It is time for a new Ranger Review, where one must bond with their noble steed in Episode 06 of Power Rangers Mystic Force, “Legendary Catastros”.
At the beginning of the episode, Udonna sits the Rangers around to essentially tell them the magical version of a campfire story. Legend speaks of a powerful beast known as Catastros. Many strong warriors have tried to calm the stallion, but known prevailed. Once the darkness struck the forest, the horse was captured by Koragg. Catastros remains loyal to Koragg to this day. While I fully realize this story was introduced simply to establish Catastros as a character since we never really got a lot of information on Koragg’s horse, I love stories like these. The forests of Briarwood are a magical place filled with a rich backstory. With this in mind, I really enjoy when a new page in the history of the magical world is turned, and we learn just a little bit more about this world, even if it is only for plot purposes.
It is enormously fitting that the same day the Rangers learn the tales of Catastros, Nick happens to find himself trapped in a dimension with the beast. That being said, Nick’s fear here is slightly irrational to me. For a character that, so far, has remained relatively fearless, the appearance of this horse, evil stories or not, absolutely terrifies him. Given the fact his instinct was to yell really loud and run, I’m not surprised Catastros tried to chase him. I do, however, like how this was ultimately handled. Nick’s magic not working until he finally trusted Catastros was a nice spin on the “I believe in magic” motto the series enforces. His fear prevented him from believing he could break the spell, or rather his fear prevented him from even wanting to break the spell.
The villain group in this episode is especially entertaining. Too many times in Super Sentai and Power Rangers do we have villains that are incredibly one dimensional. Here, we have three villains that are all equally in it for themselves. Koragg lies about the power to strengthen himself instead of Morticon. Necrolai, wanting all the brownie points in the world, tattles on Koragg to Morticon, effectively “picking a side”. Finally we have Morticon, who honestly just wants to get out from underground and wreck stuff. Regardless of how entertaining their end games are, the fact that we have three villains that ultimately betray one another to get what they want is really fun to watch. With Koragg already having an intense rivalry with Nick, it’s great to see he essentially has a rivalry with everyone in his group.
Since I haven’t really had much of a chance too, I want to make note of how incredibly one dimensional Udonna, Clare, and Phineas are at the moment. Knowing full well all three characters eventually become a bit more complex and important, it is interesting to see them be so plain early on. Udonna wanders around Root Core telling stories, Clare constantly messes up her magic for a good laugh, while Phineas aids the Rangers in the most unpredictable way possible. While Nick’s story, along with the villains feud pushes the narrative, the other characters are more or less just rolling with the punches.
This episode marks the first episode in which the Centaurus Phoenix Megazord is used, a combination between of the Mystic Phoenix and Catastros. The Megazord itself is the base of the Centaurus Wolf Megazord with the Phoenix as the body and a new head. The formation proves to be powerful, being able to eliminate the powered up Troll monster, and is essential in retrieving the Ranger’s Megazord power.
It is unfortunate that Catastros ultimately remains loyal to a fault. After this episode, Catastros’s conflict on which side to assist would have been an interesting thing to see in the show. Instead, Catastros jumps back over to “daddy” as Koragg puts it, and rejoins him. Given their bond in the other dimension, and the strength shown while united. An internal conflict would have given life to a character that is otherwise just another tool.
The episode itself was certainly well done. We got to see a new Megazord formation, learn a little more on the backstory of Catastros and Koragg, while ultimately progressing the villain’s internal rivalry with one another. While I would have preferred certain things to play out differently, the episode did a lot for the world of Mystic Force.
“Legendary Catastros” is an adaptation of Magiranger’s “Stage 09.” Outside of the necessary plot changes because of the unique approach of Mystic Force, the two episodes remain relatively the same.
In “Stage 09”, the male siblings are once again bickering because Kai (Red) does something Tsubasa (Yellow) doesn’t like. In Infershia, Branken (Morticon) pleads to Wolzard (Koragg) to use the magic he stole to release him once more. Wolzard claims the magic was once again sealed and he can’t. Nai and Mea tell Branken the truth, and he orders them to curse Wolzard. After the arrow is fired, Wolzard tries to retreat, but is jumped by Kai. Kai and Wolzard’s horse, Valkrion are both transported to another dimension. As the four siblings defend the city from a Troll, Kai is unwilling to help Valkrion because the horse was involved in his mother’s death. Eventually he overcomes his hate and helps the horse, and the two return to defeat the Troll. Valkrion then returns to Wolzard, with the Knight claiming he assisted Kai because he saw him as a warrior, and to repay his debts.
The only major changes made to this episode is the reasoning behind why the Red Ranger wouldn’t help the horse. In Magiranger, Kai hated Valkrion for what he and Wolzard did to his mother. In Mystic Force, Nick is simply scared of the supposed demon horse. Both episodes feature Wolzard getting betrayed, Red helping a horse, the appearance of their fusion, and the Rangers getting their combination magic back.
The changes present were understandable. Again, from a story perspective, Nick would have no reason to hate Catastros, so a change was necessary. While I am not usually a fan of Power Rangers copying Sentai verbatim, the base episode’s plot was nicely done, and fit in perfectly with the world Mystic Force is trying to portray. Adaptation worked wonderfully here.
In the next Weekly Ranger Review, posting on Tuesday, the hunt for a legendary source of magic begins in Episode 07, “Fire Heart”.