This Power Rangers Beast Morphers review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Beast Morphers Episode 12
Nate and Steel are two of Power Rangers Beast Morphers most engaging characters with an incredibly intriguing dynamic.
Nate has been in a lab most of his life, leading to somewhat awkward social skills. It calls to mind Doctor K from RPM, although the key difference here is Nate seems to enjoy his life of science. It has its drawbacks but overall he’s happy with it. Steel was created because Nate wanted a brother but in this episode we learn it was for more than that. Nate wanted Steel to accept him (and reading deeper into it, love him) exactly as he is.
While Nate is proud of his smarts he can’t help but feel like he’s lacking something around others. The Rangers support him sure, but they aren’t exactly clamoring to hang around and perform science experiments. Nate wanted a brother so he wouldn’t have to go outside his comfort zone. Steel was supposed to validate Nate, not challenge him. It’s no wonder Nate had such a harsh reaction to Steel wanting to play basketball with Devon, it reminded him of his own flaws. His commitment to science above all else, his somewhat awkward social skills, and just not being the best at everything.
Steel sees things a little differently. While Steel may have a huge ego he admits he believes Nate is perfect. It’s not clear how much of Steel’s personality was created by Nate, how much has evolved on its own, and how much was transferred through Nate’s DNA. I’m going to go with the notion it’s evolved on its own because I don’t think Beast Morphers will tackle the more complex idea of Steel being the ideal version of Nate’s inner self.
Still, it’s a touching moment when Steel sheepishly says it never occurred to him there’s something Nate can’t do. It’s the best moment of the episode because it lets both characters develop. Through their conflict we learn more about Nate’s reasons for building Steel and how Steel feels about Nate. Power Rangers has had issues in the past with allowing characters to have genuine conflict but ‘Real Steel’ proves that it’s essential for engaging character growth.
The rest of the episode however doesn’t quite live up to the A plot. Like other Beast Morphers episodes before it, once the second battle begins it feels like the episode is just checking off a box. It doesn’t feel integrated with Nate and Steel’s plot, it just happens because the episode needs a climatic action scene. I know it’s Power Rangers but if they spent a bit more time focusing on Nate and Steel’s efforts to fix the broken computer that might have helped make the fight more engaging.
The pacing of the second fight really dragged the whole episode down, which is a shame since the Nate and Steel parts were fairly enjoyable. Not enough to save the episodes score, but they at least made me want to see more of their dynamic.