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Because One Time Wasn't Enough--Lightspeed Rescue: The Livebloggening, Part II
arcadiarika

[table of contents]
Episode 3: Trial By Fire
...oh, fuck me.

Here we go. A Carter-focused episode. Hopefully the fangirling there? Will be justified.

Having said that, let's go to the comments.

@ Kinkajou: I suppose you're right. However, I'm pretty sure that this episode will balance out the "OMG HE'S SO AWESOME!" thing. Especially with what's going to happen. No, I'm not going to spoil it. And there's but one episode (or a few, I can't remember which) where it's pretty much free of gushing.

And now that that's done, let's recap.

Previously on Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue—The Livebloggening, we get a taste of all the different and latest hot toys for kids weapons and Zords they're using. We also get to see Joel being a tool, which he may or may not grow out of. And we also get to see our romance arc for the season. Will it progress nicely? Who knows?

And now we'll dive right into...

Episode 3: Trial by Fire, or Carter's a Dick, Alas, But His Portrayer is Awesome—ONORE JOHNSON-SAMA!

After the obligatory recap, we see the Aquabase as the Rangers get ready for...something. Dana asks Kelsey about what her family said, and Kelsey replies that they said, "what are you, crazy?" Everyone said it to her when she was a kid. What's her reply to that question, you ask? "You have no idea."

Well, "crazy" is Kelsey's middle name, so...

She then goes on to explain how much of a rush it is to climb a thousand feet up on a cliff. And then we get to Joel's childhood story. When he was eight years old, all he wanted to do is to fly like a bird. So what does he do in order to achieve that dream? He built himself a set of wings and fucking jumped out of his second-floor window!

You can commence facepalming now.

Carter, in his infinite words of wisdom, tells Joel, "That's not just crazy, that's stupid." Amen to that. So the Rangers leave, and Dana asks Carter if he always wanted to become a firefighter. The answer? He didn't. But there's an event where...well, we get treated to a flashback of his life, and we see a fireman. Who is he? What was he doing? Who knows?

Cut right back to the Rangers. Chad was wondering what happened, and Carter quickly replies, "nothing". The other Rangers beg for him to tell the story until they're interrupted by Captain Mitchell via intercom. They're ordered to go to the training area, and so they head off.

At the training area, the Rangers arrive as if they're soldiers. Carter, in a pretty sweet military-esque voice, shouts, "Attention! Present arms!" After the Rangers salute, and once Captain Mitchell (wearing dark clothing and a really nice beret) starts the timer, the training begins.

But before we get to see them in action, it's time now for the opening credits!

Anyway, after that, we do get to see them train. Chad and Joel leap over a wall, and then the two crawl underneath a cargo net. And then they quickly go through the tires, and they're done. Final time: one minute, thirty seconds. As Captain Mitchell leaves, the two Rangers feel the aches from their training.

Cut to Kelsey and Dana. What do they train? How to rescue a baby from danger. Kelsey runs outside and hooks herself to a rope, and she rappells down, carrying the (fake) baby. Dana rushes in with a First Aid kit and a towel, and she places the baby (and the towel) down on a flat surface. She opens the First Aid kit and gets right to work to make sure the baby's okay. Once she gets a confirmation, she and Kelsey are done. Final time: two minutes. After Captain Mitchell moves on to time the final test, the two Ranger girls high-five each other for a job well-done.

Cut to Carter? What's his training? Shooting targets. With a paintball gun, it seems. And it looks like he's doing very, very well with his training. Obviously. He even leaps over and shoots the next target. Once he's finished, he runs out, signifying that the training's over. Quickly over, I mean, because his final time is fifty-two seconds.

Carter's very happy with the results, and the Rangers congratulate him. He tosses the paintball gun to Chad, and he lifts Kelsey up, spinning her around a bit.

Lucky bastard.

Carter then remarks that it's the best time so far. But little does he know what's really going on, as Captain Mitchell and a few other scientists examine the training area. He then sees something wrong, but...we don't know what it is. Captain Mitchell walks out and calls for Carter, and he proceeds to tell him the bad news. The Red Ranger may have the fastest time, but he has the lowest score.

Ouch.

Carter is confused as to how it can be, which is understandable. However, he doesn't get a clear answer. He's told that he should learn how to use his head before he ever use a blaster. Carter protests that he did hit every target, but Captain Mitchell argues that it means nothing, and the situation wasn't thought through enough. Also, sometimes the obvious choice is the wrong choice.

So we basically have our Secret Test of Character, which may be explained later. I do think it's ridiculous that Captain Mitchell didn't tell Carter just what he did wrong. Because what would happen if he didn't...learn...what he did...(looks at the episode title)

Oh, wait.

Still doesn't excuse Captain Mitchell for not telling Carter what he did wrong, though.

The other Rangers are confused about what the hell's going on, and Carter's starting to feel down about it.

Cut now to the Demon Paradisico. The demons watch their Epic Fail (OR IS IT?!) from the last episode, and Loki remarks that the Lightspeed Megazord's really powerful. In order to destroy the city, they should destroy the Megazord quick. Diabolico Prime says that Queen Bansheera will not be happy if she finds out that the city's still standing.

And we get to see Impus. "Mama!" D'awwwwwww.

Jinxer looks at Impus, and he tells the other demons that they're getting him upset. However, we see Vypra elsewhere, and she says that in order to destroy the city, they must do it from the ground up. And she's holding some sort of stake. Who is she saying it to?

We'll find that out later, but the city's under an earthquake. Cut to the Aquabase, and the people there are feeling the effects. Captain Mitchell looks at a monitor of the quake's magnitude, and he realizes that it's no earthquake. Instead...it's another monster.

The Rangers suit up and head over to the Rescuemobile. Carter asks the Rangers if they're ready, and Joel replies that he is, but he wants to drive the vehicle someday. So the Rangers head off to save the day once again.

At a building, specifically a parking lot, the quakes are still occurring. Inside, we see some Batlings hammering the stakes in, causing those quakes. Vypra walks in, watching the progress that's been made, and she tells them to work faster. Why? She wants to destroy Mariner Bay with an earthquake.

However, that progress is ruined very quickly, because as soon as Carter says, "Not if we can help it!", the Rangers arrive. Vypra looks at the Rangers. She introduces herself to them, and hey, she's glad to see them...so she can destroy them.

And as I think about it more, the Vypra we have from the last episode and this one? She's pretty damn good. Why the hell was she swapped with the sucky Vypra as played by Jennifer Yen?

Just...why?

Anyway, Vypra commands the Batlings to attack, and we get a fight scene. Chad kicks the Batlings with a very distinctive "hi-ta!" Yes, not a "kiah!" or a "hi-ya!". A good-old-fashioned "hi-ta!". Dana shoots the Batlings with her Rescue Blaster. Kelsey uses a couple ropes to pull herself up as she kicks the Batlings.

Joel's fighting is so different, it gets its own section. Here, he kicks the Batlings. But as soon as he does so, he flips off one of them and, as he does so, shoots at the distant ones. With a gunslinger-like twirl from his blaster, he says, "Don't mess with the Cowboy." Heh. Pretty impressive.

Meanwhile, Carter is off facing Vypra. The two battle it out for a while until Carter manages to disarm Vypra from her sword. However, she manages to get it back and slash him, and she flees to the top of the stairs. Oh, ouch.

From there, she heads to the upper floor, terrorizing a group of citizens and telling them to get out of her way. She then breathes into her sword (huh?), and energy projectiles come out of the sword. However, Carter manages to catch up to Vypra, protecting the citizens and telling her that that's enough. And so the two fight a bit more...until Vypra shoots out a projectile, to which Carter kicks it. Into a wall.

Where debris are starting to fall.

Whoops.

Carter pulls out his Rescue Blaster and orders Vypra to put her weapon down, nice and easy. She's backed into a corner, and she's going to get destroyed soon. He repeats the order...and then Vypra sees some gasoline right next to her. She has an idea. But what?

After Carter tells Vypra that he's not going to warn her again, she shoots flames from her sword near the gasoline, and she disappears. Now our Red Ranger has a problem: should he rescue the citizens and lead them to safety, or should he put the fire out? And to make matters worse, the ceiling's starting to crumble.

If you think Carter should put the fire out, turn to Page 19.

If you think Carter should save the citizens, turn to Page 22.

Carter thinks that the citizens are in danger, and he should get them out of there. However, Captain Mitchell doesn't think so. Why? The good Captain tells the Red Ranger to put out the fire first.

If you turned to Page 22, you are an idiot for reasons Captain Mitchell can't explain for some reason. Turn back to Page 18 and choose again.

Carter protests that there's no time, and he has to save the citizens before it's too late because the ceiling's about to fall down. However, Captain Mitchell tells Carter to, strictly speaking, shut up and put out the fire. Carter finally puts out the fire via the Rescue Blaster's extinguisher mode.

If you turned to Page 19, congratulations! You somehow saved the citizens from harm for reasons you don't know as to yet!

However, the ceiling falls down, and a mother and her son are about to be hit. Carter yells at them to get out of the way, but...as he runs to help them, he screams out a "NOOOOO!", and some debris hit the little boy. Carter stops at his tracks, horrified by what he thought he did, and he asks to himself, "Oh, no! What have I done?" The boy seems to be pretty conscious, but he's hurt.

...in a way, you have to feel bad for Carter. This conflict of what should be right and wrong...it's a shame what happened.

Though this doesn't excuse him for what's happening next. Not a single fucking bit.

The other Rangers, presumably after they beat the Batlings, run upstairs. Dana and Joel run to the mother and her son, and the Pink Ranger assures the mom that everything will be okay. Even Joel picks up the little boy and leads him to elsewhere, presumably an ambulance or something.

Meanwhile, Captain Mitchell watches from the Aquabase. He just...places his headgear down. Though back to the parking lot, Carter, not going to take it anymore and with a frustrated growl, runs away. Chad and Kelsey call for him, but he doesn't stop running.

Cut right back to the Aquabase, and Carter storms into the good captain's headquarters. He's clearly pissed off with what happened. And then we get into this little conversation.

Carter: You told me to put out the fire! You were wrong!

Captain Mitchell: I wasn't wrong.

Carter: Of course you were! I should have gotten those people to safety first!

Captain Mitchell (after a long pause): ...you did the right thing.

Carter: No! Because I listened to you, that little boy got hurt.

(For the record, the potholes at the end? They're intentional.)

So after the argument, Captain Mitchell just stares at Carter. The Red Ranger himself, speechless and disgusted, storms out. And the good captain just...thinks about things.

...okay. While I do stand by what I said about, you know, Captain Mitchell not telling Carter ahead of time of what he did wrong...the Red Ranger himself doesn't get off scot-free.

And...I hate him for that. I hate the fact that he had to argue with his captain when he should have fucking asked the captain what he did wrong in his test, in a calm manner! That's Red Ranger material? Good work in possibly burning a bridge, moron.

...and yet? I just feel...conflicted. While Carter was a whiny idiot for that scene, at the same time, it perfectly showed Sean's acting. Such fire. Such anger. Such emotion. I can't really hate Sean too much, if not, well, not at all. This scene, along with the scene right after this argument, shows how fucking awesome he is as an actor, and why some people should believe that no, he isn't an actor that has a severe case of Dull Surprise, but he's rather good. Legitimately good. Almost as if...he's too good for a simple kid's show that normally has bad acting by the truckloads. After all, it wasn't his fault for making Carter a whiny idiot.

But the gushing about him? Well...um...how do I put this carefully?...

It was all Sean Cw Johnson's fault! ONORE JOHNSON-SAMA!!

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yes. At the hospital, we see the little boy. He appears to be sleeping. Carter knocks on the door and visits him. And then, after he apologizes to the boy, feeling guilty over what happened, and sits down, we get to listen to our Red Ranger's story, that story in which it made him decide to become a firefighter and, thus, a rescue soldier. And we do get some flashbacks in between, how Carter was a young boy and a mysterious fireman saved his life.

Time to make some guesses on who this mysterious fireman actually is. Is it an alternate, older Carter from a different universe? A different fireman? Captain Mitchell?

Pfft. Captain Mitchell? How likely is that revelation going to be?

Oh, the quote, the monologue? Here you go.

"I...I'm so sorry. This should have never happened to you. If only I could have been like him. I was about your age. I don't know how it happened, but...the place was on fire. It was so hot, I couldn't breathe, I was so scared, I didn't know what to do. But then, suddenly, he was there. Then, out of nowhere, a beam fell from the ceiling.

"Thanks to him, I made it out just in time. He saved my life. I never knew his name, but ever since that day, all I wanted was to be just like him. He would have made sure you were safe. I'll never be that good. He would have rescued you...just like he did me."

...aww. That's actually pretty damn heartwarming. Though...the end was a bit sad. Almost made me tear up a little. Dammit, Sean, why are you such a good actor?

...

Anyway. Because Captain Mitchell would not tell him specifically why he didn't get such high marks, Carter decides to explore the testing ground himself. He accidentally knocks something over as he examines the area. What does he knock over, you ask?

A can that has the labels of "Explosives" on it. And there's also a paintball mark on one of the others, too. Whoops. Carter looks horrified, and he runs right back to the parking lot, examining there, too. There's something covered in a sheet. What could it be?

Gasoline.

Carter finally realizes that, had he not put out the fire and instead tried to lead the people to safety, the fire would have reached the gasoline, causing it to explode. Oh, and when that happens, everyone would have been hurt.

Wait, what? Hurt? Don't you mean "absolutely fucking killed", writers?

Anyway, Captain Mitchell arrives, and he repeats what he said earlier on, about how sometimes the obvious choice is the wrong choice. Carter then tells the captain that only he knew that the canisters would have contained gasoline, and it could have exploded. The captain responds that it isn't easy being a leader, as leaders learn tough lessons every single day.

Suddenly, yet another earthquake. Carter is then told by his teammates that they need his help. However...the Red Ranger isn't sure if he's cut out to be a Ranger.

...I have no further comments on that one.

Captain Mitchell, though, says that he's confident that Carter's a Ranger, more confident now than ever. He also tells him that his friends need his help, and he should get going. And so, with the Heroic Resolve now restored, Carter runs out of the parking lot and tries to go to the peril that's currently going on.

And where is it located? Yet another damn underground area. The other Rangers are facing Batlings, and Vypra, who isn't even being attacked, uses a fiery Breath Weapon against them. She's about to hammer the last stake in when suddenly...someone fucking shoots the hammer, making it fall onto the ground.

Who did this? Why, it's Carter, of course! Just in the nick of time. And he has had enough with the ground-shaking games.

As the fight begins, Carter tells Vypra to freeze, and he knows what she's up to. She tries to fight, but he tells her that now's not the time, so he tries to dodge whenever he can. He grabs the stake out of the ground, tackles and punches some Batlings, and throws the stake up in the air and fucking shoots at it, making it disappear.

Now that's hardcore.

Carter orders the Rangers that they have to destroy the spikes (the stakes I mentioned), and so they try to find them. The rest of the Rangers find them and toss them into a pile. All while trying to fight the Batlings when it happens. As the grand finale? The Rangers shoot the spikes after Vypra screams, "STOP THEM!"

You'd think this would be the end, and Vypra would just disappear, another crisis averted. Yeah...no. Because while another damn Batling battle occurs, the other demons in the Demon Paradisico watch. What do they decide? Loki pulls out a card and hands it over to Jinxer in order to create a monster.

Those damn demons don't give up, do they? All they want is to destroy the city. Every. Single. Time.

Cut right back to the underground. Vypra starts to flee, but Carter goes after her. She heads outside the cave, and Loki, hiding behind a boulder, finds her. And then...Jinxer summons a Demon of the Week, a gigantic Quakemon.

You have got to be fucking kidding me. Look, I love Lightspeed as much as the next person, but the gratuitous, tacked-on-as-an-afterthought monster fights such as this one is ridiculous.

So because we have a gratuitous monster, it's time now for a gratuitous Megazord formation/fight. Really, no prizes for guessing what happens. The Megazord beats Quakemon easily by punching, kicking, and—wait, no. Quakemon goes underground and tries to sneak-attack the Megazord.

Wait, what?

However, the Rangers use the Ladder Arms, and the Megazord flip-kicks Quakemon out of there. How do the Rangers finish it off? By using the Lightspeed Megazord Saber, slashing the demon and defeating him once and for all.

Another crisis has yet been averted.

Back at the hospital, Carter tries to visit the little boy again. This time, he brought a present. However, the little boy is gone, and Carter is disappointed.

OR IS IT?

Nope. Turns out that the boy is in the waiting room, alive and well, as he calls out for the Red Ranger. Carter notices that the boy's okay, and the little kid replies, "thanks to you". And someday, when he grows up, he'll be just like Carter.

D'aaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Let's hope that it's the courageous part he'll have when the little boy grows up.

Carter gives the little boy the present, and the both of them are happy. Captain Mitchell, though, secretly watches them, and he leaves. And so this episode ends with the little boy telling Carter that (of course!) he's awesome, and they high-five each other.

Well...that was a heartwarming note to end it on. And it is a pretty good character development episode, even though the writers had to make Carter an asshole for it to work. Though I have a feeling that his story isn't over just yet.

However, despite that, I'm sure that Carter would never embarrass himself ever again. Right?

...right?!

Next time, on Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue—The Livebloggening, it's a Kelsey-focused episode. And yep, you guessed it, it's the infamous episode where shipping fics occurred. Because of one specific romance. Or, at least, the tension's so there.

What shipping am I talking about? What will happen next to our heroes? And will the demons find something else to talk about that isn't "destroy Mariner Bay"?

All of these questions and more will be revealed on the next Power Rangers: Lightspeed Rescue—The Livebloggening!
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