Remember last week when I hoped Power Rangers Super Megaforce wouldn’t be all fight scenes and we’d actually get some meaningful with the characters? “Earth Fights Back” did not disappoint. We build upon last week’s alien invasion with everyone helping in the clean up of the city and even showing more of Mr. Burley and Ernie. These two were sadly underused in Megaforce so it’s nice to see them get a bit of screen time. We even learn Mr. Burley is a big fan of video games and that Emma is apparently working for Ernie. Or at the very least helping out like Jake was.
Noah also has access to a Ranger database, giving some explanation as to how the rangers know what all these random powers are that they’ll be using all season. Let’s be real though. The real highlight of the episode, character wise, was Troy. Yes, yes, Troy may as well be a robot with his lack of ability to emote (although at the end he did smile! Progress!) but he stole the episode for me. Why you ask? He went full on Ryan Steele, the main character of another Saban Ameri-Toku, VR Troopers.
In that series every episode would be bookended with a Ryan monologue about missing his father. We get scenes at the start and end of this episode with Troy worrying about Roboknight, even going as far as telling Gia while riding on top of a pirate ship that they’ll be together again. This is everything I want out of Power Rangers. Really stupid stuff like the Rangers hanging out on a pirate ship (seriously Jake, scoot back a bit…you could freakin die) and unintentional references to other Ameri-Toku. Maybe next week we’ll see the rangers visit Beverly Hills and get tattoos.
The villains also got a bit more to do this week, with Vekar being a little brat about his own decisions. It’s a fun little quirk to this supposed leader of the villain force and I hope they play it up more in the weeks to come.
The main characters also got extended fight scenes, at least compared to the little they had in Megaforce. All of these actors are very athletic so it’s great to see them show it off. It’s also nice to see the fights have some sense of weight. With a set of missiles ready to blow up the earth? It adds a nice bit of tension. Although with the timer set for two hours we’re forced to assume Troy was fighting those X-Borgs for that long. Eh, he’s a robot, it works.
The biggest point of contention for “Earth Fights Back” however was a fifty second segment in the middle of a fight. As Jake, Emma, Gia, and Noah fight off the X-Borgs in RPM mode, Gosei explains that they can use powers never before seen on this planet. They then morph into a set of rangers we’ve never seen before in the show’s twenty-year history. These suits are taken from Gosei Sentai Dairanger, otherwise known as where the zord footage for Season 2 came from. Some fans have wanted these suits to appear in the show for a long time but when the clip was leaked online Friday? Fans were up in arms. “Never before seen on this planet” didn’t sit well with people. Why not more explanation? Why no name for these new powers? In my humble opinion? It doesn’t matter. Power Rangers was practically built on random references to a larger universe, some intentional, some not. These new suits are no different then the casual reference to the Morphin Masters in season 1. My own in universe explanation for them? Gosei plagiarized them. He is an awful student of Zordon after all. At the bare minimum it’s perfect fanfic fodder.
Also, some are complaining the episode wasn’t a tribute to SPD. To these people I only have this to say. Power Rangers Super Megaforce is not Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. Stop comparing them.
Overall, we’ve improved since last week. Meaningful scenes for the rangers out of suit? Mr. Burley and Ernie getting something to do? Fight scenes with weight? Troy Ryan Steeling it up? It don’t get better than that.