Power Rangers Ninja Steel Episode 6 Review: My Friend Redbot

Hayley forgets she has a boyfriend in this confusing episode of Ninja Steel.

This Power Rangers Ninja Steel review contains spoilers.

Power Rangers Ninja Steel Episode 6

Did you know Calvin and Hayley are dating? Remember from the second episode where she mentioned, “I’m your girlfriend.” Remember when they were holding hands in the background in another episode? I was really excited for Ninja Steel to be tackling a romance between two Rangers.

It’s never been done right from the start of a Power Rangers season before, so you’ll forgive me for being flabbergasted that this episode, one centered around a school dance, doesn’t mention them being a couple once.  Hell, if you hadn’t seen the first few episodes you wouldn’t have known they were dating! Sure, Calvin asks her to dance at the end but he just danced with Sarah. What’s that about?

I mean sure, it’s sort of refreshing to see a couple not get jealous over each so quickly but come on, they’re high schoolers! High school drama is INSANE. Hayley should have at least tried to strut her stuff to remind Calvin that she’s the most important woman in his life. Jeez, Calvin doesn’t even bat an eye when Hayley is dancing with Redbot! I’m not saying he should have punched Redbot in the face or anything, but at least make some acknowledgement that’s he with Hayley!

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Instead this episode focuses on Hayley treating Redbot like a machine. On one hand I’m okay with that, since it means Redbot is at least contributing something to the cast. On the other, why would you squander a whole episode filled with original footage on the robot side character when you could have done a Hayley/Calvin episode with Hayley as the focus?

I remember saying back when their relationship was introduced that I did want Hayley to have her own episodes not connected to Calvin but come on, it’s a school dance! That’s a perfect time to focus on the relationship. If the episode hadn’t included the dance plot, maybe a Hayley/Redbot episode would be okay. As it is, it looks more like we’re doing some Hayley/Redbot shipping instead of focusing on the actual previously established couple on the show.

The Power Rangers official twitter continues to baffle me. When Hayley turns Redbot down to go the dance, it tweeted out, “Friendzoned! Or would it be botzoned?!” I know the intent was supposed to be that she didn’t even consider Redbot’s feelings but that message is muddled when she, you know, HAS A BOYFRIEND. Also, the concept of the friendzone is a complete joke.

Why is Hayley such a dick to Redbot anyway? Wouldn’t that has been a better plot for Sarah, the girl’s who’s already been established to work with machines? Sarah seeing Redbot as nothing more than a piece of hardware could have been great and fit with her character. Giving this plot to Hayley just feels like an odd turn for the character and makes the ultimate lesson, that Redbot has feelings, seem hollow.

The episode really needed to pick what it was going to be about. Redbot and his attempt at being seen as human or the dance. Mixing the two just didn’t work.

What did work, despite some of Ninja Steel’s recurring problems, were Victor and Monty. Again, these two are gold. More and more I’m starting to think Victor just made up that he was the most popular kid in school back in the first episode. With the amount he’s failed in the past (mentioned in this episode by Monty) you have to wonder if he’s just putting on a front.

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We haven’t seen him really hang out with anyone besides Monty in these first six episodes. If he were that popular wouldn’t he have a whole group of friends? By just being with Monty, we’re forced to assume he isn’t as popular as he thinks. Maybe he was at one time but not anymore. Maybe Monty is the only person left who will still hangs out with him after some huge event happened that killed his standing at school.

Maybe Monty was never part of Victor’s friend group until Victor was all alone. Monty clearly has a huge crush on Victor and I truly believe that while Victor may not openly admit it, he’s aware and subconsciously takes advantage of Monty because of it. Saying things like, “Monty, I need you” is pretty damn manipulative to someone you know is harboring feelings.

Yeah yeah, I’m inferring all of that but at least the show is giving me something to build off with those two, unlike the Rangers. Victor and Monty work so well in comparison to them because they are actually struggling against something. Victor wants to be popular and Monty wants to impress him. It’s small, yes, but at least it makes me root for them unlike the Rangers, where it seems like they can’t have any conflict with each other.

As much as Victor and Monty are still amazing, they are once again let down by the cartoonish situations they’re put in. Why can’t the comedy come from the characters instead of these rejected Disney channel original series level antics? Again, massive kudos to Chris Reid and Caleb Bendit for making the material work in spite of how needlessly goofy it is.

The episode also gives us a small tease to the Gold Ranger, which I will say looks interesting. Let’s hope Ninja Steel can use its sixth Ranger arc to give this show a much-needed win of an episode.

Stray Thoughts

– Cosmo continues to be the best monster ever thanks to dancing on stage with the foot soldiers. Where’s this guys episode?

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– Major kudos for giving the monster of the day an accent. Helps him stand out from the usual “Grrrrr” monster voices.

– Okay, why did Brody ask what Kody said? He’s not an alien, he knows what a dog is!

– Hayley follows in the steps of Nick from Mystic Force by doing a BIKE TO THE FACE.

– “It’s not crushing time. IT’S MORPHIN’ TIME!” No.

– I’m sure Monty REALLY enjoyed that outfit Victor was wearing at the dance.

– Small detail I loved. Hayley and Sarah are actually dressed up for the dance whereas the guys barely put in any effort.

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1.5 out of 5