With Power Rangers Super Megaforce off our screens for over five months, I’ve had time to reflect on the first eight episodes of the season. Looking back over my reviews for Den of Geek, I noticed a pattern. An almost shock that Power Rangers wasn’t actively offending my senses or making me feel seven layers of indifferent. It was entertaining! Not the greatest season of Power Rangers by any stretch of the imagination (what’s up, second half Turbo!) but it’s making me think about the Power Rangers universe. It’s making me theorize. Basically, it’s doing what Power Rangers should do.
You see, to everyone Power Rangers is something different. For some it’s a piece of nostalgia that connects them to their childhood. For others it’s dark and serious. For some it’s just a vehicle to buy toys. Some even make long running review shows dissecting it in depth. After attending Power Morphicon last week, I really got how much this show means to people in a multitude of different ways.
For me? Power Rangers is a show that is greater then the sum of its parts. It often stumbles into greatness, its gigantic universe made almost by accident. No one thought that when they had a few old Super Sentai logos in the background of a Dino Thunder episode those teams would later be used in Super Megaforce. But it happened, and thus we have some unintended world building. My joy in watching Power Rangers, besides the cheesy dialogue, is putting together the disparate pieces of the universe and seeing how they fit together. That and seeing how the writers and producers somehow make it all happen.
What do I mean by all that? Basically, I can no longer go to the well of, “Well hey, this is the best episode we’ve seen in years!” Because with eight episodes and five months to think about them, we are far removed from the days of, “Ugh, Samurai is just a bad translation of Shinkenger!” Or, “Megaforce? More like Mega****.” Super Megaforce is a season that gives us something to think about in the grander scheme of the Power Rangers universe. That’s all I need out of this show.
So far the episodes have all been average or above average, like “Silver Linings Part 1 and 2.” “The Power of Six” is not going to go on any “best of” lists in the future. It’s not one we’re going to actively remember. But it’s an episode that not only introduces another member of, Power Rangers Bet You Didn’t See That Coming, but also includes a pretty solid character moment between Jake and Orion.
When Jake is worrying that he screwed up, that because of him all his friends fell asleep under the monsters’ control, Orion basically tells him, “Yeah, your friends are asleep? My whole planet is dead.” While Orion is still played a little too happy go lucky for someone who had to watch his planet die, it’s a nice little beat to show this guy has some scars that aren’t easily recovered from. Maybe he’ll have a mental breakdown in the next few episodes. Who knows?
Speaking of Orion, that man needs to act more like an alien. We get little instances of his odd behavior (sleeping in a locker for one). But for an alien, he acts pretty human. At least Andros during In Space tried to eat a banana before peeling it. I want some wackiness from Orion. In fact, I wish he would act more like Dex from Saban’s Masked Rider. Just totally foreign to Earth’s customs and awkward as well. That would make Jake being so petty doubly hilarious.
The episode was written once again by Jason Smith, who shows he’s got a solid handle on what makes a Power Rangers episode work. Whether that is from his previous writing credits or having starred on the show, whatever it is, I want him back for Dino Charge. He knows how to make the Sentai footage work, which included the merging of RPM Gold and Silver, a fun little mode change that was only missing Orion exclaiming, “It’s boom time!”
We also get another instance of Jake pining after Gia but by episode’s end he learns that if he just tries his best and doesn’t act like a jealous idiot, she won’t hate him. While I’m still firmly in the camp that they shouldn’t get together and an episode should be done where she directly tells him off for being so creepy, it’s nice that the episode at least gives us this little nugget. Don’t try to be someone else to impress people, be yourself. That is classic Power Rangers right there. Also it’s hilarious that Jake thinks the guy who’s basically a hobo and sleeps in the school is someone to get jealous over. But he is just a teenager after all.
So this week’s rating is a 3/5. I know that doesn’t seem super mega (see what I did there?) but it’s nice to be able to just watch an average episode and not be floored at how much better it is then some of the absolute worst of the franchise. Hopefully Super Megaforce will just get better and better.
What did you think fans? How did you feel about the inclusion of Green Flashman? Orion guilt tripping Jake? The fact that we’ve been gone for five months? Let me know in the comments!