Power Rangers (Super) Samurai, Episode (9) 32 – Runaway Spike

Xandred is drinking his troubles away and realizes Dayu may not be coming back. Serrator pops in and introduces Duplicator who he’ll send out to defeat the Rangers.

Above ground, Bulk is training Spike when a letter gets slid under the door. Their rent is overdue. That night, Bulk worries about where to get the money for the rent as Spike looks on from his sleeping bag. Next morning, Spike leaves a note for his Uncle telling him not to worry about the rent.

In the forest, Derek and Dayu are sitting around waiting for Serrator. Deker is impatient, he has urges to use Uramasa. Dayu and her little soot ball friend fly up a tree and stay there until Deker calms down.

At the Shiba manse, the Rangers start their day. Antonio arrives with a lot of fish and Mia gets ready to go out for a jog. She offers to make breakfast for everyone but they all literally run away from her. (Jerks.)

As Bulk wakes up to see Spike’s note, Spike goes around town looking for a job, first as a gardener for an old lady, then as a valet parking attendant. He gets fired from both for being a klutz and having no idea how to drive. And he gets fired from his third job at a factory as well for blowing it up.

As Spike sits and sulks, Duplicator arrives at the factory as the workers run for safety. The Rangers arrive. Duplicator introduces himself as “the coolest and the best in the biz.” After a barrage of cool, Duplicator summons his clones, mirror images of himself to fight off the Rangers. Mia notices Spike sitting off to the side, unfazed by the chaos around him.

The Rangers have trouble figuring out which Duplicator is the real one until he catches them off guard, but leaves to the Sanzu when he’s out of water.

Mia wants to check on the guy. She demorphs and asks Spike what’s wrong.

“Tell me, I’m a good listener.”
“I’m a loser.”

She takes a seat next to him as he tells her about losing the jobs. “How can I expect to be a samurai” he says, if he can’t even keep a job. Mia is amused and tells him that she’s heard being a Samurai means to never give up, to keep going until you make it.

“Believe in yourself.”

She runs off and Spike calls out for her name. “Mia!” she smiles as she leaves him all flustered and in love.

The other Rangers are home sulking and sprawled across the floor with defeatist attitudes. Mia arrives, tells them about Spike and the advice she gave him that Samurai never give up. They needed to be reminded that too.

Bulk packs a lot of supplies (and Teddy) to go out looking for Spike. Night falls and the Rangers stay up to try and figure out how to distinguish the real Duplicator from his mirror images. Emily chimes in saying maybe the fakes are like vampires who don’t have reflections.

Jayden disregards her input and says he’s got the answer. The Light Zord’s “high powered beam” will “shine through the Nighlok’s tricks.”

Later, the alarm sounds and its go time. As Duplicator rampages around the city, Bulk finds Spike, now working as a night watchman, huddled in his post, afraid of the dark.

“Power up LZ!”
The Rangers meet Duplicator and do a roll call in the dark.
“Keep charging up LZ!”

Duplicator’s ready to fight, but LZ isn’t charged up yet. They fight off the clones until Antonio declares that LZ is ready

“Let there be light!”

The Light Zord shines its light and the clones disappear.

Jayden hands Mia the Black Box to “do the honors” as she goes SUPER!!!!

“Pink is the new black!”

She singlehandedly defeats Duplicator’s first life and they call on the zords when he embiggens.

Duplicator duplicates himself again and Antonio uses LZ to care of the duplicator Duplicators… again.

Again, Jayden allows Mia to do the honors of finishing off Duplicator and she calls on the artillery and goes into Shogun Mode to, pretty much, do the job on her own.

Next day, Bulk and Spike are at the waterfront, still with no answer for their rent problem. A jogging Mia runs into them. She points to Antonio fishing and suggests they offer to help him, betting he’ll pay for every fish they catch. Remember, never give up, she says.

They go to Antonio and both Bulk and Spike each catch a bucket full of fish while Antonio comes up with just a shoe. They laugh at him.

Episode Thoughts
Maybe watching Legend of Korra before Samurai wasn’t such a good idea. From an awesome, kick-ass, well written show to… well, Power Rangers (Super) Samurai. I guess it could help Samurai‘s ratings, but content-wise… ouch.

Still, this was a much better episode than most of the episodes we’ve gotten. The show has definitely taken baby steps in attempting to clean up the rough edges from last year. (Year!?!?) That being said, the episode was kind of a mess.

When you think that finally Bulk and Spike would be worth the time given to them and that they’d actually have a story worth telling… it didn’t. In fact, there was no focus. And that was actually a disservice to the characters.

Granted, they were much more tolerable and actually a little likeable when they aren’t going crazy with attempts to be “funny.” And it was refreshing to see Bulk act like his age for once (Paul Schrier is much better than the material he’s been given). Even Felix Ryan was good when not forcing the Spike screeching and cackling. But Saban’s forced and shoehorned attempts at “comic relief” have mostly failed. Yet you see in this episode how if they had written Bulk and Spike much differently and less, well, annoying, they’d fit in fine and would be great characters even if they never interacted directly with the Rangers.

Also, I can’t believe I was surprised seeing even more jokes about Mia and her cooking. Like seriously, instead of insulting her, how about helping her out? Teamwork? Yeah, that apparently doesn’t include helping a teammate out with something they’re having trouble with. They all rag on Mia for being a murderous cook, yet she’s (surprisingly) stepping up as the big sister lately and as the mature one, keeping the team’s spirits up and getting, literally, their asses off the floor. The others have been pretty cruel to her. Great message for the kiddes eh?

How Much Better Was Sentai Than Power Rangers?
Corresponding Shinkenger Episode: Act 29 – The Runaway Lantern

Meanwhile, in Shinkenger, in this very episode, Mako acknowledges how terrible of a cook she is. But she’s gotta take the criticism.

The Shinkenger episode was about Daigoyou (aka “LZ”) gets into a childish argument with Genta and runs off looking for a job to prove his worth to Genta and the team.

Mako acts like the big sister in that episode too, talking to both Daigoyou and Genta about making up, understanding each other and taking criticism.

Samurai did nice job with the timeless Wild Force message of “Never Give Up!” but the episode ending with Bulk and Spike laughing at Antonio’s bad luck with fish was odd and provided no resolution to what was the episode’s main thread, Spike wanting to help his Uncle Bulk pay the rent.

Overall, it was an okay episode, but filler all the way. There were good things, but just typical Samurai that you just have to come and accept without question.


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