Friday, 9 March 2012

Power Rangers Samurai Episode Commentary #13

Episode 13: An Unexpected Arrival
Written by: David Schneider and Seth Walther
Directed by: Akihiro Noguchi

This series really is flying by. We’re already at that point. Yes that’s right it’s that time again. Time for what? Time for a sixth Ranger! Yes our favourite Samurais are about to recruit a new member to the team. Just what colour will this new Ranger be? Will his or her acting be bad enough for me to bring out the Kevin’s Dad scale? Will this new Ranger take the time to squirt Bulk in the face? For the answers to these questions and more read on!

A mysterious youth walks across the beach with a fishing rod over his shoulder, pulling a cart behind him and brandishing the legend “Antonio’s Fresh Fish.” He looks upon the nameless city which is home to the Samurai Rangers and says: “wait till they get a load of me, this will be golden baby.” He’s also appears to have his own folding zord. Just who is this mysterious youth? Is he the new Ranger? What colour Ranger will he be? As I know you’re all incredibly eager to know the answers to these questions and because I don’t want you fretting through the rest of this review I’m going to answer these questions for you now. Antonio. Yes. Gold.

At Ranger HQ the Nighlok sensor is going off and the current Rangers are on their way to check it out. They sure do a lot of running. Maybe Ji should get them some sort of vehicle- a five seated bike perhaps? Jayden feels like someone’s watching him, but there’s no sign of a Nighlok. Strange things are afoot in the nameless city today. The gang head back to Ranger HQ just missing Antonio as he passes by.

Post credits and the Rangers return to tell Ji there was no sign of Nighlok activity. Their conversation is interrupted by a mysterious bowman launching an arrow at the Dojo carrying a message. Okay, he’s mysterious for about five seconds before it’s revealed to be Antonio. That guy gets everywhere. What words of wisdom does this message carry? See you soon. Classic. Mia’s confused and scared by the message. Is it a warning of a Nighlok attack? Well, judging by the intelligence of their leader, Captain Half-Arsed, I’m assuming not. Anyway the house is protected by symbol power so no Nighlok can penetrate the grounds! Mike thinks there’s something fishy about this and he’s sniffed the message, so I think he means literally. Emily isn’t keen on the smell of fish apparently.

Jayden’s acting a bit odd. He thinks he can feel something, but no one else can. He’s jumpier than a Mexican jumping bean (is that a real thing or did I make it up?). Jayden can sense something other-worldly but the others don’t believe him. Even Ji’s a bit sceptical of Jayden’s claim. Surely Jayden can’t be wrong? Well it certainly looks like it as he very nearly takes off Emily’s head with his sword (snigger). Looks like Jayden’s flipped. He’s prowling the dojo chasing shadows. The others doubt him but I believe him completely. Especially as we see there’s a Nighlok behind it all. He’s watching Jayden through some sort of magic mirror thing the cunning bastard. Jayden’s lost it now. Things are so bad he’s splashing water in his face! He’s now muttering something to himself about it being gone, I wonder if that’ll be explain later; *spoiler alert* it does. Can a Nighlok really have a well thought out plan to make the others doubt the Red Ranger? Where the hell was this kind of planning the rest of the season?

The next day the non-crazy Rangers are out investigating the broken gap sensor. And who do they happen to come across? That’s right! Antonio is there trying to sell his smelly fish. He’s given a flier to Emily and that flier has writing very similar to the writing on the message they received at HQ. Emily shows some detective skill by comparing the two and the Rangers are fairly sure they’ve found their man. When they confront him he makes a run for it. Quite suspicious behaviour for a fish vendor I’m sure you’ll agree. And just what is this big moment he’s preparing for? He manages to floor them with the old chucking ice on the floor so they slip on it routine, and before they can recover and give chase they receive a call from Ji. Jayden’s headed to Spring Valley. I think Ji’s worried the Red Ranger is about to off himself after no one believed him about the whole feeling a presence thing. Looks like the rest of the gang are just as worried. The team split in two. Kevin and Mia go to find Jayden whilst Mike and Emily chase fish guy.

Jayden’s looking pretty serious as he walks to the water’s edge at Spring Valley. He’s not going to pull a Reggie Perrin is he? This is where we get the official introduction to our Monster of the Week. Vulpes has been spying on the Red Ranger using his enchanted eye. Looks like Octoroo has summoned this particular Nighlok to see if Jayden’s been practicing the sealing symbol. Unfortunately that all-seeing enchanted eye is on the blink and spying on the Red Ranger is no longer an easy thing to do. Looks like Vulpes will have to go and face the Red Ranger. Elsewhere, Mike and Emily are struggling to keep up with Antonio. He’s just too fast they cry, for the millionth time this episode. Now I don’t like to criticise, but if you can’t keep up with a guy dragging along a cart of fish you’re not really fit to be a Power Ranger.

Back at Spring Valley and Vulpes has arrived. He’s using his girly little mirror erm... I mean his enchanted eye to try and track down the Red Ranger. Looks like Jayden was ready for him as the enchanted eye is snatched from his hands by a folding zord. Jayden majestically leaps out of the water and starts whacking the Nighlok with his sword. Mia and Kevin arrive to give us thickos an explanation of what’s going on. This is the Nighlok Jayden was sensing before. Just in case you didn’t get it. Jayden explains how he figured out how water can break the Nighlok’s spell. It’s rather impressive deduction from the Red Ranger. The mirror is destroyed and Vulpes reveals why he’d been spying. It’s time to battle and they’re gonna need the rest of the gang, so the call goes out to Mike and Emily who’ve lost Antonio. Looks like Antonio is ready for his big moment too.

With that, the five Rangers are united and ready to battle! Unfortunately Vulpes has a few tricks up his sleeve that make this battle a lot more difficult than they expected. The sly bugger has only got a reflective ability that makes him impervious to the Rangers Spin Sword attacks. Things are looking grim for our Samurais; they’ve been un-suited by the latest attack and he’s about to finish them with a powerful attack whilst they’re unmorphed. What the heck are they gonna do? You know what these guys really need right now? A mysterious youth with some exploding fish. Enter Antonio. Looks like this is the big moment he was talking about. Kevin seems disappointed that Mike doesn’t recognise Antonio after he’d spent so long chasing him. But that’s really not that important right now. Antonio has a Samurai Morpher! What a shock to anyone who’s been speed reading this review. He’s only a Gold Ranger! How awesome is that? I’m not particularly keen on the costume; maybe it’ll grow on me but it ain’t as nice as the other ones. But the man is more than the suit, so let’s see what Antonio is like in action before we judge him. Looks like he’s pretty damn good at the Mooger fighting. Antonio moves so fast he needs a slow mo replay for us all to catch up with him. Now that’s hardcore! He manages to take down a whole army of Moogers single handed then it’s time to take on Vulpes himself. He gets a spot of help from Jayden in this battle and there’s a hint that these two know each other. But before they have chance to elaborate on that they’ve defeated the first form and we all know what that means…

Looks like we’re cracking out the Battlewing Megazord again. Gotta love the tiger helmet and breast cones. Unfortunately, Vulpes has the ability of invisibility and that’s proving difficult for the Rangers. Luckily for them the Gold Ranger has a zord all of his own, the Octozord. Now I’m not a fan of Mega Mode, I think it looks pretty stupid, but I must admit I do actually really like the look of the Gold Ranger in Mega Mode. The Octozord is fairly cool and his ink attack comes in very useful for exposing the invisible Nighlok. Thanks to the help from Antonio the Megazord is able to finish Vulpes once and for all, and all is well with the world once more. Post battle it’s quite a sight to see the fully suited up Gold Ranger dragging along his fishing cart. Looks like Jayden knows Antonio. Time for a flashback. With child actors. Dear god. To say the acting is bad is such an understatement you wouldn’t believe it. The acting is so bad that it may have actually broken the Blake Foster scale. Looks like Jayden gave Antonio the Octozord when they were abysmal child actors as a reminder they will always be friends, no matter how far apart they are. Despite the awful acting it is quite an emotional scene, as Antonio promises to become a Samurai Ranger to assist Jayden when he becomes the Red Ranger. Back in the present it’s time for some good natured sparring and even Kevin seems impressed with the new Gold Ranger. Although Kevin doesn’t look to keen on him joining the team.

Whether Antonio is to become a full time member of the Samurai Rangers is a question for next time. This is where our journey must end dear reader.

Next time: Room For One More

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