This Power Rangers Ninja Steel review contains spoilers.
Power Rangers Ninja Steel Episode 12
You can sum up everything wrong with this episode and Ninja Steel in general with Brody’s poorly acted catchphrase.
“THIS. IS. EP. IC.”
The show keeps acting like something EPIC is happening. Brody and Ripcon’s rivalry. The action movie crossfade as the Rangers defeat Ripcon. The reveal of Levi actually being Aiden. The team all singing together.
On paper I guess these are epic, if the only thing you’re looking for is plot progression. The problem here is that none of its earned. It’s all telling with no showing.
The show says Brody and Ripcon have a rivalry but as I’ve discussed in previous reviews, Brody does not seem at all affected by his time as a slave. Ripcon calling him “rat bait” is a great hint at what this could have been but without any indication Brody actually suffered it all falls flat. With all the flashbacks we’ve had of kid Brody not once have we seen him as a child being ordered around by Ripcon.
Just ONE look into his life aboard the ship as a kid would go a long way to making Ripcon’s end more effective and his death would feel like a punch the air moment. It would deserve the EPICCCCCC cross fade of all the Rangers attacking. Instead, it just feels like another monster of the day getting defeated. Completely disposable and no one will remember it next week.
Levi being revealed as Aiden also should be something big, as the season has admittedly actually kind of been building to this moment. If only it wasn’t handled so haphazardly. It raises too many questions. How did Madam Odius know to steal Levi’s memories? How did the frog guns transfer the memories from Aiden Bot to Levi? If another Ranger had been standing there would they have gotten the memories? The happenstance of that memory transfer were almost as ludicrous as Preston’s ribbon two weeks ago.
Why does Brody so readily accept Levi as his real brother? After Aiden Bot tricked him you’d think he’d be a bit more cautious about it. Once again, Ninja Steel makes no attempt to have any kind of real human drama.
The episode ends with Levi keeping his name (which I’m okay with, since Voltron does it with Pidge) and everyone sings the family song together. Is this supposed to be sweet because they’re all family now? I guess it would work if all of them hadn’t been acting like BEST FRIENDS since the moment this season started. If this had been the culmination of eleven episodes of the team bickering yet slowly coming together? This scene would be emotionally powerful. Instead, it’s all shine with no substance. Much like most of this episode, if you think about it for more than five seconds it completely falls apart.
You can keep saying you’re EPIC, Ninja Steel, but you actually have to lay the groundwork if you’re going to earn that descriptor.
Also, no one holds their guitar that way.
Shamus Kelley won’t even get into how Victor and Monty’s plot defied logic or reason. Follow him on Twitter!