Theo has been the best and fastest learner at everything. His confidence is smashed when he is made a fool in a battle against Gakko. Theo gives up and doesn’t see the point in anything. Casey and Lily try to protect the city from the mischievous Gakko as RJ trains Theo. The battle worsens for Casey and Lily. In order to save his friends, Theo must regain his confidence.
This episode is effectively a character study of Theo and straight away we learn that he pretty much excels at everything he does be it making and serving pizza or in combat. The opening has him toying with Lily and Casey before he quite easily takes them both down proving that while Casey is the Red Ranger in this series it is Theo that is the better combatant. We didn’t really need to see this again as Sigh of the Tiger proved that Casey has some learning to do. It is a little harder to believe with Lily however who has been through the same level of training as Theo so she should have either known better or put up a better fight.
This was needed however to help establish a base from which he can fall when he battles Gakko and loses thus establishing his sudden depression. It’s not too hard to believe that being defeated in such a way as to humiliate Theo directly would have this result as we all know people who seem to be the best at everything and like to let us know it only for them to clam up and become miserable when they don’t meet their own expectations. We are after all our own worst critics. I actually started to feel sorry for Theo but then the story started to drag out and my pity turned to fury (pun intended because I am that guy) as I started to think that it was time he sorted himself out.
Cue RJ. Possibly the most laid back “Zordon role” Power Rangers has ever known. It’s up to RJ to help Theo find his confidence again while Lily and Casey hold off Gakko on their own. This could very easily have turned in to a rehash of the aforementioned Sigh of the Tiger but whereas that episode ended up being an homage of Karate Kid this episode takes on a more Yoda teaching Luke in Empire Strikes Back feel to it – if Yoda was a stoner throughout the whole thing (now that’s a movie I want to see). This extends to the point where Theo’s training is taking place while he knows Casey and Lily are in trouble – Luke and Leia anyone? The whole feel of RJ’s training (or retraining) is yet again in the comical fashion of the earlier episode but what makes it stand out is that this has a more desperate feel to it and I found myself gripped by it because after almost every joke or whimsical line RJ puts out there is a serious tone that delivers a damn good message to kids in a time where confidence is increasingly becoming in short supply. It was damn good stuff to watch.
Gakko is our monster of the week being the second of the Five Fingers of Poison introduced in A Taste of Poison. As explained he has the fighting style of the Gecko making him both quick and having the ability to regrow lost limbs. He can also climb walls like Spiderman and has a vicious tongue (metaphorically not literally). It is these assets that help him defeat Theo in the opening battle as it is not a type of fighting he is accustomed to. Other than that however he is not particularly memorable. Two fingers down – Dai Shi isn’t going to be pleased with Camille that this plan isn’t working.
On the whole an interesting and entertaining episode with the credit going to Aljin Abella and David de Lautour for their performances of Theo and RJ respectively.
Memorable Dialogue: (Casey and RJ talking over the radio) But we need Theo!
(RJ) You do not need him. You may want him.
(Casey) Fine…We want him.
(RJ) Sorry, Theo is…occupied at the moment.
(Casey) Wha- (RJ turns off the radio)
Memorable Dialogue 2: (All admiring Theo working) (Lily) I wonder how he does it?
(Casey) I wonder how he’s so good?
(Fran) I wonder if he could teach me?
(RJ notices them standing around) I wonder if he’s the only employee I need?