This Power Rangers Dino Charge review contains spoilers.
This week’s episode of Power Rangers Dino Charge starts right off with introducing our Green Ranger, Riley. A secret swordsman, he lives on a farm with his family and doesn’t seem to enjoy the life all that much. He gets a shock to his system when his dog runs off and he encounters Fury in the forest.
You know, saving an animal is such a cheap trick to get us to like a character but it works. How can you not like a guy who stands up to an evil alien to save his family dog? Riley finds the Green Energem and it gives him the power (and a sword) to fight off Fury for now. It’s nice for us to get not only so much information about Riley when he hadn’t appeared last episode at all but also that they do quite a bit of this through a fight. It’s subtle character work and I love it.
On his way to Amber Beach, Riley’s motorcycle breaks down. Thankfully Tyler and Shelby, remembering what Tyler’s Dad said about helping those in need, stop to help. We get a genuinely hilarious moment when Riley says he’s all good, but his manual is blown away. It then hard cuts RIGHT to him being in the jeep with them. Genuine moments of laughter where I’m laughing with the show and not at it have been sorely lacking in modern PR.
On the way, the three stop to help a couple that were in a car accident. During this bit we see Riley demonstrate his intelligence with knowing to check that gas is leaking from the car. What a great way to show us his smarts instead of telling us! When they try to push the car up to help someone trapped inside, Tyler says, “We can do this, together.”
Compare that to when Jayden said the same thing in the premiere of Samurai. When Jayden said it, he proceeded to defeat a monster all by himself. When Tyler said it? All three used Energem empowered strength to flip the car up into the air and it exploded. Because Power Rangers.
We then get the greatest part of the episode. The DINO SLIDE. Yes, the three Rangers make it back to the museum and slide down a giant T-Rex mouth to get to the secret base. That is so over the top and perfect for Power Rangers.
The next bit is easily the weakest of the episode. When they slide into the base we get a massive exposition dump from the Keeper and Kendall. It was inevitable I guess, but when the first episode went to such great lengths to keep the exposition to a minimum? This stands out. It isn’t helped by Kendall specifically calling out Shelby on her lack of a reason for receiving the Pink Energem.
My hope is that, much like Conner in Dino Thunder, Kendall evolves throughout the season to respect Shelby. I’m fairly certain the intent of that bit was that because Shelby was not giving it her all as a waitress and constantly hounding her, she worries about her ability to become a Ranger. However, the way it was played it came off more like, “You are a waitress. Therefore you will not make a good Ranger.” If that’s the case, someone like Trent shouldn’t have been a Ranger either. At least Shelby comes back with, “I know more about Dinosaurs then any of you!” That’s right Shelby, you stand up for yourself!
While we’re on the problematic parts of the episode, let’s also talk about Koda’s way of speaking. I get that he’s probably supposed to be a caveman, but it possibly has some unfortunate implications being they cast an Asian actor in that role. Again, I want to believe that wasn’t the intent but we’ll need to see more episodes to make full judgment on the character.
After the info dump, the other Rangers head out, minus Tyler thanks to his Energem acting up, to deal with an attack on the city. This was also a bit awkward, since they seemingly left the base just so Tyler could have a fight on his own. It does make me wonder if the malfunctioning Red Energem will come up again or it was just a one-time deal. Regardless, Tyler morphs (dig that morph pose and music) and bonds with the T-Rex zord, which he dubs, “Rexy.” Tyler is adorable and amazing.
The other Rangers show up and Shelby once again takes charge, although she does have a bit of trouble morphing. Again, a fun little moment that also plays with Power Rangers tropes. Although now that I think of it, Tyler was able to morph with no problem yet Shelby did. Odd.
Anyway, the Rangers take out the monsters with some fancy moves and toys you can now find at your local Toys R Us! It’s a nice little fight that doesn’t take up too much of the episode. The team returns to the lab where we get another exposition dump about Fury not being the only monster and Sledge returning to Earth.
This episode had a solid start but once the Rangers made it to the Dino Lab, the pace was all over the place. Things were moving way too quickly when the previous episode really took its time to introduce us to the world. It wasn’t all bad, just a little jarring. It’ll be interesting to see how Dino Charge handles its regular episodes now that we’ve introduced most of the major elements. If you want to see a sneak peak at what we have in store, head over to our episode guide!
– Man, Riley’s mom was just super cool with him going to a random museum for the whole summer. Where is he going to live?
– Who else thought for a hot second when they flipped the car in the air the guy was still inside? WHOOPS.
– I wonder if prolonged exposure to the Energems will give the Rangers civilian powers ala Dino Thunder. They were able to flip over a car after all.
– “Is that the museum?” That was a really odd line for Tyler to have when he was just at the museum last episode. Feels like Riley should have said that.
– Are we ever going to get someone questioning why there’s an active volcano so close to the city?
– Flipping over the camera to go from the city the quarry is an old PR staple that I’ve missed.
– What if Sledge isn’t the bad guy here? After all, him being a bounty hunter doesn’t make him necessarily evil. What if Keeper was going to use the Energems for something more sinister?