Weekly Ranger Review: Dino Charge Episode 18, “Deep Down Under”
Fury informs Sledge the Plesio Zord must have awakened when the Purple Energem bonded with a human. Sledge, not wanting to let the Rangers have a shot at getting the Zord, aims to destroy it.
Fury had Wrench reanimate Meteor to destroy the Zord while Kendall tells the Rangers to stay put in New Zealand and track down the Zord. The Rangers goes to a local paleontologist, Dr. Runga, to find out more about the possible location of a real Plesiosaur.
The Rangers interrupt his photo shoot to ask him where a Plesiosaur would be, which leads to Runga suspecting them of being Taniwah hunters, an ancient New Zealand Loch Ness monster-like creature. His information takes them to the coast, where Shelby and Tyler spot the Zord before it gets attacked by Meteor. The Rangers fight off Meteor and Fury and begin hunting again.
Fury finds Dr. Runga, and convinces him to get more information about the Taniwah before the Rangers do, or else they will steal his spotlight. Dr. Runga finds Shelby and steals the video from her phone, set to publish it as his own find. When Shelby finds out, she confronts Dr. Runga and calls him as a disgrace, saying he used to be her hero. The Rangers find the Plesio Zord in a cave. Dr. Runga followed them, apologizing for his actions before they tell him the Taniwah is actually a Zord, revealing their identity as the Power Rangers.
Fury and Meteor attack once again as Dr. Runga and Shelby unite the Plesio Zord with the Purple Energem. With Meteor defeated, the Rangers take to the Plesio Zord to take on the giant Meteor. It transforms into the Plesio Charge Megazord and easily defeats the monster. With the battle over, the Plesio Zord flies the Rangers back to Amber Beach.
While ‘Deep Down Under” could ultimately been improved by the presence of Albert, it was still an enjoyable episode that showcased how destructive greed and the quest for fame can be. While it wasn’t necessarily a focus episode for Shelby, she was definitely leading this episode. Camille Hyde hit it out of the park.
We know from previous episodes, the premier in particular, Shelby has been obsessed with dinosaurs all her life. In this episode, we learn it is because of Dr. Runga. It’s an incredibly small detail to follow up on, but one thing I really enjoy about Dino Charge as a whole is the attention to continuity between the characters’ history.
Shelby received her powers in episode one, so we haven’t really had an opportunity to have flashbacks on her history like we have with Chase, Ivan, and Koda. She’s in need of some backstory and development, so it was nice to get some.
Dr. Runga is essentially one of those throwaway plot characters, but given his knowledge of dinosaurs and paleontology, he could certainly be someone who pops back up again in Dino Super Charge. Even more so, since the Rangers trusted them with their identities. Whether he will or not is a mystery, but given the character I think it could be a possibility.
The Plesio Zord, and thus the Plesio Charge Megazord made its debut in this episode as well, adding another Megazord possibility to the Rangers arsenal. The Zord itself has a very vehicular motif to it making it a bit unique compared to the other Dino Charge Zords.
Plesio Zord is a mix between a Plesiosaur, a ship, and a rocket. Where as Zords like the T-Rex or Ptera are mostly dinosaur in design, Plesio has that unique flare with rocket boosters and thrusters adorning the rear of the Zord. It’s a design I really like, so I’m excited to see it finally join the Ranger’s rank.
Other than some highlights of Shelby, the introduction to a possibly irrelevant side character, and the introduction of the newest Zord, there isn’t much else to hit in “Deep Down Under”. It was an enjoyable episode that pushed the narrative along slightly, but didn’t really leave a whole lot to discuss or be wowed about.
“Deep Down Under” is more or less a continuation of the adaptation of “Brave 21” from Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger that began in “World Famous (In New Zealand)”. Like the previous episode, this episode also contains footage from ‘Brave 18.”
In “Brave 21”, as we talked about in the last “Ranger Review”, the Kyoryugers met Doctor Ulshade, Kyoryu Violet, and obtained Plezuon, the Zyudenryu partner for Kyoryu Violet. This episode featured the debut of the ranger as well as the associated “Zord” all in one go. Dino Charge took a different route by expanding the hunt for the Purple Energem and the Plesio Zord into two separate episodes. The plot itself of “Deep Down Under” is loosely based on the intro of the episode which featured the Kyoryugers trying to find the crashed Plezuon. Other than that, the comparisons basically stop.
The ground fight against Meteor was taken from “Brave 18”. As also mentioned in the last article, this was the debut episode for the Meteor character in Kyoryuger. As such, the footage was lifted in that episode for this battle, where as the previous battles with Meteor were lifted from “Brave 21”, when the character was revived.
While there is little to compare, I’m an advocate of Dino Charge taking the Kyoryuger concepts and footage, mixing it all up, and making it its own. Footage and concepts from ‘Brave 18” were used in three separate episodes now, while “Brave 21” comprised two episodes. This sort of mix and match use of the footage hasn’t really been done in a while, and it’s truly great to see.
Next time, the Ranger’s search for a new Purple Ranger in Episode 18, “Wishing for a Hero”.
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