Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Power Rangers Samurai Episode Commentary #12

Episode 12: Jayden’s Challenge
Written by: Jill Donnellan and James W. Bates with David Schneider
Directed by: Jonathan Brough

Last time was intense. We learned that Jayden was the only one capable of defeating Master Xandred once and for all. We learned that Spike had fallen madly in love with the Pink Samurai Ranger and we learned Deker wouldn’t let anyone get in the way of his duel with Jayden. The last episode ended with Jayden abandoning the rest of the Rangers after deciding this was his battle and his alone. Has he really abandoned the rest of the Rangers for good? Can he defeat both Xandred and Deker alone? Will there be more creepy romance fantasy sequences from Spike? For the answers to these questions and more read on.

We kick off with Ji worrying that the weight of leading the Samurai Rangers has become too much for Jayden. Jayden himself though is more worried about the threat he poses to his fellow Rangers. He’s realised that they will do anything to protect their leader, and he can’t put them in that kind of danger. If only they knew the truth eh Jayden? Jayden vows never to let his team put themselves in danger to protect his power to seal Master Xandred, and Ji decides he needs to give Jayden room to make his own decisions, and on this downer we hit the credits.

Post credits we’re with Bulk and Spike who are continuing their training to be Samurai warriors. Today’s training apparently involves sleeping on the floor, which all samurais do of course. Spike wants a bedtime story from Bulk- was I the only one secretly hoping Bulk would regale us a tale from the Zordon era?- but alas no such luck and Spike is soon fast asleep. Cue a quite frankly disturbing yet amusing dream sequence, with Spike prancing around with the Pink Samurai Ranger. Now I can understand a young boy’s love for a pink ranger. I mean I grew up with Amy Jo Johnson. Aaaah Amy Jo why did you ever leave us? Wait what was I saying? I never had any creepy dream sequences, at least none I care to share on this blog. Anyway it’s a weird sequence and I’m not too disappointed to see it end.

Back at Ranger HQ, Emily and Kevin are still recovering from the injuries they received in the last episode. Kevin’s been keeping himself busy whilst in bed; he’s got out his sketch book and he’s been making plans to combine the Megazord with the Battlewing. That’s our Kevin for you, what a guy! Ji is over compensating; he’s far too jolly and the others know why. They know Jayden’s gone, but Ji is confident he will return. Down on the good ship Xandred, last week’s Nighlok is still hanging about, making a complete mockery of the monster of the week formula. Robtish is making excuses for why he failed to defeat the Red Ranger and is blaming Deker. Xandred has decided he’s going to destroy Deker. I’m sure Deker is shaking in his boots as Xandred has proven himself to be an efficient and gifted villain so far. Jackass. Apparently Xandred’s plan to destroy Deker is to send the Moogers to fight him. That’s right, the crappy grunts he sends to fight the Power Rangers every week. The same grunts that lose every single week. Bravo Xandred bravo. I am looking forward to your eventual downfall you useless gimp. After Deker easily defeats the Moogers, Xandred decides to join the battle himself. About bloody time he did something. Despite being a piss poor leader Xandred is pretty handy with a sword and Deker can’t match him.

You know what’s been missing from the series for a while? That’s right an absolutely terrible child actor! Well good news folks this episode features a turn by one such child. Jayden’s sat outside a playground (hey I’m saying nothing) when he spots a crying child. Apparently the kid’s dad has left town for a job. Jayden can relate. Except his dad’s job was to defeat Xandred and he didn’t do it very well. Jayden misses his dad and decides it’s time for a flashback with some strangely relevant lessons. To make the kid feel better Jayden decides to make him a paper plane. Elsewhere we learn sleeping on the floor did Bulk no favours. Back with Jayden and he’s decided that life for kids shouldn’t involve monsters. But guess what’s coming? That’s right, monsters. Typical! Luckily for the kids Jayden is there to kick some Mooger butt. The Nighlok sensor has gone off and the other Rangers are ready to answer the call, but Ji explains that Jayden has always struggled with allowing others to get involved in this fight. But they’re a team and the Rangers are dedicated to fighting the good fight. Huzzah.

Back at the battle that annoying kid is proving himself to be quite the fool. He’s only trying to retrieve Jayden’s paper plane from under the foot of the Nighlok! What a tool. He also pulls some quite odd faces that make me question whether he is a poor child actor or merely a shaven chimp dressed in human clothes. Unfortunately he doesn’t meet a bloody end at the hands of Robtish. Jayden to the rescue once again. Jayden’s ready to destroy the Nighlok and I’ll be glad when he does it; I’m sick of his god awful Scottish accent. I have nothing against the Scottish, but I once nearly left home because my mum had a Scottish friend staying with us for a few weeks. Drove my barmy it did. Just as all looks bleak for Jayden, the rest of the gang arrive to join the battle and he’s pretty happy to see them. Time for another flashback. This time his dad is making him a paper plane and telling him he will one day have to lead the Rangers against Master Xandred. Wait a minute… wasn’t that his job? Surely he was planning on succeeding? That’s not really the attitude to have when you go into battle is it? Anyway it’s time for the Rangers to suit up and get ready to take this Nighlok down! They are able to defeat Robtish when they work as a team and we all know what that means…

We’ve got a super sized Nighlok and unfortunately he’s still Scottish. It’s time to call on the folding zords and the shoulder pads of doom. Robtish calls upon some flying Moogers… Flying Moogers, really? On the plus side, looking up to see these ridiculous creatures helps Bulk cure his bad neck. Awesome! Robtish and the flying Moogers are proving too much for the Megazord. Time to bring out the Battlewing? Oh yeah! It’s time to test Kevin’s theory about combining the two. It works, but unfortunately it makes the Megazord look like it’s had a bad boob job. The Megazord is able to take to the skies now and take down those flying Moogers. The theme song is playing so that can mean only one thing it’s time to kill us some Nighlok. A final blow from the Megazord’s gigantic sword is more than enough to kill the Scottish beast. Back at Ranger HQ, Ji is very happy to see Jayden return. it’s quite a touching moment to see student and teacher reunited. The gang get to spend the evening having fun they’re gonna catch a movie, a romantic comedy with zombies apparently, so that’s Shaun of the Dead for them. Jayden’s allowed the night off the battle against the forces of evil will still be there tomorrow. And so will I with yet another pointless review of a kids’ show.

Next time: Unexpected Arrival

Pictures taken from the Samurai Power Rangers Gateway

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