This Power Rangers Dino Charge review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Dino Charge Episode 20
A lot of people are talking about this episode like a finale and are putting a huge level of expectations on it. I know I was while I was watching it, but you know? It’s really akin to the mid-season finales we used to get back in the day.
Remember the Delta Astro Megazord getting wrecked? Or how about Olympus finally descending to Earth? They weren’t ending the story; they were just setting up the next chapter. So did Dino Charge succeed in that? Sort of.
They had to cram a LOT into this episode. All the setup from previous weeks still didn’t amount to all that much. The episode rushes through all the events with break neck speed.
The Rangers set up a robot to find the Energem. How was it going to get back? WHO KNOWS! Philip is back. Sledge steals Tylers Energem. Keeper fights Sledge. He gets captured. Kendall goes up to the ship. The Rangers fight a monster while Shelby and Tyler fly up to the ship. Kendall hides on the ship and steals the purple Energem. They hook up with Tyler and Shelby but Tyler stays behind to get his Energem back. The Rangers are getting their butts kicked back on Earth. Tyler gets his Energem back and LEAPS FROM THE SPACESHIP. The Rangers all defeat the monster and Sledge crashes into the Earth. Everyone goes their separate ways and it looks like Heckyl will be escaping.
Do you see how much that is? It’s a lot. So the episode rushes over things that could be a big deal. Tyler taking on Sledge is the prime example of this. It’s played so quickly and they only exchange one or two hits.
Or what about Tyler piloting a Zord without his powers? You don’t have time to get invested in the action. It’s over before you can start cheering. This episode needed room to breathe. I’m not sure of this, but it almost seems like they shot a lot more and had to cut it down for time. You can almost feel little bits and pieces missing as you watch the episode.
Thanks to the fast pace of this episode, we’re left with a ton of “why?”, and not in the fun way like the Christmas episode.
Why does Keeper only fight now? How do they know Keeper is powerless without his staff? Why don’t Sledge and company follow Kendall and Keeper through the hole they created? Why did Shelby come onto the ship unmorphed? Why does Tyler have to stay behind by himself? Why did those doors close for no reason other than to be SUPER DRAMATIC? If Keeper can teleport then why didn’t he teleport in to save Tyler? Does Shelby have a life outside of Dinosaurs?
The biggest one is about the Energem bonding to Kendall. Keeper says she just needed an opportunity, but aren’t the Energems all about someone having a good heart? Kendall’s had a good heart for awhile now. It seems convenient it would just happen to activate right then. Was it because she saved Keeper? Wouldn’t the action of going to save him be enough?
Will the show answers these questions? Probably not. These aren’t your typical Power Rangers questions that can be hand waved. These are story questions. One or two of these would be fine. My giant list is not. It’s asking too much of the audience.
Now, lest you think I don’t like this episode, it did have a few really solid moments. Kendall and Shelby working together in the Pleseo Zord was a treat. They’ve come a long way since Kendall’s open hostility to Shelby in the first episode.
Seeing Tyler running around unmorphed is something Power Rangers needs more of. By seeing a civilian run around the enemy base, it makes it feel more real to us. It isn’t just people in rubber suits. Plus, Kendall running around in the hazmat suit was a great bit of suit acting. I don’t know if that was really her actress in the suit, but the body language was spot on.
Speaking of, Poisandra continued to rock it this week. She’s finally fed up with Sledge and his search for the Energems. She wants him to give it up and gets this cracker of a line, “You just had to have one more energem!” She’s taking Sledge to task for his greed. Which, come to think of it, Sledge is dominated by his greed and he’s green… I see what you did there, Power Rangers.
It was a small moment, but I loved Sledge’s minions playing 3D chess when Kendall and Keeper escaped. Little touches like that help humanize the villains just enough.
We get a ton of Tyler/Ryan Steele daddy moments, especially when Tyler leaps from the ship proclaiming, “I wish you could see me now, Dad!” That was easily my favorite moment of the episode. Dude jumps out of a spaceship and lands in a Zords mouth! Who cares about physics? This is Power Rangers!
The ending also delightfully set up a new status quo. Sledge’s ship is crashed and Heckyl is going to be on the loose. Maybe the monsters all escaped their cages? Did Sledge, Poisandra, Curio, Fury, and Wrench survive? The Rangers are going their separate ways for now, with Koda and Ivan sticking around the museum.
It’s good to know Kendall will still be looking out for them even after their mission is seemingly done for now. Tyler is off to go look for this Dad and even invites Shelby with him, taking Riley along for now as well. Of course Chase is going back to New Zealand because we’re obligated to mention it damn near every episode. It’s a nice little ending and I hope next season will have the Rangers all split up for an episode or two before they reunite. It’s not something we see much in PR and I honestly just want to see the wacky adventures of Koda and Ivan.
Overall, the episode was fairly decent. It’s just the pacing that killed it. Not enough breathing room. Too much going on. All the story beats are on the mark but they fall flat because we don’t get any time to absorb them.
The episode goes from action set piece to action set piece like nothing. I think if they had dropped Tyler needing to get his Energem back this could have worked. If it was more about Kendall on the ship and we didn’t feel the need to force a confrontation with Tyler and Sledge it would have been a stronger ending.
Plus, throwing Keeper in there didn’t help. Okay, really. What is the deal with Keeper? He was set up to be the mentor of the group but barely did anything. He had this big rivalry with Sledge that was barely touched on after the first few episodes. He’s just chilled in the cave the whole time and maybe gave out advice sometimes. Are the Rangers ever going to find out he killed the dinosaurs?
I know it sounds like I’m bagging on this finale and I kind of am. But that’s only because Dino Charge has been so solid this year. It can do better. Don’t misunderstand, after four years of awful Power Rangers, Dino Charge was a breath of fresh air. I know I’ve mentioned that several times over the past year but it cannot be understated. Power Rangers alternated between being in a creative rut and shockingly bad. It was damn near impossible to find anything worthwhile. You had to dig deep to find anything positive worth mentioning.
Now we’ve got Dino Charge. It’s not perfect. It has flaws; this episode in particular had many. But it at least has enough depth where I can make legit criticisms and not just, “That sucked.” It succeeds at being a TV show, which Samurai and Megaforce didn’t even get close to.
Even at its worst, Dino Charge has been enjoyable and I’m looking forward to Dino Supercharge. I just want it start doing things with all the plots Dino Charge has set up. It’s falling more and more into the camp of “wasted potential” and I don’t want that. Right now, Dino Charge is fun but I want it to be more.
-Get Bot might be the dumbest/best name for a robot ever.
-“How did this spectacled scientist get on our ship!” Alliteration. I love it!
-Oh god, that CGI on the American Pleseao Zord BLOWS.
-Sledge headbutts the button. More of this please!
Shamus Kelley wants a spinoff centered around Koda and Ivan. Follow him on Twitter!