This Power Rangers Beast Morphers review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Beast Morphers Season 2 Episode 2
Power Rangers is a show with progessive values baked into its DNA. From its earliest conception, the show always highlighted values like diversity, cooperation, and caring for the environment. ‘Save Our Shoes’ continues in this tradition with the Rangers dealing with the aftermath of a trash spill on the beach.
Some may call this preachy but I’m all for Power Rangers tackling a topic like this, especially when they’re able to tie it into one of the characters. Here we finally get a look at Roxy and it has nothing to do with her being Ravi’s girlfriend! This is a step in the right direction for the character and lets us learn more about her family, something Beast Morphers has interestingly been doing a lot of.
Slowly but surely each of the Ranger aged teens are getting an episode that addresses how they deal with parents or their extended family. It makes the conflicts more personal, which has been a key factor in some of the better episodes of Beast Morphers. Here the conflict possibly gives us some insight into Roxy herself. As she sees the effects of her aunt’s trash on the sea life of the city she quietly says,
“We each need to take responsibilities for our mistakes.”
As written, it’s probably just her wishing her aunt would own up to what she’s done. However, reading into it and thanks to Liana Ramirez’s solid performance, this could be Roxy talking about herself. Roxy’s avatar caused so much destruction and nearly killed her friends many times, all while she was functionally in a coma for months. Roxy obviously never did anything bad herself, but I can believe she stills feels that weight of responsibility. She wants to balance the scales and do something good for the world, which drives her to lie and siphon resources from her aunt’s company to fix the trash problem.
It’s a powerful theme that ties into not just the episode but also her character arc. Sadly, the episodes conflict is too easily resolved. At first I was excited that Power Rangers was tackling the kinds of problems that are caused by corporations only caring about their bottom line. Aunt Regina initially feigns some caring about the trash issue but quickly brushes it aside, saying it isn’t her responsibility. That’s very much a corporate style response but, as I had feared, it only takes seeing one sad turtle for Aunt Regina to make a 180. She even wonders,
“Who would have thought trash could have caused all these problems?”
Look, Power Rangers is a simple show. Many of its plots are designed to be wrapped up in a half-hour. I wasn’t expecting them to do a multi-episode arc about the dangers of corporations and Roxy slowly becoming an activist. However, I do wish they hadn’t made Aunt Regina’s turn so easy. Many CEO’s know what their policies cause and either don’t care or simply delude themselves into thinking it’s not as big an issue as activist groups make it out to be. It should have taken more pushback from Roxy or even a groundswell of support that the Rangers could have organized to get her to change her mind. Even playing it as her being reluctant to give up the money would have gone a long way. I’m glad the episode took time to show the Marine Center was only kept open thanks to volunteers and donations, contrasting it with Aunt Regina’s wealth, but it sadly wasn’t enough.
Still, I’m glad Power Rangers at least attempted this plot and I’m always for it keeping to its progressive roots. Even if the conflict was resolved easily the kids watching the show got a small lesson into what corporations are willing to shirk responsibility for. That’s a win, however small, in my book.
The other big plot of this episode was the introduction of the new robot versions of Roxy and Blaze. While I’m glad OUR versions aren’t being put into comas and turned into avatars again, it feels like a bit of a waste. Whereas before the Rangers needed to defeat the avatars to bring Roxy and Blaze back, now these robots have no connection to Roxy and Blaze outside of sharing their faces. Plus they can be destroyed and easily revived. All the conflict and dramatic tension is pretty much gone, unless the show has an interesting plan for these two.
Worryingly though this means we now have two extra characters in play. It was one thing when our Roxy and Blaze were out of commission, but now we have to give time to both the good and bad versions. This isn’t a great sign because Beast Morphers has had trouble balancing its cast and plots. Adding two more won’t help matters, even if I am intrigued by the potential of how Roxy especially will deal with her robot self. If it wasn’t subtext and she does have responsibility on her mind? This could be an interesting development. Let’s hope the show is able to do something with it.