March 29, 2011

Review - Power Rangers Samurai Episode 6 "There Go the Brides" and Episode 7 "I've Got a Spell on Blue"

 "There Go the Brides" is one of the better episodes so far, combining the twists from the Shinkenger episode with great editing. Deker is formally introduced, and Dayu takes the role usually reserved for the Nighlok-of-the-Week. I admit, the many twists the rangers use to fool the villains in this episode are reminiscent of the cheesy escape methods from the old Batman series, but used in Power Rangers it's actually pretty refreshing, since usually the solution to the episode's problem is either a rare power source, a new power-up for one of the rangers, or a new attachment for the megazord.

 Ricardo Medina as Deker is pretty decent considering the somewhat bad reviews he got back when playing Cole. Here, Deker's demeanor is noticeably subdued compared to Cole's. We'll see how the character develops as the series goes on.

 Bulk and Spike get more than their usual number of scenes in this episode, and it's pretty good to see Bulk not getting distracted by his own metaphor involving cake. It's a fair guess that if such a metaphor was said to Bulk back in the Mighty Morphin' days, both he and Skull would immediately get hungry.

 The Moogers growing giant are an example of villain footmen growing to fight the mecha, which is rare even in Super Sentai. Dayu and her troubled past keeps in the tradition of female villains having a dark past motivating their evildoings. The few exceptions to this include Trakeena from Lost Galaxy, Divatox from Turbo (it's well-known she had a long-lost twin, but not much else was revealed), and last but not least, Rita Repulsa, though the latter case was due to limitations of the Sentai footage, not the writing itself.

 Although the plotline of a ranger under an evil spell is nothing new, "I've Got a Spell on Blue" brings up the fact that the rangers cannot entirely avoid putting each other at risk. The usual bad puns are present but fewer in number. I found it great that in the forest, Bulk and Spike were afraid of two different possible threats (bears and mosquitoes), rather than running away from every harmless animal they encountered, like Bulk and Skull in "The Wedding", when they wandered around the Australian outback. A couple of YouTube commentors from Australia pointed out that there would be more dangerous animals in the outback than just koalas for Bulk and Skull to be fearful of.

 Deker's commentary on Jayden and Kevin's fight was a breath of fresh air for a battle scene. Ricardo Medina's beard reminded me of the "Mirror, Mirror" episode of Star Trek, and it helps to convince the audience that even in human form Deker is very much one of the villains, albeit a rogue one.

 Both episodes are certainly more firmly placed with both feet on the ground than earlier episodes, and I'm hopeful this upwards trend will continue.


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