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, “Hypnotic Halloween” 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!***

Cast Halloween shot, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Hypnotic HalloweenSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S26:E21 – “Hypnotic Halloween”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (Voice)
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Maiya Thompson, James Collins, Cameron Dixon
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
October 19, 2019
SYNOPSIS:
The Rangers are hypnotized into believing they are their Halloween characters.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Here we have one of our season-requisite holiday clip shows. The “Rangers think they’re their Halloween characters” thing is a creative framing device, though.

This episode aired on October 19, which would seem to indicate it chronologically falls between “Tuba Triumph” and “Sound and Fury.” But oddly enough, every source I’ve checked lists it as the 21st episode of the season. Perhaps that’s indicative of the order the episodes were produced in…?

Hold on, so Steel wasn’t effected by Vargoyle rewriting the memories of everyone in Coral Harbor, but he’s effected by Scrozzle’s hypnotic streaming service? Doesn’t necessarily make sense from an in-universe perspective. But if you let Steel stay coherent, this episode starts to feel a lot like “Rewriting History.” So I guess we’ll let it slide.

Viking Zoey, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Hypnotic Halloween

This episode feels like it was a lot of fun to make. Particularly for Jacqueline Scislowski, whose loud and boistrous Viking character was a radical departure from the often shy Zoey.

Speaking of Vikings, was Rorrie D. Travis channeling Sean Connery for his Viking impression? Is he even old enough to know who Sean Connery is?

Jazz Baduwalia might have needed some more direction as Sherlock Holmes. It seems like he was told, “Just look through the magnifying glass a lot. That’ll make you look like Sherlock Holmes. I mean, he always did that, right?”

Here’s how much of an old school Power Rangers geek I am: I remembered that Billy also dressed up as Sherlock Holmes way back in the season one episode “Life’s a Masquerade.” Also Tommy, much like Steel in this episode, dressed as Frankenstein. Actually, Billy dressed as a mad scientist in season two’s “Zedd’s Monster Mash,” much like Nate does in this episode. Deliberate homage? More likely, it’s a sign that stock Halloween costumes haven’t changed much in two decades…

You know who would have been perfect for this episode? Ben and Betty. And yet, they weren’t here for whatever reason.

This was actually a pretty intense zord fight for a clip show. Nicely done.

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

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Ranger Reveal” 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:
S26:E17 – “Ranger Reveal”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Jamie Linehan (voice)
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale, Denise Downer
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
November 16, 2019
SYNOPSIS:
The Rangers face the threat of their identities being made public.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

Early in the episode, Ben and Betty are catapulted into the back of a truck filled with leaves via a giant selfie stick. I almost hate to keep comparing these modern comedic duos to Bulk and Skull from Mighty Morphin. But they’re the precedent they’re all following. So I think it’s fair.

Bulk and Skull got into messy and cartoony situations, obviously. But I don’t remember them defying the laws of physics and reality the way cartoons do, and the way Ben and Betty sometimes do. That would be my one big criticism of what they do on this show. I’d argue that even little kids understand the basic rules of reality, and if you bend the rules of reality too far, it takes the viewer out of the moment.

In other words, the less likely it is that something can happen in the real world, the less funny it is. Just my opinion.

Vargoyle is voiced by Jamie Linehan, who also does Steel. Once you know that, it becomes difficult not to hear Steel when Vargoyle is talking. Even though Vargoyle’s voice does have more of that trademark Power Rangers villain growl.

Zoey and the other Rangers clearly don’t want their identities revealed to the public. And yet, they sit out in public with Steel. They’re the only ones hanging out with a friggin’ robot!!! How big a secret could their identities possibly be?!?

Still, I appreciated that they established how much more difficult it would be for the Rangers to do their jobs if they were famous. It was a nice way to set up stakes for the episode.

What we have here is a nice build on what we saw established in previous episodes, with Zoey’s mom (played by Sia Trokenheim) being a reporter. We had a nice message about her doing the right thing despite what it could do for her career. But this episode poses a similar question to the one posed by “Taking Care of Business” from an in-universe perspective: Why can’t Zoey just tell her mom she’s a Power Ranger?

Granted, we know why she can’t from a writing standpoint: Because that’s not how superheroes and secret identities work. Plus, the conflict makes for a good TV episode. But Zoey confiding in her mom would nip the problem in the bud pretty quickly.

Oh well. I’d wager their identities get revealed at the end of the series anyway. That’s often what happens on this show.

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

Power Rangers Beast Morphers, “Seeing Red” Review

SERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
EPISODE:
S27:E15 – “Seeing Red”
STARRING:
Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Liana Ramirez
WRITERS:
Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
PREMIERE DATE:
November 2, 2019
SYNOPSIS:
Devon develops a conceited attitude about his new powers.

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

By Rob Siebert
Fanboy Wonder

This episode is titled “Seeing Red.” That’s such an obvious title for a Red Ranger-centered episode that I’m shocked it hadn’t been used already in the more than 20 years the franchise had been around at this point.

Ben gets a good ol’ fashioned cake to the face early in the episode. Then later, Betty sits on one. Classic Bulk and Skull, right there.

This is a kids show, so the bank robber Devon catches has to be carrying big sacks full of money. I’m a little surprised the bags didn’t have big dollar signs on them.

Is Zoey trying to be discreet in the gym when they get the call from Grid Battleforce? General Burke does the same sort of thing later in the episode. Why the discretion? They’re the only ones hanging out with a damn robot. I think discretion might be out the window at this point.

On the subject of Zoey, she leaves the battle later in the episode because, “My energy’s low. I need a carrot ASAP.” I can’t decide if that’s a cute and quirky reason to leave a battle, or the most lame one in Power Rangers history. “I can’t fight evil anymore because I have to go eat a carrot!”

Is it just me, or is the Gold Ranger outfit a little more baggy than the others? I know that’s sort of the look for Beast Morpers. But still. Is it the material it’s made with?

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, “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, “Taking Care of Business” 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!!!***

Devon, Power Rangers Beast Morphers, Taking Care of BusinessSERIES: Power Rangers Beast Morphers
TITLE: S26:E5 – “Taking Care of Business”
STARRING: Rorrie D. Travis, Jazz Baduwalia, Jacqueline Scislowski, Abraham Rodriguez, Colby Strong
WRITERS: Becca Barnes, Alwyn Dale
DIRECTOR: Oliver Driver
ORIGINAL AIR DATE: April 6, 2019
SYNOPSIS: To impress his father, Devon tries to balance a job at a car wash with his Ranger duties.

It gives me a surprising amount of joy that there’s someone in the Power Rangers universe named “Sudsey.” And of course, he runs a car wash. It was either that or soap mascot. What’s more, with those blue coveralls and red shirt, Devon apparently gets to dress like Super Mario when he’s working there.

Ben and Betty give Nate the idea to use discarded Robotron and Gigadrone parts to look for new tech they can use. So wait…you’re telling me Grid Battleforce, a military organization, doesn’t have some kind of clean-up crew? They just leave crap laying around the city? Yeesh. These guys are new to this Power Ranger stuff. How rude!

At about the 7:30 mark, Zoey does a cartwheel to avoid getting hit by Slicertron’s projectiles. The Power Rangers universe is the only place you should ever see someone do a cartwheel during a fight. I’ve never seen Connor McGregor bust one out in the octagon. That’s all I’m sayin’.

I don’t remember the show being quite so pun-filled when I was a kid. Or even as I got older. Yes, the show has always had cheesy puns. But at one point during “Taking Care of Business,” it felt like every other line out of Blaze or Slicertron’s mouth was a slicing or cutting pun. And it’s almost always the bad guys. Apparently puns are evil. Who knew?

So the big plot hole in this episode is the question of why Devon doesn’t just tell his dad he’s a Ranger. Naturally, that would alleviate the whole conflict of him trying to impress his dad by holding this job while still serving as the Red Ranger. Honestly? That didn’t bother me as much as, in hindsight, you’d think it would. Superheroes have secret identities, and it’s a kids show. That’s all the explanation I need.

Plus, if you want to get technical about it, the real plot hole is why Grid Battleforce makes the Rangers keep their identities a secret in the first place…

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.