounds Moleworm Kestrel pounds Moleworm Kestrel pounds Moleworm Kestrel pounds Moleworm Kestrel pounds Moleworm Kestrel pounds Moleworm Kestrel pounds Moleworm

[ The KESTREL finally lunges forward with its talons open. ]

talon throw talon throw talon throw

[ The KESTREL firmly grasps MOLEWORM and hurls him.  MOLEWORM rolls and rises. ]

talon throw talon throw talon throw talon throw talon throw talon throw

[ The KESTREL fires its chest beam, blasting the monster. ]

Thermo Beam Thermo Beam Thermo Beam

[ Finally, the KESTREL leaps into the air and flies overhead.  We zoom in on the frenzied MOLEWORM. ]

Kestrel leaps Kestrel leaps Kestrel flies overhead Moleworm reacts

I trimmed the beginning of this shot slightly, as it began with the Kestrel shaking its head for a reason not apparent to me.

[ The KESTREL opens its talons and performs its gleaming slash. ]

talons talons Kestrel Slash Kestrel Slash

[ Slashed, MOLEWORM glows with golden streaks, falls back, and explodes. ]

Moleworm's destruction Moleworm's destruction Moleworm's destruction Moleworm's destruction Moleworm's destruction


[ INT. KESTREL COCKPIT (US footage) - PINK RANGER releases her joysticks and confidently brushes off her hands. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Well, that was easy!

Just having a little fun with the sentai's contrast between the Megazord's difficulty and the Kestrelzord's ease at battling Moleworm, not that there weren't valid reasons for the Megazord's hardship.


[ Break. ]


[ Split-screen: INT. ATTIC (NIGHT) / INT. GUEST BEDROOM (NIGHT) - CHRIS and CASEY are talking on the phone from their respective rooms.  Both are lying on their beds. ]

CASEY:
So, what happened with that... What did you call it?  A soul-eater?

I accidentally called it a soul-eater a time or two while writing this episode, so I had Casey make the same mistake.

CHRIS:
Demon-eater.  We don't know.  It left the solar system almost as soon as they teleported us out.

CASEY:
No thank you?  No nothing?

CHRIS:
Nah.

CASEY:
Well that's kind of rude...

It left in a state of great weakness.  It will return in episode 39 and give the Rangers a proper thank-you.

CHRIS (with a shrug):
Eh, what are you gonna do?

Chris doesn't particularly care whether he receives a thank-you from people he helps.

[ CASEY ponders. ]

CASEY:
I hate that that worm drained the Megazord right after we got it fixed.

CHRIS:
Yeah...  Turnquist said they were gonna install something to keep that from happening again.  We'll be back up in no time.

Only later did I realize this "something" mentioned here, a back-flow inhibitor, could serve as a good explanation for the Mega Kestrelzord's difficulties (see episodes 30 and 34).  At the time this episode was written, it just seemed like the sensible thing to do: add something to prevent this from happening again.

CASEY:
That's good.

[ After a brief pause, CHRIS changes the subject: ]

CHRIS:
So the wedding's... what?  Day after tomorrow?

CASEY:
Yeah, it's nice spending time together.  I'm helping Heather get ready.  She's gonna look so pretty.

CHRIS (with a smirk):
How's your mom doing?

[ CASEY rolls her eyes and groans in jest. ]

CASEY:
Oh my gosh, don't get me started.  She's been going on non-stop about the daylight the other night.  She wants me to move to New Jersey.

[ CHRIS laughs. ]

CHRIS:
What did you tell her?

CASEY (sweetly):
I said no thank you.

Casey has an easier time saying no to her mother than she did in episodes 11 and 12 when it was first suggested that she move out of Spring Valley.

[ CHRIS chuckles. ]


[ We slowly dissolve to EXT. SPACE STATION - Establishment shot. ]


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - DILLIK and MAINFRAME are conversing (dialog not discernible) when TRASK wanders in. ]

[ DILLIK approaches him and slaps him encouragingly on the back. ]

DILLIK (cheerily):
Well, Trask, don't worry about it too much.  So your monster failed!  Big deal!  We'll come up with a way to beat the Rangers, I'm sure of it!  (winks to Mainframe)

Dillik is increasingly cheeky with Trask.

[ TRASK reaches into his coat. ]

TRASK (coolly):
Dillik, what ever makes you think my monster failed?

[ TRASK pulls out his hand.  In it he holds four colored gems (red, yellow, green, and blue), each a dodecahedron the size of an eyeball.  Freezeframe. ]

Moleworm's mining has somehow produced these gems, each containing a demon spirit stolen from the demon-eater.  Red is Infernis (see episodes 29 and 39), yellow is Gog (see episodes 30 and 32), green is Drek (see episodes 30 and 35), and blue is Zin (see episodes 30 and 35).  The following table shows all four demons, and their first and second means of destruction:

DemonGemFirst DestructorSecond Destructor
InfernisredGemini Beam (29)demon-eater (39)
GogyellowDrek (30)Star Handle (as Demi-Gog) (32)
DrekgreenQuad Cannon (30)Kestrel Mega Cruiser (as Zindrek) (35)
ZinblueQuad Cannon (30)Kestrel Mega Cruiser (as Zindrek) (35)

Similar gems were used by Diabolico in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue (2000) to store the energies of his angel-warriors Demonite, Falkar, and Thunderon (red, blue, and green respectively); I used the same type of gems here as ominous foreshadowing for audience members familiar with those villains.