This Power Rangers Ninja Steel review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Ninja Steel Episode 11
Ninja Steel has a lot of problems but the main one is a lack of emotional honesty. It’s the biggest barrier towards the audience caring about the characters. Everyone seems pretty chill and happy go lucky when that shouldn’t be the case. Brody especially should not be so chill after being trapped on a spaceship for ten years.
While on the surface Power Rangers is supposed to be about teamwork and friendship, having all the characters work well together from the start doesn’t sell those lessons very well. I was reminded of this because “Poisonous Plots” almost had a conflict amongst the team that could have finally done some legwork in making the Rangers relationships a little more complicated.
The scene where Levi and Hayley suspect something is off about Aiden and Brody totally brushes them off? That legit worked. It demonstrated how much Brody is willing to let slide in order to have some part of his former life back. It forced some actual conflict into this team that is normally squeaky-clean.
It helped drive the main plot of the episode with Brody getting poisoned. Hayley and Levi’s plan of swapping out the Ninja Stars actually kind of worked although sadly the follow through wasn’t quite there. Especially with the footage of Levi and Brody’s Zords fighting together it feels like this episode should have focused more on the disagreement between Brody and Levi.
Perhaps even while he was slowly dying Brody could have refused to even suspect Aiden of any wrongdoing. Levi would go against Brody’s wishes and end up saving him. Brody would still trust Aiden but Levi could continue to be suspicious with good reason. Here, it just seems like Hayley and Levi are dumb for letting their worries go so easily.
I’ll credit the show with at least trying to do something with Aiden. Faking us out about who he is and who he’s working for is a step in the right direction. However it makes me wonder why we need a character to be evil, mind controlled, or whatever to actually introduce conflict amongst the Rangers. Why couldn’t Aiden just be the real Aiden and be a super dick? Why is this show so afraid of genuine human conflict?
Don’t wrap up everything with a bow or magic ribbon! Make things messy and complicated. Everyone can still come together and be friends at the end but those lessons are far more powerful when we’ve seen the characters face obstacles and overcome them.
Ninja Steel almost had something this week but couldn’t quite stick the landing. I’m not going to rate it higher just for showing up but I’ll at least give it kudos for trying. Shout out to Levi, by the by. That dude is the new MVP Ranger.
Shamus Kelley wonders why the bad guys even made a real antidote. Follow him on Twitter!