I'm a week late on this. Don't know how many people are going to see this, but whatever. This wasn't terrible by Samurai standards.
The episode starts with the Rangers rightfully questioning where Antonio comes from, and how he has Samurai powers. Jayden explains that he's just some boy whose dad worked at the local fish market when they were kids, and who Ji allowed to come over to play and train with Jayden. What the heck? Why would Ji make an exception for Antonio, when he and Jayden have lived a completely secluded and friendless existence before and after him? Why would Ji allow this kid to learn their secrets? So Antonio never blabbed to his parents that the Shiba house is home to a future Power Ranger in training?
Antonio comes back to the house, and he was thankfully a bit toned down from his debut episode. Funny and amusing even. I still don't like the character's over the top energy, but he was more human in this episode and even got to display other facets of his personality. His explanation for where he got his powers was really lazy though. Jayden just gave away the Octozord, and Ji never had the spine to track it down? Antonio just trained on his own (becoming a better fighter than any of the other Samurai Rangers), and MADE his own morpher out of a busted cell phone lying on the ground? Mike asks if he's a techie, and Antonio doesn't give a straight answer. This goes beyond techie. Creating an entire new Ranger goes beyond even MMPR Billy. It's something that Zordon himself had trouble with. Oh silly me, I forgot that no season is in continuity with each other anymore.
We see Jayden flashing back once again to his childhood friendship with Antonio. Just like in "Unexpected Arrival," the flashback doesn't work. The kids can't act or emote, and the whole flashback is basically pointless. They keep saying how Jayden and Antonio were such great friends. But they didn't even grow UP together. They met when they were like 5 years old, and hung out for a bit before Antonio moved away never to be seen again. These flashback scenes don't tell us anything meaningful, because Jayden and Antonio didn't DO anything meaningful together.
Bulk and Spike show up again, after missing last week's episode. Spike is still dreaming about the Pink Ranger. Good to see that that angle hasn't been dropped, though I'm still no fan of Spike. Am I the only one who hates him? Even in his own dreams, Spike acts like a completely unbelievable and over the top idiot.
So Ji just decides he can take Antonio's own self-made morpher away, and Jayden agrees. Jayden doesn't say why he does it (we have to wait until far later in the episode for him to admit that he doesn't want the pressure of looking out for his old friend on the battlefield), so we're left to wonder why Ji and not Jayden is left to make a big decision for once. The plot doesn't make any sense. Other Power Rangers weren't born as Samurai Rangers either. Oops, there I go with the continuity again. But even leaving that aside, why does Ji act like the Rangers have to kick Antonio out? Why not just train this guy, who has already displayed such incredible potential in not just martial arts, but science?
The monster of the day, Steeleto, was awesome. He introduces himself as the friend of the previous episode's monster, Volpax, who is out for revenge. It's cool when the show includes these little details, which flesh out the monsters so much more. Steeleto's design is actually scary looking, he fought well, and he's crazy. He quickly stole the show for me and bumped this episode up a notch.
For once, Mia doesn't sit around passively trying to comfort and accomodate her male teammates. She spars with Jayden and calls him on his fears, revealing the reason for rejecting Antonio that should've been said before. Erika Fong's acting wasn't quite good enough to nail this scene, but the character herself looked a bit better for it. Notice how afterwards, it's Jayden and not Ji who makes the decision to let Antonio in. Ji's still a joke of a mentor.
It was funny when Antonio tried to work his way into the Rangers' formation before the fight. His super speed effects were better in this episode than in "Unexpected Arrival," and weren't hard to see at all. We actuall saw him spinning through the Moogers. But of course the writing still treats the audience like idiots, as we're shown a slowed down replay of the super speed moves, while Antonio practically breaks the fourth wall and talks to us. So the Rangers win, and Antonio's on the team.
This wasn't a particularly well crafted episode. The acting was still poor, and the writing relies too much on lazy explanations and reveals that come too late. But Antonio was toned down into something more tolerable, the Rangers actually got to interact in different ways, and the monster of the day was pretty good.
Last edited by Fenix84; 05-14-2011 at 02:02 PM.
a few things Fenix
One Antonio wasn't aloud to play with Jayden, we see in the freaking flashback him HIDING, so no Ji didn't allow them to have just one friend, he let him have none.
Next Antonio said "after i figured out how to talk to Octozord via texting it all came together" this implies to me that Octozord help him create the powers.
As for "Only Zordon create a ranger from whole cloth" um are we forgetting Doctor K?
But your right Ji is a Douche, i can see how he become Emporor Grum in 24 years.
Antonio did some impossible legendary moves, beat the nighlok which the others might never defeat, yet mentor says 'other battles won't be that simple'' ! jayden says 'we don't need a sixth ranger' ! how painful !
I don't understand one scene of this episode. when Mike asked Antonio whether he was a techie, antonio at the time of answering dropped the bowl of nuts willfully , Mia put it back, and everyone was smiling. what did that mean ?
Spike sounds just like his daddy when he laughs. I heard Skull will appear soon.