Camille presents the Five Fingers of Poison, an elite squad of warriors. Each warrior possesses its style of venom. Dai Shi is pleased with their presence and orders them to spread fear to increase his powers. Overwhelmed, the Power Rangers are forced to retreat and regroup after Casey is injured. They return with the newest weapon in their arsenal, the Strike Rider cycle, and defeat Rantipede, one of the five warriors, but four remain.
This really is an episode that has a thousand mile an hour pace. After the relatively slow introduction of the five warriors and Casey and Lily having a flirtatious food fight in the Jungle Karma kitchen the whole episode takes off on its headlong rush to the climax. This episode serves two main purposes; the first is to introduce the Five Fingers of Poison who instead of being the usual villain(s)-of-the-week as in so many other Power Ranger stories they will be the villians for the next few episodes. This was a good move on the part of the writers as it gives more weight to the storytelling and allows some development of their characters. Secondly, this episode serves to introduce the latest vehicle (translation – toy to be sold off the back of the show) the Strike Rider. I wasn’t overly impressed with this as it has a very seen-it-before feel to it.
Watching Bede Skinner’s performance as Dai Shi in this episode I couldn’t help but draw a parallel with Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars. Both characters are over the top in their mannerisms, evilness and of course their wicked voices. I had never really thought of it before and now I can’t get it out of my head. Sticking with the Star Wars theme I also found a parallel between Casey, when he leaps in to a fight with Dai Shi without help from the others, to Anakin Skywalker fighting Count Dooku in Episode II. I am sure it was unintentional but I just got the same vibe from the situation and like Anakin, Casey doesn’t exactly come off well (although to be nursed back to health later by Lily/Anna Hutchison is worth taking a bit of poison for in my opinion – but that’s just me).
I can’t get over how far the fight scenes have come from the old days of MMPR. They are now much more glitzy and fast paced and it serves the show well. This was an enjoyable romp but little more than that. The only real character development is between Casey and Lily and perhaps unfortunately for him she views him as merely a little brother rather than a love interest – sorry dude.