This Power Rangers Beast Morphers review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Beast Morphers Episode 17
The start of this episode has, hands down, the most effective scene of Power Rangers Beast Morphers yet. Ravi just having a quiet conversation with the comatose Roxi about his art. Unlike a lot of Beast Morphers that’s filled to the brim with dialogue explaining exactly what you’re seeing, this scene says so much with so little. He’s just casually pouring his heart out because, as we learn, she’s the only one in Grid Battleforce he ever confided in about his art.
There’s no question in his mind his mom will hate this idea so it rings painfully true when he desperately tries to hide it from Smash. He’s panicking, horrified someone would find out. This is the perfect balance between an issue a kid viewer will find relatable and something that makes a character more engaging. We can all relate to having a secret we don’t want to get out and using a Beast Bot, who’s memory can be erased, is the perfect set up for a Power Rangers episode.
Heightened situation with realistic emotions. These two qualities make the best kinds of Power Rangers episode and indeed, many sci-fi/fantasy series in general. We obviously can’t relate to trying to stop a malfunctioning robot painting an entire city (and if you can, I have so many questions) but we can relate to the core emotion of Ravi’s desperation to keep something he’s so ashamed of a secret. When you have a grounded emotion like that many of the outlandish elements of the episode click together so long as they are all tied into that emotional journey for the characters.
That’s where this episode falters. It has the perfect introduction but the through line of Ravi and Smash gets lost amidst the Vargoyle plot. I’m fine with B stories setting up later episodes but it all went on far too long and felt too disconnected.
It can all be summed up with one question. Why is Vargoyle wearing a cloak and why does he only take it off when Steel is around? It’s nonsensical. It stops the plot dead for a fight that I kept hoping would end so we could get back to the main story. Seeing Ravi fight alongside Smash against the first monsters was far more effective and kept the through line of the story going.
I know how tough it is with Power Rangers to maintain a through line when you have Japanese footage to work with. Sometimes you just don’t have the footage to make your plot work and you have to really bend it make the episode work. That shouldn’t be a problem with Beast Morphers though. More and more of their episodes seem to be original footage, much more than many other Power Rangers seasons in fact. So why does this feel like an issue when it shouldn’t be?
I can’t rightly say but I wish Beast Morphers could make these original fight scenes tie more into their characters emotional arcs because they would just sing. All the elements are there, Beast Morphers just needs to connect them together.
That and stop with the outlandish Ben and Betty gags, please. The characters worked just fine when they first showed up to deal with Smash! They were in control and, while bumbling, still contributed. Falling in the water or getting soap dunked on them? It just felt needless.
Still, the stronger elements of this episode still shone through. Ravi’s chat with the comatose Roxi finally gives us more insight into what their relationship was like and honestly jolted me into remembering the Evil Roxi we’ve seen throughout the show isn’t the real one. I’m also fascinated with how the show will handle Commander Shaw discovering Ravi’s art. Will he work up the courage to tell her? How will she react? I give this episode big points for not quickly wrapping it all up, it smartly holds the critical scene back for a (hopefully) big pay off down the line.
Shamus Kelley is a pop culture/television writer and official Power Rangers expert. Follow him on Twitter! He also co-hosts a Robotech podcast, which covers the original series and the new comics. Give it a listen! Read more articles by him here!