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


Episode 7: "Lax Effort"

This episode was completed on April 29, 2006, and released on April 19, 2008.  Its title is a pun on an effort that is lax, and the phrase, "lacks effort," both referring to Canhandler's laziness spell.  It may also refer to the effort Pete and Chris hadn't been putting into their friendship.

Writer:  Joe Rovang

[ Sentai footage is from Jetman #3 (first scene) and Jetman #11 (remainder) unless otherwise noted. ]

In Jetman #3, Tran turns a faucet into a monster (Spoutfire).  As Chokan trains the others in martial arts, Red goes after Black and is challenged to a motorcycle race.  When the monster attacks, Black eventually helps Red and is given back his Morpher.  The villains, meanwhile, agree that the first to kill the Rangers will become their leader.

In Jetman #11, Gray (Strife) turns a juice machine into a monster (Canhandler).  Enjoying a drink after a workout, the Rangers' personalities are reversed.  This leaves all but Black Ranger worthless in battle.  Chokan uses a gun to get Red into a helicopter and then shoves him out to make him morph.  Once the juice wears off, the Rangers destroy Canhandler with the Megazord.

I chose to adapt Jetman #11 here to use it as a Chris focus episode (though my plot focused on Pete almost as much).  Though Jetman #3 lacked significant usable footage, I had to include it somewhere so that Spoutfire wouldn't be out of place among familiar monsters in the later dream battle (episode 28); I placed the battle here because of Black Ranger's prominence.

[ Fade in to EXT. PARK (sentai) - In a remote park area, a green faucet monster named SPOUTFIRE advances. ]

The first portion of this episode takes place on Saturday, May 2, 1992, five days after the Busster incident (previous episode).


[ RED RANGER's feet are shown leaping in close-up.  He draws his TALON SWORD, (close-up). ]

Red Ranger leaps Red Ranger draws Talon Sword

[ RED RANGER swings with his TALON SWORD in midair, striking SPOUTFIRE as he lands.  He delivers another slash, then a final one across the monster's shoulder. ]

Red Ranger strikes with Talon Sword Red Ranger strikes with Talon Sword Red Ranger strikes with Talon Sword Red Ranger strikes with Talon Sword Red Ranger strikes with Talon Sword Red Ranger strikes with Talon Sword

[ Staggering back, SPOUTFIRE looks up suddenly. ]

Spoutfire staggers back Spoutfire staggers back Spoutfire looks up

[ The BLUE and PINK RANGERS flip through the air and deliver a leaping jump kick (shown twice), their hands clasped.  Together, their legs kick SPOUTFIRE, causing him to roll back.  He soon rises. ]

Blue and Pink jump kick Blue and Pink jump kick Blue and Pink jump kick Blue and Pink jump kick Blue and Pink jump kick Blue and Pink jump kick

[ YELLOW RANGER leaps over the camera holding a boulder over his right shoulder.  He hurls it in midair. ]

Yellow Ranger throws boulder Yellow Ranger throws boulder

Pete's boulder-throwing technique debuts, perhaps inspired by the Owl Claw in episode 5.  Fortuitously, it has the benefit of introducing this technique prior to episode 8 so that the Rangers can use it to identify Pete as being the Yellow Ranger again.

[ The boulder smashes into SPOUTFIRE's face and falls onto his foot, causing him to clutch his injured foot and hop on the other. ]

boulder hits Spoutfire boulder hits Spoutfire boulder hits Spoutfire boulder hits Spoutfire

I cut Red Ranger calling to Black, at which point Black summons his Battlizer.  This seemed to disrupt the pacing of the fight.

[ Just then, BLACK RANGER leaps in and delivers a flurry of punches to SPOUTFIRE's midsection and head, a BATTLIZER on his right hand. ]

Black Ranger punches Spoutfire Black Ranger punches Spoutfire Black Ranger punches Spoutfire

Chris's Battlizer debuts.  By episode 21, I noticed that Chris had rarely used his Battlizer, and I retconned this as reluctance to use his injured wrist following this experience.

[ In slow-motion, BLACK RANGER delivers a strong, final punch.  It connects with SPOUTFIRE's midsection with a burst of sparks.  He flies back through the air and collides with a dirt embankment. ]

Black Ranger's final punch Black Ranger's final punch Black Ranger's final punch Spoutfire goes flying Spoutfire hits embankment

[ Still wearing his BATTLIZER, BLACK RANGER is joined by the other RANGERS. ]

Rangers join Black Ranger Rangers join Black Ranger Rangers join Black Ranger

[ RED RANGER draws his SKY BLASTER and gestures. ]

Red Ranger calls for Sky Enforcers Red Ranger calls for Sky Enforcers Red Ranger calls for Sky Enforcers

LUKE (Red Ranger):
All right, guys, let's do it!

[ RED RANGER assembles his SKY ENFORCER. ]

Red Ranger assembles Sky Enforcer Red Ranger assembles Sky Enforcer

[ The RANGERS ready their ENFORCERS.  BLACK RANGER is no longer wearing his BATTLIZER. ]

Enforcers ready

RANGERS (in unison):

[ SPOUTFIRE staggers with a groan. ]

Spoutfire staggers

[ We zoom out from a close-up of RED RANGER as his visor and ENFORCER shimmer, the RANGERS simultaneously firing their ENFORCER beams over a black background which also flashes red.  At the front of the blast is a force bubble (see episode 2). ]

Enforcer blast Enforcer blast Enforcer blast Enforcer blast

RANGERS (in unison):
Fire!  (blast fires)

In retrospect, I was surprised that it took until episode 7 for the Enforcers' force bubble sequence to finally appear.  The reason is as follows: in episode 2, Chris added his blast after the others; in episode 3, the Somebody melted, and Wing King arrived as a giant; in episodes 4, 5, and 6, the monsters grew from other attacks without being destroyed.  This battle finally establishes the status quo, short-lived though it may be (the Phoenix Cannon arrives in episode 10).

The force bubble is also known as a "gravity ball," as mentioned by Dr. Bering in the first scene of episode 1.

[ The force bubble flies into SPOUTFIRE, enveloping him in a shimmering sphere.  The sphere then shatters, and the monster instantly explodes. ]

Spoutfire's destruction Spoutfire's destruction Spoutfire's destruction Spoutfire's destruction Spoutfire's destruction Spoutfire's destruction

[ US footage - A smoking, stunned JINNSECT lands on the rocky ground (compare with Jetman #15) and then expands with yellowish-white energy. ]

This is the first time we see a Jinnsect reconstituting a monster in giant form after the monster's destruction.  I always substituted a US shot over the sentai shot because I felt US effects would look better.

[ Jetman #20 - The insectoid energy grows into a giant monster form, though we cut away before we see the monster clearly (this monster is a stand-in for Spoutfire). ]

monster grows monster grows

The monster in this growth footage is actually Hoser (episode 17), used because his body was roughly the shape of Spoutfire's.  Jetman #3 featured no giant monster battle, but I felt monster growths should occur without exception, partially for continuity, but also to provide for greater suspense when the Zords later malfunctioned (see episode 19).

[ US footage - The RANGERS, now unarmed, look up at the giant monster materializing above them (off-screen).  RED RANGER calls into his left wrist. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Sky Flyers!

[ US footage - The RANGERS salute and are beamed up in green light (see episodes 5 and 6).  Once the RANGERS have vanished, the camera slowly focuses on the blue HOVERBIRD nearby as it watches the action above.  It then zips away into the sky. ]

One early idea I had for this episode was to show Barry watching the Rangers from behind a tree at this point.  I scrapped the idea because it would have made Barry an antagonist of sorts.

[ INT. SPACE STATION, DILLIK'S LAB - DILLIK is at his lab table, which is cluttered with mechanical parts which seem to be taking the rough shape of a man-sized humanoid robot, though only its basic framework is anywhere near assembled.  Also on the table is a monitor, the front of which isn't shown from this angle. ]

We see Strife in the making (to be completed in episode 12).  Dillik began tinkering with robotics immediately after completing the wormhole generator (see episode 4), but Magda's impending arrival (see episode 6) caused him to accelerate his work.

[ DILLIK, meanwhile, is purposefully tinkering with a small device in his hands.  Suddenly, a red laser shoots out of it, striking the far wall with a burst of sparks which leave a scorch mark.  Startled, DILLIK looks at the device and puts it down on the table cautiously. ]

This is the beginning of Strife's wrist cannons, but first he will test the weapon as a laser gauntlet wielded by Lenore (episode 8).

[ DILLIK then glances at the monitor, in which we see a fiery explosion in the mountains, followed by the SKYFORCE MEGAZORD's victory pose (Jetman #12).  DILLIK grunts and switches off the monitor. ]

explosion (to be shown in monitor) explosion (to be shown in monitor) Megazord victorious (to be shown in monitor) Megazord victorious (to be shown in monitor)

With a lack of giant Spoutfire footage, the only way I could include a Megazord battle was through implication.  For those keeping track, Spoutfire's energy color upon being hit with the Phoenix Strike would have been bluish-green (see episode 28).

Well, so much for that idea.

Spoutfire was Dillik's attempt to conquer the Earth before Magda arrived, as a way to stake their claim on the planet first.  The monster was created from some sort of spigot using Jinnsect #10 of 46.

[ DILLIK sighs and then looks at someone off-camera, in a corner of the room previously unseen. ]

DILLIK (cont'd):
So, what do you think are the odds I'll be able to singlehandedly stake a solid claim on Earth in the... week or so I've got left?

Magda's scouting seeds must be known to precede her arrival by only a few weeks.

[ We pan over to the corner.  There stands an upright cryogenic container.  Through the semi-frosted glass, we see the frozen face of DR. BERING.  She is frozen solid with closed eyes and an expressionless face. ]

The frozen Dr. Bering appears for the first time, though she was alluded to in episode 6.  I assumed when writing this episode that Dillik's isolation in Trask's absence (see previous episode) led him to begin talking to Dr. Bering as an imaginary friend, though this behavior continues even after Trask returns.

Dr. Bering's eyes are frozen closed because Dillik placed her in cryogenic containment after she had been rendered unconscious by Trask's meddling in Life Support (see episode 1).

[ DILLIK makes a dejected face. ]

DILLIK (cont'd, moping):
Yeah, me too.

[ DILLIK looks again at DR. BERING's container out of curiosity. ]

DILLIK (cont'd):
You know, you don't talk very much.

On some level, Dillik knows Dr. Bering isn't really talking to him, but his imagination has a tendency to run wild.

[ INT. APARTMENT STAIRWELL - The metal door swings open as PETE, CHRIS, MAGGIE, and CASEY enter from the roof and proceed down the stairs. ]

Boy, Luke sure took off in a hurry, huh?

He probably doesn't want to jeopardize his job at the museum...

Frieda will later deduce his identity (see episode 17) despite his efforts.

Yeah, he hasn't even been there a week.  (with a smile)  I doubt he has any vacation time yet.

Hey, you guys wanna go do something?  Like, see a movie or something...?

Nah, I've gotta pick up my car today.  I'm catching a ride with Julie in... (glances at her AviMorpher) ...a little bit.

Julie is the roommate of Terri, for whom Pete baked a cake in episode 6.  By adding references to these characters, I aimed to populate their floor of Parkview with more tenants than just the Rangers, the Pattersons, and Barry.

Casey's car has been repaired following the Traffico incident in episode 5 (which forced her to ride the bus in episode 6).

Mm.  (looks to Maggie)

Don't look at me.  I've got three papers due next week!

Finals are approaching soon.

[ PETE finally looks at CHRIS. ]

Uhhh... I was gonna hang out with Danny and R.J. ...

PETE (slightly dejected):

[ CHRIS reconsiders after a moment. ]

W--  ... Do you wanna come?

PETE (without hesitation):
Yeah, okay!

[ Dissolve to EXT. CITY STREET - Hanging out beside a short wall downtown are three young adults, two male and one female, each perhaps twenty or a few years older.  Of the two males, R.J. has a stocky build, while DANNY is slender.  ROBIN is a young woman of average height and build with long, straight, black hair.  All three are dressed in grunge clothing, and their demeanor is very relaxed, arguably to the point of apathy.  Their speech is lazy and without enunciation. ]

Chris's apathetic friends were meant to serve as a contrast with Pete, such that Pete's laziness under Canhandler's spell would stand out even more.

[ The three are talking amongst themselves as CHRIS and PETE walk up, CHRIS in the lead. ]

... Yeah, I don't know what he was thinking.

[ The conversation pauses as they notice CHRIS and PETE. ]

Hey guys.  This is Pete... (as though he's mentioned Pete before) ... my roommate..?

[ PETE seems to be seeking acceptance.  He is smiling politely but doesn't appear incredibly comfortable. ]

Hey guys.

CHRIS (to Pete, nodding in each of his friends' directions):
This is Robin, Danny, and R.J.

[ The group issues a collective "hey" with unenthusiastic head nods.  They then continue with their previous conversation, not making much effort to include Pete. ]

Their less than friendly reception toward Pete was meant to push Chris closer to Pete.

... I mean, he usually just wails on the thing, but last night was lame.

"Lame"...  It was acoustic!

Heh... R.J. just misses his hair bands...

Those being the big-hair bands of the 80s.

[ PETE speaks up. ]

Oh, did you guys see a show?

[ The group looks at PETE, none of them immediately speaking.  ROBIN then answers. ]


This was a random made-up band name, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn it's really in use somewhere.

[ PETE has a blank look on his face but remains genuinely curious. ]

So is that, like, their name?

[ The group exchanges glances.   PETE grows uncomfortable until CHRIS speaks up. ]

CHRIS (to Pete):
Yeah, it's like a joke name.  ... It means "name."

Oh, well, yeah...!  (pauses)  But.. that's... their real name?

[ A few in the group (with the exception of CHRIS) roll their eyes slightly and turn their bodies away from PETE to a degree. ]

Pete is out of his element, and yet he normally gets along well with Chris.

[ CHRIS searches for a topic of conversation. ]

You know, Pete works at, uh... Franco's, over on Third.

R.J. (to Pete, not tremendously enthused):
Yeah..?  Can you get us any free food?

[ DANNY chuckles, while ROBIN rolls her eyes. ]

[ PETE, meanwhile, seems disappointed he can't grant R.J.'s request. ]

Well... not really...

R.J. (grumbling, perhaps somewhat tongue-in-cheek):
Ehh, then what good are ya?

[ PETE shifts uncomfortably. ]

ROBIN (to R.J., stressing his name):
Say, ROBERT, when are YOU planning on getting a job?

Robin, R.J.'s girlfriend, is the least obnoxious of Chris's friends.

[ DANNY snickers. ]

R.J. (rolling his eyes disagreeably):

[ As the conversation subsides, PETE speaks up. ]

So, umm... are any of you guys up for a movie or something?

[ DANNY crinkles his brow and looks at the others.  R.J. makes a face as well. ]


ROBIN (to Pete, perhaps humoring him):
What kind of movie?

Well, I dunno... I heard Hollow Planet wasn't bad.

This was the same movie Casey and Barry watched in episode 5.  He may be referencing Casey's non-negative review, perhaps specifically her remarks in episode 6.

R.J. (muttering to himself):
Bunch of Hollywood junk.

[ PETE remains polite and helpful. ]

Ummm... Well, what about the bowling alley?  You guys ever go there?  It's not bad... I mean, if you can stand the smoke.

This predates widespread smoking bans in public places.  It also indicates Pete is probably not asthmatic.

[ DANNY chuckles privately. ]

CHRIS (to Pete):
We-- We usually just kinda hang out.

Oh.  (pauses)  But, like... What do you do?

R.J. (to nobody in particular):
Man, why do you always have to be "doing" something all the time?

Yeah, the cops won't leave you alone unless you're doing something.

Yeah, where's my right to assemble, man?

[ PETE feigns agreement while shrinking back. ]

Yeah, I hear ya.  (looks across the street)  Well, uh... I guess I'll head out.  I've got some... stuff... (trails off)

[ CHRIS looks at PETE apologetically. ]

PETE (to the group):
Nice meeting you guys.

[ The group remains listless, not looking up. ]


See ya.

[ PETE gives a helpless half-smile and departs.  CHRIS watches him leave and lowers his eyes regretfully. ]

[ Dissolve to EXT. MUSEUM - Outside the museum, we join LUKE and PETE in mid-conversation.  LUKE is dressed in his museum uniform and carries a lunch in a crisp, brown paper bag.  PETE is wearing different clothes from the previous scenes. ]

Most of the rest of this episode takes place on Sunday, May 3, 1992, the day after the previous scene.

Pete and Luke build on their friendship forged in episode 4.

[ LUKE and PETE approach a bench and sit. ]

When we were both at McKenzie, we used to hang out all the time.  It was weird, but we were, like, best friends almost as soon as we got put in a dorm together.

As I was later mapping out Spring Valley's landmarks, I decided McKenzie University takes the place of the real-world Laney College.  It's where Pete and Chris met and roomed together before moving to Parkview.

[ PETE notices as LUKE removes a variety of tidily portioned food items from his bag, including a neatly made sandwich, a wrapped cookie, and a can of juice, not yet opened.  The can's main colors are white, yellow, and green, with red letters bearing the word, "Juice." ]

Luke is fastidious.

PETE (cont'd):
Wow, you pack your lunch every day?

[ Amused by the question, LUKE glances up at Pete. ]

LUKE (chuckling):

[ PETE curiously picks up LUKE's juice can and examines it. ]

What is this, juice in a can?

In 1992, canned juice was more of a Japanese phenomenon than an American one, so I had Pete question it.  However, as seen in episode 14, "Juice" brand vending machines actually did come to Spring Valley, for Dillik to have created a monster from one.

In the sentai, the juice machine was found in a gym the Rangers used in civilian form.  I considered having Casey drag the others to her gym, but I couldn't make it fit with their work schedules.

Yeah, they put a machine outside our building.

Actually, the vending machine, Canhandler's pupal form, teleported there earlier that morning.  He had a tendency to teleport all over town, dispensing his mind-bending beverages.  The juice's effects on the rest of the populace weren't shown.

Dillik has created Canhandler from Jinnsect #11 of 46.

[ PETE sets the can back onto the bench and focuses again. ]

Anyway, I dunno...  When I switched to Payton Arts, I guess he didn't feel like he knew anyone there anymore.  He dropped out the next semester.  We never really talked about it.

I later decided Payton Arts College existed in place of the real-world California College of the Arts.  Chris may have grown slightly depressed upon Pete's transfer, though they did still live together.

Maybe you should.

[ PETE makes a face. ]

Ehh, we don't really talk about that kind of stuff.

What DO you talk about?

PETE (after a moment):
We play video games...

Well, what did you used to talk about?

I dunno... Classes, girls... Whether characters in comic books should age or not...

The aging subject is broached again in episode 9 as a sign of their rebounding friendship.

All right, well... Try talking about that kind of stuff again.

Yeah, but we don't have as much in common anymore.

Talk about the stuff you do have in common.  Or... do some new stuff in common.

[ PETE ponders. ]

[ INT. DOLI'S APARTMENT - This apartment, not matching the design of the Rangers' apartment building, is a warm and comfortable space appropriate for an old woman (technically, an old Navajo woman).  Various Navajo blankets, jewelry, and other decorations adorn the room. ]

[ In a comfortable chair beside the window sits DOLI, an elderly but radiant Native American woman nearing seventy years of age. ]

Chris's grandmother Doli debuts.  I had decided at an early point that Chris was half Navajo, but it took until this point to introduce this facet of his character.  The name Doli means "bluebird" in Navajo, as best as I was able to determine.

[ CHRIS is wearing different clothes from his previous scene.  He is looking absently at the decorations on the wall as he speaks. ]

I mean, we've got a lot in common.  We've all hung out together since, like... high school.  We all like the same stuff...

But you feel lonely when you're with them.

[ CHRIS continues fidgeting with a small decoration on a shelf. ]

Well, kinda.  I guess I just don't like the way they act sometimes.  Like... they weren't TRYING to be mean to Pete, but...  I mean... Pete's got a good heart.  He and I don't really have a ton in common, but...

Gaagii, sometimes we have life-friends, and heart-friends.

As explained in episode 21, Doli's affectionate nickname Gaagii means "blackbird," which seemed appropriate for Chris.  Alternately, I considered using a Navajo name for one of the totem animals from Liveman, which I felt would make an interesting sequel series, but I wasn't sure which Ranger color (if any) he might end up being.

[ CHRIS turns and ponders for a moment. ]

... What's the difference?

Life-friends are your friends because your lives intersect.

[ CHRIS blinks. ]

Well, okay...

Heart-friends are your friends because your hearts intersect.

[ CHRIS looks down in thought. ]

Habit, convenience, craving acceptance... These are reasons why we spend time with life-friends.  Heart-friends are people we make effort to be with.

As I wrote this episode, I hoped Doli's insights would come off as more interesting than sappy; whether I succeeded is up to the reader to decide.

[ CHRIS looks up at DOLI and considers a moment longer before speaking. ]

I think I know what you mean.  (kisses her on the forehead)  Thanks, Grandma.

[ He turns toward the door. ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
Do you need anything?

DOLI (shaking her head with a soft smile):
No, child, I'm fine.

[ CHRIS smiles in return and exits. ]

[ EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - As he approaches the apartment on foot from around the corner, CHRIS notices a vending machine on the sidewalk near the front steps.  It's predominantly white and yellow with the red word "Juice" across it (reminiscent of Luke's juice can seen previously; also compare to sentai, though an identical match isn't required). ]

[ CHRIS approaches the machine. ]


[ He pads his pockets absently, makes a disinterested face, and begins to walk away.  Just then, a can of juice (identical to Luke's) drops out of the machine into one of the two openings below (compare with sentai).  CHRIS turns and looks at the can, then looks around, but no one else is nearby. ]

[ As CHRIS considers, a miniature image of R.J. appears over one shoulder, speaking to him. ]

Dude, free juice.

[ On the other shoulder appears a miniature PETE, also speaking to CHRIS. ]

Well, you didn't really pay for it...

I thought this would be an entertaining way to contrast Pete with Chris's old friends.

[ MINI-R.J. rolls his eyes. ]

Oh, please... If you don't take it, somebody else will.

[ MINI-PETE shrugs. ]

Hey, man, do what you think is right.

[ Now alone again, CHRIS ponders for a moment but then turns away.  We see the juice can in the foreground as CHRIS makes his way up the front steps of the apartment building and goes inside. ]

I found it satisfying for Chris's resistance to temptation (and in effect, his siding with Pete) to be the reason he was the only Ranger left unaffected by Canhandler's spell.  In the sentai, Black was affected, but as the spells reversed their personalities, he actually turned into a decent fellow.

Chris likewise will be the only Ranger to avoid the effects of Luxadillo in episode 27.

[ INT. CHRIS AND PETE'S APARTMENT - CHRIS enters and is quickly surprised by what he sees: ]

[ From Chris's vantage point, we see PETE slumped onto the couch.  He is watching cartoons on TV and lazily eating from a bowl of cheesy rice which is resting on his stomach.  He seems to have barely any energy and constantly looks several seconds from falling asleep out of boredom or apathy.  On the end table beside him is an open can of juice (identical to the rest), though it isn't featured prominently. ]

[ CHRIS greets Pete but seems to sense something isn't right. ]

Hey, Pete...

[ CHRIS looks toward the kitchen. ]

[ From Chris's perspective, we cut between successively closer shots of the kitchen counter as overly dramatic music surges with each cut.  We then hold on a close-up of an empty, ripped package of an instant cheesy rice meal. ]

This amused me.

[ With a somewhat shocked expression, CHRIS looks back toward Pete (off-screen). ]

[ We hold on a close-up of PETE's bowl.  We then follow PETE's fork as he lifts a bite with his fork, pauses, and places it in his mouth, chewing lazily. ]

[ CHRIS remains shocked. ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
Is that...?

[ CHRIS advances closer to the couch. ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
Is that instant rice...?

[ PETE replies with a lazily slurred voice as he chews, his eyes half-open but still affixed on the TV screen. ]

I found it in the cabinet.

I find it interesting that Chris (I assume) kept a secret stash of packaged foods despite Pete's objections to them.

But --

[ CHRIS clutches his head for a moment to reaffirm his grip on reality. ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
What happened to... packaged foods being... you know, "the end of Western civilization?"

Pete's intense dislike of packaged foods is first mentioned here.  It sets up Yellow Ranger being visibly disgruntled in Ramenator's presence (episode 11).

[ PETE shrugs with a grunt, his eyes on the TV. ]

[ CHRIS remains slightly stunned but continues with his thought. ]

CHRIS (cont'd):
Umm, look, man.. I'm sorry about what happened yesterday.  You wanna... go do something this afternoon?

[ PETE again replies lazily without looking up. ]

Why do we have to be "doing" something all the time?

Pete is simply lazy and now happens to act like Chris's friends, but Chris assumes this parallel is an intentional insult.

[ CHRIS is initially flustered, then insulted.  He turns to leave for his bedroom. ]

Yeah, all right.  Whatever.

[ As CHRIS leaves, the camera lowers to focus on PETE's juice can.  As the camera remains fixed on the can, it briefly crackles with yellow electricity. ]

[ Break. ]

[ INT. CHRIS'S BEDROOM - Chris's room is slightly but not unreasonably messy.  A black blanket is draped over the bed.  A gray, white, red, and black diamond-pattern Navajo rug is on the floor between the bed and desk, but no other decor in the room appears Native American in origin. ]

Chris doesn't appear to be deeply in touch with his Navajo heritage, but I assume Doli gave him this rug at some point.  Sadly, it will be destroyed in episode 13.

[ Near the door, CHRIS sits at a writing desk, drawing in his sketch book (see episode 2).  Also on the desk are a variety of art pencils and erasers. ]

[ CHRIS's drawing is interrupted when his AVIMORPHER chimes.  As he presses the MORPHER's upper left button to toggle the display to camera mode, a close-up of the display shows: ]

[ Sentai footage (inset) - CANHANDLER, a juice machine monster (later described in further detail), leaps through the air and lands on an overpass.  He then fires two arcing bolts of golden electricity, raining an explosive blast on two people below and causing them to flip onto the ground. ]

Canhandler attacking downtown (from Chris's Morpher) Canhandler attacking downtown (from Chris's Morpher) Canhandler attacking downtown (from Chris's Morpher) Canhandler attacking downtown (from Chris's Morpher) Canhandler attacking downtown (from Chris's Morpher) Canhandler attacking downtown (from Chris's Morpher)

This is an example of a monster sequence I might not have been able to use outside of a tiny Morpher display, as it included Japanese actors.  It was this potential to maximize usable monster footage that led me to invent the Hoverbirds.

[ INT. CHRIS AND PETE'S APARTMENT - In the living room, CHRIS hurriedly enters from the direction of his bedroom.  He heads for the door before stopping in his tracks. ]

We've got trouble downtown!  (stop and looks back at Pete)  Dude, come on!

[ PETE continues to slouch in front of the TV.  His now empty bowl sits beside him on the couch.  The juice can remains essentially where it was before. ]

I don't feel like it.

[ CHRIS is flabbergasted. ]

Pete, this is serious!  People are in trouble!

[ PETE groans and flips off the TV. ]

[ EXT. PARK - BLACK RANGER lands and assumes a confrontational stance toward the monster (off-screen). ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
All right, creep, you're about to wish you were somewhere else.

[ Switch to sentai - Initially crouching behind a tree, CANHANDLER flails his arms and hops excitedly.  He is a vending machine monster with green arms, legs, and head projections.  His vending machine torso matches the vending machine seen earlier.  A JINNSECT is embedded in the right side of his chest.  His voice is giddy and manic. ]

Canhandler Canhandler

Well, it looks like Yellow's up a tree!

[ BLACK RANGER looks up at a nearby tree. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Huh?  Pete...!

Black Ranger looks up Black Ranger looks up

In the sentai, all of the Rangers were present here.  Hiccupping in the middle of a fight with Canhandler (having drunk his juice at an earlier point), they all reversed personalities: Yellow became a lazy jerk, Black was filled with heroic valor, White became shallow and narcissistic, Red lazily demorphed, and Blue grew overly sensitive.  I found this footage too difficult to adapt, with the exception of Yellow Ranger; this was the basis of the laziness spell.

[ Sitting among the tree's branches, YELLOW RANGER points at BLACK (off-screen) and makes a dismissive gesture before crossing his arms and reclining. ]

Yellow Ranger takes a break Yellow Ranger takes a break Yellow Ranger takes a break Yellow Ranger takes a break

Pete may or may not have landed in the tree intentionally, per his prior bad landings.  His flight skill has been improving, however, and no further bad landings will occur.

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
You know what?  I don't need this.  If you need me, I'm taking a nap.

[ With a slumped sigh, BLACK RANGER keeps his eyes on the monster (off-screen). ]

Black Ranger sighs

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
(sighs)  What's going on...?

[ CANHANDLER giggles excitedly. ]

Canhandler giggles Canhandler giggles

Hee hee!  Four Rangers, out of commission!

[ US footage - BLACK RANGER looks around for his friends before clenching his fist and speaking.  He then leaps. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger, heatedly):
What did you do to them?!  (leaps)

[ CANHANDLER gestures his arms and then bows, transforming into yellow energy (US addition). ]

Canhandler gestures Canhandler vanishes (energy not shown)

[ US footage - BLACK RANGER lands just as the yellow energy vanishes.  He then looks around and clenches his fist in frustration. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
He got away!

[ In the tree, YELLOW RANGER shrugs disinterestedly and resumes loafing. ]

Yellow Ranger shrugs Yellow Ranger shrugs Yellow Ranger shrugs

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Eh.  What are you gonna do...?

[ Switch to US footage - BLACK RANGER turns and looks up at Yellow Ranger (off-screen).  He then has a realization. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
I've gotta find the others!

[ BLACK RANGER touches two fingers to the side of his helmet.  Suddenly, YELLOW RANGER lands beside him and stands with a lazy body posture, looking around absently.  BLACK RANGER is interrupted as he looks at YELLOW. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
You know, using the Hoverbirds will just get 'em attacked.

Pete may be lazy, but he's still fundamentally himself.

Pete's remark speaks to his and Casey's realization in the previous episode that the Hoverbirds prompted alien attacks.

[ BLACK RANGER studies YELLOW for a moment before replying. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Got any suggestions?

It isn't clear here whether Pete and Casey have told the others of the dangers of Hoverbird use, but surely they have; this would then be a reminder.

[ YELLOW RANGER sighs and absently looks up at the sky. ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
(sighs)  Well...

[ EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - On the steps outside the apartment building, MAGGIE, LUKE, and CASEY are lazily lounging.  MAGGIE and CASEY are in normal clothes, while LUKE is dressed up for the museum.  A silver street bicycle, in otherwise good condition, lies strewn against the curb, partially in the street.  A red helmet hangs from the handlebars.  Nearby, the vending machine is now missing, and all that remains is a slightly darkened square on the sidewalk where it used to stand. ]

As this is a Sunday, only Luke is working right now.

[ CHRIS approaches with a jog from further down the street.  Nearing, he catches sight of the bike lying on the curb. ]

Guys!  (sees the bike)  ... Luke!  Is that the bike I sold you?

[ As LUKE lazily responds, CASEY (also in frame) makes a broad, dreamy smile at the sight of Chris (off-screen), though she still remains as dazed and sluggish as the rest. ]

Yeahhh...  (waves dismissively toward the bike)  It...'s too hard to pedal.  I don't want it.

[ CHRIS is flustered.  As we see his reaction, we also see PETE walking up at a casual pace from the direction Chris arrived.  He then stands beside CHRIS, listening to the conversation. ]

[ MAGGIE lolls her head in the direction of the vending machine's former location. ]

Man, why'd they take our juice machine away?

CHRIS (confidently, the idea having been in his head for some time):
You guys, you're under a spell!  The juice machine's a monster!

[ CASEY dreamily admires Chris (off-screen). ]

I like your shirt.

Casey's crush continues (see episode 5).

[ CHRIS blinks and shakes his head dismissively. ]

Chris's obliviousness continues as well (see episode 6).

Look, are you guys Power Rangers or not?

[ CASEY sulks.  LUKE looks down at the concrete, staring into space in absent contemplation, while MAGGIE seems lazily unfazed. ]

[ As CHRIS waits, PETE alternates his gaze between CHRIS and the others, still seeming to be in a fog.  CHRIS finally speaks tersely. ]

Fine.  I'm going.

[ As CHRIS runs off in the other direction, PETE and CASEY watch him leave.  The four are then left alone to talk amongst themselves.  PETE finally gives in and speaks up despite his lack of energy. ]

Well, there... kinda is a monster...

The heroes' true selves are still in there somewhere, buried beneath the laziness.  They'll have to fight hard to get through it; just thinking about it makes me tired.

[ EXT. APARTMENT SIDE - Ducking beside a fire escape in a side alley, CHRIS brings his MORPHER to his mouth.  He boldly declares his morphing call with a slight slow-motion effect, his call resounding with an echo effect. ]

Sky Condor...!!

I played up the drama of this moment because, until now, I hadn't had an opportunity to reveal Chris's morphing code.  Ta-daa!

[ EXT. PARK (sentai) - With crackling yellow energy (US addition), CANHANDLER appears in midair and lands. ]

Prior to this point in the sentai, Chokan pulled a gun on Red to make him get in a helicopter to help against the monster.

Canhandler about to appear Canhandler appears (energy not shown)

[ Above, BLACK RANGER flies down with his TALON SWORD reared.  Landing in front of CANHANDLER, he slashes the monster twice. ]

Black Ranger slashes Canhandler Black Ranger slashes Canhandler Black Ranger slashes Canhandler

This scene goes on further in the sentai; a helicopter soon flies over, piloted by Chokan, and she eventually shoves Red out at high altitude to spur him morph.

[ EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - MAGGIE, LUKE, and CASEY remain on the steps, Pete not shown.  Though she remains lazy, MAGGIE ultimately speaks up with a sigh. ]

(sighs)  All right... I guess I'm not acting like myself.

[ LUKE and CASEY turn their heads slightly to listen. ]


It probably is a spell.  We don't usually act like this.

I wanted Maggie to be the most aware of their altered state, due to her psychological background and her prior experience with Facetia's spell (episode 4).

CASEY (with a groan):
Ohhh... So what do we do?

I guess we... suck it up and go fight that monster.

You're right.

[ LUKE struggles to summon the energy to stand and ultimately succeeds, turning to face MAGGIE and CASEY. ]

LUKE (cont'd, with slowly rising determination):
Even though our bodies don't feel up to it... our hearts still know what's right and wrong.

I found it more satisfying for the heroes to conquer the spell with rationality and effort than for it to wear off spontaneously (as happened in the sentai).

[ MAGGIE and CASEY think for a moment until CASEY looks at MAGGIE. ]

CASEY (to Maggie):
They need our help.

[ MAGGIE nods with growing momentum. ]

Let's do it.

Maggie will later make a mental note of her overuse of the phrase, "Let's do it" (episode 16).

[ EXT. PARK (sentai) - CANHANDLER speaks to Black Ranger (off-screen) and then pushes two buttons on his chest. ]

Canhandler pushes buttons

Now, open wide!

Some shots of Canhandler were used out of order.

[ Shown from two directions, CANHANDLER fires a series of cans from his lower openings. ]

Canhandler fires cans Canhandler fires cans

[ US footage - Bombarded by cans, BLACK RANGER is engulfed in large spark explosions. ]

[ CANHANDLER advances and swings. ]

Canhandler punches Black Ranger Canhandler punches Black Ranger

Here, have some punch!

[ CANHANDLER makes contact with BLACK RANGER's chest, sending him rolling back with a small spark explosion. ]

Black Ranger punched Black Ranger rolls

In the sentai, Red Ranger arrives and impales the monster with his Talon Sword before the others morph and join in.  I made some edits to make Yellow Ranger the first to join Chris, since the episode was a Chris-Pete focus.

I also cut a brief Nobody fight which included such oddities as Red Ranger punching a Nobody's head and causing it to explode, and White Ranger waving around a cape of some sort which produced pink waves of energy.  Oddities aside, I also had to cut this fight because Dillik was supposed to be out of biomass without Trask around (see next episode).

[ US footage - Completing his roll, BLACK RANGER remains on the ground as he looks in the monster's direction (off-screen).  He startles slightly. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):

[ From below, we see YELLOW RANGER wearing his BATTLIZER as he blocks CANHANDLER's punch and proceeds to pummel the daylights out of the monster. ]

Yellow Ranger blocks punch Yellow Ranger pounds Canhandler Yellow Ranger pounds Canhandler Yellow Ranger pounds Canhandler

Pete's Battlizer debuts.  For some reason, his fighting style features sumo-style slaps, including a more blatant sumo stance which I cut.

Did the Rangers overcome their spell too easily?  I don't think so; had they continued to loaf their way through this fight (notwithstanding the lack of lazy-Ranger sentai footage at this point), I wouldn't have respected them as much.

Ow, hey!  Stop that!

[ From the monster's perspective, we see YELLOW RANGER rear back and deliver a dual palm strike toward the camera. ]

Yellow Ranger shoves Canhandler Yellow Ranger shoves Canhandler

[ Struck, CANHANDLER flies through the air and rolls onto the ground near a large concrete structure. ]

Yellow Ranger shoves Canhandler Canhandler flies back Canhandler lands

[ Switch to US footage - BLACK RANGER rises with astonishment. ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Pete!  Way to go, buddy!

[ YELLOW RANGER gives a thumbs-up (his Battlizer hand not in frame). ]

PETE (Yellow Ranger):

[ From nearby, the other three RANGERS run onto the scene and join the BLACK and YELLOW RANGERS.  YELLOW is no longer wearing his Battlizer. ]

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Hey, guys!

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Did we miss anything?

[ As the RANGERS now stand together, BLACK RANGER looks toward the monster (off-screen). ]

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
You're just in time.

[ Switch to sentai - CANHANDLER rises to his feet anxiously. ]

Canhandler rises Canhandler rises

What are you doing here?!

[ RED RANGER prompts the others, the sun glinting behind him. ]

Red Ranger rallies the group

I cut another instance of Red Ranger's thigh-slap maneuver.

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

[ The RANGERS strike a pose as their emblem gleams behind them. ]

Rangers pose Rangers pose Rangers pose

RANGERS (in unison):
Power Rangers!

[ RED RANGER assembles his SKY ENFORCER. ]

Red Ranger assembles Sky Enforcer Red Ranger assembles Sky Enforcer

[ The RANGERS prepare their completed ENFORCERS. ]

Enforcers ready

RANGERS (in unison):

[ Smoking, CANHANDLER hops anxiously, his hands trembling. ]

Canhandler hops anxiously

Ohhh, this is all wrong...!

[ We zoom out from RED RANGER as the RANGERS fire their ENFORCER beams. ]

Enforcer blast Enforcer blast Enforcer blast

RANGERS (in unison):
Fire!  (blast fires)

[ The force bubble strikes CANHANDLER, surrounding him with a shimmering sphere which shatters, at which point he explodes in a fireball. ]

Canhandler's destruction Canhandler's destruction Canhandler's destruction Canhandler's destruction

[ US footage - A smoking JINNSECT lands on the rocky ground (compare with sentai) and then expands with yellowish-white energy. ]

[ Above, the insectoid energy briefly forms an image of a giant floating vending machine, which gives way to the giant form of CANHANDLER towering above.  He crouches down and makes pinching gestures with his hands. ]

Canhandler grows Canhandler grows Canhandler grows Canhandler looms overhead Canhandler makes pinching gestures

Ha ha ha!  I'm gonna get ya!

[ As the RANGERS scramble below, RED RANGER calls into his left wrist. ]

Red Ranger calls into wrist Red Ranger calls into wrist

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Sky Flyers!  We need you!

[ EXT. SKY - As the FLYERS emerge from the clouds, the five RANGERS streak up into them from below as beams of light.  The bottoms of the FLYERS shimmer with blue energy once the transfer has completed. ]

Sky Flyers Sky Flyers Sky Flyers

[ INT. HAWK COCKPIT (Jetman #8) - With the other FLYERS visible through his canopy, RED RANGER thrusts his fist forward. ]

Red Ranger with other Flyers above

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

[ EXT. SKY (Jetman #5) - The five FLYERS fly up into the sky with colored trails. ]

Sky Flyers streak up into sky

[ Switch to Jetman #12 - The CONDOR and SWAN transform into legs. ]

For some reason, the Megazord assembly in Jetman #11 (Canhandler's episode) was cut down, while the assembly in Jetman #12 was more complete; I therefore used the more complete version, given that this was only the Megazord's second appearance in Take Flight.

legs transform legs transform

[ The OWL and SWALLOW transform into arms. ]

arms transform arms transform

[ The HAWK transforms into a torso. ]

torso transforms torso transforms

[ The legs attach, followed by the arms.  The head then rises, and the SKYFORCE MEGAZORD is complete. ]

legs attach arms attach head rises Skyforce Megazord complete

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (Jetman #6) - BLACK RANGER looks at the others, makes a remark, and then uses his thumb to mash a button below. ]

Black Ranger in cockpit Black Ranger in cockpit Black Ranger prepares to mash button

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
Good to see you guys!  Now let's give it all we've got!  (mashes button)

[ As seen in close-up, he pushes the third of four buttons on his controls, causing a fist graphic to appear in his monitor. ]

Black Ranger activates fist Black Ranger activates fist

CHRIS (Black Ranger, off-screen):
Skyforce punch!

In need of a leading cockpit shot (which the sentai awkwardly lacked), and wishing for Black Ranger to be the focus of the battle, I chose this shot of Black activating the rocket punch, as I wasn't sure the rocket punch would even appear in Take Flight due to its normally cheesy appearance (it did appear, however, in episode 39).

[ Two gray joysticks flip up in front of BLACK RANGER, as shown in close-up.  He takes them and shoves the right one forward. ]

Black Ranger gets joysticks Black Ranger gets joysticks Black Ranger gets joysticks Black Ranger gets joysticks Black Ranger gets joysticks

[ EXT. MOUNTAINS - The MEGAZORD winds up and punches toward the camera with its right arm (shown twice). ]

Megazord punch Megazord punch Megazord punch

[ Punched in the head, CANHANDLER sparks and flies back, landing beside a concrete structure.  He rises and presses a button on his torso (shown in close-up). ]

Megazord punches Canhandler Canhandler flies back Canhandler rises Canhandler pushes button

Take this!

I cut a close-up of Japanese writing on Canhandler's chest.

[ From his two lower openings fly a barrage of cans.  We see a number of them flying through the air. ]

Canhandler fires cans flying cans flying cans

[ Jetman #10 - The MEGAZORD is bombarded with flying cans, causing an eruption of spark explosions.  We then see explosions erupting around the MEGAZORD's legs in a closer shot. ]

cans hit Megazord Megazord sparks Megazord sparks

In the sentai, Canhandler's flying cans were immediately knocked back by the Megazord, which was suddenly wielding the Owl Hammer and Wing Shield without warning (seen below).  As I searched for a way to expand the fight and introduce these weapons properly, I came across this shot of the Megazord being bombarded with "cans" (actually, noodle cups thrown by Ramenator, but effective stand-ins for cans).

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (Jetman #24) - As the RANGERS are shaken in the cockpit, we zoom in on a frustrated YELLOW RANGER. ]

Yellow Ranger frustrated Yellow Ranger frustrated

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Ohh, this guy's gonna get it!

I used this shot of Yellow Ranger to continue the Chris-Pete focus.

[ EXT. MOUNTAINS (Jetman #16) - The MEGAZORD staggers back and readies itself. ]

Megazord staggers Megazord stands ready

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (Jetman #9) - YELLOW RANGER pumps his fist and presses a button on his controls. ]

Yellow Ranger mashes button Yellow Ranger mashes button

PETE (Yellow Ranger):
Owl Hammer!

[ On his controls, YELLOW RANGER presses the second of four buttons, making a spiked mallet graphic appear on his screen. ]

Owl Hammer on screen

The Owl Hammer debuts, though we aren't told how Pete knew of it (presumably it was shown in his helmet display).  I named it the Owl Hammer because it was exclusively summoned by Yellow Ranger.

[ EXT. MOUNTAINS (Jetman #7) - The MEGAZORD wields a hefty, spiked silver mallet, the OWL HAMMER. ]

Megazord wields Owl Hammer Megazord wields Owl Hammer Megazord wields Owl Hammer

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (Jetman #15) - From her rear seat, BLUE RANGER makes a suggestion to RED RANGER.  BLACK, RED, and YELLOW look back as RED responds affirmatively. ]

Blue Ranger's idea Blue Ranger's idea Blue Ranger's idea

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Incoming...!  Use the Wing Shield!

LUKE (Red Ranger):
You got it!

The Wing Shield was also presumably shown in Maggie's helmet display.  This is its first and only appearance.

[ EXT. MOUNTAINS - Again the cans fly through the air. ]

flying cans

[ Holding the blue and white WING SHIELD in its left hand, the MEGAZORD swings the OWL HAMMER like a baseball bat, swatting the cans back at the monster (off-screen), as we see from numerous angles. ]

Megazord swats cans with hammer Megazord swats cans with hammer Megazord swats cans with hammer Megazord swats cans with hammer

[ Nearby, a number of cans strike CANHANDLER, causing him to erupt in sparks. ]

Canhandler hit with cans Canhandler hit with cans

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - RED RANGER pumps his fist before pressing a button. ]

LUKE (Red Ranger):
All right!  Now let's finish him off!

Red Ranger pumps fist Red Ranger pushes button

[ RED RANGER's button press activates the PHOENIX BLADE. ]

Red Ranger summons Phoenix Blade

LUKE (Red Ranger, off-screen):
Phoenix Blade!

[ RED RANGER then shifts his left joystick forward. ]

Red Ranger shifts joystick

[ EXT. MOUNTAINS - The PHOENIX BLADE gleams with a fiery effect.  The MEGAZORD then leaps and flies in front of a blue vortex. ]

Phoenix Blade charges Phoenix Blade charges Megazord leaps Megazord flying in front of vortex

[ CANHANDLER panics. ]

Canhandler panics Canhandler panics

Hey, what are you doing with that?!

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT (Jetman #12) - The RANGERS speak in unison before looking to their respective controls. ]

Rangers speak in unison

RANGERS (in unison):
Phoenix Strike!

[ EXT. MOUNTAINS - The MEGAZORD slashes.  Sliced with blue energy, CANHANDLER gleams with yellow beams of light as he falls and explodes. ]

Phoenix Strike Canhandler's destruction Canhandler's destruction Canhandler's destruction

[ The MEGAZORD's feet land. ]

Megazord lands Megazord lands

[ Jetman #12 - The MEGAZORD then stands triumphantly. ]

Megazord triumphant

[ Break. ]

[ EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - Looking up at the top of the building from street level, we see five Ranger-colored streaks beamed onto the roof in a green beam from above. ]

[ Dissolve to EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING (STREET LEVEL) - The five HEROES emerge from the apartment building's door and descend the steps. ]

So that's what it feels like to be under a spell, huh?

Pretty much.

Again we reference episode 4.

I dunno why I thought it'd be different.  I mean, I was still me... but, like, definitely not the best part of me.

This is how I assumed spells would work in my universe.

CHRIS (to the group):
You guys were acting pretty weird.  ... although I think Casey's been under a spell all week.

[ CASEY startles and shrinks back, blushing privately. ]

Chris is referring to her behavior around him in this episode and the previous one.  He doesn't realize she has a crush on him (see episode 5).

[ LUKE, meanwhile, picks up his bicycle off the curb and puts on his helmet. ]

Well, guys, I'd like to stay and chat, but if I still have a job next week, it'll definitely be a miracle.

Luke walked off the job after lunch due to the laziness spell.  We later learn Frieda deduced his identity at some point (see episode 17).

Bye, Luke.

CASEY (waving):
Good luck!

[ PETE replies inwardly as LUKE gets on and bikes away. ]

I'll tell you what's a miracle... It's that his bike's still there.

Pete is hinting at a problem with crime in Spring Valley, though we see his bike hasn't actually been stolen (but see episode 9).

[ CHRIS begins to walk off, but CASEY calls after him. ]

Hey, where are you going?

[ CHRIS looks back. ]

I'm gonna go talk with Danny and R.J.

[ As MAGGIE and CASEY accept his answer, PETE seems lonely as CHRIS walks off into the distance.  The girls turn and escort PETE inside, trying to cheer him up. ]

[ Dissolve to INT. MOVIE THEATER - We see PETE's eyes glued to a sci-fi action scene (off-screen) as the sounds of lasers and explosions blare through the theater.  (All wardrobes in this scene are different from previous scenes.)  We dolly right to see CHRIS sitting beside PETE, also fairly fascinated.  They both appear entertained. ]

This scene takes place on Tuesday, May 5, 1992, two days after the Canhandler incident.  Pete has the day off, but presumably the movie started after Chris got off work.  For some reason, I found it relevant to note in my Take Flight calendar that this was also the day the computer game Wolfenstein 3-D was released.

[ The camera continues dollying right, revealing DANNY and ROBIN, who are entertained as well.  Finally, the camera reaches R.J., who sits with his chin resting in his hand out of boredom (his other hand is holding ROBIN's hand).  He does not appear to be having a good time.  Suddenly, a particularly titanic explosion appears on the movie screen (off-screen), making him perk up slightly.  ROBIN nudges him with a grin, and he softens slightly, as if admitting that, just maybe, he's not so miserable. ]

Presumably they are watching Hollow Planet.

[ Meanwhile, PETE and CHRIS glance at each other and each smile humbly.  Freezeframe. ]