We open this week on the police tracking Ganglers, using a device that looks like a cross between a megaphone and metal detector. It seems there is a monster hiding in the mountains, and as the police gather information from a local school, they see a boy dressed as a Lupinranger fighting with his mother about being able to go and stop the monster. Keiichiro, in a sensitive turn, talks to the boy and handles it very well.
It turns out he’s a fan of children, and despite his best efforts, the boy tells Keiichiro he likes the Phantom Thieves better. It’s a small moment, played almost as much for comedy as it is to set up the dynamic of the episode, but it does a good job in adding another small layer to an increasingly complex character.
The Ganglers, meanwhile, are setting up their own scheme using one of the Crush Brothers, a duo of Ganglers. When we finally see the Lupinrangers this week, they are targeting a hit man whose Lupin Collection item allows him to shrink the size of his body. In what has become a common move for Super Sentai, but much less so for Power Rangers, there is no euphemism about what this man does or what his goal is.
This is all the information they get before we cut back to the police, saving someone from the Gangler shown previously. The man, once saved, gives Keiichiro the Drill trigger machine, panicked, and runs off. Back at GSPO HQ, we learn in a quick line spoken by commander Hilltop that the G in the GSPO, Global, is just that. They have a headquarters in France, and he suggests sending the machine there for analysis, to which Keiichiro objects. They know the item is part of the Lupin Collection, but they would rather try to use it.
We later learn that one of the Crush brothers was, inadvertently and a little ironically, himself crushed under the foot of Patkaiser at some point in the past. The surviving brother vows revenge on the Patorangers.
Following a sound coming from deep beneath a mountain, Keiichiro has a chance to try out the Drill Trigger Machine, and we see a snippet of his backstory. Keiichiro, as a child, is spoken to in a park by a police officer, while he wears baseball pads and holds a boken sword like a knight, guarding the park.
The police officer tells Keiichiro something very similar to what he had said to the other little boy earlier in this episode, and we cut back to the present. Seemingly, this was one of his main inspirations for becoming a police officer in the first place.
The surviving Crush brother did not bring his Lupin collection piece to the fight with the Lupinrangers, but we see the other item, belonging to a Gangler called Odoro, and it is clearly a repainted ninja star from Ninninger, or Power Rangers Ninja Steel.
Tension rises as we learn the human identities of the two Ganglers, and Keiichiro is hit by multiple poison darts from inside the Drill Trigger Machine. Over the radio, he gets instructions and the others try to call for help. Despite being given orders to return, he vows to continue forward on his mission. It is implied, via sorrowful tones and dramatic dialogue, that Keiichiro is going to die of his poison and his injuries.
As he continues on, Boss Dogranio enters the battlefield himself for the first time, though only as an observer. Tsukasa and Sakuya are left in a desperate situation, but they manage to overcome it. After Odoro is defeated, Dogranio lazily taps a device on his arm, and the resulting attack decimates both Patorangers as well as Togeno. The attack was seemingly targeting Togeno more than the rangers, and Dogranio issues a warning before leaving. Cue mecha.
During this scene, we see the debut of the Crane and Drill set, retrieved from underground by Keiichiro, and he leads the charge in the fight against the Kaiju-sized Odoro. The rangers don’t even need to form Patkaiser to gain victory this week.
The battle and the episode end with Keiichiro on death’s door, and the preview puts the focus for the next episode squarely on this subject. Stay tuned for more next week!
What did you guys think of this week’s episode? Leave a comment and let’s discuss!