Recap: Power Rangers Megaforce, Episode 16 – Rico the Robot
Admiral Malkor is confuzzled as to how Creepox, Bigs and Bluefur have all been killed, yet Earth still isn’t under their control. Vrak says they still have time left right? Yes, Malkor replies. But them two have to complete this mission before “the others” arrive.
Which is why Malkor will power up in his cocoon while Vrak takes care of the Power Rangers. They better be gone by the time he leaves his cocoon.
Vrak merely laughs at Malkor, saying he is fool for having just sealed his fate as a failure by cocoon-ing up. This is Vrak’s chance to usurp Malkor’s power and prove to his Royal Family that he alone deserves to lead. He hops on his ship and flies into space… to go to his underwater lab.
Metal Alice welcomes him back and says she has a new creation ready. She takes her new robot with her to the city and orders it to attack the Rangers after they’ve dispatched the army of Loogies.
But the robot doesn’t budge. The Rangers prepare a Dynamic Victory Charge for Metal Alice, but she pushes the robot in front of her and it absorbs the blast while she declares him a failure and leaves.
They watch as the robot starts to move again. It turns to walk away, but Robo Knight wants to destroy it, even if it’s one of his own. Emma says to wait. He didn’t follow Metal Alice’s orders earlier, maybe he’s nice. She tells the robot that he can trust them.
The others are weary of trusting a Metal Alice Original. But Troy says it doesn’t have any weapons, so they can just keep a close eye on it for now.
Tensou is freaking out about the Rangers befriending *gasp* a robot. But Gosei tells him to relax and see if the Rangers can gather intel from it.
They take him to a pagoda in the park so Noah can examine him like a doctor. Jake wants to throw it away like the “worthless, no-good piece of
scrap” [/Flynn] Metal Alice thinks it is. But the others aren’t as cold. Emma thinks they should it some kindness and befriend it.
She names the robot Rico and they decide to go play games in the park. First tag, then soccer. Emma and Gia watch as the guys hurl a baseball at him. Gia wonders why in the world they are adopting him and Emma says he’s good. He resisted evil and she pities him.
Gia says Rico is an emotionless robot and doesn’t deserve their feelings. Emma thinks Rico could be their ally.
“Do you think I’m crazy for trusting Rico?”
The Rangers sit down for a picnic with Rico. Rico says Jake likes Gia and he likes Emma. But Emma says they all like each other, they’re friends. Rico like playing with everyone. It fun. Rico want eat grapes. But Noah says how in the world is Rico going to eat grapes when his mouth doesn’t open.
Rico finally realizes he’s different from everyone else. He’s not friend. But Emma assures him that just because he’s different, doesn’t mean he’s not their friend.
Emma wants them to be BBFs and they take pictures. But suddenly, a light on Rico’s chest blinks.
They bring Rico back to Gosei’s lair. After some analysis, Noah finds there’s a sensor in his chest that Metal Alice can use to control him and activate at any time. Emma says it wasn’t Rico’s choice to be this way. But Jake gets fired up again as the guys + Tensou tell Emma she’s an idiot for defending him.
Gia was standing next to Rico and the guys facing his direction the entire time, but are suddenly shocked he has disappeared, apparently flying out of the cave to avoid them hearing his big clunky steps and mechanical whirring. They go searching for him and Emma finds him sitting alone in the forest.
He tells her it is bad for him to be around them and he doesn’t want to put them in danger. But Emma wants to help him be free. Free? Yes, the power to do anything you want to. And friends always help each other out.
The Rangers bring Rico to the quarry where they plan to destroy the sensor. Noah says Emma should destroy it with a pinpoint lightning strike.
They put up walls and a tornado to absorb any possible explosion if Emma screws up.
But Emma hesitates. She can’t do it.
Metal Alice arrives and explains this has all be an experiment to analyze this so-called human weakness called “friendship.” Now it’s time to use the power of the robots to kill ’em all.
“You don’t understand the value of friendship, never have and never will!”
Troy says a disgusting Metal Alice like herself deserves to feel the true power of friendship. They insert their Miracle Gosei Power Cards to go Ultra as Metal Alice activates Rico’s attack mode.
Robo Knight charges, “And now you must be crushed like the machine you are!”
But Emma stops him. He can’t destroy a helpless possessed robot!
“Don’t be foolish, you’re thinking like a human!”
Emma hugs Rico and tries to get him to remember their friendship. In response, he knocks the crap out of her.
The Rangers decide to attack, but they get blasted away instead.
Metal Alice says the glitch in R-1C0 is fixed and is now unbeatable. (What glitch?)
Noah says there’s one sure way to stop him and save him and that is to destroy the sensor in Rico’s chest. Jake and Gia try to restrain Rico. Noah says he and Emma will create the tornado while Troy does the lightning strike, but WAIT! Emma wants to do the strike.
Robo Knight freezes Rico before Emma unleashes a lightning strike using her Comprethunder Card.
The sensor is destroyed and Emma is in tears.
Metal Alice sends Zombots to embiggen Rico and reactivate the sensor. The Rangers must zord up to really destroy him this time.
But Rico doesn’t budge. He’s still friends.
A frustrated Metal Alice decides he should just self destruct then, but Emma has an idea. She hops onto the Gosei Ultimate command ship by herself and tells Rico to hop on as they fly high into the sky.
Everyone thinks Emma is crazy, but she tells Rico that she will take him up to where Metal Alice’s signal cannot reach him. Rico responds. Rico set free by Emma. Rico and Emma and Power Rangers friends forever!
Metal Alice returns to the underwater lab in space and promises results with her next creation. Vrak says there better be results or she’s scrap metal.
The Rangers head back to the park. Emma is heartbroken. No more Rico. But the others say he’s free now. Everyone should be free. And Rico will forever be in their hearts.
Wow. This episode just got progressively worse as it went on with a perfect montage to cap it all off.
Whatever their reason for adapting this episode, it didn’t work. So, are we supposed to be racist and bigoted towards machines or not? There’s a whole anti-machine undercurrent emerging, starting with last week’s episode. And if you replaced “machine” and “robot” with a race or ethnic group in their dialogue these last two weeks, you’d get a situation more un-PC and less funny than anything It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia could ever come up with.
A message about being nice to people who are different or how important it is to be free? Yeah, whatever. It didn’t work.
How different is Megaforce from Goseiger?
Corresponding Goseiger Episode: Epic 41: Exploding Bonds of Friendship!
Especially when you watch the original Goseiger episode.
Goseiger‘s episode was on some next-level Iron Giant kick and it was actually very effective.
The episode itself was effectively emotional thanks in large part to Eri’s sometimes-naive innocence. And Koro’s (Rico) cute child-like voice of course. I cried. MaGMCMs. Sacrificing himself with the hope that he’d be able to eat musubi with the Goseigers in the next life? Damn.
But it also served a greater purpose in the larger arc of this penultimate act in Goseiger. Metal Alice was studying what this “comrade” business was about and that will all play into a huge moment towards the finale. A moment which I think will be brought over to Megaforce. So it’ll be interesting to see how well it translates. But judging from the way they brought over some huge, emotional Shinkenger scenes to Samraui, I’m not expecting much.
Anyway, Megaforce‘s “Rico is free” tweak instead of Goseiger‘s “Koro sacrificed himself for his comrades” original ending was not a surprise. It just piled on the already poor episode, but it worked because this friendship business was so forced here while the Goseiger’s relationship with Koro was less BFFs (or BBFs as Emma put it) and more compassion. Which is something, as angels, they would do.
It was still syrupy sweet and cheesy, but it was a lot more effective and at the very least in character for the Goseigers. Definitely more than it was for the Rangers.