This POWER RANGERS BEAST MORPHERS review contains spoilers.
Beast Morphers has been in real danger of being one of several Power Rangers seasons that might only be remembered for having a team-up. It’s happened before with Wild Force, Operation Overdrive, Super Megaforce, and Super Ninja Steel. These were all seasons that were heavily critcized by fans so the team-ups, whatever their quality, easily took all the spotlight. To this day those seasons usually only come up in discussion because of their team-ups.
With all the news of returning cast members for Beast Morphers, especially the original Red Ranger, it could be very easy for this season to fall into that category. However, unlike those other seasons I mentioned, Beast Morphers has an overall higher quality. Sure it has some issues but there are a lot of bright spots so it’s very possible it won’t be eclipsed and this episode gives me a lot of hope.
For starters, we aren’t confining the team-up to one episode. We’re slowly laying the seeds for the eventual big Dino Rangers reunion but it’s being weaved into Beast Morphers story. We aren’t just dropping everything so Jason can show up to be cool for twenty minutes. We actually follow-up on the climax before the break of the Rangers discovering Devon’s dad has been taken over by Evox.
Devon is angry that no one can help him and we get some genuine conflict between the team. Power Rangers as a whole has suffered from a lack of conflict in recent seasons so it’s always great to see scenes like Devon getting mad at Nate for not giving him an instant fix for saving his dad.
Devon’s anger and helplessness inform all the best scenes of this episode. This is a plot that, while it could have been developed more, still works because the relationship between Devon and his dad has been properly established. We feel Devon’s pain so when he actively seeks help from other dimensions, it doesn’t feel like a cheap ploy to get fan service. It feels genuine and honest.
It also subtly does a lot with Beast Morphers’ connection to the wider Power Rangers universe. Fans love to talk about continuity and trying to tie every season together. Most of the time this means characters returning or directly following up on plot points. I’d obviously love to see that done well but the scene here between Devon and Dr. K? If we had more small things like this it would be a lot to make this universe feel richer.
I’m sure some people are already debating how Grid Battleforce got all this information from Dr. K or why they even need it, but I don’t need it all spelled out. For one we might get it in an upcoming episode but also it’s kind of nice for their to be an implied connection that fans can work out for themselves.
The writers of this episode, very smartly, knew that kind of techno babble/continuity check list wasn’t relevant to the scene. What mattered was Devon finding a way to save his dad.
I love him looking up the events of RPM to try and accomplish that. It’s very proactive for this show and despite Dr. K dismissing his plan, it still felt like a logical idea. Her suggestion about utilizing the Split Emitters from Dino Charge was another great nod to past events that actively tied in to Devon’s predicament. It isn’t a throwaway reference; it’s perfectly tied into a plot we’re invested in.
While Dr. K didn’t get much time to shine and her dialogue was nearly all exposition, I’m mostly happy with it. I’m glad the episode didn’t stop dead to give her a ton of focus that wasn’t relevant. They kept it short and to the point, as Dr. K would normally be. Yes it’d be nice to learn more about what she’s been up to or how she’s developed but her intermittent contact with Grid Battleforce does at least give us a rough idea that she’s been working with other dimensions in some fashion. Hopefully we get to see a little more as these episodes go on.
We then get the vault. First off, it’s just a delight to see all those old props. It looks like Hasbro just sent over everything they had on display at the last Power Morphicon! I think it went on a big too long but if you’re going to have a moment of fan service this wasn’t a bad place to put it. Thankfully the scene is still largely driven by Devon’s drive to save his father so it works.
I wonder why Grid Battleforce has all this tech. Why is it stored here? By tapping into the morphin’ grid for Morph-X does that mean Grid Battleforce has become a kind of archival site for past Ranger weapons and gear? No idea, but I’m so glad we get to ask these questions and have a genuine hope they could be answered. Not sticking all of this in one episode let’s these ideas breathe.
Plus that means we get to see the Rangers actually be really clever and smart! The way they tricked Scrozzle was genuinely surprising and the way Devon activated the Split Emitters was the best use of the transportation technology in Beast Morphers yet. On the flipside you have Evox being legit threatening! When he caught that arrow and said, “You think this little STICK will stop me?” Chills!
As much as I’m focusing on all the references to the past the reason they all land so well is because they’re augmenting Devon’s story. They feel natural and make the fight with Evox feel bigger because he’s got to go back into Ranger history to find a solution. I wish it would have taken at least one more episode to free Daniels because it did feel anti climatic after all the build up in the first half of the season but at least that means we won’t be dragging it out. Or who knows, maybe Evox will find a way back into him!
For now though we can move on to the next big plot and start laying more seeds for the team-up. I hope the other episodes of this arc are just a solid as this one because I haven’t been this excited for Beast Morphers in awhile. It isn’t because of the returning cast members or references, as exciting as those could be. It’s more because this episode proves it can do these callbacks well and not forget about the plot of Beast Morphers. Thanks to that, Beast Morphers has a real shot at being remembered not just for having a team-up but some great characters and stories all on its own.