Weekly Ranger Review: Dino Super Charge Episode 01, “When Evil Stirs”
The episode begins with Tyler writing to his father in his journal , reminiscing about being a Power Ranger. Meanwhile, at the wreckage of Sledge’s ship, the monsters are wondering what to do without Sledge.
Snide, the monster inside the solitary confinement cell, emerges and declares himself the new master of the ship, vaporizing those who oppose him. Snide transforms back into Heckyl and orders all the monsters be released from their cells.
Back at the Dino Bite, Koda and Ivan stress about the busy lunch rush while Kendall interviews for a new waiter. The interviewee is none other than Heckyl. Kendall recognizes him from saving her during the events of “Wishing for a Hero”. He is hired on the spot and one step closer to infiltrating the Rangers.
Meanwhile, having learned the locations of Shelby and Chase, Heckyl sends Ice Age to freeze them all in blocks of ice. Tracking Tyler’s call, Kendall, Koda, and Ivan arrive to see his jeep frozen. Before they know it, Ice Age freezes Kendall and Ivan, leaving only Koda. As Koda begins to freeze, he slips out of his hoodie to escape.
Back at the base, Tyler arrives to see Koda alone. Tyler had managed to slip out under the jeep while it was freezing and escape. Together, they craft a plan.
Confronting Ice Age, the duo start to get frozen when the episode revealed they slipped out of their suits and are safe outside the blocks of ice. Together, they fight off Ice Age and Snide then use the Dino Blaze Charger to melt the ice. The whole team morphs and continues the fight.
Snide starts to transform back into Heckyl, but manages to escape before he is noticed. After his defeat, the Rangers use the Plesio Charge Megazord Pachy-Rex Formation to finish him off once more. Back at the base, Prince Philip arrives, hoping to lend a hand with the newfound threat as the Rangers vow to find the last two Energems and defeat Snide.
“When Evil Stirs” was a pretty solid episode. Unfortunately, it fell under heavy scrutiny because it’s the first episode of a new season. With Super Samurai and Super Megaforce both having very “premiere” level entry episodes, having Dino Super Charge begin with what is essentially a pretty basic episode is less than underwhelming.
While it felt like a standard episode, it did set a few plot points in motion. Toward the beginning of the episode, Poisandra laments over the loss of her “Sledgems” and demanded Wrench to use the reanimator to bring him back.
Wrench replies that the reanimator is working, but they have no piece of Sledge to bring him back. Anyone that knows Power Rangers knows there’s a strong chance Sledge will return in some form by the end of the series. This singular back and forth between Poisandra and Wrench sets the thought in motion, implying we could very well see the original shipmaster return.
While we were introduced to Heckyl back in “Wishing for a Hero”, this is the first time we see his monstrous form, Snide. Heckyl and Snide have a pretty unique relationship. We’ve had double personality characters before. Of note is Anton Mercer and Mesogog in Power Rangers Dino Thunder. Unlike Mesogog however, Heckyl and Snide are both villains. Both want the Energems, both want to take over, but both want to do so in different ways.
Heckyl’s plan won’t always be Snide’s plan, and vice versa. This is the first time in which we have a villain with two personalities who are forced to work together due to their circumstances. Whether Snide proves to be better villain than Sledge remains to be seen, but the dynamic between Heckyl and Snide is sure to be interesting.
Speaking of Heckyl, he is now employed at the Dino Bite. This means he’ll be spending a fair amount of time around the Rangers. We’ve never really had a main villain character that’s been able to interact frequently on a human level like Heckyl since Dino Thunder’s Elsa. While his cover could be blown within a few episodes, I hope it is something that lasts the span of the season, as I feel it’s an interesting take for the character.
This episode marked the third use of the Ice Age monster, as the Sentai footage of this episode came from the Kyoryu Violet arc which continued to use the Ice Age, Sting Rage, and Meteor monsters. Whether Ice Age was reanimated a second time or just never defeated after being tied up in “World Famous (in New Zealand)” remains to be known, but whatever the case may be, he’s still around. Well, not any more. Barring any Dino Charge surprises, this should be the last we see of this monster.
This is also a rare circumstance where the same monster of the day was used in the premiere episode of two consecutive seasons.
The episode let us take a glimpse a bit into Koda’s past. We learned that he was discovered by Kendall and Chase while they were hunting for Energems as he was in possession of the Blue Energem before he was frozen. If there’s one thing I think Dino Charge could improve upon, it’s the inclusion of explanation and backstory. For the most part, this fills in most of Koda’s blanks, so I hope the other Rangers, especially Kendall, get a chance to have more of their history revealed.
Overall, the episode itself was more or less “okay”. It wasn’t a fantastic premiere by any means, but as a standard episode of the series, it held its own and did enough for the story to feel like a necessary and worthwhile addition to the show. Not the best the series has to offer, but an enjoyable watch nonetheless.
“When Evil Stirs” is a loose adaptation of “Brave 24” from Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger.
In “Brave 24”, Yayoi Ulshade (Purple) struggles to activate the Plesuon Zyudenchi (Plesio Charger) to transform into Kyoryu Violet after doing so against the last battle with Deboth. She runs off, attempting to hold back her tears in fear of Debo Hyougakki’s (Ice Age) effect freezing her tears. She is rescued by Amy (Pink) with the others arriving shortly after. Unfortunately, Hyougakki still manages to capture her; her tears freezing most of her body. The others arrive once more to rescue her. After Amy’s encouragement, Plezuon accepts her bravery, and she breaks free of the ice. She transforms into Kyoryu Violet and defeats Debo Hyougakki.
While both episodes take a focus on the monster freezing, the two episodes don’t share much in the way of similarity. “Brave 24” was heavily focused on Yayoi, and her becoming Kyoryu Violet. On the Dino Super Charge side of things, the episode focused more on Heckyl and Snide’s proper introduction, with a little bit of focus on Koda as opposed to anything to do with Kendall. Given how much I think Kendall needs more of her backstory revealed, I almost wish the episode would have took a little more cues from the Kyoryuger episode and focused on Kendall over Koda, but it is what it is.
Next time, Riley must stand up to a childhood bully in Episode 02, “Forgive and Forget”.
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