This POWER RANGERS BEAST MORPHERS review contains spoilers.
We discussed a few episodes back about how, by design, Power Rangers Beast Morphers is a mostly episodic series but the people behind the show had supposedly found “really great balance” between that and serialization.
So far this season the show hasn’t been showing that balance. More and more it’s been episodic, which has had average results. As it demonstrated last season though, the true power of Beast Morphers is unleashed when it utilizes the story potential in its serialized story.
We return to the Nate and Zoey flirting plot and Steel gets in on the action, automatically making it even more engaging. The two want to show their emotions but the rules of Grid Battleforce hold them back. Thankfully Steel has never been great with picking up nuances or reading the room so he just barrels forward trying to get them together. Of course it backfires and the two are found out.
Commander Shaw rips into them and we get Ravi mentioning how much this rule hurt him and Roxy. It’s a small moment and you wish Ravi and his mom had a deeper discussion about it, but at least the show didn’t forget about this critical emotional beat.
We see the hurt and disappointment between Nate and Zoey when they’re told they can’t date. While Beast Morphers sadly hasn’t been able to show much of their flirtation this episode knows it has a lot of ground to cover and gives them as many adorable moments as possible. Within the confines of this getting to be one of the few serialized episodes, it doesn’t mess around.
Seeing Nate not only protect Zoey but then Zoey leaping forward unmorphed and attacking Blaze and Roxy was one of the best emotionally charged moments Beast Morphers has had yet. It impresses Commander Shaw as well, who admits the feelings the two have for each other don’t make them weaker, they make them stronger.
It’s shocking to see Power Rangers, a show that often tries its best not to show too much romance even between characters that are dating, come out with such strong support for a couple. They are praised for their connection and this feels like a evolution of the traditional “friendship and teamwork are the best” moral that the show always loves to spout. It admits, whole-heartedly, that other kinds of emotion connections are just as powerful and positive.
I adore how this was all set in motion by Steel. The show has lain the groundwork for this action to make sense and its delightfully fitting that the guy who has trouble understanding emotions is the one who, in a roundabout way, gets two people together. Hopefully when the show comes back we get to see Nate and Zoey actually trying to date for more than one or two of the serialized episodes.
The B-plot about Mayor Daniels also had a surprising amount of kick to it. For what should have been a big game changer the show hasn’t done much of interest with him since Evox took over his body. Here though he comes roaring back and the plot of him trying to get away from Nate and Zoey to recharge with Morph-X was some of the best A and B plot integration the show has had in awhile.
It even leads to a genuine cliffhanger, a rarity in recent Power Rangers midseason finales. The team discovers Mayor Daniels has Evox within him! Devon’s reaction is rightfully focused on and he can’t believe it. This promises to be a huge shake-up for the show, although I can only be cautiously optimistic since Beast Morphers hasn’t always followed up on these status quo shifts very well. They may address it for an episode or two and then go back to plots of the week.
It’s understandable at this point but with how good this episode was it makes me a little bummed that the show could be this great all the time but the need to be episodic is holding it back. For all fans complain about the show and unfairly slam some of the creative staff, the people behind it clearly have the chops when they’re allowed. I eagerly look forward to when they’re allowed to show them off again when the show returns.
In a perfect world this is what Power Rangers Beast Morphers could be like all the time. A great mix of plots that slowly build on each other, engaging stakes, and moments that allow these characters to grow.
I also want to talk a little bit about a super deep cut reference hidden in this episode. That Glitz Magazine Zoey was reading? That originally appeared in the Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue episode ‘In the Limelight.’ At the second Power Morphicon Chip Lynn stated this is was one of his favorite episodes he ever worked on with the series. With his time on the franchise supposedly coming to an end (we wrote more about that here) it’s curious to see more small references to the past being dropped in. The Pan Global games, a Levi Weston poster, and now one of Lynn’s favorite episodes. Is he feeling nostalgic? Wanting to wrap up his time on the show in style?
Well we have a big team-up coming at some point when the show comes back, so we’ll have to wait and see. Thankfully, with how good this episode was, we can go into the hiatus optimistic for the future.