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Power Rangers Megaforce Episode Review: “He Blasted Me With Science!”

February 10, 2013

(Thanks once again to @Rangercrew/Megaforcecast.com/Rangercrew.com for allowing their uploaded screencaps to be used in the review.)

“Oh stop all that crying, we’re doing this for science!”

It’s been a long week for Power Rangers fans. For the first time in two years, we finally had an episode with decent acting, characters with personalities, and some interesting plot developments. The show appeared to be showing signs of creativity. Everything just seemed much, much better than Samurai. Were there issues with the episode? Sure, after all, nothing is truly perfect. But at the very least it seemed as if everyone learned from the problems of Samurai/Super Samurai.

But while the premiere has the job of getting everyone hyped and insuring the audience that this new show will be awesome, this episode had an equally important job. It needed to reassure to everyone that the show will be interesting and entertaining. It had to blind you with its awesome. It had to be as sweet as any harmony. So as the fandom turned it’s tender eyes to the new episode, everyone hoped it would hit every careful note.

Let’s take a look and see if it did or not.


This time around I’ll be looking at interaction between some of the characters, discussing a bit more about our villains, and talk about some of the other goodies in our first big episode with our Mechazords and our Megazord. (I hope you saw the “ch” in the first word. I didn’t say the same word twice.) Let’s start off with our interaction bits between the characters.

Troy and Creepox

Good heavens, Troy – what are you wearing? Getting that joke out-of-the-way (It’s not that bad, but still…) Troy ends up having an encounter this week with Creepox, who apparently wants to tango with troy to see how powerful humans are. I guess because he’s the leader, whatever I’m cool with it. This brief flashback encounter (apparently this happened before the start of the episode) was an ok start to show Creepox trying to be an active villain, while forming a rivalry with Troy. Similar to how Jayden always had Deker wanting to fight him, this rivalry appears to be heading in a much similar direction. Troy doesn’t want to fight for the sake of fighting, but Creepox says they will fight soon enough. Hopefully, this plot will be handled much better than the Deker/Jayden plotline, providing that Troy’s character gets fleshed out a little more. Yes, this brief flashback was the only time in the episode where Troy got to shine on his own. I’m hoping in the future we’ll get a little more time to develop his character, but I have faith (at the moment) that the writers will do so.

Acting wise, Troy is still a little bit rusting in both ADR and on camera. Still, he is showing improvement from the last episode, which is a good sign. Again, I stress that giving his character a little more time on camera could help us as an audience like him more. He’s showing signs that he’s getting better at acting. Just give his character a little more back story and development, and he should be fine.

On the other side of things, Creepox is ok as a villain. He isn’t particularly interesting, but at the same time we do see him trying to get out of the ship and get into combat, which is good. Hopefully he’ll have sometime to get off the ship and fight a little bit before he inevitably kicks the bucket. It would be a shame to have another villain like Deker who always walks around saying “I must fight the red ranger, if it is the last thing I do!” and not actually fight him until late in the game.

Noah and Mr. Burley

To my surprise, we got some decent interaction between Noah and one of our supporting characters, Mr. Burley. In episode 2! I- I don’t believe it! The scenes actually set up some interesting foreshadowing, as Goseiger fans will notice the interesting symbol on Mr. Burley’s board. We actually got to learn a little bit about Mr. Burley, while getting a better idea of what kind of character Noah is. Mr. Burley believes that there is proof that can explain just what strange phenomenons/mysteries are out there. With all his careful notes on the board, he may not be far off from some developments in the future. I’m also starting to see what separates Noah from Billy. Billy typically liked to work with technology and science, as he regularly assisted Alpha, Zordon and the rangers to provide new tools for them to use. Noah seems to be more interested in discovering new things. He’s fascinated with the many mysteries of the world. Instead of using science to creating new things, he’d rather use science to answer questions not previously known, such as finding the answers to some of the great mysteries of the world, like the Jersey Devil, Lochness Monster, ect. I’d also say his interest with Robots is less about how humanity can use them, and more along the lines of how as their own “species” they would interact with humanity.

Acting wise, I like Mr. Burley’s character. He has a very strange charm to him that reminds me of Professor Phenomenus, as well as a few other old school, Saban supporting characters. He actually has very good chemistry with Noah’s actor, and I’d like to see these two interact more often. Mr. Burley could easily be used in a few upcoming episodes, which could make great use of his character.

Meanwhile, Noah’s acting is a little bit better, but I still feel he has a little ways to go like Troy. I have confidence he’ll get better in time as he continues to interact with characters like Jake and Mr. Burley. His ADR was ok, but not the best. Again, it’s still early in the season, and the actors are getting used to their new roles, so I’ll let it slide. Hopefully improvement will come soon though.

Jake and Gia

I still believe that Gia and Jake are the best characters on the show. Kudos to their actors for putting the effort into their acting. You two clearly show how much you wanted to be on this show. This episode gave us some interaction between the two characters, as Jake wanted to hang out with Gia. He did come off as a little creepy, which Gia noticed and responded accordingly. As the two are walking home, and Jake starts to say how he wants to get to know Gia more, Gia starts to realize that Jake may like her. We’re about to have her say that she’s not really into him, when she suddenly spots a UFO, and without telling him, runs up and hugs him to grab her morpher out of her backpack (He offered to carry her backpack earlier in the scene.) Gia… that’s a little counterproductive considering you’re trying to give him a hint that you don’t like him the way he likes you.

Which leads me to two concerns. At the moment, all of this is fine, but I am worried about something. I fear Gia may turn away from being a character and more of a prize for Jake. At the moment, Gia isn’t exactly fleshed out as a character. The only interaction between Jake and Gia is either Jake lusting after her or being way too cocky in attempts to impress her. I know we’re going to have shipping between the characters. That’s fine. But we need to establish a few things within the next few episodes. We need interaction between Jake and Gia that doesn’t involve Jake being creepy and/or showing off in an attempt to get Gia to like him. He can be cocky around Gia, that’s fine if you want to establish a friendship where the two friends are trying to outdo each other in everything/poke fun at each other. Or Gia poking fun at Jake, whatever. But there has to be a better establishment between the two characters than Jake being creepy and constantly trying to win over Gia. Especially when we don’t know that much about Gia’s character other than she’s perfect. Again, I’m not worried at the moment, and this interaction was fine. I just don’t want Gia to turn into a prize for Jake to win over, and would rather have a relationship between the two characters succeed because both characters naturally bonded. Their elements have to be in harmony.

Now what I did like was an interesting plot point that lead into our moral of the day. Jake, the cocky/trying to impress the girl character and Gia, little miss perfect, decide they can easily handle the Loogie and MotW attack on their own. It’s not a bad idea for an episode to discuss, and show’s just how important it is for the team to be working together. This is where I felt Gia and Jake had the best interaction, and hope we see more scenes between the two where they interact like this. (They also had a great american original in-suit fight sequence, which was great to see. Hurray for original fight footage!)

Again, I have to give kudos to both Gia and Jake’s actors. They are, by far, the best of the five. And I for one can’t wait to see what they do in future episodes. I just hope that Gia’s character gets a little more depth (and to be honest, maybe a little more depth for Jake as well, through interactions with Noah) and continue to develop a friendship while cutting away from the creepiness. Once you make it clear that Gia isn’t a prize, and that these two characters have chemistry, we can bring in the shipping stuff that people love. I’ll have no issue with that if everything is handled properly.

Emma, Gosei and Tensou didn’t have a lot of time to shine in this episode, to I’m going to skip discussion on them. Hopefully Emma gets a little more time to shine soon.

Villains

We got a little more time to spend with our Villains this week, but not too much. Still, it’s something, and it does establish them a little bit better. Admiral Malkor seems to be a little bit more competent than Master Xandred, which is a good thing. He realizes that they need a better understanding about what their up against, and summons the appropriate MotW to accomplish this task, something that Master Xandred didn’t really do. (And we’ll get to the awesomeness that is this week’s MotW in a moment.) While he doesn’t interact with the heroes at all, he does establish himself as a somewhat decent leader of the villains. Although at the end of the episode, he has his cliche “CURSE YOU HEROES!” moment where he kicks down a wall. Hopefully, we’ll see a little bit more action out of him in the future, but seeing as he is the head bad guy, there’s no rush to bring him out. Probably better to let Creepox and Vrak spend time doing that. Speaking of Vrak…

Vrak continues to be my favorite of the villains. He still sounds cool, and he’s starting to get lines that help make that awesome voice of his even more awesome. He seems to be a smart villain, and we’re given little nuggets here about his character. He reveals that he is alien royalty (which may be foreshadowing something Gokaiger fans will like…) Thanks to his royal status, he is given special technology, specifically Zombats (God, I love that name. Kudos to whoever thought of it.) These mechanized little pets of his allow our MotWs to grow giant-sized. Personally, I love him and want to see more of him. What other cool tricks does he have up his sleeve as alien royalty? How will he interact directly with the rangers? Seriously, give us more Vrak. He is shaping up to be an awesome villain.

One final thing I’d like to note is that the Villains seem to be thinking outside the box and wondering where these teenagers got their powers and weapons. Does that mean they’ll attempt to find Gosei’s lair and attack him? I’m not sure if Creepox and Malkor will try this… but I could see Vrak doing so… (Oh the speculation a little creativity can bring!)

Monster of the Week: Yuffo

Yuffo is awesome. I love his voice, I love his personality, and I love his lines about science. His personality isn’t just making puns, it’s him embracing being a scientist monster. Wanting to do experiments on humans and the rangers, using his various attacks as ways to discover human’s weaknesses. He even was brave enough to say (as the rangers were combining their weapons for the final blow) “Bring it on!” instead of the usual “Oh no, you’re going to finish me off.” Have more MotWs be like this. Seriously, give them a personality other than Bland or says puns over and over. They don’t need to be as deep as any ocean, but just decent enough to make me interested in them.

Let’s take a look at a few extra tidbits this episode gave us:

Intro Narration:

So yeah. They brought back the Samurai intro where they explain who’s attacking and who was put in charge of fighting the attackers. Not sure why Megaforce needs it as I don’t think it’s that hard for new viewers to understand what is going on. Evil Aliens are attacking the world. A bunch of teenagers are assigned to go fight them. Not a hard concept to understand. Now with Samurai, I get it. You want to brief new viewers about some back story they may not understand from the episode. Ancient Samurai protected the earth from Netherworld monsters, and passed down their powers for generations. After years of peace, a new threat has come, and the current generation has been assigned to stop them. I get the need for a brief intro then. Look, maybe it’s just to help kids adjust from Samurai to Megaforce, I get it. But it does feel a little… unnecessary. But whatever.

Roll Call and Different Version of Theme Song

Let’s get the theme song bit out-of-the-way first. When Gia and Jake first morphed, what sounded like a different version of the Megaforce theme song was playing. It had bits from the current theme song, but it sounded some what original. I’d personally like to hear the full version of this. Could it be that an original theme song was made, but they decided to keep parts of the Samurai/MMPR theme to help transition viewers to the new show?

Also, the Mega Rangers (Hey, Yuffo referred to them as that) did a proper roll call this episode, which I believe is the first time since Jungle Fury that we got this. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.) Personally, I had no issue with the roll call (although maybe a little more passion could have been used when saying the roll call?). I liked it in Jungle Fury, and it works well here. Moving on.

Mechazord Fight

About a third of the episode was dedicated to introducing the individual zords and having zord battles. Hey, it has to get done, since those toys need advertising. ADR was ok for this, although I’m hoping for a little more improvement from the actors/writers for zord fights. It was good enough, but I’m hoping it gets a little bit better in the future. As for the battle itself, I loved the individual zord fight as much as I did in Goseiger. It’s a pretty neat battle with cool effects (especially Emma’s Phoenix Zord flying through that tunnel.)

I’d also like to address the Mechazord/Megazord situation. While I get where the writing staff was going for, they sound way too similar to each other. Honestly, Mechazord sounds a lot like Megazord, and I’m sure the kids were a little confused why the “megazords” were transforming into the “megazord”. At least from what was being said. It’s fine, and I’ll deal with it, but hopefully post-Megaforce they don’t keep the Mechazord name. Zord is just fine for individual mechs.

Megazord and Cockpit

Unlike Samurai and Super Samurai, we have returned to the show using the sentai cockpit footage. Thank goodness. No Mega Modes to just stand there and be a waste of money. The cockpit looks beautiful and is much more impressive than Samurai’s was. Heck, I consider it to be one of my favorite cockpits in PR history. It just looks awesome.

We had a pretty good Megazord fight this week, as the writers have also learned that the rangers don’t need to constantly be talking every second during a Megazord fight. Yuffo, in his awesomeness, had good lines throughout the fight that were used sparingly. And that’s the key here. The lines were used sparingly. Let the action speak for itself, you don’t need talking every five seconds. Good to see you learning your lesson writers. (Also, I’d like to point out that this is a pretty cool looking Megazord. Seriously, I always loved the Goseiger Megazords. Especially one coming up in the future…)

Only critique with this fight? The finishing line. Remember Jayden’s “Samurai Rangers, Victory is ours” line? I didn’t have much issue with him saying it in Samurai. Well, Troy gets his own line to say. “Mega Rangers, that’s a Mega win!” (I think that’s what he said. Correct me if I’m wrong.) I’m sorry, that was way too forced. I get it, trying to keep some similar elements from Samurai for the kids. Fair enough. But could you at least make the line a little… better? It’s just kind of groan worthy.

Final Thoughts

I liked this episode. I liked it a lot. The pacing felt a lot better, some of the characters had great moments that allowed me to appreciate them more, and it continues to look like the staff learned from their mistakes from last season. Mr. Burley is shaping up to be a very nice side character. Jake and Gia continue to shine, and the action sequences are fun to watch this season (instead of being groan worthy because of unnecessary lines/continuity errors). While it’s still not the best Power Rangers has ever seen, this episode was very enjoyable and was worthy of a few re-watches. I like these characters (for the most part). The villains are pretty decent. Everything seems pretty enjoyable. We just need to give a little more depth to these characters and make them as sweet as any harmony.

… Man, I seem to be using a lot of weird lines in this review. Not sure why. I’ll try not to do that in the next review.

But anyway, my final ranking for this episode is 4/5. It’s a good episode, and I’m more excited than ever to see what Megaforce brings to the table. Keep up the good work, and we’ll have a pretty good season.

Thanks for reading my review. As always, feel free to comment and critique my review, as the only way to stop me from doing stupid things is by pointing them out. I’ll be back next week with an all new review as we take a look at “Going Viral”, the third episode of Power Rangers Megaforce. The plan is for reviews of the new episode to come out on the day after the first airing, as to allow time for screencaps to be uploaded, as well as give me a few chances to re-watch the episode.

And as always, for more News and Reviews on all things Power Rangers and Ameri-Toku related, check back here regularly. Thanks again for reading, and I’ll see you next week.

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