Grab your Chargers, summon your Zords, and get ready for a look at the third episode of Power Rangers Dino Charge, “A Fool’s Hour”.
The Rangers enjoy a little bit of downtime in the base as we learn that Tyler got a job at the Dino Bite Cafe at Kendall’s request. Apparently, holding a job will make people not realize they are the Power Rangers. The group also learns of Koda’s history: he’s a caveman! The power of the Energem bond halts the aging process, meaning Koda has been alive for over 100,000 years. On Sledge’s shift, a monster known as Scrapper is able to condense his body into just his arm, allowing a swift escape. Unfortunately, he is caught by Sledge and tasked with using his ability to find the Ranger’s base.
Sledge, Poisandra, Wrench, Scrapper, and a small group of Viviks land on Earth to announce his bargain. If the Rangers don’t give up their Energems in one hour, he will destroy the planet. After a short fight, the villains vanish. Tyler opts to leave the group, much to Chase’s dismay, to chase after Fury. The other four head back to the base. Following Fury, Tyler learns of Sledge’s plan and rushes back to warn the others. Scrapper, having learned the location of the base, heads back to his ship to return and report to Sledge. Tyler rams the ship with his jeep and ultimately stops him.
At the base, Kendall enhances their Dino Chargers with a new Dino Steel Mode before getting an alert of Tyler’s battle. The other Rangers rush to his aid, while Wrench decides to help Scrapper. With the Dino Steel Mode and their new weapons, the Rangers make quick work of Scrapper and Wrench, while the T-Rex and Tricera Zords take out the Vivizords.
A disgruntled Sledge uses his beam on Scrapper to enlarge him to giant size. Kendall urges Koda to summon his Stego Zord, as she has found a way to unite their powers. The T-Rex Zord, Tricera Zord, and the Stego Zord form the Dino Charge Megazord, Tri-Stego Formation. With their powers united, they take out the enlarged Scrapper once and for all.
With our intros out of the way, it is finally time to dive into the world that Dino Charge has set up. Right off the bat, we see a return to the Jungle Fury way of combining their place of employment with their base of operations. I am curious if we will be seeing an entry way to the base through the kitchen of the Dino Bite or not. Additionally, given how Koda and Chase were already shown to be employed on digs, it’s odd seeing them join Tyler, Shelby, and now Riley at the cafe. Moderate confusion aside, the Dino Bite gives the Rangers an outlet to be human beings. The juggling of work and Ranger duties is always a fun angle to take in Power Rangers. I wonder if Kendall has a B-team for the cafe?
After “Powers of the Past” brought us an intro very unlike recent Power Rangers and “Past, Present, and Fusion” filling in the missing pieces quite rapidly, “A Fool’s Hour” was a return to the usual episodic formula we are used to from Power Rangers and Super Sentai. Monster interrupts the day, Rangers fight, monster is defeated, Megazord battle, end of episode. However, that’s not to say this episode is bad because of it.
The years of Samurai to Super Megaforce had a huge issue with the characters not feeling real. The show was very much set in that formula, to the point where the times the Rangers got to be people was incredibly minimal. Dino Charge brings about a return to the formula in a rather refreshing way. The episode sets up the base premise of Sledge and how everything is going to work from this point out. We also establish the Ranger’s place of employment or hang out, as well as the main functions of their base. It is great to see a little bit of character and personality shown in these characters, especially in the “off times” scenes.
I cannot really speak on characterization in this episode. We see Chase being really adamant that the team should stick together and some more quick jokes from Shelby but other than that, the episode was pretty thin in that regard. We do gain history on Koda’s character, as well as bits and pieces on Fury thanks to Koda’s retelling of his encounter with him.
Speaking of Koda, through the revealing of his origins, we learn that the bond of an Energem halts the aging process. This means that as long as these Rangers are Rangers, they will remain their respective ages forever. This is an easy out to explain the potential characters popping up, should Dino Charge follow in Kyoryuger’s footsteps. This unfortunately sets up confusion in regards to why Koda wouldn’t be adapted to human society and speech by now, but there is always the possibility we haven’t heard the entire story regarding Koda’s past.
At the end of the day, this episode brought us a lot of facts on both the Rangers and the villains, set up Sledge’s system of attack, showcased the Dino Steel Mode, their personal weapons, some of the Zords, and the Megazord itself. That’s a lot of work for an episode that ultimately didn’t feel all that rushed. Dino Charge continues to be great.
“A Fool’s Hour” is a loose adaptation of “Brave 02” of Kyoryuger. I use the term loose because aside from the monsters being the same, and the episodes both introducing the Triceratops, Stegosaurus, and the respective combination, the two episodes have very little to do with one another.
At this point in Kyoryuger, the team had met, but refused to act as a unit. “Brave 02” set up the interaction between Daigo, Nobuharu, and Amy as the latter two characters decided to reveal their identities and join him to form a true “Sentai”. The episode itself involves Daigo building a statue for the kids at a local museum and the group trying to protect it and the associated festival.
Dino Charge takes quite a different route, since the entire team is together from the beginning. Instead of protecting a statue, the Rangers are fighting to protect the secret of their base. Instead of focusing on the team being built, Dino Charge focuses on setting up the villain structure and diving further into the story of Fury.
Another difference to highlight is the different stances between the two Black Rangers. In Kyoryuger, Ian (along with Souji) was pretty firm in not wanting to start a team with their identities known. In Dino Charge, Chase is actually the opposite. When Tyler wants to go off on his own to hunt after Fury, Chase is the first to argue back, wanting the team to stick together as a group. Chase has shown to be really close to Ian’s character thus far, so it’s interesting to see this sort of change.
Setting up these comparisons is really interesting. “A Fool’s Hour” used the basis of a Sentai plot, with a fair amount of Sentai footage, but still managed to pull off what can only be described as an original episode. As I said last week, Power Rangers seems to be back in the gear of following the corresponding Sentai loosely, and that’s always a great time for the franchise.
Next week in “Return of the Caveman”, we focus on Chase and Koda as Chase teaches our caveman how to operate Kendall’s new Dino Cycles. When the duo is caged in a cave, it’s up to Koda to save the day. The episode’s synopsis appears to be a modified concept of “Brave 03” from Kyoryuger.