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Power Rangers Megaforce Episode Review: “Going Viral”

February 17, 2013

(Screencaps provided by Megaforcecast.com/@Rangercrew. Be sure to check out the site for a huge database of Megaforce info.)

Are you some kind of Superhero?” “… Well, I guess we’re about to find out.”

We’re back with another episode of Power Rangers Megaforce. After two episodes of introducing characters, locations, powers, zords, ect, it’s time we starting evolving our characters a little bit more and giving each of the rangers a chance to shine on their own. This time around, it’s all about giving Noah a chance to shine.

Previously, I’ve stated that Noah’s actor works well with Jake’s actor (as well as Mr. Burley) and that giving Noah some more time to interact with others is exactly what he needs to truly win me (and others who aren’t huge fans of him) over as far as his acting skills/likability as a character.

So, did this episode succeed in helping Noah (and his actor) do what they needed to do? Let’s find out now.


Noah

So, I first have to take back what I said in last week’s review. I assumed Noah was interesting more in theoretical science and the mysteries of the world, and wasn’t like Billy who could create/upgrade things.  As we see in this episode, Noah was able to create a social networking site, as well as upgrade Jake’s axe with a titanium alloy. So he is similar to Billy in that regard. That being said, after this episode, you did see something very original about his character; someone who is unsure about whether or not he truly deserves to be a ranger, but is willing to jump into action when trouble occurs, despite his self-doubt.

This episode helped better establish who Noah is, while also giving us a better idea of the friendship between Noah and Jake. Jake can be arrogant and boastful, although he clearly holds Noah in high regard. Character wise, I was little bit disappointed with Jake this week, (although acting wise, Jake’s actor does a fantastic job, and does the roll well enough that despite character flaws, I love the character.) There were sometimes were I thought Jake was one of those guys who only hangs out with guys like Noah to use them for stuff/show-off around. After all, you had Jake SMUGGLE HIS WEAPON INTO SCHOOL (I’m sure the writers are kicking themselves for putting that in after recent political events…) to have Noah upgrade his weapon just to show off around Gia (as well as swing around the axe to show off… in a computer lab.)

You also had a point in the episode where Jake took credit for Noah’s advice to the other rangers, (during a brief gag scene where Noah gets his foot trapped under Jake’s axe.) It’s moments like those that made me question Jake and Noah’s friendship. But seeing as how those are character flaws of Jake (which will hopefully be corrected as time goes on), you did see signs of why Jake and Noah are good friends. Jake sees that Noah has the potential to take on and beat any challenge that comes in his way, which is why you saw him constantly encouraging Noah through the constant “you can’t give up man!” speeches. (Which admittedly did get a little bit played out after a while, even for Power Rangers standards.)

And that’s what made me sure Noah’s actor/his character finally got their groove on the show. I liked seeing Noah doubt whether or not he was ranger material. He wondered whether or not he needs to work out to get strong like the other rangers. There was doubt in his mind on the battlefield once or twice about whether or not he could succeed in defeating the MotW. But he was still willing to charge in to battle for the sake of protecting others, despite these doubts in his mind. And that’s what won Noah over to me as a character this week. This episode showed Noah had hobbies, a personality, and doubts. But that willingness to do what’s right, despite not being entirely confident in his own abilities is something that can be sympathized with. Hopefully we’ll see in future episodes Noah slowly start to gain his confidence and not have as much self-doubt as time goes on.

(One other quick point, I did like how Jake saw Gia congratulating Noah, and instead of being jealous, said “if any guy was going to be in that position, I’m glad it was him”. Jake does have a heart. Now let’s start making it shine a little more and get him away from being partially creepy/partially too-arrogant.)

A few other brief points I want to cover about the episode:

Gia and Emma

So, since we actually have a year where the female rangers actually can pick up on things, and not be blissfully ignorant about the obvious, we have Emma point out to Gia that Jake likes her. Gia denies having any clue about it, although obviously everyone on the show knows it. It’s pretty clear that Gia doesn’t like him the way he likes her, and doesn’t want to be bothered by it anymore. Last episode, it was clear that while she doesn’t like him back, she didn’t necessarily want to shoot him down, as she doesn’t really know much about him and (at least to her) he seems like a nice guy. Plus, they’re teammates, and that would be kind of awkward if Jake takes things a little too hard. Honestly, for the sake of character development (and making Gia less of a prize to win, and more of one half of a character you want to root for), I’m hoping Gia flat-out says to Jake “You seem like a nice guy and all, but I’m not that interested in you. Please stop being creepy.” (Maybe not in those words exactly, but still…) or at least get Jake to realize maybe he should interact with Gia in a different way. Again, hopefully we get that in the near future.

Villains – Vrak

While our villains haven’t really had much time to shine (or interact with the rangers for that matter…) we did learn a little bit more about Vrak’s character. He’s less of a “lets destroy the world or conquer it with brute force” and focuses more on clever planning and intelligence. Someone pointed out that Vrak and Creepox have some similarities to Noah and Jake’s friendship. Where one’s strength is physical while the other’s strength is intelligence or cleverness. I’ll be looking out for that in future episodes (although hopefully we’ll see the villains being fleshed out a bit more and interacting with the rangers soon, as this seems to be the main issues with the villains at the moment.)

MotW: Virox

This one wasn’t as memorable to me as last week’s MotW. The voice sounded a little bit generic, although it wasn’t bad per say. It just got the job done. I did like seeing him in a few American footage shots and fight scenes though. Compared to the first two MotWs, he got a decent amount of newly filmed scenes. Speaking of American footage…

 

American Fight Footage

Besides the few newly filmed shots with Jake and Noah, the rest of the rangers got an American footage fight sequence this week (since the Goseiger footage from this episode didn’t have an in-suit fight scene with Red, Yellow and Pink. They were shot decently, although since the rangers were trying not to hurt the minions this time around (since they were people transformed by the MotW’s virus) it didn’t seem too interesting to me. This also was hurt a little bit by Troy and Emma’s ADR, which was kind of weak. (And again, I’d like to point out that Emma and Troy need to have some screen time soon to win over their character. This episode worked well for Noah’s actor and his character. Hopefully Emma and Troy get treatment like this soon.) One criticism I see pointed out is the lack of unmorphed fight scenes, which is a valid criticism, but the lack of it didn’t bother me this (and last week’s) episode. I do agree that more of it should appear in future episodes, but I’m not worried about a lack of those kind of scenes. I’m just glad to see original fight scenes in the show.

Other Notes:

– Hopefully ADR improves a little more for some actors. It is still early in the show, so I can forgive it, but hopefully some of the actors struggling with it find their groove soon. Once we get around episode 7-8 or so, I’m not going to let that excuse slide anymore.

– Random Coat Lady was weird. Not a big fan of her acting. We once again are introduced to the fact that no one knows who the Power Rangers are, despite the fact that Megaforce points out there have been previous teams. But this has happened so many times on the show, that I’m not as annoyed with it.

– So… about those new Mechazords/Megazord combo. Minor nitpick here. I kind of wish Gosei said “Noah, you are now strong enough to master the Sea Brothers Mechazords and form the Sea Megazord!” or something along those lines. It just felt weird to have the card magically appear. But again, that’s just a personal nitpick. The Mechazords and Megazord look ok, but never really wowed me to be honest.

Final Thoughts

As we start to exit that period of “new season! new season!” and start to enter a norm for Power Rangers Megaforce, it is quite clear that the quality of episodes will stay higher than Samurai. This is a decent episode with good character development for Noah, and makes him interesting in my eyes at long last. It seems like his actor finally has his groove, and I look forward to seeing more of him in the show (and continuing development of his character).

That being said, we still have some faults to address. Troy is still the weakest of the group (speaking of which, why was he following Gia and Emma again? His character didn’t feel like he needed to be there…), and still hasn’t had any character depth. Emma has a little bit of character depth, but could use a little more screen time to pull a Noah and truly win me over. Jake needs to have a little bit of character growth or Gia needs to intervene ASAP.  ADR needs to be improved a little bit, although it’s not really horrible. And what the heck happened to Ernie?

But overall, despite some gripes here and there, it was a good episode. I’m giving it a 3/5 only because I feel some of the faults keep it just short of deserving a 4/5, but it is not a bad episode whatsoever. Megaforce is doing a good job so far at learning the mistakes of Samurai and fixing them. Just hopefully we can smooth out some issues here and there and we should have a good season.

Oh and Jake? No more smuggling weapons into school and swinging them around with no regard for others safety. Seriously, no more doing that.

Thanks for reading my review of “Going Viral”. As always feel free to comment and critique on the review. Remember, if you see something stupid, point it out so I can learn from it.

Come back next Sunday as I review the next episode of Power Rangers Megaforce, “Stranger Ranger”. Personally, I’m looking forward to this episode, as the Goseiger Episode this is being adapted from did not have a “civilian claiming to be one of them”, and sounds kind of interesting.

And as always, for more news and reviews on all things Power Rangers/Toku related, check back here regularly.

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