This Power Rangers Dino Super Charge review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Dino Super Charge Episode 20
Responsibility. It’s a theme that’s cropped up in Dino Super Charge quite a few times. Chase with Kaylee and Shelby, James leaving his family, and now Heckyl. Chase was handled just fine, an asshole that learned from his mistakes. He teased Shelby but owned up to it. He nearly broke up with Kaylee because of how he was treating her. That was Dino Super Charge dealing with responsibility well.
Then James and his family. There were no repercussions when Tyler found out his dad could have contacted him at any time. No anger. He just nodded and accepted it with no exploration of the emotions that come with having a parent out of your life for so long.
You may think that would be too heavy for Power Rangers, but it’s doable. Look at how, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, Operation Overdrive handled Mack realizing his father had lied to him for his entire life. I can’t stand Overdrive, but that was a genuinely amazing and heartbreaking reaction. Power Rangers can handle this kind of plot if it wants to.
Why am I talking about all of this? Because Dino Super Charge completely squandered the best opportunity the franchise has had in years to tell a compelling and powerful story about responsibility through Heckyl. Shelby says to him early on in the episode,
“Snide is evil. Heckyl isn’t. You’ve changed.”
This makes no sense. How did Heckyl change? There was no conscious decision on his part to stop being evil. The episode acts like Heckyl had gone through some deep personal journey to reach this point of finally turning good, but he hasn’t. He suddenly became good when Snide was removed from him a few episodes ago. There’s no emotional arc here.
Heckyl feels responsible for what Snide has done but… He shouldn’t. Heckyl was turned evil against his will by the Dark Energem. The show now forces us to believe that the Heckyl we were watching for the whole season was under the evil influence of Snide… Even though the two were constantly bickering. What?
I touched on this point in a previous review but it bears repeating. Why didn’t Heckyl ever, before now, display any signs of goodness? Why didn’t we see some attempts to restore his planet? If he had been attempting to use the Dark Energem to restore his planet but it corrupted him? Okay, cool. That works. He would actually be responsible, at least partially, for what Snide had done.
That would have made his ‘last day on Earth’ wacky times more involving. It would have been him avoiding responsibility. We could have slowly seen him not able to ignore it any longer and then finally help that woman with her kid. As it stands in the episode now? It’s just a wacky sequence with no emotional component.
Heckyl is a disappointment as a character. He started off so great but, much like many plot lines in Dino Super Charge, suffered from a lack of direction and seemingly poor planning. Do they not map out these characters arcs from the start? Why go so long without developing him? If you’re going to pay Ryan Carter, who is doing everything he can with the part, why not use him to his fullest extent? I love wacky jokes about sending Poisandra and Curio to Hawaii as much as the next guy, but try and have something emotionally engaging about the guy.
I can already hear the comments now. “But it’s a kids show.” No. That excuse doesn’t work anymore. This isn’t 1993. We’ve evolved. Shows meant for children don’t mean you get a pass at not fully fleshing out your characters. In fact, it sets a bad example. The lesson we’re forced to extrapolate from the Heckyl/Snide storyline is that if someone forces you to do something you don’t want to do, it’s all your fault and you should feel bad about it. That… is terrible for any number of reasons.
It’s much more powerful, especially for kids, to see someone make a mistake and willingly own up to it. This is why Chase is the best character in Dino Super Charge. His progression as a character makes sense and feels real. This is also why James and Heckyl failed as characters. James never had to face consequences for his actions. Heckyl never made a mistake yet feels compelled to make up for it anyway.
God, if that was the plot? That Heckyl wasn’t responsible for Snide but felt guilt over it anyway? Okay, that would be kinda weak but it would at least emotionally track. The show is just so confused.
Oh, and I guess some finale type things happened. I won’t lie, the Greenzilla fights sucked. No tension. No real sense of threat. The Rangers beat them and there was no question about it. I’m going to chalk some of that up to the music. Noam Kaniel’s score continues to underwhelm.
The only real sense of peril was when Chip Lynn finally played his finale card and had Snide storm the base. Thank god Kendall got to fight him because it justified her not going out in her own Zord. Believe me, I was ready to rant about that.
There’s just no stakes here. Let’s think back to Lost Galaxy, quite possibly the best Power Rangers finale. We had suicide bomber Stinger Wingers destroying a colony full of people, some of which we actually knew. Here? Uh, I guess some people are running scared in a park. Uh okay sure. What are the Rangers stakes in this? Why doesn’t Chase mention he has to get Kaylee to safety? Why doesn’t Shelby try and contact her dad? This is why you set up civilian side characters. To make the audience feel connected to the standard ‘earth will be destroyed’ plot.
The only bright spot in this episode was Sledge and Poisandra’s wedding. I can’t get enough of those two. Sledge in his little tux thing? Poisandra in her dress? I’ve been waiting two years for this and it was worth the wait.
I sadly can’t say the same about the Dino Super Charge finale. Will next week be able to upend our expectations? I doubt it. They’d need to go back in time to fix all the problems with the show.
– We all put our swords together I guess! What did that accomplish?
– I’m all about helmetless Kendall though.
– That split screen with Aqua and Graphite and Silver was weird. Why did they show Aqua and Graphite twice?
– “We’ll be together forever!”
“Yes dear….” I died.
– “What, I’m not trustworthy?!” Wrench for MVP of this season.
– “Allow me to provide the museum with two new fossils.” Yo hey, that was genuinely menacing.
– Oh no, Keeper’s in danger? We care so much about him. Oh wait.
Shamus Kelley needs to see the Sledge/Poisandra wedding album. Follow him on Twitter!