Monday, April 18, 2011

Power Rangers Samurai 'Jayden's Challenge'

What happened

While Jayden is away, the Rangers spend their time recuperating from the last battle. During their downtime Kevin designs a new zord configuration that combines the Megazord with the Battlewing.
While walking around on his own, Jayden comes across a crying child in the park. The kid says he misses his Father, and Jayden comforts him by explaining he feels the same way. Shortly after, the Nighlok from before shows up and attacks Jayden.
Despite not being at full strength, the Rangers charge into battle to help Jayden. Together they morph and destroy the Nighlok and Moogers. When the Nighlok grows, the Rangers use Kevin's new zord formation to deafeat the monsters and save the day. All 5 Rangers return to base as a team.

These scripts aren't even in English

What worked

-The seldom seen unmorphed fight scene returns this episode. Aside from some melodramatic line delivery and Kevin's not so subtle asian stunt double, it was well choreographed and exciting to watch.

-Although the Bulk and Spike scenes return to 'totally unrelated to the rest of the episode' status, Spike's Pink Ranger fantasies continue to be a source of amusement.

-For the first time this season Xandred sobers up and leaves his ship. It was nice to see Xandred go toe to toe with Deker, and learn that Deker can pass back and forth between realms because he is half human. Does this mean Dayuu is half human as well?

-Giant Moogers are cool. Flying Giant Moogers are cooler!

-I enjoyed Jayden's moment with the kid at the park. Finally we delve into his history! And although they didn't reveal that much, it was important to have a moment where the audience can connect with the character. Those don't come by very often in this show. The paper airplanes served as a creative transition between past and present, and just in general it was a warm, touching moment.

(pictured above)
The exact moment I realized how inconsequential this 2 parter was
What Went Wrong

-I guess those yellow hanging monsters things are here to stay. I just want to know why.

-So much unnecessary inner monologue in this episode.

-Can anyone tell me what Jayden's challenge actually was? That he has to learn to work with his team mates at the risk of them getting hurt? If that's the case, this episode came way too late in the season.

-If I wanted to face Xandred alone and keep my friends out of harms way, I would have grabbed everyone's Samuraizers when they were alseep and left in the middle of the night. In fact, that would have really heightened the tension at the end. Even when injured and without their morphers, the rest of the team will still run into battle at Jayden's side.

-On the surface I like that they took the time to set up the new zord formation. But the more I think about it the less sense it makes. Put aside the fact that the zords were somehow capable of combining into the exact formation Kevin dreamed up in his sketchbook. Did none of the previous Rangers think to do this? They thought far enough to combine the auxiliary zords to make the Battlewing, but never combine the Battlewing and the Megazord?

-The central problem here is that the two parter is centered around Jayden leaving the team. But in the end he was gone for less than a day, and we don't see any consequences for Jayden's actions. No shift in the team dynamic. No mentor struggling to keep a fractured team from falling apart. They didn't even have to come together in the end to beat a particularly more powerful monster. Jayden just needed some time to himself to sort stuff out, which is fine. Just don't make it a two parter.

I don't want to put my friends in danger... I will stand here and continue monologuing

What To Remember

-Deker is half human, which allows him to cross between worlds

-New henchmen: Giant Flying Moogers

-Battlewing Megazord introduced

-Jayden misses his Father, implying he's no longer alive

Bottom Line
Without stakes or ramifications, Jayden's Challenge may very well challenge your patience.

2.5 bananas out of 5

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