Why are these episodes some of the best?
There is nothing like a ranger team-up. They're the usual bits of Power Rangers fun and action with the added bonus of seeing two disparate casts of characters interact. While Zeo did have a team up with the Alien Rangers, it was minimal as far as content goes. To the Tenth Power is the first real team up we get in the ranger universe and it is prolific in what it does for the remainder of the season and Power Rangers as a whole. While not technically a multi-parter, these 3 episodes do work together as one complete story.
After the Psycho Rangers are defeated in Part 1, Cassie (Space Pink) and Kendrix (Galaxy Pink) team up to take down the one surviving Psycho, PsychoPink. The evil ranger is questing for a the "Savage Sword" a sword that grows in power with each strike it makes. Finding the sword and using it to steal power from Cassie's morpher, it looks like PsychoPink is going to win until the other rangers team up in their Megazords and take her down. However, Kendrix resolves to save Cassie's powers and her life, by sacrificing hers. This is the first time a ranger had died on screen, and the only time where it was "permanent." (Kendrix does return in the finale.)
While the death was written in for a real-world reason (Kendrix's actor was diagnosed with Leukemia and needed treatment), the solid storytelling and aftermath of her character's death is a really powerful moment for the franchise.
In the final part, Protect the Quasar Saber, the rangers go in search of Kendrix's saber when they learn it has fallen into evil hands. Karone, Andros/Space Red's sister and former villain Astronema, is able to get the saber away from the forces of evil, and after a near-death experience, inherits the powers of the Pink Ranger from Kendrix. There's a lot of character work at play here, with Karone having wanted to be a ranger since she was a little kid, and finally getting her chance here.
Why are these episodes not higher up on the list?
There's some continuity errors throughout the episodes. For one, it's not really explained how Deviot knew of the Psycho Rangers. (He calls them old friends, though it's probably just a throw away line.)
There's some weirdness when the other Space Rangers show up too- they were apparently summoned by Alpha, but he's surprised to see them. (He sends out a distress signal...but other than them, there are no other rangers active to receive it.)
Zhane is annoyingly absent from the episodes; I believe for availability reasons. It's just weird because Mike gets to play a fairly decent role here. (It also is just confusing that the episode is called "To the Tenth" when there are 11 people fighting.) Speaking of Mike, he is operating Terra Venture when Kendrix is killed, and it's really weird that we never get his reaction of her death.
While filming (or maybe in planning) Cassie was supposed to become the new Pink Galaxy Ranger, not Karone. If you watch the Power of Pink, you'll notice they heavily set this up, and then it's kind of dropped by the following episode. That's not exactly a problem, in fact it's nice to see Cassie and the other Space Rangers dealing with their guilt, but it's certainly a bit strange when Karone shows up. That's especially true when they never explain how she got from planet to planet.
How do these episodes possibly influence the movie?
These 3 episodes give us one thing that is not always present in Power Rangers- stakes. The stakes are high throughout all 3 parts. We have some of the toughest villains to ever appear on the show, 11 warriors teaming up to fight them, the death of one of those warriors to save another, and a former villain taking up the Power Ranger mantle in the dead one's place. It's epic, and a certain level of stakes are needed in the movie universe to make things work.
NOTE: TICKETS ARE OFFICIALLY ON SALE FOR THE POWER RANGERS MOVIE! THE MOVIE OPENS NEXT FRIDAY, MARCH 24th, with THURSDAY SHOWINGS AVAILABLE IN SOME AREAS.
Head to Fandango and check for theaters in your area!
On this coming Monday, (March 20th), there will be a special episode of Cake Wars featuring the Power Rangers movie on Food Network. Becky G (Trini/Yellow Ranger) will be a guest judge. Check your local listings for times!