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Power Rangers Super Samurai Episode Review: "The Great Duel"

November 18, 2012

So this week wasn’t bad. Do I consider it to be a good episode by PR standards? Nah. By Samurai standards though, it was somewhat amusing at times.

Jayden’s non-fight scenes throughout the episode didn’t really give me the reaction the show was intending for. The first scene with him and Antonio felt kind of awkward to me. Not to mention the fact that Antonio and Jayden don’t really hang out that much in the series. So I didn’t really have any reaction to it. Jayden’s whole “I don’t know who I am” scene feels really forced as well. You didn’t lose your identity, Jayden. I thought you left because you thought your team members wouldn’t protect Lauren first instead of you? (Will get to that in a moment.) I think what the show was trying to do was convey that Jayden was upset since he wasn’t this all powerful red ranger his father was, or that he couldn’t master the sealing symbol like his sister did, so he doesn’t feel special. At least that’s what I got from what Deker said (By the way, how the heck did he find out about that anyway?) But that was never really conveyed that well character wise, so how is the audience suppose to know? Heck, I can’t even tell if that’s what the show was trying to say. But the biggest thing I don’t understand is why Jayden has to stop fighting and protecting the world. You want to separate yourself from your team so they focus on protecting your sister? Fine, whatever. But why can’t you fight against them in somewhere else? I’m still mad you couldn’t stay with the team, but at least show me you’re trying to be a hero, man. This is getting into Once A Ranger territory, and that’s not good at all. Hell, you’re breaking your promise to your father by walking away from the team and doing nothing. Come on!

I will admit though, the one thing I thought was pretty cool was the un-morphed portion of the Jayden/Deker duel in the beginning. There’s been a lack of unmorphed fight scenes, which is a real shame. But the fight choreography looked nice, and made the lead in to the morphed fight look even cooler (Also, Symbol Power, change to sentai footage with a new forest and music!) Although the downside is that the rest of the duel in this episode felt less important than everything else going on. And for an episode called “The Great Duel” (which really should have had its title switched with “The Ultimate Duel” for the final battle with Deker) that’s kind of disappointing. And even the cliffhanger didn’t really excite me for the next episode, as the fight on horseback just seemed ok. They probably could have used a better cliffhanger than that.

As for the other half of the episode, there were some frustrating parts, and some slightly amusing parts. Having the team in the beginning not wanting to train with Lauren felt really forced. You all got along with her last episode, why can’t you hang out with her? Oh, because she’s not Jayden? Are you kidding me? Even Ji had to tell you to suck it up and focus on making sure you’re ready to protect the world. Also, this week Mike once again acts like an asshole by trying to look tougher than Lauren because “she’s not Jayden”. Way to be a role model for young boys. However, this delivered a very satisfying reaction from Lauren, who’s looks at him and obvious sarcasm, followed by a quick smackdown made me grin. I love Lauren just because of that. That was also followed up by a “Who’s next?” by Lauren, causing Mia and Emily to look over to Kevin with smirks, making him feel awkward. And I loved it. Samurai has been so, so terrible to the girls. I still do not forgive them, but it felt so nice for once to have the girls respected.

That being said, it was followed up by a very stupid gag of Lauren liking Mia’s cooking. Oh look, Lauren likes her cooking. Ha ha. I loved how Mike, Kevin and Emily were trying to ask about her interests, leading her to say all she does is train and never really got away from the training compound, leading the gang to look at her weird. Hmmm, where does that sound familiar? Are you guys telling me you had the rangers regularly hang out and not just train all the time? Because you sure didn’t convey that well in the series.

As for the rest of the episode? The Fight Scene was ok. The MotW felt very useless for all that hype of Octoroo powering him up, just to… make people go up and down with his tentacles. Still, no annoying in fight dialogue, and an enjoyable ADR performance by Lauren made it seem ok. The Megazord fight was pretty decent also. The ending with the gang was kind of odd. Antonio, after searching for Jayden again, comes back really injured and hurt, leading the gang to take care of him, minus Lauren who just looks at him funny. Ji comes in tired from walking back, and suddenly Lauren runs to him in concern, and everyone takes away the blankets and cushions from Antonio causing him to fall. I’ll admit, it got a chuckle from me, but that was kind of a dick move. Although to be fair, Antonio was a dick to Lauren last episode, so forget what I just said.

Overall, it was an ok episode. I’ll give it a 3/5. Most of my issues came from not explaining things properly with Jayden, a stupid “Mia’s a terrible cook, but Lauren likes it” gag, as well as trying to convey that the group actually did things when they really didn’t. But to be honest, it was a decent episode. It could have been a lot worse.

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