This Power Rangers Dino Super Charge Review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Dino Super Charge Episode 7
Now that’s more like it. After two disappointing strike outs, Dino Super Charge finally hits a home run with a surprising Koda/Riley focus episode. I say surprising because I genuinely loved Riley in this one and not just because of the wonderful gay overtones I read into the character. If anything the episode was pitched as a Koda spotlight but it’s Riley who gets the focus.
All the bits with Koda are what we’ve come to expect from the character. He’s wacky! He doesn’t get modern day things like footwear! It’s all really solid and Yoshi Sudarso pulls it off with his usual perfection. Koda is already a fan favorite and even in the worst episodes of Dino Charge and Dino Super Charge, Yoshi plays the part to perfection.
The weakest link of all the characters has been Riley. Michael Taber is a perfectly solid actor, but he just hasn’t been given the right material to work with. Finally the show gives him some meat to chew on. Now that I say that I’m also reminded of the scene where he’s bent over the shirtless Koda. Riley wants some of Koda’s Bronto Burger, if you know what I’m saying.
It’s been hinted that Riley never quite measured up to expectations back home. He wasn’t much of a farmer, people made fun of him for who he was, and he was clearly dumped by his old boyfriend (see the events of Forgive and Forget). When Koda gets a chance to play in the major leagues after an attack by a sports monster, Riley is eager to train him. From the first moment, you see the twinkle in Riley’s eyes. If he can’t have his dream of playing baseball, he’ll at least mooch off Koda’s skill.
It’s the kind of emotional honesty that was sorely lacking from the last two episodes. Haven’t we all seen our friends be successful in something we’d like to be good at? Haven’t we all tried to steal some of the spotlight? Riley knows all the technical skills of baseball. This makes sense, he’s the kind of guy who’d be really good in theory, but he doesn’t have the practical technique. I wish we had seen Riley try to play the game a bit, to demonstrate he’s not as good as he would like to be.
Still though, when Riley introduces himself at the press conference before Koda? He’s being selfish and that completely endears me to the character. He’s not just “the smart one” anymore. He’s a flawed character who tried to use his friend and teammate to bolster his own ego.
Koda is basically a child so Riley easily manipulates him. At first Koda is fine with it. He likes getting praise! But soon Riley does the greatest sin of all. He takes away Koda’s burgers! That’s when things start to change. Koda isn’t as happy winning all the games. He knows it’s more about Riley, to the point Riley refuses to go check out a possible monster sighting with the team in favor of training for the big game.
The emotional climax between Riley and Koda was resolved a bit easily, but Yoshi and Michael Taber still acted the hell out of it. Riley is desperate for Koda to win the championship but Koda calmly explains to Riley it’s just a game. That even though Riley doesn’t have the special skills he desires in baseball, he not only has his abilities as a Ranger, but the Ranger team as well.
I do kind of wish Riley had pointed out his Ranger ability only comes from the Energem, but I guess those do only bond with certain people, so it’s fine. Did anyone else think Riley was going to go out on the field and use his energem super strength? Thankfully that didn’t happen or we’d get a repeat of Forgive and Forget.
To bring home the lesson of teamwork, all the Rangers (including Kendall, thank god) take out Game Face and pile on the three Megazords to defeat the oversized monster and Vivix’s.
It turns out the bat Koda was hitting all those home runs with was from the monster, but using his caveman instincts instead of the techniques Riley forced on him allows Koda to win the game for real. I should also point out the music when Koda goes full caveman is the best piece of instrumental score we’ve had on this show in the past six years.
I had a blast with this episode. Sure, it’s what some would consider filler, but it’s good filler. It helped us learn more about Riley and had some nice moments for Koda as well. Plus, Ivan manages to steal the show with his lucky ram’s horn out of nowhere. Ivan is the best Ranger by a mile.
Heckyl didn’t get anything to do this week, only the now annoyingly usual “you’ve got one more chance”. No sign of Singe, which is a shame after last week’s promise that he and Fury would have to work together. So that robs the episode of a perfect score, but this was still a solid outing for Dino Super Charge. Keep it up!
– New Zealand Reference Counter: 1. Were you aware Rugby is New Zealand’s favorite sport?
– We’re going to ignore there’s no way a championship would work like this, nor that one player could completely carry a whole team. It is only a half hour show after all, and when the emotional honesty is so on point? I can forgive it.
– The museum must be the most popular place in town! They even hold sports press conferences there!
– “Mother says I born with club in hand.” Bless you, Koda.
– Imagine Koda having to get a drug test after hitting the ball THAT hard.
– Kyoryuger on the bat during the megaozrd fight. Wooooops.
Shamus Kelley notices Riley is following in the proud Tommy tradition of forgetting his communicator in his backpack. Follow him on Twitter!