Episode four of Super Megaforce already? Where did the time go? Down the super mega drain?
This episode begins with the Super Mega Rangers fighting some evil aliens in their
pirate – er, “Sky Ship”. Zap zap. Bang bang! Sparks. They also “go legendary” and summon the Mystic Force Dragon power-up thing to burst out of their robo-chest like Freddy Krueger in Nightmare on Elm Street 2 and be all dragon-y to fuck up those giant X-Borgs. (I could have used Alien as the pop culture reference analogy here, but that would be cliché. Plus, I just watched Freddy’s Revenge earlier today, so it’s still fresh in my mind.)
Anywho, after a quasi-thrilling start, the Rangers are back at the Mega Cave – or is it the Super Mega Cave now? Gosei is all, “Fuck yeah my homies, you are the shiiiit. Ima make you go on an errand now.” And they’re like, “Woot! An errand!” And Gosei’s all, “Uh-huh, blah blah blah Wild Force references blah.” And the Rangers are like, “Ooh cool, Wild Force! We don’t remember that though.” And Gosei’s all, “That’s okay, none of our target audience does either.” And off they go.
Okay, so the errand that Gosei is sending them on is actually an “adventure”. It’s to find a floating island in the sky shaped like a turtle called Anamaria, which is from (you guessed it) Power Rangers Wild Force, a series that aired well over a decade ago. Their mission: to find the mystical Red Lion, which was a Zord for that specific team’s Red Ranger back in the day.
Except, you see, in Wild Force, “Anamaria” is actually the name of a lost kingdom that used to be on earth whose last remnant is the “Animarium” – the actual true name of the floating island. So don’t listen to Gosei or the Super Mega Rangers, because they don’t know what the super mega fuck they’re talking about. (Couldn’t they have skimmed through a few eps on Netflix? Sheesh.)
So the kids (who are not dressed like gaudy pirates at all, nope), circle the earth a few times in search of that elusive levitating turtle island in their un-pirate ship, scoping things out with color coordinated cameras and a magic iPad that Gosei lent to Noah, presumably. (I wonder if they had to skip any school to do this.)
Eventually, they realize that one obvious turtle shaped cloud isn’t just a cloud after all, and is actually the Animaria/Animarium. Go figure! As they glide towards it, they’re attacked by more evil Armada ships. Zap zap! Bang bang! Sparks!
When they do actually land on the magic island (which bears an uncanny resemblance to that one rock quarry they’re always defending), the Rangers are overwhelmed with X-Borgs who had survived all that zapping and banging and sparking just a couple of seconds ago. They put on their helmets and get bizzay.
Bang-bang, zap-zap. Sparks. Okay, they’re done. Now the team can go look for that Lion thing. Red and Green stick together while Blue, Yellow, and Pink decide to go off and do their thing, which consists of – you guessed it – fighting more X-Borgs with banging and zapping. And sparks. They even morph into Legendary Black Ranger mode, summoning the powers of Dino Thunder, Alien, and RPM for an inexplicably brief nanosecond.
Meanwhile, a giant anthropomorphic dog in a pink feather boa arrives to harass the Red and Blue Rangers. And, oh joy, he brought more X-Borgs with him. Luckily, the others jump in to assist, and they’re somehow back in their pirate costumes. Shit, sorry, I mean Super Megaforce mode. They once again reiterate that they are earth’s defenders and that they NEVAR SERRENDAR!!! Then they shoot everyone up with their, um, laser muskets. Zap zap. Bang bang. Sparks. Yawn.
That flamboyant alien dog is just not having their closet pirate bullshit, so he knocks them down a couple of times, leading our heroes to finally transform into the team this episode pays a half-assed tribute to: Wild Force!
An impressive fight sequence ensues, with much less banging/zapping, and more hand to hand classic Ranger combat featuring animal sound effects! (Still plenty of sparks though.) Plus, this is an actual originally made sequence, not sentai stock footage, something that’s pretty rare these days.
Then – ROAR! The Red Lion appears, and he wants all of these damn kids and their X-Borgs off his lawn. With a single swipe of his crimson paw, the whole lot of them are sent flying off the island only to land on some conveniently placed piles of cardboard boxes that await them on the ground miles and miles below. At least they’re demorphed back into their standard vanilla Mega modes!
But…they morph back into Super Mega not-pirate mode immediately anyway, so what’s the point? God, this show has gotten more stranger now than ever before. The fabulous dog monster harasses people around another familiar looking stadium with, yes, more X-Borgs, and the Super Mega – oh, you get the picture. Zap zap. Bang bang. Sparks…
Suddenly, the Rangers decide, hey, let’s honor the Red Lion by morphing into Wild Force mode again…just like we did less than five minutes ago. Okay…
But there’s more hand to hand combat though. That’s kinda cool. And they get to use the old Wild Force Jungle Sword attack. Also kinda cool. Again, they have to revert back to jolly roger mode to give the final attack, so, really, what is the point here exactly?!
Zord time. The Red Lion zord helps them out, combining with their megazord to make this weird centaur like being made of CGI that trots around, surely not crushing any innocent bystanders below. Surely. The battle’s fun to watch, and, yes, there is more of that zap, bang-bang action that you must be craving by now. Oh, yes, some sparks too.
The episode ends with more helmetless pirate ship hijinx and a stale joke about kitty litter.
Super Megaforce continues to be very odd. Power Rangers has always been odd – that’s why people like me enjoy it so. However, this series has reached a whole new level of oddity that even I’m not prepared for, and it’s all out of necessity – and laziness. Necessity because Saban needed to burn through two sentai series in the same breath, and laziness because they just want to sell the damn toys and get it over with.
If this is an example of a tribute episode that Super Megaforce will aspire to, I can’t say I’m too excited or impressed. There is no room for paying homage; there is only enough time to bombard the audience with pure action and the latest toy that must be pushed, just like Megaforce. True, we get a teeny little bit more time with the main characters, which is certainly most welcome by now, but they just look weird in the new pirate suit getup. (Those collars…ugh.) The Megaforce costumes suited them well, whereas these look like they belong on an entirely different cast. Not that I mind this cast, though. Quite the opposite. It’s pretty refreshing to have a cast around for more than a year that’s not Samurai. I’d still like to see just a little bit more of their civilian lives, but why should I? There’s not a lot of merchandise there.
Until next time zappers and bangers. (And sparkers.)