Power Rangers Beast Morphers "Hangar Heist" // Review
Devon receives his first real test as a leader when his insecurities cloud his ability to accept the input of his teammates. While Evox tries to regain ground lost in "Taking Care of Business," the Rangers experience internal conflict stemmed from Devon's bruised ego. After experiencing two errors from model rocket flying and a battle simulation, both of which Ravi offered valid points of constructive criticism, Devon begins throwing his weight around as team leader. The fledging Red Ranger has to learn to the value of listening to your teammates or risk allowing Evox's troops to capture some technology from the secret Grid Battleforce Hangar.
It's interesting to note that this episode was supposed to be the series second episode before being pushed back by Nick. It's fascinating to think that the powers that be would begin the series by showing its Red Ranger in a somewhat negative light. On the one hand, "Hangar Heist" benefits from being the sixth episode instead of the second because the audience has seen that Devon's arrogance is almost warranted. He isn't being shamed for trusting his instincts, which his commander praises, but is told to see the value in listening to others. He's a skilled fighter and has a knack for strategies which has served the Grid Battleforce Rangers well in their battles against evil, but lacks experiences and expertise that his teammates have. On the other hand, the audience has become so accustomed to Devon's maturity, and aptitude as a leader that it might be too late to fall back on the rich brat characterization alluded to in the premiere.
What sells Devon's insecurities to Ravi as part of his character and not an anomaly is another natural performance from Rorrie D. Travis. He doesn't start irritable and cocky, just self-assured because of his skills and past successes. As his instincts continue to fail him his outbursts become more frequent and aggressive, a natural progression that still leaves Devon's character likable by the episode's end.
The episode's theme is another one for the series that is very relatable handled in a way that doesn't talk down to or spoon-feed its audience. It would be so easy for Beast Morphers to dip into preachiness with their "morals of the week," but they so far have been able to avoid it with relatable plots and characterization.
There is a missed opportunity with the villains again in this episode. The entire season Evox's inventor Scrozzle has butted heads with his cyber-avatars Roxy and Blaze. While that bickering continues in "Hangar Heist," it would've been nice to see more emphasis on the parallel between the generals and the Rangers. Devon learning to cooperate and best the villains with the Rangers would have been that much more satisfying when contrasted with the bad guys' battling egos.
In terms of the supporting cast, Jazz Baduwalia's Ravi has a few stand out moments of trying to help Devon with the rocket and simulation. He comes off as natural and wanting to help, which is what scenes needed. Comedic relief Ben and Betty continue to amuse and not annoy with their latest antics, as well as having some legitimate triumph in the form of uncovering Evox's henchmen at the titular Hangar base.
"Hangar Heist" is another solid installment that continues to prove Beast Morphers as one of the higher quality PR seasons. Relatable moral, great characters, and an organically moving plot. We are two episodes away from Scrozzle and Evox unleashing their "secret project," which hopefully will bring as much emotion and suspense as its excellent predecessors.