Episode Reviews

Power Rangers Megaforce: Episode 5 – United We Stand

There are too many questionable jokes to be said about this episode. So I’ll just say one thing: I freaking hate that Zord with the head that splits open in three.


Aoi Kurenai’s review

megaforce-episode-5-1We’ve gotten here at long last – a Megaforce episode with a decent ratio of human-to-morphed footage! Even after the last episode shook things up a bit, I was honestly starting to get worried. I was fearing a series where every episode leads to the Rangers transforming and staying transformed for the rest of the episode five minutes in. It’s difficult to form a connection to any of the characters when that goes on, especially because a lot of their characterization isn’t found when they’re transformed. They used a pretty interesting technique for having the actors get more screen time by having the three boys be unable to transform. I kind of love this, it gave us a lot of hilarious moments with the three boys having to serve the new monster as her servants – and I love how long it took them to realize they weren’t under her control any longer.

I’m going to hope the series continues to improve upon this as it moves along. There was still more morphed footage than I was completely comfortable with in this episode. At the very least, I really hope we never go back to the way things were in the first few episodes. It’s so difficult to find that connection and care about any of the characters when you barely see them on screen. If not for Jake, Gia, and Noah’s shining personalities, we’d be stuck with a team of Troy and Emmas. And no one wants a team of Troy and Emmas. Also, speaking of screen time, how useless are Gosei and Tenso? I’d love to see that base again, and for someone with the illustrious title of being Zordon’s student, Gosei seems fairly unimportant so far.

megaforce-episode-5-4The episode this is based off of in Goseiger is, more or less, the same plot. The key difference in Goseiger is that Eri and Moune are at each other’s throats because of how different they are to each other thanks to the stark contrast between the Landick and Skick tribes. Emma and Gia are fighting here because they’re under a spell and it sort of works better than having them naturally fight. Friends do fight all the time, but the footage shows their bickering getting in the way of the actual battle, it’s easier to see this happening when you know they’re not entirely capable of controlling their own actions. If I was pressed, I’m not sure I could pick a better approach between what Goseiger did and this episode. Both series took to their strengths – the differences between the tribes and a monster playing two friends against each other.

Since we got more screen time with the actors, we of course get more material to judge them on. I’m finding Christina Masterson and Andrew Gray continuing to be the weak links among the cast. Ciara Hanna was a little weak here too, though I sort of blame this more on the dubbing than anything else. It still doesn’t sound like any of the cast is entirely comfortable with voice acting. The difference between the monster in this episode, who seems to have a seasoned voice behind her, and the Rangers is black and white.

At this point in the game, Megaforce is doing something that I love. While we’re getting a lot of the same episodic stories from Goseiger, there is enough of a twist on them to make each story feel fresh, fitting, or in the case of episode three, an interesting “what if” scenario. I’m sure that Megaforce will start to diverge greatly at some point, but for now I’m kind of happy with the way it’s able to make the little things work to its strengths. It’s so much more satisfying to watch a show that, even in a weird world like the one the Power Rangers live in, adheres to its own set of rules.

megaforce-episode-5-2Speaking of divergences, we’re starting to see some major ones as early as this episode. Vrak, Bladerun’s counterpart, appears before the Rangers for the first time in this episode – but in his second form, the one based on the Yuuma Beasts in Goseiger. It isn’t explained here and in his very next scene, we see Vrak back in his original form. It’s confusing to say the least, but I like it. I sense some serious foreshadowing going on in this series, showing us the Ranger War multiple times, seeing the sixth Ranger as early as episode one, and now seeing Vrak in this new form. I’m also glad that the Rangers themselves were confused about his appearance. Granted, they’re never seen Vrak before, but that wasn’t the point. This form doesn’t look like an insect at all and Noah picked up on that.

Inui Takumi’s Review

megaforce-episode-5-3This episode, we see a feud that should never be witness. The clashing of two people where the result will ultimately be doomsday-worthy for all of us. Animosity that flows through the core of every person on the planet. Emma and Gia hate each other’s guts, and that spells catastrophe for the Rangers.

Well, it would if it was a real conflict, kind of. The monster-of-the-week, Beezara, has the ability to control the actions of any individual with her “royal jelly”, which is basically spraying people with gooey liquids. Yup, let that sink in for a second. This episode is actually quite similar to the Goseiger counterpart, except for a few things. For one thing, the monster in Goseiger, Aelien, can only take control of men or rather she only wants to control. This is due to her deep-seeded hatred for the gender, so she uses them as servants. In Megaforce, she uses her powers on Emma and Gia as well, turning them against each other. It just results in them arguing more than actually fighting with each other. And honestly, I think it would have been cooler for them to have an all-out fight between the Pink and Yellow Rangers rather than trying to stick to the Japanese script.

megaforce-episode-5-5The animosity between Emma and Gia seemed a lot less genuine than with Eri and Moune. Part of that is due to the fact that they were under a spell, but it also had to do with their characters. In Goseiger, Eri and Moune are fundamentally different people. Moune is very diligent but, at the same time, has a fiery personality. Whereas Eri is extremely care-free and just goes with the flow. So, when they get into an argument, you understand why they are mad or upset with each other, so the feud comes about very naturally. With Emma and Gia, we see them as close friends at the beginning of the show and go through a split-second change as soon as their sprayed with Beezara’s……goo. It’s a plot device to drive the situation home quicker, but I think if they let the animosity spawn more naturally, it would have made the episode feel a lot more down-to-earth.

Another reason they should have done this is because, for once, we got a lot of screen time for all of the actors. Jake, Troy and Noah get a lot of screen time after they are captured by Beezara and made to do her bidding. Which, by the way, is totally disturbing when you get to the scene where Noah is rubbing Beezara’s feet. They get a lot of comedic moments out of the situation and even Troy contributes to the scenes at times. Finally, some kind of emotion from this guy. Emma and Gia also get a lot of screen time while they try to find Beezara’s hide out. They could have used this time to show the two getting more and more annoyed with each other and had that steady progression. Missed opportunity, but I’m glad that we got to see the actors actually act for more than five minutes.

megaforce-episode-5-8You’ve probably noticed that I don’t really talk about the mechs much. Part of it is because a lot of people know what the mechs look like from Goseiger. Another reason is because we will be getting a LOT of add-ons with all of the different headers, so it kind of becomes routine. But I will say that they are doing something with Megaforce which Goseiger sometimes dropped the ball on. We get the Header upgrades with the corresponding Ranger-focused episodes. Goseiger sometimes rushed this idea and gave Rangers their special cards when the episode had nothing to do with them. They’re a bit more on the ball with that in Megaforce, with Emma getting her Header card in this episode.

One weird thing about this episode, though, was the appearance of Vrak in the first few minutes. As Kurenai mentioned, we see a new form out of nowhere while the Rangers battle the Loogies. In Goseiger, this is Bladerun’s second form so it’s puzzling to see Vrak in this form for a minute, then back to his normal form in the very next scene. Since I haven’t seen the second arc of Goseiger yet, I wasn’t familiar with this form so it took me a bit to figure out it was Vrak. That totally threw this episode off for me until the main plot started up again. I guess for people who haven’t seen the show, it wouldn’t be much of a problem. But, I’d imagine even without that knowledge, you’d wonder why he looked like that as well as why we never get to see him transform into that. Unless, its another character that we don’t know of yet. It’s totally possible that this is another monster from whatever planet Vrak is from and Saban is putting a different spin on the story. Actually, I hope that’s the case since it would be a cool separation from Goseiger as well as a legitimate reason for the random scene.

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