Power Rangers Dino Charge: Deep Down Under Review

Shelby takes center stage on this week’s episode of Power Rangers Dino Charge!

This Power Rangers Dino Charge review contains spoilers.

Power Rangers Dino Charge Episode 18

It didn’t occur to me until this week that Power Rangers really hasn’t had that many guest actors in quite a long time. Oh sure, you have the occasional kid or old man who ends up being a Ranger, but Power Rangers used to thrive on the random person who shows up and the Rangers help them out. This was all over the place in Mighty Morphin. So with the introduction of Doctor Runga we not only get that old PR standby but we learn more about Shelby in the process. 

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That’s what a good show does; the guest cast is there to help us learn more about our main characters and Shelby has a real conflict with this guy. Check it, she’s goes up and is like, “ZOMG I LOVE DINOSAURS!” and he’s like

“Girl, I am literally the most famous person about dinosaurs get on my level.” And she’s all,

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“SIGN MY BOOK!” and he’s all,

“Girl that’ll be $500 at the next DinoCon LOOK IT UP!”

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Basically, Shelby is a totally dinosaur fangirl and I love it. Not only is it nice to get some more insight into her previously established love of dinosaurs but also we see just how passionate she gets. She’s blinded by her preconceived notions of this guy and idolized him for years. When she finally gets to meet him? He’s a dick! Shelby is still a young adult and isn’t quite used to the “my heroes are probably super flawed” thing.

Funnily enough, I’ve seen people act just like this at Power Rangers conventions. They’ve grown up with actor or actress and when they get to meet them it’s the biggest deal of their life. Sometimes the actors live up to that expectation but, in reality, they’re just people and can be seriously flawed, as Dr. Runga is. He wants fame and nothing more. The guy clearly does have a love for dinosaurs but, after years of being hailed as the greatest thing for dinosaurs since Michael Crichton, it’s all gone to his head. He even goes so far as to trick Shelby into thinking he cares about her while he steals the footage of the Pleseo Zord. This guy is such a dick, which is rare for Power Rangers.

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The episode also asks us, what is fame worth? Is it worth destroying someone’s faith in you? For Dr. Runga, it totally is. His fame has been slipping away as of late and he wants it back. To be on top again and he blatantly uses Shelby for this.  It’s not a super shocker. In a world where giant dinosaur zords and monsters are attacking every day, I could see people losing interest. Who wants an archeologist on the cover of your magazine when you could have a Power Ranger! That actually would have been a neat twist, that the coverage of the Rangers being in New Zealand robbed Runga of the cover spot on the magazine.

The guy wants fame so badly he’s even tempted by Fury. This dude is wayyyyy too chill about this. I know the dude digs up dinosaur fossils but a monster is all up in his face and he’s not too concerned. I guess you could chalk it up to people in this world being that used to monsters. Or that his own self-preservation instinct is completely overridden by his need for fame.

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This comes to bite him in the ass when Shelby lays it on thick, “You are NOT the man who inspired me. Not anymore.” Which I guess is enough for Runga to take a complete 180 when the team is at the cave looking for the Pleseo Zord. It’s a shame he changes his mind so quickly because they had really been building up this guy as a complete asshole and I wish it had taken more. Hell, I thought he was trying to trick the Rangers before he snatched the Energem and went after the Zord himself. Instead we get the Rangers busting out their secret identities. For a guy who was about to broadcast stolen footage to the world they are way too trusting. But hey, he had the same dream as Shelby so I guess it’s chill. At least he doesn’t bond with the Energem. They’ve kept that consistent. If you don’t have a good heart, NO POWERS FOR YOU.  Do Sledge and company know about this? Can you still harness an Energems powers without bonding to it?

Man, who cares about that? We get a zord battle in space! It’s so cheesy looking and I love it. Classic Power Rangers.

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The episode ends with the Rangers flying back home and I guess Dr. Runga is just going to fade into obscurity after he admits to ‘faking” the footage. SUCKS TO BE YOU DUDE!

The episode was pretty solid but it left me wanting more. I wanted Dr. Runga to to face what his actions had done. I wanted to see the moral repercussions. Maybe Shelby quietly realizing her heroes aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. It’s still a fine episode, but with a few tweaks it could have been great. 

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STRAY THOUGHTS 

-“I’m still amazed the Earth isn’t flat.” “Why they change that?”

This is what I’m talking about! I need more of Ivan and Koda interacting since they’re both out of their own time.

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-Shelby leads the morph call twice this episode. Hell yes.

-You know, that scene with Runga finally seeing the Pleseo Zord in the cave would have been ten times more effective if we could have actually seen it. This is not the time to save the CGI budget, guys.

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-“Let’s make space his final frontier!” Best quip this season? Best quip.

Shamus Kelley wonders if anyone caught the Digimon reference in this review. Follow him on Twitter!

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Rating:

4 out of 5