Power Rangers In Space: True Blue To The Rescue And Always A Chance Review:

Let’s Rocket! Uncanny Fox here, this time with a double feature (As you might remember, I was going to do one for the Hulk Vs movie, but life intervened and I had to do the two parts separately, But this time, I’m doing it) as I review not one, but two Power Rangers In Space crossovers, namely “True Blue To The Rescue,” featuring the return of Blue Turbo Ranger and controversial cast member Justin Stewart, and “Always A Chance,” which has a guest appearance by former Mighty Morphin Black Ranger and franchise mainstay Adam Park.

But first things first: I bet your wondering what happened with Peter Laird last week. Well, in his bloodlust craze over mention of… that one Ninja Turtles show, he was about ready to… end my blog permanently, if you get my drift, when Kevin Eastman arrived just in time to talk him down. I think they ended up going out for pizza or something, I don’t know. I’m just glad I still have a head.

Anywho, back to Power Rangers, as I get a chance this week to talk about In Space at long last. With the previous season of Turbo proving to be a downward turn for the series, Saban Entertainment and longtime EP Judd Lynn decided that if the show was going to go down, it was going to go down big: for the next season, there would be a big space war to end the series on a high note, an idea brought on by seeing some promotional material for the next Sentai season to adapt, Denji Sentai Megaranger, having a spaceship as the Rangers’ Megazord, as well as them riding surfboards across the stars, leading the crew to think that space travel was the theme of that year anyway.

The problem? Turns out Megaranger’s theme wasn’t space travel, but rather video games and computers; the furthest the show got from Earth was the moon. But by the time Lynn and fellow showrunner Jonathan Tzachor realized this, their plans were already set in stone, so they decided to bite the bullet with the space battle theme despite the obvious problems with the Sentai footage not featuring, you know, space travel, filming new scenes of the Rangers flying to and fighting on alien worlds as need be. It’s an impressive effort (especially given Tzachor’s later reputation for sticking to the story of the Sentai he’s adapting religiously, but more on that in later reviews) that this season turned out as great as it did despite that, and if you didn’t know about Megaranger (or at least it’s differing theme), you’d never know that the various elements taken from it were meant for a different concept entirely.

In any case, the story goes that after Divatox (the villain of Turbo) destroys the Power Chamber, and the Rangers journey out to space in search of the missing Zordon. Along the way they meet Andros, a brooding alien and the new Red Ranger, who is looking for his sister Karone, who disappeared when they were children. And due to its status as a grand finale for what is affectionately referred to by fans as the “Zordon Era” (the storyline from the first six seasons of the show), In Space featured several cameos and guest appearances from allies and enemies alike in an effort to tie up some of the loose ends and create a feeling that everything and everyone from all that came before were coming together at the end. And this week we’re going to take a look at two of those efforts, starting with the crossover with the previous season of Turbo, titled “True Blue To The Rescue.”

The episode begins with the Previously On segment (showing how the Rangers gained the Mega Voyager Megazord and defeated Darkonda for the first time), then a cold open on a distant red planet. A squad of fish-like Piranhatrons (the grunts from Turbo) are forcing Lighting Cruiser and Storm Blaster (a pair of sentient vehicles that aided the Turbo Rangers last season) to haul loads across the dessert, using electrified whips and chains to this end. You know, you guys could have just gotten a Canyonero, that thing’s got four wheel drive, smells like a steak and seats 35…

Eventually the cars stop, prompting the grunts to try to take the cap off of the top of Lighting Cruiser. This is a big mistake, as the red car takes to opportunity to blast at them with its cannons, freeing Storm Blaster and giving the blue jeep an opening to drive away and get help on Earth. The Piranhatrons try to give chase on their motorcycles, but the jeep is too far ahead, and teleports offworld.

After the intro, we cut over to Astronema’s mothership, the Dark Fortress, where the Princess of Evil is being hailed by Divatox, the flamboyant villain of Turbo. She and Astronema have had a bit of a rivalry going on this season (given how Divatox came the closest to anyone to actually beating the Rangers, only to be yanked out at the last minute so Dark Spector’s personal heir can take the spotlight), and Astronema is just as annoyed at being reminded of Divatox’s existence as most of the fandom. Anyway, the former Big Bad tells Astronema about Storm Blaster’s escape, and asks her replacement to let her know if she sees the car so she can send an army to get it back. Yeah, I’m not so sure about that, given that these are Piranhatrons were talking about…

Astronema agrees to do just that… unless, of course, she catches it first, in which case she plans on keeping it for herself. Divatox is livid over this, doing a cheap impression of Astronema before the current season’s villain cuts off her tantrum and orders Ecliptor to release a squadron of Velcifighters (the ships Quantrons ride, kind of like TIE Fighters) to capture Storm Blaster.

Speaking of, the living jeep is driving through space (not flying with rocket jets or anything, just driving. This won’t be the last time such a thing happens in these reviews, Power Rangers isn’t known for scientific accuracy. Plants grow on the moon, after all) when the Velocifighters catch up to it and dogfight ensues.

Luckily though, the Astro Megaship happens to be in the vicinity, and Alpha detects the ongoing skirmish. The former Turbo Rangers are surprised at the sudden return of Storm Blaster, seeing how they thought it and Lighting Cruiser were lost when Divatox destroyed the Power Chamber, and set out to help it despite Andros having never heard of it. You know, for a guy who’s supposed to be the team’s “space expert,” there’s quite a bit the dude’s in the dark about…

Storm Blaster arrives on Earth and lands near a warehouse in Angel Grove, only to find itself surrounded by Quantrons. They chase after it, jumping on top of it like it just they just got hit with Joker Gas as it plows into the warehouse and crashes through several boxes. I hope there wasn’t anything important in those…

Meanwhile, the Rangers hurry over to their jump tubes and slide down to the Galaxy Gliders to fly to Earth. They arrive in the warehouse just in time to kick the Quans off of Storm Blaster. Then they all form up in front of it, TJ gives it a “nice to see you again” pat on the hood, and tell the Quantrons that they will have to go through them first if they want to take the jeep.

But Astronema and Ecliptor (her robotic bodyguard and, as we find out later in the season, caretaker) arrive, alongside more Quantrons, and declare that Storm Blaster is leaving with them. And they have the muscle to back them up, in the form of a robotic gold lion monster with a bazooka named Lionizer. Said monster fires off a shot of sparks (I guess he’s a fan of Chyna – RIP) before engaging the Rangers with grunts in tow.

A standard Power Rangers battle ensues, with our heroes fighting valiantly to protect their four-wheeled friend from the baddies. TJ eventually orders Storm Blaster to run while it has an opening, and the jeep drives off to find reinforcements, a pair of Quantrons running after it. Lionizer tries to stop it with a pyro blast, but Carlos and Ashley take the bullet, and the Rangers soon find themselves left at the villains’ mercy.

After a commercial break, the scene changes to Justin, the young former Blue Turbo Ranger, looking up at the night sky and wondering where his friends are. As I mentioned before, Justin stayed behind on Earth in the final episode of Turbo, due to his actor being let go. Blake Foster, was hired on the show to replace an injured Steve Cardenas in an attempt to bring up ratings with a child actor. This stunt backfired horribly, and Justin was regarded as a major Scrappy in the franchise despite being only one of the many problems that season had.

It had gotten to the point where he was bullied by kids at school and fans online, in a disheartening parallel to Jake Lloyd of The Phantom Menace, though thankfully it wasn’t as bad and he avoided a similar fate, having turned out to be an okay guy now. I wasn’t that big on Justin back in the day, but I didn’t outright hate him. Though to be fair, I had stopped watching Power Rangers sometime near the end of Zeo, only picking it back up again in the second half of Turbo, when the veteran Rangers were replaced and the show did something of a course correct, so I missed out on the worst of the season. And I was about 6. One thing to remember though, it definitely wasn’t Blake Foster’s decision to have a child actor on the show, any more than it was Jake Lloyd’s to have one in The Phantom Menace. And I won’t hold any problems with Justin or his character against the actor himself.  

His dad (who apparently goes to the same barber as Sean Schemmel) soon calls for him to go to bed, and Justin agrees after having a flashback montage of him and the other Rangers having good times together and fighting evil, including the one episode he gained super strength and used it to twirl a Piranhatron in the air. Yet no mention of the time they got baked into a giant pizza. TJ would be so disappointed…

His dad tucks him in, before telling him that he’s going to need to go to the office the next morning despite the two of them having fishing plans. The story of Justin’s life, as his old man was always away on business trips throughout Turbo, to the point that fans speculated that he was actually the Phantom Ranger until Judd Lynn put the kobash on that rumor. Of course, he would know the truth given that he was the Phantom. Anyway, Mr. Stewart promises his son that they’ll go next week, then closes the door and wishes him good night.  

But before Justin can fall asleep, he hears a whirring sound from outside. Turns out it’s Storm Blaster, who’s parked out in the driveway asking for help. You know, it could have went to Tommy or Adam, but no, it went to the kid.

Nonetheless, Justin heeds the call to adventure, and sneaks out his window, across the roof and down the TV Antenna (kids who sneak out of their rooms in fiction are always brilliant escape artists, ever notice that? If it was real life, any of us would have fallen and broken our necks) to have a happy reunion with Storm Blaster, and surprisingly enough he seems to know that it and Lighting Cruiser were taken prisoner. Also, he can understand Storm Blaster’s whirrs like its Lassie or something. The jeep replies by opening up its front door and prompting Justin to climb in, which the boy does after giving his dad a quick glance.

The jeep buckles Justin in and drives off (you know, this is going to look really bad if they get pulled over), eventually arriving at the warehouse after taking a flying leap over the moon. I think Steven Spielberg’s gonna sue somebody.

Back at the warehouse, the Space Rangers are chained up in the middle of the room. Ecliptor demands that they lower the shields to the Megaship (so they can steal it or destroy it, I’m guessing), but Ashley defiantly tells DECA to keep them raised.

Storm Blaster pulls up outside, and Justin sneaks in through the front for a closer look at what he’s up against. He peeks over as Lionizer gives the Rangers one last chance before he sparklers them to death.

Unfortunately, he gets busted by the Quantrons, forcing him to defend himself. He kicks a few of them into more boxes (seriously, what is this warehouse storing, and is it fragile?) then runs back out to Storm Blaster, telling the jeep that the Rangers need their help.

Storm Blaster agrees, charging at the warehouse full blast while Justin panics. The glove compartment beside him opens up to reveal a spare Turbo Morpher, which I guess Zordon made just in case something happened with the other ones, much to the boy’s surprise and delight. Though how Storm Blaster got ahold of it is anyone’s guess…

Back inside the warehouse, Lionizer gets ready to blast the Rangers, until Storm Blaster comes charging in with a fully-morphed Justin (who grows to adult size when he morphs, to accommodate the Sentai footage. So, he’s basically Yugi Muto), who cracks that the bad guys “forgot one very small problem. Actually, I’m not so small right now” before taking on the Quantrons and blasting the other Rangers free with his Auto Blaster.

They shake the chains off themselves, then join Justin in taking on the baddies. During this fight, Cassie swings like Tarzan on a chain to dropkick a Quantron and Justin finds out that TJ is now the Blue Ranger after previously being Red during a funny and cute exchange.

Eventually, the Rangers subdue the Quantrons and are just left with Lionizer, who proves too strong for just the Rangers alone despite the two Blues pushing him back with a double kick. Storm Blaster comes in to even the odds, and shares a beam struggle with Lionizer’s spark cannon, eventually winning once Justin and TJ lend their lasers to the fray.

Lionizer gets forced outside, and the Rangers follow him to deliver the coup-de-grace with their Spiral Saber and Quadro-Blaster. The resulting Megaranger-footage induced blasts destroy the golden kitty-bot, but this is Power Rangers, and naturally Astronema orders the monster to be enlarged via her base’s “Satellasers,” a green Death Star beam that shoots down to Earth and makes the monster grow. This is certainly cooler than Megaranger’s growing technique, which was a little smiley-face creature biting the monster and injecting it with Mini-Mes.

Now faced with a much bigger problem than before, Justin agrees to step aside while the others handle it with their new Mega Voyager. Or rather, Andros’s robotic Mega V-1 Zord, which comes down from space to take the Lionizer on mano-a-mano, not unlike how the Red Dragon Thunderzord would back in Season 2. It’s always kind of neat when an individual Zord battles the monster for a bit, as it mixes up the usual giant fight with something new. But the monster proves too much, and Andros calls down the rest of the Zords to form the Megazord.

They do so, and the Mega Voyager soon descends to Earth in its completed state. The blood-pumping tune (what Ron Wasserman track isn’t this) of “Go Fly Win” blares as the Megazord dodges Lionizer’s blasts and delivers a flying kick to the face the sends the robot falling to the pavement. Then it whips out its finishing weapon, the Mega V-3 Missile cannon, to unleash a flying torpedo blast that destroys the monster once and for all, much to Justin’s (and my own) delight. Except he says that he’s “never seen anything like it.” Uh, Justin, you were a Ranger for a full season. You saw something like that literally once a week for the better part of a year. Heck, you actively participated in it!

Anyway, the Space Rangers meet back up with him and Justin explains how Storm Blaster came to him for help. TJ thanks Storm Blaster for the assist before asking where Lightning Cruiser is. After some whirring noises, the Rangers realize that Lightning Cruiser needs their help offworld. Justin offers to give everyone a lift in Storm Blaster, but the other Rangers have their own ride…

Namely the Galaxy Gliders, which they ride alongside Justin in his jeep (driving in space, mind you) as they hurry to the planet Lighting Cruiser is being held prisoner at. Andros offers to give Justin riding lessons someday, but for now Justin says he’ll stick with what works, namely his flying, talking jeep.

They arrive on the dessert planet, where poor Lighting Cruiser is still slaving away. At least until the Rangers free it by blasting the Piranhatrons with their lasers and Justin leads the charge atop Storm Blaster. They battle the Piranhatrons for a bit, overpowering the fish-faced losers with ease. I mean, they spent have a season kicking these guys faces in, I doubt they’d be much of a challenge now that the Rangers have been dealing with galactic empires and the like. One highlight of the fight is a bunch of baddies swarming on Storm Blaster (again), only for Justin to swerve them off and give a viscously sarcastic line of “Oh, did I do that? Sorry.” Say what you will about having a kid as a Ranger, but Blake Foster really nailed the quippy one-liners.

Eventually the Pirhanatrons take the hint and flee, and after another commercial break Lighting Cruiser is free at last. Justin and the other Rangers share a happy reunion, and TJ assures him that they’re doing great in their new mission. Ashley finally introduces him to Andros, and I love how awkward he is in meeting this little kid. Here’s this tough, badass space warrior on a quest for vengeance against the people who took his sister, stammering through a basic introduction.

Justin and Cassie share the line “Once a Ranger, always a Ranger,” before the former realizes that he needs to get home before his dad wakes up and notices that his son is missing, especially with Alpha 5 still on the loose. Storm Blaster gives him a lift back to Earth, and before Justin leaves he tells the others that he’ll be there if they ever need him again. Okay, so where were you in about 20 episodes when the Earth is attacked by a massive invasion force? Also, check how teary-eyed Andros is when Storm Blaster flies off. Dude, you just met him. It’s not like he’s dead or anything. Save that emotion for about 20 episodes later when you’re forced to kill your mentor figure in order to save the universe from a massive invasion force.

The next day, Justin’s dad heads off for work, but changes his mind when he sees another dad and his son headed off for the lake just across the street. He heads off toward Justin’s room, right as his son is sneaking back into his room, having parked Storm Blaster around the block. He makes it just in time for his dad to come in to tell him that work can wait ‘till Monday; it’s Saturday and he’s taking his boy fishing. The episode ends with Justin pumping his fist in joy at the thought of finally hanging out with his dad after a season of Cats And The Cradle And The Silver Spoon.

The preview for the next episode plays (it’s pretty much a Freaky Friday plot with Astronema and Ashley), followed by the credits and more bloopers of Cassie botching spots (complete with her hilariously muttering that she’s gotta find a new job), Justin getting swarmed by Quantrons after screwing up the part where he breaks free from them, TJ not getting caught after a jump, and Cassie botching spots again.

So, now that we’ve finished talking about the story, on to Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • The little meeting between Justin and TJ over their shared color.
  • Justin finally getting his happy ending.
  • This episode manages to set up TJ getting his Turbo powers back in “Forever Red” without even trying to. More on that on a later date.

Cons:

  • This only being a reunion with Justin and not the whole Turbo team. It was possible to get the first iteration of the team and the Space crew together. On the other hand, the actors were most likely not available, and having Adam and Ashely together might have been awkward for reasons I’ll get into later.
  • Storm Blaster having a Turbo Morpher on hand was a bit of a butt-pull.  

This was a fun episode, and it was nice to see Justin interact with his old teammates again. The action was great, the plot was fast-paced and it managed to build on the lore a bit. It might have been a little too convenient for Storm Blaster to have a Turbo Morpher, but it’s no biggie. Since we haven’t seen Justin since this episode (not counting his morphed only cameo in “The Legendary Battle”), this was a solid send off.

But wait, there’s more! As I said before, Justin wasn’t the only Ranger to make a one-episode comeback, and next we’re going to take a look at “Always A Chance,” featuring the return of the man, the myth, the voice, the one and only Adam Park.

The episode begins another Previously On segment (the Rangers where on another planet helping some survivors from Andros’s homeworld when Darkonda infiltrated them, prompting Sliver Ranger and Discount Brad Pitt Zhane to defeat him and stay behind to aid in the resistance against Dark Spector), then the cold open. In a science lab somewhere in Angel Grove, a lizard monster named Lizwizard is draining the mainframe, and the brains of the nearby scientists, with his tongue, sending the top-secret information to Astronema.

The Rangers arrive at the lab, check on what the monster is doing, and charge in to do what they do best. Lizwizard attacks Andros with his tongue, and swaps places with him.

The intro hits, this time including Zhane (who ironically isn’t in this episode, I’ll get a chance to describe him in next week’s review), and the fight picks back up with Lizwizard dragging Andros outside to be swarmed by his Quantron entourage. The other Rangers soon hurry out to even the odds, and the team engages Lizwizard with their weapons.

Lizwizard eventually finds himself surrounded by Cassie and Carlos, and grabs at the former with his tongue. Carlos tries to retaliate with a flying jumpkick, but Lizwizard uses his swapping power at the last second, causing the Black Ranger to hit Cassie instead. Lizwizard takes the distraction to teleport away, leaving the Rangers to care for the injured Cassie. At least she wasn’t the one who botched this time…

They take her up to the Megaship to get her shoulder fixed, and Carlos is pretty shaken up over the whole ordeal. He checks up on her while she’s playing Space Checkers with Alpha, apologizing for his big mistake. She assures him that it was an accident and there’s no hard feelings, but he still beats himself up over it, walking out and leaving Cassie concerned about how he’s going to handle this. I’m guessing: not so well…

Up on the Dark Fortress, Lizwizard relays the data that he drained into the ship’s computer as a now-blonde Astronema (I wonder if Lady Gaga watched this show growing up. That and The Phantom Menace) and Ecliptor watch. She plans on using this info to build a “grand weapon” to conquer Earth with, but Lizwizard tells her that she still needs a key piece of data. She in turn tells him that she’s running out of patience, and that he’d better go back to Earth to find it or else. Let me guess, nearest black hole?

Back on Earth, Bulk, Skull and their new handler Professor Phenomenus (an elderly scientist trying to prove the existence of aliens, not that he’ll have too hard a job in this show) are working on a new experiment… one Lizwizard intends to hijack.

Up on the roof of the building the Rangers last fought Lizwizard at, Carlos leans against a railing and sulks about how he messed up, complete with flashback of him hitting Cassie by mistake. He snaps out of it when he hears the stooges crying for help, and he spots them running away from Lizwizard.

At first, he doubts whether or not he can help, and his hand starts to tremble as he hesitates. After a commercial break, he flashes back to Cassie forgiving him and he finally works up the courage to morph with the cry of “Let’s Rocket,” typing in the 3-3-5 code into his morpher.

I finally get a chance to talk about the In Space morphing sequence, which is really just the morph scene from Megaranger with the words “Morphing Complete” overlaid. It’s still pretty cool though, plus as an adult I can finally notice the nonsense English running down the side of the screen, with such colorful phrases as “Tighten Up, Reality Gangster” and “Stigma Through Idiot Hearing.” Ah, never change, Japan. Never change.

Once morphed, Carlos leaps into action as Bulk, Skull and the Professor flee for their lives. They get the drill at this point. Lizwizard taunts Carlos by asking him “which team he’s on today” before the two go one-on-one in Megaranger footage. After a brief tussle on the ground, Lizwizard vanishes, and Carlos is left wondering if he ran away.

But of course he didn’t (turns out he can camouflage himself too), and as soon as the Black Ranger’s guard is down, the monster runs up and grabs him by the legs, flipping him over. He then strikes with his tongue, sending Carlos flying into some empty oil cans someone just left stacked in the middle of the parking lot. Seriously, what is with this city and random piles of stuff that people can crash into in the middle of a death battle?

Lizwizard vanishes again, and Carlos starts to panic until he tells himself to stay focused. But that’s little object once the monster starts slashing him with his claws, causing Carlos to start sparking all over the place and collapse on the ground. Outmatched and outgunned, Carlos asks himself what’s with him today, and picks himself up for another round.

It doesn’t pan out for him, and he’s soon on the ground once more, with Lizwizard pinning him down with one foot in order to deliver a killing blow. But just as all hope seems lost, the cavalry arrives in the form of a flying dropkick. And the source of that dropkick? None other than Adam Park, the Second Mighty Morphin Black Ranger, Zeo Green and original Turbo Green. Not to mention Nero from Devil May Cry, Zero from Marvel Vs Capcom, Vash the Stampede from Trigun, Bumblebee from the Cybertron games, TK from Digimon Adventure Tri, and many more countless roles from one Johnny Young Bosch. Heck, he even did that Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight game for the Wii. Dude’s been places since he last donned the… whatever Dr K called the Ranger suits.

Faced with the sheer awesomeness of the Baschman and his 90’s hair, Lizwizard tries to take on both Rangers. Adam holds his own despite not having any powers, and he and Carlos get the monster to retreat for the time being, despite Carlos still not getting into the game.

Once Lizwizard is gone, Carlos demorphs and thanks Adam for the assist. But his mind soon turns to how badly he’s been screwing up, and he asks Adam to help him get back into the Ranger spirit.

They go to the park, and Carlos tells Adam about how he hurt Cassie, and that ever since then he’s been second guessing himself. Adam gets where he’s coming from, after all he’s served 4 seasons as a Ranger, and one of the things that comes with the job is wondering if you’re going to make a wrong move. But he tells Carlos that as a Ranger, you have to be willing to take chances, because not doing anything at all would be worse than making a mistake every now and then. Words that ring true not just for Power Rangers, but for superheroes in general.

Adam knows just the thing to shake Carlos out of his funk, and the two set out to achieve Stigma Through Idiot Hearing via a training montage. They go through all the basic stuff Rocky (the boxer, not the Ranger) does before a big fight: running up stairs, kickboxing, sparring, and push-ups, though no egg drinking, all set to a Mighty Morphin-esqe rock track.

Eventually, Adam has Carlos trying to sense his attacks blindfolded, as Alpha watches with a waterbottle in his hand. It’s most likely for the guys, but given how Alpha 5 can eat Christmas cookies without a mouth or digestive track, you can never be too sure. Carlos fails, again and again, until he gets frustrated and starts flailing at air madly. Adam knocks him down again, prompting him to take the blindfold off and tell Adam that he’s “no Power Ranger,” before running off in a huff.

Alpha is worried about Carlos, and Adam tells the robot that his friend is going to have to make his own choices just like any other Ranger. This leads him to reflect on his own time as a Ranger, and wonder if there is a chance to become one once more. He pulls out his old Dino Morpher, damaged from when Rito Revolto destroyed the Thunderzords and the Power Coins with them, and asks Alpha if he thinks it still works. Alpha panics and tells him that the Morpher is too damaged to be used safely, and could kill him if he’s not careful. Adam assures him that it was “just a thought,” but the look on his face signals that it could be more than that. He probably should get that upgraded to a Master Morpher by now. Like they say, without it, you ain’t nothin’ but a cheap copy.

Up in the Megaship, Carlos hands in his morpher, and announces to the others that he’s quitting the team. They try to convince him that they still need him, but he insists that he has to leave before he hurts someone again. Like in that Spider-Man musical from a few years ago…

Over at the Dark Fortress, Astronema is ticked at Lizwizard over his repeated failures, but the monster begs her to give him one last chance. Elgar hands Astronema her Wrath Staff to administer discipline, but Ecliptor tells her that the Black Ranger is alone, and therefore vulnerable to an attack. Meaning that Lizwizard is getting his final shot after all…

Carlos goes to meet Adam at the park for more sparring, and he tells the veteran Ranger about how he quit. But as he tries to walk off, Lizwizard attacks with some sparking blasts before charging at Carlos with savage intent. Adam moves to help him, but he finds himself swarmed by Quantrons.

He holds his own against them fairly well, but Carlos is overwhelmed by Lizwizard. Faced with little chance of helping him otherwise, Adam pulls out the broken Morpher and activates it despite the protests of Alpha and Carlos. Why he doesn’t just use his Zeo powers during all this, I’m not sure. Those were never destroyed like the Mighty Morphin and Turbo ones…

Anyway, he morphs into MMPR Black and leaps into battle against Lizwizard, telling Carlos to run despite the latter telling him that he’ll die if he does this. Carlos starts to run off, but soon realizes that he can’t abandon Adam after all he’s done for him.

Speaking of, Adam battles the monster, holding his own until his powers start to fail him. He painfully fluctuates between his morphed and unmorphed form as Lizwizard takes advantage of his weakness and attacks, the tables of the fight soon turning in the monster’s favor.

Carlos watches this and works up the courage to run back and help. He pounces off the monster in dramatic slow-motion, pulling him off of Adam and allowing the former Black Ranger a respite.

Lizwizard taunts Carlos about being only human (after all…), but the other Rangers arrive to even the odds. And more importantly, give Carlos his morpher back. Cassie tosses it to him as she and the others deal with the Quantrons, and Carlos morphs into the Black Ranger once more.

He takes on some Quantrons before spotting Adam in the clutches of Lizwizard’s tongue, and makes the save by performing the same dive attack he used before. Lizwizard tries the switch move again, but this time Carlos is ready, stepping over Adam to take the monster down.

Up in space, Astronema orders Elgar to fire the Sattellasers, and LizWizard grows to giant size. The last bit of Adam’s power runs out, and he forcibly demorphs. Carlos runs to his side, but Adam assures him that he’ll live and to go deal with the monster.

The Rangers call for the Astro Megazord, which forms from the Megaship and Megashuttle in space as the theme song plays. It descends to Earth to battle Lizwizard, its trusty sword materializing in its hand at a very awkward angle. It wastes no time cutting Lizwizard down with a power slash, and this has got to be one of the shortest Megazord fights we’ll be reviewing here.

After the commercial break, the Rangers run over to check up on Adam, who’s still hurt from using the damaged Morpher. Adam assures Carlos that he’s fine, and that it was worth the risk to get Carlos’s butt in gear. The two share a handshake and a bro-hug, and the episode ends with the other Rangers lifting Carlos up in a “hip-hip hooray” maneuver.

The next episode preview plays out (Andros finally finds out what happened to his sister, and 21-year-old spoiler warning: she became Astronema) before we get the credits and more bloopers of Carlos drooling, Elgar getting his toe stubbed on Astronema’s staff, and Adam flubbing his lines. And I just realized that someone’s going to have to go through all the old episodes and replace the Saban Brands logo at the end of the credits with a Hasbro one. That’s probably going to suck.

So, now that we’ve finished talking about the story, on to Pros and Cons:

Pros:

  • Adam coming back.
  • The plot regarding the burden of being a Ranger and making decisions, and especially what happens when those decisions end up accidentally hurting someone you care about.

Cons:

  • A minor issue, but this episode never explains what happened to the Zeo powers and why Adam doesn’t think to use them to become a Ranger.
  • The Megazord battle was too short.
  • I don’t think we ever find out what Astronema was planning to do with that data Lizwizard took.

This was a great episode, with a meaningful plot about the responsibilities of being a hero, even when you end up making mistakes in the field of battle. It also addresses the risks that come with being a Ranger, as they can and do get hurt in the line of duty (and sometimes, as we’ll see at a date, even worse), and Cassie tells Carlos as much after the accident. Having Adam come back to help deliver these morals is a nice touch, and showing how badly the original Power Coins were damaged, not to mention the risk of using powers in such a state, was a neat piece of lore-building. Of the two episodes I reviewed today, I’d say that this was my favorite one.

However, neither Adam nor Justin would return for the next episode I’m reviewing, which is kind of odd given that it serves as the culmination of not only In Space, but every season that came before it. That’s right, people, next week we’re looking at one of the biggest episodes in Ranger history, not to mention one of the greatest, the 2-part grand finale of the Zordon Era titled “Countdown to Destruction.” ‘Till then, I’ve been The Uncanny Fox. Live long, stay gold, and to all you Reality Gangsters out there, tighten up! We can’t have you guys running around all loose and the like.

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