***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:E22 – “Evox Unleashed”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (Voice)
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Johnny Hartmann
DIRECTOR: Simon Bennett
PREMIERE DATE: June 26, 2020 (UK), December 12, 2020 (US)
SYNOPSIS: Evox makes his ultimate play for control of the Morphin Grid.
New around here? Check out the Power Rangers review archive!
By Rob Siebert
As the city comes under attack by Evox, Zoey’s mother pleads with Commander Shaw to let Zoey, who she still thinks works in the laundry department, flee the city with her. This results in Zoey revealing her identity as the Yellow Ranger to her mother, and a great “I’m proud of you” moment to close out their story together. I also liked the scenes closing shot of Zoey’s mother and Commander Shaw, who are both mothers of Power Rangers.
Evox has been in the Grid Battleforce computer system and developed a resistance to the Rangers’ weapons. The Beast Morphers team works around this by using weapons from past Ranger teams. Specifically, weapons from Lightspeed Rescue, SPD, RPM, Dino Charge, and Ninja Steel.
I see this more as a clever storyline use of the Grid Battleforce vault than a treat for longtime fans. But it is, indeed, yet another nod to seasons past. Beast Morphers has done a lot of that, to the point that it’s drawn some criticism from fans. Personally, I think Beast Morphers does a really nice job of walking the line between doing its own thing and pulling from the nostalgia column. If it utilized nostalgia and past Ranger stuff any more than it does, I might agree with its detractors. But I really think the show managed to find that sweet spot.
Steel heroically walks into the Morphin Grid vortex and stabs Evox with the antivirus arrow developed by Nate and Doctor K. Evox is unaffected, however, and kills Steel. This would have made for a satisfying, fitting end for his character. A cyborg who desperately wanted to be human ultimately sacrificing himself for all of humanity. That’s not how it turns out in the end. But it’s still a pretty epic moment.
After what winds up being a pretty brief battle against a giant and altered Evox, the Rangers are able to defeat him by striking at him with Morph-X infused with their own human DNA. So…did Evox go out like a chump? Yeah, kinda. But keep in mind, in “Source Code” Doctor K was worried about traces of the Venjix virus still being in the RPM dimension. So who’s to say there aren’t traces of the virus elsewhere? Perhaps we haven’t seen the last of Venjix/Evox after all…
The Morphin Grid restores Steel after the battle is over, making him human. Annoyingly, they dub Jamie Linehan’s slightly altered voice over that of the young actor they cast as human Steel. Given what they do with Jamie Linehan and the song from “The Silva Switch” at the end of this episode (more on that in a bit), I’d have just let the kid give a traditional performance as Steel.
In yet another goodie for longtime fans, James Gaylyn cameos as Colonel Mason Truman near the end of the episode, escorting Scrozzle into Grid Battleforce’s custody alongside Ben and Betty. There’s another potential spin-off story: Ben and Betty: Monster Hunters.
Blaze and Roxy, the real Blaze and Roxy that is, kind of got shoved off to the side for this finale, didn’t they? We see Roxy helping get people to safety when Evox attacks the city, and then later she acts as a pretty thing for Ravi to paint. Then we briefly see Blaze working as Steel’s stunt double.
We learn in the closing moments of the episode that Devon has taken over Commander Shaw’s job, and that Shaw has been promoted to general. If it were me in charge, I might have taken that opportunity to make Blaze the new Red Ranger. That way, his development as a character bears fruit, as he earns the position he was supposed to have at the start of the series.
On the subject of Shaw (who irritatingly never got a first name…), she’s conspicuously absent from Steel’s birthday party in the episode’s closing scene. As are Blaze and Roxy, come to think of it. They’re Steel’s friends too, aren’t they? What gives?
I adore that they used the song from “The Silva Switch” to close out the episode. A fitting tribute to Steel’s journey over the course of the series, and a callback to one of my favorite episodes of Beast Morphers.
In the end, Power Rangers Beast Morphers turned out to be a good show. Not great, but good. Very, very good. Better than anything I’ve seen from the so-called “Neo-Saban Era” of the show, i.e. everything between Samurai and Ninja Steel. The characters were all likable, despite most of them suffering from what I would classify as informed attributes. The villains were formidable. Beast Morphers acknowledged elements from the show’s past in a manner unforeseen up to this point, while still keeping its primary focus on the current team. (“Grid Connection” is an exception to that rule, but I’d argue that was largely dictated by the Sentai footage.)
All in all, Beast Morphers was a step up for the show, and in hindsight, a good omen for things to come…
Email Rob at email@example.com, or check us out on Twitter.