This Power Rangers Super Megaforce review contains spoilers.
In reviewing this episode, one has to look at it from one of two sides. You can choose to look at it as a die hard fan who follows PR news and Japanese seasons very closely. Invites were sent out to a ton of former Ranger actors and they only picked a handful (and apparently paid them very little). They had a mountain of footage from the Japanese season Gokaiger to use (can’t wait to hear for the next five years they should have used the MMPR Red with shield footage).
Or you can you look at it as you’re supposed to. Just watching an episode on Nick without any knowledge of the behind-the-scenes kerfuffles or what happened in “the Sentai.” I’m going to go for the latter, since that’s how you’re really supposed to be watching it. We as fans get a peek behind the curtain more than we should and it leads to ten levels of frustration. We could go on forever about “what if they brought this person back” or “what if they actually built up to this?” But the fact of the matter is, if you look at this episode from the vantage of, “It could have been awesome but it wasn’t” you’re going to drive yourself crazy. So I prefer to just watch what we got and judge it on its own merits.
We pick up right after the last episode and the citizens of Harwood (or is it the whole world?) are in desperate need of help. Thankfully, Carter and Dana, Red and Pink Lightspeed Rescue Rangers are here to help. Out of all the returning cameos of the episode, this is one is easily the best. We get to see that Carter and Dana are still rescue workers and they are helping the injured people after the attack. For a season that gave the shaft to Lightspeed in every possible way, it was nice to see these two back in their element. Tommy also gets to save a little boy with Saba. The other Legendary Rangers don’t fair quite as well.
Cassie and TJ save some people from an elevator and Leo saves a boys dog. While not quite specific to their characters, it’s nice to see them again. Why Leo isn’t on Mironoi is a question fanfic writers will be dealing with for years. Again, we can talk about how some of these characters got the shaft, Damon, Wes, and Karone later on specifically, but just seeing them again is nice. It makes me smile seeing them not just back but in glorious HD. Plus, with the extended episode coming on Monday night, we may just see more of them. But yes, I have to question why some of them are just standing around the burnt out city. I guess keeping watch over the people.
Meanwhile, the other Rangers awaken and see just how bad it all is. Gia runs to find Emma first because they’re girlfriends (don’t you dare try to correct me here). The team reunites and Gosei, once again, is an awful mentor and does nothing to help them. Of course. But in this scene the writing and actors soar to previously unseen heights. We see the pain in their faces and the weight of the world on their shoulders. Andrew Gray even turns in a solid performance! Where was this the whole season?
Orion returns to earth by crashing his ship. Why did he leave in the first place? I assumed they were setting up some big reveal where he’d save the Rangers in the last second but he just kind of…shows up. That’s a little anticlimactic but it does lead to an awesome moment later on.
Morning comes and the people of Harwood are ready to defend themselves with pipes and anything they can get their hands on. It’s no “Countdown to Destruction,” but it’s still nice to see regular civilians stand up for themselves. The Rangers show up and take on the monsters, Orion and Troy running off to take on Mavro. They go helmetless in the cockpit (always awesome) and crash into his ship which was truly a fist punching the air moment. The Rangers back on the ground manage to defeat the Monster (and demorph while firing the cannon which is a super cool image) while Troy and Orion take out Mavro.
I’m glad they gave at least one callback to Orions planet being destroyed with Orion screaming, “This is for my planet!” In one of the coolest images of the episode, the other Rangers think Orion and Troy have been killed but they actually get back to Earth using the Galaxy Gliders in In Space mode. It’s little touches like that I wish the season had done more of.
This is where the episode gets…interesting. Up until now, “Legendary Battle” had a real season of weight and dramatic tension. Now that Mavro is dead, all that’s left are a ton of X-Borgs. We’re supposed to take them as a threat, but when they’ve just defeated an entire armada and the EMPEROR? Some X-Borgs aren’t really a big deal, especially when two episodes ago they were defeating them like nothing.
But hey, the Legendary Rangers are here! Now I’m sure fans will have a field day trying to figure out why certain powers are there/how did certain Rangers get their powers back but in all honesty? It’s just awesome to see them. You can nitpick and point out continuity all you want, but with the power of the morphing grid, ANYTHING is possible. So there, I just saved you 100 pages on Rangerboard of trying to pick this apart.
The Rangers come to the teams aide, some remove their helmets and we get the long anticipated Tommy! Putting aside JDF’s questionable actions over social media, seeing Tommy again is great. Fans will complain he has too much emphasis put on him, but I didn’t think it was all that bad. Plus, he is the most popular ranger of all time and was five Rangers all together. Of course they’re going to focus on him more. Do I geek out over him? No, but I understand using him how they did. Although I do question why some of the Rangers were there if they didn’t get any lines (like Mike and Emily from Samurai) but again, it’s nice to see them.
Troy comments that he’s “dreamt” about this, which is the most lackluster payoff to his dreams that were such a big deal all the way back at the start of Megaforce. I will ding the episode for that, it was weak as hell. Tommy comments, “You won’t have to do it alone this time. We’re here to fight by your side.” I’m sure fans will complain why they weren’t there before, but you can make that argument about every season.
So we get the fight and while it’s nice to finally see the “Legendary Battle” in full, it’s anticlimactic. Again, it’s just X-Borgs which they say are, “dropping like flies.” The Super Megaforce Rangers don’t even use their super mode. We barely see new shots of the returning Rangers. Is it cool? Yes. But yeah, it could have been better, I’ll give the griping fans that. At least we get a sweet unintended reference to Super Human Samurai Syber Squad when Troy yells, “Pump up the power!”Oh yeah, Robo Knight is back. This… is dumb. Yes, I guess it makes sense when all these other Rangers were able to come back, but when he was dead not four episodes ago and they made such a big deal over Orion now having his powers or whatever…it’s bad. Troy doesn’t even seem that happy to see him. He isn’t even really seen outside of this one shot! Ugh.
So everyone defeats the X-Borgs and the Rangers all…fly into the sky? Okay, a lot of fans will complain about this, but it’s really only if you’ve seen Gokaiger. I, for one interpreted the shot of the Earth and the yellow energy floating away from it as Morphin Grid runoff energy. The Rangers just teleported back to wherever they came from (maybe it was Leo, Damon, and Karone going back to Mironoi?).
The Super Megaforce Rangers all collapse and it’s genuinely heartwarming. The weight has been lifted off their shoulders. Gia kisses Jake…look, if you read my review for last week, you know why this bothers the hell out of me. It sends an awful message to the audience that if you just stalk a girl enough, she’ll eventually wear down and give you what you want. It’s wrong, it’s sexist, and is easily the worst part of the episode for me.
Anyway, the Rangers head home as Troy sticks his sword in the ground. We get no resolution for what happens with Gosei and Tensou nor what Orion is going to do. Is he going to head home to his home planet? He doesn’t have a ship now so…will he live on Earth? What about Mr. Burley and Ernie? Sure, the show liked to pretend they didn’t exist sometimes, but I want to know!
Despite its myriad problems, I still enjoyed “Legendary Battle” overall. It was fun to see so many past Rangers and the first half had some genuine stakes and great pacing. It only really falls apart in the second half with a lackluster threat. If you’re going to assemble every Ranger ever, they should be taking on the Emperor, not just an army of grunts. Not getting to see what happens to the Super Megaforce Rangers is sad, but we at least get to see they completed their mission.Overall, I’m going to miss Power Rangers Super Megaforce. Did it have problems? Yes. Could it have been better? Yes. Was Jake persuing Gia the worst? Yes. But I enjoyed quite a bit of it. Orion’s intro was some of the best Power Rangers we’ve seen in years and Cameron Jebo was way too good for this show. I loved seeing Casey and Jayden again. Gosei being the worst mentor ever was hilarious. Seeing Tensou run around the city was adorable. And the finale ended in the most perfect way possible. Troy finally let go of his weapon.Goodbye, Super Megaforce. While you weren’t a super mega win, you were still pretty super. And now it’s on to Power Rangers Dino Charge. You can read everything we know about the next Power Rangers series right here!