This Power Rangers Beast Morphers review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Beast Morphers Episode 2
The great thing about last week’s Power Rangers Beast Morphers premiere was how much you could infer from it. We didn’t need to be told Ravi followed the rules to a fault (and not just the one about dating), we saw it in action multiple times. Same with Zoey and her determination to prove herself. Devon clearly has a rough past since his dad had to pull strings to get him a carpet cleaning job.
This episode however was too busy with info dumps and exposition it didn’t have time for inference. It felt like a check list of “things we need to set up.” The Beast Bots, the Zords, Scrozzle, the Rangers weaknesses, and the “who should be leader” plot.
The premiere also had a lot to introduce but it felt graceful. Everything fit together and it was almost all focused on character. Even when we needed exposition, like the first time Nate explained Morph-X, it was couched in Mayor Daniels’ apprehension about it.
This episode has so many elements that don’t get the time they need to feel engaging. The introduction of the Beast Bots especially should have been a big moment and driven a lot of the action. Instead, they’re set up at the start and then only show up two more times in the episode.
Scrozzle is also quickly introduced and besides a passing comment about being afraid of something out there, I didn’t really understand why he decided to pledge himself to Evox. Sure, Evox kicked his butt but he fell in line way too quickly. Who is this guy? What’s his deal? And oh yeah, Blaze and Roxy, in being turned into evil avatars, seemed to lose any personality besides “we’re bad guys.”
There are some details that shine however. Commander Shaw talking smack to Ravi about never doing his laundry. That joke alone says a lot about how Ravi is so focused on his training he lets other things fall by the wayside. He also doesn’t like hugs. Please explore this.
Zoey mentioned how she failed her Ranger training because she was too busy with having (what I assume to be) a full time job. Zoey is like a lot of us, needing to have a day job so she can pursue her dream. She’s like a real adult!
These and other small details are fun but they don’t really impact the main story. They don’t always need to, it’s fun to have little throwaway lines, but when the rest of the episode is so filled with exposition they only highlight how much is missing from the main plot.
What’s a shame is that the “who should be the leader” plot would have been a lot of fun to see explored more in-depth. The opening scene with Ravi and Zoey arguing? Devon doesn’t even speak up. He doesn’t think of himself as a leader and doesn’t try to claim it. I wish that had been explored instead of needing to spend so much time setting up the reason why he’s going to be afraid of dogs. Or him talking about “video games” instead of actually naming one like a human being would.
Ben and Betty also suffer from the overstuffed plot. They’re once again mostly relegated to the “wacky jokes”. While I bemoan the need for “comedic” side characters, they’re at least startng to show some other sides. Betty wanting praise for her actions and rushing into battle to help Devon are far more interesting than gags with hair getting messed up.
There are ways to get comedy into the show without needing to stop and have a “funny” moment with zany music. Shaw mentioning Ravi never doing his laundry is a great moment that’s funny and doesn’t need a watered down Bulk and Skull theme. I’m also not really here for Ben being the “wacky big guy.” It’s a stereotype and I hope he’s not solely relegated to that.
Maybe we’ll see more in the future but after how strong the premiere was balancing everything? It’s worrying that once we introduce a more typical plot structure (fight, come up with new plan, fight, zord battle) we lose any time for scenes that let us learn about the characters.
I hope, now that everything is set up, next week will be filled with enough time to let these characters shine. Let the plots be driven by their emotions and desires, not by needing to list off all the cool gadgets. They did such a good job introducing the characters last week I’d hate to see them go to waste.