Friday, 15 June 2012

Power Rangers Samurai Episode Commentary #20

Episode 20: The Ultimate Duel
Written by:  Jonathan Rosenthal
Directed by: Akihiro Noguchi

At long last we reach the gripping finale of the first season of Power Rangers Samurai. It’s been one hell of a ride for us all. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve fallen in love with Kevin and we’ve waited with baited breath to see Red Ranger Jayden battle the bearded warrior Deker in the ultimate duel. As you can tell from the title of this episode we’ve finally arrived at that point. We know there’s a second season to come so unfortunately we will not be seeing the downfall of Captain Half Arsed today. Hopefully Super Samurai will see the final downfall of the idiotic Master Xandred, but it is not with future events we should concern ourselves; now is the time for the ultimate duel. Can Jayden defeat Deker once and for all? Will Bulk get a face full of goo? If he does will I remember how many times it’s happened previously? Will I follow this review with a review of that pointless Halloween clip show? For the answers to these questions and more read on!

We kick off exactly where we left off last time. Mia and Emily are facing off against a rather pissed off Dayu who is still annoyed at Mia’s intrusions in her dream world. Emily’s in a bad way. They really don’t make Ranger suits like they used to do they? One hit from Dayu and Emily is de-morphed and severely injured. This wouldn’t have happened in Zordon’s day. She’s not the only one in a bad way. As Antonio points out, Jayden is far too exhausted to  take on Deker. He expended a lot of symbol power getting Mike and Kevin into the dream world then he had that whole Megazord battle. Typical Deker turning up at the worst possible moment and demanding a duel. But as is always the case with these things something else comes up. This time it’s a group of Moogers. Damn you Xandred this duel promises to be the most epicly epic thing ever! Why do you ruin anything that even threatens to defeat the Rangers? Why do you suck so hard? Anyway, Deker wants the Red Ranger for himself so these Moogers are going down. As Antonio points out they’re not even a challenge for the well groomed swordsman. How can Jayden possibly defeat such a foe? Rangers don’t fight for the sake of fighting but looks like this time he ain’t got no choice. Deker has given Jayden 24 hours before they will duel. He’s threatened to unleash his Nighlok half on the innocent if Jayden fails to show. Looks like the duel is on. Noon tomorrow. By the sea. Sweet.

You know what I really don’t care about? What’s happening with Master Xandred. Guess where we’re kicking off post credits? Yep with that whiney, useless red burke. The brain box has realised that if Deker defeats the Red Ranger then the sealing powers will be gone forever. Hear that Xandred? That’s the sound of my slow hand clap as you realise the obvious you gosh darn imbecile! Speaking of complete losers the previous episodes Monster of the Week Rhinosnorus is still hanging about. Xandred points out he completely failed his mission last time out. So what are they gonna do with him? Oh they’re gonna send him back.

What’s going on at Shiba house? Well Mia’s fussing over Emily. She’s feeling guilty about hesitating when it came time to battle Dayu leading to Emily’s injury at the hands of the tormented Nighlok. Mia thinks she can no longer let her feelings get in the way of the mission, but there are more important things to discuss. The gang have a meeting to discuss Jayden’s upcoming duel with Deker and nobody is happy about the Red Ranger battling the bearded swordsman alone. Kevin especially has major issues with a one on one duel- it’s not the samurai way gosh darn it! But is there any other way? Deker will only be satisfied by his one on one duel against Jayden and the cost of not duelling him is just too high. Mia’s on Jayden’s side she now realises the well groomed one will not stop until he fulfils his destiny and experiences that ultimate duel. Kevin’s seeing the big picture; Jayden is the only one who can seal Master Xandred away once and for all. For a change Mike is on Kevin’s side but Jayden’s having none of it. He storms out leaving Kevin devastated, a look of deep love on his face.

Dayu is still devastated at the loss of her harmonium. She’s lamenting her loss in some tropical forest when who happens upon her? None other than ex husband Deker!  Is he her ex husband? I don’t know how it works. Does becoming a half Nighlok with no memory of his past life nullify their wedding vows? If any lawyers are reading this and know of a precedence for this please let me know.  Deker is surprised to see the ex. in the human world. What’s she doing there? Well what’s he doing there? His answer is his ultimate duel is on tomorrow. I think he’s a bit slow.

Back at Shiba house Jayden is training hard. Kevin’s still trying to talk his leader out of taking on Deker alone but the Red Ranger is having no of it. This is Jayden’s destiny and not even the awesomeness of Kevin can sway him. Kevin being the legend he is finally accepts Jayden’s decision and agrees to help him train. What a guy. The rest of the gang are discussing the impending duel. Antonio believes they have no reason to worry- Jayden can beat anyone. Emily and Mike agree but Mia’s gone all dark on us. I like this new Mia. She’s a lot more dedicated to death and destruction. Deker has to be finished! Even Ji’s in agreement. Deker is prowling around outside confident tonight will be the final night of his curse **SPOILER ALERT for those that have yet to see Super Samurai** he obviously hasn’t read a synopsis for next season snigger snigger.

It’s the morning of the duel and Jayden’s looking rough but determined. He leaves Shiba House knowing it all depends on him now. As he walks the grounds the other Rangers wish him luck and encourage him to succeed. Just as he’s about to leave the worst possible thing happens. The Nighlok sensors have gone off! NO! Why now? This is the worst possible time for it. Rhinosnorus is back! Jayden has to face Deker so he has only one choice. He must hand over leadership of the Rangers to his most trusted lieutenant Kevin! He hands over the discs necessary to form the Megazord. With the rest of the Rangers now ready to take on Rhinosnorus, Jayden must leave to face his destiny.

Rhinosnorus appears to have tracked down Woody Allen and apparently didn’t enjoy Midnight in Paris because he’s attacking him. Now I hate Owen Wilson as much as the next guy, that annoying voice that stupid face god damn him, but I personally think Rhinosnorus is a little out of order. Luckily for Woody the Power Rangers have arrived and manage to pull some awesome poses, especially Kevin. I guess the episode is running a little short because we’re treated to an extended transformation sequence. As the Rangers duel Rhinosnorus Deker awaits the Red Ranger on the beach. Deker is quick to compare the Red Ranger to himself something annoys Jayden. As Deker says at last the time has come. Fight!

This is what we’ve been waiting for such a long time. The ultimate duel is finally under way. Jayden is still trying to talk Deker out of fighting. He doesn’t truly understand that Deker has no choice. It is his destiny to have the ultimate duel and Jayden is his destined opponent. The battle is intense and the two warriors are fairly evenly matched. Deker realises that Jayden truly is his equal and today will be the end of his course. As the two warriors continue to duel we head back to the other Rangers as they continue to battle Rhinosnorus. He’s proving quite a difficult foe for our Ranger chums but Kevin soon sorts him out with his Hyrdro Bow and we all know what that means…

Antonio is too weak to join the others in a spot of Megazord action but I can’t see Rhinosnorus being too much trouble for our heroes. Kevin’s getting a bit flustered in his first battle as leader but Emily believes in him and so do I! And our faith in the Blue Ranger is soon justified as they finally defeat Rhinosnorus. Now that’s over we can focus on why we’re all here. The ultimate duel.

Deker and Jayden continue their clash of swords with neither of them truly winning the encounter. There’s lots of rolling around and swooshing of swords. Deker is ready to end this duel and he strikes the Red Ranger. The blow appears deadly and it forces Jayden to drop his sword. Surely it’s over now? NO! As Jayden’s sword falls he catches it with his other hand and attacks an unsuspecting Deker. His second blow breaks Deker’s sword into two pieces. The duel is over Jayden has won. Deker is released from his curse and falls from the Cliffside before disappearing forever (no spoilers here). The battle’s taken a lot out of Jayden but he’s won and that’s the important thing. The other Rangers run to his aid. Back at Shiba House Jayden thanks Kevin for leading the Rangers in his absence and Kevin is pleased but makes it clear that they need Jayden. Looks like Antonio has prepared a fish super for the celebrations. Absolutely golden. Jayden admits to the rest of the Rangers that part of him wanted to fight Deker to prove he’s meant to be the Red Ranger (foreshadowing?). That’s Deker finished but Master Xandred is still free and will continue to cause more havock, but that’s a tale for next season. We’ve got time for just one more “Rangers together Samurai forever”  before we sign off.

Next time: Party Monsters

Pictures taken from Samurai Power Rangers Gateway.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, but I was disappointed with one thing. I'd quite like a conclusive summary of your thoughts of the entire first season. Your own personal journey and how The show changed you for better or worse. The cheers, the tears, the fears, the............spears?