Power Rangers Beast Morphers "Evox's Revenge" // Review
After successfully repelling the evil computer virus Evox, the new team of Grid Battleforce Power Rangers has a quick reprieve for educating themselves on their new powers and learn to function as a team. Competition arises between Ravi and Zoey with both considering themselves most qualified to hold the title of team leader. Will the Rangers take control of their pride long enough to work together? Are Evox and his growing army of cybernetic minions on the cusp of seizing Morph-X for themselves? All this and more in the second episode of Power Rangers Beast Morphers "Evox's Revenge."
The premiere of Power Rangers Beast Morphers was a huge success, introducing audiences to a new era of heroism while re-vitalizing the spirit of the franchise. As fantastic as the introductory "Beasts Unleashed" was, Power Rangers has a history of strong debuts that fall into mediocrity once the episodic aspect of the show kicks in. While its second episode "Evox's Revenge" is far from being a weak episode, it does miss the mark execution wise by falling short of lofty aspirations.
"Evox's Revenge" functions both as an immediate follow up to "Beasts Unleashed" as well as an episode centering around teamwork and the qualities of leadership. It's ambitious for the show to try to continue the fast-paced exposition heavy nature of the premiere, but that style of episode structure works less for a stand-alone than it does a debut. Just as audiences are digesting a new piece of lore, the moral of the episode becomes more prominent. Conversely, when the human drama of the Rangers competing with each other becomes engrossing, the show overwhelms its viewers with new information about Robotrons, Beast Bots, or the Rangers’ powers. What execution flaws the episode has are still compensated for thanks to the high concepts of the script and solid performances from the cast.
Real conflict between the Rangers has been a crucial story element missing from the franchise for the past few years, and the episode utilizes it very well. Ravi and Zoey both have good cases for why one should be the leader, with neither of them coming off as unreasonable or being a jerk. The new lore elements are also interesting, both explaining how the season's villains access the Morphin Grid and giving the Rangers new weaknesses via their animal DNA. The DNA weaknesses might be a bit of a stretch for some, but they are also hardly the silliest thing to exist in the franchise.
There are some new characters introduced as well including the Rangers' Beast Bot companions, robotic partners with powers based on each Rangers' animal motif, and the villainous Scrozzle. Scrozzle is an American-exclusive creation who has no equivalent in the Japanese Super Sentai franchise. The Power Rangers franchise is at its best when it contributes new ideas or characters, and Scrozzle is a great addition, simultaneously devious and conniving yet easily frightened and subjugated by superior forces.
The comedic duo of Ben and Betty also make a triumphant return this episode, once again with surprising relevance to the plot. Their presence in the show feels authentic, both playing a part in the assisting the Rangers and being a reminder of the episode's theme on pride. Another standout character wise is the Cybervillain Blaze who was excellent in the premiere and further cemented himself in the echelon of great Power Rangers generals. Colby Strong's performance gives the character the right balance of rage and cockiness, his scream of "TRONICS" bringing instant flashbacks to the highpoints of evil Tommy Oliver during the "Green with Evil" storyline of MMPR.
"Evox's Revenge" packs as much plot as "Beasts Unleashed" with tragically less cohesion. However, just because the episode falls short of perfection doesn't make it a bad or even mediocre entry in the season. At the end of the day "Evox's Revenge" is a solid episode of Power Rangers with as much heart and energy as the premiere. It's great to see the powers of that be aim so high with episodes like "Beasts Unleashed," as it is a clear indication of the potential Beast Morphers has as an exceptional season.