Spoiler Warning: The commentary found here contains finale spoilers.  It also includes speculation toward a hypothetical sequel series.

POWER RANGERS TAKE FLIGHT

Episode 40: "All or Nothing, part 2"

This episode was completed on March 9, 2008, and released on December 6, 2008.  Its title reflects the two possible outcomes of this finale: either the Rangers prove victorious, or the Earth will be conquered.

Writer:  Joe Rovang

[ This episode uses a small assortment of sentai footage, but all sources are indicated. ]

Some Power Rangers finales are exclusively US, while others are combinations of sentai and US elements; Take Flight is similar in structure to Power Rangers Turbo (1997), in which a sentai battle plays a pivotal role in the first part of the finale, while the second is US-original.


[ Fade in to EXT. SPACE STATION - DILLIK'S SHIP (formerly Trask's ship) remains docked to the space station. ]

Most of this episode takes place on Monday, September 28, 1992, not long after the Gigazord battle (previous episode).

DR. BERING (voice-over):
Thanks for coming, Maggie.


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - In casual clothes, MAGGIE stands beside the other four helmetless RANGERS (Chris, Pete, Casey, and Lisa).  DR. BERING and DILLIK face them.  An AVIMORPHER is on MAGGIE's wrist. ]

DR. BERING (cont'd):
We needed a Red Ranger, and I think it's best I stay here to keep an eye on Mainframe.

Dr. Bering served as Red Ranger during the Zord battle in the previous episode, but I had trouble picturing her in a battle role outside of a cockpit, so I brought in Maggie to complete the team for this episode.

I originally considered "promoting" Chris to the role of Red Ranger, as I was intrigued by the idea of Maggie as a female Black Ranger.  Ultimately, though, I decided Maggie as Red was more palatable than Chris being anything other than Black.  Also, promoting Rangers to different colors is fairly pointless (you heard me, Power Rangers S.P.D.).

[ MAGGIE nods. ]

MAGGIE:
No problem.  I just have to remember I'm "Sky Hawk" now.

[ Then, conscious of the MORPHER on her wrist, MAGGIE subtly makes a soothing gesture toward it as if her words have nearly roused someone she doesn't want to wake. ]

I purposely had Maggie mention her new morphing code in a conversational tone after I'd noticed that Maggie spoke the phrase "Sky Swallow" in conversation in episode 2, yet in neither case did she morph.  (By repeating it intentionally, I felt like I was reclaiming what was originally an oversight and turning it into continuity.)

CASEY:
So, Dr. Bering, what are our options?

PETE:
Yeah, if you've got any Zords you haven't told us about, now would be a good time.

Knowledge of the Mega Kestrelzord and Battlezord was withheld from the Rangers for a time (see episodes 29 and 30).  Unfortunately, there are no additional Zords at this point.

[ DILLIK sneezes. ]

Dillik's allergies continue after his helmetless experience on Earth in the previous episode.  Simply included for continuity in previous episodes, his allergies will play a fairly important role in this episode.

[ DR. BERING shakes her head. ]

DR. BERING:
All we've got left is the Battlezord.

[ SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST appears in the monitor. ]

SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST (from monitor):
Doctor, the general wants to know how our fighter jets would do against the Cruiser.

The fighter jets are like the one seen in episode 3; they will make an appearance against giant Mainframe later.

[ DR. BERING turns to the monitor. ]

DR. BERING:
They'd get massacred.  What we need is --

[ On the monitor, SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST holds up a finger to pause her while a technician speaks with him.  SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST grows pale. ]

SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST (from monitor):
He's coming this way.

Now that Mainframe knows the Rangers' new frequencies (see previous episode), it's possible he triangulated the position of the Phoenix base simply through this communication with Special Agent Turnquist.

[ DR. BERING, the RANGERS, and MAGGIE take on a look of dread. ]


[ EXT. SKY (Jetman #32) - The KESTREL MEGA CRUISER fires its twin beams. ]

Pulsar Beams Pulsar Beams

Mainframe hijacked the Zords in the previous episode.


[ EXT. MILITARY BASE (US footage) - Bombarded with repeated beams, the base is ripped by explosions. ]

Prior to beginning to write the finale, I wasn't sure how I could destroy the Phoenix base (if at all)... a Nobot army, perhaps?  Fortunately, the answer was easy once events from part 1 led to Mainframe hijacking the Zords (and I realized the flexibility of the Kestrel Mega Cruiser's footage).


[ INT. LAB - The lab is shaken violently from repeated explosions nearby.  SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST and the technician attempt to man various stations. ]

[ GENERAL TAGGART staggers into the room amidst the shaking.  He barks to SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST. ]

GENERAL TAGGART:
Turnquist!  What's going on?

Taggart knew the Mega Cruiser had been hijacked, but had he not heard it was headed this way?  Odd.

SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST:
We're under fire, General.  I'm calling the Battlezord now.  (to the technician) Deploy the firing platform.


[ EXT. HANGAR - As flames burn in the background, a massive blue platform rolls out from an open hangar on enormous treads.  The platform possesses some sort of interlocking mechanism on top, as if something is supposed to attach there. ]

This is a firing platform designed to carry the Quad Cannon, finally revealing how the Battlezord was supposed to be useful without any other Zords or Megazords around: the Quad Cannon could simply combine with this platform, creating a tank with some pretty hefty firepower.  Sadly, the platform will be destroyed before it's ever shown in use (I also lacked any corresponding footage, unless I were to call for the creation of a US Quad Cannon prop).


[ EXT. SKY (Jetman #31) - The BATTLEZORD flies in and begins to do a barrel roll. ]

Battlezord flies in Battlezord flies in


[ INT. CRUISER COCKPIT (US footage) - MAINFRAME notices something off-screen and banks in that direction.  He then presses a button on his controls.  (The front glass remains cracked from the previous episode, as it will remain in all subsequent scenes.) ]

The front glass was cracked during the Gigazord battle (previous episode), specifically by the Gigazord's close-quarters steam breath attack.

MAINFRAME:
I don't think so!  Hyperspeed attack!


[ EXT. ANYWHERE (Jetman #32) - The KESTREL MEGA CRUISER retracts its wings. ]

Kestrel Mega Cruiser Kestrel Mega Cruiser


[ EXT. SKY (Jetman #31) - As the BATTLEZORD continues its roll, the gleaming green and yellow KESTREL MEGA CRUISER (compare with Jetman #32) streaks through the BATTLEZORD, ripping it apart with a shrapnel-spewing explosion (US effect). ]

Battlezord flies in Battlezord flies in Battlezord destroyed

Well, that sucks.  Now the Kestrelzord and Flyers are the only remaining Zords, and they're being piloted by Mainframe.

While Zords and Megazords have occasionally been hijacked or controlled by villains in Power Rangers, the only time hijacked Zords have played a pivotal role in a season finale (at the time of this writing) is in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue (2000).


[ INT. LAB - GENERAL TAGGART, SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST, and the technician gape at the monitor.  In it, we see debris staining the sky with curved trails of black smoke. ]


[ INT. CRUISER COCKPIT (US footage) - MAINFRAME is giddy as he banks to turn around. ]

MAINFRAME:
(laughs)  Where's your Battlezord now, humans?

Not to be confused with Edward G. Robinson's line in The Ten Commandments (1956): "Where's your Moses now?"  (A later Billy Crystal comedy sketch coined the even more memorable line, "Where's your Messiah now, Moses?")

[ MAINFRAME presses a thumb trigger. ]

I'm not sure why exactly Mainframe bothers to use the joysticks in the Zords, unless their unfamiliar inner workings are somehow daunting to command through his normal power of technopathy.


[ EXT. SKY (Jetman #32) - The KESTREL MEGA CRUISER's lasers continue. ]

Pulsar Beams Pulsar Beams


[ EXT. MILITARY BASE (US footage) - The base continues to be torn apart by explosions.  The blue treaded platform is struck with a direct hit and explodes. ]

Poor firing platform...


[ INT. LAB - As the shaking grows more intense, the room begins to fail structurally. ]

GENERAL TAGGART:
Turnquist, evacuate the base!

SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST (reluctantly):
Yes, sir.

[ They flee the room as the ceiling collapses. ]


[ EXT. VARIOUS EXITS - Personnel evacuate various areas of the base as explosions continue to rock the base.  SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST leads the evacuation efforts in one locale. ]

[ Meanwhile, the yellow-striped HOVERBIRD watches from above. ]


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - Watching the monitor (off-screen), DR. BERING appears stunned. ]

DR. BERING:
The Phoenix base has been destroyed.

Oh well, it's a finale.  Who didn't see it coming?

[ The RANGERS are visibly disturbed by the news.  LISA seems to search for some solution. ]

LISA:
Can't we... teleport him out of the Cruiser or something?

DR. BERING:
No, he's erected some sort of distortion field.  We can't lock on.  (rechecks the monitor and grows even more grim)  Rangers...

Plot contrivance.  But that would have been anticlimactic for sure if they'd been able to teleport him out.  (My original explanation was that he was moving too quickly for the teleporter to lock on, but this seemed flimsy.)

[ They listen anxiously. ]

[ DR. BERING turns to them. ]

DR. BERING (cont'd):
He's coming this way.

[ The HEROES and MAGGIE are alarmed.  DILLIK listens anxiously. ]

CASEY:
What?!  What are we going to do?

LISA (to Dr. Bering):
What about the station's electrical grid?

Ironically, the one Mainframe built to protect the station from the Rangers.  It was knocked offline by the Quad Cannon to allow the Skyforce Cruiser to approach the station in episode 32; Dr. Bering has apparently been using it for defensive purposes as well.

[ DR. BERING punches a command into the monitor. ]

DR. BERING:
It might've stopped the regular Cruiser, but I don't think it has a chance against the Mega Cruiser.

Slight contrivance as well, as the Quad Cannon had to be used to allow the Rangers safe passage in episode 32; the word "might" indicates the Skyforce Cruiser had a chance of penetrating the grid, but it probably wasn't worth the risk at the time.  The Kestrel Mega Cruiser now seems to have a greater chance of success, but even if there's some doubt as to its ability to break through, it's again not worth the risk to the Rangers and Dr. Bering.

[ As DR. BERING finishes, an alarm sounds throughout the station, and the command center doors seal shut.  The RANGERS, MAGGIE, and DILLIK look around. ]


[ INT. SPACE STATION, LIFE SUPPORT - Several officers working in Life Support are spontaneously teleported with greenish-silver vertical streaks. ]

I figured surely by now the space station would have an emergency evacuation procedure, courtesy of the teleporter.  It was also convenient for the story here.


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - DILLIK, the RANGERS, and MAGGIE appear confused. ]

DILLIK:
What are we doing?  Are we abandoning ship?

DR. BERING:
Not necessarily, but I've evacuated the crew as a precaution.  It's just us now.

MAGGIE:
All right, so if we don't want the station destroyed, what other options do we have?

DR. BERING:
There is the option of a self-destruct.

Not uncommon to Power Rangers, particularly in season finales.  Notably, the Rescue Megazord was blown up to destroy Goldgoyle in the finale of Power Rangers Turbo (1997), and the Astro Megaship was blown up to destroy Trakeena's ship in the finale of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy (1999); neither effort actually succeeded, and nor does the one in Take Flight.

At the time of this writing, self-destruct has not been used in conjunction with a hijacked Zord plot.

[ The RANGERS are alarmed. ]

CHRIS (incredulously):
Blow up the Zords?

DR. BERING:
It may be our only choice.

[ CHRIS ponders weightily. ]


[ Break. ]


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - After glancing at her monitor which counts down past 30 seconds, DR. BERING faces the RANGERS. ]

DR. BERING:
Thirty seconds 'til impact.  I need a decision.

At over 22,000 miles from Earth, the space station isn't a quick jaunt away.  If the Mega Cruiser can span the distance in roughly a minute, however (just speculation), then its speed would exceed 1.3 million miles per hour (or 0.2 percent of the speed of light).

[ CHRIS seems displeased with his options.  MAGGIE steps forward and places a hand on his arm while speaking mostly to DR. BERING. ]

MAGGIE:
Isn't there a way to teleport the Zords back to Earth?

DR. BERING:
The recall sequence!  Of course!  (nods confidently)  I think I can make it work.

I liked pulling stuff out of old episodes; it makes it look like they weren't just random contrivances at the time.  In this case, the recall sequence is from episode 28, when Project Phoenix teleported the Megazord (and Moleworm) back to Earth from inside the demon-eater.

CHRIS:
Let's do it.  (inwardly) We'll see how long it holds him off.


[ INT. CRUISER COCKPIT (US footage) - As we look out the viewscreen from Mainframe's perspective, outer space lights up with bluish-white streaks.  The streaks then give way to a shot of the ocean from above, the surface rising to meet the Cruiser at high speed. ]

[ MAINFRAME quickly recoils. ]

MAINFRAME:
What the--?!


[ EXT. OCEAN (US footage) - The gleaming greenish-yellow KESTREL MEGA CRUISER (compare with Jetman #32) streaks into the ocean from a nearly vertical angle.  It slips straight into the water with little ado, and its blue contrail quickly fades away. ]

A spaceship plunging into the ocean vaguely reminds me of Flight of the Navigator (1986).


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - PETE and CASEY are excited.  The others appear more apprehensive. ]

PETE:
All right!

CASEY:
It worked!

[ In DR. BERING's monitor, we see a diagram of the ocean as a red blip, formerly traveling down, slowly curves up to exit the ocean. ]

DR. BERING:
But not for long.  He's pulling up.

LISA:
Man, we could be doing this all day.

DR. BERING:
Until he figures out how to disable the recall command.

[ CHRIS ponders a moment and then speaks with conviction: ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
Blow it up.

As replacement leader, Chris makes the unsavory decision.

[ The other RANGERS and MAGGIE look amongst themselves apprehensively.  DR. BERING looks at them a moment, but, when nobody has any reply, she reluctantly turns to the controls. ]

DR. BERING:
Activating self-destruct sequence.

[ After pressing several buttons, she closes her eyes with a sigh and presses the final button. ]


[ INT. CRUISER COCKPIT (US footage) - MAINFRAME is holding the joysticks back, as if pulling up. ]

Again, not sure exactly why he has to use the joysticks, except that they help to clarify what he's doing without a surplus of Mega Cruiser footage to illustrate it from the outside.

MAINFRAME:
You'll never stop me, Rangers!


[ EXT. OCEAN (US footage) - We are looking down at the ocean waters as the KESTREL MEGA CRUISER (composite from Jetman #32) emerges from the water, traveling straight up.  (The waves below are to scale, as though the Cruiser is roughly 90 meters long.)  Just as the ship nears the camera, however, a tremendous explosion completely rips it apart (US effect). ]

Kestrel Mega Cruiser emerging from ocean (not shown: ocean) Kestrel Mega Cruiser emerging from ocean (not shown: ocean) Kestrel Mega Cruiser explodes

This shot takes some effort to visualize, in order to picture the Mega Cruiser rising from the ocean's surface on a vertical trajectory.  Fortunately, the potential is there, given the source footage of the Mega Cruiser heading toward the camera.  The explosion is then up to the US effects department, as was the Battlezord's destruction.  It would be a heck of a shot to see executed, I'm sure.

[ As the waters are sheared away in massive waves, flaming fragments of the Zords are flung across the ocean.  Fiery, watery chaos ensues. ]

[ Among the debris bombarding the water, a smoking JINNSECT hits the surface.  Its legs writhe as it slowly sinks. ]

Oh yeah, the Jinnsect...


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - DR. BERING blankly stares at the monitor (off-screen) for a moment.  She then utters: ]

DR. BERING:
It's done.

[ The RANGERS seem to have heavy hearts. ]

CHRIS:
Power down.

[ He reverts to his civilian clothes with a purple gleam. ]

PETE / CASEY / LISA:
Power down.

[ They revert with respective gleams as well. ]

Hey, look, Maggie wasn't even needed!  Oh, but wait, it's not over yet.


[ EXT. OCEAN (US footage) - As the prior mayhem subsides, some flaming debris floating in the water, we see a large source of yellow light glinting beneath the surface.  The water above bulges and ripples outward, as if from a pressure disruption (though not an explosion) below. ]

I originally considered omitting this shot, as I thought it might telegraph Mainframe's return too obviously.  But ultimately I felt the added sense of dread was worthwhile.


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - The HEROES shift awkwardly.  DILLIK's head is bowed. ]

CASEY:
Wow, I never thought it would end like this.

Me either, actually.  But then, I didn't have any specific finale plans in mind beyond using sentai footage of the Gigazord and Infernis (previous episode).

[ A swirling mass of translucent bluish-white light appears in the center of the room.  The HEROES, DILLIK, and DR. BERING look on cautiously. ]

The demon-eater is still hanging around since absorbing Infernis in the previous episode.  It now sends its regards.  Unfortunately, it will be of little help against giant Mainframe.

[ The light speaks with a somewhat eery, reverse-echoed voice. ]

LIGHT:
Rangers, I am sorry for your loss.  You have fought admirably.

[ MAGGIE looks to the others. ]

MAGGIE:
Who...?

[ The others have no answer for her. ]

LIGHT:
I wish to thank you for your efforts to rescue me from Moleworm.

MAGGIE (softly, to herself):
Oh, the demon-eater.

The demon-eater incident occurred in episode 28, shortly before Maggie's retirement (episode 31).

LIGHT:
Since then, I have recovered my strength, and I will now return to my breeding grounds.  Please rest assured that Infernis will not bother you again.

CHRIS:
Hey, thanks for your help.  I don't know what we would've done without you.

CASEY:
Yeah.

LIGHT:
You are welcome.  And now I have one final question.  Before I go, shall I cleanse the Earth of its lingering spirits?

When I mulled over the continuity established in episode 28, I realized that the demon-eater, if it ever returned in good health, might be tempted to cleanse the Earth of its spirits, as its kind had done to previous worlds.  This posed a problem for future series (if any were ever written): would no future plots ever involve ancient Earthen spirits?  Could nothing be haunted ever again (except by fresh ghosts which arose after 1992)?  That seemed like an unpleasant scenario in terms of plot potential, so I was happy to have the demon-eater ask first, and the Rangers would decide against it.

Another complication to the demon-eater's possible purge of Earth, beyond mere plot potential, was the spirit of the ancient Red Ranger from episode 33; prior to this episode, his fate wasn't resolved, but if the demon-eater purged the planet, then there was no way he could return (if he wasn't absorbed by the demon-eater, he must have already passed on beforehand).  Later, once I realized I might be including his spirit in the finale, I originally placed the demon-eater's farewell after Mainframe's destruction, such that the ancient Red Ranger was around to personally request that the demon-eater not eat him.  That was a bit awkward, so I placed the farewell here to keep their scenes from intersecting; I find the decision not to purge the planet was more meaningful this way anyway.

[ The HEROES and DR. BERING look at one another, surprised by the question. ]

CHRIS:
Uhh... wow.

PETE:
You're talking about exorcising the entire planet?

Incidentally, this dilemma wasn't especially relevant to events in the finale, but rather it seemed like something which needed addressing with the demon-eater back in town (and the demon-eater seemed like the only plausible way to eradicate Infernis using the footage available).

[ They ponder.  DILLIK listens carefully. ]

CASEY:
Well, are ghosts usually harmful?  I don't think they are...

Very early plans for Take Flight involved Casey (or "unnamed Pink Ranger," I should say) befriending a ghost mid-season after having suspected most every building she visited of being haunted prior to that point.  That plot was abandoned well before episode 1 was written, however.

LISA:
What about the ancient Red Ranger?  He might still be around, searching for his mentor.  He's not a bad guy.

CHRIS:
Maggie?

MAGGIE:
Jeez, um...  Well, I guess it's not fair to lock them away in the demon-eater if they're not hurting anybody.  They just need closure, right?

Maggie's observation brings up an interesting question: is it unfair of the demon-eaters to gobble up restless spirits as energy sources when all some of them need is mere closure?  Perhaps some are lost causes who could never be satisfied, but surely not all are.  I find this leaves the demon-eaters as morally ambiguous entities, despite the help this one has provided to the Rangers.

Originally, Maggie rebuffed Chris's question by noting she didn't even believe in spirits until the demon-eater incident, but I felt it would be safer to omit this sentiment, given that she was all too eager to regard Trask as a vampire in episode 2; that doesn't seem like the trait of a hardcore skeptic.

[ CHRIS ponders.  He then addresses the swirling light. ]

CHRIS:
All right, we're gonna pass.

[ He looks to the others, and they nod in support, including DR. BERING. ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
Yeah.  But thanks for the offer.

[ The light begins to disintegrate.  Meanwhile, an alert tone is heard, though it is muffled by the sounds of the dissolving apparition. ]

LIGHT:
Very well.  Farewell, Rangers.

[ It is gone. ]

[ The HEROES and DR. BERING look at one another in stunned silence.  The alert tone then sounds again, getting their attention.  DR. BERING presses a button on the wall.  In the monitor appears an image of the harbor as MAINFRAME slowly rises from the water in giant size, the height of a skyscraper. ]

[ The HEROES gape at the monitor, some of them growing pale. ]

[ PETE chuckles with weary disbelief. ]

PETE (wearily):
Oh, look at that.  He's got a Jinnsect in him.

It requires some suspension of disbelief to accept that the Rangers failed to notice the Jinnsect during their previous encounters with Mainframe (particularly, episodes 35 and 39; Lisa's encounter in episode 29 probably shouldn't count against her).

[ DILLIK clenches his fist in the air out of frustration. ]

DILLIK:
Darn it!  I knew there was something I forgot to mention!

That Dillik...


[ EXT. CITY (US footage) - MAINFRAME steps out of the harbor and enters the city.  He speaks with a deep, booming voice. ]

MAINFRAME:
I'm back, Rangers!  You don't stand a chance!

[ Then, from his hands he projects a number of techno-organic tendrils which embed themselves into the city. ]

MAINFRAME (cont'd):
Now, your city is my playground!

When I was pondering what future the finale might hold for Spring Valley, I was open to the idea of utter devastation, or perhaps the total transformation of the city into a single giant machine.  Fortunately for its citizens, I decided to tone it down a bit.


[ EXT. CITY STREET - A MOTORIST is trying to pay a parking meter when the meter transforms to reveal a robotic mouth which snaps at the MOTORIST.  She startles and looks around as parking meters all down the street transform as well. ]

[ Nearby, a driver begins to pull out from a parking deck as the exit gate is raised.  Just then, however, the gate apparatus transforms, its gate becoming a sharp blade resembling an oversized sword.  The blade swings down and chops into the passing car's hood, causing the driver to panic.  The blade then lifts and begins chopping repeatedly at high speed, like a chef chopping food.  The driver exits his car with a shriek and flees on foot. ]


[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - CHRIS steels himself. ]

CHRIS:
Well, let's do this.  It's morphing time.

A final throw-back to the early seasons of Power Rangers.

[ As DR. BERING and DILLIK look on with concern, the five HEROES turn away from the monitor and ready their MORPHERS. ]

[ CHRIS calls into his MORPHER: ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
Sky Condor!

[ We see purple energy forming the BLACK RANGER suit around him in slow motion. ]

The slow motion morphs were a nod to a reader in a certain Power Ranger forum who requested that more traditional morph sequences appear at least once in Take Flight; I had previously opted against morph sequences because I found them unnecessary and a disruption of the story flow, but I was willing to make one exception here.  It may or may not be seen as indulgent, but I didn't see a great deal of harm in catering to people who like that sort of thing.  Unfortunately for hypothetical viewers who like to collect images or video clips of morph sequences, the series would lack extended sequences for Blue Ranger Maggie and Red Ranger Luke (also Yellow Ranger Steve from episode 8, Pink Ranger Lisa from episode 16, and Red Ranger Dr. Bering from episodes 31 and 39).

[ PETE calls into his MORPHER: ]

PETE:
Sky Owl!

[ Yellow energy transforms him into the YELLOW RANGER in slow motion. ]

[ CASEY calls into her MORPHER: ]

CASEY:
Sky Swan!

[ Pink energy transforms her into the PINK RANGER in slow motion. ]

[ LISA calls into her MORPHER: ]

LISA:
Sky Swallow!

[ Blue energy transforms her into the BLUE RANGER in slow motion. ]

[ After glancing aside to concentrate, MAGGIE calls into her MORPHER: ]

MAGGIE:
Sky Hawk!

Clearly, Maggie is used to using the phrase "Sky Swallow" to morph, so she has to concentrate briefly to say "Sky Hawk" instead.  At least she didn't call out the wrong phrase, as Pete did in episode 1 (and as happened several times in my satirical comic book Apathy Rangers).

[ Red energy transforms her into the RED RANGER (feminine variation) in slow motion. ]


[ EXT. ROOFTOP - The five RANGERS materialize on a rooftop from respectively-colored streaks.  RED RANGER remains female, in Maggie's stature.  In the distance, they watch as the titanic MAINFRAME continues to embed tendrils into the city. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Oh no...

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Look at him!  He's huge!

LISA (Blue Ranger):
How are we supposed to stop him without any Zords?

That is quite a pickle, I must admit.  It took me a while to figure out a means for them to destroy him without making it appear that Zords were generally unnecessary.

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
We try the Battle Enforcers.  (extending his fist) Battlizers, power up!

[ RED RANGER admires her BATTLIZER, as the RANGERS each possesses one on his or her wrist. ]

MAGGIE (Red Ranger):
Wow, fancy.

The upgraded Battlizers debuted in episode 38, well after Maggie had stepped down.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Yeah, and the Battle Bird can fly off and hit stuff.

[ YELLOW detaches his BATTLE BIRD. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger, cont'd):
But for right now, do this!

[ YELLOW inserts the BATTLE BIRD into his SKY BLASTER, forming the BATTLE ENFORCER. ]

This is the first time the Battle Enforcer's assembly is shown, even though the blasters appeared in episode 39.

[ The five RANGERS ready their BATTLE ENFORCERS.  BLACK RANGER stands in center. ]

Chris serves as the team's leader despite not being the Red Ranger.  A similar scenario was featured in the sentai series Megaranger (1997), wherein MegaBlack was the de facto leader despite MegaRed's central role in battle; when that series was adapted for Power Rangers in Space, however, Red Ranger Andros was the leader (despite some awkward sentai footage wherein Black Ranger Carlos was especially assertive; this might have been less akward if T.J., the previous season's leader, had been Black Ranger rather than Blue).

RANGERS (in unison):
Battle Enforcers!

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Ready!

[ The RANGERS aim at the distant giant. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger, cont'd):
Fire!

[ They fire, and their Ranger-colored beams combine into a swirling red and gold sphere which flies toward the distant MAINFRAME. ]

The swirling red and gold sphere was just my attempt at a variation on the combined blast of the Echo Enforcers, a rolling red and white sphere.

[ The blast strikes MAINFRAME in the chest, causing a burst of sparks.  He staggers aside slightly with a grunt but otherwise remains unharmed and connected to the city with his tendrils. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Jeez!  It didn't even make a dent!

You see?  This is why you need Zords.  (Don't pay any attention to Eric's defeat of giant Conwing using his Mega Battle armor in the Power Rangers Time Force episode "Quantum Secrets."  Or Tommy's defeat of giant Goldenrod with his Brachio Staff in the Power Rangers Dino Thunder episode "Golden Boy."  Or Mack's unmorphed defeat of giant Vulturus with the Excelsior sword in the Power Rangers Operation Overdrive episode "Once a Ranger, part 2."  Darn it, Power Rangers, stop doing that!)

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
All right, let's split up and try to get his attention.  Maybe we can get him to disengage or something.

MAGGIE (Red Ranger):
Wait, split up?  Is that such a good idea?

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Well, it's better than one big hand-sized target, right?

MAGGIE (Red Ranger):
Hmm, good point.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Let's do it, guys.

[ The RANGERS set out. ]


[ EXT. DOWNTOWN - On the street below, PINK RANGER runs up and waves her arms wildly to the giant monster above (off-screen).  Her weapons are put away, and her Battlizer is gone. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Hey, Mainframe!  Down here, you big bag of bolts!

This was exactly how Casey got giant Busster's attention in episode 6.

[ MAINFRAME looks down. ]

[ Meanwhile, PINK RANGER is absently pondering to herself. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger, cont'd):
You know, this seems kind of familiar...

[ MAINFRAME lifts his massive foot.  It hovers over PINK RANGER, casting a shadow over her, as she looks up. ]

This was Busster's response as well.

CASEY (Pink Ranger, cont'd):
Oh yeah!

[ PINK leaps aside just in time to avoid being crushed by his massive foot, which shakes the ground mightily and sends a cloud of dust radiating from the impact site. ]

[ PINK RANGER rolls back onto her feet and dashes off while MAINFRAME still appears interested in her. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger, cont'd):
This is a lot easier with Zords.


[ EXT. ROOFTOP - BLACK RANGER takes a running leap off a skyscraper's rooftop. ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #2) - BLACK RANGER opens his wings. ]

Black Ranger opens wings Black Ranger opens wings

[ His wings extended, BLACK RANGER glides toward the giant MAINFRAME as the monster continues to look down around his feet. ]

[ BLACK RANGER lands on the giant Jinnsect embedded in MAINFRAME's shoulder.  BLACK draws his TALON SWORD from his sheath, grips it with two hands and points the blade downward, and then finally plunges it into the Jinnsect's hard surface. ]

This is what Chris was fantasizing about doing to a giant monster in episode 18, following his failed attack on giant Hoser prior to the Megazord's arrival in episode 17.  At the time those episodes were written, I had no plans of revisiting that subject, but I found it relevant here.  Too bad it doesn't do much, though.

[ MAINFRAME roars in pain and swings his massive hand across his body to swat at BLACK RANGER.  BLACK leaps off just in time, but his TALON SWORD remains embedded in the Jinnsect.  MAINFRAME's hand rubs across his shoulder, snapping off the exposed portion of the TALON SWORD with little difficulty. ]

That's it for Chris's Talon Sword for the finale, but it could have been replaced at a later date.


[ EXT. ROOFTOP - Now lacking his TALON SWORD (and throughout the remainder of the episode), BLACK RANGER lands clumsily on a rooftop and rolls. ]

[ RED RANGER joins him, her BATTLIZER on her right hand. ]

MAGGIE (Red Ranger):
I should've known you'd try something like that.  Battle Bird, fire!

In episode 18, Maggie asked Chris about his attempted attack on giant Hoser, wondering what he thought he was going to do without a Zord.

Maggie is a quick study; she's already using the Battle Bird after Pete's brief introduction.

[ RED RANGER fires her BATTLE BIRD, whose wings immediately extend. ]

[ The BATTLE BIRD glows with red energy and streaks around MAINFRAME, confusing him.  It finally comes around his head and embeds itself into his eye.  He growls and clutches his eye. ]

Nice distraction, but you won't destroy him that way.

[ Just then, DILLIK'S SHIP swoops by, blasting MAINFRAME with its blue laser pulses, though they are ineffective.  MAINFRAME swats his arm angrily through the air but hits nothing. ]

Dillik plays an important role shortly, but for now, his ship's lasers are of little use.


[ INT. VILLAIN COCKPIT - DILLIK is at the controls. ]

DILLIK:
I've got your backs, Rangers!


[ EXT. ROOFTOP (ELSEWHERE) - YELLOW RANGER runs up to the ledge of a building, carrying an air conditioning unit over his head.  He hurls it mightily. ]

This is a variation on Yellow Ranger's tendency to throw boulders in the sentai.

[ The relatively tiny unit bounces off MAINFRAME's giant head as he's tentatively releasing his hand from his eye.  He turns to look in YELLOW RANGER's direction. ]

[ YELLOW RANGER shrugs innocently. ]

[ MAINFRAME retracts his tendrils and stalks toward YELLOW RANGER's building. ]

Kudos, Pete, you've succeeded in getting him to disengage.

[ YELLOW RANGER backs up anxiously. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Uh oh.

[ Now close to his building, MAINFRAME swings his hand to swat YELLOW RANGER, but YELLOW leaps aside.  The hand crashes onto the rooftop, crushing part of it beneath the force of the blow. ]

For a while, I considered having Pete find himself in a darkened portion of a building after one of these rooftop encounters, and Lisa was to use her Hoverbird's night vision to lead him out before Mainframe's tendrils got to them.  Then I ditched the idea.

[ YELLOW RANGER rolls aside and listens to a voice in his ear. ]

CASEY (voice-over):
Uhh, guys?  I think I found something weird down here.

[ MAINFRAME lifts his hand again and clenches it into a fist.  He then slams it down where YELLOW stands, but YELLOW leaps off the building just in time. ]


[ EXT. ALLEY - PINK RANGER is examining something ahead of her (off-screen) when YELLOW RANGER falls from above and crashes into a dumpster.  He climbs out and casually brushes himself off. ]

This crash-landing could be seen as an homage to Pete's rough landings in the beginning of the series.  Actually, though, it just reflected his hasty exit from the rooftop above, and the fact that he didn't have time to open his wings and orient himself properly.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Oh, hey, Casey.  (taken aback)

I liked his casual approach in the middle of such a harrowing moment.  A little humor's okay, even in a time like this, I thought.

[ In front of them is a long row of pod-like machines extending down the alley.  Each seems cobbled together from car parts and other machines. ]

Mainframe constructed these Nobot assembly pods while he was controlling the city's machinery.

PETE (Yellow Ranger, cont'd):
Whoa, what are those?

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
I dunno, but --  Huh?

[ She is interrupted as the pods simultaneously open with a hiss of air.  From within each emerges a look-alike of LUKE (dressed in his clothes from episode 1). ]

The Luke disguise is Mainframe's attempt to get the Rangers off-guard, having noticed Luke was absent.  They are wearing Luke's clothes from episode 1 because this was the first image of Luke which Mainframe ran across in his internal video archives (see the end of episode 1).

[ PINK and YELLOW startle. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
What the heck?!

[ The other RANGERS join them and are equally alarmed. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
What is this?!

[ The LUKES turn and begin to approach. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger, anxiously):
I don't know!  They all just popped out of those pods!

[ Above, giant MAINFRAME giggles amusedly while peeking down into the narrow alleyway. ]

Conveniently, the alley is too narrow for giant Mainframe to reach the Rangers below (unless you consider his tendrils), so he just has to sit tight for a little bit.

[ BLUE RANGER cocks her head suspiciously at the LUKES. ]

LISA (Blue Ranger):
Wait a minute...

[ She double-twists her left wrist, causing her MORPHER to appear in her wrist with a blue gleam.  She then presses the lower right MORPHER button, and her HOVERBIRD promptly appears over her shoulder. ]

LISA (Blue Ranger):
Infrared.

[ We see through the Hoverbird's camera as the image switches to a thermal image of the relatively cool alley.  Where the Lukes stood, however, there are now NOBOTS. ]

I was glad to work in a use of the Hoverbirds' new voice-activated thermography, but I barely got it in before the series ended.

[ BLUE RANGER double-twists her wrist again, dispelling her MORPHER. ]

LISA (Blue Ranger, cont'd):
I thought so.  Visor off.

[ We see through Blue Ranger's visor as she stares down the approaching LUKES.  The visor goes black, but a corner image expands into the Hoverbird's thermal image of the NOBODIES (from its vantage point over her shoulder). ]

[ RED RANGER looks to BLUE. ]

MAGGIE (Red Ranger):
What are you doing?

I also desperately wanted to work in the use of the visor-disabling technique which seemed a bit random in episode 31 (beyond simply accounting for Blue's apparent blindness in the sentai footage).  In fact, this was the basis for the entire Luke-alike Nobot sequence: simply to give Lisa a chance to blind herself again.

And just in case it's not apparent here, Lisa doesn't think she could pummel the image of Luke effectively, so she switches over to strictly thermographic view, wherein she can pummel the Nobots with a clean conscience.  I liked Lisa not explaining herself here, though, because she was arguably the most private and secretive of the Rangers (a role held by Chris until he began dating Casey).  The audience will also not receive an overt explanation of her later decision not to join Luke on New Vampiria.

[ Without a response, BLUE RANGER springs into action.  The LUKES attack, but she pummels them all with punches and kicks. ]

[ The other RANGERS look on, apparently puzzled. ]

[ Above, giant MAINFRAME objects. ]

MAINFRAME:
Hey, no fair!

[ The last of the LUKES falls to BLUE RANGER's fists.  The LUKES now lie in a writhing heap at her feet.  Their holograms fade, revealing short-circuiting NOBOTS. ]

[ BLUE RANGER suddenly looks to the others. ]

LISA (Blue Ranger):
Oh, shoot.  Run!!

Oh right, the exploding part.

[ No sooner than BLUE reaches the others and they begin to turn, the pile of NOBOTS explodes in a massive fireball.  As the wall of fire reaches the RANGERS, however, it pours around them as a white barrier (see episode 24) is seen shielding them.  They stop, puzzled, as the explosion rips through the alley but leaves them untouched. ]

Guess who!


[ EXT. ROOFTOP - Above, giant MAINFRAME is hunched over the buildings which line the alley.  He leans his head back as the flames briefly shoot up from the nook below. ]

[ As the flames subside, the giant catches sight of seven figures in front of him, on the rooftop opposite him.  The figures include the MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS (see episode 24), including the GREEN RANGER with his DRAGON SHIELD.  (Their body frames now match Thadian physiology, with the exception of GREEN RANGER, whose body is shaped like the original reptilian generals.)  Also with them is LUKE, dressed in all white. ]

Ever since completing episode 24, I had hopes of bringing the new Thadian Rangers to Earth near the end of the series, but I couldn't figure out what would bring them here on such short notice.  Luke and Garavan (see episode 38) provided the perfect means for them to come.

Looks like Janos has managed to keep his powers and avoid incarceration by the Thadians, despite his previous crimes against them (see episodes 23 and 24).

Luke is in clothes given to him by Garavan, even though he was only stranded in that dimension for roughly 24 hours.

[ Giant MAINFRAME is startled by the sight. ]

MAINFRAME:
What...??

[ As LUKE stands by, the six MMPR hold their hands together, generating a glimmering emblem in front of them.  In it, a red triangle is set upside-down within a blue triangle, and this is surrounded with a golden ring (compare with "Big Sisters").  The MMPR then throw their hands forward, sending the emblem shooting forward, rotating as it travels. ]

This attack is a replica of the Tower Formation blast performed in the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993).  Technically, it was always performed with the Rangers' Blade Blasters in MMPR, but I bent the rules here to allow them to use a new attack not featured in episodes 23 or 24.

[ The emblem strikes giant MAINFRAME between the eyes, causing him to jerk back with a yelp as a spark explosion erupts from his head.  (He may be more surprised than hurt.) ]

Presumably the blast would have done no more damage to Mainframe than the Battle Enforcers' prior blast; though there are six Thadian Rangers here, the Battle Enforcers are quite potent in their own right.


[ EXT. ALLEY - We initially see bright white, yellow, and orange blotches through Blue Ranger's visor.  We hear LISA's voice at close quarters, as though we share her helmet with her. ]

Lisa's Hoverbird is temporarily blinded by the residual heat from the Nobots' explosion.  Originally, I wrote that the explosion had apparently destroyed her Hoverbird, but then I remembered that the same Hoverbird had survived being inside giant Hammersham when he was destroyed (episode 28), so surely it would have survived this blast!

LISA (voice-over):
Visor on.

[ The brightness shrinks away into the corner, and the black visor image comes to life, revealing the alley.  LUKE and the six MMPR are standing in front of her. ]

[ BLUE RANGER startles.  The other RANGERS look on in apparent wonder. ]

LISA (Blue Ranger, cont'd):
Luke!

[ BLUE RANGER clenches her fist warily and takes a step back. ]

LISA (Blue Ranger, cont'd, skeptically):
Is it really you?

Or just one more Nobot I have to thrash?

[ LUKE chuckles softly.  We hear distant explosions in the background, almost unnoticeable. ]

The Air Force is keeping Mainframe busy.

LUKE:
Yeah, it's me.  I think Garavan fried his spanner getting us all here.  That's AFTER sending me to Thadia.  But anyway... here we are.

In case there's any confusion, Garavan sent Luke to Thadia (the one in episodes 23 and 24, not one in Garavan's dimension), then he teleported the seven of them (and the Thadians' ship, seen below) to Earth.

[ The MMPR remove their helmets, revealing their identities (see episodes 23 and 24). ]

[ We see RED MMPR is DRASCANE, a Thadian. ]

LUKE (cont'd, off-screen):
You guys remember Drascane, with the Thadian civil patrol...

Only seen at the end of episode 24.  The civil patrol is analogous to a non-military police force; presumably Drascane was a relatively honorable officer, not particularly corrupt or cruel.

[ BLACK MMPR is WELTAR, another Thadian. ]

LUKE (cont'd, off-screen):
Weltar, of the Generot tribe...

Only seen at the end of episode 24.  These location names were all made up for this episode.  As for the Generot tribe, they live in an icy environment.

[ BLUE MMPR is TYSO, still another Thadian. ]

LUKE (cont'd, off-screen):
Tyso, of the the Nabas League...

Only seen at the end of episode 24.  Nabas, incidentally, is the island nation offered to Janos by the corrupt generals.

[ PINK MMPR is CERITHENA, Thadian as well. ]

LUKE (cont'd, off-screen):
Cerithena, of Shiku Prime...

Only seen at the end of episode 24.  Shiku Prime is the town visited by the Earth Rangers.

[ YELLOW MMPR is DAIRU, likewise Thadian. ]

LUKE (cont'd, off-screen):
Dairu, of the Eastern Rebels...

Dairu treated Pete's toothache in episode 23.  At one point prior to writing episode 23, I considered a potential romance between Pete and Dairu.

[ GREEN MMPR is JANOS, the reptilian general. ]

LUKE (cont'd, off-screen):
And Janos, reformed general of the Lendei Guard.

Janos was the sixth member of the corrupt alien generals who terrorized the Thadians, but he was thrown into a dungeon after his comrades found five Power Coins and overpowered him.  Now he seems to have reformed, and he was given the Dragon Coin when the Earth Rangers left Thadia.

[ RED RANGER waves bashfully.  (The distant explosions continue.) ]

MAGGIE (Red Ranger):
Wow...  Hey, guys.

[ YELLOW RANGER touches his fingers behind his right jaw. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Remove.

[ His helmet vanishes with a yellow gleam, revealing PETE's head. ]

[ The others do the same, dispelling their helmets.  (LISA's and MAGGIE's hair tumbles out from behind their heads once their helmets disappear, while CASEY's and CHRIS's are short enough not to be affected substantially.) ]

I thought the hair-spilling would be a nice touch (and fun to see in action), though it begs the question of how the hair is put up in the first place.

[ Helmetless PETE approaches DAIRU. ]

PETE (cont'd):
Dairu...  You're the one who fixed my tooth...

[ DAIRU smiles with dawning understanding. ]

DAIRU:
Yes... tooth.

[ PETE smiles in return. ]

PETE:
You do fine work.

[ DAIRU appears not to understand.  PETE instead gives a thumbs-up. ]

PETE (cont'd):
Good.  Very good.

[ Now seeming to understand, DAIRU smiles again humbly. ]

The Thadians still aren't especially fluent in English.

[ LUKE, meanwhile, looks to MAGGIE. ]

LUKE:
Nice job, Red Ranger.

[ MAGGIE smirks bashfully. ]

MAGGIE:
Power down.

[ MAGGIE's RED RANGER suit disappears with a red gleam.  She then removes her MORPHER and hands it to him. ]

MAGGIE (cont'd):
Why don't you go ahead and have it?

[ LUKE takes it with a respectful nod. ]

Luke will now be the third user of this Morpher in the finale.

[ We hear another explosion, somewhat louder.  PETE listens. ]

PETE:
Man, what is that sound?


[ EXT. CITY STREET - MAGGIE, LUKE, the four helmetless RANGERS, and six helmetless MMPR emerge from the alley, their eyes on the action above (off-screen). ]

[ Some distance away, giant MAINFRAME tries to swat a series of missiles which strike his chest with sizable explosions (though he is essentially unharmed).  Two fighter jets (compare with episode 3) then roar overhead and break away from each other. ]

A jet just like these was turned into Wing King in episode 3.


[ INT. JET COCKPIT - In one of the cockpits is HENDERSON (see episode 3). ]

HENDERSON:
We're not even scratching him!

Henderson was the pilot of said jet in episode 3; he ejected safely at the time.


[ INT. JET COCKPIT 2 - In a similar cockpit is LANCE (see episode 32). ]

LANCE:
Rangers, Hutchins here.  If you have a plan, now would be a good time to use it!

I wanted Lance to play an heroic role in the finale to redeem him after his not-so-spectacular stint as the Blue Ranger in episode 31.  I initially considered having him help evacuate the Phoenix base, but I felt Special Agent Turnquist had that covered.  When I needed jet pilots here, though, I was happy to use Lance in this role.


[ EXT. CITY STREET - CHRIS looks to LUKE. ]

CHRIS:
Well...?

[ LUKE looks up in a different direction.  From the sky descends DILLIK'S SHIP, and dangling from it in chains is the massive broken tip of the Phoenix Blade (see previous episode).  Its dimensions are roughly 40 feet by nine feet. ]

Luke has apparently been in contact with Dillik to coordinate this plan of attack.

I was quite stumped as to how to destroy giant Mainframe (even with the Thadian Rangers present, as they didn't have any Zords).  At one point, I even considered using footage of the flying fortress from Liveman, but my major objection there was that that would leave no purpose for Megazord battles in a possible sequel series if that ship could destroy monsters with its lasers.  Finally, I remembered the broken sword fragment from the previous episode (the whereabouts of the rest of the Phoenix Blade aren't known).

I estimated the fragment's dimensions from the sentai close-up of its fall to Earth beside a few parked cars (previous episode).  It's one big piece of metal!

[ DILLIK's voice is broadcast from the descending ship. ]

DILLIK (from ship):
Hey, Luke, I got it!

[ LISA, MAGGIE, and the three RANGERS look at LUKE in confusion. ]

LUKE:
It's the tip of the Phoenix Blade.  I watched your battle against the Gigazord.

[ LISA tries to make sense of the sight. ]


[ EXT. SKY - The five RANGERS and six MMPR are all standing on the massive blade fragment as it cuts through the air beneath DILLIK'S SHIP on a flight over the city.  Each Ranger is helmeted and holding a chain for stability.  The RED RANGER is now back to his masculine form. ]

DILLIK (from ship):
We're getting close, Rangers!

[ Up ahead is the giant MAINFRAME.  The two fighter jets fly by in the opposite direction, leaving MAINFRAME's location. ]


[ INT. JET COCKPIT 2 - LANCE clenches his fist as he glances out his canopy. ]

LANCE:
Good luck, guys!


[ EXT. SKY - RED RANGER crouches down and places both hands on the metallic surface beneath him. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
This is it, guys!  Let's do it!

[ The other ten Rangers crouch and place their hands on the metal as well. ]


[ EXT. CITY - Giant MAINFRAME looks into the distance. ]

MAINFRAME:
Oh, this should be quaint.

[ MAINFRAME uproots a building beside him and readies it as a shield.  It transforms, coating itself with metal to form an actual shield. ]

That's kind of an interesting spin on Mainframe's powers, I thought.

MAINFRAME (cont'd):
Do your worst, Rangers.


[ INT. VILLAIN COCKPIT - DILLIK presses a button on his controls. ]

DILLIK:
Flooding the Jinnsects' audio frequency... (presses) ...now.


[ EXT. CITY - A shrill squealing sound suddenly begins, causing MAINFRAME to writhe in pain.  He drops his shield. ]

MAINFRAME:
(yells in pain)  What is that sound?!

I found it appealing to incorporate seemingly forgotten tidbits from earlier in the series into the finale.  Here, Dillik is exploiting the ability of Jinnsect monsters to receive broadcasts over a certain frequency (see episodes 8 and 16); his blaring broadcast here is overwhelming enough to lower Mainframe's guard.


[ INT. VILLAIN COCKPIT - DILLIK nods. ]

DILLIK:
His guard's down!  Here we go!


[ EXT. SKY - RED RANGER begins to glow with red energy.  This energy then radiates out through his hands and into the metal beneath him. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Focus, guys!

The ability to charge objects with their Ranger energies reminds me of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers for some reason, but clearly the Rangers of Take Flight have the ability as well, given that they can charge their Talon Swords for special attacks.  I figured that the fragment of a blade designed to slay giant monsters might do the trick if charged with the combined energies of eleven Rangers and driven into Mainframe with enough speed.

[ Yellow energy radiates from YELLOW RANGER.  Then pink from PINK RANGER, and purple from BLACK RANGER.  Finally, blue from BLUE RANGER.  The metal is beginning to glow with a neutral white light. ]

[ On the other side of the platform, energy flows through the MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS' hands as well: green from GREEN MMPR, blue from BLUE MMPR, red from RED MMPR, yellow from YELLOW MMPR, purple from BLACK MMPR, and pink from PINK MMPR.  By the time all have emitted energy, the metal is gleaming with bright white light. ]

[ RED RANGER nods. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
All right, let's get outta here!

[ The eleven Rangers all leap off the brightly gleaming sword fragment as DILLIK'S SHIP accelerates. ]

This trick requires the audience to believe that the fragment would stay charged for a short while rather than "cooling off" immediately.


[ EXT. ROOFTOPS - The five RANGERS land together on a rooftop, while the MMPR roll to a stop on various rooftops.  Upon landing, each Ranger watches the action ahead (off-screen). ]

The Thadian Rangers roll to a stop rather than landing as gingerly as the Earth Rangers because they lack wings for gliding.


[ EXT. CITY - DILLIK'S SHIP races toward the uncomfortable MAINFRAME, the white-hot blade fragment still in tow. ]

While I was discussing the finale with Derik Smith as I wrote it, Derik raised the idea of this sword attack failing catastrophically (as in, it misses).  I was intrigued, but I had no idea how the Rangers would recover from that, given that this attack was my grand solution for their ultimate dilemma.  Nonetheless, I found the idea devilishly irresistable, so I made it miss and came up with a means of salvation afterward.


[ INT. VILLAIN COCKPIT - DILLIK makes a determined face. ]

DILLIK:
Here goes nothing...  In three... two...

[ DILLIK trails off while making an uncomfortable face and then sneezes.  He grumbles: ]

DILLIK (cont'd):
Stupid allergies.

The allergies weren't introduced into the series for any particular reason except to explain Dillik's helmet and his initial reluctance to visit Earth in person.  Here, though, I worked them in, in the form of a critical mistake.

[ He then remembers his activity with a panic and desperately mashes a button on his controls multiple times. ]

DILLIK (cont'd):
(yelps)  One!  One!

Why should Dillik's flakiness end as soon as he allies with the Rangers?


[ EXT. CITY - As DILLIK'S SHIP roars over MAINFRAME's at high speed on an upward climb, its chains release, but the gleaming sword fragment soars over MAINFRAME's shoulder, missing him. ]

Oops.  By the way, in addition to the drama this adds, I like that Dillik's mistake in the cockpit realistically resulted in a miss, given that the release was time-critical.


[ EXT. ROOFTOP - The five RANGERS startle. ]

LISA (Blue Ranger):
No!!


[ EXT. CITY STREET - Watching the sky by herself, MAGGIE gapes in disbelief. ]


[ EXT. ROOFTOP 2 - The GREEN MMPR looks on, transfixed. ]

Janos received the most airtime of the six Thadian Rangers in episodes 23 and 24, so I figured the audience would be most interested in his reactions to events such as this.


[ EXT. SKY - The gleaming blade fragment soars through the air on a deteriorating flight path.  Then, however, it unnaturally begins to rise again, and it banks to one side, bobbing slightly as it travels through the air. ]


[ EXT. ROOFTOP - The RANGERS nearly do a double-take, YELLOW RANGER attempting to rub his eyes through his visor. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Wha...?!

[ In front of the five RANGERS appears the translucent image of the ANCIENT RED RANGER (see episode 33), his back to the RANGERS.  He performs a complex arm gesture. ]

Until I decided to make the attack miss the first time, I hadn't planned for the ancient Red Ranger to play a role in the climax, though I assumed he would make a cameo in the finale.


[ EXT. SKY - As the gleaming fragment continues to bank, a giant red translucent falcon takes shape around it, the fragment being carried in its beak.  The bobbing of the blade is now revealed to be the beating of the giant bird's wings. ]

I see after writing this episode that the translucent falcon spirit (to become a Zord in a sequel series using Liveman footage?) is quite similar to the Animal Spirits in Power Rangers Jungle Fury (2008).  I knew nothing of the Animal Spirits at the time.


[ EXT. ROOFTOP - The RANGERS stare on. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Umm... am I seeing things?

[ The ANCIENT RED RANGER briefly glances over his shoulder. ]

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
You're seeing my Red Falcon.

The main trio in Liveman (1988) consist of the Red Falcon, Yellow Lion, and Blue Dolphin; these animals and colors are identical to the main trio in Power Rangers Ninja Storm (2003), aside from the falcon being a hawk in Ninja Storm.  Ironically, if I had kept the Red Hawk similarity between the Take Flight team and the Ancient Rangers, I would have been able to imply some sort of connection between the ancient team and the Wind Rangers of Ninja Storm, but I was aiming for parity with Liveman in the event of a sequel series.

The two additional members of the Liveman team are the Black Bison and Green Rhino (as opposed to the insect-themed Crimson and Navy Rangers in Ninja Storm).  The team's Zord-carrying flying fortress does not resemble an animal but is plastered with the name "Machine Buffalo"; this ship emerges from an even more colossal turtle-shaped ship which normally resides underwater.


[ EXT. CITY - MAINFRAME turns around to see the enormous spectral falcon, its wingspan as long as he is tall, soaring straight for him with the glowing blade fragment in its beak. ]

[ MAINFRAME curiously cocks his head. ]

MAINFRAME:
That's new.

[ In a quick streak, the glowing fragment and ghostly falcon sail straight into MAINFRAME's chest with a large burst of sparks and a white shockwave.  Neither the fragment nor the falcon emerge out the other side.  MAINFRAME grows rigid for a moment.  He then feels his chest and begins to wobble on his feet.  Rays of white light begin to pour out from his chest. ]

The rays of white light preserve the sentai tradition of Jinnsect monsters gleaming with a particular color of light upon being finished with the Phoenix Blade.

MAINFRAME (cont'd, his voice increasingly distorted):
I think I'm all right.  I think I'm all right.  I just need to... lie down a minute...

Similar to the demise of the final Somebody in episode 18.

[ MAINFRAME loses his balance as the white rays grow even brighter.  He falls over and explodes in a massive fireball.  The flames billow up into the sky. ]

This was the real Mainframe and not a duplicate which was just destroyed.  But what if xx xxxxxxx xxxx x xxxxxx xxxx xx xxx xxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxxx...?  (That's right, I censored out spoilers even though this is the last episode's script!  Chew on that a while!)


[ EXT. ROOFTOP - The six MMPR join the RANGERS on the rooftop, GREEN MMPR carrying MAGGIE.  He sets her down, and she stands beside the RANGERS.  All are transfixed by the ANCIENT RED RANGER.  He turns to face them without a sound. ]

It occurs to me upon rereading this script that the Rangers didn't cheer uproariously upon Mainframe's destruction.  I guess they're too stunned by what they've just seen.

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
So, these are the dinosaur coins.

Lisa mentioned the dinosaur coins in her conversation with the ancient Red Ranger in episode 33.  Their creator, Ninjor, was his mentor whom he still seeks to this day.

[ The ANCIENT RED RANGER silently advances.  The RANGERS and MAGGIE make room, allowing him to approach the MMPR.  The MMPR watch him respectfully. ]

[ The ANCIENT RED RANGER begins to take RED MMPR's hand.  Seeming to understand his intent, RED MMPR shows the ghost the POWER COIN embedded in his palm (without the ghost having to touch him). ]

[ After studying the POWER COIN for a moment, the ANCIENT RED RANGER speaks to RED MMPR. ]

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
Will you help me find my master?

[ RED MMPR nods solemnly.  A dull gray ship, unlike any seen previously, descends from the sky and hovers behind the MMPR, its entry hatch open. ]

Drascane understands English this well?  Or perhaps ghosts communicate in mind-speak, independent of language.

ANCIENT RED RANGER:
Thank you.

[ The ANCIENT RED RANGER turns back to the RANGERS and MAGGIE. ]

ANCIENT RED RANGER (cont'd):
Goodbye, Rangers.

[ The ANCIENT RED RANGER fades away, and the six MMPR board their ship behind them.  The hatch closes, and the ship begins to lift off. ]

Quick exit for the Thadian Rangers.

[ The RANGERS and MAGGIE watch in awe as the ship departs.  Meanwhile, behind them, DILLIK teleports onto the rooftop in greenish-silver vertical streaks. ]

DILLIK:
Hey, what'd I miss?  (gets no response, sniffles)  Hey, guys?


[ Break. ]


[ EXT. DIRT ROAD - On a barren dirt road, the five HEROES, MAGGIE, DR. BERING, GENERAL TAGGART, SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST, and DILLIK all confer.  The HEROES are all in their same civilian clothes (see previous episode), and DILLIK is wearing his clear helmet.  DILLIK'S SHIP rests some distance away, and an unmarked black helicopter (see episode 26) idles nearby. ]

Taggart and Turnquist apparently escaped the Phoenix base's destruction in this helicopter.  We're left to wonder what Taggart thought of the Rangers' decision to self-destruct the Zords.

DILLIK (embarrassed):
Jeez, uh... I-- I'm really sorry about earlier, Rangers...

LUKE (gently patting him on the shoulder):
It's all right, Dillik.  You did your best.

CASEY:
Yeah, and you kept Mainframe's guard down.  That was a big help.

DILLIK:
Yeah, I guess so...

LISA:
So... we finally did it.  There's nobody left!  (to Dillik, unenthusiastically) There isn't anybody else, is there?

[ DILLIK seems to search his memory. ]

DILLIK:
I-- I don't think so...

But it may take a sequel series to find out for sure.  The five deposed generals may remain on Thadia (episode 24), Janos retains his powers here, Trask remains a prisoner on New Vampiria (episode 38), Magda may or may not still be alive in the Jinnsects' dimension (episode 38), the empire still exists (see below), and assorted warlords populate this area of space (see episode 13).  Further, it may be assumed that a number of monster factories on Garavan's world survived the Rangers' assault (episode 38).  As for Dillik, his fate is addressed below.

CHRIS:
So, what now?  Do we all just go back to our normal lives?

[ GENERAL TAGGART steps forward. ]

GENERAL TAGGART:
Actually, I have a special assignment.  The President has decided to send one of you as a peace ambassador to the Vampirians.  Notwithstanding Trask's criminal actions, the President believes their grievances may have a legitimate basis, and it would be in our interests to smooth things over.

Diplomacy?  Interesting...  Incidentally, the President in this universe goes unnamed, but in real life, George H.W. Bush would have been president at this time.

My early plans for the series involved the unnamed President sticking up for the Rangers when the military had them backed into a corner mid-season, circa the Battlezord's debut.  The series eventually evolved such that Project Phoenix wasn't quite as objectionably manipulative as I'd planned, and it was Dr. Bering who happened to return in time to be the Rangers' advocate; therefore the President isn't mentioned until now.

LISA:
Wait, but you said one of us?  Who is it?

SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST:
That's your decision, Rangers.

[ The HEROES look amongst each other.  LUKE then nods confidently. ]

LUKE:
I'll go.

Is this kind of like being sent to a peace conference?

Originally I considered sending Luke and Dr. Bering alone to New Vampiria and leaving Lisa on Earth, but I thought that would be a bit low.

[ LISA looks at him plaintively but doesn't speak. ]

LUKE (cont'd):
May I bring a guest, sir?

GENERAL TAGGART:
You may.

[ LUKE looks to LISA expectantly.  LISA shifts her gaze uncomfortably. ]

LISA:
Umm... actually...  (winces slightly)  I think I'll stay.

Some readers may feel differently, but I actually like that Lisa's motives for declining the offer aren't spelled out.  Does she realize their relationship isn't all it's cracked up to be?  Is she afraid to make that big a commitment?  Has she gotten used to the idea of being without him?  Is she miffed that he volunteered without asking her first?  Does she simply value her time with Dr. Bering aboard the space station more than her time with Luke?  Does she not want to leave her mother behind?  Perhaps any or all of these things contributed to her decision to decline.  (Quite frankly, I thought both of them could do better than each other.)

LUKE (taken aback):
... Oh.

LISA:
I mean, I...  (fidgets a bit)  I just think it's better this way.

[ LUKE appears confused. ]

[ DILLIK steps forward eagerly. ]

DILLIK:
I'll go with you!  I think I might be able to help them with their climate problem.  (to Luke) I can even give you a ride there.

I hadn't settled on Dillik's fate until I wrote this episode.  I think it's a pretty decent role for him.

[ LUKE nods awkwardly. ]

LUKE:
Yeah, okay...  That... sounds like a good plan...

Heh.  I like his stiff reply as he continues to reel from Lisa's rejection.  He and Dillik worked together just fine in episode 38, but this is surely still a disappointing turn of events, given his expectation that Lisa would be his companion.  But really, I'm not sure quite how "into" Lisa he actually is; he may simply be acting out of his own expectations, constructed from societal norms.  (Does he even like girls?  Who knows.)

CASEY (to Taggart and Turnquist):
Do you think you'll start up Project Phoenix again?  You know, rebuild the Flyers and all?

A pressing question I felt needed addressing.  The challenge with manmade Ranger technology is that it's hard to destroy with any sense of finality; when it breaks, the humans can just rebuild it.  So I have them move on to a new project instead, to explain why this season's Zords and weapons wouldn't reappear in a hypothetical sequel series.

GENERAL TAGGART:
That seems unlikely, Miss Reynolds.

DR. BERING:
But... what about the empire?  (to both Dillik and Taggart)  It's still out there, isn't it?

[ DILLIK nods noncommittally. ]

Episode 30 suggested that the Ranger technology (and likely the Vanguard technology) was part of a plot to counter the empire's expansion.  That threat hasn't been eliminated yet.

[ GENERAL TAGGART seems to have a metaphorical twinkle in his eye. ]

GENERAL TAGGART:
Oh, I don't think we'll give up on that front.  But we may take more of a ground-up approach.

[ From his pocket, GENERAL TAGGART removes a golden POWER COIN resembling the Thadian Rangers' coins.  In close-up, we see a dolphin emblem etched into the coin.  It glints in the sun. ]

Taggart has come to possess one or all of the Power Coins used by the ancient Red Ranger's team millennia ago, yet it seemed his crew had not entered Red's tomb prior to Lisa's visit (at which point the coins were absent).  If I had to venture a non-canonical guess here, I'd say Taggart had people scouring the planet for anything pertaining to these ancient Rangers (after learning of Lisa's experience?) and turned up at least one Power Coin which had circulated among various people after grave robbers had scattered them.  Here, coincidentally, the dolphin coin would be used by the female Blue Ranger in a sequel series adapted from Liveman.

Incidentally, Taggart will be experimenting with this new set of powers, and yet the Rangers of Take Flight are left with working Morphers.  Does this mean a sequel series would feature an entirely new team separate from these Rangers?  I won't say, but let it be known that Liveman featured the following:

ColorAnimalBody TypeStatus
RedFalconmalecore trio
YellowLionslender malecore trio
BlueDolphinfemale (with skirt)core trio
BlackBisonmalesupplemental
GreenRhinoslender malesupplemental

[ GENERAL TAGGART smirks and pockets the coin.  He then puts his arm around LISA and escorts her aside. ]

GENERAL TAGGART (cont'd):
Miss Ward, how would you like to continue your career in experimental technology?

Maybe, but care to remove your arm first?

[ DR. BERING pursues them out of frame. ]

DR. BERING:
Now wait just a minute, General!  Where did you find that?

Dr. Bering knows nothing of these Power Coins.

[ They are gone.  SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST, meanwhile, addresses the others. ]

SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST:
You're free to keep your Morphers in case of emergency.

After an entire season of fine service, I generally feel it's slap in the face to strip the Rangers of their powers in a finale (and my finale plot didn't require that the powers be destroyed).  Also, if there's a teamup in the next season, it requires some special contrivance for the previous team to reclaim their powers if they've been taken or lost in the finale.  (Er... speaking generally, that is.)

MAGGIE (pointedly):
That's... unusually generous of you.

SPECIAL AGENT TURNQUIST (with a smirk):
Not my call.

This line harkens back to episode 30, in which Turnquist told the Rangers that the unpopular decision to rule out the Mega Kestrelzord wasn't his call (this was the introduction of General Taggart).  Here, Turnquist humorously retains his typically antagonistic demeanor by deflecting Maggie's compliment: it wasn't his choice to let them keep the Morphers (but this isn't to say he necessarily objects).

[ Spontaneously, PETE claps his hands together excitedly. ]

PETE:
All right!  So, let's get a press release going!

CASEY:
Press release?  What for?

The contents of this press release are unseen, but presumably it was a source of great relief to the people of Spring Valley (if not planet Earth) to learn the Rangers were victorious at last.  Incidentally, this surely leads to an economic turnaround in Spring Valley as the city is no longer seen as a battleground.

PETE (rolling his eyes):
To show your parents the Power Rangers won!  You do wanna get married, right?

In episode 38, Chris revealed that he and Casey had promised her parents they wouldn't get married until the Power Rangers won for good (as Spring Valley was deemed unsafe at the time for raising a family).

[ CASEY and CHRIS look at each other and smile warmly. ]

CASEY (happily):
Yeah.

[ They reach to hold each other's hands. ]


[ EXT. CHURCHYARD - In close-up, we see CASEY and CHRIS's hands meet (now wearing wedding bands), but as we cut to a longer shot, we see they are in a white wedding gown and black tuxedo, respectively.  Together, hand in hand, with a smile on CHRIS's face and a squeal coming from CASEY, they hurry down several steps and rush past two lines of cheering people throwing bird seed into the air.  CHRIS may be wearing a black watch of some sort on his left wrist, but it's obscured by his sleeve; CASEY is not wearing her MORPHER. ]

The rest of this episode takes place on Sunday, November 8, 1992, nearly six weeks after the Rangers' victory (which is a rather speedily arranged wedding, all things considered).  Luke has returned from New Vampiria for the wedding (Dillik is waiting nearby), and Pete has taken part of the day off from Regala.

I skipped right over the ceremony so as not to belabor the point (and to spare me from having to write all that mushy stuff).

Notice the bird seed thrown here, sometimes thrown at weddings as a more bird-friendly alternative to rice (at least that's the intention).  It was just coincidental that they're throwing bird seed for Rangers whose weaponry was based on birds.

A wedding in the finale mirrors the finale from Jetman, though I didn't originally plan this similarity (I spontaneously had Casey fall for Chris while writing episode 5, but the idea of a wedding was nowhere on my periphery, at least until I was writing the latter half of the series, if not the latter third.)  Incidentally, in Jetman, it was Red and White who got married after Black had spent much of the series trying to court White; their relationship failed, however, because of their insurmountable social differences (which may say a bit about Japanese society at the time).  Further, it had taken Red a while to get over the loss (and eventual death) of his fiancée after she'd been turned into Maria (Sasha), but by the end of the series, he was more receptive to White's feelings for him.

What is probably most memorable about the finale of Jetman, however, is Black's fatal injury by a mugger on his way to the wedding; mortally wounded, he makes it to the wedding to wish the couple well, but he then dies (to the displeasure of many a viewer).  By putting a wedding at the end of my series, I was aware that I would be raising the specter of a Ranger dying (see below).

[ Among the cheering guests are LUKE and LISA (though standing separately); PETE; MAGGIE; DR. BERING; MR. RASHAD (see episode 13) and MRS. REYNOLDS; DETECTIVE MORALES; TODD; DAVID (somewhat resembling Todd but younger) and HEATHER (an attractive woman in her twenties); DOLI; MR. FISCHER; MIKE (a man in his late twenties with tattoos on his hands); STEVE and LENORE; BARRY and DIANE (see episode 19); and DANNY, R.J., and ROBIN.  All are dressed formally.  Of the former Rangers, LUKE, LISA, and PETE appear to be wearing AVIMORPHERS.  Some of the guests are wearing coats. ]

Character recap: Mr. Rashad and Mrs. Reynolds are Casey's parents (they are married despite different surnames); Detective Morales has been the Rangers' ally since episode 18 (though he made few appearances in the latter half of the series); Todd and David are Casey's older brothers; Heather is David's wife (mentioned in episode 28, first appearing here); Doli is Chris's paternal grandmother; Mr. Fischer was Chris's former employer (see episode 27); Mike is Chris's new employer (mentioned in episode 38, first appearing here); Steve and Lenore are the Pattersons (the Rangers' former neighbors); Barry appeared in the first half of the series; Diane is Barry's girlfriend (they met in episode 20); and Danny, R.J., and Robin are Chris's friends (see episode 7).  A few other minor characters are missing because they didn't have any particular connection to Chris or Casey.

I don't specify in the script, but I assume Pete would have been Chris's best man; as for Casey's maid of honor, Maggie seems to be a likely candidate, but the costume designer's choice of wardrobe might settle the issue in a way I didn't expect, if this series were produced directly from these scripts.

Drew is conspicuously absent; did he stay away because of awkwardness with Maggie (see episodes 27 and 28)?  And speaking of Maggie, note that she didn't come with a date.

Note that even Luke retains his Morpher; apparently he took it with him to New Vampiria, perhaps for self-defense.  That apparently leaves only four Rangers on Earth, but with no active alien threats to the planet, this may be acceptable for the time being.

[ CHRIS and CASEY hurry to Casey's idling car, which has decorations tied behind it.  The top is up, but the windows are down.  The couple gets in (CASEY in the driver's seat) and buckle up. ]

The top down is nice for camerawork, but I figured it was just too cold for that in November.

[ They wave and prepare to drive off.  Over the cheering of the crowd, TODD calls out: ]

TODD:
Hey, squirt, take some pictures after you dig up those pyramids!

Chris and Casey's honeymoon will take place in Egypt, as Casey had been wishing to go there for some time (see episodes 34 and 35).

Chris and Casey's living arrangements aren't specified after this point, nor are the other Rangers'.  Does Lisa continue living on the space station?  Do Chris and Casey move out?  Would Pete and Maggie remain in the house by themselves?  None of these questions are answered here.

Also unanswered is who will be shopping for Doli and taking care of Casey's cat Moasi during their honeymoon.

[ CASEY smiles and nods, and she puts the car in gear. ]

[ We begin with a close-up of a bumper sticker on the rear of Casey's car.  It reads, "Save the Pyramids," and bears a logo for the Pyramid Restoration Society.  Just as we are able to read this, the car pulls away. ]

It's been two months since Brimstone buried pyramids worldwide in lava (episode 34; fortunately, it was a type of lava which cooled into a flaky, porous rock which shouldn't be terribly difficult to remove).  Casey was horrified at the time, as her father was born in Egypt, but she's now joined a volunteer society dedicated to restoring the pyramids.  Hopefully all of the newlyweds' time won't be spent digging up pyramids, though...  (Interpret that as you like, but there are plenty of sights to see in Egypt as well.)

[ Everyone waves happily. ]

[ LUKE, meanwhile, steals a glance at LISA, but she doesn't seem to notice. ]

Luke and Lisa may not have spoken since Luke left with Dillik for New Vampiria shortly after Mainframe's defeat.


[ EXT. PARKING LOT - Still in his suit from the wedding, LUKE walks alone through a nearly empty parking lot surrounded on two sides by woods.  He appears to be heading for the woods at the far end of the parking lot.  We can occasionally see his breath in the cold. ]


[ INT. VILLAIN COCKPIT - DILLIK has his feet up on the controls while working on some sort of puzzle toy in his hands.  Outside the viewscreen are trees, indicating the ship is stationed in a wooded clearing.  (The deciduous trees are missing their leaves, befitting a winter setting.) ]

The name of this setting is still listed as "villain cockpit" for continuity with the rest of the series, but certainly I don't regard Dillik as a villain anymore.


[ EXT. PARKING LOT - As LUKE continues across the parking lot, a MUGGER approaches, his demeanor apprehensive and his hands stuffed into his pockets.  We see the MUGGER's breath in the air as he breathes. ]

MUGGER:
Yo, man, hand over your wallet.

All muggers say "yo," right?

I specifically added this encounter as a red herring for anyone familiar with the finale of Jetman, such that they would wonder if Luke was going to be killed here.

[ LUKE coolly stops in his tracks and cocks his jaw with amused disbelief. ]

LUKE:
Would you believe I don't have one on me?

If he had had one, Luke probably would have handed it over without incident.

MUGGER:
Don't get smart with me.  Hand it over!

[ LUKE tries to gesture calmingly. ]

LUKE:
Really, man, I don't have a cent on me.  I actually just came for a wedding.

And then it's back to outer space.  Want to see my spacecraft?

[ The MUGGER looks around warily before sneering at LUKE. ]

MUGGER:
Fine, then give me your watch!

I liked this turn of events, because it seemed like a plausible twist to make Luke fight off the mugger.

[ LUKE glances at the MORPHER on his wrist and chuckles. ]

LUKE:
Uhh, no, I don't think that's going to happen.

Technically, Luke could have handed the Morpher over and then had Dr. Bering track it down or even teleport it back easily enough, but on a more primitive level of his brain, Luke simply regards the Morpher as something of great value and is willing to fight to protect it.

[ The MUGGER advances angrily and reaches for LUKE's arm. ]

MUGGER:
I said gimme your --!

[ LUKE deftly grabs the outside of the MUGGER's wrist and twists him around into an arm lock, his back to LUKE. ]

LUKE:
Let's just take it easy, pal.

[ After struggling briefly, the MUGGER slips his foot behind LUKE's leg and throws his weight back, sending them both tumbling backward.  They roll together and struggle at length. ]

How plausible is it that a random mugger would pull off this kind of move?  I don't know.

[ Ultimately, the MUGGER rolls free.  Rising to his feet, he reaches into his jacket as if to pull out a weapon, but a gloved hand taps him on the shoulder.  He sharply turns his head to see: ]

In Jetman, the mugger pulled out a knife and stabbed Black in the gut after Black had turned his back on the defeated foe.

[ Standing beside him is the BLUE RANGER.  She crosses her arms and shakes her head at the MUGGER. ]

Lisa may have just saved Luke's life.  Nice that she still had her Morpher on her.

[ His face filled with panic, the MUGGER scurries away.  BLUE RANGER merely watches him run, but he isn't halfway across the parking lot before DETECTIVE MORALES tackles him to the asphalt and handcuffs him. ]

I wanted Lisa and Luke to reconnect a bit, and that ruled out Lisa chasing after the mugger.  But rather than have him get away, I thought it was more satisfying to bring in Detective Morales for a final assist.

[ BLUE RANGER then turns to LUKE. ]

LISA (Blue Ranger):
Are you okay?

[ LUKE rises, brushing himself off.  He chuckles to BLUE RANGER. ]

LUKE:
Doing fine.  Yourself?

[ BLUE RANGER appears bashful.  She chuckles softly. ]

Do Luke and Lisa rekindle their romance?  I leave that up to the audience (at least until a sequel series comes along).


[ EXT. HIGHWAY - CASEY drives toward the city.  Beside her, CHRIS reaches into his coat pocket and removes an additional AVIMORPHER. ]

CHRIS:
Missing something?

[ She glances over and smiles.  She reaches her left wrist over her driving arm (her wedding band also on this hand), and he gently fastens the MORPHER onto her wrist. ]

For long-serving Rangers, the act of fastening another Ranger's Morpher onto her wrist may be as meaningful as putting a wedding ring on her finger (but in a different way, of course).

[ Once the MORPHER is attached, she returns her hand to her side and flexes her wrist. ]

CASEY (with a smile):
I felt naked without it.

Not to be overtly sexual here; I just figured she would feel strange without it.  (Even a Ranger wouldn't want a Morpher resembling a digital watch on her wrist in her wedding photos, so Chris kept it for her during the ceremony.)

[ With a faint smile, CHRIS cocks his head with nothing particular to add. ]

[ The camera passes intangibly through the rear windshield, and we watch as the car drives away.   The shot holds and then fades to black. ]

The end!  Here's a status report on noteworthy characters, items, and locations:

Rangers
Lukeon New Vampiria with Dillik, still the Red Ranger
Chrisdetailer or tattoo artist at Mike's, married to Casey, still the Black Ranger
Petesous chef at Regala, still the Yellow Ranger
CaseyBooksmart barista?, married to Chris, still the Pink Ranger
Maggiesoon to earn her Master's degree and begin counseling schoolchildren (mid-1993)
Lisahelping Dr. Bering with Ranger experiments, still the Blue Ranger

Allies
Dillikon New Vampiria with Luke, working on climate problem
Ancient Red Rangerwith Thadian Rangers, in search of Ninjor; fate of teammates unknown
Thadian Rangershelping Red Ranger's ghost find Ninjor, also keeping tabs on Thadia (split up?)
Vanguards, Illamitesdeceased
Gamma Twostill on Illam if not destroyed by Sasha
Ninjorunknown
Zordonnever existed in this universe; in his own universe, will soon recruit teenagers to battle Rita Repulsa (mid-1993)
Garavanrebuilding dimension spanner in his universe?
Bobodestroyed
Zephyrosdestroyed

Villains
Traskimprisoned on New Vampiria
Sashadeceased
Strifedestroyed
Willdeceased
Queen-Empress Magdalast seen trapped on Jinnsects' world in another dimension, retains Sword of Tears
Mainframedestroyed
Jinnsectslast seen alive (and probably numerous) in native dimension, one world visited by Magda
Nobodiesout of use
Discardspossibly to be used again by Magda
Nobotssome possibly remaining in Siberian lair
Podling's raceextinct
Biomass monstersout of use, both biomass refiners destroyed
Magda's monstersproject perhaps to be resumed on Garavan's world
Lendei's generalsimprisoned on Thadia or executed
empireslowly expanding on the other side of the galaxy
Infernisabsorbed or neutralized by demon-eater
Gogdestroyed
Zindestroyed
Drekdestroyed
Tomato Kingreal demon, or just a dream?
Vangstill captured in demon-eater
Brimstonedestroyed

Military/Civilians
Dr. Beringstill working aboard space station, researching new Ranger powers
Project Jetman/Phoenixshut down?
General Taggarthead of new project?
Special Agent Turnquistworking for new project?
Lancepresumably still working for Air Force
Detective Moralespresumably still working for city of Spring Valley
Barryresidence unknown; may continue dating Diane
Pattersonsstill retired, living in Spring Valley
Dolistill visited by Chris and Casey regularly
Stacy Keenestill employed with Channel Six?

Aliens
Demon-eaterreturned to breeding grounds
Koraon New Vampiria
Virdeceased
Omosdeceased
Lendeiunknown after generals' coup

Ranger Arsenal
AviMorphersintact, in possession of Luke (off-world), Chris, Pete, Casey, and Lisa
Hoverbirdsintact (Camera One possibly recovered or replaced)
Sky Blasters, Talon Swordsintact
Battlizers, Battle Birdsintact
Phoenix Cannondestroyed, remnants last seen in quarry
Echo Blastersdestroyed, remnants last seen in Peru
Sky Flyersdestroyed, remnants last seen in Pacific Ocean
Sky Kestreldestroyed, remnants last seen in Pacific Ocean
Blue Battlezorddestroyed, remnants last seen over California mountains
Gigazorddestroyed, remnants last seen in downtown Spring Valley
dino Power Coinsintact, in possession of Thadians and Janos
unnamed Power Coinsintact, at least one (blue dolphin) in possession of General Taggart; other four not revealed
Sword of Tearslast seen in Magda's possession on Jinnsects' world
Star Handledestroyed
Dillik's shipon New Vampiria
Kora's shipon New Vampiria

Locations
Spring Valleyrecovering from numerous alien battles
Parkview Apartmentsdestroyed
Rangers' houseperhaps still inhabited by some of the heroes
Quarrylittered with assorted debris
Siberian lairabandoned?
Space stationintact, still in use by Dr. Bering?
Illamabandoned (perhaps except for Gamma Two)
Thadiarecovering from totalitarian rule
Eltarrubble scattered through space (some artifacts still intact)
Ninjor's planetoid (Nemesis)revisited by Thadian Rangers and ancient Red Ranger?
Temple of Powerunknown

Thanks for reading!  I hope you enjoyed it.