Spoiler Warning: The commentary found here discusses events in this episode and beyond.  It also includes speculation toward a hypothetical sequel series.  Read at your own risk!

POWER RANGERS TAKE FLIGHT

Episode 33: "Echoes of the Past"

This episode was completed on January 25, 2008, and released on October 18, 2008.  The title refers to the ancient Red Ranger, as well as Lisa's history with her mother; it's also a play on "echo," as in the Echo Blasters.

Writer:  Joe Rovang

[ Sentai footage is from Jetman #33 unless otherwise noted. ]

In Jetman #33, the daughter of a scientist who died aboard the space station has been dreaming of strange symbols.  Maria's new monster (Gluestreak) immobilizes the Phoenix Rover and survives a blast from the Sky Enforcers.  Chokan introduces the Echo Blasters, which are incomplete, and Skyforce suspects the scientist's daughter holds the key to completing them.  As the Rangers fare poorly in battle, the girl helps Chokan finish the weapons, and the Rangers receive them in the nick of time.

This episode of Take Flight is most noteworthy for introducing the ancient Red Ranger, whom I felt was an interesting addition to the series, but I must confess that he was a total deus ex machina, inserted because I was in a jam and didn't know how else to fix the Echo Blasters.


[ Fade in to INT. LISA'S APARTMENT - In Lisa's living room, LISA and LUKE sit together on the floor packing the remnants of Lisa's belongings into cardboard boxes.  They are in fine spirits. ]

This scene takes place on Tuesday, September 1, 1992, ten days after the Rangers' raid on the space station.  Luke happens to have Tuesdays off.

[ LUKE pauses to look at a photo of MELODY and GLENN.  MELODY is a woman in her late thirties who seems to have aged harshly.  GLENN is a slightly younger man with a rough appearance.  Both are dressed in casual clothes in front of a 1980s' sports car.  Neither wears a wedding ring. ]

This is the first appearance of Lisa's mom, though she was alluded to in episode 9; she and Lisa have had a rocky history.

As revealed in later dialog, Melody has been helping Glenn make his payments on this car.

LUKE:
Who's this with your mom?

LISA:
Oh, that's Glenn, her new boyfriend.

Glenn, of course, plays a pivotal role in events in this episode and the next.

It isn't revealed whether Lisa was ever married to Lisa's father (nor is her father ever shown or mentioned).

[ LUKE looks again. ]

LUKE:
Oh.  How is he?

LISA:
He's okay, I guess.

[ LUKE packs the photo away in his box.  He then grows more serious. ]

LUKE:
So you're sure you want to move to the space station?

Project Phoenix has now taken possession of the space station after events in episode 32.  At that time, Dr. Bering offered the Rangers the opportunity to move aboard the space station, but only Lisa is taking her up on it, having decided to serve as Dr. Bering's assistant full-time.

LISA (with a smirk):
Well, it's a little late now.  I already gave my two weeks' notice at work and told Mr. Little I'm moving out.  (scratches her head while thinking) Of course, I still have to find a new tenant or I have to pay a penalty for breaking my lease early...  (shrugs)  But yeah, I'm sure.  I think it'll be fun.

The lease issue will resurface in the next episode.

LUKE:
Right.  (pauses)  It's just... I feel bad that you'll be up there alone...

LISA (with a smile):
Silly...  I won't be alone.  Dr. Bering's up there, and a whole maintenance crew.

LUKE:
No, I mean with the rest of us staying down here.

This quickly gets the audience up to speed on events which have passed between episodes.

[ LISA crawls over to him. ]

LISA:
Well, I guess you'll just have to come up and see me every now and then, huh?

[ They kiss lightly on the lips, and LUKE smiles in return. ]

This is the first time Luke and Lisa have kissed on-camera.  I still had trouble picturing them as a couple by this point, but a kiss seemed appropriate here in terms of the pacing of the scene, if not in terms of their characters meshing.


[ EXT. MELODY'S HOUSE - We see a modest, slightly run-down home with a tiny yard.  MELODY stands at the screen door in casual clothes.  Dogs are perpetually barking in the distance. ]

This scene and the next take place on Friday, September 4, 1992, three days after Luke was seen helping Lisa pack.

[ In front of the house is a blue compact car, not in pristine condition (and no newer than 1990).  LISA is unloading one of several cardboard boxes from the car. ]

I figured Lisa would have to have owned a car for her previous life, though she probably won't need one upon moving into the space station.

Melody has agreed to house the belongings Lisa didn't sell or take aboard the space station, but she is suspicious of Lisa's activities, not knowing her identity.  I was glad to have the opportunity to address a Ranger's secret identity having an impact on his or her family life.

LISA:
Thanks for letting me keep this here, Ma.


[ INT. MELODY'S LIVING ROOM - In a cramped living room filled with eclectic furniture and decor (including numerous ashtrays), MELODY follows LISA into the house as LISA continues to carry the box. ]

LISA (cont'd):
Oh, hey, is it okay if I have my mail sent here for a while?

[ MELODY appears suspicious. ]

MELODY:
Who'd you say you're staying with?

[ LISA answers while putting her box down in another room. ]

LISA:
Just some friends, Ma.  Hey, does Glenn need an apartment?

MELODY:
No, he's staying with his brother.  You know, I don't like this.  You're just giving up a good apartment, a good job...

Episode 35 will reveal that Glenn does in fact take her apartment after the events in these two episodes.

[ LISA returns to the living room. ]

LISA:
I'll be fine.

MELODY:
Are you doing drugs?

[ LISA rolls her eyes. ]

LISA:
Ma, I'm not doing drugs.

MELODY:
You know what happened to that Watson girl!  Those drugs ruined her life!

Illegal drugs don't get mentioned in Power Rangers (beyond some public service announcements during the early seasons), but if the message is that they can ruin people's lives, I figure what's the harm?  (Of course, this might alienate people who favor decriminalization of drug use, but I don't see the need to hide the fact that they have ruined some lives.)

[ LISA continues back outside. ]

LISA:
Ma, I'm not doing drugs!

I can't help but think of Suicidal Tendencies' 1983 song "Institutionalized" here.


[ EXT. MELODY'S HOUSE - MELODY follows LISA outside again as LISA fetches another box from her car. ]

MELODY:
Well, what is it?  Why would you just give up a good job and a good apartment to live with a group of people?  Is it a cult?  You're in a cult, aren't you?  Did somebody brainwash you?

And as long as we're making parents talk to their kids about drugs in this episode, why not bring up cults too?  (At the risk of offending the pro-cult lobby.)  Fundamentally, though, this was my way of grating on Lisa's nerves to make her break down and reveal her identity.

[ LISA shouts back while taking the box inside. ]

LISA:
Ma!


[ INT. MELODY'S LIVING ROOM - LISA enters with MELODY still in tow. ]

MELODY:
I just don't understand why you won't tell me anything about these friends!  You can't even give me a phone number?  What's wrong with these people?

Sorry, no phones on the space station.  (Well, in a pinch they could probably route a phone line to a communications channel linked to the space station, but they wouldn't make special arrangements just for Lisa.)

[ LISA growls under her breath and puts the box down in the middle of the floor.  She then takes a breath and turns around. ]

LISA:
All right, Ma.  I'm a Power Ranger, okay?

It's been a while since a Ranger was outed (see episode 17), long enough that I don't think it's repetitive here.

[ MELODY blinks in surprise but then frowns. ]

MELODY:
Don't you sass your mother.

LISA (defeated):
I'm serious.  I'm the Blue Ranger.  I fight monsters and fly giant robots, and I'm gonna go live in a space station and keep an eye on the planet so you and everybody else are safe.

[ MELODY blinks again, speechless.  She eventually cocks her head skeptically. ]

MELODY:
You're putting me on...

LISA (exhaustedly):
No, Ma, I'm not.

[ MELODY seems to be coming to terms with the information. ]

MELODY:
My daughter's a... Power Ranger...?

I didn't think that Melody lived within Spring Valley's city limits, but she has nonetheless heard plenty about the Power Rangers in the media.


[ Break. ]


[ EXT. OLD HOUSE - GLENN opens the front door of an aging house to find MELODY at his doorstep.  (MELODY is wearing the same clothes as seen previously.)  He is shirtless and well-built, with a T-shirt draped over his shoulder.  His body is adorned with various tattoos.  Seeming surprised to see MELODY, he slips out the door, closing it behind him. ]

Note that Glenn seems to be hiding something.  That something is Jake's drug money.

GLENN:
Melody...  What are you doing here?

[ MELODY seems giddy, barely able to restrain herself. ]

MELODY:
Have I got news for you.  You aren't gonna believe it.

[ GLENN waits. ]

MELODY (cont'd):
You heard of the Power Rangers, right?

GLENN:
What, you think I don't got a TV over here?

MELODY:
Hey, don't get smart.  (coyly) You don't wanna aggravate someone whose daughter is the Blue Power Ranger, do you?

I originally thought Melody might take a few more liberties with her new sense of impunity, being the mother of a Power Ranger, but I reined it in to keep her minimally despicable.

[ GLENN stares at her blankly, as if in disbelief. ]

GLENN:
What did you say?

MELODY:
Do I gotta send you a postcard?  I said, my daughter's a Power Ranger!

[ His head seemingly swirling with ideas, GLENN quickly escorts her off the porch. ]

GLENN:
Oh, we gotta talk about this...!

[ As GLENN and MELODY depart out of frame, we pan over to a nearby open window.  Inside, absently counting a wad of cash, stands JAKE, a more slender version of Glenn.  He smoothly looks up from his money to watch the couple departing (off-screen). ]

Just like old Biff in Back to the Future part II!  Well, sort of.  Incidentally, I meant to imply here that Jake was a drug dealer, but I wasn't sure I suggested it clearly enough; my wife, though, got it immediately, so I guess it's not as cryptic as I thought.


[ Dissolve to EXT. SPACE STATION - We see an establishment shot of the space station, which is missing a modest chunk out of its side where the explosion took place in the previous episode; this will be its state when shown, until noted otherwise.  Also from this point on, no ships are seen docked to the station unless otherwise noted. ]

The rest of this episode takes place on Saturday, September 5, 1992, the day after Lisa's revelation.  This is the first day of Lisa's full-time service aboard the space station.

DR. BERING (voice-over):
It's a shame, really.


[ INT. SPACE STATION, ENGINE ROOM - DR. BERING and LISA stand near the doorway of the engine room as technicians sweep up small pieces of mechanical debris (see episode 17).  DR. BERING is wearing her original outfit (see episode 1) with the addition of a thin silver wristband, while LISA wears her black uniform (see episode 23).  (The technicians wear uniforms like those seen in episode 1, but no current worker in this episode or later should have been seen aboard the space station in episode 1.) ]

DR. BERING (cont'd):
That wormhole generator was one of a kind.

It's perhaps somewhat implausible that Trask and Dillik would have left the wormhole generator's debris where it lay (see episode 17), but it serves as a nice conversation piece here.

Dr. Bering's wristband is a teleportation trigger shown in use only in this episode.

LISA:
You can't build another one?

[ DR. BERING furtively pulls LISA into the hallway. ]

For some reason, Dr. Bering keeps Zordon's nature a secret from her crew, as was implied in episode 22.


[ INT. SPACE STATION CORRIDOR - Outside the engine room, DR. BERING makes sure they're alone before replying to LISA. ]

DR. BERING (quietly):
Truth be told, the military salvaged some of its core components from the remains of an alien spaceship.

I said "salvaged some of its core components" so that Omos' appraisal of the humans' wormhole project wouldn't be entirely inaccurate (see episode 17).

LISA:
An alien spaceship?

DR. BERING:
A four thousand year-old spaceship, actually.  Some of the space station's technology came from that ship, too.

I placed the Red Ranger's landing 4,000 years ago to coincide with Zordon's period of inactivity in Power Rangers continuity.

LISA (awestruck):
Wow.  (considers)  So is that where the Power Ranger technology came from?

DR. BERING (with a chuckle):
No, actually, that was revealed by a wise being in another dimension.  General Taggart used the wormhole generator to contact him, and he shared the secrets of the Ranger technology.

The wormhole, Zordon, and Project Jetman chronology finally gets nailed down.

LISA:
But... who was he?

DR. BERING:
All we know is a name.  Zordon.  (pauses)  Zordon of Eltar.

When I began writing the series, I didn't intend to mention Zordon by name, but I found this episode impossible to write without mentioning him.


[ INT. DARK LAIR - As TRASK walks up, MAINFRAME stands proudly by a large apparatus vaguely resembling the biomass refiner from Dillik's lab.  Numerous canisters of biomass rest on the misty floor nearby. ]

MAINFRAME:
Well, it's finished!  I think these biomass monsters will turn out even better this time.  This refiner's top-notch!

After they vacated the space station, Trask ordered Mainframe to construct a new biomass refiner to make further monsters.

Arguably, Gluestreak and Tachyderm are superior to the previous biomass monsters.

TRASK:
Can it make Nobodies?

[ MAINFRAME is discouraged. ]

MAINFRAME:
Well, no...  You didn't ask for that!

I had no further sentai footage which required Nobodies to be present.  Likewise, the first biomass refiner may have been unable to produce Nobodies after Mainframe upgraded it in episode 25 (the subject never came up).

TRASK:
No matter.

[ TRASK casually scoops a biomass canister off the ground and tosses it to MAINFRAME with one hand. ]

TRASK (cont'd):
Get to work.

[ MAINFRAME awkwardly catches it with a grunt.  He glares as TRASK walks away. ]


[ INT. STONE CHAMBER - TRASK enters a misty-floored stone chamber, where an upside-down staircase leads into a black void above.  In the center of the room stands the cryogenic container holding KORA (see episode 26). ]

Setting up the Kora snafu in episode 35.

This chamber is similar to the staircase nexus seen in episode 10.

[ TRASK looks upon the container for a moment and then exits. ]


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - DR. BERING and LISA stand at the command center's wall console as DR. BERING shows LISA the controls.  Behind them, a makeshift round table (to be compared with sentai in a later scene) stands in the center of the room where the central console once stood. ]

DR. BERING:
... And then you'd press Destination, Alerts, 1, and Send.

LISA:
And that's whatever's triggering the primary alert.

DR. BERING:
Right.

Dr. Bering has just taught Lisa how to teleport the Rangers to the source of a Hoverbird alert.

LISA:
Okay.  And what if --

[ LISA is interrupted by an alert tone, followed by OFFICER1's appearance in one of the small wall monitors. ]

OFFICER1 (from monitor):
Dr. Bering, we're picking up a monster downtown.

[ From another portion of the wall console comes PETE's voice. ]

PETE (from console):
Hey, are you guys getting this?  Some kind of... cockroach monster.  Looks like Trask's still in the monster business.

The Rangers' last monster encounter was Smog Rat, nearly three weeks prior.  They probably also wondered whether they had stripped Trask of his ability to make monsters since Dillik's lab was destroyed last episode.

The Rangers don't seem particularly broken up about Dillik's apparent demise (previous episode), but that was two weeks prior.

[ DR. BERING nods to LISA.  LISA presses a button and replies into the air: ]

LISA:
Copy, Pete.  Do you need a lift?

PETE (from console):
Nah, we're almost there.

With allies in the space station, the Rangers can now teleport from location to location, though flying is just as quick in some cases.

LISA:
All right, I'll meet you there.  Over.

[ DR. BERING watches patiently as LISA presses a series of buttons, ending with the sequence Dr. Bering showed her. ]

LISA (pluckily):
Here goes nothing!  (presses final button)

[ Just as she completes the sequence, LISA teleports with blue vertical streaks and is gone. ]

The traditional color of the space station's teleporter (created by Dillik) is greenish-silver, and this color will continue to be used for non-Rangers.  Rangers, however, now teleport with respectively-colored streaks; I felt this would visually reinforce the Rangers' dominion over the space station's technology.

[ Now alone, DR. BERING mans the wall controls. ]


[ EXT. INDUSTRIAL AREA (sentai) - RED RANGER leaps for a flying punch. ]

In the sentai, Gluestreak tried to spray the unmorphed Rangers when they arrived in their vehicles; they dodged, but he gooed the Phoenix Rover instead, and only later did the Rangers realize the Rover was stuck and unable to transform.  I rearranged certain shots in this scene to make a bit more sense, and to adjust for Luke not driving the Rover onto the scene.

Only Luke had to leave work for this battle; Pete is on his midday break, and Chris and Casey were off.

Red's flying punch

[ GLUESTREAK, a cockroach monster with tubes on his head and a spray can on his wrist, leaps as well. ]

Gluestreak leaps

[ GLUESTREAK and RED pass in mid-air, with GLUESTREAK striking RED's chest.  He sparks, falls, and rolls across the ground. ]

Red struck Red struck Red struck Red struck

[ GLUESTREAK lands and turns.  He speaks with a chattering, insectoid voice.  Something above then gets his attention. ]

Gluestreak turns Gluestreak turns Gluestreak turns

GLUESTREAK:
Nice try, Red Ranger, but -- (looks up)

[ BLACK RANGER flies down to perform a leaping TALON SWORD strike. ]

Black Ranger's leaping strike

[ As BLACK lands, GLUESTREAK streaks out of the way in a black blur.  BLACK RANGER turns to strike again, but the monster streaks to a third spot.  BLACK swings yet again, but GLUESTREAK streaks back near his original position.  BLACK RANGER makes a final attempt, but GLUESTREAK swats his blade aside and slashes him to the ground. ]

untouchable untouchable untouchable untouchable untouchable untouchable untouchable untouchable untouchable untouchable untouchable

GLUESTREAK:
What's this?  (dodges)  Oh, another friend!  (dodges)  Oops, I'm over here!  (dodges)  Oh, try again!  (swats Black Ranger)  Not good enough!

The slide-teleport reminds me of a similar move performed by the Ninja Rangers (and Aquitian Rangers) in season three of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1996).

[ The BLUE, YELLOW, and PINK RANGERS take turns attacking with their swords, but GLUESTREAK repels each of them, finally knocking PINK RANGER to the ground. ]

untouchable untouchable untouchable untouchable untouchable

[ Recovering her footing, PINK RANGER draws her SKY BLASTER. ]

Pink recovers Pink recovers Sky Blasters Sky Blasters

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Guys, try the Sky Blasters!

[ BLUE and YELLOW draw theirs as well. ]

Sky Blasters Sky Blasters

[ From their respective positions, the PINK, YELLOW, and BLUE RANGERS open fire on GLUESTREAK, but he rolls aside.  They continue firing after him, but he quickly scampers away on all fours as sparks ineffectively erupt around him. ]

untouchable untouchable untouchable untouchable untouchable untouchable

[ GLUESTREAK then leaps into the air and rebounds off a metal structure above.  He flies between the three RANGERS, knocking them back with a flash of sparks. ]

untouchable untouchable Gluestreak's leap Gluestreak's leap Gluestreak's leap Gluestreak's leap Gluestreak's leap Gluestreak's leap

[ GLUESTREAK scampers around at high speed, chattering as he goes.  He briefly pauses to taste a nearby girder but then continues on his way.  Finally, he begins to climb another girder. ]

Gluestreak scampers Gluestreak scampers Gluestreak scampers Gluestreak scampers Gluestreak scampers Gluestreak scampers Gluestreak climbs a girder Gluestreak climbs a girder

GLUESTREAK (speedily):
You can't catch me!  I'm Gluestreak, the fastest monster on six legs!  Er, four legs!  Two legs?  How many legs do I have?  (tastes girder)  Hey, what's this?  Yuck!  (climbs)  Hey, you got any food up here?  (hums)

I have no idea what Gluestreak was saying in the sentai at this point, but I expect his dialog was spoken quickly (I have no audio in my personal Jetman library).

[ Nearby, RED RANGER looks on. ]

Red Ranger looks on Red Ranger looks on

LUKE (Red Ranger):
This guy's nuts...

[ While climbing, GLUESTREAK pauses to make a declaration. ]

Gluestreak pauses Gluestreak pauses

GLUESTREAK:
I almost feel bad for those slowpokes...

[ RED RANGER draws his SKY BLASTER and fires upward as the others join him. ]

Red fires Red fires Red fires

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Sky Blaster, fire!  (fires)

[ GLUESTREAK erupts in sparks and plummets backward off the tower. ]

Gluestreak falls Gluestreak falls

[ GLUESTREAK lands with a thud on his back, flailing his limbs. ]

Gluestreak lands Gluestreak falls

GLUESTREAK:
Arrgh, you got me!

[ RED RANGER holsters his blaster and calls into his wrist. ]

Red calls Red calls Red calls

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Let's finish him off in a hurry!  Now, Phoenix Cannon!


[ EXT. ROCKY TERRAIN (Jetman #25, brightness enhanced from sentai) - The PHOENIX ROVER races across rocky terrain. ]

Phoenix Rover


[ EXT. INDUSTRIAL AREA (sentai) - GLUESTREAK hops onto his feet. ]

Gluestreak hops up Gluestreak hops up

GLUESTREAK:
What's this?

In the sentai, Gluestreak remained on the ground until the Enforcers were prepared, as he'd sprayed the Phoenix Rover when they first arrived.

[ US footage - The RANGERS look back at the monster (off-screen). ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Huh?

[ From a yellow tube now extended from his mouth, GLUESTREAK shoots a viscous white liquid. ]

Gluestreak spews goo

[ The liquid splashes across the front and turbine of the PHOENIX ROVER.  (Though the images are originally shaking slightly, a US effect, it quickly stops as the sound of the Rover's motor grinds to a halt.) ]

Phoenix Rover gets glued Phoenix Rover gets glued Phoenix Rover gets glued

I found it tricky to have the Phoenix Rover sprayed while it arrived, because the Rover was stationary in the sentai, having been sprayed after the unmorphed Rangers had arrived in their vehicles.

By the way, ew.

[ More liquid splashes near the front tire of the ROVER, which is now stationary. ]

Phoenix Rover gets glued

[ The PHOENIX ROVER is shown covered in white strands of a glue-like material.  The ROVER revs and tries to turn its wheels with no effect. ]

Phoenix Rover stuck Phoenix Rover stuck

GLUESTREAK (off-screen):
(laughs)  Looks like I put the brakes on your little toy!

[ The RANGERS react to the sight.  PINK RANGER speaks to RED, and all look to the monster (off-screen) when he issues a distant, high-pitched laugh.  Some of the RANGERS grunt in response. ]

Rangers react Rangers react Rangers react

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Oh no!  It's really stuck tight!

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Yeah...  (Gluestreak laughs, Rangers look)

[ BLACK RANGER grabs RED's shoulder and speaks to him.  RED RANGER nods. ]

Rangers react Rangers react Rangers react Rangers react

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
We'll have to try the Enforcers!

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Right.

[ RED RANGER assembles his SKY ENFORCER. ]

Red Ranger assembles Sky Enforcer Red Ranger assembles Sky Enforcer

[ The five RANGERS ready their ENFORCERS. ]

Rangers ready Enforcers Rangers ready Enforcers

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Ready!

[ The RANGERS fire their beams, forming the gravity ball. ]

Enforcers fire Enforcers fire Enforcers fire

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Fire!  (Rangers fire)

[ Apparently blasted, GLUESTREAK erupts in a large spark explosion and falls back. ]

Gluestreak down Gluestreak down Gluestreak down

[ The RANGERS react, YELLOW RANGER particularly cheery. ]

celebrate good times celebrate good times

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
All right!

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
(whoops)  It worked!

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Yes!

[ GLUESTREAK rises from the flames. ]

Gluestreak rises Gluestreak rises Gluestreak rises

GLUESTREAK:
Don't worry, I'm okay!  Just wanted to give this vest a try!

Could the Enforcers (beefed up, as of episode 32) have destroyed biomass monsters?  I see no reason they couldn't have, as they succeeded against Jinnsect monsters even before their upgrade (episode 7).  I used dialog to imply that Gluestreak's vest helped insure his survival here (it also explained why a monster with superspeed would just sit there and take the blast).

[ The RANGERS startle.  YELLOW RANGER staggers forward in disbelief. ]

Rangers startle

LUKE (Red Ranger):
He's still alive!

[ GLUESTREAK extends his arm with a flourish.  The spray can on his wrist sprays a stream of fire. ]

flame on flame on flame on

GLUESTREAK:
Now it's your turn!  (sprays fire)

[ Blown with flames, the RANGERS spark and fall back. ]

Ranger roast Ranger roast Ranger roast

[ GLUESTREAK hops for joy and quickly dashes off in a zig-zag pattern. ]

Gluestreak departs Gluestreak departs Gluestreak departs Gluestreak departs

GLUESTREAK:
Bye!  (dashes off while singing to himself)

The sentai scene ended here.

[ Switch to US footage - The smoking RANGERS rise. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
The Enforcers didn't do anything!  What are we gonna do now?

[ RED RANGER has no response. ]


[ EXT. SPACE STATION - Establishment shot. ]


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - The helmetless RANGERS wait in the command center with dour expressions until DR. BERING enters.  She appears frustrated. ]

DR. BERING:
Well, the Phoenix Rover has glue all in its wheels and turbine...  Would you please take better care of your things?  I just replaced your Sky Blasters and a Talon Sword, and I've still got a Hawk gyro to fix, a new Phoenix Blade to finish tempering, and I still don't know what the heck's going on with the Mega Kestrelzord...

I figured Dr. Bering might be a little on edge after so many repair projects were needed; she may just need to adjust to being technical advisor for a Ranger team who's actually seeing action.

This is the first time the Phoenix Rover has been named in dialog; see commentary in episode 10 for the origin of its name.

In episode 32, the Rangers used new Sky Blasters after their original set was ruined by Smog Rat (episode 31).  Chris's Talon Sword was broken by Demi-Gog in episode 32.

The reference to the Hawk gyro is a subtextual reference to the Hawkzord being damaged slightly by the explosion it endured while escaping the space station in episode 32.  This was my nod to the mystery of the Hawk's crash off-screen in episode 1 after having endured an explosion in that episode.

The Phoenix Blade was ruined by Smog Rat in episode 31; it will break again as the Rangers (actually the future Rangers) battle Brimstone next episode, and the subject of sword strength will arise again in episode 39.

The Mega Kestrelzord mystery came up in episode 30 and will be resolved next episode.

CASEY (remorsefully):
We're sorry.

[ DR. BERING takes a breath and calms herself. ]

DR. BERING:
No...  It's okay.  But the Phoenix Cannon won't be online for a while.

It will remain out of use until episode 35.

CHRIS:
So... what do we do?

CASEY:
Yeah, he just shrugged off the Enforcers, even with their power boost.

LISA:
Should we try the Battlizers?

PETE:
We can't even get close to him.

CHRIS (to Luke):
What about that idea you had about combining the Battlizer Beams with the Enforcers?

This was a strategy Luke devised to deal with Demi-Gog in episode 32, but they never got a chance to try it.

LUKE:
Hmm...  It's worth a try.  ...if we can hit him.

[ DR. BERING appears distracted.  She then abruptly exits. ]

DR. BERING:
Hang on a second.  (exits)

The Rangers have made Dr. Bering think of the Echo Blasters.

[ The RANGERS exchange puzzled glances. ]


[ INT. SPACE STATION, STORAGE ROOM - The door of a storage room opens to reveal DR. BERING outside.  She enters. ]

[ DR. BERING crouches and digs through various storage containers until finally coming across a hefty, unmarked black case.  She presses her thumb to a small plate on the case, and it opens, revealing a silver suitcase bearing a red Jetman emblem (compare with sentai).  DR. BERING smiles with relief. ]

Though it may be odd to store one case inside another, I invoked the black case as a security means which could have deterred Dillik from putting the Echo Blasters to use.  The silver case is required to match the sentai shot below.

DR. BERING:
They're still here.

In a convenient coincidence, Dr. Bering once again has access to the Echo Blasters now that Project Phoenix has reclaimed the space station.  I don't know how I would have introduced the blasters if episode 32 hadn't turned out the way it did.


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - On the round table in the center of the command center is the silver case (composite from sentai), which DR. BERING opens.  Within we see the five ECHO BLASTERS, identical red and silver blaster weapons bearing the word "Jetman" across the side.  We zoom in slowly before panning up to DR. BERING (transition from sentai). ]

Echo Blasters (not shown: Dr. Bering) Echo Blasters (not shown: Dr. Bering) Echo Blasters (not shown: Dr. Bering)

I regarded this as too valuable a shot to give up, as I didn't intend to require US Echo Blaster props to be created, but careful compositing would be required to blend the sentai into the US shot.

DR. BERING:
They're called Echo Blasters.  They're designed to excel at targeting foes automatically.  And thanks to advanced plasma physics, their beams can change direction in mid-air, round corners, double back...  In short, they never miss their target.

Thank goodness for those advanced plasma physics.

[ The five helmetless RANGERS are impressed. ]

PETE:
Whoa...  Those'll be perfect against Gluestreak.

[ Dissatisfied, DR. BERING closes the case (mostly off-screen). ]

DR. BERING:
Except you can't use them.

Haha, yoink.

[ The RANGERS react incredulously. ]

CHRIS:
What?

PETE:
Why not?

DR. BERING:
Because there's a dangerous glitch in their technology.  I suspect there was a miscommunication when we received their designs.  But without my feed to Zordon, it could take me days, weeks, or months to figure out the problem.  If I even can.

This glitch was discussed in the first scene of episode 1.

Clearly Dr. Bering didn't design the Echo Blasters personally.  This leaves us to wonder what hardware she did design; I suspect it included the Morphers and the Hoverbirds at the very least.

LUKE:
How dangerous is this glitch, exactly?

[ Dissolve to: ]


[ EXT. QUARRY (Jetman #43) - RED RANGER prepares his ECHO BLASTER (footage slowed from sentai). ]

Red summons Echo Blaster Red summons Echo Blaster Red summons Echo Blaster Red summons Echo Blaster

DR. BERING (voice-over):
If I don't fix the problem...

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Echo Blasters!

[ The five RANGERS aim their ECHO BLASTERS in slow motion.  As they fire, sparks explode from the blasters, and the RANGERS are engulfed in a large explosion. ]

backfire backfire backfire backfire

DR. BERING (voice-over):
... the blasters could explode when fired, causing you grave injury.

This moment in Jetman #43 stuck out in my mind as I was planning the series, and that led me to set up the Echo Blasters' backfire issue as early as episode 1.  In the sentai, they backfired because of Chokan's sabotage while she had Radiguet's parasite (Moleworm) in her bloodstream.


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - DR. BERING rests her hand on the closed case. ]

DR. BERING:
I'm afraid the risks are too high until I can identify the problem.

LISA:
And there's no way to contact this Zordon guy?

[ DR. BERING ponders. ]

DR. BERING:
The only hope is that the general's crew missed something when they excavated the site where the wormhole generator was found.  But it's a long shot.

Was this chance discovery of an alien spaceship the catalyst for General Taggart's leadership of Project Jetman?

LUKE:
Well, let's --

[ LUKE is interrupted by an alert tone, followed by OFFICER1's appearance once again. ]

OFFICER1:
Dr. Bering, we've pinpointed the monster's location downtown.

[ DR. BERING looks to the RANGERS.  LISA speaks up. ]

LISA:
I'll check the site.  You guys go after Gluestreak.

LUKE:
All right.  Be careful.

LISA (with a smirk):
When am I not careful?

An ironic reference to her reckless sense of adventure in episode 31.

[ DR. BERING mans the wall controls. ]

DR. BERING:
Ready, Rangers?

LUKE (with a nod):
Back to action!

A nod to the same phrase used in season two of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1994) and beyond.

[ DR. BERING presses a button sequence, and the four RANGERS teleport with respectively-colored vertical streaks.  LISA remains. ]


[ EXT. MOUNTAIN VALLEY - We pan across a rocky mountain range, where the site may have once been an excavation site decades ago. ]

[ Ultimately, BLUE RANGER teleports down with blue vertical streaks.  She surveys the area. ]

LISA (Blue Ranger):
Hmm.  All right, what the heck am I looking for?

[ BLUE RANGER wanders off in one direction. ]


[ EXT. PARKING LOT (US footage) - In a parking lot downtown, YELLOW RANGER lands gingerly while confronting someone just off-screen. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Ah-HA!

[ His prey dashes across the screen with a black blur (compare with sentai) and is immediately gone. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Aww, man...

I had no sentai footage available for this scene, but I figured a blur would do.

[ YELLOW RANGER gives chase on foot. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger, cont'd):
Well, I guess this still beats fighting demons...


[ EXT. MOUNTAIN VALLEY - BLUE RANGER explores a different patch of terrain, now no longer resembling an excavation site. ]

LISA (Blue Ranger):
Jeez, I could spend all day out here and still find nothing.

[ After further wandering, BLUE RANGER reaches a spot where a rock slips out from under her.  She nearly falls but recovers her footing. ]

LISA (Blue Ranger):
Whoops.  Clumsy.

[ Suddenly, however, a sinkhole collapses beneath her, and she and a patch of earth beneath her tumble out of sight.  We soon hear a crash, and a plume of dust then wafts up from the sinkhole. ]

Lisa falling down a shaft reminded me of the Rangers' tumble into the Command Center basement in "A Zeo Beginning, part 1" (Power Rangers Zeo).


[ INT. TOMB - As dust settles around her, BLUE RANGER climbs out of the pile of earth beneath her and looks around.  This is an ancient tomb of some sort, featuring a stone sarcophagus and a bare-topped stone pedestal.  (Somewhere on the sarcophagus is the Rangers' emblem from the sentai Liveman, resembling an upside-down T with upside-down Vs on either side, all contained within a circular border.)  The only light in the tomb comes from the hole above. ]

This certainly isn't the first ancient tomb to appear in Power Rangers.  The most notable one may have been the Tomb of Forever in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue (2000).

[ BLUE RANGER steps forward while looking around curiously. ]

LISA (Blue Ranger):
It's an ancient tomb... but whose, I wonder?

[ BLUE RANGER stops warily as an ethereal red glow begins to flicker above the sarcophagus. ]

LISA (Blue Ranger, cont'd):
What's going on?

[ The red glow coalesces into the translucent image of an ANCIENT RED RANGER hovering over the sarcophagus.  His suit design matches the Red Ranger from Liveman.  His voice echoes with a ghostly, aged quality. ]

The ghost of the ancient Red Ranger reminds me of King Alfor in Voltron (1984-85).

As noted previously, the ancient Red Ranger was an unplanned contrivance to get the Rangers out of the Echo Blaster predicament.  Prior to this point, I had idly considered adapting Liveman as a sequel series (this being my second choice of sentai if I hadn't been able to acquire Jetman on video), so when I needed an ancient Red Ranger, I figured the Red Ranger from Liveman would do just fine.  (In contemplating ties between Liveman and Take Flight, I had long found the similarities between Red Rangers intriguing, and so I was happy to include him here.)

The use of an older sentai costume to represent an ancient Ranger is similar to an aborted idea from Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999), in which costumes from the sentai Dairanger (1993) were to be used as "Ancient Rangers" who predated the Galaxy Rangers; this storyline was purportedly abandoned when the Pink Ranger's actress fell ill and had to be replaced.

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
For what reason have you violated my sanctum?  Your kind has taken much from me...  Have you now come for my remains as well?

We are left to wonder what sorts of things have been taken from him.  His Power Coins, perhaps?  (It was my intent that the bare pedestal in this tomb once held the Power Coins, but that they were stolen long ago.  This was not the doing of General Taggart and his crew, as they apparently overlooked this tomb, but yet Taggart is in possession of at least one of the coins in episode 40.)

LISA (Blue Ranger):
N-- No.  I'm just trying to find a wise being named Zordon.  Have you heard of him?

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
I have not.  Now begone, human.

LISA (Blue Ranger):
What about the planet Eltar?

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
Eltar?  Now you have my interest.

Eltar was previously mentioned in episode 23: it was home to a legendary civilization (as in Power Rangers) but was apparently destroyed by an unknown cataclysm long ago; some, however, believe it continued to exist.


[ EXT. PARK (US footage) - Having been running on foot, the four RANGERS converge on one location but seem confused. ]

This runaround is due to a lack of sentai footage.

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Where is he?

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
I thought you had him!

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
I had him at the lake, but then I lost him.

In real life, this would be Lake Merritt.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
The lake?  I had him uptown!

[ RED RANGER touches his temple. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Well, now I've got him downtown again!  Come on!

[ RED leaps into the air, and the other three follow, CHRIS grunting as they set out. ]


[ INT. TOMB - BLUE RANGER continues to speak with the ANCIENT RED RANGER. ]

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
Legend has it that Eltar was once home to the most advanced civilization in the near universe, unmatched by any since.  It was they who reawakened the power of the Ancients... the power you and I share.

The phrase "near universe" is the only reference in Take Flight to a scope beyond this particular galaxy.

The chronology is as such: first, the Ancients created the energies shared by Power Rangers, and immortals (including Ninjor) retained knowledge of the Ancients after they departed or somehow ceased to exist.  Later, the Eltarians arose and reawakened the Ancients' power; also around this time, Ninjor forged various sets of Power Coins (as in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers).  By the time of Zordon's generation (MMPR only), Ninjor had passed into Eltarian legend; in Take Flight, Eltar was destroyed before Zordon arose.  Eons later, Ninjor trained this Red Ranger's team (like his time with the Aquitian Rangers, alluded to in Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers), and they eventually parted ways; only later (circa 2000 BCE, in his old age) did Red seek Ninjor once again, but by this point Ninjor had vanished for reasons unspecified.

LISA (Blue Ranger):
The Ancients?  Who are they?

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
Only immortals know, and immortals are secretive creatures.

At this point, it hadn't dawned on me that Magda was an immortal.  I really should have connected the dots here, though, in that Magda spoke of the Ancients in episode 9, and Red Ranger indicates that only immortals know details about the Ancients.  (Not that everyone who speaks of the Ancients has to be immortal, of course, because Red and Lisa now know of them, but Magda's mention certainly fits well with the immortality retcon, anyway.)

I don't know why exactly immortals tend to be secretive, but it just seemed "right."

LISA (Blue Ranger):
All right, you're not making any sense.  Could you just tell me where I can find Zordon?  We're really in a jam, and if we could just find him --

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
The planet Eltar was destroyed by an unknown cataclysm eons ago.  If this Zordon was Eltarian, he likely no longer exists.

Just to reinforce that there is no Zordon in this universe.

LISA (Blue Ranger):
But that's impossible...  Dr. Bering was in contact with him just a few months ago!

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
One universe's impossibilities are another's reality when one gazes through the wormhole.

LISA (Blue Ranger):
So... you think Zordon's alive in one universe but not in ours?  Well, that's just great.  The wormhole generator's been destroyed.  Where did you get it?

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
You have squandered my treasures.  I have nothing left to offer you.

Red isn't delighted to learn of the wormhole generator's destruction.  However, I leave it up to the audience to wonder why he mentions "treasures" in the plural.

[ The ANCIENT RED RANGER fades away. ]

LISA (Blue Ranger):
Wait!  (thinks quickly, then blurts out) What about the dinosaur coins?

The others must have mentioned their experience on Thadia (episodes 23 and 24) at some point.

[ The ANCIENT RED RANGER returns. ]

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
Elaborate.

Lisa has a knack for arousing the Red Ranger's curiosity right when it counts.


[ Dissolve to INT. TOMB (LATER) - BLUE RANGER is in the middle of an explanation.  Her helmet is off, resting on the pedestal nearby. ]

After a while, having a discussion probably gets easier without a helmet on.

LISA:
... but the designs looked just like dinosaurs from Earth.  At least, that's what my friends told me.  But I figure whoever made those coins has a connection to Earth.  (nods toward the Ancient Red Ranger's chest) Just like whoever designed the hawk on your suit.

Though he doesn't bother to correct her, the emblem is actually a falcon (see episode 40).  This wasn't an oversight at the time; she had every reason to think it was a hawk, and I simply didn't think the ghost would care about her inaccuracy.

[ The ANCIENT RED RANGER remains silent.  He eventually replies: ]

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
My mentor, Ninjor, was an immortal.  It was he who forged the Power Coins.

Likewise in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: he was believed to have forged the "original Power Coins" (presumably referring to the dinosaur coins which were ruined in "Ninja Quest, part 1"); he gave the Rangers new Power Coins in "Ninja Quest, part 3"; and he had ties with the Aquitian Rangers, who possessed Power Coins of their own ("Alien Rangers of Aquitar, part 2").  Further, though it isn't revealed until episode 40, the ghost's Ranger team also possessed Power Coins of their own.

Ninjor's immortality was not mentioned in Power Rangers, but he apparently predated the millennia-old Zordon while retaining a youthful vigor, so this wasn't a tremendous leap to make.

LISA:
Where can I find him?

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
I came here seeking the same answer.  During our time together, he spoke fondly of Earth and its creatures.  I had hoped I could find him here.  But he was not to be found.  It was then I began searching other planes of existence.

Ninjor's fondness for Earth was my effort to explain his tendency (both in Take Flight and in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) to forge Power Coins associated with Earthen animals despite their use by extraterrestrials and their being hidden on alien worlds.

I do not resolve the nature of Ninjor's absence in this series.

LISA:
How?

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
By following my master's description of Eltar's location, I discovered its remains and salvaged an ancient device scattered amongst the debris.

LISA:
The wormhole generator.

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
Yes.  I returned to Earth and began studying worlds parallel to your own.  I found nothing.

LISA:
Wait a second...  You searched all those Earths, and you never came across a Zordon?

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
If your Zordon existed on one of these Earths four millennia ago, I assure you he hid himself well.

My excuse for why he didn't know of Zordon; if he examined the universe in which Power Rangers took place, Zordon would have been inactive circa 2000 BCE, as Alpha Five would not have established contact with him following his imprisonment in his time warp by Rita Repulsa circa 8000 BCE (see Mighty Morphin Power Rangers season 1).

LISA:
Hmm.  (pauses)  So basically, we don't know where anybody is, and we're out of luck without a wormhole generator?

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
Unless your problem merely requires the services of a dabbler in Eltarian technology.

[ LISA laughs disbelievingly. ]

There's the deus ex machina.  And yet it almost seems reasonable, given Red Ranger's connection to Eltarian technology and the Echo Blasters' design by Zordon.


[ Break. ]


[ INT. TOMB - DR. BERING teleports into the tomb with greenish-silver vertical streaks.  In one hand she holds the silver case seen previously, and in the other is a large black tote bag filled with electronics-oriented tools and monitoring devices.  She sets down the tote bag and places the case on the nearby pedestal. ]

[ The ANCIENT RED RANGER appears before her. ]

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
Welcome, human.

Similar to Zordon's first line to the "teenagers with attitude" in the premiere of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

[ DR. BERING smiles awkwardly while putting on a pair of work gloves. ]

The gloves were to use as a composite in a later shot of an Echo Blaster in close-up in Dr. Bering's hand.

DR. BERING:
Hello.

In Jetman, Chokan received the help of the daughter of one of the scientists who was killed aboard the space station.


[ EXT. DOWNTOWN - On a walkway running parallel to a fenced-in industrial area (compare with sentai), explosions erupt around a number of pedestrians.  Some scream and cower, while others look up at the nearby industrial structure.  Everyone then begins fleeing. ]

[ Switch to sentai - We zoom up toward GLUESTREAK as he stands atop a metal structure overhead. ]

Gluestreak's attack Gluestreak's attack

[ As we look over GLUESTREAK's shoulder, we zoom down on the fleeing people below, to whom he waves.  Through the smoke, several nondescript people are seen rushing onto the scene. ]

Gluestreak's attack Gluestreak's attack

GLUESTREAK:
Okay, bye for now!  You go run away, and I'll catch you!

Gluestreak is apparently having fun.

The people rushing onto the scene were the unmorphed Rangers in Jetman; I reinterpreted them as police officers.

[ Switch to US footage - Shown closer, we see the people are police officers helping to evacuate the fleeing crowd.  From the other direction come the five RANGERS. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Thanks.  We'll take it from here.

[ The officers nod and depart.  The RANGERS stand ready to face the monster above (off-screen). ]

LUKE (Red Ranger, cont'd):
What's the matter, Gluestreak?  Are you afraid to take us on?

[ Sentai - Above, GLUESTREAK retorts and departs. ]

Gluestreak departs Gluestreak departs

GLUESTREAK:
I'm not afraid!  I'm just bashful!  (departs)

[ RED RANGER speaks, and the RANGERS leap up after the monster. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
After him!  (Rangers leap)


[ EXT. INDUSTRIAL AREA - A small crowd of people desperately flee on foot. ]

[ Sentai - GLUESTREAK chases at high speed, almost running on all fours. ]

Gluestreak gives chase

[ The five RANGERS flip through the air. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Get back here!

[ Sentai - GLUESTREAK stops and looks up. ]

Gluestreak looks up

GLUESTREAK:
Who, me?

[ RED RANGER performs a flying kick squarely toward the camera. ]

[ Sentai - GLUESTREAK is knocked back against a metal wall nearby.  He flails his arms agitatedly. ]

Gluestreak hits wall Gluestreak hits wall

GLUESTREAK:
(grunts)  Hey!  Watch it!

[ The RANGERS land, ready to fight. ]

[ Sentai - GLUESTREAK steels himself and leaps out of frame. ]

Gluestreak leaps Gluestreak leaps

GLUESTREAK:
Hi-yah!  (leaps)


[ INT. TOMB - DR. BERING puzzles over an ECHO BLASTER (mostly obscured by her equipment). ]

DR. BERING:
But if that's the case, what prevents the runaway plasma flux?

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
Nothing.

[ DR. BERING blinks and stares at the device for a moment.  She then groans loudly and rolls her eyes. ]

DR. BERING:
(groans)  I can't believe it!  (quickly gets to work)  I added that inhibitor as a safety measure!  (shakes her head with a sigh)  Please don't tell anybody about this.

This situation may have been partially inspired by the movie Contact (1997), in which a chair added for safety to a vehicle of alien design (contrary to the original plans) was actually a hindrance to the occupant rather than a help.  I didn't intend a "don't challenge authority" message, but rather it was a simple observation on humans' occasional tendency to think they can improve a situation with technical expertise, when really no improvement was necessary.  (It also gave me the idea for the explanation behind the Mega Kestrelzord's malfunction, revealed next episode.)

[ The ANCIENT RED RANGER cocks his head slightly. ]


[ EXT. INDUSTRIAL AREA (sentai) - The five RANGERS fly back and land on the pavement.  Rising, RED RANGER quickly draws his SKY BLASTER and addresses the others. ]

Rangers having trouble Rangers having trouble Rangers having trouble Red's idea Red's idea Red's idea Red's idea

LUKE (Red Ranger):
All right, guys, this is it.  Sky Enforcers and Battlizer Beams.  Let's try it!

[ We zoom out from YELLOW RANGER to see the five RANGERS wielding their SKY ENFORCERS with their BATTLIZERS on their wrists. ]

ready to fire ready to fire

RANGERS (in unison):
Ready!

[ We zoom in on GLUESTREAK. ]

Gluestreak retorts Gluestreak retorts

GLUESTREAK:
Oh, this should be a riot!  Come on!

[ RED RANGER crosses his arms, and we zoom out as the five RANGERS fire their ENFORCERS and Battlizer Beams in unison. ]

dual blasts dual blasts dual blasts dual blasts

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Fire!  (Rangers fire)

[ GLUESTREAK erupts in sparks and flies back.  He on his back some distance away, twitches, and then stops moving. ]

Gluestreak blasted Gluestreak blasted Gluestreak blasted Gluestreak blasted Gluestreak blasted Gluestreak blasted

GLUESTREAK:
(groans)  I'm dead now.  (stops)

In fact, this combo attack has failed to destroy him as well.  I leave it unresolved whether this attack would have been more or less powerful than the Phoenix Cannon, but presumably it's a bit less powerful, to leave a reason for the Rangers to want to use that bulky cannon.

[ We zoom in on the cautious RANGERS beyond the prone GLUESTREAK. ]

victory? victory?

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Did it work?

This is pretty comical, that the Rangers think it might have worked after the monster just said, "I'm dead now."

[ GLUESTREAK hops onto his feet and chatters at tremendous speed, almost unintelligibly fast. ]

back on his feet back on his feet back on his feet back on his feet

GLUESTREAK (rapidly):
Just kidding!  It's funny you think you can stop me because I'm obviously unstoppable!

[ The RANGERS are astonished. ]

Rangers react Rangers react

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Oh no!

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
It didn't work!

[ GLUESTREAK shoots fire from his spray can. ]

fire fire fire

GLUESTREAK:
Now burn, Rangers!

[ Scorched again, the RANGERS spark and fall back. ]

roasted

[ GLUESTREAK approaches while waving his arms. ]

GLUESTREAK:
(laughs)  This is more fun than scaring civilians!

Gluestreak gloats Gluestreak gloats Gluestreak gloats

[ As GLUESTREAK continues to approach, he suddenly sparks and falls back, rolling across the pavement. ]

Gluestreak gloats Gluestreak gloats Gluestreak blasted Gluestreak blasted Gluestreak blasted

GLUESTREAK (cont'd):
And that's saying a lot!  (blasted, rolls)

[ The fallen RANGERS startle and look to their left. ]

surprised Rangers surprised Rangers

[ We see a close-up of an ECHO BLASTER, its barrel smoking slightly.  Holding it is the gloved hand of DR. BERING (US composite over sentai). ]

Echo Blaster (to be composited: Dr. Bering's gloved hand)

In the sentai, Chokan arrived with the completed Echo Blasters.

[ US footage - We see DR. BERING in close-up, a determined look on her face. ]

[ The RANGERS rise. ]

Rangers react Rangers react

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Dr. Bering!

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
You fixed the Echo Blasters?

[ US footage - DR. BERING smiles broadly and tosses the Echo Blaster (off-screen).  She then begins tossing others (also off-screen). ]

It was difficult to block out this scene without the Echo Blasters being present in the US footage.

DR. BERING:
Sure did.  Heads up!

[ The ECHO BLASTER flies through the air, followed by the other four. ]

thrown Echo Blasters thrown Echo Blasters thrown Echo Blasters

[ The RANGERS catch the ECHO BLASTERS and turn to face the monster (off-screen). ]

Rangers catch Echo Blasters Rangers catch Echo Blasters Rangers catch Echo Blasters

LUKE (Red Ranger):
All right, let's get this guy.

[ With the sun behind him, RED RANGER poses with his ECHO BLASTER in hand. ]

Red Ranger with Echo Blaster

[ US footage - DR. BERING calls out: ]

DR. BERING:
Try the auto-targeting!

[ GLUESTREAK rises to his feet, and we zoom out to see RED RANGER poised in the foreground. ]

showdown showdown

GLUESTREAK:
Oh, please!  You can't hit me unless I let you!

A detail I don't believe was in the sentai.

[ RED RANGER coolly aims his ECHO BLASTER. ]

Red aims Echo Blaster Red aims Echo Blaster

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Well, let's find out.

[ We see through the Echo Blaster's targeting system as GLUESTREAK yelps and runs away.  He moves with great speed, but the targeting system maintains a lock. ]

target lock target lock target lock target lock target lock

[ RED RANGER pulls the trigger, firing a red beam from his ECHO BLASTER. ]

Red fires Red fires

[ GLUESTREAK scampers from side to side in the distance, but the blaster's red beam bounces from wall to wall, following the monster's path. ]

nowhere to hide nowhere to hide nowhere to hide

[ While running, GLUESTREAK leaps into the air. ]

Gluestreak leaps Gluestreak leaps Gluestreak leaps

GLUESTREAK:
Can't catch me!

[ US footage - The red beam turns sharply in mid-air (compare with sentai) and shoots upward at a 45-degree angle. ]

As I examined this episode's sentai footage, it appeared that Jetman intended for the Echo Blaster beams only to bounce off solid surfaces, but I had a need for it to turn in midair (as explained below).  I initially justified this by remembering Dr. Bering's remark about the beams being able to change direction in midair, but I later felt even more justified when I noticed the beams bent in midair against Brimstone (episode 34).

[ GLUESTREAK is running along an elevated platform but turns to look behind him.  Just then, the red beam bounces up a staircase, off a nearby wall, and blasts GLUESTREAK squarely in the chest.  Sparks explode from his chest. ]

I trimmed out the beginning of this shot, wherein Gluestreak proceeds up the steps on foot (despite the previous leap); though the footage was sped up a bit, it still took far too long while the laser should have been right on his tail.  Instead, I added the US beam shot above to transition between the leap and the blast.

Gluestreak gets blasted Gluestreak gets blasted Gluestreak gets blasted Gluestreak gets blasted Gluestreak gets blasted

GLUESTREAK:
Ha!  I'm safe up here!  (blasted)

[ Racked with spark explosions, GLUESTREAK reels and falls off the nearby ledge. ]

Gluestreak gets blasted Gluestreak gets blasted Gluestreak falls

DR. BERING (voice-over):
Nice work.  Now, combine the Sky Blasters with the Echo Blasters to make the Echo Enforcers!

[ GLUESTREAK lands on his face below and issues a muffled sad groan. ]

Gluestreak lands Gluestreak lands

GLUESTREAK (muffled):
Ow.

[ RED RANGER stands holding his ECHO BLASTER and SKY BLASTER. ]

Red Ranger with dual blasters Red Ranger with dual blasters

LUKE (Red Ranger):
All right, guys, let's finish this.

[ The back portion of RED RANGER's ECHO BLASTER unfolds, and a barrel flips over the front of the blaster.  RED then holds out his SKY BLASTER and inserts the unfolded ECHO BLASTER into the rear of the SKY BLASTER, forming the ECHO ENFORCER. ]

Red Ranger forms Echo Enforcer Red Ranger forms Echo Enforcer Red Ranger forms Echo Enforcer Red Ranger forms Echo Enforcer Red Ranger forms Echo Enforcer Red Ranger forms Echo Enforcer Red Ranger forms Echo Enforcer

[ The five RANGERS ready and aim their rifle-like ECHO ENFORCERS. ]

Echo Enforcers ready Echo Enforcers ready Echo Enforcers ready Echo Enforcers ready Echo Enforcers ready

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Echo Enforcers!  Ready... aim...

[ GLUESTREAK grumbles while rising to his feet once more. ]

Gluestreak rises Gluestreak rises Gluestreak rises

GLUESTREAK:
All right, you guys are gonna --  Hey, what are you doing?

[ We zoom far out from RED RANGER as the five RANGERS fire their ECHO ENFORCERS, their flickering white beams merging into a single blast.  Once the camera is far away from the RANGERS, the blast flies into view in the form of a rolling sphere of red and white energy. ]

In retrospect, I see I forgot to have Luke say, "Fire!"

Echo Enforcer blast Echo Enforcer blast Echo Enforcer blast Echo Enforcer blast Echo Enforcer blast Echo Enforcer blast Echo Enforcer blast Echo Enforcer blast

Jetman reused this shot on several occasions, even though this location-specific background was actually appropriate in this episode only.  Other attack sequences avoided this problem by using a black background behind the Rangers.

[ The sphere strikes GLUESTREAK with a spark explosion.  He falls to his knees, crackling with blue and yellow electricity, and then finally explodes in a large fireball. ]

Gluestreak destroyed Gluestreak destroyed Gluestreak destroyed Gluestreak destroyed Gluestreak destroyed Gluestreak destroyed Gluestreak destroyed Gluestreak destroyed

[ Happily surprised, the RANGERS examine their ECHO ENFORCERS. ]

victory victory victory victory

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Whoa, these things are awesome!

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Effective, too.

[ Switch to US footage - DR. BERING smiles contently and picks up the silver case (now light-weight, apparently empty). ]

DR. BERING:
I'm glad you like them.

Too bad they'll be destroyed next episode.


[ INT. DARK LAIR - MAINFRAME lowers his head. ]

MAINFRAME:
Aww, man...

[ TRASK approaches. ]

TRASK:
Let me guess.  The Rangers destroyed your monster.

[ MAINFRAME has no response. ]

TRASK (cont'd, with a sigh):
Well, tell me he at least did a little damage to their Zords.

[ MAINFRAME rubs the back of his head. ]

MAINFRAME:
Well, the thing is... I kind of forgot to adjust the fractal matrix again...

TRASK:
Which means what exactly?

MAINFRAME:
He didn't grow.

As Gluestreak didn't grow in the sentai, I was originally planning to make some excuse about his superspeed interfering with the growth process, but the unexpected debut of a new biomass refiner gave me a better excuse: Mainframe just didn't have the settings right initially (also see episode 25).

[ TRASK sighs and turns away in disgust. ]


[ Break. ]


[ INT. TOMB - DR. BERING approaches the sarcophagus and bows respectfully.  The five helmetless RANGERS stand some distance behind her. ]

DR. BERING:
Thank you.  We're in your debt.

[ PETE turns to LISA. ]

PETE (whispering):
Where is he?

LISA (softly, perplexed):
I don't know.

CHRIS (at a normal tone):
He's shy.

When I wrote this episode, I originally expected that the ghost had passed on at this point, but I prefer the outcome seen in episode 40: he's still around, and he'll rest when he finds Ninjor.  I guess that means he just felt no need to show his face at this point.

LISA (to Luke):
Seriously, Luke, his suit looked just like yours.  Well, sort of...

[ Done paying her respects, DR. BERING returns to the RANGERS. ]

LUKE (to Dr. Bering):
Do you think that ancient Red Ranger inspired all of our bird-related stuff?

I was satisfied just posing the question for the audience to muse over, but actually, I expected that Zordon or Alpha had somehow caught sight of the Red Ranger as he was peering into their dimension, and that this had inspired the bird themes of the technology given to Project Jetman.

DR. BERING:
It's possible.  We may never know for sure.

So don't expect an answer.  That's the last I'll be addressing it.

PETE:
So how'd you two fix the Echo Blasters so fast, anyway?

[ DR. BERING groans self-consciously. ]

DR. BERING:
Oh, don't make me say it...  (blushing) I added an inhibitor as a safety measure when we first assembled the blasters.  That was what was interfering with the power flow.

CASEY:
So all you had to do was take out a part?

DR. BERING (with resignation):
Yes.  Clearly sometimes less is more.

[ A realization slowly dawns on DR. BERING. ]

DR. BERING (cont'd):
Wait a minute...  (then, excited)  I just thought of something.  I'll see you guys.

[ DR. BERING presses a button concealed on the inner side of her wristband.  She teleports with greenish-silver vertical streaks. ]

[ Alone in the tomb, the five RANGERS look at one another awkwardly.  LISA then looks up at the hole above. ]

Dr. Bering can be a bit absent-minded when she's engrossed in her work.  Here, she forgets to bring the Rangers out of the tomb.

Incidentally, in my series bible I note that this excavation site was located in Kittitas County, Washington.


[ EXT. NEWS OFFICE (LATE AFTERNOON) - We see the outside of a news building displaying the logo of Channel 6. ]

This is the first appearance of the Channel 6 news office, though Stacy Keene has appeared in a number of previous episodes.


[ INT. NEWS OFFICE - Behind a desk at a TV news office, STACY KEENE is sitting at a computer (appropriate for 1992) navigating menu screens of some sort, perhaps a gopher system, when her phone rings.  She disinterestedly presses a button and picks up the receiver. ]

STACY KEENE:
This is Stacy.  (listens, then startled) The Blue Ranger?!  (skeptically) What is this, a joke?  (listens further)  No, I'll be there.

The worldwide web isn't widely available in 1992, as Netscape Navigator hasn't yet been released.

We don't know how Jake got Stacy's direct phone number.

[ STACY hangs up, quickly logs out of her computer session, and departs after gathering a few items. ]


[ INT. OLD HOUSE (LATE AFTERNOON) - Now in different clothes, but still standing by the window of his aging house, JAKE hangs up the phone.  Freezeframe. ]

Obviously, this storyline is continued next episode.  I think of episodes 33 and 34 as the most closely intertwined pair of episodes, among Take Flight episodes not titled as two-parters.  Episodes 29 and 30 were also thoroughly connected, however.