“Blue Saber Saga” is thankfully another solid episode of Power Rangers Super Megaforce. After the travesty that was Megaforce, I feel like I’m just waiting for Super Megaforce to fall off the rails, but it keeps delivering. We get a good amount of Emma and Noah interacting (have fun shippers!) and another fun MMPR style tag where Noah gets to lead the group in their catchphrase. Even Gosei’s random handing out of powers makes a bit more sense this time around! It’s nothing ground breaking or amazing, but it’s a solid episode.
The biggest problem? We’ve seen this all before. Let’s flashback to last year for a moment. The third episode of Power Rangers Megaforce, “Going Viral,” featured Noah doubting himself and needing Jake’s help to learn a new skill that would give him the ability to beat the monster of the week. “Blue Saber Saga” features the exact same plot, albeit with much better pacing, which was the biggest problem with Megaforce. This leads credence to the notion that has been discussed since Super Megaforce premiered: Megaforce was almost completely pointless.
The ending of the first Super Megaforce episode featured a callback to the end of the first episode of Megaforce, referencing the whole “humans will survive” bit. But couldn’t that have just as easily functioned as the ending to Megaforce’s very first outing? In fact, besides Robo Knight, not much in Megaforce seems to have a point. Take for example, the Megaforce suits. This season has the Rangers morph to their Megaforce outfits, only to then go straight to “Super Mega Mode.” But in this episode? Noah and Emma morph straight into Super Mega Mode. The Megaforce suits and powers are completely pointless! The old zords haven’t shown up, Ultra Mode that was so heavily pushed last season is nowhere to be seen. Megaforce just feels like they were biding their time till they got to the stories they wanted to tell with Super Megaforce. We’ll see how well this theory will play out for the rest of the season, but so far, this seems to be the case.
So does this episode, being a retread of “Going Viral” impact its final score? Sadly, yes. As much as I loved this episode, Noah learns the exact same thing. It would have been vastly improved if they made even a passing reference to him learning how to use Jake’s snake axe. His reason for training could have centered around his feelings of inadequacy: no matter how hard he trains, he still isn’t as good as the others. He has to work extra hard, but even when he does, all his training could be rendered pointless by the enemy using new tactics.
Speaking of training, fans were making a big to-do about the fact that the training scene with Noah was lifted nearly shot for shot from Sentai. My response to that? It at least made sense in the context of the episode. It’s sadly been done more times than most fans realize, particularly in early Power Rangers Samurai episodes. There, it felt forced. Here? It flowed well enough. Power Rangers is not meant for people who have seen Sentai, so get over it.
Another interesting note is that former Jungle Fury Red Ranger Casey, Jason Smith, wrote this episode. It was a fine enough effort for this first time PR writer, but nothing especially laudable. If this had been any other writer, most fans wouldn’t even have taken notice. Let’s hope he can make a bigger splash when he returns as Casey The Zookeeper. Oh boy, that’s going to a treat. He doesn’t want any trouble after all.
Super Megaforce continues down the right path, but I hope they don’t just retread all the lessons the rangers already learned in Megaforce. Even if Super Megaforce does it better, we’ve already seen it, and it’s just wasting time. Give us something new. Megaforce may not have given us much, but try to build on it or just move forward.