Power Rangers Samurai, Episode 14 – Team Spirit

The Rangers are secretly preparing a birthday party for Emily by making the decorations, but the guys will absolutely not let Mia bake a disgusting cake.

OOH-AH-OOH! Octoroo warns Dayu about messing around with Decker behind Xandred’s back. OOH-AH-OOH! No, not in that way. Maybe. A Nighlok comes in from the Sanzu, Splitface, and he offers to head above ground to cause some pain and suffering.

Decker broods. Antonio is fishing for a present for Emily and when he gets enough, he and Decker cross paths. Antonio offers him a new recipe, but Decker says maybe next time.

Jayden calls Antonio about a Nighlok attack. He takes off as Splitface is downtown eating people’s spirits. The Rangers arrive with people sprawled all over, but Splitface wants moar! and he thinks Emily would be a fine desert. He sucks her spirit and informs the Rangers that in 24 hours, it’ll be his forever. (Read: She dies.)

Splitface says he won’t be coming back and they can’t follow him into the netherworld so tough luck! The pain and suffering caused by the dead he’ll be leaving behind will make the Sanzu River rise… but we’re not supposed to know that.

Back home, as the Rangers watch over unconscious Emily, Mentor/Ji/Ohbrother tells them that 54 people had their spirit stolen and they’re all in the hospital.

They all worry that these people will “stay asleep forever!”
Antonio won’t let this happen to Emily, so he tries to infuse his Claw Zord with symbol power.

Meanwhile, Emily wakes up and apologizes for getting attacked and disappointing everyone. She’s dozes off again and a very upset Mike runs out and towards the crevice Splitface had disappeared through. He calls out for him as Kevin and Mia try to calm him down.

Decker pops up and says he hoped he could have his “glorious” duel with Jayden now, but he sees he’s busy. He tells them there’s one way to enter the netherworld and that is to give up your humanity to become a Nighlok. Like him? Well, he doesn’t really remember how, but he’s proof it can be done and he welcomes them to do it.

He pops off and Mike says he’ll do it. Emily’s the best of us, he says, she has the sweetest most caring spirit. But Kevin says as Samurai, it is their duty to save the many. Mia wants to go with Mike, but Jayden says they’ll all go.

Antonio runs in and tells them, no need, they can draw the Nighlok out of the gap using the Claw Zord. They just have to work together to infuse symbol power into her.

On the Sanzu, Splitface feels symbol power inside his body and when the Claw Zord embiggens, he gets pulled to the surface.
Antonio had marked him and Splitface can’t believe it!

Mike: “Shut your mouths!” (First legitimately funny line.)

They morph. Splitface is shocked he can’t Body Swarm anymore because he’s been Marked for Elimination [/The Amazing Race]. They finish off his first life and he embiggens.

But without Emily, they can’t megazord it up. Antonio says to leave it to me.

Claw Battlezord East!
Claw Battlezord West!

The boys club leaves Mia out in the cold and combines into the Samurai Battlewing.

Claw Battlezord South!

“What’s with all the costume changes?! Pick one!”

Claw Batltezord East!

FANTASTICO! The compass lesson worked and Splitface is Philiminated from the Race.

Mentor/Ji/Huh is filled with joy as Emily gets her spirit back and wakes up, as do all the other people.

Later, Mia pulls Emily to the surprise party. Mike professes his love for hands her a birthday card from her sister, Serena.

Jayden: “You are the best! We’re just so happy to see you’re okay!”

Emily sees the birthday cake and is worried Mia had baked it. No, sorry, Mia says.
Oh don’t be, no one wants to eat your horrible cooking anyway… said in the nicest way possible. This is Emily of course.

After the party, Antonio is shocked to find a strange man stealing the Octozord! Quién es usted? Antonio asks. The strange Asian looking man, replies, “Guess you can say I’m just a passing-through Kamen Rider.”

The man leaves and Antonio calls out, “Hey! Give Octozord back, you Rider bastardo!”


Episode Thoughts
It was a good episode. Even better than last week because this episode showed what happens when they actually put in some effort to adapt Shinkenger instead of merely translating it.

The acting was definitely not as annoying this week and the story was straightforward with no attempts to shoehorn in comedy when it wasn’t needed. Of course, having no Bulk and Spike helped a lot. (And less of them makes any episode infinitely better.)

How Much Better Was Sentai Than Power Rangers?
Corresponding Shinkenger Episode: Act 20 – The Ebi Origami’s Transformation

Thankfully, this episode did not have the nonsensical (in relation to Power Rangers) Shinkenger character quirks that they usually don’t remove when translating the scripts. That alone helps the Samurai episode in comparison to the original.

The Shinkenger episode was definitely more emotional and did the dark, melodrama better. The sense of danger and worry was better played out in Shinkenger with all four Shinkengers willing to become Gedoushu for Kotoha. Probably even more significant, was the continued breaking down of the wall Takeru has put up for himself. He actually makes an effort to become closer with the team. Three scenes in particular, which granted would have been completely out of place if translated to Samurai, were excellently done.

The first was Takeru wanting to buy Kotoha’s birthday cake himself, second being Takeru taking Kotoha in his arms telling her not to give up, and lastly, the almost final scene where Takeru blushes (and Genta teases) after Kotoha is touched by her Tono Sama actually personally buying her cake.

Those were great scenes, and along with the Shinkengers at the gap figuring out how to get to the Sanzu, helped to make their actions all the more meaningful.

Samurai’s scenes, in comparison, were not as emotionally gripping, but Mike being visibly upset was a nice touch. It certainly feeds any Mike-Emily shippers out there, and the scene worked partly or mostly on Hector David, Jr. being the most natural actor of the group.

Samurai’s episode, of course, was very toned down from the Shinkenger episode. No mention of dying, naturally, and the desinisterization (made-up word!) of the villains for an American audience lessened the impact.

And other than Antonio not being able to help himself from not adding Os to the end of his words, the episode was solid and a great example of why Samurai’s writers must ADAPT, not TRANSLATE.

(*Didn’t actually happen on PRS. 😉 )

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