Well, I've just recently, belatedly discovered that my cable service includes free on-demand channels offering recent TV programming, and that's enabled me to catch up on the two Samurai
episodes I've missed: "Sticks and Stones," which I started watching but gave up on after the teaser due to the bad acting, and "A Fish Out of Water," which I just missed for some reason. And I'm glad I watched them, because they're both pretty good. The monsters in both are pretty silly, and the acting is still lame, but there was some pretty good character stuff in both, some nice insights into the Rangers, their background, their secrets, etc. The person who plays Emily is not a good actress, but I'm actually starting to warm to her a bit now; she managed to be very sympathetic and somewhat sweet in "Sticks and Stones" despite having kind of a whiny voice. And Bulk and Spike managed to be not quite useless in "Sticks" too, actually making an attempt to go after the monster (barely) and being spectators for the climactic battle. For once they felt like part of the story rather than something totally unrelated.
My problem with "Sticks and Stones," though, is that the story revolved around a "bully" monster who physically hurt people by hurling insults at them, turning their emotional pain into physical pain or some such thing, and the Rangers voiced the episode's message that trash-talking and putting people down isn't cool; but then later on we had the usual scene of the Rangers fighting the "Moogers" and the monster and trash-talking them quite aggressively. Kinda mixed messages there.