Let’s run down what happened in this weeks episode of Power Rangers Super Megaforce. The main villain fights the Rangers in his own Megazord. The team has to abandon their own zords while Troy sacrifices himself to save them. One of them even has a final showdown with one of the main generals!
This should be amazing. This has every conceivable element to be one of the most memorable Power Rangers episodes of all time. And we aren’t even done with this season! This could kick off an amazing arc that concludes the series with some real stakes and set up the need for the past Rangers to return!What do we get? More of the same squandered Super Megaforce potential. A large chunk of the episode is spent with Noah fighting Argus…for some reason. (if you watch Gokaiger you know why that is but I’m talking about Power Rangers). Noah just wants to defeat Argus for some reason by himself and while the fight between them is fine and dandy (check that awesome demorph shot with Noah) I don’t feel anything for it. It has no stakes.
One of the leading theories was that Argus might be a reprogrammed Robo Knight and if that were the case? It would matter! Noah and Robo Knight had fought together for half of Megaforce! Noah seemed interested in wanting to get all up in his… motherboard. Sure, the Troy/Robo Knight connection was stronger but making it Noah v. Robo Knight would have had some weight. Alas.
If we can’t have Robo Knight, why not create some parallel story telling between Noah and Vekar (we’ll get to how amazing he was in a second). Vekar wants the attention of his father and will do anything to get it. Tie that into Noah. Noah clearly has some problems fitting in, what if it was Noah wanting to finally prove he didn’t need the others help to fight? This would obviously need to some building up to as well, but the writers have no excuse for dropping the ball on planning. They knew what was coming with the Sentai footage. That could have made it work, but it seems they prefer to be fabulously lazy instead of caring. (Or were heavily rewritten.)
I guess Noah thinks Troy is dead in the second fight? I guess? But he’s not. We have no reason to think that, none of the Rangers make it clear that’s the case so…Noah is fighting cause Argus is evil. Yay. It’s all good though, the Skyship wasn’t damaged at all and is totally fine and ready to kick some butt five minutes after crashing! What are stakes?!?Speaking of those, Orion describes what happens after they are ejected from the Megazord, “Armageddon.” Is it Orion? A few X Borgs running around and the Skyship lightly crashing doesn’t seem too bad to me. I will give Cameron Jebo this, he acts the ever loving hell out of this scene with the little he’s given. We see the pain in his eyes when he demorphs. We can see the events of his planets destruction playing across his eyes. Orion is a character with PTSD and it’s only because of Cameron Jebo we even glimpse this.
But that’s all it is. Glimpses of something deeper. The rest of the team the Rangers don’t seem all that concerned and they overcome the problem with an inspirational speech about how they’re the Power Rangers for a reason. What reason? We don’t care about these characters. We barely know them! So when they all have that bonding moment so they can gain a new zord, it feels empty.
What doesn’t feel empty? Prince Vekar. Holy hell, he’s easily the best part of Super Megaforce. He’s vain. He’s pompous! But it’s all a cover for how insecure he feels in comparison to his brother Vrak. We get a flashback where Vekar knows his father thinks little of him. Vekar wants to prove him wrong and it’s some moving character moments that actually serve to build stakes for the episode! How is it that the villain gets more than the actual Rangers?
Oh also, never have picnic on the bow of a Skyship floating hundreds of miles above the city. You might die.