Power Rangers Ninja Steel Episode 2: Forged in Steel

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Picking up where the first episode ended, after Brody and company's escape from Galvanax's ship via the trash chute.  As a result, a lot of garbage ended up getting dumped on Earth.  This garbage lands on the road blocking two teenagers from Summer Cove High Schools named Hayley and Calvin.  As they try to clear the garbage from the road, they find the shapeshifter Mick.  Mick explains how he ended up on Earth, and they are attacked by Galvanax's foot soldiers.  They manage to fight them off and head back to Summer Cove High School to try and fix Mick's broken wrist communicator.  Mick ends up getting hired as the shop teacher.  Clearly Summer Cove is pretty lax on teacher background checks...

Meanwhile, Brody, Preston, Sarah, and Redbot have gone to Brody's childhood home looking for Brody's brother Aiden and the Ninja Steel. Aiden is long gone, but he left clues that the Ninja Steel was hidden in Summer Cove High School.  Mick is able to reach Brody, and Brody tells him where to find the Ninja Steel.  But Galvanax has been spying on them, so sends a monster named Ripper Rat to grab the Ninja Steel.  Hayley and Calvin try to fight Ripper Rat, but he's too strong for them.  Before he can destroy them, the Ninja Nexus Prism arrives and Hayley and Calvin are able to retrieve two stars from inside the Prism to become the White and Yellow Rangers.  Brody,  Preston, and Sarah arrive, and the Power Rangers team easily defeats Ripper Rat.

Galvanax is able to revive Ripper Rat as a giant monster.  Mick puts the Ninja Steel into the Prism, and is able to give the Power Rangers access to their Zords.  The Power Rangers defeat Ripper Rat once and for all.  They set up a secret base in the shop at Summer Cove High School.  But Sarah realizes that the Gold Ninja Star is gone.  In the end, it is revealed that one of Galvanax's lieutenants, Madame Odius, somehow ended up with the Gold Ninja Star.

The twist in the end with Madame Odius being in control of the Gold Ninja Star was a nice surprise.  Real curious how she could pull a Ninja Star from the Prism when no other monster was able to.  The Ninja Stars seemed to be pretty picky, so there must be something special about Odius...or else someone else had been able to retrieve it, and she stole it from them.  Hopefully we will get answers to those questions in the next few episodes.

The cast in this season is one of the strongest I've seen in Power Rangers.  I still like the cast of DINO CHARGE slightly more, but it's plenty early so I may change my mind over time.  I do think that like DINO CHARGE, they should have shown the first two episodes back to back on the same day.   It felt a little disjointed as two separate episodes, but when you watch them as one hour long episode, they are a lot more satisfying.

I also loved the new Zords in action.  They had a ton of personality. I especially loved seeing Kody playing fetch after Nitro threw the ninja stars.  It was just a quick moment, but it gave the Zords a real unique charm to them.  I also liked that the Rangers rode on top of their Zords. This just looked real cool to me.

A few other things that stood out for me about this episode:

1) Hayley and Calvin are a couple even before they become Power Rangers.  Not sure we have ever seen that before.  Usually we get a lot of flirting and will they/won't they with Power Ranger couples, but this time they established a couple right up front.  I thought that was pretty cool.

2) I have seen some complaints online about the Zords "coincidentally" having connections to the Power Rangers.  Brody's is very similar to Red Bot.  Preston's magic act in the first episode had him turning into a dragon.  Sarah's train resembles her hoverboard.  Calvin drives a yellow pickup truck.  Hayley has a dog named Kodiak.  The complaints revolved around the idea that episode doesn't explain these coincidences.  Personally, I think the Zords were like Gozer in GHOSTBUSTERS.  The Rangers subconsciously choose the form of their Zords, and this is how they manifested.  Or you can just hand wave it as "these five were destined to become Power Rangers." 

3) The Morphin Sequence seemed a bit odd.  The Rangers yell "Ninja Spin" and seem to make a gesture to try and spin their stars, but they don't move until later.  It just seemed really awkward the way it was done.

Two episodes in, POWER RANGERS NINJA STEEL is off to a real strong start.  Amazing that 24 years in, POWER RANGERS can still produce entertaining stories.  DINO CHARGE and NINJA STEEL promise that there is a still a lot of life in this franchise as we head towards the 25th anniversary.   

4.0 / 5.0