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Icon-oo.png This article is about a/an episode in Power Rangers Operation Overdrive.
"Once a Ranger, Always a Ranger!"
―The Rangers

Once a Ranger are the twentieth and twenty-first episodes of Power Rangers Operation Overdrive. They are a two-episode crossover special between the Overdrive Rangers and five previous Power Rangers (collectively known as the Retro Rangers), and serves to commemorate the franchise's 15th anniversary.

Synopsis

The son of Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa, Thrax, unites all four Corona Aurora-seeking factions of villains into a new Evil Alliance. When they manage to overwhelm the Overdrive Rangers, their connection to the Morphing Grid is severed, and their powers destroyed! With the gems still needing protection, Sentinel Knight assembles a team of replacement Rangers, made up of members of previous (or future) teams of Power Rangers. No longer having Ranger powers, the "former" Overdrive Rangers return to their civilian lives. All but Mack, who learns of Thrax's plans to destroy Sentinel Knight, and seeks out the only item capable of doing so, the legendary sword Excelsior. Will he be doing this alone, or can the call of action prove the adage of "Once a Ranger, Always a Ranger" to his former teammates? Meanwhile, their replacements, the team of Retro Rangers, head to Angel Grove to seek out the only being capable of repairing the Morphing Grid: Alpha 6! Even if they succeed, can two combined teams of Power Rangers stop Thrax for good, and permanently break up the Evil Alliance?

Plot

Part 1

A monster walks out of a museum in San Angeles. People run in terror as Miratrix and Kamdor wait. The monster announces to Kamdor that he has obtained the most precious gem in the museum. Kamdor is displeased, as the monster told him that he could find one of the jewels of the Corona Aurora. The gem is revealed to be only a ruby and Kamdor tosses it to Miratrix. The Rangers arrive and battle Miratrix, Kamdor and the monster, destroying the monster. Miratrix and Kamdor decide to retreat.

Norg goes sliding down into the ice den, to find Flurious is sitting on his throne. Norg lands headfirst in the snow and emerges with his head surrounded by ice. After Norg gets over his brain freeze, he walks over to Flurious. Norg had something by the entrance and thinks it's a present for Flurious. Flurious opens the container and a voice greets him and tells him that since he is an enemy of the Earth, they should meet. Back in the city, the citizens are cheering the teens. Rose promises to get the ruby back to the museum. A short distance away, Miratrix and Kamdor are watching. Kamdor is not happy, but Miratrix is happy that at least none of the others losers have any of the jewels. A container appears in Kamdor's hands. Kamdor opens it and the same voice that Flurious heard invites them to join him, and he will help them get the jewels of the Corona Aurora. Miratrix is pleased, but Kamdor tosses the container aside, claiming that he doesn't need anyone's help. The container opens and a green glows emerges, surrounding Kamdor and Miratrix.

Kamdor and Miratrix find they have been transported to a cave. Kamdor sees Flurious and thinks he is the one responsible, but Flurious tells Kamdor he had been invited. Also in attendance are Norg, Moltor, and the Fearcats. A young creature walks in and introduces himself as Thrax. Miratrix recognizes the name. Thrax had been imprisoned by Sentinel Knight, just as Moltor and Flurious were. But evil like his could not be contained. As Sentinel Knight grew weaker, he grew stronger. Thrax eventually broke free from his imprisonment, a dumpster on the Moon, and came to Earth. Thrax tells them enough about him, before pointing out the one thing that has kept all of them from plundering the Earth to obtain the jewels of the Corona Aurora - the Power Rangers. Kamdor adds the Rangers are strong, and Thrax tells them that that is why they must work together. Flurious, Moltor, the Fearcats, and Kamdor and Miratrix are outraged at joining forces and refuse to work together. Thrax tells them they will form an alliance that will last only until the Power Rangers are destroyed. With the Rangers gone, they can do what they want, including making war on each other. Thrax has a plan, and everyone gathers around to listen.

Meanwhile, the teens are back at the mansion. Rose comments that she can't remember what her life was like before becoming a Ranger. Will admits none of his adventures have beat being a Ranger. Mack comments he can remember what it was like before becoming a Ranger; to him, it was boring. Tyzonn tells them they shouldn't forget why they are Rangers. The rest look at him questioning. Tyzonn tells them to save the Earth, to which everyone laughs. The screen comes on and it shows Thrax, Flurious, Moltor, Kamdor, Miratrix, Fearcats, and a couple of Chillers. Thrax introduces himself as the son of Rita and Lord Zedd and promises to be the demise of the Power Rangers.

The Rangers arrive in the city via the S.H.A.R.C. and they battle Moltor, Flurious, Fearcats, Miratrix, Kamdor, Thrax, and hordes of Chillers and Lava Lizards. It is a difficult battle for the Rangers, who call in the Transtek Armor, but even that is not much help for the Rangers. Miratrix, Kamdor, and the Fearcats take a moment to pause and reflect that Thrax is right, it is much easier to defeat the Rangers working together. Thrax tells them they now need to combine all their evil energy together. They all do so, including Moltor and Flurious. The wave of worldwide evil energy reaches the Universal Morphing Grid, severely rupturing it and sending the Rangers crashing to the ground. The Rangers are surprised when they find that they are demorphed and their morphers are obliterated, seemingly beyond all hope of repair. Thrax tells the teens that he severed their connection to the Grid and that they are Power Rangers no more. Before Thrax and the rest can destroy the Rangers, however, Sentinel Knight appears to protect them. Sentinel Knight uses his power to take the teens to safety. Thrax isn't worried, as now the Earth and the jewels are theirs for the taking. After Sentinel Knight deposits the teens to safety, he vanishes. The teens are upset as they realize they no longer have Ranger powers, and their Morphers are all broken.

The now powerless teens return to the control center. However, Mr. Hartford has bad news: the tears on each of the Trackers' internal Grids are so severe that they are beyond all hope of repair, even by their most sophisticated repair program. Tyzonn then laments about the fight against Flurious being over and that they can't become Power Rangers anymore. Spencer walks in with even more bad news, about various attacks throughout the world. The teens consider this to be the end. Mr. Hartford points out that while they don't have their Ranger powers, they still have their genetically enhanced powers. Mack agrees and the teens leave to fight. Meanwhile, Mig and Kamdor have arrived at Stonehenge, figuring that such a legendary place would be ideal to hide a legendary jewel. The teens soon arrive on their vehicles and, using their abilities, battle Mig and Kamdor. Despite their best efforts, the teens are ultimately defeated by Kamdor and Mig, who are pleased at seeing the Rangers helpless. Suddenly, Mig becomes encased inside a tree. Kamdor moves out of the way just in time and is shocked to see that Xander Bly, the Green Mystic Force Ranger has arrived, along with Bridge Carson, Red S.P.D. Ranger, Tori Hanson, Blue Ninja Storm Ranger, and Kira Ford, Yellow Dino Thunder Ranger, who all battle Kamdor with relative ease. Mig somehow manages to break free from the tree encapsulating him. Kamdor and Mig have no time to reconcile, however, as a heavy blast - coming from the Mighty Axe of Adam Park, Black Mighty Morphin' Power Ranger - suddenly knocks them to the ground. The teens are stunned beyond belief as the five Rangers come together and tell them they heard they needed some help.

Kamdor and Mig decide to retreat, unwilling to fight these "new" Rangers, who demorph immediately afterwards. Both sets of teens walks towards each other and begin talking. Before the conversation gets too deep, Tori thinks perhaps another place would be a better place to talk. Sentinel Knight appears and he tells them how he brought the five teens - Adam, Xander, Kira, Bridge, and Tori - to Stonehenge, and agrees the meeting should be held elsewhere. Everyone goes to the control center. The Operation Overdrive teens figure out the five teens are former Rangers. Bridge tells them they are, except for him, as he is from the future. Bridge goes into a complicated story of his various Ranger colors and only Dax seems to make sense of Bridge's story. Sentinel Knight appears and introduces the new Rangers and tells everyone they will be the new Operation Overdrive team. Ronny, Rose, Dax, Mack, Will, and Tyzonn are stunned. Mr. Hartford is surprised as well, but doesn't say anything. Later, Rose, Dax, Mack, Will, Tyzonn, and Ronny try to make the best of their sudden amount of free time in the mansion. Kira, Tori, Adam, Bridge, and Xander walk in excited about the zords they will be driving. This doesn't set well with the rest of the teens. Mack points out that they seem to be getting along well and Tori tells them they are.  Kira sees the looks on Dax, Mack, Will, Tyzonn, Ronny, and Rose's faces and tells them they will be back as Rangers as soon as they get their powers back. Ronny points out if they get their powers back. The alarms goes off and Tori, Adam, Bridge, Xander, and Kira race out the door. Mack, Will, Tyzonn, Ronny, Rose, and Dax are ready for action as well, but realize there is no place for them.  Ronny tells them she is not staying where she is not needed. Elsewhere, Flurious has his Chillers set up a huge road block, so he will not be disturbed as he hunts for the jewels. Black Ranger, on the Hovertek Cycle, arrives and begins the battle. Soon the rest of the Rangers arrive as well. The five Rangers battle the Chillers and defeat them. Flurious is not happy and he retreats. Later, Adam is in the control center, trying to help Mr. Hartford with all the repairs. Mr. Hartford appreciates Adam's help.  Adam tells him of his battles with Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd. Adam believes Thrax has inherited the worst of both his parents. Mr. Hartford is frustrated as he doesn't understand the technology to fix the morphing grid. Adam gets an idea and leaves. Meanwhile, Flurious storms into Thrax' lair. The rest of the villains are there as well. Flurious tells Thrax he may have gotten rid of the Operation Overdrive team, but more Rangers are popping up. Thrax brings forth a monster to help them in their battle against the Rangers. As the rest of them battle the Rangers, Thrax plans to go after Sentinel Knight and have his revenge.

Inside the mansion, Ronny, Rose, Dax, Mack, Will, and Tyzonn face Mr. Hartford. The teens tell Mr. Hartford that although they have enjoyed being Power Rangers, they feel they are no longer needed. The new team of Operation Overdrive is doing well. Mr. Hartford protests, telling them they are still needed. Ronny tells Mr. Hartford they had dropped everything to be Power Rangers, and now they no longer are. The teens want to go back to their lives before becoming Power Rangers. Mr. Hartford asks Mack if this is the same for him. Mack tells his dad he is not going anywhere, but he no longer considers himself a Power Ranger. Mr. Hartford has no choice but to accept the fact that the teens plan to go back to their normal lives.

Part 2

Flurious, Moltor, Kamdor, Miratrix and the Fearcats have gathered inside the cave. They are not happy. Benglo:  We're no better off now than we were before. Moltor: He's right. We've got new Rangers and no jewels. Thrax' plan is failing. Miratrix wanted to know where Thrax was. Flurious commented that he had his Chillers following the new Rangers, but perhaps he should have them following Thrax.

Adam, Bridge, Xander, Kira, and Tori are in a warehouse in Angel Grove. Adam is leading them along. Bridge offers to help and takes his glove off to take a reading. Bridge tells them he is getting a strange reading over by some crates. The strange reading turns out to be several Chillers. Xander steps forward, ready to put his plan into action, and introduces himself. The plan does not go well as Xander is knocked aside by the Chillers. Xander gets up. The five teens battle and defeat the Chillers. Afterwards, Adam spots the crate he was looking for and leads the others to it. Tori wonders whether this would really help, and Adam is confident that it will. In the control center, Mack is sweeping up. The Sentinel Knight appears and tells him he is glad that not everyone has abandon the mission. Mack remarks this is as much as he can do. Sentinel Knight reminds him of what the Rangers had quoted, once a ranger. Mack remarks how can he fight evil when he is no longer a Ranger. Sentinel Knight tells him as long as he fights against evil, he is a Ranger. Mack asks Sentinel Knight what Thrax meant about an object that could destroy him. Sentinel Knight tells Mack about the Excelsior sword. Sentinel Knight believes Thrax is looking for it and when he finds it, he plans to have his revenge on him. Mack excitedly tells Sentinel Knight they should look for the sword.  Sentinel Knight replies the protection of the jewels is more important. Sentinel Knight becomes weak and has to leave. Elsewhere, Ronny had just won another race. Ronny glances inside her trophy and is disappointed there is no small box inside. In New Zealand, Dax is filming a movie. Dax had just finished his sequence and everyone tells him he has done great. There is a call for a lunch break and everyone leaves Dax hanging on the wires. Will had just recovered a stolen painting and he has returned it. Will suggests better security and is thanked and given a check.  The check doesn't give him the same satisfaction as being a Ranger had. Rose is lecturing at a university. After the lecture, Mack pops his head in. Rose is thrilled to see him. Rose and Mack hug. Mack asks her if she knows anything about the Excelsior sword. Rose replies there is a book in the library about it. Mack takes off. Rose gets on her cell phone. Meanwhile, Mack has found the information he needs and is now in the woods. As he searches, he falls into a pit. Mack manages to climb out and when he does, he sees a goddess statue with the Excelsior sword. Before Mack can do anything, Thrax appears. Thrax tells Mack he has lead him to the sword.

Thrax is ready to strike Mack when his staff gets knock aside by Dax. Mack is surprised and asks Dax how he got here. Dax tells him by following them and points to Rose, Will, Tyzonn, and Ronny. Mack is very happy to see them.  In the control center, the crate is open and Adam helps Alpha 6 out. Alpha 6 is very happy to be in service again. In the woods, Thrax is determine to get the Excelsior sword. Thrax approaches the warrior goddess and tries to take the sword, but tge goddess knocks him down. Thrax next uses force to get the sword, but is knocked down once more. Mack tells Thrax he knows nothing of the statue. Only the warrior goddess can decide who gets the sword. An angry Thrax vows if he cannot have the sword, he will destroy the Earth. Back in the control center, Adam and Mr. Hartford prepare Alpha to go into the universal morphing grid and repair it. After Alpha is gone, the alarm goes off. Tori, Kira, Bridge, and Xander slid down the poles and race towards the screen. The screen shows a giant size monster, Vulturus. Tori comments that she sees they still make them big. Mr. Hartford instructs Adam to take the Flashpoint. The five teens race out. In the woods, Dax tries to pry the sword from the goddess, but has no luck as he stumbles back into his friends. Ronny comments that if they were Power Rangers, the goddess would give them the sword. The teens start to walk away, with Mack trailing the group. Mack stops as he remembers what Sentinel Knight say about being a Ranger and having power. Mack tells his friends he is not going until he has the sword. Mack returns to the statue and tries once more. Mack is surprised and pleased as several more hands appear, his friends, and they all try to get the sword. The statue comes to life, much to their surprise, and tells them their friendship and dedication has made her decide to give them the sword. After the sword is passed to Mack, the goddess returns to statue form. While all of this is occurring, Alpha 6 assesses the catastrophic damage caused by Thrax to the Grid. He soon goes into a panic, leaving him to wonder what Zordon would do if he saw this. The Rangers in the two Megazords battle Vulturus. The Rangers have a difficult time and spot Mack racing towards them with the sword. Mack leaps high into the air and comes down slashing the sword through Vulturus and destroying him. The Rangers cheer.

The six teens return to the control center. Mr. Hartford and Spencer are there, along with Sentinel Knight. Mack gives Sentinel Knight the sword and tells him now Thrax will not be able to destroy him. Sentinel Knight takes the sword and is returned to his true form. Rose tells Mr. Hartford it was wrong for them to have left and they would like to come back. The five Rangers enter the room and tell Mack what a great job he did. Alpha 6 returns from the morphing grid.  Mr. Hartford checks and, somehow, someway, the Grid is back online. The six teens are elated as they realize they are Power Rangers again. Alpha 6 tells them it's great to be useful again and Dax adds tells us about it. In the city the evil alliance finds Vulturus on the ground. Thrax is upset, he was sure Vulturus would destroy the Rangers. Flurious tells him he has found with the Rangers it always good to have a plan B. Flurious plants one of his gyros inside Vulturus.  Vulturus returns and is now giant size. Back at the control center, the screen shows the evil alliance. Adam asks Mack if he ready to get back into action and Mack replies that he is. The Trackers are handed back to the six teens. All of the teens take off to face down the evil alliance. All the Rangers morph, appalling Thrax, as he thought he destroyed them. The Rangers and the villains race towards each other and the battle begins. Black Mighty Morphin Power Ranger battles Thrax. Red S.P.D. and Red Operation Overdrive Power Rangers battle Flurious. Green Mystic Force, Black Operation Overdrive, and Blue Operation Overdrive Rangers battle the Fearcats. Yellow Dino Thunder and Yellow Operation Overdrive Rangers battle Miratrix and Kamdor. Blue Ninja Storm and Pink Operation Overdrive Rangers battle Moltor. Mercury Ranger battles several Chillers and Vulturus. It is a difficult battle, but the Rangers are doing well. Mercury Ranger destroys Vulturus. Sentinel Knight appears. Thrax tells him if he had the sword he would destroy him. Sentinel Knight replies he can't have the sword, because it is now a part of him. Sentinel Knight easily disposes of Thrax after a brief battle, ending the evil legacy once and for all. The Rangers, Sentinel Knight and the remaining evil alliance face each other. The Rangers and Sentinel Knight fired at the Evil Alliance. The villains survive and Moltor tells them he is going after the jewels. Miratrix tells him not if they get there first. The Evil Alliance is no more and they vanish. The Rangers and Sentinel Knight walk forward. Red Operation Overdrive Power Ranger tells Black Mighty Morphin Power Ranger that is what Ranger power is all about. They shake hands.

Everyone is gathered inside the Hartford mansion, including all the teens, Mr. Hartford, Spencer, and Alpha 6. Dax tells Tori, Xander, Bridge, Adam, and Kira that at first he was happy to see them, then upset that they were staying, and now sad that they are leaving. Spencer walks in with a tray full of buttery toast for Bridge. Tori tells them if they ever need them again, just to give them a call and passes her card over to Mr. Hartford. Adam plans on taking Alpha 6 back to his dojo with him. Everyone is in an upbeat mood. Mr. Hartford suggests they gathered together. Everyone forms a circle and plans their hands on top of each other. Then they leap into the air and cheer for Power Rangers.

Retro Rangers

Color Role Actor
Mighty Morphin Black Ranger Adam Park Johnny Yong Bosch
Blue Wind Ranger Tori Hanson Sally Martin
Yellow Dino Ranger Kira Ford Emma Lahana
S.P.D. Red Ranger Bridge Carson Matt Austin
Green Mystic Ranger Xander Bly Richard Brancatisano

Cast

Production

Jackie Marchand has said the episode was difficult to create, as they needed to balance between the action, the drama, and the returning cast with the Overdrive team. There were some extra scenes to explain why the Overdrive team is quitting, which were cut from the episode: Marchand says the aired version "didn't reflect well on the Overdrive team and made them seem like assholes". [1]

Gallery

Errors

  • When Thrax severs the Morphin' Grid sending the Rangers to their knees, the Rangers are seen with different effects on their Morphers. Some have error messages on their screens while some Morphers are just outright destroyed.
  • Rita Repulsa, Thrax's mother, became the Mystic Mother in Mystic Force, though Xander strangely does not relate the two together.
  • In the helmetless Retro Rangers scene, Kira and Xander's holster weapons are on the wrong sides of their respective belts.

Notes

  • The title of the episode is a reference to the long-standing phrase "Once a Ranger, always a Ranger" which is directly quoted by the Retro Rangers in Part I and Mack in Part II.
  • This marks the first appearance of Sentinel Knight's new form, resulting from him merging with the Excelsior sword.
  • Due to Bridge having changed Ranger colors from Green to Red, his aura reading ability has also been updated to reflect this. Furthermore, his morphing sequence is identical to Sky's Red Ranger morph as well as Kat's, most likely due to the fact that said sequence is used for a single episode.
  • Although Tommy Oliver does not appear in the special, he is mentioned by both Adam and Kira.
  • Civilian superpowers were not made commonplace until the Disney era, with Adam being the only ranger lacking one while unmorphed. This is referenced during the warehouse sequence with the Chillers, where he notes that his martial arts "may be old-school, but still gets the job done."
  • The Sentinel Knight managed to seal Thrax away before losing his physical form, which he lost centuries ago, but this couldn't have been more than 20 years ago. Thus, this raises the question as to when Thrax was born. It could be possible, out of many other theories, that he was born prior to the destruction of the United Alliance of Evil by Zordon's Energy Wave, and that babies were somehow immune to the energy wave created at Zordon's sacrifice.
  • It is unknown how Alpha 6 ended up on Earth as he was last seen on Miranoi. It's distinct voice change is also left unexplained.
  • Adam's morphing pose and sequence are entirely new and much more detailed, which is only seen before in the MMPR Season 3 episode Ninja Quest. Furthermore, Adam does not shout "Mastodon" or "Black Ranger Power" for his morping call, though he does in the Polish dub of the episode.
  • During Mack and Bridge's battle with Flurious, Bridge tosses his Delta Blasters to Mack, which is a reference to the episodes' counterpart GoGo Sentai Boukenger vs. Super Sentai in which AkaRed grants Bouken Red the use of the D-Magnums.
  • Adam is shown being able to utilize modern day Operation Overdrive gear such as the Defender Vest as well as Will's Hovertek Cycle, in which the latter keeps in line with only being pilotable by a Black Ranger.
  • Kira tells the Overdrive Rangers "I'm sure you'll be back to action in no time", a throwback to the battle cry Jason coined in the Mighty Morphin era of Power Rangers when the Rangers would return to battle while partially in their morphed suits, "back to action".
  • For unknown reasons, Adam's fight sequences are accompanied by an original and unnamed soundtrack rather than the original "Go Go Power Rangers"' theme song.
  • It is unclear how Xander knows how to pilot an actual Zord considering the Mystic Force Rangers transform into their Zords themselves. It is most likely an ability granted by the Morphin Grid itself, as the original Rangers in Day of the Dumpster noted they automatically knew how to pilot their Zords and it seemed like second nature to them.
  • Thrax' "Evil Alliance" could be a reference towards Dark Specter's United Alliance of Evil (an alliance his parents were part of).
  • Ninja Storm Blue is the only Ranger kept from the adaptation of GoGo Sentai Boukenger vs. Super Sentai
  • Sentinal Knight claimed he restore the powers of the previous Rangers, though this would evidently exclude Bridge as the SPD powers were never destroyed by Endings. Furthermore, it's not known how Sentinel Knight was able to contact Bridge from the future, though it may imply that he has such ability.
  • In-universe speaking, the events of SPD had technically not happened yet, a fact that is referenced by Bridge when he introduces himself to the Overdrive Rangers, saying that he wasn't a ranger yet but will be in the future while referring to his previous color designations in the future tense.
  • The two-parter received negative reviews from fans due to the Overdrive Rangers choosing to give up their duties as Rangers instead of continuing to fight against evil despite losing their powers. From past seasons, Rangers who have lost their powers typically decide to keep on fighting no matter the cause.
  • In the Italian and the Latin American Spanish dubbing, for some unknown reason, Alpha 6 is named as his predecessor Alpha 5

See Also

References

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