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, “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, “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, “Sound and Fury” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S26:E14 – “Sound and Fury”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Madeleine Adams
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
PREMIERE DATE:
October 26, 2019
SYNOPSIS:
Zoey is blackmailed after a date(?) with Nate.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Devon to Tubatron: “You’re nothin’ special, tuba!” That’s one of those lines where I’d love to be inside the actor’s head when they said it. I don’t care what acting school you go to, you’re never trained to talk to a tuba…

It’s always cool when you can see the actor’s face inside the Power Ranger helmet. So I dug it when the monster broke Devon’s visor with the soundwave. It brought back memories of scenes from seasons like Lost Galaxy and Time Force.

In the heat of battle, when Zoey and Ravi ride away on Cruise, they’ve still made the time to put their helmets on. I understand it’s a kid show, and they probably had to do that. But I can’t decide whether it takes me out of the moment or not.

Then again, I suppose if you have to consider such things, then you’re not in the moment, are you?

Madeleine Adams plays Megan (shown above), our sinister zord techie who’s secretly out for Nate’s job. She did a fantastic job. Very flamboyant. Great facial expressions. In another life, she could have played the Roxy character.

Nate says the word “phenomenal” a few times in this episode. Just for old time’s sake, if a character on this show is going to use that word, they should take the extra fraction of a second to say “Morphinomenal” per Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. I mean, why not?

I’m a little sour on the Nate character. I think he’s kind of a twerp. That being said, I love that Zoey was the one to pursue him in this episode, and not vice versa. It’s a great character moment for her. We know she has a shy side. But this shows us she can still be assertive when she’s going after something (or someone) that she wants. Perhaps I’ll come around on the Nate character if I start to see him through Zoey’s eyes…

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

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Real Steel” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

Blaze, Nate, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Real SteelSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE: S26:E12 – “Real Steel”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Colby Strong
WRITER: Chip Lynn
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: October 5, 2019
SYNOPSIS: A rift forms between Nate and Steel. Meanwhile, a cloner Robotron infiltrates Grid Battleforce.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

It’s interesting to me that the physical manifestation of Morph-X is bright green slime. Then again, it’s Nickelodeon. Maybe that’s to be expected.

Incidentally, Real Steel is an overachiever of a movie. It’s pretty tough to go wrong with Hugh Jackman.

I enjoyed the dynamic between Nate and Zoey in this episode. She acts as the voice of reason when his emotions and his inexperience get the better of him. It’s nice groundwork for the more romantic stuff that’s obviously coming.

We keep seeing that same female technician (shown above). In this episode she has the line about there being an intruder in Nate’s lab. It’s not a bad thing, I’m just finding myself wishing that we knew more about her. Or at least her name. All I know about her at this point is that she’s played by Amber-Rose Henshall.

After 12 episodes, I still find the Nate character a little annoying. But it has nothing to do with Abraham Rodriguez. From an acting standpoint, I think he’s actually quite good. Particularly by kids show standards. When he’s playing the clone monster, he has to pun “I copy that” to Colby Strong (Blaze). Not an easy line to motivate without coming off hokey. But he did it.

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

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Silver Sacrifice” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

Evox, Steel, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Silver SacrificeSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
TITLE: S26:E9 – “Silver Sacrifice”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (Voice)
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: September 14, 2019
SYNOPSIS: Evox’s forces want Steel’s robot body to house the villainous virus. But Nate isn’t willing to give up his new brother so easily.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Early in the episode, Nate and Steel go jogging. Because that’s apparently what you do when you’re a Power Ranger and have a robot buddy. It’s only two brief shots. But what I love is that toward the end of the second one, right before the cut, we see another jogger come into the frame. If you watch him, you’ll notice he turns his head back to look at Nate and Steel. I absolutely love the notion that this man went out for a jog one day and just happened to pass a boy and his robot doing the same thing.

In the previous episode, one of the other Rangers flat out said Nate “isn’t a fighter.” And yet in this episode, he’s throwing spin kicks. That must be one hell of a training program they’ve got at Grid Battleforce.

Nate, Steel, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Silver Sacrifice

Personally, I’d have borrowed from what they did with Billy way back in season one of MMPR. Have Nate bumble his way through unmorphed fights, and gradually build up his martial arts expertise.

The Rangers are all sneaky when they approach the warehouse where they’re keeping the Cybergate. But when General Burke and the Grid Battleforce troops arrive, they pull up in a pair of SUVs wearing full gear. So much for subterfuge. And low and behold, Ben and Betty get captured. Why were they brought along anyway? This guy seems like he sucks at his job…

Incidentally, General Burke is played by Mark Wright, a voice actor whose work on the series goes as far back as Ninja Storm in 2003. Beast Morphers marks his first major live action role on the show.

Steel: “You haven’t seen power until you’ve seen the power of family.” Awww, that was a nice line. Hokey, but nice.

LOVED the shots of the Red Ranger fighting off the Tronics in the water. Any time they can take advantage of their environment for the fighting aesthetic, it’s a win in my book.

As the Rangers are having to duck and dodge massive shots from the giant-sized Antennatron, they get a message from Commander Shaw: “Rangers, looks like you’ve got big trouble!”

If there was ever a time on this show for a snarky comeback, it was right there.

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

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “The Cybergate Opens” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

Silver and Gold Rangers, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, the Cybergate OpensSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE: S26:E8 – “The Cybergate Opens”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Cosme Flores
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 27, 2019
SYNOPSIS: Scrozzle builds a cybergate through which to transport Evox from the Cyber Dimension.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Nate says “phenomenal” twice in this episode. I know it’s the old school fan in me, but that seems like an obvious missed opportunity to have him say “Morphenominal.”

The CGI used for Evox is hardly state of the art. But it was pretty cool to see him slither through the cybergate.

Hold on a minute…Nate is able to teleport a weapon in from Grid Battleforce using his wrist communicator. But it was supposed to have been damaged when he was captured! What gives?

Using praying mantis DNA and the technology from the Cybergate, Nate transforms himself into the Gold Ranger. Beast Morphers is pretty liberal with its use of the term “beast.” As he’s using praying mantis DNA, Nate is more of a Bug Morpher than a Beast Morpher, isn’t he?

I can’t say I’m a big fan of this Gold Ranger costume and its dark mustard coloring. But I’ll say this much: It looks suitably insect-like.

The robotic body Nate created comes online and morphs into Steel, the Silver Ranger. The best thing I can say about Steel at this early juncture is that I appreciate the voice performance by Jamie Linehan. Delightfully corny.

Steel’s genetic make-up is comprised of scarab beetle DNA (another bug…), along with Nate’s DNA. And so, all the talk we’ve heard this season about Nate wanting a brother gets paid off early. Nicely done.

Devon, Ravi, and Zoey get their butts handed to them by Vacuutron, a monster based off a vacuum cleaner. That’s…embarrassing.

Incidentally, Vacuutron is voiced by Cosme Flores, who also plays Ben.

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

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Hangar Heist” Review

** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

Beast-X Megazord, Power Rangers Beat MorphersSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
TITLE: S26:E6 – “Hangar Heist”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Riccardo Pellizzeri
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 13, 2019
SYNOPSIS: Devon has trouble trusting Ravi, as Evox’s forces infiltrate Grid Battleforce.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Hold the phone! We’re terrified of the villains stealing Morph-X, but Nate just lets Devon borrow some to inject into model rockets? Now that can’t be regulation…

When Ravi ignites his toy rocket, he says, “NASADA, here I come!” That’s a nice late ’90s/early 2000s PR reference if there ever was one.

If they were going to do a “Devon doesn’t trust Ravi” episode, they might have made it the third or fourth episode. Six episodes in, it doesn’t necessarily feel natural to have Devon not trust Ravi. Actually, shouldn’t Ravi be the one with trust issues? He’s the one who’s trained to be a Ranger, and the other two haven’t.

I like the idea of the Rangers capturing a Gigadrone, one of the giant machines that the zords fight, for study and analysis. That’s the kind of thing that isn’t done often, if ever. Having a subsequent fight over the drone inside the Grid Battleforce hangar was cool too.

Pretty convenient that Meltadrone (shown right in the accompanying image) looks exactly like the gigadrone Devon and the others were fighting in the simulation earlier. Just sayin’.

The Beast-X Megazord (shown above) looks…decent. I maintain that modern Megazords all look too busy. They’re not nearly as sleek and cool as they used to be. But by modern standards, this one is alright. Strictly okay.

It’s nice that Ben and Betty are friends with the Rangers. It’s a nice shift from the antagonistic relationship the team often has with the resident comedy duos, dating back to Bulk and Skull. Victor and Monty from Ninja Steel come to mind as well.

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

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Digital Deception” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

Ravi, Roxy, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Digital DeceptionSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
TITLE: S26:E4 – “Digital Deception”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Denise Downer
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 30, 2019
SYNOPSIS: Roxy’s avatar plays head games with Ravi on Valentine’s Day.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Ben and Betty’s reaction to the cartoon bee might seem like hokey, exaggerated comedy. It’s not. That is how certain people genuinely react to bees. I’ve seen people literally rocket across the room. People who aren’t allergic, mind you. I’ll never understand.

It sure was nice of them to put full make-up, most noticeably lipstick, on Roxy while she was in hyper sleep. Grid Battleforce does it all!

“Here goes nothing but evil.” I like that line a lot. That’s a good Power Rangers line.

“Careful, I have the high ground.” Devon says that to the Tronics during the unmorphed fight. Amazing that even in the Power Rangers universe, the prequels were bad movies.

Liana Ramirez (shown right), who plays Roxy, is probably the most natural actor on the show. Her facial expressions are strong, and she has good delivery.

Roxy, Liana Ramirez, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Digital Deception

I reject the premise that Shoveltron, that big clanky monster, snuck up on Ravi. He’s obviously blinded by love. But was he deafened by love too?

There’s a great shot in this episode of the Red Ranger riding down the road on his motorcycle as the Racer Zord comes up behind him. Great camera work.

Toward the end of the episode, Zoey gets the yellow bouquet of flowers we briefly saw Nate pick out earlier. See, if he’d been paying attention, he’d have gotten her a bunch of carrots. That chick loves her some carrots.

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

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “End of the Road” Review

*** You know what I am? A multi-tasker. That’s why, as Power Rangers Dino Fury is in full swing, I’ll also be looking back at Power Rangers Beast Morphers. Why? Because I can!!!***

Zoey, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, End of the RoadSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE: S26:E3 – “End of the Road”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Colby Strong
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Patrick Rieger
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: March 16, 2019
SYNOPSIS: As Zoey tries to promote Morph-X-powered bicycles to save a forest, Blaze plans to steal the Morph X.

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

I understand that kids shows often require dramatic actions that spell things out for developing young minds. But Zoey jumping in front of a bulldozer to save a tiny lizard…I mean, really? You sure about that? It’s noble, I’ll give her that. But it’s a little too much for my tastes.

Apparently, people in Coral Harbor are only impressed by bicycles powered by the Power Rangers’ Morphing Grid if they have two seats. Not just one. Apparently, the people in Coral Harbor are very stupid.

You can call the monsters on this show silly, but I’d be damn scared of Needletron. You never know what those needles have touched.

Nate and Zoey, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, End of the Road

I want to dislike that conversation Nate has with Zoey where he talks about not having much of a family, wanting a brother, etc. I’m still not warmed up to the Nate character. But they took an opportunity to develop his character and ran with it. It works.

I’m fairly certain this episode gives us the first “Rangers on bikes” sequence in the show’s history. The Beast Morphers suits made them look like BMX cyclists. Very well done.

Were those “banana rockets” the gorilla zord shot at Needletron? And did Needletron subsequently slip on a giant banana peel? You know what? Sure. Why the heck not?

“Virus eliminated” is a pretty cool post-battle phrase. Concise and to the point.

It’s interesting to me that we now know a parent of each Ranger. Devon’s dad is the mayor, Zoey’s mom is a TV reporter, and of course Ravi’s mom is Commander Shaw. If there was ever a time to do another “villain kidnaps the team’s parents” story, it’d be now.

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