Master Ji reveals a new zord combination, the Samurai Battlewing. To Mike's dismay, he is not chosen to help pilot the zord. Meanwhile, one of Xandred's monsters trips the alarm and the Rangers go into action.
As the Rangers battle the monster, the beetle disk is blown out of Mia's hand and Mike recovers it. Mike unsuccessfully uses the disk and the monster takes the opportunity to escape. Afterwards, Ji takes Mike off the team and confiscates his morpher for his actions.
Jayden reminds Ji that 'pushing a door meant to be pulled will never be opened,' and Ji finds Mike to return his morpher. He tells Mike to connect with the forest to increase his symbol power. Mike rejoins the team and takes down the monster with a new technique. When they call their zords, Mia hands the beetle disk to Mike and they use the Battlewing to defeat the monster.
-We finally get to see Mike's rebellious nature that was hinted at before the show premiered. So far the rangers have been more or less perfect, so having Mike making mistakes and learning from them was refreshing to see. I think it's also safe to say this was the best performance Hector David Jr. and Rene Naufahu have brought to the season so far. I bought into the disconnect between the two characters that was effecting Mike's training.
-A highlight of the episode was Ji asking Mike for his morpher. In an act of defiance Mike used his powers against Ji. Though a little awkward considering how much trouble their mentor had pulling a plant off a table, it was still a powerful moment with palpable tension.
-The monster's personality has been toned down from some of the waaay over the top, pun heavy monsters from past episodes. The writers are improving on integrating funny dialogue into the shows format. Not perfect, improving.
-The Bulk and Spike moments were entertaining. I really like the bit where Spike overheard the word Samuraizer. Now that their roads have finally crossed I have a feeling we'll get more and more interaction between Bulk & Spike and the rangers.
Typical fan reaction to Samurai
What Went Wrong
-The entire episode centers around who gets to use the beetle disk: Mia or Mike? But I thought only Jayden had trained to use the Beetle Power Disk. I guess Mia mastered the disk sometime off screen. Wouldn't it have made more sense for the beetle to go to Jayden and the tiger to someone else?
-The all powerful, evil Master Xandred is absent yet again. Xandred is shaping up to be one of the least menacing villains in Power Rangers history. Most of his time onscreen is spent unconscious, complaining about headaches, or simply not onscreen at all. Suck it up, master of all evil. At least when Rita had a headache it was after she observed the rangers, came up with a plan/monster that would spoil the moral of the day, unleash the monster, make the monster grow, and ultimately fail miserably.
-The motorcycle. What? So one might think that seeing Ji pull up on a motorcycle, we'll get to see a different, more easy going side of Ji. That he realizes he needs a unique approach to teach Mike. That they're not so different after all. Well that's some wishful thinking right there. Instead he pulls up, still in full samurai gear, and drives Mike to a forest where he reverts back to classic Ji.
-All of this goofy Ji doesn't understand kids with their blue jeans and their rock n' roll music I could do without. It's really starting to remind me of a different G.
-Apparently, never telling Mike to connect with the forest has seriously hindered his ability to use his symbol power. While I do appreciate that there was more to Mike learning how to do his pole vault thing than nothing at all (see: Jayden in Day Off), i'm seriously getting tired of these vague character progressions. Everyone always talks about the way of the samurai, training with power disks, and improving your symbol power, but we're never explicitly seen how they accomplish any of the this. A little insight into their training would go a long way.
What To Remember
-Samurai Battlewing debut
Dayuu: But why do you care so much about Deker?
Octoroo: I think we may have overlooked something important about him. Something very important indeed.
Forest For The Trees is an average episode that lacks substance but generally kept me entertained.
3 bananas out of 5