Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Secret Struggle” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

Zoey, Nate, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Secret StruggleSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E9 – “Secret Struggle”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (Voice)
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
April 25, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
Steel tries to play matchmaker with Nate and Zoey.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Here we have the latest in what I’ll refer to as Beast Morphers‘ sequel episodes, i.e. episodes that follow up on plot threads from the first season. Artist Anonymous” was, of course, a sequel to “Gorilla Art.” “Sound and Fury” got a sequel episode with “Beast King Rampage.” Now, this episode once again follows up on “Sound and Fury” by forwarding the Nate and Zoey romance.

After Steel finds out Nate and Zoey like each other, he flat out asks: “What’s the harm in dating?” Kind of an obvious question, isn’t it? Especially if you’re versed in your superhero media. Having romantic feelings for one of your teammates can impair your judgment in the field.

It makes me wonder: Are police officers and firefighters allowed to date one another? Assuming they work closely, of course. I imagine that, much like in the fantasy world of Power Rangers, it’s something that’s not necessarily encouraged. But what can you really do to stop it?

Zoey, Nate, image 2, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Secret Struggle

I visibly cringed when they had Nate and Zoey recreate the famous pasta moment from Lady and the TrampBetween that, and the picnic bit with Ravi and Roxy back in “Believe It Or Not,” Power Rangers is embracing romance at its most stereotypical and superficial. It’s not the worst thing for a kids show to do. But it’s disappointing. If you go back at look at the more memorable romances in the show’s history (Tommy and Kimberly, Andros and Ashley, Wes and Jen, or even Ollie and Amelia in Dino Fury) they rarely if ever had to do any of that. You can do romance on a kids show without diving into that kind of thing. That approach almost seems lazy, truth be told.

I came into Beast Morphers under the mistaken impression that Nate and Zoey were going to get to kiss at some point. Obviously, I was mistaken. Are Tommy and Kimberly the only couple in the history of this show to get a proper kiss? If not, they definitely have the most notable one. And that was almost 30 years ago. It was the early ’90s, man. A different time.

I love how, in an attempt to prevent himself from overheating, the Blue Ranger uses a little hand-held fan. It’s hokey, and of course would never work. But it’s a funny visual.

Also funny? In the closing moments of the episode, as Evox/Mayor Daniels is running out of the building, all the good guys get briefly trapped behind the revolving door. Was that intentional? It must have been. Though in the Rangers’ defense, revolving doors do suck like that…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Boxed In” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E8 – “Boxed In”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (Voice)
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Cameron Dixon, Maiya Thompson, James Collins
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
April 18, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
Devon and the Red Racer Zord are forced to run a Gigarone gauntlet.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I can’t even tell you how big a kick I get out of this episode being centered around the Pan Global Games, in essence the PR universe equivalent to the Olympics. From a writing standpoint, the games were simply used as a way to write Kimberly off the show way back in season three. And yet here we are talking about them more than 25 years later in season 27. As a long time fan, that attention to detail is really cool to see.

Speaking of the Olympics, I assume this episode was scheduled to coincide with the the 2020 Summer Olympics. Which of course, thanks to COVID-19, didn’t happen. Not on time, at least.

Wait…the Rangers themselves have to check the various Morph-X towers in Coral Harbor? Again, I find myself asking: Doesn’t Grid Battleforce have workers that can do that sort of thing?

I suspect there are some folks behind the scenes at Power Rangers who are wrestling fans. We see a Powerbomb and other wrestling moves used in this episode. Also, the commentator borrows several catchphrases Jim Ross or Michael Cole have been known to use on WWE programming, including…
– “He’s tougher than a $2 steak!”
– “Vintage Alphadrone!”
– “Business is about to pick up, here!”

The zord action in this episode was a step up from what we usually see. I suspect I’m biased toward it because of the lack of CGI sequences. They used the heck out of those zord and Gigadrone suits.

Ravi was a massive dick in this episode. I mean, I get it. That’s his arc. He has to be selfish about wanting to see the games, and then apologize for it at the end. But still. I mean, damn dude…

The other Rangers get caught in traffic, and thus are delayed in coming to help Devon as he’s trapped in the bizarre pocket dimension. I’ve posed this question before. But I’ll do it again: Do the Rangers not have a working teleporter? It’d be a heck of a time saver. Just sayin’.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Beast King Rampage” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

Megan, Madeleine Adams, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Beast King RampageSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E7 – “Beast King Rampage”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Madeleine Adams
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Tom Furniss
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
April 11, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
Evox takes control of the Rangers’ new zord.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Obviously, Megan is back in this episode, her last appearance being in “Sound and Fury.” I was surprised to see her back, though I’m not complaining. Madeleine Adams is a fine actress, and they do a nice little forgiveness story here.

General Burke tells the Rangers about the Beast-X King Zord, which is made with lion DNA. Now that is an animal that puts the beast in Beast Morphers, ladies and gentlemen. None of this jackrabbit, mantis, or beetle crap.

The demonstration of the Beast-X King Zord happens in “Pine Ridge Woods, just outside of Coral Harbor.” I assume that name wasn’t an accident, as Pine Ridge is the setting for the next season, Dino Fury. I imagine production had long since begun on Dino Fury at this point, so they threw that in as a little Easter egg. Fun stuff.

Blaze and Roxy are able to infect the zord with a virus because Megan didn’t install a firewall against malware. You’d think that’d be a pretty basic requirement for a giant battle machine, or for that matter a machine with any kind of military or battle application. I suppose we’ll give Megan the benefit of the doubt, and say they rushed her in finishing the zord.

After Nate and Megan develop the Beast-X King Ultra Bow, the Rangers drive to the battle site so they can use it to cleanse the Beast-X King Zord of malware. Here’s something that’s been bugging me for awhile: Does Grid Battleforce not have a working teleporter? One that’s capable of teleporting humans, that is. We see the Rangers transport their weapons from the base to the battlefield in virtually every episode. So we know they have basic teleportation technology. Why, in urgent situations like this, do they always have to drive to the scene of a battle? It consistently bugs me…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “The Blame Game” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

Steel, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, The Blame GameSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E6 – “The Blame Game”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (Voice)
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
April 4, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
Steel takes lessons in discipline a little too far.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

The inciting incident for this episode is when Steel sees a father punish his daughter for littering by telling her to pick up extra pieces of trash. His initial instinct is to say that the father is being mean, but the Rangers quickly explain to him what punishment and discipline are.

The funny thing about this is that the way the incident plays off, Steel is actually right the first time. The father does come off disproportionately harsh about his daughter letting a single piece of trash fall to the ground. I say that as a parent myself. And the funny thing? Steel proceeds to act disproportionately harsh about matters of discipline for the rest of the episode. So if the Rangers had been paying attention from the start, a whole big mess could have been avoided.

Steel goes on to punish workers at Grid Battleforce for very minor infractions by having them sweep the parking lot, clean toilets, etc. Do the Rangers really hold rank over grunt workers like that? Do they actually have the authority to tell someone to clean toilets? If so, why? Or are the workers just intimidated by a robot Power Ranger making demands of them like that?

Ben and Betty, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, The Blame Game

Betty says that the leaf blower she and Ben are using “sucks.” She might be the first person in the show’s history to say that something sucks. I’d thought that distinction went to Izzy a couple seasons from now. But Betty may have beaten her to the punch.

Incidentally, if Bulk and Skull had done that Morph-X powered leaf blower bit back in Mighty Morphin, it totally would have ended with Bulk’s pants being vacuumed off his body. Oh, how times have changed.

Controlatron takes control of Cole, and subsequently Nate, using what Blaze refers to as a “virus-infected puppet.” That terms sounds like something you’d call someone when you want to insult them. “Dude, you’re just a virus-infected puppet!”

Abraham Rodriguez, who plays Nate, had a tall task in motivating that “I’m a good little puppet” line. Perhaps note quite as hard as his “I copy that” line in “Real Steel.” But still…

Back in “Save Our Shores,” I wondered how the show would handle the co-existence of Blaze and Roxy with their robot counterparts. Apparently the show’s answer to that dichotomy is to simply not feature the good versions of Blaze and Roxy at all. Have we even seen them since?

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Cruisin’ For a Bruisin'” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E5 – “Cruisin’ For a Bruisin’”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Kelson Henderson (Voice)
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Denise Downer
DIRECTOR: Simon Bennett
PREMIERE DATE:
March 28, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
Devon pushes Cruise beyond his capabilities in battle.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

“Cruisin’ For a Bruisin'” didn’t do much for me. Such is the case with most of these Beast Bot centered episodes. They ring hollow, as there’s little basis for a human/robot relationship in reality. I’d much rather they explore the dynamics between the Rangers.

Apparently Apple doesn’t exist in the PR universe. The laptop that Digitron cobbles up early in the episode is clearly an iMac. But of course, they had to disguise the Apple logo by making it a big black circle.

The Beast-X mode armor is underwhelming to me. Perhaps it’s a matter of it being understated compared to other sets of armor we’ve seen on this show. But it left me feeling “meh” by comparison.

Part and parcel to his Beast-X mode, the Blue Ranger can apparently just pull digitized objects out of thin air. Or perhaps out of the surface they’re derived from? During battle he pulls a big steel beam out of a wall, and then later pulls a big boulder out of the ground (shown above). And yet, both the wall and the ground appeared untouched. How does that even work?

I’m guessing “Shut up and don’t question it!” is how it works.

Okay, we get it. Beast Bots are more than just machines. They’re your friends. They say a variation of that line at least three times in this episode. Again, it all rings hollow…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Artist Anonymous” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

Ravi, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Artist AnonymousSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E4. “Artist Anonymous”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Teuila Blakely
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Simon Bennett
PREMIERE DATE:
March 14, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
Ravi is forced to come clean to his mother about his artistic interests.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This whole “Ravi hides his artistic talents from his mother” story probably could have gotten its point across in a single episode. We didn’t really need to come back to it again this season. But at the same time, I can appreciate them drawing it out for the sake of character depth and development. You take the good with the bad in this instance.

I’ve talked before about how nice it’s been to explore the relationships the Rangers have with their parents, as we do with Ravi and Commander Shaw in this episode. But one character we haven’t had that luxury with is Nate. They weren’t mentioned in the Christmas episode, when all the Rangers talked about their holiday plans with their families. Have we established where they are? If we have, it must have been in a throwaway line or something, as I can’t recall it…

On the subject of parents, one thing I realized when watching this episode: Commander Shaw doesn’t have a first name. She apparently never gets one, either. Whoops.

Commander Shaw, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Artists Anonymous

Evox/Mayor Daniels approves the painting of a mural on the Grid Battleforce building. So…is Grid Battleforce supposed to be a secret organization? They must not be, considering they’re drawing attention to the building they operate in. Not to mention the previously alluded to campaign to use Morph-X across the globe.

Scrozzle mentions upgrading this episode’s Gigadrone with Gamertron’s “dome projection technology” from the previous episode. In essence, that means we get the big black bubble again for this episode’s zord fight. Is that going to become a regular thing? I wouldn’t necessarily complain…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Game On” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

Kerry, Devon, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Game OnSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E3 – “Game On”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Molly Leishman
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
March 7, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
A new Robotron creates evil clones of the Rangers.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

When we open the episode, Devon is in the finals of a video game competition against a new character, Kerry. But it’s unlike any video game we have in the real world. Nate says the game uses augmented reality and hard-light constructs. So the effect is basically that Devon and Kerry are controlling two real human beings fighting one another.

Mainstream tech is pretty different in the PR universe, isn’t it? Not only do we have this video game stuff, but it wasn’t long ago that Sarah had a hoverboard in Ninja Steel.

Kerry reveals that she needs the prize money from the competition to pay for surgery for her little brother, who we see is on crutches. How’s this for an episode: The Power Rangers take on the American healthcare system.

The subplot with Betty falling for a video game character was silly, of course. But the moment it got us to between her and Ben was pretty sweet. So it was worth it.

Ultrazord, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Game On

This episode’s zord fight takes place in a big black bubble that cuts of the Rangers’ Morph-X supply. I can’t say I mind that. It’s different, and the red sky look is cool.

Something I do mind? The Beast-X Ultrazord being the Rangers’ go-to zord formation. Its design is awkward and cluttered. Not sleek in the least.

We get confirmation in this episode that Evox is, indeed, inhabiting Mayor Daniels’ body. We already knew that based on what we saw in “Evox: Upgraded.” But now it’s official.

If they were going to have Kevin Copeland pull double-duty as both Evox and Devon’s dad, I might have ditched the suit they ultimately used for Evox’s body. Why not put some make-up on Copeland and fashion a similar-looking outfit for him? Might have looked cool.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

The Essential Clone Wars: “Destiny”

***I must confess that, despite being a huge Star Wars geek, I have yet to see the landmark Clone Wars animated show in its entirety. I’m aiming to rectify that to a large extent here, as we look at pivotal episodes of the series in, “The Essential Clone Wars.”

SERIES: Star Wars: The Clone Wars
EPISODE:
S6:E12 – “Destiny”
WITH THE VOICE TALENTS OF:
Tom Kane, Jaime King, Ashley Eckstein, Corey Burton, James Arnold Taylor
WRITER:
Christian Taylor
DIRECTOR:
Kyle Dunlevy
PREMIERE DATE:
 March 7, 2014
SYNOPSIS:
Yoda continues his quest for life beyond death.

***New around here? Check out our Star Wars review archive!***

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Yoda opting to leave his lightsaber behind as he ventures into the unknown is a really nice callback (Or call forward?) to The Empire Strikes Back. Our little green friend wasn’t asking Luke to do anything he wouldn’t do himself.

On the subject of Luke, the line “[Yoda] is to teach one that will save the universe from great imbalance.” is obviously a reference to him. Cute. Again, a nice little nod to Empire.

“Destiny” brings us the creation of a delightful little one-off character I’ll call “Dark Yoda,” i.e. the essence of the darkness that lies within Yoda. He’s a little reminiscent of Gollum of The Lord of the Rings fame. But he’s no less delightful for it.

One thing I definitely appreciated about the Yoda/Dark Yoda confrontation: No lightsabers. It would have been easy to turn the scrap between the two of them into a lightsaber duel. But they resisted the temptation. Thus we get to see Yoda in a physical fight with no weapons, which I don’t know that Star Wars had done up to this point.

There are a lot of floating platforms on this world that Yoda has to hop to and from. Gives it a little bit of a Super Mario Bros. feeling, doesn’t it?

Yoda’s destination going into the next episode is a world called Moraband, which is referred to as “the ancient homeworld of the Sith.” What’s interesting to me about that from a creative standpoint is that if this episode had been made today, Yoda likely would have journeyed to Exegol. That’s a fun little thought…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Save Our Shores” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E2 – “Save Our Shores”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Simon Bennett
PREMIERE DATE:
February 29, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
Scrozzle creates robot duplicates of Blaze and Roxy.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

As Power Rangers is a kids show, using kids humor, I seldom like to say that something is “stupid.” But that bit where Ben and Betty mistake glue for sunscreen, and then proceed to go around picking up trash with their exposed skin? Stupid. Like, objectively stupid.

Based on the amount of crystals we see, I’m guessing Evox’s base is now located in the Crystal Dimension that I’ve heard about elsewhenAesthetically, it looks like it’s pretty much the same as the Cyber Dimension, only with a yellow sky instead of red, and a bunch of crystals everywhere. Fair enough, I suppose.

Roxy says her aunt “put me in charge of everything,” presumably as it relates to the beach clean-up. Question: How old are our Rangers supposed to be? College-aged? Post-college? They must be. We’ve never seen them in high school or anything. Either way, that’s a lot of responsibility for somebody so young…

Longtime Power Rangers fans may recognize Roxy’s Aunt Regina as Miriama Smith, who played Elsa way back in Dino Thunder. She does well, as expected. But they did her no favors with the grammar-butchering line: “A bunch of salty sea creatures is not our problem.” Seriously? How’d that get left in there?

Incidentally, Roxy’s aunt works for a company called Collins Industries. Way back in Time Force, Wes and his greedy corporate mogul father had the last name Collins. Are they connected? Probably not. But it’s fun to think about.

Trappertron causes a huge explosion right after trapping Blaze and Roxy in his cage. Maybe a little too big. Blaze, Roxy, and Zoey should probably all be dead and burnt to a crisp. Or at least injured.

After scanning Blaze and Roxy, Scrozzle is able to create robot duplicates of them. This essentially ushers in the return of the evil avatars. It’ll be interesting to see how the good and evil counterparts co-exist throughout the season.

It’s interesting to me that Blaze and Roxy, the real versions as opposed to the evil robots, are in the friends group with Devon and the others. As such, they feel like they should be Rangers, even though they’re not. I’m curious to see how they’re used going forward.

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Believe It Or Not” Review

***As big a Power Rangers fan as I am, I must admit: I’m a little behind on modern PR. Here’s where I attempt to fix that, as I check out episodes of Power Rangers Beast Morphers!***

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E1 – “Believe It Or Not”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (Voice)
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
February 22, 2020
SYNOPSIS:
The Rangers uncover Scrozzle’s latest plot.

New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

The opening moments of this episode, with Devon and Blaze sparring, are a nice callback to “Beasts Unleashed,” when they obviously had a very different relationship. It’s a nice indicator of how far they’ve come, and how things have changed since last season.

We see that France now has its own Morph-X tower. Naturally, that begs the question as to what other places around the world opted to get one. Coral Harbor has several, doesn’t it? So if France has one, they’d presumably be getting more.

The first time we see Ravi and Roxy in this episode, they’re on a picnic and she’s literally feeding him a strawberry. Let no one ever accuse Beast Morphers of being subtle with the whole romance thing.

This is the last time we’ll see them, but I like the Gigatronics. I think more villains should have had giant-sized versions of their henchmen. Giant Cogs in Zeo would have been cool, for instance.

This episode plays up the idea that Steel is buying into conspiracy theories. Bigfoot, the Lochness monster, etc. But in the end, we learn he was right all along. Not sure I would have gone with that moral in this particular case. Especially when you consider how many people in this country buy into crazy conspiracy theories. Does Q’Anon exist in the Power Rangers universe? Boy, I hope not…

Email Rob at primaryignition@yahoo.com, or check us out on Twitter.