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


Episode 16: "Talking Again"

This episode was completed on March 8, 2007, and released on June 21, 2008.  Its title primarily refers to the conclusion of Reverbit's voice-stealing incident, but it also refers to the reconciliation of Lisa and Luke, as well as Maggie and Sean.

Writer:  Joe Rovang

[ Sentai footage is from Jetman #15 unless otherwise noted. ]

In Jetman #15, Blue needs to practice her singing for school, but she has to leave her classmate behind when she gets a call.  Maria's monster (Reverbit) is on the loose stealing (or ruining) young women's voices.  Despite Blue's efforts, Reverbit succeeds in stealing her friend's voice, the prettiest in her class.  Her friend discovers her identity as she battles Reverbit.  Elsewhere, Yellow dresses up as a woman beside a stream, and the surprise drains Reverbit of his stolen voices.  Blue's friend then watches as they destroy Reverbit.

As I review the plot of this sentai episode in detail, I'm surprised to learn the monster actually stole people's voices; as I watched the relevant sentai scenes without audio, my interpretation of the footage was that the monster collected sonic energy induced by making girls scream.  I therefore expected that the voice-stealing plot was unique to Take Flight.  Not so much, it turns out!

Episodes 15 and 16 were based on Jetman #16 and 15, respectively; I swapped their order because the Reverbit battle served as a better lead-in to the Megazord's failure (episode 17), and Papyria (episode 15) belonged adjacent to Bobo (episode 14), as both were monsters based on personal belongings.

[ Fade in to EXT. HOUSE (MORNING) - The morning sun, low on the horizon, glimmers between the trees overlooking the Rangers' house.  Birds are chirping. ]

This episode takes place on Wednesday, June 17, 1992, four days after the Papyria incident (episode 15).

[ INT. HOUSE, KITCHEN (MORNING) - LUKE is fitting several "Juice" cans (see episode 7) into a double-layered brown bag which already seems to have other contents. ]

The Juice brand is another reference to episode 7; the first such reference came in episode 14.

Maggie and Luke's conversation arose after I noticed that their morning schedules would intersect, and it became apparent that they would surely chat in the kitchen as they got ready each morning.  (Chris's schedule was slightly earlier, and he didn't spend much time lingering downstairs.)

MAGGIE (off-screen):
Thirsty or something?

[ LUKE looks up and smiles at her. ]

Nah, Pete's gonna meet me for lunch.

[ MAGGIE removes a cup of instant ramen from the cabinet. ]


What about you?  Another busy schedule today?

[ MAGGIE prepares a measuring cup of water and puts it in the microwave. ]

Nah, not too bad.  I've got a -- (makes a face)

LUKE (with a smile):
What is it?

I've got an appointment with a therapist this morning.  It's a prerequisite for my degree.  Ten sessions over a semester.

From what I could tell, this practice seemed somewhat standard in this field of study, and it served as a convenient beginning for the Reverbit escapade.  I didn't intend to do anything further with these sessions, however (especially not having Maggie's identity revealed after Luke's had become so public), so I minimized their importance in future episodes.

Ahh...  So you can see what it's like to be a patient and all?

Pretty much.  Gotta write a paper about it afterward.

LUKE (with a chuckle):
Well, good luck.  (suddenly more concerned)  Oh, hey...  Uhh, you don't think you'll tell her about --

[ MAGGIE shakes her head. ]

I'm a Zen master of keeping people at a distance.

And yet she'll give in to the idea of giving Sean a second chance.

[ LUKE chuckles, finding the idea absurd.  He crisply folds the opening of his bag over several times. ]

All right, have fun.


[ LUKE grabs his bag and sets out. ]

[ INT. SPACE STATION, OBSERVATION BOOTH - From behind the glass of the observation booth, we view a panorama of the Jinnsect habitat below. ]

[ As we slowly zoom out, we see SASHA's reflection in the glass.  A wicked smirk is on her face.  She saunters into frame and places a hand on the glass. ]

TRASK (off-screen):
I knew it was only a matter of time.

Sasha stole a Jinnsect to create Papyria in the previous episode.  She has now returned for another.

[ SASHA twirls and glares at TRASK.  He now stands opposite her, having been previously unseen in the reflection. ]

As a Vampirian, Trask has no reflection.

[ SASHA summons her STAR HANDLE from a white gleam of light.  She clutches it firmly, her fiery gaze locked on Trask (off-screen). ]

[ TRASK smirks flippantly.  In his hand we can now see a compact, silver laser pistol - a BIOMASS GUN. ]

This is the introduction of Trask's biomass gun.  By this point I had finally decided that Trask's energy-leeching power (episode 8) and his ability to turn living things into biomass were quite distinct, and that the latter came from a device he'd picked up on his travels as a more potent means of sustaining himself.

[ SASHA cocks her head upon seeing the gun. ]

[ TRASK absently points the gun in her direction (off-screen). ]

Have you ever seen a biomass gun, Princess?

[ SASHA watches him warily. ]

[ TRASK continues to admire his gun. ]

TRASK (cont'd):
It's a handy little device I picked up from a Nimian outpost years ago.  Much more effective than leeching.  And I suspect... much faster than your laser whip.  (aims)  Let's find out.

This detail about the Nimian outpost was only included for the sake of this episode; I didn't actually flesh out Trask's history in full detail until I began to write episode 17.

In the context of episode 38's immortality retcon, it can be assumed that Trask expects the speed of the biomass gun to be more effective than his sword, which is no longer required now that he realizes she is mortal.  (Note that Trask was almost struck down by the speed of Sasha's laser whip in the previous episode.)

[ DILLIK suddenly rushes in. ]

Don't hurt her!

[ During the distraction, SASHA vanishes in a burst of light. ]

[ Slipping his gun into his coat, TRASK closes his eyes for a moment as if holding back fury. ]

And just what exactly are you doing barging in here, Dillik?

DILLIK (concerned):
Well, I-- I was just thinking...  Wouldn't we make more progress if we all worked together?

Ever the optimist.  But more importantly, he doesn't want her hurt (see episodes 12 and 15).

TRASK (snidely, smoothing his coat):
Yes, Dillik, let's talk about progress.  Do you even REMEMBER how to send down a Jinnsect?

The last monster for which Dillik was solely responsible was Snapshot in episode 12, nearly a month prior.

DILLIK (sheepishly):
I-- I guess you want me to send down a Jinnsect, huh?

Good guess.  (turns, then pauses)  Oh, and Dillik... you'd better not blow this one.  (feigning generosity)  You know... for your own sake.  (departs)

Trask continues to use Lord Omos as motivation for Dillik (see next episode).

[ DILLIK wrings his hands with concern and turns to look at the Jinnsect habitat below. ]

[ EXT. CITY STREET (MORNING) - A nondescript white van with tinted windows is parked on the side of the street.  (Eagle-eyed viewers may notice the street opposite the van's curb is the bike shop plaza seen downhill from the museum in episode 8.) ]

[ INT. SURVEILLANCE VAN (MORNING) - Inside a police van full of surveillance equipment (appropriate for 1992), a detective with a headset, DETECTIVE1, mans a communications console while another, DETECTIVE2, looks out one of the van's tinted windows through a pair of binoculars.  In the van are several green megaphones. ]

... And he's in.

Though it isn't revealed directly, these two detectives have been sent by Detective Morales (see episodes 13 and 14) to spy on Luke as he arrives at work.

[ DETECTIVE1 lays his headset onto the console and stretches his arms. ]

What's Morales got on this guy, anyway?  What, is he skipping work to get in some extra church services?

The surveillance may have begun on the previous Sunday (Luke attends evening services due to his work schedule), as they might have noticed his hurried departure from the museum on Saturday (episode 15).

I intended to advance Morales' probe into Luke's life around this point, but through happy coincidence, I also needed a plausible origin for Reverbit's mishmash of audio equipment; I was pleased to realize those points could intersect.  (A scene I cut from this episode showed Luke's Hoverbird peering into the van earlier in the morning as it flew by on routine patrol, explaining how Dillik had become aware of the equipment.)

[ Beside DETECTIVE1, greenish-silver vertical streaks coalesce into the form of a JINNSECT in midair; as it solidifies, it lands on DETECTIVE1's console, causing him to fling himself back in alarm.  His headset falls off the console in the commotion. ]

Dillik has sent Jinnsect #18 of 46; it will become Reverbit.

Whoa, jeez!

What is that thing?!

[ DETECTIVE1 desperately grabs a nearby green megaphone and smashes the JINNSECT off the console, toward the front of the van. ]

DETECTIVE1 (tossing the megaphone aside):
Just go!  Get outta here!

[ DETECTIVE2 hurriedly unlatches the van's rear doors and tumbles out into the daylight.  DETECTIVE1 quickly follows. ]

[ In a pile of audio equipment, the JINNSECT begins to glow with yellow light. ]

[ INT. BUS (MORNING) - MAGGIE sits in an aisle seat on the bus, somewhere in the back half.  The bus is almost entirely full, aside from a few seats in the front and one opposite MAGGIE and up a row. ]

Maggie uses public transportation, as seen in episode 4.

[ MAGGIE looks absently out the windows as the bus comes to a stop. ]

[ At the front of the bus, several passengers board, the last of them SEAN. ]

[ Seeing him (off-screen), MAGGIE quickly slumps down in her seat, trying to avoid being seen.  Her thoughts echo in voice-over, audibly different from spoken dialogue. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over):
Sean!  What's he doing here?!

Maggie last saw Sean in episode 14; though reluctant to give him a second chance, she asked him to give her more time.  She may now be afraid of softening further toward him.

[ The passengers in front of SEAN take the remaining seats in the front, leaving SEAN to look further down.  As he scans the bus, his eyes fall on MAGGIE; initially surprised, he averts his eyes, pretending not to notice her. ]

[ MAGGIE sits up properly as SEAN soon approaches.  She glances upward, their eyes meeting briefly, and they flash polite but awkward smiles to each other as SEAN takes the remaining seat diagonal from MAGGIE. ]

Diagonal because it would be too coincidental for the last seat to be directly beside her, I decided.

[ EXT. CITY STREET - The bus, a blue and white VRT bus (compare with episode 6) numbered 17, closes its door and pulls away from the bus stop. ]

One of the #12 buses was destroyed as Busster in episode 6.  Had I continued the trend from episode 6, this bus would have been numbered 15, in accordance with the Jetman episode from which this episode was adapted.

[ INT. BUS - As the bus continues down the road, MAGGIE and SEAN stare ahead silently for a while.  Finally, SEAN turns back to speak with her. ]

Hey, Mags.  How've you been?

[ MAGGIE smiles politely. ]

Fine, you?

I'm all right.  (shrugs)  Got a dentist appointment.

[ MAGGIE nods, still smiling softly. ]

SEAN (cont'd, frowning as he concentrates):
Hey, um... didn't you used to have, like, a... a brown teddy bear... with, like, a yellow shirt...?

Sean remains confused by events in episode 14, though he didn't realize that she was the Blue Ranger.

[ Flashback to EXT. PARK (from episode 14) - SEAN flings the TEDDY BEAR off his back.  It rolls and brushes itself off. ]

W-- What the heck...?

You made Maggie sad!

[ We return to INT. BUS - MAGGIE responds distantly. ]

Uhhh... yeah.  (feigning ignorance) ... Why...?

[ SEAN shakes his head as if unsure of himself. ]

Nah, no-- no reason.

Sean finds the bear incident too perplexing to share, but he'll later feel guilty about not coming clean with her (further suggesting that their prior breakup was caused by his infidelity, or at least a very serious lie).

[ MAGGIE notices something ahead. ]

My, uh... my stop's coming up.

[ After a pause, MAGGIE gets an idea and turns to the PASSENGER beside her. ]

MAGGIE (softly, to passenger):
I'm sorry, could I borrow your pen for just a second?

[ Pen in hand, MAGGIE takes SEAN's hand and writes a telephone number (555-0159) in his palm.  As the bus comes to a stop, she stands and smiles at SEAN.  She returns the pen to the PASSENGER and disembarks. ]

A surprisingly bold gesture from Maggie.  Also surprising given that she seemed to want to avoid reconnecting with him.  But impulses are unpredictable sometimes...

According to this site, this phone number was also the Camdens' number in the TV show Seventh Heaven.

[ After looking at his hand, SEAN watches Maggie leave (off-screen), seeming to have more to say. ]

Had Maggie not had to leave, Sean probably would've explained about the bear incident immediately.

[ EXT. SPACE STATION - Establishment shot. ]

DILLIK (voice-over):
(groans)  I'm done for...

[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - As DILLIK stands hunched over the central console in dismay, TRASK approaches from behind with a hint of amusement. ]

You seem troubled, Dillik.

[ DILLIK twirls around in an effort to conceal the displays from TRASK. ]

Trask!  Oh... no, I-- I was just --

[ As TRASK approaches coolly, DILLIK steps aside soberly and allows TRASK to see the displays. ]

DILLIK (cont'd, shamefully):
I made a monster, but he's a loser...

[ Eyeing the displays, TRASK glances briefly at DILLIK with an amused smirk as DILLIK continues: ]

DILLIK (cont'd, pathetically):
I really tried, Trask.  I stayed away from the personal belongings because I know you think they're a waste of time and they get the Rangers riled up, and I looked through the video archive for --

Trask's prohibition on personal belongings specifically refers to his comments to Sasha in episode 14, but episode 15 is another example of the futility of monsters based on belongings.

Dillik saw the audio equipment in a recording of the surveillance van from earlier that morning; as mentioned above, that early morning scene was ultimately cut from the episode (along with others that seemed to take the episode in too many directions).

TRASK (calmly, interrupting):
So what does he do?

DILLIK (woefully):
He says he steals people's voices.

As explained at the top of the page, I didn't realize this power was common to the sentai.  In any case, it serves an especially interesting purpose here, given how much of the Rangers' powers are voice-activated.  I embarked down this path without knowing how I might resolve it (and in fact the Lisa ending was improvised only after much of the rest of the episode had been written).

[ TRASK takes a deep breath before turning to DILLIK. ]

Dillik...  Pray tell, how do the Rangers activate their powers?

Trask would have known this from Hoverbird footage as early as episode 1.

[ DILLIK fails to react immediately, but soon he perks up with a sudden realization. ]


TRASK (with a grin):

[ EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - On a residential street lined by woods, MAGGIE emerges from a cab.  Checking a piece of paper in her hand, she looks around, perplexed, and approaches what appears to be a private residence. ]

Leslie is a therapist who works out of her home.

Maggie took a cab for the portion of the ride which was unreachable by bus.  (It's a wonder she didn't fly there, given her lack of concern toward Casey flying to New Jersey in her Zord in episode 28.)

MAGGIE (voice-over):
Is this the right place?

[ Still suspicious, MAGGIE approaches the front door.  (The cab waits at the street.)  As MAGGIE begins to knock, the door opens almost immediately. ]

[ LESLIE, a well-dressed woman in her late forties, greets MAGGIE.  Her voice is pleasant and soothing.  She does not wear a wedding ring. ]

LESLIE (with a smile):
Maggie, hello.

Um, hi... Leslie?

Please, come in.

[ LESLIE opens the door.  MAGGIE hesitates a moment, then looks back and waves to the cab (off-screen). ]

[ Watching, the CAB DRIVER waves and drives away. ]

[ MAGGIE returns her attention to LESLIE and steps inside. ]

[ Dissolve to INT. THERAPIST'S OFFICE - In a cozy therapist's office with certificates on the wall, MAGGIE and LESLIE sit in comfortable chairs opposite each other.  Through a large window, woods (compare with sentai) can be seen beyond the residence's back yard. ]

The woods in the back yard were a convenient way for me to integrate sentai footage of Reverbit below.

So, Maggie, why don't you tell me what you'd like to get from our meetings...

MAGGIE (with a nervous chuckle):
Uhh, credit...?

Maggie is already evasive.

[ LESLIE smiles softly. ]

Aside from that.

Oh, well... I assume we'll get to know each other, then we'll talk about my family history, my childhood, my relationships, my... (pauses) ...friends... my career plans...  You'll help me work through any -- (sighs, taking a breath) -- problems or dilemmas on my mind...

[ LESLIE smiles again. ]

Good.  Do any of those subjects make you uncomfortable to talk about?  ... Your friends, for example.

Leslie immediately notices the pause before "friends," suggesting it will be difficult for Maggie to hide much.

[ As MAGGIE pauses awkwardly, we zoom in toward the window and the woods beyond. ]

[ EXT. BACK YARD (sentai) - In a wooded area, we zoom in on REVERBIT, an orange-ish monster with one eye, small gray satellite dishes for ears, a green megaphone on his left arm, and a round meter in his chest.  As REVERBIT speaks with an amplified, somewhat goofy voice, we see a tight close-up of one of his dish ears.  Meanwhile, MAGGIE's voice echoes softly with a muffled reverberation. ]

Reverbit listens Reverbit listens Reverbit listens

Ha ha!  I found you, Blue Ranger!

Reverbit has found Maggie using a recording of her voice which Dillik played off-screen.  It was rare in Take Flight that a villain could track the Rangers without the Hoverbirds coming into play.

MAGGIE (voice-over, muffled):
Well, I don't know about "uncomfortable"...


MAGGIE (searchingly):
I just... wanna... protect their privacy.  That's all.

[ Near the end of MAGGIE's previous line, her AVIMORPHER chimes.  She quickly checks the display (using the upper left button) and appears unsettled. ]

Is there something wrong?

[ MAGGIE lowers her arm and looks up at LESLIE guiltily. ]

MAGGIE (awkwardly):
Uhh... no...

Maggie, it's normal to feel embarrassed or self-conscious when --

[ MAGGIE abruptly stands. ]

I'm really sorry, but this is -- (gestures, at a loss for words)  I need to -- (lowers her head)  I'm sorry.  I'll call you to reschedule.

[ MAGGIE dashes out, leaving LESLIE somewhat perplexed. ]

Despite this departure and Maggie's subsequent morph in the back yard, Leslie presumably doesn't discover her identity; perhaps she ventured to the front of the house after Maggie and missed the back yard morph accordingly.

[ EXT. BACK YARD - Rushing out from around one side of the house, MAGGIE stops in her tracks as she sees the monster in the woods (off-screen).  She crossly places her hand on her hip. ]

MAGGIE (sharply):
You know, this is getting really old!  (into the air) You mess with my favorite teddy bear, and now you're SPYING on my THERAPY sessions?!  (into her Morpher) Sky Swallow!

The teddy bear remark refers to episode 14.  Maggie finds both offenses equally grievous.

[ MAGGIE morphs into the BLUE RANGER with a blue gleam and strikes an aggressive pose. ]

[ Sentai (footage reversed) - We zoom out from REVERBIT's dish ear as he speaks.  An orange burst of energy (US addition) pulses from the small megaphones in his torso. ]

Reverbit Reverbit Reverbit's energy (energy not shown)

Actually, I'm just here to make a collection!

[ Sentai - In close-up, REVERBIT's sound meter rises from empty to a 100 mark, with other labels for 200, 300, 400, and 500. ]

sound meter sound meter

An audio collection, that is!

In the sentai, the monster didn't specifically target the Rangers (though he did end up stealing Blue's voice for a time).  Further, the numbers on his sound meter didn't correspond to single victims; I've interpreted each 100 points, however, as representing the voice of a single Ranger (for a convenient maximum of five victims, as will come into play near the end of the episode).  His victims are listed below:

Meter ActionVictim
0 to 100Maggie (Blue Ranger)
100 to 300Luke, Pete
300 to 400Casey
400 to fullLisa (Pink Ranger)

[ BLUE RANGER retorts defiantly, but as she speaks, an orange wisp of energy briefly encircles her neck, at which point her voice unexpectedly fades away, causing her to touch her throat in muted surprise. ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Why don't you just go back to where you -- (muted, reacts)

In the sentai, the monster robbed girls of the tone of their voices; they were not left utterly mute, as far as I can tell (I've long since stripped the audio from the Jetman library I have handy).

It's fortunate for Maggie that she happened to morph before Reverbit stole her voice (Reverbit later claims Dillik wasn't clear on his instructions).  This was important to let Maggie traverse the city with ease as she set out to save the others, but it also served as an interesting contrast to the usual "Rangers can't morph" setup.

[ REVERBIT shakes his finger as he speaks.  He then waves goodbye and walks off. ]

Reverbit leaves Reverbit leaves Reverbit leaves

Nuh-uh!  I've got four more slots to fill!  (waves)  Bye!  (exits)

Reverbit's gestures were challenging to dub, but I think I did all right.

Once I'd thought up the ending (after pondering for quite a while), I came back and added this line to establish up-front that Reverbit could store up to five voices.

[ BLUE RANGER continues to clutch at her throat, but no sounds come out.  As she looks around anxiously, the camera pulls back to show her alone beside the woods. ]

A mute Blue Ranger posed a peculiar challenge, in that she could emote neither with her voice nor her face.  I had no choice but to add her thoughts in voice-over, which ended up serving as the main narration for the episode.

[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - DILLIK studies the central console's displays, seeming to ponder the situation as REVERBIT's voice is broadcast from the console. ]

Dillik is conversing with Reverbit over the special frequency alluded to in episode 8.  It's a great help here, as it lets me include Reverbit in the scene without showing him in person.

REVERBIT (voice-over):
Hey, Dillik, it worked!  I found the Blue Ranger thanks to those recordings you played me, and I stole her voice just like you said!

This explains how Reverbit recognizes the Rangers' voices: Dillik played recordings from his aforementioned archive.

DILLIK (replying into the microphone):
Well, actually, Reverbit, we were kind of hoping you'd steal their voices BEFORE they morph, you know?  I mean, now you've just got a Ranger who can't demorph...

REVERBIT (voice-over):
Hey, it's not my fault you're not clear with your instructions!  If you're gonna be critical, maybe you can just do without my help, huh?

[ Frustrated, DILLIK stammers. ]

[ Previously unseen, TRASK steps into frame and speaks in the direction of the microphone. ]

Reverbit, unless you want the last voice you hear to be your own scream, you'll stop the other Rangers from morphing.

Of course, he's destroyed even despite cooperating.

REVERBIT (voice-over):
W-- well, when you put it like that...  Reverbit, over and out.

DILLIK (to Trask):
Hey, thanks.

TRASK (to Dillik):
Now quit fooling around and make me a battalion of Nobodies.

DILLIK (unprepared):
... Oh, um, okay.  But i--if Reverbit steals the Rangers' voices --

They aren't for the Rangers.

Trask intends to take Nobodies to Magda's lair to attack Sasha.

[ DILLIK stands puzzled. ]

TRASK (cont'd):
What, do I need to file a written request?  Go!

[ TRASK vanishes with a ripple effect.  DILLIK shrugs and begins to leave. ]

[ EXT. BACK YARD - BLUE RANGER touches two fingers to the left side of her helmet but then pauses, reconsidering.  Her voice-over is heard with a faint echo suggestive of thoughts rather than a spoken voice. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over):
I've gotta stop that creep!  (pauses) Hang on.  Even if I thought I could take him on alone, what am I gonna do when he grows?  I can't call the Flyers without a voice.

Despite her comment here, Maggie actually does take on a monster alone in episode 26.

[ Having glanced at her left wrist during her previous thought, BLUE ponders. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over, cont'd):
All right, so I need to warn the others somehow.  Where are they right now?

[ Flash to INT. BIKE SHOP - CHRIS has a mountain bike elevated off the floor, allowing him to test-crank the pedals with his hand as he checks the gears.  A CUSTOMER watches nearby. ]

This is Maggie's imagined version of Chris's activity; he might or might not have had a customer in the shop at the time.

MAGGIE (voice-over):
Chris is working...

[ Flash to INT. MUSEUM GALLERY - LUKE is giving a tour at the museum. ]

More of Maggie's speculation shown here.

MAGGIE (voice-over):
So's Luke...  And if I can avoid just barging in on them as the Blue Ranger, they'd probably appreciate it...

[ The blue-striped HOVERBIRD flies in and circles over LUKE's head, drawing his attention. ]

The Hoverbirds can be controlled with eye gestures, though Casey will note in episode 31 that doing so gives her a headache.

MAGGIE (voice-over, cont'd):

[ A battalion of NOBODIES appears from black ripples.  They swarm around LUKE and the terrified museum patrons. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over, cont'd):
Nah, too risky.

Much of this episode was improvised as I wrote one scene after the next; here, the obstacles Maggie imagines are simply realistic complications which arose as I tried to help her find a solution.

[ Flash to INT. HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - PETE is watching TV on the couch.  As MAGGIE's voice-over progresses, PETE glances at his watch (MORPHER) and leisurely begins to rise. ]

Again, a glimpse from Maggie's imagination; it may have corresponded with reality, but in fact Pete is more ahead of schedule than she realizes.

MAGGIE (voice-over):
Let's see... It's Wednesday, so Pete has the day off...  He'll probably be leaving soon to visit Luke, but he might still be at home if I can catch him...

[ Flash to EXT. PET STORE - Holding shopping bags, CASEY giggles while interacting with a puppy through a pet store window. ]

This is not in fact what Casey was doing (more below).

MAGGIE (voice-over):
And Casey... hard to say.  My best bet's the house.

[ EXT. BACK YARD - BLUE RANGER shakes her head privately. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over):
I hope you're there, Pete.

[ BLUE RANGER takes a running start and silently leaps into the air, leaving the back yard empty. ]

[ EXT. BUS STOP - At a bus stop downtown, PETE disembarks from VRT bus number 18. ]

Pete is already on his way to meet Luke for lunch at the museum.  They also met there in episodes 7 and 8.

[ Break. ]

[ EXT. HOUSE - BLUE RANGER lands in front of the house.  She tries the front door, but it's locked.  She urgently rings the doorbell several times in quick succession, with no response. ]

[ BLUE looks around in desperation. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over):
Darn it, nobody's home.

[ A phone can be heard ringing distantly inside. ]

Sean is calling, having finished with his dental appointment.

MAGGIE (voice-over, cont'd):
Fantastic... phone's ringing though.

[ BLUE bristles slightly. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over, cont'd):
... What if it's one of the guys trying to call Pete for help?

[ As the phone continues to ring, BLUE appraises the doorknob and pads her hip down (where a pocket might be). ]

Purses were an issue I rarely considered in Take Flight; here, I speculate that Maggie kept her house key in her pocket.

MAGGIE (voice-over, cont'd):
Great, my key's trapped in here with me.  All right, seriously, they need a zipper in these suits.

If the series were filmed, surely the Ranger costumes would include zippers along their backs.  I'm willing to ignore this as a production limitation and assert that Rangers' suits do not in fact contain zippers.

[ BLUE dips slightly with a bend at her knees. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over, cont'd):
And why do you need to use the restroom the second you can't?!

Just a fun bit of realism.  Power Rangers Dino Thunder (2004) neglected to address this issue (and others) when Tommy was stuck in morphed form for weeks.  Some Power Rangers writers may have held that the Rangers were physiologically inhuman or in stasis under their suits while morphed (if they even considered the issue this thoroughly), but I chose not to take this approach.

[ BLUE stares at the door as the phone continues to ring. ]

[ INT. HOUSE, FOYER - The front door flies open with a mighty crack as the door frame splinters slightly.  From her posture, it seems BLUE RANGER has delivered some sort of open-handed chop to the edge of the door.  The house is lit only by daylight outside. ]

[ INT. HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - BLUE RANGER scampers to an end table beside the living room couch, grabbing the phone just as the adjacent answering machine (appropriate for 1992, complete with audio cassette) begins to pick up. ]

CASEY (from answering machine):
Hi, you've reached--

To my recollection, the answering machine was present in the script even before I decided to use it in the resolution near the end of the episode, but I think it originally had Pete's voice as the recording.

[ As the answering machine cuts off, BLUE places the phone to the side of her helmet and tries to reply, but no sound comes out. ]

[ Momentarily, a voice comes from the phone: ]

SEAN (voice-over, from the phone):
Hello?  ... Maggie?

[ BLUE RANGER reacts. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over):
Sean?  Wow, that's... really soon.  I don't know whether that's sweet or obsessive.

Obsessive.  He's calling to amend his bear story.

SEAN (voice-over, from the phone):
Anybody there?

[ BLUE reluctantly lowers the receiver from the side of her head. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over):
Sorry, Sean.  Can't talk right now.


[ BLUE gently hangs up the receiver.  She then glances around before coming to a realization. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over, cont'd):
All right, time for plan B.  Let's see... Chris.  He works alone, not too many customers...  Let's do it!

[ BLUE stops herself. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over, cont'd):
Did I just tell myself, "Let's do it?"  (grunts)  Being a Ranger is warping my brain.

A fun play on the frequency of this phrase in Power Rangers.  (I still had no plans at this point for Maggie to step down.)

[ BLUE rushes out, shutting the door behind her as best she can. ]

[ EXT. SKY - BLUE RANGER glides through the air over the city. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over):
Now, what I can't figure out is how that monster found me all the way out in the middle of nowhere...

[ Flash to EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - We see an aerial shot of MAGGIE having approached the therapist's house.  A blue-striped HOVERBIRD enters the foreground, gazing down on MAGGIE as it flies by. ]

Hypothetical image.

MAGGIE (voice-over):
What are the odds a Hoverbird would've randomly seen me go in?

[ EXT. SKY - BLUE RANGER continues to think as she glides. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over):
Wait a minute...

[ Flash to INT. THERAPIST'S OFFICE - We zoom in on MAGGIE's mouth as she speaks with LESLIE (no audio). ]

MAGGIE (voice-over):
What if he followed the sound of my voice?

[ EXT. BACK YARD (sentai) - We once again see REVERBIT lurking in the woods (no audio). ]

Reverbit listens Reverbit listens

MAGGIE (voice-over):
Those big ears of his must've led him to me...

I'm not aware of Reverbit's dish ears serving any special purpose in the sentai, except perhaps to collect his victims' voices.

[ EXT. SKY - The gliding BLUE RANGER comes to a realization. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over):
That means... he'll find the others in no time!  Starting with...

[ We quickly flash through the following scenes: ]

[ INT. BIKE SHOP - CHRIS continues work on the bicycle; we don't see whether a customer is present in the shop. ]

Chris spends most of his day in silence, Maggie figures.

[ EXT. CITY STREET - CASEY is driving in her convertible with the top down. ]

Again, Maggie doesn't know what Casey is up to, but Maggie figures she's probably by herself.

[ EXT. MUSEUM - PETE and LUKE stand outside the museum conversing (no audio).  We zoom in on LUKE's mouth as he speaks. ]

But Pete and Luke are surely conversing right about now.

MAGGIE (voice-over):
Pete and Luke!

[ EXT. SKY - BLUE RANGER banks down to her right. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over):
All right, slight detour...

According to my fictional map of Spring Valley, the museum was just slightly southwest from the bike shop; having been heading south toward the bike shop, she now banks right to make a detour toward the museum.  (What she doesn't know is that they're actually walking in a park a short distance north from the museum.)

[ As BLUE flies past the camera, we tilt down to an urban park below (which is several blocks short of Blue Ranger's destination). ]

[ EXT. CITY PARK - In a park situated downtown, PETE and LUKE are strolling casually as they talk.  Their mood is contemplative. ]

Yeah, I dunno, man, it's a tough call.  I mean, I don't wanna just leave her up there any more than you do...

Luke and Pete are brainstorming ideas to rescue Dr. Bering, but they ultimately come up with no workable ideas.

I know.  (pauses)  I keep trying to think of ways I could get in, but... breaching the hull is just too dangerous.  Plus they'd never let me get close enough.

I wanted to assure the audience that Luke hadn't forgotten about Dr. Bering and his unsuccessful rescue mission in episode 13.

Too bad we can't, like, trick one of the badguys into --

I considered that the Rangers might sneak aboard the space station using some sort of Trojan Horse attack, but by the time I was ready to consider this tactic (following the Rangers' return to Earth), Dr. Bering's release was imminent (episode 26).

[ Stopping in his tracks, LUKE interrupts PETE with a hand on his chest, his attention focused ahead of them.  Seeing the disturbance (off-screen) as well, PETE assumes a defensive stance. ]

PETE (cont'd):
Whoa!  Speaking of badguys...!

Reverbit doesn't appear here due to a lack of footage.

[ EXT. MUSEUM - BLUE RANGER lands in front of the museum.  (At the street down the museum drive, whenever it may be shown, the surveillance van is absent.) ]

[ BLUE surveys the area, her gaze passing over an unused bench in front of the building (see episode 7).  She then turns to enter the museum, but as she pulls on the handle, a female MUSEUM PATRON, having been approaching the exit to leave, startles and stops in her tracks.  With a curtsy, BLUE politely holds the door open for her, and the MUSEUM PATRON cautiously exits.  BLUE then dashes inside. ]

Luke and Pete have been seen using this bench during their previous chats.

I was amused by the Rangers trying to act both heroic and polite around civilians.

[ INT. MUSEUM GALLERY - Inside the sparsely populated gallery, BLUE RANGER enters and scans the room.  Several patrons react with hushed murmurs. ]

FRIEDA (off-camera, searching for words):
Can I... help you?

[ BLUE turns to find the manager, FRIEDA (see episode 4), standing nearby with her hands clasped. ]

[ BLUE takes a final glance around the room and shakes her head disappointedly. ]

[ FRIEDA glances around furtively as several patrons look on.  She then steps closer to the BLUE RANGER and whispers with a nod toward the exit: ]

FRIEDA (whispering):
He's out for lunch.  They went on a walk.

I had been planning for at least one of the Rangers' bosses to deduce his or her identity based on the timing of his or her departures, and Frieda happened to be convenient here.  I took this approach even at the risk of overdoing the Luke-centered discoveries, as Lisa had recently learned Luke's identity (episode 9) and Detective Morales' investigation was coming to a head (episode 18).

[ Initially nodding, BLUE RANGER performs a double-take, cocking her head at FRIEDA in a mystified manner.  She begins to turn away but appears reluctant to take her eyes off of FRIEDA; she finally departs nonetheless. ]

[ Now alone, FRIEDA self-consciously glances around at the patrons with a polite smile and turns to return to work. ]

[ EXT. MUSEUM - BLUE RANGER emerges from the museum and looks around. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over):
Wow, is there anyone who DOESN'T know Luke's identity...?  First that Lisa girl, and now this.  Well, anyway... if I were the guys, where would I go for a walk?

Lisa's mention here serves to remind the audience that she knew Luke's identity before she plays a role in the Rangers' plan below.  I think this line was present before I came up with Lisa's role, though.

[ From Blue's point of view, we pan back and forth searchingly before zooming in on the bike shop's locale down on the right. ]

MAGGIE (voice-over):
I'll check with Chris.

[ EXT. CITY PARK (sentai) - REVERBIT prances and pats the megaphone protruding from his mouth. ]

Reverbit's attack Reverbit's attack

That's it, come to Verby!

[ US footage - Still in defensive poses, LUKE and PETE are alarmed as orange energy briefly swirls around their necks.  As he speaks, LUKE's voice fades away. ]

Hey, what are you--? (muted)

[ REVERBIT's sound meter rises up through 200 until stopping at 300. ]

sound meter sound meter

It was challenging to arrange the voice thefts in an order matching the sentai, as the footage showed the meter rising from 0 to 100, then to 150, then to 300, then 400, and finally to full (past 500).  I cut the 150 shot and instead counted two Rangers for his climb from 100 to 300.

Come on, come on... little more...  There!

[ Struggling but unable to speak (PETE mouthing, "What's going on?"), LUKE and PETE look at each other anxiously. ]

[ INT. BIKE SHOP - CHRIS is alone repairing another bike when BLUE RANGER shoves the door open and enters hurriedly. ]

[ CHRIS rises, bewildered, and looks around. ]

CHRIS (incredulously):

[ Gesturing desperately for him to be quiet, BLUE RANGER quickly grabs a flyer from the front desk, flips it over, and begins scribbling furiously with a pen found nearby.  CHRIS approaches curiously. ]

[ Once BLUE finishes, she whips the paper into CHRIS's hands.  He reads it aloud: ]

"Can't talk.  Monster tracking us."

[ BLUE RANGER desperately waves her hands to silence CHRIS.  He is taken aback but softens his voice almost to a whisper. ]

CHRIS (hushed):
Okay, okay...

[ BLUE finally pinches his lips together between her gloved index finger and thumb.  CHRIS makes a face but yields and refrains from making further noise.  BLUE then releases her grasp and resumes writing on the flyer.  She shows it to him. ]

This exchange amused me.

[ As seen in close-up, the bottom of the paper (below the scribbled, "Can't talk - monster tracking us") now reads, "Pete/Luke walking - know where?". ]

[ CHRIS ponders for a moment and then nods.  Together they head toward the door. ]

[ EXT. FIELD - In a verdant field (compare with sentai), CASEY lies on a blanket, writing into some sort of journal with a pink cover.  Her expression is peaceful. ]

This journal won't reappear, but her duty as scribe for the Rangers' journal while back in time (episode 36) was inspired by her keeping a journal here.  We don't know what she's writing here, but I assumed it would likely have something to do with Chris (see previous episode).

[ In time, a gray squirrel approaches CASEY's area, exploring the grass.  CASEY looks up and smiles. ]

Hey, little fella.  Whatcha doing?

[ The squirrel digs between the blades of grass. ]

[ Propping her head up on her hands, her elbows to the blanket, CASEY continues to watch in amusement.  She then asks: ]

Oh, hey, do you know a Mr. Whiskers?  A friend of mine took care of him for a while.

I needed Casey to talk after a period of silence, so I used her fondness of animals to make her talk here.  While I was at it, I threw in a reference to episode 12.  Barry will forgive her in episode 19.

[ Sentai - REVERBIT's sound meter rises from 300 to 400. ]

sound meter sound meter

REVERBIT (inwardly):
Your voice is mine, Pinky!

[ As CASEY corrects herself, unaware of the monster (off-screen), her voice fades as orange energy encircles her throat. ]

Well, actually, we used to be friends.  I kinda hurt his feelings when I --

[ Appalled by her loss of voice, CASEY rises into a sitting position, clutching her throat (and the squirrel runs away).  CASEY then turns to see the monster (off-screen) and jumps to her feet. ]

[ Sentai - REVERBIT speaks, patting his sound meter, and bends over before turning to leave.  As he walks off toward the open field nearby, a tunnel of distortion waves (US effect) forms in front of him with a reverberating hum, and he vanishes within.  The tunnel then disappears. ]

Reverbit leaves Reverbit leaves Reverbit leaves Reverbit leaves (tunnel not shown) Reverbit leaves (tunnel not shown) Reverbit leaves

Don't worry, I got what I came for, so I'll just be on my way!  (bends over)  Wow, I'm almost full!  (walks off)  Hee hee!  Here I come, Black Ranger!  (vanishes into tunnel)

Reverbit's bending-over gesture was surely a mocking bow in the sentai, but I reinterpreted it as checking his meter.

I added the tunnel as an attempt at a sound-based teleportation effect, but it had to be a protracted effect due to the length of time it took for Reverbit to vanish in the sentai.  As it stands, it reminds me of the dimension-spanning "boom tubes" from DC Comics.

[ Incensed, CASEY starts after the monster (off-screen), but she's too late.  She looks at her AVIMORPHER but drops her arm in futility.  As we zoom out, we see CASEY palming her forehead in frustration as she paces across her blanket. ]

[ EXT. CITY PARK (EDGE) - At the edge of the urban park, CHRIS is leading BLUE RANGER.  He stops and points to something off-screen, and he and BLUE then run forward. ]

[ The objects of their interest, PETE and LUKE wave a greeting, look around for people, and meet up with CHRIS and BLUE RANGER. ]

[ From afar, we see the group exchange a series of hand gestures and attempts at mouthing words (though BLUE's helmet limits her to gestures), from which it can be understood that PETE, LUKE, and BLUE have lost their voices, while CHRIS is unaffected. ]

I think this would be interesting to watch.

[ BLUE RANGER then indicates she has an idea.  She gestures for the three guys to stay put and for CHRIS to stay quiet; he nods, and she leaps into the air. ]

[ INT. HOUSE, FOYER - From outside, CASEY slowly pushes open the semi-broken door and inspects the house suspiciously. ]

[ A gloved white hand touches CASEY's back, causing her to twirl around (with a reaction which likely would have been a yelp if she weren't mute). ]

[ We see that the stranger is BLUE RANGER.  CASEY silently sighs with relief, and they hug in the doorway. ]

I had to make the sigh silent, or else logic dictates the Rangers should have been able to whisper to each other.

[ BLUE RANGER puts up a finger for CASEY to wait, slipping by her into the living room. ]

[ INT. HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - BLUE RANGER opens the answering machine and removes the cassette. ]

[ INT. HOUSE, FOYER - BLUE returns with the cassette in hand, wiggling it in her fingers triumphantly for CASEY.  They exit together. ]

[ INT. SPACE STATION COMMAND - We see a close-up of the central console as REVERBIT's voice calls out: ]

REVERBIT (voice-over):
Hey, Dillik, come on, where are you?  Why ya being like that?

[ Clustered in front of the exit is a small crowd of NOBODIES, though which DILLIK politely pushes to get in. ]

This is battalion 4, created in short order.  They will be used in Reverbit's battle with the Rangers before Trask's attack on Sasha.

DILLIK (pushing through):
Excuse me... pardon me... sorry...

[ DILLIK makes his way to the console and replies into the microphone: ]

DILLIK (cont'd):
What is it, Reverbit?

REVERBIT (voice-over):
Oh, hey, Dillik.  Listen, are you sure there were five of 'em?  Because I'm not getting anything from the Black Ranger.

DILLIK (dismissively):
Um, I-- I dunno what to tell you...

REVERBIT (voice-over):
Wait a second...!   I hear Pink Ranger!  How'd she do that?!  Oh, darn it - I dropped my megaphone.  I-- I gotta go!

In the sentai, Reverbit dropped his megaphone, but Blue and Yellow were visible unmorphed in the shot; as an alternative, I had to either imply that he'd dropped it off-screen or simply hope that no one noticed his sudden lack of a megaphone.  You can see which option I chose.

[ DILLIK shrugs. ]

[ EXT. WOODED STREAM (sentai) - REVERBIT leaps through the air (footage reversed).  (Some viewers may notice he henceforth lacks a green megaphone on his left hand.) ]

Reverbit leaps Reverbit leaps

Several Reverbit shots were used out of order in this scene.


[ Switch to US footage - Alone in the area, PINK RANGER startles and turns to face the monster (above, off-screen). ]

This is Lisa, in her only appearance as the Pink Ranger.  I didn't have a specific intent to make her a permanent Ranger by this point (though I had noticed her admirable qualities), and in fact I had no intent to bring her back in this episode until she became relevant in my solution to counter Reverbit's spell.

[ Sentai - REVERBIT lands on a wooden bridge spanning the stream and speaks agitatedly.  His sound meter is still on 400 (a US composite). ]

Reverbit on bridge Reverbit on bridge

In the sentai, his meter was full.

You're not supposed to be talking!  Gimme that voice back!

[ PINK RANGER notices a brief wisp of energy around her throat. ]

This is the only time Lisa was put under a monster's spell.

[ Sentai - In close-up, REVERBIT's sound meter rises through 500 to a full state. ]

sound meter sound meter

REVERBIT (cont'd):
It's all over!

[ PINK RANGER turns to make room for CHRIS, who saunters into frame beside her. ]

Aren't you forgetting somebody?

[ Sentai - From afar, we zoom in on an agitated REVERBIT. ]

Reverbit agitated Reverbit agitated

No fair!  Where were you?!

[ CHRIS crosses his arms and glances to his left. ]

Oh, just hanging out with my friends...

[ In the direction Chris was looking, we see Casey's car parked on a small gravel road running through the trees; from it emerge PETE and LUKE (from the back seat) and CASEY and BLUE RANGER (from the front seat).  Though the shot doesn't make it obvious, it may be noted that CASEY isn't wearing her AviMorpher. ]

REVERBIT (off-screen):
Pink Ranger?!  But how--??

[ With a smirk and a shrug, CASEY presents the cassette tape previously retrieved from the house. ]

I wasn't sure whether I had executed Maggie's plan in an obvious enough manner, but it involved luring Reverbit to a remote location by playing Casey's outgoing answering machine message on her car radio while Lisa posed as the Pink Ranger; once he had stolen his fifth voice (Lisa's), Maggie speculated that he wouldn't have any "slots" (which he'd mentioned earlier) left open for Chris.  Fortunately, she was right.

[ PINK RANGER faces the monster (off-screen) defiantly. ]

REVERBIT (off-screen):
But there can't be two of you!

[ The others (minus Pink) gather behind CHRIS. ]

CHRIS (smugly):
Well, I guess that's where you're wrong.  (readies his Morpher)  Now, if you don't mind, it's morphing time.

[ Sentai - REVERBIT gestures agitatedly as an orange pulse emanates from his torso. ]

Reverbit (energy not shown)

That's what you think!

[ CHRIS braces as an orange wisp encircles his throat, but the wisp hangs in place, flickers, and vanishes in a puff of orange specks. ]

[ Switch to sentai - REVERBIT's sound meter goes haywire.  Sparks (US effect) erupt from his torso. ]

overload overload

[ Shown in a medium shot, REVERBIT groans as he continues to spark and smoke. ]

Reverbit sparks Reverbit sparks

REVERBIT (groaning):
Aaagh, overload...!

[ Switch to US footage - PINK RANGER touches her neck and audibly sighs with relief as a similar puff of orange specks is released from her throat. ]

[ CASEY, PETE, LUKE, and BLUE RANGER experience orange puffs as well, each exclaiming audibly with relief afterward. ]


All right!

It worked!

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Thank goodness!

[ PINK RANGER approaches the others and speaks: ]

LISA (Pink Ranger):
Power down.

[ With a pink gleam, the PINK RANGER demorphs into LISA, an AVIMORPHER on her left wrist.  She promptly removes it and hands it to CASEY. ]

Here you go... Casey, right?

Lisa hasn't met any of the Rangers but Luke prior to this day's plot.  The Rangers chose her because she already knew Luke's identity, and Luke had likely described her bravery against the Discard at the hospital (episode 10).

CASEY (with a smile):
Yeah.  Nice job, Lisa.

[ CASEY takes the MORPHER and fastens it to her own wrist as LISA steps aside. ]

[ Sentai - Still smoking residually, REVERBIT fumes. ]

angry Reverbit

Aagh, you tricked me!

[ CHRIS shrugs, unmoved. ]

I dunno what to say... except... (into his Morpher) Sky Condor!

[ The others follow suit: ]

Sky Hawk!

Sky Owl!

Sky Swan!

[ With respectively-colored gleams, the four morph into the BLACK, RED, YELLOW, and PINK RANGERS. ]

[ Switch to sentai - Their feet shown in close-up, a battalion of NOBODIES charges across the stones of the nearby stream. ]

Nobodies charging

[ The five RANGERS strike their customary poses, BLUE RANGER in center. ]

Rangers pose Rangers pose

RANGERS (in unison):
Let's do it!

[ Beginning with a close-up of her BATTLIZER-laden right arm, BLUE RANGER readies her fist.  Blue wings extend from the side of the BATTLIZER. ]

Blue Battlizer Blue Battlizer Blue Battlizer Blue Battlizer

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Battlizer... striker mode!

[ BLUE leaps.  In midair, she delivers an open-handed chop with her BATTLIZER as it glows with a blue trail of light (US addition). ]

Battlizer chop Battlizer chop Battlizer chop

As when Red Ranger previously used his striker mode (episode 12), I added glowing effects to signify a higher level of power.

[ BLUE's glowing strike (US addition) strikes the chest of a NOBODY near the stream.  She spins and strikes another with a backhand, also glowing (US addition). ]

Blue fights Nobodies Blue fights Nobodies

I cut a shot of Blue repeatedly striking a Nobody in the face.

[ Switch to US footage - The other RANGERS spread out, fighting NOBODIES with martial arts moves. ]

[ Nearby, LISA positions herself behind Casey's car as she watches the battle (off-screen). ]

In the sentai, through sheer coincidence, Blue's friend from school was also watching this fight.

[ The RANGERS' fight continues.  At one point, PINK RANGER fires on a NOBODY with her SKY BLASTER. ]

I cut a transition from Blue Ranger's punch into a four-way splitscreen of the others fighting Nobodies, as the shot accomplished little (it also showed Red Ranger performing a psychedelic winged super-punch which I'd previously omitted and didn't care to introduce now).

[ Switch to sentai - BLUE RANGER presents her winged BATTLIZER in close-up. ]

Blue Battlizer Blue Battlizer

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Battlizer Beam!

[ Surrounded by several NOBODIES, BLUE RANGER fires a series of sparkling blue beams from her BATTLIZER in various directions, blasting three of the NOBODIES.  She then turns, firing a beam at the nearby REVERBIT.  A smoke explosion erupts behind him, flinging nearby NOBODIES aside. ]

Battlizer beam Battlizer beam Battlizer beam Battlizer beam Battlizer beam Battlizer beam Battlizer beam Battlizer beam

[ US footage - The other RANGERS continue to battle NOBODIES.  Eventually, all are defeated and vanish with black ripples. ]

Trask will soon use these same Nobodies against Sasha.

[ REVERBIT, meanwhile, fires an incendiary blast from his fingertips. ]

Reverbit's finger blast

[ Her BATTLIZER still on her wrist (but wings retracted), BLUE RANGER flips forward through a spark explosion and leaps into the air. ]

Blue Ranger leaps Blue Ranger leaps Blue Ranger leaps

[ BLUE RANGER extends both underarm wings and is shown flying toward the camera. ]

Blue with wings Blue with wings Blue with wings

[ In a series of quick cuts, BLUE RANGER performs a series of flips and cartwheels around REVERBIT, dizzying him. ]

Blue Ranger's acrobatics Blue Ranger's acrobatics Blue Ranger's acrobatics Blue Ranger's acrobatics Blue Ranger's acrobatics Blue Ranger's acrobatics

[ REVERBIT staggers dizzily. ]

Reverbit staggers Reverbit staggers Reverbit staggers

Whoa, cut it out!  You're making me queasy!

[ BLUE performs a flying two-footed kick. ]

Blue's kick

[ BLUE plants her feet into REVERBIT's upper torso, sending him staggering back. ]

Blue's kick Blue's kick

Oof!  Good grief!

[ BLUE flips over the camera and rebounds off a nearby tree. ]

Blue rebounds Blue rebounds

[ BLUE performs a flying punch with her BATTLIZER.  The punch is shown three times, the third connecting with REVERBIT's stomach.  He sparks and flies back. ]

Battlizer punch Battlizer punch Battlizer punch Battlizer punch

[ Smoking, REVERBIT rolls down a rocky bank, yelping all the way. ]

Reverbit rolls Reverbit rolls

I cut a shot of Blue landing and flashing the V-for-victory sign to the others.

[ Near BLUE, RED RANGER pumps his fist and then calls into his wrist. ]

Red Ranger calls Red Ranger calls

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Nice work, Maggie!  (into wrist) Phoenix Cannon!

[ The PHOENIX ROVER races off a cliff above. ]

Phoenix Rover

[ Over a black background, the PHOENIX CANNON transforms and descends to the RANGERS, who charge it with energy. ]

Phoenix Cannon Phoenix Cannon Phoenix Cannon Phoenix Cannon Phoenix Cannon Phoenix Cannon Phoenix Cannon Phoenix Cannon

[ RED RANGER looks down at his monitor. ]

Red Ranger checks monitor

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Target lock!

[ The target lock screen zooms in on REVERBIT as he recovers his footing by the stream. ]

target lock

Stop saying things!

[ RED presses the trigger button. ]

Red Ranger presses button

LUKE (Red Ranger):

[ The PHOENIX CANNON fires. ]

Phoenix Cannon fires

RANGERS (in unison):

[ The firebird blast bursts forth from the PHOENIX CANNON. ]

Phoenix Cannon fires

[ REVERBIT reacts. ]

Reverbit reacts

Wh-- I regret nothing!!

I think "I regret nothing!" is from The Simpsons (perhaps inspired by Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann, who said this while awaiting trial), but it's been burned into my memory by my friend Brantley saying it all the time.

[ The firebird's eye fills the screen. ]

Phoenix Cannon firebird Phoenix Cannon firebird

[ The spiraling fireball strikes REVERBIT.  Following a white flash, REVERBIT is no more. ]

Reverbit destroyed Reverbit destroyed Reverbit destroyed

[ US footage - A smoking JINNSECT lands on the rocks and is engulfed in yellowish-white energy. ]

[ Above, REVERBIT materializes from insectoid energy.  His megaphone is back in place on his left hand. ]

Ha ha!  Up here, Rangers!

giant Reverbit giant Reverbit

With the exception of Wing King (episode 3), monsters tend to be restored to a pristine state upon being reconstituted in giant form.  (We actually don't know whether Wing King was destroyed before growing.)  Here, Reverbit has recovered his lost megaphone.

[ US footage - LISA anxiously alternates her gaze between the monster above and the Rangers (all off-screen). ]

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

Red Ranger calls for Flyers Red Ranger calls for Flyers

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Sky Flyers, we need you!

[ EXT. SKY - As the FLYERS emerge from the clouds, the RANGERS beam up as streaks of light. ]

Rangers beam up

[ INT. SWALLOW COCKPIT (Jetman #26) - BLUE RANGER looks up over her shoulder as she speaks (mirrored from sentai). ]

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Uhh, guys, I've got some weird readings here...  I don't like the looks of them, but I think I can manage.

Blue Ranger's report Blue Ranger's report

[ EXT. SKY (Jetman #4) - The SWALLOW loops through the air, a trail of broken black smoke (US addition) staining the sky in its wake. ]

Swallow loops (smoke not shown) Swallow loops (smoke not shown)

I sought to up the ante on the malfunctioning Zords prior to their utter failure in episode 17.

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

Pink Ranger in cockpit

CASEY (Pink Ranger):
Are you sure?

[ EXT. MOUNTAINS (Jetman #4) - The SWALLOW swoops down and pulls up.  The black smoke (US addition) cuts off in mid-swoop. ]

Swallow pulls up (smoke not shown) Swallow pulls up (smoke not shown)

[ INT. SWALLOW COCKPIT (Jetman #21) - BLUE RANGER nods confidently and pumps her fist.  She then grips her joystick. ]

Blue Ranger confident Blue Ranger confident Blue Ranger confident

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Yeah, don't worry.  I got it.  (grips joystick)  Skyforce Megazord!

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

Flyers streak into sky

[ The HAWK transforms, and the legs and arms attach (Jetman #10). ]

Hawk transforms arms attach legs attach

[ The head rises from the completed torso, completing the MEGAZORD. ]

head rises head rises Megazord complete

[ EXT. MOUNTAINS - REVERBIT charges with deranged laughter. ]

Reverbit charges Reverbit charges

[ The MEGAZORD delivers a prompt kick, knocking REVERBIT back. ]

Megazord kick Megazord kick Megazord kick


[ REVERBIT lands with a crash but rolls onto his feet and aims his megaphone hand at the Megazord (off-screen). ]

Reverbit lands Reverbit lands Reverbit's sonic attack

REVERBIT (cont'd):
Take this!

[ A piercing, high-pitched squeal emanates from the megaphone, stunning the MEGAZORD from a distance. ]

Reverbit's sonic attack Reverbit's sonic attack

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - As the squeal continues, the RANGERS groan and try to cover their ears.  We zoom in on RED RANGER. ]

Rangers groan Rangers groan

LUKE (Red Ranger):
(groans) I can't take it!

[ EXT. WOODED STREAM (US footage) - LISA covers her ears, in pain as well. ]

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - BLACK and PINK continue to writhe in pain as the squeal continues. ]

Black and Pink in pain

CHRIS (Black Ranger):
We've gotta do something!

[ YELLOW and BLUE writhe as well.  As YELLOW groans, BLUE suggests: ]

Yellow and Blue in pain

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Reverse it?

I wanted the solution to come from Maggie; here, she coaches the onboard computer to divulge the Echo Shield.

[ We see a close-up of the controls beside BLACK RANGER.  Through the squeal, we hear: ]


Echo Shield charged.

I'm not sure what purpose this shot served in the sentai.

[ Despite the ongoing squeal, RED RANGER nods and presses a button on his controls. ]

Red Ranger affirmative Red Ranger affirmative

LUKE (Red Ranger):
Echo Shield?  I'll take it!  (presses button)

In the sentai, Red Ranger was firing the rocket punch.  I chose not to use it here for two reasons: first, I'd gone this long without introducing it, and I felt it would be more appropriate to introduce it after the Rangers teamed up with the military; second, the stock footage showed the Megazord firing the rocket punch downtown (an error in Jetman, as this battle takes place in the mountains).

[ EXT. MOUNTAINS (Jetman #31) - As we pan up the MEGAZORD's body, a sparkling shimmer (US addition) ripples up the robot's surface; as this occurs, the squeal's pitch is shifted down to a less grating tone, and a distortion wave seems to bounce back toward the monster (off-camera). ]

Echo shield (shimmer not shown) Echo shield (shimmer not shown) Echo shield (shimmer not shown)

The Echo Shield was a US invention to counter Reverbit's sound wave in lieu of the rocket punch.  I had no idea it would play a role in the finale; I didn't even know at this point if it would appear further.

[ Switch back to Jetman #15 - The noise is curtailed as REVERBIT sparks from the mouth and recoils. ]

Reverbit sparks Reverbit sparks

In the sentai, this spark was caused by the rocket punch (which was unseen as it hit him).

[ EXT. WOODED STREAM (US footage) - Uncovering her ears as she watches the events above (off-screen), LISA calls out triumphantly: ]

Yeah!  You show him, guys!

[ INT. MEGAZORD COCKPIT - BLUE RANGER smacks her fist into her palm (drawing PINK's attention in the background) and makes a nose-thumbing gesture before gripping her joysticks. ]

Blue Ranger talks tough Blue Ranger talks tough Blue Ranger talks tough

MAGGIE (Blue Ranger):
Now let's give this creep what's coming to him!  (grips joysticks)  Phoenix Blade!

I rearranged some of these shots.

[ EXT. MOUNTAINS - The MEGAZORD charges the PHOENIX BLADE.  It then leaps and flies in front of its blue vortex. ]

Phoenix Blade Phoenix Blade Phoenix Blade Phoenix Blade

[ REVERBIT reacts. ]

Reverbit reacts

This isn't what I bargained for!

[ The MEGAZORD slashes.  With orange gleams of light, REVERBIT falls and explodes. ]

Phoenix Strike Reverbit's destruction Reverbit's destruction Reverbit's destruction Reverbit's destruction

[ EXT. WOODED STREAM (US footage) - The five RANGERS materialize from a green beam from above. ]

[ Rounding Casey's car, LISA cheerfully joins the RANGERS. ]

RANGERS (in unison):
Power down.

[ The RANGERS demorph with respectively-colored gleams. ]

LISA (beaming):
Way to go, guys!  (concerned)  Hey, was that smoke coming out of one of your jets?

Uhh, kind of...

LUKE (earnestly, to Lisa):
We've been having a few technical glitches lately.

PETE (to the group):
Hey, you guys, now that I'm thinking about it, I've been seeing some weird temperature readings in Owl Three for a while.  (looks to Chris)

In this episode, I showed Swallow Five smoking because the footage allowed for it, but in the next episode, I'll need the Owl arm to be problematic.  This dialog foreshadows that.

Hey, don't look at me.  I fix bikes, not Zords.

In my early character designs, I thought Barry might be able to help repair some of the Rangers' ailing technology; hence his ownership of a VCR repair shop.  That never came to pass, however.

LUKE (to Lisa):
We need to keep this a secret, okay?

[ LISA nods sincerely. ]

Yeah... sure.

[ LUKE smiles faintly. ]

[ EXT. SPACE STATION - Establishment shot. ]

[ INT. SPACE STATION, OBSERVATION BOOTH - SASHA materializes from a white burst of light, her STAR HANDLE in hand. ]

[ Previously unseen, TRASK stands just inside the doorway.  He presses a wall control, sealing the door behind him.  He squares off with SASHA. ]

TRASK (smugly, reaching into his coat):
You're just asking for it, Princess.

[ In a quick motion, SASHA points the end of her STAR HANDLE toward Trask (off-screen), and a flood of blinding white light pours forth. ]

[ TRASK bellows in pain, trying to shield his face to no avail.  The hot white light appears to be searing his flesh, staining it a bluish color as smoke oozes from his pores. ]

[ TRASK staggers back, soon pinned against the wall.  Holding out his palms, he generates a round barrier of darkness around himself, but it quickly shatters under the constant wave of blistering light. ]

[ SASHA advances, her face twisted with sardonic malice. ]

I'm sorry, what was that?!

[ With a spiteful thrust of her arm, SASHA intensifies the blinding white beam.  TRASK is barely visible within the flood of light. ]

We finally see the result of pitting Sasha's light-based powers against a Vampirian (or at least part of the result).

[ Abruptly, SASHA ceases, and TRASK crumples to the floor, his skin seared completely blue, and lips red.  His suit continues to smolder.  As he hits the ground, his BIOMASS GUN tumbles out and clatters across the floor. ]

SASHA (with a wicked smirk):
Nice try.  But what did you expect?  You're just a miserable shadow-dweller.  (notices the gun)  You know, I came for a Jinnsect...

"Shadow-dweller" is the derisive term Magda used for Vampirians in episode 9.

[ SASHA leans down and takes the BIOMASS GUN. ]

SASHA (cont'd):
But I think this makes an even better souvenir.  Bye-bye!

[ She vanishes in a burst of light. ]

[ Still smoking, TRASK remains curled on the floor in a seemingly catatonic state. ]

Curiously, he hasn't yet transformed into his armored form.

[ Break. ]

[ EXT. MUSEUM - At the front entrance of the museum, as we see from some distance away, LUKE and LISA are having a friendly conversation (no audio). ]

Though I hadn't originally planned to include Lisa in this episode, I figured now was a good time to have her reconnect with Luke, given her unexpected role in the battle.

[ CITY STREET - Casey's car is parked on the side of the street downhill from the museum.  Inside, CASEY, MAGGIE, and CHRIS (Chris in the back seat) watch toward the museum (off-screen). ]

Luke's shift continues (we don't know his excuse for being gone so long).  Chris needs to return to work soon, and Casey will be starting her shift soon.  Pete presumably returned home.

CASEY (fondly):
They kinda make a cute couple, don't they?


Surely seeing Luke and Lisa reconciling plays a role in Maggie's openness to meeting with Sean below.

[ CHRIS gestures in the direction of the bike shop (off-screen). ]

CHRIS (inwardly):
You know, I could just walk...

[ CASEY checks her mirrors before pulling into the street. ]

CASEY (checking her mirrors):
No no, I'll drop you!

Casey is dutifully fulfilling her role as friend to Chris (see episode 15).

[ CASEY eases into traffic in the direction of the bike shop (off-screen).  As they pull away, MAGGIE continues watching wistfully toward the museum. ]

[ Dissolve to INT. CAFE - In the usual cafe, MAGGIE sits across the booth from SEAN (both in their same clothes).  Her demeanor appears accepting toward him. ]

So what is it you wanted to talk about?

SEAN (awkwardly):
Oh, well...  Y-- You know when I asked you on the bus about your teddy bear...?

MAGGIE (listening intently):

Well, it's just... I was afraid you'd think I was crazy, but a couple weeks ago, I think I saw your bear.  ... like, running around and stuff.

Yeah, I know.

SEAN (cont'd, unfazed):
One of the Power Rangers came and -- (blinks)  Wait, what?

The, uh... Blue Ranger told me.  She... (awkwardly) ... must've found my name on the tag.

Close call.


So... you asked me to meet you just so you could tell me that?

SEAN (bashfully):
Well... I wanna be completely honest about everything, and it -- gosh, this sounds kinda stupid, but... it was just really bothering me that I didn't come clean about it on the bus.  So I'm... I'm sorry.  (awkward pause)  ... That's it.

Sean is now obsessive about telling the truth, surely due to his mistake(s) when they dated.

MAGGIE (gently amused):
Sean, you're so... flustered.  I've never seen you act like this.

Sean was presumably more self-centered or aloof when they dated.  Maggie is intrigued by his change of heart, but their second attempt at a relationship won't last.

I just... I care a lot about you, Mags.

[ Still smiling softly, MAGGIE places her hand on SEAN's. ]

[ INT. QUEEN'S CHAMBER - We begin with a close-up of the roiling mist blanketing the chamber floor.  SASHA's boots stroll through the frame, curling wafts of vapor in their wake.  As she passes, we slowly tilt up.  SASHA turns, and we see that her fingers absently explore the contours of the BIOMASS GUN in her palm. ]

[ Suddenly, a NOBODY jump-kicks the gun from her hand, sending it skidding across the floor beneath the layer of mist.  SASHA reacts, finding herself surrounded by a dozen or more NOBODIES. ]

Battalion 4 reappears.

[ Sentai (Jetman #48) - The NOBODIES attack. ]

Nobodies attack Nobodies attack Nobodies attack

In the opening of Jetman #48, it appears Maria (Sasha) was training against the Nobodies when Radiguet (Trask) entered.  He then used his blood to create a parasitic starfish creature which affixed to her neck to turn her into a vampire; this, I believe, was the closest Jetman came to associating Radiguet with vampirism.  I don't recall this association as being part of my decision to make Trask a space vampire.

[ SASHA quickly summons her STAR HANDLE with a white gleam, extending its rod in sword mode, and deftly defends herself.  In mid-battle, she fires several bluish laser pulses from the sword, stunning a handful of NOBODIES.  As they fall, the NOBODIES seemingly disappear into the layer of mist. ]

I originally intended to use some sentai footage of Maria's fight with the Nobodies, but I found it easier to make it all US footage.

[ As more attack, SASHA fends them off with martial arts counter-strikes.  She finally extends her laser whip and finishes off most of the NOBODIES. ]

[ Confronted with a final NOBODY, SASHA wraps her whip around its waist and gives a mighty tug, sending it flying through the air. ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #48) - The NOBODY lands on the misty ground.  In his silver form (see episode 9), TRASK approaches and places his foot on the fallen NOBODY's stomach.  We pan up to see the grinning, armored TRASK. ]

Trask steps on Nobody Trask steps on Nobody Trask steps on Nobody

Battalion 4 has fallen, but they will reappear under Hoser's command (episode 17).

Oh, your majesty...

[ SASHA grips her STAR HANDLE tightly, her hand quivering. ]

TRASK (off-screen, cont'd):
... What luck running into you here.

How could you have absorbed that much light??

[ Sentai (Jetman #48) - Smirking wickedly, TRASK advances and draws his sword, pointing it at SASHA (in the foreground). ]

Trask advances Trask advances Trask advances

This miserable shadow-dweller learned a few tricks, Princess.

Magda alluded to this power in Sasha's presence, but she is surprised by the extent of it.

[ SASHA glares warily at Trask (off-screen). ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #48) - TRASK crackles with red electricity and then reverts to his normal form (switch to US footage), still holding his sword. ]

Trask reverts Trask reverts Trask in normal form

Ideally, Trask would have powered down with blue light to match episode 8 (and later episode 35), but I felt this shot was my only opportunity to transition between his sentai and US forms.

In contrast with episode 35, Trask didn't de-power immediately after entering a dark environment.  This may have something to do with the extreme nature of his light dosage.  In the sentai, Radiguet exhibited residual power from his experience aboard Veronica (Gigazord).

(reverts)  You see, Princess, your powers only make me stronger.

[ SASHA sticks out her chin and petulantly stands her ground. ]

You're not welcome here.

Sasha recalls Dillik's ability to banish Trask from his lab (episode 12), but it required a human to be present to establish the lab as a human domain.

[ TRASK chuckles and dispels his sword. ]

As in the beginning of the episode, Trask finds his biomass gun more reliable against Sasha than his sword (even despite the Ancients' tears retcon in episode 38).

You say that as if it means something.

[ He casually bends down and picks up his BIOMASS GUN from the mist. ]

TRASK (cont'd):
You see, Princess, you're no human... (gesturing with the gun)  And this is no human home.

[ SASHA takes a step back. ]

SASHA (contemptuously):
Fine.  So what is it you want from me?  A truce?

Seemingly outmatched, Sasha hopes this is all he wants.

[ TRASK scoffs and begins to circle her. ]

At first, I was curious to see how you might be of use to me.  Naive, childish... but impassioned.  I thought you might add an interesting dimension to the battle for Earth.  But instead, your lust for revenge made you reckless, and your spiteful attacks only made the Rangers stronger.  And now, your majesty, I would sooner destroy you than have you compromise my plans one day longer.

I wanted to explain Trask's feigned loyalty up to this point.  Trask warned her about her spiteful attacks in episode 14, but he is primarily attacking her for trying to steal their Jinnsects (she succeeded once, in episode 15).  I had actually intended for the stolen Jinnsect plot to be responsible for Sasha's monster army (episode 21), but it didn't work out that way.

[ TRASK aims the gun at her. ]

[ SASHA grits her teeth anxiously.  Suddenly, she notices someone behind TRASK (off-screen). ]


[ TRASK looks over his shoulder. ]

[ Sentai (Jetman #7) - STRIFE stands stoically, his arms crossed (image rotated from sentai). ]

stoic Strife

This shot was taken from a montage of the Jetman villains at different angles (harkening back to their multi-directional entrances in Jetman #1); Gray (Strife) was shown upside-down as he stoically watched Maria's mirror monster plan unfold.  My further shots of Strife are cobbled together from a wide variety of sources due to the relative scarcity of usable Gray footage.

[ Through Strife's vision (see episode 12), we see SASHA standing alone: Trask is invisible in this shot, with the exception of the hovering BIOMASS GUN pointed at SASHA, as well as two calf-sized gaps in the floor mist where Trask stands. ]

It was awkward to have Strife confront someone who's undetectable electronically, but the gun and the holes in the mist were sufficient to guide him, as was the gun being pointed at her with a sense of finality.

[ Slipping the BIOMASS GUN into his coat, TRASK faces the robot (off-screen) and narrows his eyes.  TRASK then glances back at SASHA, then again at Strife (off-screen).  His face curls into a sneer as he saunters back a step. ]

Apparently Trask doesn't believe he could beat Strife (or perhaps Strife and Sasha combined) in battle.

Despite Dillik's earlier intervention to protect Sasha, the boldness of this confrontation would lead Trask to conclude Dillik couldn't have been behind Strife.

TRASK (to Strife):
She's all yours.  For now.

[ TRASK vanishes with a ripple effect.  SASHA staggers forward in disbelief. ]

Please, tell me who you are.

[ Sentai (Jetman #13) - We zoom in on STRIFE as he takes a step forward. ]

Strife steps forward

My name is... Strife.

Finally, I get to mention his name in dialog.

[ SASHA shakes her head, perplexed. ]

Who sent you?  Why do you keep coming to my aid?

[ Sentai (Jetman #48) - STRIFE looks away. ]

Strife looks away Strife looks away

It wouldn't be safe for me to tell you.

SASHA (with a smile):
Well, if you see someone named Dillik, tell him thanks for sticking up for me, okay?

Sasha isn't sure whether they're associated, but both Dillik and Strife have come to her aid today.  In episode 22, however, she felt safe insulting Dillik in front of Strife, as she had concluded they weren't associated by then.

[ Sentai (Jetman #39) - STRIFE quickly turns toward Sasha (off-screen).  A moment later, he turns to leave. ]

Strife surprised Strife leaves

[ SASHA advances plaintively. ]

Wait, don't go!

[ Shown from behind, STRIFE (frame from Jetman #39) vanishes with green and silver vertical streaks. ]

Strife vanishing (US effect not shown) Strife gone

Here, I was only able to scrape up a single frame of Gray's back!  It would have to be held as US effects teleport him away.

[ SASHA looks on wistfully.  Cut to black. ]