The Rangers are wondering whether or not to accept Antonio into the team since they don’t really know who he is or what he’s about. Jayden tells them about their childhood, how playing with him was the only time he felt like a real kid.
Antonio arrives and gives himself big fanfare with a fishing pole as he enters. But he fails when he hooks and rips his pants. Jayden tells the others to help him and he leaves to laugh to himself, reminiscing about the times he’d train Antonio and how Mentor/Ji/whatever would shoo him away from bothering Jayden while training.
Back inside, Mentor/Ji/whatever takes Antonio’s morpher and asks how in the world he could have created one.
But Mentor/Ji/whatever says he doesn’t have the proper Samurai training to be one of the Rangers, so he takes the morpher.
The alarm sounds and they head off. Antonio asks Jayden to vouch for him, but he doesn’t and says it’s best for him to stay out of battle.
The Rangers meet the Nighlok and get their butts handed to them. Maybe they need the help after all.
Antonio sulks at the docks. Mike and Emily come to see him.
Back home, Mia tries to understand Jayden. They spar as Mia suggests Jayden is worried that having a childhood friend back somehow makes him appear weaker as a leader. And that having a close friend in battle, risking his life for him, their leader is just too much pressure to bear.
Emily and Mike bring Antonio back to the mansion (so it’s a mansion!), and after some more eye flirting between them, Jayden welcomes him to the team.
Antonio joins the Rangers as they head to fight off the Nighlok. They zord up and Antonio summons the Octozord. They combine and the six of them are together.
They head home to celebrate with Antonio grilling some fish for them. Mia continues her delusion that her cooking is delicious as Jayden and Mentor/Ji/whatever say that maybe it’s a good thing Antonio is here. That yeah, maybe what Jayden is doing is the right thing.
Well, color me shocked when the episode was not as terrible as we’ve had to suffer through. I hesitate to use the word “good,” but it was… again, relative to the rest of the season.
It was actually refreshing to see the Rangers unmorphed. And their acting was actually very tolerable this episode and I believe that is thanks in large part to them not getting hurled at with puns in the script. They left those to the Nighloks this week.
The episode gave hope, no matter how small, that the cast can do alright if they spoke like normal people instead of acting as pun dispensers.
That’s not to say however that they had flawless performances. The “tense” scene between Antonio and Mentor/Ji/whatever was the most painful to watch of the episode. Sorry Steven Skyler and Rene Naufahu… but that was really bad.
I will ignore that suit on Antonio being some kind of wink or nod to Steven Skyler’s short stint as a Warbler or whatever that group’s called on Glee.
What I can’t ignore is the oversight of using Kiwi kids, who are very nice children, I’m sure, to play the younger versions of non-Kiwi adults. I mean, really? You couldn’t have dubbed them or used that autotuning like you do on Rene Naufahu’s voice?
And bonita bite? Fantastico? Magnifico? Oh shut up-o. That’s cringe-worthy and forced.
Plus what’s with using the Shinkenger roll call for Genta in Steven Skyler’s opening credits? It’s like they don’t give a crap with this show.
Oh… wait, yeah.
Sentai or Power Rangers?: You have to ask?
Corresponding Shinkenger Episode: Act 18 – Samurai Promotion
I am looking forward to the day when Power Rangers Samurai doesn’t directly translate episodes and this section of the recap/reviews will be useless.
But doesn’t look like it’ll happen so, on we go.
Shinkenger’s story is considerably heavier and deeper than maybe Samurai aspires to be, even though they’re translating every single line and direction from the scripts.
Shinkenger’s backstory for Takeru and Genta was much less cliché as it is for Jayden and Antonio. Much less homoerotic, that’s for sure. But (and thanks to better child actors in Japan), the backstory held more meaning in Shinkenger.
It furthered the aspect of the story where Takeru continues to put up a wall to the others, maybe because of his secret and not wanting anyone to risk their lives for him, because of that secret. He’s presented himself to the other Shinkengers as a cold, but strong leader. And Genta’s arrival slowly loosens him up. He becomes more comfortable as the others learn more about who he is and where he comes from. They start bonding and the forming of actual friendships with his team rather than just a lord-retainer vibe.
Samurai’s take on the story is certainly more cliché. They were good childhood friends. Now he’s back, but because of their bond, he doesn’t want Antonio to risk his life for him thanks to this big bad secret. There’s also no need for Antonio to be a Spanish Genta because Jayden doesn’t need a goofball to loosen him up. It’s a characterization that didn’t need to be translated over since Genta is as much a necessary part of Takeru’s character as he is his own character. That’s not the case in Samurai, so all the bonita bites are just pointless and of no use.
And finally, there’s the differing characterizations of Mentor Jii. For example, in taking the gold morpher, the real Jii was just being cautious. Knowing what kind of a kid Genta was, who would’ve thought he’d be a good fighter and a smart Samurai. Fake Ji/Mentor/whoknows was just being an ass and condescending.
And that’s been the difference between the two. Real Jii understands Takeru’s dilemma, but supports him and their mission. Fake Ji is emotionless and condescending without purpose. He takes the hard line, but with nothing to back it up.
Ah well. So goes Power Rangers Samurai.
Fun how my episode thoughts are longer than the actual recap.