This Power Rangers Dino Charge review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Dino Charge episode 13.
Last week I talked a lot about how Dino Charge is really embracing its Mighty Morphin Power Rangers roots. This week it takes that to the next level by bringing in one of the original Power Rangers writers, Mark Litton. Teaming up with fellow classic writer/producer Judd Lynn, the two deliver an amazing lesson that is great for kids and adults alike.
The story set up is simple. While training, Chase discovers Shelby is a big fan of a New Zealand boy band and teases her for it. He’s even late for work, which causes her to miss getting tickets to their concert. Shelby is clearly hurt by this but Chase just brushes it off until her, Tyler, and Ivan are all trapped by the monster of the week, Gold Digger.
People like to make fun of Power Rangers’ early episodes for being too “after school special” or “preachy.” And yeah, they were. But this show is also meant for five year olds. It paints in broad strokes. I’m not saying kids are dumb, but sometimes you need the characters to act a little more plainly then people actually would in real life. When Tyler mentions to Chase that he clearly hurt Shelby’s feelings, it’s driving it home to not only Chase but also the audience that he screwed up. And you know what? This lesson goes beyond “sharing is caring” or some trivial lesson that people often associate with Power Rangers.
With some words of wisdom from Keeper, Chase contacts the near-death Shelby and admits that he made a mistake. “I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. But I did.” Far too often in life we want to protect ourselves from any harm. We don’t want to admit we were wrong. We build up these defenses so we never need to feel bad. We push aside any hurt we cause others with ease. “I didn’t mean it.” “Why do you case so much?” “It’s not a big deal.”
Chase thinks he’s just messing around with Shelby, poking a little fun. But her passions, as silly to Chase as they may seem, are a big deal to her. When Chase apologizes to Shelby for what he did, he doesn’t try to put the blame anywhere. How often have you been apologized to, but it really didn’t seem like the person was sorry? Here, Chase puts all the blame on himself without beating himself up about it. That’s the other direction it can go. When you make a mistake and can’t forgive yourself. In two sentences Chase displays a wealth of maturity.
“I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.” He honestly didn’t. We forget, because of the ages of the actors, but the Dino Charge Rangers are supposed to be teenagers. Or at most young adults. No older then 19 I’d guess (or you know, over 800 if you’re Ivan.) But they don’t know better. They’re going to make mistakes. Chase made one and realized through the course of the episode that he had. That’s where the second part of it comes in.
“But I did.” Sure, Chase made a mistake. He didn’t know better. But that doesn’t excuse what he did and he realized that. Not only does he save Shelby and the others from the monster but also wins her the concert tickets. He makes up for what he did. He means what he says.
The wrap up is a little rushed, but it still expresses that Chase has truly been changed by this and that while he’s still a bit of a “hotshot” he’s also learned a lesson in taking responsibility for what you say. We could all use a lesson like that.
Oh also, lest you think I was just focusing on the moral, I also was fascinated that Dino Charge continues the strange PR tradition of colors being a form of energy. Remember back in “Wild West Rangers” when Zordon infamously stated, “Too much pink energy is dangerous.” Well here, black energy is the only one that can form with the new power up. Considering Mark Litton wrote “Wild West Rangers” this is a nice little callback. The colored energy is really only something for die-hard fans to pick apart, but I loved that it was included.
-Now I’m not saying he’s a Gold Digger… I’m just saying that’s his actual name.
-Riley was totally checking Tyler out.
-N-Zed Boys. I can only wonder how much money they made from specifically including a New Zealand boyband. Get those tax credits!
-Ivan showing up to the fight late is some classic sixth ranger goodness.
-“Lets go watch Glitz World.” Man, it should have been Glitter Force.
-Ivan is getting dolla bills y’all.
-The fight scene towards the end had a ton of great cuts in it. Smashing from one fight to another.
-Wrench is blasting off again!
-Whatever the hell is in Solitary Confinement fascinates me. Is that going to come back?