It is time for a new Ranger Review, where darkness rises and a new light shines, in Episodes 22 and 23 of Power Rangers Mystic Force, “Heir Apparent”.
“Heir Apparent” is a two part episode story that centers around Imperious attempting to take down Daggeron once and for all and steal the Ranger’s Legend Powers in order to fully revive the Master. He sees moderate success at best as Daggeron ends up kicking his butt. However, there’s a lot of story between here and there.
Imperious, up to his dirty tricks again, attempts to drop a potion onto the Master’s eye…pit…thing. He is foiled by Koragg yet again, and decides to simply raise the Master instead. While he tries to destroy Daggeron, Koragg captures the five Rangers and begins using their Legend Powers to revive the Master. Udonna attempts to stop him, but he begins attacking her as well, but Koragg, finally realizing his past, stop shim, revealing himself to be Leanbow, her husband.
He aids the Rangers and Udonna, but is confronted by Imperious. Necrolai recaptures Leanbow, offering him up to the Master yet again. Daggeron, still plenty alive, uses Brightstar, a unicorn, to get the Rangers safety while he and Imperious begin their final battle. The Rangers begin their battle against a Chimera monster, but are stopped by Koragg once again. Fortunately Udonna arrives to reveal that Nick is actually Bowen, their son, and he turns back into Leanbow once again. Shortly thereafter the Master rises, but is surprised by Leanbow back into the underworld.
“Heir Apparent” is an absolutely amazing two part story and one of the more pivotal episodes in Mystic Force’s 32 episode run. In the short, roughly 44 minute run, a lot happens that changes up the status quo on both sides of the magical realm. Plus we get extensive backstory on the Great War, as everything involving Udonna, Niella, Leanbow, Phineas, and virtually everyone involved in the war is spread out in order for the viewers to digest. As someone who feeds off of backstory, this was an incredibly interesting part of the first episode to me.
Koragg is revealed to be Leanbow, the husband of Udonna and teacher of Daggeron. He was the leader of the mystics in the previous Great War, and was sealed in the underworld. Unable to resist the Master’s dark magic, he was turned into the servant Koragg. With Koragg having the same flashbacks as Udonna the past few episodes, this path was painfully obvious, but watching it unfold on screen is beautifully entertaining. The biggest shame is having Leanbow revealed, turned, turned back, and lost all in a span of one singular episode. While it’s mostly done for the sake of footage, I would have rather seen Leanbow be able to stick around with the core group.
Nick is also revealed to be Bowen, another plot point that was pretty obvious to those that could tell the blanket that the child in the flashbacks was rapped in was the same one as Nick’s baby blanket. I have to admit that this reveal is sort of rushed and awkward? Clare uses the blanket to cover Udonna up after she is injured, stating she got it from Nick’s bag. While it is easy to put two and two together, what if the blanket wasn’t originally his? Additionally, the quick turn reaction from Nick is a little unbelievable to me. Udonna storms in to stop Koragg, saying he is their child. There’s no real rebuttal or attempt of denial. Just a weird look and a “This will take some getting used to…” Somehow I feel finding your birth mother and father are the ones that have been teaching you magic and trying to kill you respectively, it is sort of a big deal.
On the villain side of the story, the Rangers learn that LeeLee is Necrolai’s daughter, not that they really have much time to let that sink in before getting trapped and having their Legend Powers drained. This episode almost marks the final appearance of Imperious. While his debut was a little shaky with how sudden his appearance was, the story between him and Daggeron progressed decent, and the final battle payoff was nicely done. I find it a little weird that this was a magical being that went toe-to-toe with the entire team of Rangers, but managed to get killed by an unmoprhed Daggeron with a sword. Regardless, his demise marked the rise of a terror like no other, marking the start of the third and final arc of the series.
This episode marks the first and only appearance of Brightstar, a real horse that can allow the Rangers to dimension hop between the magical realms. Brightstar can also become a big mechanical horse and combine with the Phoenix Titan Zord to become the Phoenix Unizord, which is essentially a white version of the Centaurus Pheonix Megazord. It’s a shame it isn’t used ever again, as the formation is really elegant looking, and apparently pretty darn strong.
While the reactions of things were more or less unbelievable, “Heir Apparent” as a whole was a very enjoyable two-parter, and as I mentioned, is a pivotal part in the Mystic Force story. At the core, it had a lot of rushed elements, but served as a wonderful way to wrap up the second arc, put an end to most of the looming plot threads of the story thus far. It is not without its flaws for sure, but is certainly one of my favorite two-part episodes in Power Rangers history.
“Heir Apparent” is an adaptation of “Stage 33” and “Stage 34” of Mahou Sentai Magiranger. Like some of the previous two-part endeavors the show has brought us, it takes a lot of the core concepts and structure from its Sentai counterpart. Pretty run of the mill at this point in the series.
“Stage 33” features Lunagel (The Gatekeeper/Clare) and Sungel (Daggeron/Solaris Knight) telling the siblings about their father, since Kai (Red) doesn’t have any lasting memories of him. They tell him he had tremendous courage, locking himself in Infershia to stop the darkness from reaching the surface. They also retell the story of how Raijel (Calindor/Imperious) betrayed the other Sky Saints. Lungel and Sungel meet with Meemy (Imperious) in a graveyard dimension to do battle while the others fight Wolzard (Koragg). Koragg captures the others, taking them to Infershia to drain them of their Legend Powers. Kai, determined as ever, manages to transform during the process, and break everyone free using the same attack of his father. Wolzard begins having flashbacks of the siblings, ultimately saving Kai from Meemy’s attack and transforming into their father, Brajel.
“Stage 34” picks right back up with Brajel rescuing the others. Kai is hesitant to trust him, but the reunion is short lived as he is captured by Vancuria (Necrolai). Lunagel and Sungel arrive in time to protect the siblings, ordering them to go with Unigolon (Brightstar) to safety. Meemy and Sungel begin a duel, with Meemy eventually falling to Sungel’s blade. Bragel is reverted back to Wolzard, and attacks the Magirangers once again. Kai, encouraged from his siblings desire to see their father begs him to remember, finally getting through to him. He casts a spell to return to normal. Unfortunately the reunion is again short lived, as N.Ma (The Master) is revived. Their father turns back into Brajel to attack N.Ma and seal him once again into the depths of Infershia.
Of course, Power Rangers wouldn’t be Power Rangers without a few changes. While a bulk of the story is relatively the same in every aspect possible, the biggest difference between the two stories is the reveal of Nick being Bowen. Because Magiranger began as a sibling story with all five being brothers and sisters, the entire element of “the missing child” was something unknown to Magiranger. Besides that, the sibling’s mother was killed in the opening episodes, meaning she couldn’t appear to save them in Infershia like Udonna did for the Mystic Force. Instead, Kai, the Red Ranger, saved everyone with his sheer determination.
In the next Ranger Review, darkness rises, a new light shines, and secrets are revealed in Episode 24, “Koragg’s Trial”.