It’s time to cut to the chase as we take a look at Power Rangers Dino Charge’s fifth episode, “Breaking Black”.
Chase, texting while grilling decides to abandon his station at the grill to flirt with some girls, almost burning down the entire museum, according to Kendall. As Chase gets scolded, an older kiwi woman named Moana arrives, needing Chase’s help to protect her shop.
At the shop, Chase goofs off and falls asleep as the monster known as Spellbinder steals a vault looking amulet. The amulet has mind control powers, as he hits Chase with the spell. Chase pursues Spellbinder as the rest of the team arrives, but the spell is too strong for him to take the final shot.
Kendall upgrades their weapons to combine with the Kentrosaurus Dino Spike Charger to form the Dino Spike weapon. Unfortunately, it needs all five Rangers to work. Moana informs the Rangers that the spell can be ignored if the user concentrates, something Chase has difficulty doing. Moana then tells the Rangers of how Chase saved her cat from certain truck-related doom. For saving the animal, Moana gives Chase the Black Energem stored in her shop.
Spellbinder, Wrench, and Curio attack the Rangers, successfully blasting Tyler, Riley, and Koda with the spell. Chase is summoned to the warehouse to finish Shelby. After kicking a skateboard like dolly towards Chase, his passion for the sport causes him to focus and break the spell, swiftly blasting Spellbinder and breaking the spell completely.
The Rangers enter Dino Steel Mode, and successfully form the Dino Spike to defeat Spellbinder. As he grows, Chase summons the Para Zord, which combines with the Raptor and T-Rex Zord to form the Dino Charge Megazord Para-Raptor Formation, which makes quick work of Spellbinder. Sledge recovers the amulet from Spellbinder’s wreckage, and decides to store it away for later use.
While this episode wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, this is the first time Dino Charge has left me with not a whole lot to say. Chase was a character we did not know a lot about. It was easy to assume he was the first of the modern day Rangers to get his Energem, since Koda was frozen and the other three found their Energies in the present day. We just didn’t know how. The episode did serve as a nice springboard into Chase’s rather one dimensional character. Until this point, Chase was the ladies’ man from New Zealand that didn’t like to split the team apart. We still don’t know why he asks the way he does, though it could just be part of his personality, but we know that in a weird twist of fate, his focus and determination is what bonded the Energem to his spirit.
The episode unfortunately didn’t offer any further look into any other characters or really any of their relationships. Keeper finally appeared on screen again, only to essentially tell Chase to man up and focus before vanishing into obscurity again. Moana is a moderately interesting character that certainly has some potential to be a reoccurring character. Working with a motif like dinosaurs and ancient times, Moana’s knowledge of the past could be key in unlocking some of the Rangers’ questions. While I’m totally expecting her to never appear again, I really hope she is a character they constantly revisit.
This episode marked the first appearance of the Para Zord, the final of the main five Dino Charge Zords. While it certainly did its fair share of fighting on its own, we witnessed its ability to combine with the T-Rex Zord and another Zord, in this case the Raptor Zord, to form the Dino Charge Megazord Para-Raptor Formation.
Sledge having hold of the amulet is a really interesting touch. Those with knowledge of Kyoryuger know the vault emblem appears again on a future fusion monster that may or may not be used in Dino Charge. Given the fact it has mind control properties, it can also be used to take control of any future Zords, Rangers, or minor characters. It is hard to pinpoint what exactly the amulet will be used for in the future, but the foreshadowing is certainly an interesting aspect that is great to see.
While I feel like “Breaking Black” could rank as the least interesting Dino Charge episode yet, it is still a great watch and in no way a bad episode. It brought us closer to learning about Chase, brought us a new Zord, and landed a mysterious weapon into the hands of Sledge. With our character focus episodes aside, it will be interesting to see where the series goes from here.
This is really becoming a common trend for this series. “Breaking Black” is a loose adaption of Kyoryuger’s “Brave 04.” While both episodes use the same monster and footage, “Breaking Black” spins a completely different tale.
“Brave 04” focused on Ian (Kyoryu Black)’s past and concluded with him officially joining the team. Debo Doronbosu (Spellbinder) is identified by Ian as the one who killed his best friend and treasure hunting partner. The episode focuses on his rocky relationship with the rest of the Kyoryugers and establishing Ian as a character who wants to act independently. As the episode progresses, Ian realizes he needs the rest of the team, resulting in the Kentrospiker (Dino Spike) being formed.
“Breaking Black,” while remaining focused on the Black Ranger, took a different turn. Our situation is always unique in that our team was together from the start. Not needing to take that time to formulate the team, Dino Charge decides to use the episode to focus on Chase’s biggest flaw that can eventually turn him into a better and more focused team mate.
While it would be unfair to say if one episode was better than the other, I have to commend the Dino Charge team for using the footage to their advantage flawlessly. Shots where Ian was shaky and unwilling to shoot due to his painful memories translated well into a mind control scenario. While the episode was carried well by James Davies’s performance in the final scene, the footage from Kyoryuger was used quite well given the circumstances.
Next week, in “The Tooth Hurts” a mysterious cavity causing monster attacks the city as Riley and Chase feud on their approach to the situation. This episode is an adaption of “Brave 05” from Kyoryuger.