Power Rangers Ninja Steel Episode 17 Review: Monkey Business

While the plot is basic this is the first time Ninja Steel comes close to being "average" Power Rangers.

This Power Rangers Ninja Steel review contains spoilers.

Power Rangers Ninja Steel Episode 17

You know, I’ve gotta give Ninja Steel credit for the first time in… well ever. When the summary for this episode came out I was one hundred percent sure it would have Hayley and Calvin under a spell. I would have bet money on it. It would be right in line with Ninja Steel’s complete avoidance of any realistic character drama or conflict

Lo and behold, Hayley and Calvin not only have a genuine conflict in this episode but they actually feel like people! They feel like teenagers.

“Couldn’t you be reliable?”“But you say you love me just the way I am.”

That is something actual human beings would say. It’s not academy award winning stuff but after non stop “THIS. IS. EPIC.” it’s a breath of fresh air. Hayley and Calvin are having a small fight because she’s mad at how he brushes off being late. In turn, Calvin wants to prove himself and that pisses Hayley off because he tries to get in the way of her winning the election.

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Isn’t it astounding how much better an episode is when characters can just be jerks to each other? It makes the whole plot flow much more smoothly because the conflict is what pulls us into the story. We want to see if Hayley and Calvin will make up. We want to see just how far they’ll go to one up each other. 

Can you imagine if they weren’t allowed to fight and it was just a very friendly election with only Victor and Monty messing things up? That would be terrible, but it’s also what pretty much every other Ninja Steel episode has done. 

I mean it’s still not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. The Rangers simply flipping a coin to see who would help which candidate is removing some possible tension. The fact none of the Rangers have tried to exploit Levi’s fame continues to baffle me. Have they forgotten he’s a FAMOUS SINGER?! Hayley could have totally one upped Calvin by promising a free Levi concert if she won.

Thankfully the monsters plan added some nice wrinkles to the standard “friends run against each other” plot. Levi getting the call while Hayley was right there was a great way to tip them off something bad was happening. Of course this is now the second time Hayley has relied on Levi when things seemed fishy…. Maybe she’s with the wrong guy. Levi seems like the better man, especially because he’s always got her back.

That and Sarah is clearly thirsty for Calvin. I mean come on, she was dancing with him way back in episode six and just happened to be on his team this week. I’m just saying, a break up storyline would do this show well.

See, isn’t that great? I like talking about the show in a positive light. I enjoy crafting theories about character relationships.

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However, the episode is really let down by the fight scenes. They’re fairly standard PR fights but the fight dialogue is nothing short of atrocious. I haven’t talked about it much since there have been bigger issues in past episodes but the Ninja Steel Rangers have an annoying habit of saying everything they’re doing.

“Let me untie you!” as they untie someone.

“She’s falling!” as someone is falling. 

We get it. We have eyes. Either use that dialogue to furthur the conflict of the actual A plot or just have “HIYAH’s”. Or just have fighting grunts. It’s okay. We don’t need wall-to-wall dialogue.

Also, anyone else feel like Mick gave the wrong lesson for the episode? “Just because you heard something doesn’t make it true” is a fine moral but it really wasn’t the main conflict. The lesson should have been something closer to “talk out your problems instead of taking it out on them in a convoluted way.” Or more simply, “talk to each other.”

After all, these Rangers are apparently BEST FRIENDS so why wouldn’t they believe calls from each other? The monster actually playing on how much they trust each other was great! 

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Still, this might be the best Ninja Steel episode yet. That isn’t saying much and I’m probably overrating it by a mile but after weeks of boring to nonsensical drivel I’ll happy take an episode that, by normal Power Rangers standards, is slightly below average.

Also, take note. Hayley actually has a mom. I mean, we have no proof she’s actually alive but… I’ll take it.

Shamus Kelley was shocked the Rangers laughed at Victor for the right reasons this week. Follow him on Twitter! 


3.5 out of 5