This Power Rangers Dino Super Charge review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Dino Super Charge Episode 21
Finales. This is where everything is supposed to come together. Everything is paid off. Emotional arcs come to a close. All your plot threads come together. You have a huge fight. This is the one that will make the favorite episode lists.
The hype for this episode was real. Finales are Chip Lynn’s calling card. He co-wrote the In Space and Lost Galaxy finales, two of the most beloved finales in this entire franchise. No matter what the season was like, Chip Lynn could always deliver a solid finale no matter what. So when Dino Super Charge was starting to show some serious problems, I was confidant Chip would be able to turn it around and still give us a memorable ending. I mean come on; he’s the guy who dropped a building on Venjix in the RPM finale. How could he do us wrong?
That’s what I get for believing in Power Rangers. Let’s break this down, shall we?
So check it, Sledge is going to tractor beam Earth to an intergalactic junk yard and sell it for scrap to Kamen Five. Good god, I’m not even one sentence in and this is some nonsense. Okay, another ‘reference’ for hardcore fans to what I assume was Kamen Rider. Much like Kyoryuger Galaxy and Sentai Six, this is inane. It’s trying to be cool and in jokey but it’s just another reminder that Power Rangers can’t do a reference to save its life (Mystic Mother, amirite?). I’d almost say they should have picked out an actual established Power Rangers planet to call back to, but they probably would have bungled that to. Okay, onward we go.
There’s a threat for about five seconds of the Earth growing too cold but that’s forgotten when Keeper drops some knowledge on the Rangers. The only way to win is to unlock the true power of the Energems, a power that has never before been mentioned until now. This is but the first of the Deus ex Machinas in this episode. Let’s count them, shall we? The only way to unlock this power is to blow up the Dark Energem. Okay, but if a blast from a Megazord can’t do it, what can?
How about everyone on Earth, including nearly all the side characters we’ve been introduced to (except Albert because fuck the elderly), hold up mirrors to the sun and that sunlight bounces onto a satellite and that’s what destroys the Dark Energem. WHAAAAAAAT?! Deus ex Machina Counter: 2
This creates a black hole (Deus ex Machina Counter: 3) which sucks up Sledge’s ship and the Earth. Whaaaaat? Okay, yo. I know science in the Power Rangers universe just straight up doesn’t match ours. You can breathe on the moon. There are colored explosions behind you when you morph. But like… Black holes do not work- AH SCREW IT WHO CARES. The Earth is gone and it’s all the Rangers fault.
Not that it matters because this episode does not have time for paltry things like emotional beats or character moments. Keeper instantly lets them know they can now time travel cause the Dark Energem is gone.
Deus ex Machina Counter: 4
You know, they could have set this up. This could have been a thing. The Energems were established to stop aging, so time was already a thing with them. Heckyl in this episode even mentions, “the legends were true.” Why not, like TEN EPISODES AGO, mention that he wants the Energems because he’s heard of a legend where if you bring them all together you can travel back in time. That would be an amazing motivation to fight the Rangers, to go back in time and save his planet. It’d be all justified! It’d be AWESOME.
But nope, the Rangers take a ride through the time hole and end up on Earth. Ivan, somehow, knows it’s the day Keeper’s ship crashed on Earth. How does he know that? Through the power of….
Deus ex Machina Counter: 5
The Rangers run up to Keeper and prove they’re legit by summoning their Energems from him… The ones from the past. That weren’t bonded to them yet.
Deus ex Machina Counter: 6
Is it that the Energems are bonded throughout time? No, that can’t be right. That wouldn’t make any sense. There would be no tension about the Rangers bonding to the Energems if they were already bonded to them through time and space and- AH WHO CARES THE WRITERS DIDN’T THINK ABOUT THESE THINGS SO NEITHER WILL I.
Oh yeah, there’s only five Rangers present here cause Tyler, Kendall, James, Zenowing, Phillip, and Heckyl are… somewhere. I guess? The episode pretends to have some kind of resolution to Ivan and Fury’s story (the one they haven’t touched on in over a season) when Fury gets blown up and Ivan quickly mentions, “My captor has met his end.” Ooo. What a pay off. So emotional. Totally felt that eight hundred years of darkness, dude.
But yo, things are about to get real. Sledge is about to point the magna beam at him, but any tension in the scene is gone when they no joke do a RECORD SCRATCH. Yeah, they actually play the record scratch sound effect just before Sledge grows. Guys. Guys. Guys. This is supposed to be like… serious, right? You just SENT EARTH INTO A BLACK HOLE. This is not a time for wacky slapstick humor. Whatever, it’s all good cause other Rangers are actually on Sledge’s ship and use the tractor beam on him. They lock the other monsters up and send the ship and Sledge into the sun.
Okay. Okay. OKAY. Morality with monsters in the Power Rangers universe is a tricky subject but like… What bad did these characters do? Just because the monsters on the ship are criminals doesn’t mean they deserved to get brutally murdered. Even Zordon’s wave in “Countdown to Destruction” didn’t destroy every monster. Hell, what crime did Poisandra commit besides hanging out with Sledge? Was it a crime worth MURDER? These are the past versions of these characters. Are the Rangers judging them for their future crimes? This is some ‘would you kill a baby Hitler’ stuff and they gloss over it like NOTHING. But sure, whatever.
Oh, if you expected there to be some big fight with all ten Rangers? HA. Stop expecting things from Power Rangers. The present Keeper… Who now suddently has knowledge from future Keeper (Deus ex Machina Counter: 7) tells Koda and Ivan he can send them back to their home time periods.
Yo, okay. First off, how? At this point in the timeline, the Dark Energem still exists, so there’s no way he could activate the Energems true power of time travel. (Deus ex Machina Counter: 8) But also, sending Koda and Ivan back to their own times is just so easy. It robs the show of any consequence. These guys had to learn how to live without their friends and family. They had to learn to adjust. Now they just go back in time like nothing ever happened. Sure, yeah. Fine. Koda will accelerate the English language by a few millennia while Ivan will invent the hamburger. Great.
Keeper also says Heckyl who… Wait. If Sledge’s ship was sent into the sun, shouldn’t Heckyl be dead? Shouldn’t he have vanished the moment that happened? (Deus ex Machina Counter: 9) Anyway, he says Heckyl can go back in time and stop his planet from blowing up. Which I guess would stop the series from ever happening….
Deus ex Machina Counter: 10.
But it’s all good! Now Heckyl is the Keeper of the Dark Energem… Because sure! Who needs consequences for their actions! Who needs consequences for murdering untold millions? Not Heckyl! Zenowing goes with him cause I guess he’d rather have sex with Heckyl than Riley? Who knows?
Ivan and Koda go home and the other Rangers return to present day. They rush a few emotional beats with Shelby getting to call Kendall by her first name, James saying he’s going to have awesome adventures with Tyler, Chase mentioning the great date he’ll take Kaylee on, and Shelby kissing Tyler on the cheek. Even though they’ve done that already. But this is where things get weird. And I mean just… Weird.
They get an alert and run to the Dinosaur Museum. Which isn’t a museum anymore. It’s the Amber Beach Dinosaur… Zoo. The alert was about the triceratops having indigestion.
Okay, so the Rangers stopped the asteroid from hitting the Earth. Now the dinosaurs are still alive. WHERE DO I START? Humanity would not resemble anything like it is today. Having dinosaurs around would completely alter the state of our planet. OUR MODERN DAY SOCIETY WOULD NOT EXIST. Not to mention, it totally nukes Dino Thunder from having ever existed. It’s played as a total joke.
Who thought this was a good idea? Who sat down and thought, “You know how this show should end? Dinosaurs being alive again.” What purpose does it serve besides a really dumb joke? None. This will never be addressed again, You won’t see random dinosaurs hanging out with the Ninja Steel cast. Nope! If Power Rangers had any semblance of continuity, this episode just broke it in half and took a massive dump on it.
There’s nothing to like in this finale. Not a thing. The whole thing is rushed. There’s barely any moments of genuine character interaction or down time. We never get a sense of how these characters feel about the situation. It’s just plot point after plot point. It never takes a second to breathe. How was this so poorly planned? Back in the day seasons were written while the Sentai they were adapting was still airing. Some lack of planning there was somewhat understandable. Here? They had it all from the start. There’s no reason this ending should have felt so rushed and included so many Deus ex Machinas.
I can’t believe Dino Super Charge fell this hard. Even a season like SPD which is well known for having an amazing start and then falling into mediocrity didn’t end this bad. This is one of the worst finales Power Rangers has ever had. The Dino Charge cast, who just seemed tapped out in this episode, can’t save it. Even the worst finales in Power Rangers history at least attempted to wrap things up in a satisfying way. This one just says WHO CARES and rewrites all of time all for a lame joke about triceratops’ about to throw up. I… I can’t.
Aside from all the dumb logic choices, the lack of consequences is what gets me. God, it’s like if in “Countdown to Destruction” all the villains were turned into ash but then suddenly Zordon came back to life because WHY NOT. Jesus, why can’t anything have consequences in this show? Jeez, other seasons have done this fairly well. Diabolico, who was a sympathetic villain, died. Cole’s parents stayed dead in Wild Force. Why can’t any of the Rangers actions have a negative consequence? Why can’t Heckyl own up to what he did? He could have totally sacrificed himself to save the Earth and that would have been great, BUT NOPE.
There’s no grand plan here. This will never get explained away. Power Rangers just doesn’t care.
This finale was supposed to be the best the show had to offer. It was supposed to be a three-course meal with all the trimmings. We all sat down at the start of the season waiting for it.
And lo, it was ash in our mouths.
Shamus Kelley thinks Barry Allen has found some competition with altering the timeline. Follow him on Twitter!