This Power Rangers Beast Morphers review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Beast Morphers Episode 20
Power Rangers Beast Morphers has finally figured out how to make Ben and Betty work properly. It may sound strange to start off a review of such a dramatic episode discussing the comedic side characters but it demonstrates why ‘Target Tower’ stands head and shoulders above the last several years of Power Rangers episodes.
For almost the entire season Ben and Betty have been, at best, okay or (mostly) bad. Despite their actors giving it their all the situations the characters have been thrust into have been the worst kind of slapstick. They aren’t connected to the main plot and exist almost in a universe of their own. Not as bad as Bulk and Spike in Samurai, where they were almost completely isolated, but without being connected at all to the main story they needed more than subpar jokes to get keep the audience invested. Bulk and Skull always worked in MMPR because even if they weren’t connected to the A story they were written well. Ben and Betty have sadly not been as fortunate.
Here though, that all changes. While they’re subjected to a gag with wet cement they’re quickly given something more important. They find one of the transporters, which help kick off the main action of the story and even get involved in a fight scene! Ben pushing Betty in a cart with the transporter as she hurls food at the Tronics is zany. A Tronic even slips on a banana peel, the most classic of comedic bits. What works so well about this is that the way the two fight is perfectly in line with their characterization but it’s placed in a more dramatic context. Ben and Betty being wacky doesn’t have to be a bad thing, they just need more engaging ways to show it off. This fight scene is the perfect example of how you can have a wacky character and not make them a total joke the audience can never take seriously.
This whole episode feels like the show throwing off its weights and finally getting to flex everything it had been setting up earlier in the season. The middle of Beast Morphers had a lot wheel spinning and let many of its side characters and plots fall by the wayside but here most of the more intriguing bits come into play.
The Ravi/Roxy plot was one of the more intriguing stories set up in the premiere that never quite seemed to get its do. Yes, we’ve seen Ravi sitting by the real Roxy’s tube a few times but saving her has never seemed all that paramount. He didn’t need to mention it all the time but you’d think that every time he saw the Roxy avatar he’d be going out of his way to try and destroy it. Here at least we finally see Ravi acting how he should have the whole season, desperate to get his old girlfriend back and willing to toss anything aside in order to accomplish it. While I should knock off some points for them taking so long to address this plot properly, I’m just glad it was done at all and we’ve now (hopefully) shifted the status quo of the series.
The conflict between Ravi and his mom also thematically tied in with the ‘parental disappointment’ theme we had going with Devon and his dad. Mayor Daniels’ disappointment in his son was such a huge part of the show at the start it’s great we finally get back to it. Seeing how disappointed he is in Devon, the remarks equating the bruises to getting into fights was perfect, was an excellent lead-in to Devon ultimately being captured. Like the treatment of Ben/Betty and Ravi/Roxy I wish this had been dealt with earlier in the season and given more time to develop but it still worked.
I felt Mayor Daniels’ pain as his son was transported away. I felt Ravi’s desperation to get Roxy back. I felt the urgency as Roxy explained Evox’s plan. Despite some pacing issues overall, Beast Morphers still developed its plot and characters enough to give us an episode that was filled with tension, drama, conflict, action, and even humor that all worked in sync.
I’ve missed having a Power Rangers season that could pull off an episode like this. We’ve had a few really good one-off episodes over the years but something’s always been missing when the series has tried to pay off its more dramatic plotlines. It was either rushed or just came out of nowhere. They’d try to make you care about character the season hadn’t bothered to invest anything in.
While Beast Morphers could have touched on some of these long running plots more throughout the season it still did enough to make this plot work. With one episode to go I’ve suddenly realized that Beast Morphers is the most fun I’ve had with Power Rangers in a long time. It reminds me exactly why I’ve spent 26 years watching this series. It’s dramatic, funny, and bonkers all at the same time but can still tell a compelling story even with elements like two bumbling side characters tossing banana peels at foot soldiers.
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!