Bottles be damned in this episode of Power Rangers Megaforce!
Aoi Kurenai’s Review
So we’re finally here. The dread Troy-centric episode. And even still, the guy is barely on screen! I’m starting to think the people behind the scenes realize the guy can’t act and are quietly trying to keep him out of the limelight. Which isn’t a bad idea. As a Red Ranger, he’s really not that great of an actor or character. He just doesn’t get as much focus as any of the other characters. I can’t tell if the decision not to focus on Troy is part of the whole “he’s the outsider” thing going on. Everyone else feels like they’re a band of friends, but Troy feels like the outsider that isn’t quite comfortable with them yet. Though somehow I don’t think that’s an intentional decision.
Andrew Gray’s just not all there as an actor. He delivers his lines so halfheartedly and I never buy what he’s saying. There’s clearly some Arata inspiration going on in the character of Troy, but Gray isn’t able to pull it off. More than even Christina Masterson as Emma, Gray sounds so -bored- in nearly every scene. He had to have been cast on looks alone. He’s definitely got the looks of a strong Ranger, but the moment he opens his mouth? It’s terrible.
Moving on! This wasn’t a bad episode at all, I actually think it might be my favorite, or close to it with the second episode. Jordan was a fun character to follow around for a bit, he even earned himself the title of “Douche Ranger” among certain message boards. That’s just amazing. It’s great to have a real outsider – someone not part of the team, be at the center of a story for once here. Something like that helps push the idea that the show’s taking place in a living world where other people actually exist.
Jordan’s story reminds me a lot of certain over-excitable silver colored warrior from a recent Sentai series. The idea that he might be the Silver Ranger is spreading like wildfire. I’m of the camp that thinks he would make a pretty good Ranger. He’s got a great actor behind him and he doesn’t come off as annoying or anything, just very eager and fanboyish of the Power Rangers. Kind of like Gai and the various Super Sentai. If he ends up being the American version of GokaiSilver, I’ll be so happy. He’s a genuinely fun character and reminds me quite a lot of Gai in many different ways.
That aside, this episode is suffering from what most of the series has been suffering from thus far: time budgeting. Although this episode was a bit better because we got a grand total of one unmorphed scene after the initial transformation, it still wasn’t much. I did a quick check and, the first episode aside, the longest we’ve gone without seeing the Rangers transform is seven minutes. -Seven minutes-. That’s in a show with a minute long theme song. It wouldn’t be so bad if the remainder of the episode wasn’t composed almost entirely of morphed footage.
This time management is a big problem for me. I’m actually enjoying the Rangers before they morph. For the most part, we’ve got a fairly good cast this year. I want to see more of these people out of suit and living their lives, or even just interacting with the plot without having to transforms. It’s starting to feel like a waste of a good cast and good characters. Although I’m hoping this is only because we’re in the early episodes, something tells me this is a problem that will continue to persist throughout the series.
I realize I’m complaining a lot, but like I said, I actually enjoyed this episode. Jordan’s a fun character and there was a nice little break in the action for that…weird training sequence, so it wasn’t all bad. These problems won’t keep me from enjoying the show, they’re just going to keep me from enjoying it as much as I could be otherwise.
Inui Takumi’s Review
If there is one thing that you should take from this episode, its that Troy REALLY hates bottles. He went from kicking one bottle in the first episode to creating a training device where he gets to kick like a hundred of them. I can’t tell if he hates bottles or thinks of his legs as recycling devices, providing his own brand of environmental awareness one disintegrated bottle at a time.
So this episode was kind of all over the place for me. We had one plot dealing with Jordan, an insecure fan of the Power Rangers who figures the only way to get noticed is by lying that he is the Red Ranger. But, we also had the plot of Troy, as well as the others, training their senses so they can spot the high-speed attacks of both Creepox and Dragon Flame. I mean, technically it worked fine. Jordan following and finding the Rangers training linked the two together. But for me, it still felt kind disjointed. Maybe they were trying to put two stories in one to save time, or maybe it was always planned out like this. It just felt like a lot was going on that wasn’t put together as smoothly.
I will say though that I also liked the character of Jordan. At first, I hated him because of the way he acted in front of his peers. Acting all tough and heroic, lying that he was a Ranger. He felt like every high school show-off you’ve ever met. But, this is something that they did right. The writing of his character arc made the viewer go from completely hating the guy to hoping that you’d see more of him in the future. And, seeing as he shares a lot of characteristics with Gai, aka GokaiSilver, I’m sure we’ll be seeing him a lot more in the future. Whereas Gai was a lot more upfront about his love for the Sentai heroes and we loved him for it, Jordan seems more relatable as a person who is insecure in how he is perceived and looks up to the Rangers for inspiration. This will make him a valuable member of the team if he ever gets the chance, since he’ll know and respect the power that he would obtain.
Even though, initially, this seemed like it would be a Troy-focused episode, with him practicing his skills against all those dastardly evil bottles, it turned out to be a different case entirely. This episode in the Sentai version, in paticular, was a Red-fosuced episode. So, it’s odd that this show goes out of its way to put as little spotlight on Troy as possible. Seeing Troy and Emma talk, I was certain that we would finally get some back story on the two, but then all of the attention went to Jordan instead. I guess they made a wrong decision with casting and are trying to make up for it. It’s sad to say, but Andrew Gray is not a very convincing actor. None of his lines are delivered with conviction and he just seems very bored of it all. This isn’t what you want in a Red Ranger, hell, its not what you want in any character in a show. It brings the level of the series down, especially when almost everyone else in the show is doing their best to portray their character. I really do hope that he improves in the future, but right now, he’s the weakest aspect of the show. Well, that and the little screen time given to the other actors, but Kurenai already covered all of that.
I’d say that this was a decent episode. It wasn’t better than the second episode for me, but the fact that Jordan was introduced in this episode makes it a lot better. It’s hard to comment on a ton of things when the show gives us so little of the actual actors out-of-suit. Which sucks since in comparison, every show before it seemed to offer a ton of back story and screen time to the actors and characters behind the mask. This show seems afraid to do that, and if it doesn’t change soon, it could hurt the potential of Megaforce severely.