This POWER RANGERS BEAST MORPHERS review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Beast Morphers has had a lot of trouble balancing all of its plots. Even within episodes it can’t always seem to get the balance right between it’s A story and B stories. It also can’t always tie in its major fight scenes to the emotional core of each episode. I bring this up because it should mean I’m a fan of what this episode did. There’s no Zord fight! There’s barely a B plot! Finally the show can take the time to focus on a story and really develop it across the whole episode. Establish conflict; get some twists and turns in there.
Sadly, ‘Cruisin’ For A Bruisin’’ feels strangely empty for not having to deal with some of Beast Morphers’ biggest issues. The central conflict of Devon feeling bad he let Cruise come into battle isn’t without merit. The relationships between the Beast Bots and the Rangers haven’t been developed much (besides Steel and Nate) so this is a welcome chance to give the Beast Bots some focus.
Instead we get the entire set up for the conflict in the first scene of the episode and then not a few minutes later Cruise is captured. What doesn’t help this is that each of these scenes drags along. The opening one especially takes its sweet time to set up Cruise is a great shot. Why not use some of that time to better establish that he and Devon are apparently “best friends.” So much of the episode hangs on the two having this close bond but we haven’t seen enough of them interacting so it doesn’t quite work.
The rest of the episode also suffers from bloated scenes. Nate introducing Beast X mode especially seemed to drag on. I wonder if this story feels so padded because they needed to save money. It has all the hallmarks of a cost saving episode, with the action taking place in as few locations as possible and scenes in those locations taking up more time than they should. Those kinds of episodes don’t have to be bad and Devon’s anguish could have been played for some great drama. Instead we get one scene of him feeling bad that then dovetails into Nate’s speech introducing Beast X mode. We needed another scene or two to break this up. As it is this episode feels both rushed and sluggish at the same time.
Beast X mode is interesting and bringing the Bots into battle with the Rangers as their power up is a neat idea. However it looks like the Bots won’t really be adding much and it’ll mostly just be the Rangers showing off cool moves. At least Zoey got the power-up, which sadly doesn’t always happen for the women in Power Rangers.
There’s just not much to say about this episode. It’s lifeless. It’s not out and out bad but it’s not really all that interesting either. It exists, which isn’t something I should be saying about a rare episode of Power Rangers that doesn’t have a Zord battle.