So let’s get right into, shall we? This was easily the worst episode of Super Megaforce by far. The finale could be worse, but we’ll wait for that next week. Was this episode completely awful? No, it actually had quite a bit going for it, but the negatives so outweighed the positives I can’t call it anything but the worst. So let’s start off with the good and then I’ll tear into the bad.
For as much as this season has tried to sell itself as “epic” it’s rarely managed to do so until this episode. When millions of ships come to attack the earth, we see tons of reaction shots from the people of Harwood. Ernie and Burley both get solid scenes that build on what little characterization they’ve received throughout the last two seasons. It makes us feel connected to the city and makes us want to root for the Rangers more (who happen to be in a quarry and not the city, but whatever).
Cameron Jebo continues to prove they horrifically underused Orion where as he’s getting ready to leave Earth he turns in a solid performance.
Now the bad. This season continually leaves me scratching my head with the use of pre Zyuranger teams. At times they edit around them and other times they simply leave them in. In today’s episode we actually got both! Four of the Rangers turn into New Powers teams, while Troy morphs into MMPR Red. Why? Why bother shooting new stuff for MMPR Red but leave the others in? It makes no sense!
So… You write Orion out of the episode presumably because you want him to make an epic return in the finale. That’s cool and dandy, but why would you then have his Megazord show up with the hand wave of, “Nah, it’s cool. We can autopilot it!” I don’t understand.
But let’s get to real problem with this episode. It’s just one line but oh boy, is it a doozy. When Orion is saying goodbye to everyone and lists off why they’re amazing, he gets to Jake and tells him he always helped him find the humor in every situation. Jake smiles and states, ““Everyone loves me… Except for some really stubborn people.” He turns to Gia and everyone laughs.
Let’s talk about all the ways this was problematic and downright the creepiest line in all of Power Rangers. The past two years the Jake/Gia “romance” has been a recurring thing and at first I was excited about it. I thought Power Rangers was going to do something truly revolutionary for the series and portray a situation where a boy learns to not be a creeper. It would be huge, especially for a series that’s aimed at little kids.
As Megaforce and Super Megaforce wore on, I realized that this wasn’t going to be an arc. It was a joke. “LOL Jake wants to bang Gia but she isn’t giving it up!” It’s not just Jake and his wacky faces portraying this. It’s all of the other Rangers who are aware of it and actively encourage Jake to continually pursue Gia. It’s creepy. People can try and point out that Gia is awful as well, with her line about wanting an expensive gift from back in the Christmas special, but no, that line is nowhere near as bad as the one I mentioned.
Do you know what that line says to me? “Hey kids! It’s totally okay to be a borderline rapist as long as you’re wacky and your friends say it’s okay!” Do you know what kind of message that is not only for the young boys seeing the series but the young girls as well? It’s deplorable from Power Rangers. Has the show always had perfect relationships and romance? No, but even the problematic Joel/Ms. Fairweather romance in Lightspeed was clearly portraying Joel’s action as wrong.
Here? It’s a joke. It’s never going to be shown as wrong. Jake isn’t going to learn a lesson. Gia isn’t going to say how creepy this is. It’s just a wacky joke and I have no doubt they’ll end up together in the finale. It’s wrong on so many levels and sends a horrific message to not only the kids watching but the adults as well.