After a disappointing end to its previous outing, it's new story arc time for Level E via another one-shot episode - this time, introducing us to a rather charming mermaid-esque alien with a penchant for skewering anyone who lies to her instinctively with her tongue (an ability which makes her my new number one candidate to appear on any future series of Big Brother, incidentally).
Anyhow, despite this rather fearsome trait our lovely lady mermaid appears to be at the mercy of three criminal types, who use her rarity to sell her at great cost and then wait for the buyer to lie to their new purchase before picking her up again, rinsing and repeating. However, something clearly seems to have changed as, after this introduction, the next we see of said alien is her slumped and blood-stained against a tree. This sight is discovered by none other than Shimizu, one of the Colour Rangers from a couple of story arcs ago who is coming to terms with the sudden news that his family is moving to America.
While Shimizu goes to find his friends so that they can help, our mermaid decides to go for a wander despite her injured state, so when the entire gang returns they have to hunt for her, eventually tracking her down just as she's about to be finished off by her malicious "owners". While the Colour Rangers crew can quite clearly see this trio is lying when their leader tells mermaid-alien-girl that they're now ready to take her back to her home planet and that they only shot her by accident, she seems oblivious to this fact and is all set to believe them until the Rangers intervene, battling and defeating this alien threat with (unknown to them) a little help from their teacher. To cut a long story short, the episode ends with our mermaid taking to the seas of the Earth to find a new life, while anyone who could be considered bad winds up dead.
Rather unusually for this series, there isn't a huge amount of comedy on show here, with this one-shot episode largely played straight - if you ignore the blatant absurdity of the Colour Rangers themselves, of course. In that sense, this episode felt a little like episode four, which traversed a similar path, and while this instalment too had some very nice visual panache it didn't really match the overall quality of its earlier counterpart, while it also didn't have any particularly shocking twists to offer up either (which really is a first for this series). Thus, at the end of it all I'm left feeling a little empty about this episode - it did nothing wrong and it certainly wasn't bad, and as a quick lump of entertainment I suppose it did its job, but it certainly wasn't up to the stellar standards of earlier episodes by a long, long way, which can only lead to disappointment from me overall. I just hope this isn't a sign that Level E is on a downward slide - that would truly be a shame after offering up so many episodes of brilliance earlier in the season.