This Power Rangers Dino Charge review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Dino Charge Special
Generally I try to avoid doing a beat for beat recap of these episodes. After all, if you’re reading this review, you’ve probably seen the episode already. Why bother pointing out every single plot point? You know what happened, no one wants to read a summary of the episode in a review of the episode.
This week I’ve got try and sum it up because I may have just watched the absolute craziest episode of Power Rangers ever. I’m still trying to process this. I took three pages of notes, most of which are all in capital letters and start with, “OH MY GOD.” I need to figure out what happened in this episode.
Okay, so it’s Christmas and Poisandra wants to give Santa her Christmas list. At this point of the episode I started to think, “Huh, maybe Poisandra has watched enough human TV to know about Santa but not get the fact he isn’t real.” Then I remembered Santa has been proven to exist in the PRU several times. So she’s just visiting Santa because she wants presents. Which is totally a thing Poisandra would do, especially asking if he can deliver to outer space.
I guess Santa delivers all over the universe because he totally knows who Poisandra is. Or maybe he considers anyone on Earth, regardless of species, worthy of present consideration? Did he get some for Keeper? I am asking way too many questions about this and I love it!
So Santa has a naughty or nice computer he lugs everywhere with him. Which man, imagine sitting on Santa’s lap when you’re five years old and being told you’re so naughty you’ll never get presents. It does make sense in the PRU though. Good and evil and tangible things. “Evil energy” is a thing. Morality is a very strange thing in this universe and the fact a giant machine can instantly tell if you’re a good person or not (when that question is really up to point of view) doesn’t surprise me.
So the evil gang steals the machine and Santa is pretty damn chill about it. Does that guy not have guards? Oh wait, he’s got the Power Rangers on speed dial. WHAT. Bro calls up the Rangers just before Chase is about to leave for New Zealand. This stuns them all and I’m dying of laughter. This is just a thing they so casually introduce and all the actors are rolling with it. You can see it on their faces. Everyone is having a blast this week and is embracing how campy this outing is.
Do I want to get into the ramifications of power Santa displays in this episode? Well , I could write a three thousand word essay on religion and cross currents of holiday magic in the PRU but I’ll spare my editor that torment. Basically, Santa is a god. And also, this show really needs to embrace different religions. More Jewish Rangers, amirite? What is Ivan’s religion? That’s actually a super great thing that Power Rangers would never in a million years touch on.
So Poisandra comes up with the best framing device for a clip show since… Well the last Dino Charge clip show. She’s going to watch all of the Rangers memories in order to learn where their base is. That’s brilliant! Poisandra is a super capable villain when they let her! Sure, she should really just skip through all of these memories to find one with the base, but I’ll let that slide.
As they watch through the memories (with a halfway decent clip selection for once) Wrench feels the need to point out Shelby specifically is pretty. Okay, on the one hand it’s super great Power Rangers is point out that a woman of color is attractive. We need this as a thing, especially for kids. On the other hand, its kind of off putting that we feel the need to point out a girl is pretty. Is that all they’re worth? Being pretty? This isn’t a huge knock to the episode because Dino Charge has done a lot to sexualize the dudes, but it just felt off.
So ALSO. The news is reporting on Santa losing his naughty or nice machine. I’m sorry. WHAT?! WHAT?! This is a thing they report on in the Power Rangers universe like it ain’t no thing? Like it’s just a normal kind of disaster that could happen? What is with Earth in the PRU? Do they normally report on Santa? Is this a guy who appears on talk shows? I adore how chill they are. This is great!
We learn this by seeing Chase’s home in New Zealand along with his family, which I’m all about. It’s kind of rare to see a Rangers family and the lack of a Dad could actually tell us a lot about Chase. Go for it fanfiction writers! And hey, that Mom is doing a pretty damn good job as a single parent. You go, Chase’s Mom!
I do wonder why in a cost saving episode we feel the need to shoot an original fight with the Rangers. Dino Charge has been going pretty light on footage use this season, so you’d think they’d use the clip show to save even more money. Hmm, maybe mentioning New Zealand so much really got them a serious cashflow.
Man okay, what am I playing around for? The crowning moment of this episode is when the Rangers defeat the monster of the week and Sledge orders the firing of the Magna Beam. In a Santa hat. This is given no explanation. It’s never pointed out by any of the other characters. He’s just wearing a Santa hat. Better than Keeper wearing a party hat? I’d say so.
So the Rangers save the day but awww man, Chase missed his flight to New Zealand. His sister is so bummed about it! Come on guys, let Chase reveal his secret to her. This girl’s heart is breaking! And oh yeah, shut up Keeper.
Guys. Guys. Guys. You have a fleet of zords that can fly. You have a giant pleseozord that can go into space. You can get him home! But it’s all good, Chase gets a ride from Santa. After a report on the news that Christmas is saved. Because Power Rangers.
The episode ends with the Rangers opening gifts from Chase and find a sweet group photo with another dopey pose from Keeper.
I…. I don’t… I don’t know how to feel. This episode was insane. But was it good? I mean, clip show episodes are supposed to suck, right? We’re supposed to roll our eyes and hope the budget is going somewhere worthwhile. But this one… I’ve written over a thousand words about a clip show! That’s really good, right?
Well, the episode kind of falls apart once you get over the shock of the news reporting on Santa Claus like it’s totally a thing that happens every day. It’s an episode that hangs on “This is so stupid I’m laughing.” Once you think about it for five seconds it doesn’t really work. The driving force of “Chase needs to get home” is dumb because there’s no reason they can’t fly him there.
It’s also a crying shame we don’t get any real references to other religious holidays. I get that they’re portraying Christmas as the most secular thing ever but come on; we all know it has roots in Christianity. Does Zandar have any cultural traditions? Can any of the rangers be a religion besides vaguely Christian? No, because Power Rangers would never in a billion years go that way. I don’t expect it to. PR is not a show that’s trying to tackle those kinds of things. I do wish we at least got some reference to it, even if it was in the “90’s multiculturalism” style of the old days.
-SHELBY GIRL I GET YOU PIE IS AMAZING
-KODA MAN I FEEL YOU TURKEY IS AMAZING
-“You can count on us St. Nicholas.” Ivan is the greatest gift of all.
“You won’t make me miss Christmas with my family. It’s morphin time!” YAAAASSS
Shamus Kelley missed Raymond and his sweet 90’s computer skills. Follow him on Twitter!