This Power Rangers Beast Morphers review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Beast Morphers Episode 13
Okay, first off the name of the episode is ‘Tuba Triumph’. Only in Power Rangers. I love it.
But hey, much like the title, this episode may seem silly on the surface but it just gets better the more you think about it. Sure it features a kid defeating a tuba monster with his own tuba sonic waves and Ben and Betty getting slimed (ugh) but you know what else it has? Multi layered character moments and an actually engaging kid of the week! I’ll take a little silliness if it means we get those!
Kid characters in Power Rangers are usually fairly one-note. Their sole purpose is to be taught a fairly basic lesson by the Rangers. MMPR used those kinds of plots all the time and they’ve popped up in nearly every season of the franchise. They’re mostly forgettable because the kids are bland and usually aren’t very good actors. Plus the lessons always feel more than a bit forced.
Here though we get the usual ‘Ranger helps kid’ plot but it’s done through the lens of Ravi. Him wanting to help Joey is a direct reaction to his own upbringing. When Joey tosses his tuba away he can’t help but see how he’s similarly hid his own artistic side. It says so much about Ravi that he’s gung-ho about getting this kid back into playing tuba but is afraid of revealing he likes to draw.
He wants to live up to his mother’s expectations and because of that he assumes his friends might feel the same way. Even if it’s clear they’d support him, that ingrained notion of artistic pursuits being a waste of time is too powerful. I give the episode HUGE props for not ending with Ravi sharing his secret with the Rangers. He thinks about it but ultimately chooses not to. That’s powerful and is easily the most emotionally complex episode arc Power Rangers has had in awhile.
Even if Joey is a vehicle for Ravi’s development he still gets some moments to shine. He wants martial arts training because he has this fantasy of beating his bullies up! The way Ravi slowly guides him away from that impulse is touching to watch and is perhaps the first time a Ranger really felt like they were mentoring a kid in a meaningful way. This episode, more than any 90’s Power Rangers PSA, demonstrated the dangers of that impulse. Joey even got to handle his bullies with the lessons Ravi taught him!
Sadly this comes at the expense of Ben and Betty’s characters. Look, I get it. They’re comedic side characters…. But did they really have to get picked on by some preteen bullies? Getting some slime or goop thrown at them is one thing but this makes them seem pathetic. Unless this part of some grander arc for the two (which I somehow doubt) this seemed like a cheap ploy to make Joey look cooler by comparison.
The episode also suffered from some of the pacing issues that have plagued Beast Morphers for much of the season. The ground fight especially went on for a bit too long. I know how expensive those are to shoot so I’m confused why they didn’t just cut to the Sentai footage sooner.
On the whole though, ‘Tuba Triumph’ was an above average episode for Beast Morphers. Good character moments, like Ravi revealing his grandfather played tuba in a jazz band, makes his character feel more fleshed out. We even got a small nod to Ravi and Roxy’s former relationship, the first time in awhile! The more moments like these we get, the better Beast Morphers will be.
Also, this episode had an exchange that was just as hilarious as the title.
“This really blows!” – Tubatron“Just like your music!” – Zoey