The Rangers slowly wake up after Serrator’s huge attack. Antonio spots Deker unconscious nearby and starts to draw his blade, seeing this as an opportunity to finish Deker off for good. But he ends up putting his blade back in its sheath and walks away, saying it wouldn’t be right.
The Rangers are back at the Shiba Manse and they look over Serrator’s straight line and how the barrier between the two worlds is growing weaker by the minute. Antonio jumps up and apologizes for not taking out Deker when he had the chance. I blew it, he says.
The others say he didn’t blow it since Samurai never attack defenseless opponents. (ORLY?) They say that’s the difference between them and the evil Nighloks.
Deker ponders Serrator’s words and ends up at the site of his and Dayu’s cottage, the very place the two of them fell to Serrator’s curse on their wedding night. He feels the place is familiar, but he doesn’t know why. Dayu is also there and asks Deker if he must be feeling something about this place. He says it’s nothing and walks away.
“If only you could remember,” Dayu says.
Back at the Shiba abode, Mike surprises Kevin who seems to be getting ready to go out. Suddenly, the notice the Light Zord sitting there with a note on top. It’s from Antonio who again apologizes and says he knows what he has to do. They both want to go out and find him, but the alarm sounds.
Jayden says he, Emily and Mia will go fight off Serrator while Kevin and Mike look for Antonio.
*insert useless Bulk & Spike scenes*
“WE NEED TO PLUG THAT HOLE!”
Serrator finds the weakest spot along the crevice and holds Uramasa as he waits for Deker. 0
On his way, Deker runs into Antonio. Why didn’t you stop me when you had the chance, Deker says.
At the weak spot, Jayden, Mia, and a Light Zord-holding Emily come running towards Serrator and morph in the middle of an incoming attack. Serrator calls on Moogers.
Deker tells Antonio to go ahead and attack him since he’s unarmed. Antonio falls to his knees and begs Deker to forget his sword and to just walk away. I know you want to lift your curse, he says, but “millions of people will suffer a horrible fate.”
Deker walks past Antonio, but turns and is about to chop his head off.
“I knew it, you’re no samurai, you don’t have the guts to stop me.”
But Kevin and Mike arrive to block the blade and Deker decides they’re not worthy for him so he leaves.
Mike decides to give a speech: “You’re wrong Deker!! Honor and compassion aren’t Antonio’s weaknesses. His heart is his greatest strength!!”
Kevin tells Antonio they need him on the team to remind them what they stand for.
Back at the weakpoint, Jayden goes SUPER! but Serrator just shoos him away. Deker arrives and demands Uramasa. Serrator eggs him on as the he again shoos the Rangers away causing them to demorph on impact.
Deker gets ready to strike, but instead of the barrier, he turns the sword on Serrator and slashes it across his chest.
How could you betray me like this, Serrator asks. Deker replies, he only wanted his sword and he didn’t share Serrator’s hatred for humanity.
“You made me that way, remember?”
“You’re as heartless as any Nighlok!”
The openings along the straight line close. The Rangers take out the Octo Canon and Bullzooka to finish off Serrator’s first life and are then shocked when he embiggens (Really!?).
They call on all four Megazords. Not enough. So they summon the Gigazord, plus Jayden goes Shogun. Still not enough. Antonio suggests they use the Shark zord to finish Serrator off once and for all. Jayden tells everyone to channel the power of all their zords to emit the Ultimate Samurai Slash and finally Serrator is dead.
Dayu meets Deker in the forest, but he just walks by her. Have you turned your back on the Nighlok, she asks. I’m nothing like you, he says. But then again, “I have the strange feeling our fates are intertwined somehow.”
“If only you knew the truth,” she repeats.
The Rangers walk as the sun sets. They reaffirm that they’d never betray each other.
Well, OF COURSE this was a better episode than last week’s Halloween debacle. It was a solid episode overall with just a few eye roll-inducing scenes.
Like Mike’s sudden David E. Kelley-esque grandstanding towards Deker. There was Bulk and Spike being useless, as usual. And worst about that was how their scenes would repeatedly grind the show to a halt and just stop the good momentum the action scenes were building.
While nice to see Antonio get to do something more serious, I thought Steven Skyler phoned it in the entire episode. And usually he’s much better than that. His bland acting kind of dragged down what was an exciting story.
How Much Better Was Sentai Than Power Rangers?
Corresponding Shinkenger Episode: Act 43 – Last Stroke of a Sword
So it’s definitely interesting what the differences in broadcast standards in America and Japan does to a story. The Samurai way is not defeating your defenseless opponent, yet they do it all the time. In the Shinkenger episode, they make a point (Ryunnosuke especially) that it is a Samurai’s duty to do whatever it takes to defeat the enemy. No time for feelings.
Now this is all part of the watered down backstory of Deker compared to Juzo. Juzo’s Uramasa contained the souls of his family, especially mother. That’s definitely darker and heavier than Deker’s mere obsession with swordplay. In Shinkenger, Genta’s hesitation to kill Juzo stemmed from him taking pity on Juzo and sympathizing with him for the pain he must be feeling wanting to set his family’s souls free. That made Juzo unexpectedly relatable and indeed sympathetic.
On Samurai, it was pretty much a stripped down version of that story, merely to show kids that it’s not good to fight someone who’s defenseless. Okay.
Samurai also kept up the habit to keeping scenes that made sense in Shinkenger and have no place on Samurai. For example, that scene of Mike scaring Kevin. They lose the entire meaning of the original Shinkenger scene between Ryunnosuke and Chiaki where Shinken Blue wants to go out and find Genta because he worried about him. That’s in connection with Genta not having been raised the Samurai way like everyone else was.
The Shinkenger episode definitely had a lot more meaning, from Genta’s compassion (all that stuff Mike was talking about for some reason) to just how difficult a Samurai’s life really is and the group coming together to celebrate Christmas, showing how their bond has become stronger than ever. Samurai even kept that scene of the Shinkengers on the hill.
And oh, definitely noticed Juzo (not Deker) making a cameo appearance in the Samurai ep. More wonderful editing from Saban.