Alright everyone it is time for another Power Rangers Dino Fury review! Today’s episode is big one, but it is not a milestone in episode runs or a series anniversary. This episode is big for making history, as being inclusive and representing the developmentally disabled. Also, the episode’s guest star is an actual Special Olympics contestant, Sarah Dalton, who competed as an Equestrian athlete. Sarah’s condition is CHARGE Syndrome, a genetic syndrome that is very debilitating, and it often requires various surgeries. Anyway, the episode features a well-crafted story addressing the subject matter of special needs and what the Special Olympics represent. Whereas, if anyone is questioning about audio issues within the episode, Simon Bennet confirmed it was a Nickelodeon transmission issue. So, with the introduction out of the way, let us jump into this really good episode!
We begin with Izzy training for an upcoming Crossfield race with her cousin Lily (Sarah Dalton). Lily is a former Special Olympics winner, and acts as Izzy’s personal trainer. As the other Rangers arrive, Izzy introduces Lily to them. The scene then becomes a small PSA-like exposit on what the Special Olympics are; this is most likely meant to inform the intended demographic viewers at home. Also, despite this being most likely one of Sarah’s early acting roles, she seems good in the role. However, the others did not come to hangout, but to get Izzy as Solon wants to hold a meeting. This meeting is for Solon to divulge the information on her investigation on locating the Tiger Claw and Stego Spike Zords. Whereas, she is currently devising a device to make locating the lost zords easier. Yet, the whole detector device heavily reminds me of Dino Charge’s E-Tracer.
Meanwhile, Jane and J-Borg seem to be filming a child friendly PSA regarding the Ranger Hotline with young children in attendance. The scene is goofy and childlike as it should be expected, but things escalate when Brineblast the Sporix Beast appears. Thankfully, a young kid in attendance is smart enough to use the knowledge obtained to call for help. Furthermore, as the call is being placed, Boomtower and Mucus arrive to meet their comrade. Now, I found this scene comedic and dark, because it is rare to see kids their again as monster targets. However, it is great change in pace, as it adds to the villains’ threat level. So, the Rangers teleport in and we get our first full team morph, as well as roll-call. I actually began to miss the roll-calls, as Beast Morphers rarely or quite frankly never did them. Whereas, the fight begins with original footage, but then transitions to Sentai stock footage. Here the writers good use of the visuals and suit acting to have Brineblast fool Zayto to escape with Boomtower.
Following the battle Izzy leaves to meet with Lily, and oh dear this scene made fans cringe. Also, this scene may be hard to summarize and try to rationally explain its purpose, so please bear with me. Now, once returning to field to train Izzy is mad that Lily arrives late. Lily tries to explain why she was delay, but Izzy is too determined to win and beat the new girl. Lily even tries to explain herself through advice by saying “there are more important things than winning, like helping people.” However, Izzy does not seem to care to hear anything from Lily, so she storms off.
For several fans, this scene came off leaving them uncomfortable, and it made Izzy to be an entitled jerk. However, I do have the counterpoint that Izzy is a top state athlete, pressured by high expectations from her father. In addition, Izzy is dealing a newfound rival who is vying to upstage her as the school’s top athlete. So, with Izzy being hyper-focused on winning, she is being irrational towards the people around her. This would allow Izzy to temporarily overlook Lily’s disability or mistakes, and just focus on her own narrative. Yet, I do not condone the actions Izzy made, but I can understand the possible thought process.
Now, continuing with the episode, at Area 62, Void Knight and company stumble upon the location of the missing Zords. They then decide the best option than taking control of them is to pull a Divatox and blow them up. Also, Void Knight plans to use Brineblast as a distraction, so Boomtower can plant and detonate the bomb successfully. Furthermore, Mucus wants to help too, but Void Knight exclaims “Here’s an important job, keep your mouth shut!” Yet, Mucus eventually does help with this plan, so that is ironic.
Then we transition to the following day, where the Rangers gather to watch Izzy’s race. As Izzy preps for the race, a girl with a broken leg introduces herself to Izzy. The girl is Mona, and she is Lily’s friend who asked her to help her with shopping the previous day. With the context in hand, Izzy immediately feels like utter crap for how she treated Lily. However, the race is about to begin, and Izzy cannot make the time to properly apologize. Now, the way everything unfolded between Izzy and Lily does feel very relatable. I experience similar issues between family and friends that cannot be solved by those involved until a third party intervenes. Also, in certain situations we cannot effectively apologize for our past behavior like Izzy. This then leads to the regret affecting moral, as also seen with how Izzy’s family thinks she is simply nervous.
Anyway, the race begins and Brineblast appears giant-sized in the city. The team decides to let Izzy continue the race, while the remaining Rangers defend the city. As time passes by, the Rangers struggle with Brineblast, and Izzy is tied with her rival for first. However, Izzy’s rival trips, takes a nasty fall, and in the process injures her ankle. Remembering Lily’s advice from the other day, Izzy decides to stop to help the girl and loses the lead. Yet, while helping her rival get onto an official’s cart, Izzy hears Boomtower nearby and goes off to stop him. So, by doing the right thing Izzy discovers Boomtower is doing something even worse than if she left her rival injured! Thankfully, Izzy arrives to see BoomTower and Mucus plant the bomb to destroy the zords. This allows Izzy to alert the others of the immediate threat, and devise a plan to counteract the bomb.
Now, Izzy’s plan is luring Brineblast to the area to corrode the mountain with its water to free the zords. So, the Rangers rush to Izzy’s location, and manage to get Brineblast to erode the mountain. The opening made allows the Claw Tiger Zord to escape, as the bomb goes off. Whereas, the Rangers actually get knocked off their cockpit control podiums, even though they rarely fall off them. I found this a cool feature for original cockpit footage, so I thought to mention it. Anyway, Izzy combines her zord with the others to form the Dino Fury Megazord Claw Formation; in this form, the Megazord is a mighty swordsman with speed-enhancing thrusters. So, with this new formation the Rangers make quick work in defeating Brineblast. Unfortunately, Boomtower manages to capture Brineblast’s Sporix Egg, making it the second one Void Knight has obtained since episode 2.
With nothing else to do as Rangers, the team returns the race and Izzy appears to officially complete it. At the finish line, Lily waits with Mona, and Izzy finally apologizes to her. Yet, Lily understands the situation and gifts to Izzy her Special Olympics medal for sportsmanship; the gift is to excuse her loss and for having helped her rival. Even her father, Warden Garcia, is proud with Izzy’s decision in sportsmanship, as everyone comes to celebrate. Also, we discover Javi does not exist, and he is merely a figment of our imagination! Well, at least that is what Izzy jokes when Lily says that she is the best cousin.
So, with the episode summary finally over, let me try to unpack and evaluate everything. Firstly, I think the hokey comedic scenes with Jane and J-Borg were fine; I am starting to believe they mostly exist in context of storytelling to use the Ranger Hotline. Secondly, the search for the missing Zords being a B-Plot is alright in the grand scheme of things. However, I do not think it was written too well to coincide with the episode’s subject matter. Finally, while several fans perceive that this episode’s moral was mishandled, I cannot entirely agree.
Normally, television programs do not give the developmentally disabled like Sarah Dalton’s CHARGE syndrome enough respect. In addition, the attempts to represent people with these issues comes off more hurtful than being helpful. Whereas, here I think the production team put in a lot of effort to almost perfectly address the subject matter. I could not be any prouder of the staff for this episode, and that they are tackling subjects like this. It sure took a long time to get here, but it does feel rewarding to me at least. Now, I can only hope Simon Bennet and company will eventually tackle subjects regarding physically disabled people who require wheelchairs. At least, I hope they consider it since Hero-Club site founder, Wheelchair21, wants a wheelchair-bound character as a Power Ranger.
Anyway, I am sure there are people who will hate this episode and find issues with it. However, I just want to give it the best positive reaction that it can have. Also, I want to appreciate Sarah Dalton’s performance, as she did a great job. Furthermore, I have to support the Special Olympics having been a former participant. Nevertheless, Dino Fury is five for five in decent storytelling, and I cannot wait for episode 6 “Superstition Strikes.” It seems to be all about Amelia, so I hope everyone is excited for a Hunter Deno appreciation post next week!
Final Grade: 5 out of 5 Power Keys