It is time for a new Ranger Review, where trust in one another is tested in Episode 05 of Power Rangers Mystic Force, “Whispering Voices”.
Our story begins with Koragg watching a future battle between himself and Nick in a future telling pool. The battle ultimately ends with Nick defeating him. Necrolai mocks Koragg as he claims the pool shows one of many futures. This scene in general sets up wonderful foreshadowing on the future of Koragg and Nick’s rivalry. He may win battles, but he will never win the war. The scene also serves as a nice counter to the fact that Koragg, despite getting beaten pretty hard initially, does ultimately win the battle between himself and Nick, followed by himself and the Rangers in this episode.
The base plot of this episode involves Koragg speaking to Nick’s mind, telling him the others don’t trust him or care about him. Conveniently enough, upset that Nick didn’t ask her out, LeeLee hides the store’s bank deposit, and hints to Xander that Nick stole it. This starts a chain reaction that leads to Xander confronting Nick, Nick leaving, and Nick confronting Koragg alone.
The premise of the episode is really hard to swallow. It is odd enough that the store would just sort of leave their $1,000 bank deposit sitting around, but to have it sitting around in a overly large box labeled “BANK DEPOSITS” in an envelope specifically marked $1,000 out in the open for anyone to take? Additionally, blaming Nick right off the bat was out of character for the Rangers that have spent a fair amount of time with him by now. With “Rock Solid” being all about Nick learning about his friends, for them to turn so quickly the episode after was off-putting and really takes you out of the episode.
Other than being a series of trust exercises for our heroes, this episode finally brought Morticon to the surface, albeit for a whole minute or two before he was resealed by a counter-spell by Nick. Though a victory in all definition of the term, the Rangers did lose their combination spell (Galwit Mysto Unios) to Koragg through a “Dark Source, Evil Force” spell, meaning they can no longer form the Titan Megazord until it is retrieved. While it is not used a whole lot throughout Mystic Force, I love the concept that the villains can take power away from the Rangers through their sheer force.
This episode did mark our first appearance of the Centaurus Wolf Megazord, a humanoid fusion between Koragg and his horse, Catastros. It would have been really great if Koragg would have stolen their Megazord power before turning into the Centaurus Wolf Megazord, giving the illusion that their own Megazord power let Koragg transform like that. Unfortunately that was not the case here. However, that does not stop the beat down the Rangers took battling Koragg and Morticon from being any more or less entertaining.
While the scene in Nick’s head triggered by Koragg was incredibly brief, we see are first glimpse of the baby in the red blanket. This will become a major plot point later in the series, and a reoccurring vision in Nick’s head. I find it interesting how the episode presents it so quickly, and makes absolutely no note of it until later on in the series.
Unfortunately there just was not a whole lot to this episode. It had enough content to be enjoyable, and semi-important to the story with its foreshadowing of Koragg and Nick’s showdown, as well as the rise of Morticon and the theft of their Megazord power. That being said, the base plot of the episode left a lot to be desire, and ultimately just seemed poorly timed, pushing the Rangers out of character compared to “Rock Solid”.
“Whispering Voices” is an adaptation of Magiranger’s “Stage 06.” In usual Mystic Force style, Power Rangers took the source footage and base plot and made it its own. Unfortunately this is the first time “making it its own” turned out rather horrible.
In “Stage 06”, Wozlard (Koragg) contacts Kai (Red) in a dream, challenging the five siblings to a battle. Kai wakes up and tells them Wolzard was there, and that they have to go. They shrug him off and think he’s delusional, causing Kai to run off and face Wolzard by himself. During his fight (right after being flung quite a distance into some rocks) he encounters a child by the river. Kai protects the child, causing Wolzard to halt his attack until the child is safe. The other siblings show up, and using the MagiDragon, they defeat Wolzard in his Centaur Formation.
Wolzard appears again later, stating to Kai that he fights with honor. They once again form MagiDragon. Wolzard states that his destruction let him capture their magical power, so he can now transform into Wolkaiser (Centaurus Wolf Megazord). They try to form MagiKing, but their magic gets stolen by Wolzard, and the rest of the episode plays out exactly as it did in “Whispering Voices”.
“Stage 06” was an incredibly powerful episode of Magiranger. It set up a basis for Wolzard’s past, personality, and ambitions to perfection, while ultimately building up Kai’s rivalry with the character and setting up his personal drive. Considering Mystic Force ultimately pulls a lot of its story from the Kai and Wolzard rivalry in Magiranger, the inclusion of the overly forced B-Plot with the group not trusting Nick just seem incredibly odd. They had the recipe for an incredibly solid Mystic Force episode, slowed down and chopped up with an additional inclusion.
I can only speculate the inclusion of the additional plot was to give the actors more out of suit screen time, but I feel as though that ultimately could have been done in Root Core, with Udonna guiding them after Koragg’s return. In most circumstances, I am left adoring what the Power Rangers crew was able to do in the adaptation process, but this one leaves me scratching my head.
In the next Weekly Ranger Review, posting on Thursday, we travel to another dimension and befriend an injured stallion in Episode 06, “Legendary Catastros”.