Season: Power Rangers Lost Galaxy
Episode: “The Blue Crush” (Episode 8)
Power Rangers in Space was supposed to be the end of the franchise, but the resounding success of the series kept the seasons rolling. The production team was in love with the idea of keeping the series in space, but didn’t consult the Super Sentai producers about what the next series, Seijuu Sentai Gingaman, was about.
Now, if you remember, the last time they didn’t consult with the producers of the Sentai was, oh, the last season (when Megaranger was about video games instead of space). Unlike the last series, however, this didn’t work out as well. Lost Galaxy is an okay series, but it has a lot of issues, particularly later in the series.
For the purposes of the Power Rangers Project, however, we’re focusing on an early episode, and Blue Ranger Kai (Archie Kao)!
The Rangers this season are located on the Terra Venture, a space project intent on finding a new planet to colonize. One might wonder why they brought a bunch of civilians on the colony when they weren’t sure there was any planet for the people. One would be wondering for quite some time, since they don’t address it. Ever.
The captain of Terra Venture assigns Kai to look after his daughter while she goes skating. He’s upset that his special assignment wasn’t better, but he’s a good sport, because hey, Blue Rangers are good people. (I only like Blue and Pink Rangers, apparently.)
Note that the production team’s efforts to make Lost Galaxy feel like In Space 2.0 extended to the font used for the opening credits, which are the same as the previous season’s. Can’t make lightning strike twice, Power Rangers.
This is Scorpius! He’s a giant bug.
This is Trakeena (Amy Miller), his humanoid daughter! Trakeena actually turns out to be the main villain of the series (ugh, spoiler alert, whatever, it’s Power Rangers), in yet another brazen attempt to appeal to the In Space franchise. Anyway, Trakeena wants to go find the Lights of Orion, but Scorpius tells his daughter it’s too dangerous. I will now proceed to wait as long as possible to tell you what the Lights of Orion are.
Kai sees Hannah, a cute girl, while filming the captain’s daughter skating. He promptly wipes out when he talks to his crush for the first time (get it? It’s a crush and he’s the Blue Ranger. “Blue Crush!” So witty, Power Rangers). He gets paged on his communicator and promptly wipes out again.
The monster of the week is searching for the Lights of Orion (ugh), but the Rangers show up to fight. Yellow Ranger Maya (Cerina Vincent) starts the team’s roll call, but Kai just THRASHES monster, who leaves Terra Venture. Kai bounces right back to find Hannah, zoning out on his task to watch after the girl by paying too much attention to his crush.
Kai daydreams a fantasy figure skate sequence, and it’s just the gayest thing. Poor Kai is a hopeless homoromantic.
Turns out that Kai’s video is basically all Hannah, which disappoints the captain’s daughter, and the other Rangers figure out Kai’s getting strange because of a girl when his cooking, normally flawless, gets terrible.
Pink Ranger Kendrix (Valerie Vernon) and Green Ranger Damon (Reggie Rolle) cover for Kai’s bad filming by telling the captain that everything is fine. Kendrix also tries to snap Kai out of it by telling him he’s unlikely to ever see her again. So, of course, he immediately sees her again. She seems super into it!
Not into it is Quakemaker, the monster of the week, who causes earthquakes in an attempt to find Lights of Orion. Okay, so here’s the thing about the Lights: it’s one of the most infamous arcs in Power Rangers history. Episodes were being rewritten as they were being shot, and it lasted for way too long. Totally botched. They eventually become a power-up for the Rangers, but eh.
The Rangers go to fight the monster, but Kai takes Hannah to safety. He also has to save Johnny, who is Hannah’s supposed husband, from being crushed. HEARTBREAKER.
Kai heads to find the other Rangers and join the fight. Hey, that means it’s time to morph! I didn’t post In Space‘s last time, but they say “Let’s rocket!” This year’s team? “Go! Galactic!” Which, meh.
That morph is missing Red Ranger Leo (Danny Slavin), but I never liked Leo, so whatever.
The Megazord battle is a quick one, but that’s OK, because the Galaxy Megazord is pretty lame. Kai gets a gift from Hannah delivered: a piece of cake from the wedding! Turns out, she was a bridesmaid at her sister’s wedding. They still have a chance at love! Hannah will go on to an illustrious career on Lost Galaxy by never appearing again.
Analysis: Lost Galaxy is a weak season. It picks up in the second half, but that’s largely because the team was visited by the Space Rangers in a team-up episode (which would become a tradition for the franchise). In that episode, “To the Tenth Power,” the Rangers fight the revived Psycho Rangers. While most are destroyed, Psycho Pink lives on and kills Pink Ranger Kendrix! Yes, Power Rangers straight-up murdered a Ranger on-camera.
The real-life reason for this was because Vernon was unfortunately diagnosed with leukemia and had to leave the series to undergo treatment. The great news is that Vernon turned out OK, is still alive and now has a child! Also, writing out Kendrix (who, all due respect to Vernon, was a pretty bland character) gave the writers the opportunity to bring back Karone (Melody Perkins), AKA Astronema from the last season! It gave everyone’s favorite villain a chance to be a Power Ranger.
So in a series that strived so hard to be like its predecessor, the only good parts were related to the predecessor. Some disagree and think Lost Galaxy was a good season, but I think the behind-the-scenes issues clearly affected the series way too much. Additionally, it was the first series that really made me lose my attention when I was a kid. (Lightspeed Rescue would kill my love for the show for good, at least for a bit.) Still, Kao does fun work in this episode, and Kai is clearly the best of the Rangers (besides Karone), which may be more damning of the other Rangers than a shout-out for him.
Still, for all Lost Galaxy‘s flaws, it’s a hell of a lot better than I remember the next series being. We’ll do a deep dive into that series tomorrow.