Forgive the Gremlins reference. It was justÂ the first thing I thought of when I realized the episode was titled “To Earn Your Stripes.” Now on with the recap.
Previously on Jungle Fury, Dai Shi tried to lay the smackdown on his Phantom Generals for mucking up Camille’s latest plan. But then he just sorta fell over and the scene ended.
We begin this week’s episode with Casey looking especially chipper as they open the pizza shop for another day of business. But RJ steps in (I guess he just assumed no one would walk in and see him in his kung fu getup here) and says he’s taking the kids on a field trip. Dominic says he’ll be fine at the pizza shop, to which Fran practically screams that she and he make a great team together. Yeah… I don’t wanna know what’s swimming around in that girl’s head while she’s serving up pizza pies around Dominic.
Back at the Phantom Pharm, Dai Shi starts to have flashbacks of Jarrod’s memories (specifically when he got bashed on the playground as a kid, and then when he tried to bash some other kid in Pai Zhua) and a clay pot randomly appears next to him so he can smash it to pieces with his angry!face.
Camille fades out of her invisible spot against the wall and offers to remove the stick from his anus. She places a hand on his, to which he thanks her. “Wait a minute,” Camille thinks. “You thanked me… YOU’RE NOT MY DAI SHI!” And he obviously agrees with her, as he gets up and runs out.
Those two kids. Won’t they ever get it together? I mean, they look so happy HERE, don’t they?
(^although he does look mildly psychotic there…)
When Dai Shi passes in the hall, the Phantom Generals basically repeat what they’ve been saying for weeks now- “Dai Shi’s pussywhipped. Must kill Camille.”
While his underlings conspire around him, Dai Shi goes off and destroys more furniture in utter rage. Then he notices a mirror and sees the pure ghostly form of Dai Shi talking to him. He appears in order to tell Jarrod that he is and always will be his bitch, until the coming day when he gets slaughtered, along with the rest of the human vermin.
Jarrod protests, saying he never wanted anything like that, and Dai Shi tells him he’s wrong, and the whole reason he chose Jarrod is because they’re “so much alike.” This scene is the reason why I actually like these two characters so much. They actually do what I want them to do, and admit that Jarrod isn’t perfect, but Dai Shi is latching onto the imperfect side. Yayness!
While Jarrod angsts over his evilness, the three Jungle Kids are taken back to Pai Zhua, where all the other students are apparently on vacation. They meet up with the three Auxiliary Masters. I squee.
RJ explains to the three kids that they are ready to take the test to become complete Masters……. If you just burst into a fit of hysterical laughter, I won’t hold it against you.
Like the good little Pai Zhuas that they are, Theo and Lily humble themselves by sitting in a meditative posture. But Casey decides that meditative postures are for deviants and liberals, and runs over to his boyfriend in his mind, RJ, and asks him what he needs to do to pass the test. RJ gives him a look like “Are you serious?” and gestures him to go away.
With that, the test commences, and the JF kids face off against their own Masters in some truly sweet fight choreography. Seriously, Master Swoop even flies at Theo throwing fists upside down. You can’t get much hotter than that, really.
For some reason, Casey keeps looking at the others like a middle school kid copying off of his neighbor’s test answers. He pretty much just does whatever they do, but RJ can’t be more ashamed. In the end, Lily and Theo (I almost called them Leo) are announced as Masters and given insta-tattoos like all the other Masters. Casey expects to become a Master too (especially after the dramatic device of him being so happy earlier), and Master Finn says “Um, no. You suck.”
Casey’s reaction is basically this:
Meanwhile, the Phantom Generals get their underlings together (if this isn’t the last of the Phantom Beasts, I’m even more out of touch with this story than I realized) and the three baddies are instructed to kill Camille, and told that Dai Shi ordered it personally. Evil conspiracies. Yay.
Dai Shi walks right through the wavey arms of the useless foot soldiers as they train, looking desperately for his woman. Scorch says he’s got no clue. Dai Shi gotta go.
Back at the pizza shop, Casey is still crying about not becoming a Master. Which I start to find amusing, seeing as how this is the guy someone decided to make the instructor for a whole dojo full of 10-year-olds with sadistic parents. Dominic sits there coolishly, and says that not everybody needs to be a Master, and that he’s totally fine being exactly what he is right now.
Dear Dominic. How did you get to be so awesome?
But the angst is too much for Casey to bare, so he goes off for a run on a seven-hour break. A wild coincidence occurs when he finds that Camille is in the forest, talking to the three Phantom Beasts sent to kill her. She morphs into dope Phoenix armor and fights for her life.
Unfortunately, three baddies are too much for her to handle and she’s about to get creamed. But suddenly, Dai Shi shows up to beat their asses. Well… not really Dai Shi, I guess. He explains that Dai Shi doesn’t give a damn about her, but Jarrod does, and he’s in control for the next five minutes. He uses this time to kick the crap out of the three monsters, slow-mo murdering two of them. The bunny monster gets the fuck outta dodge.
Casey runs off to tell the others or something, but is stopped by the bunny monster, who, after getting beat up by Jarrod, is in serious need of a confidence boost, so she picked Casey. And he uses the Strike Rider motorcycle to fight her… Yeah… I don’t like it anymore than Prince does.
But Frominic have apparently seen this on RJ’s magic TV and Dom alerts the others. They rush out to the battle quarry just in time to rescue Casey… Phooey. But at least they get to have a fun original fight sequence (although they do that ugly Spirit Ranger summoning thing again, even after the Masters were featured this week).
The bunny goes giant and they take the fight to the zords. I love it when the rhino slams his horn blade thing into the monster. It just looks so deliciously violent. But anyway, they kill the monster with the Wild Force Megaroar (or something) and that’s all I have to say about that.
Back at the pizza shop, Casey sobs over not being listened to by his Master friends, who can’t accept that Jarrod might be an okay guy. Lily goes out of her way to reinforce her character trait of always seeing the good in people… and that she can’t see the good in Jarrod. At all. Theo agrees. They walk away. These guys are so funny together.
Camille got rocked in that last fight, so Jarrod lays her down on his sexy throne chair. But his five minutes are up, and Dai Shi tells her to get the hell out of his sexy throne chair before he sets her on fire. HOT.
Meanwhile, Casey runs off to RJ pretty much ordering him to train with him. And this is when RJ’s awesomeness reaches a brand new level.
Casey: “I failed the Master test. You gotta show me what I did wrong.”
RJ: “I’m THROUGH showing you things, Casey.”
Finally, we return to the Phantom Pharm, where Dai Shi threatens his underlings one last time. But this time, his threats seem especially snippy, as he assures them (?) that he is in complete control of Jarrod, and that the last Beast War is about to begin. Camille watches with a to-be-continued face.
I liked this episode. I liked it a lot, actually. At the very least, it’s the best episode since the Spirit Ranger arc ended. I’m loving the Jarrod/Camille/Dai Shi/Sexy Chair shipping. Dominic’s two little scenes somehow added an amazing amount of character flavor. And Casey failing the test, as much fun of it as I’ve made, was actually a very good device. I have very little real criticism to give here. This ep gets a solid A. Good times.
– Dr. Tristan