Recap: Power Rangers Dino Fury, Episode 1 – “Destination Dinohenge”
Young reporter Amelia is a reporter for online news site Buzzblast. She tries to convince her boss Jane into letting her write a story about an ancient landmark in the forest, Dinohenge. But Jane is not a fan of Amelia’s paranormal ideas especially since Buzzblast focuses more on fluffy stories.
After some prodding, Jane decides to let Amelia do the story as long as she reports only on facts and with no paranormal angles.
Amelia hurries over to the forest armed with her Spook Snare as she makes her way to Dinohenge. When the Spook Snare detects a “ghost,” she shoots an electrified net to trap it. But it ends up actually being a human man, Ollie.
Amelia gets the net off of Ollie who is running late after getting lost looking for his mom at Dinohenge. Amelia perks up and says she is also heading there and with a map.
They introduce themselves to each other. While walking, Ollie explains he and his archaeologist mother just moved her to Pine Ridge to unearth some of the local history.
They reach Dinohenge where Ollie’s mom, Dr. Akana has already set up shop in the middle of a circle of huge dino statues.
Dr. Akana introduces herself and explains she hopes to uncover the secrets of Dinohenge using her drone scanning system that can detect buried structures. But once the drone begins scanning the dinosaur statues, their eyes begin to glow and the earth begins to shake.
Dr. Akana’s system detects a chamber of some sort underground. Before they can investigate more, Warden Buzzkill… actually Warden Garcia pops up and says they are trespassing. He tells them to pack it up and summons them to headquarters to file a report.
While his mom goes with the warden, Ollie begins to pack.
Amelia explains that she has had several run ins with the warden before during her ghost hunting. Ollie realizes Amelia shot him because she thought he was a ghost. He says he and his mother have never seen ghosts because they do not exist. Amelia says Ollie is closed minded. But Ollie says he is just rational.
Suddenly, the purple-colored Void Knight appears out of nowhere and shoots his way underground. Ollie and Amelia decide to follow until they reach the underground chamber, careful not to keep the dark knight from seeing them.
Void Knight searches for a “power source,” but he stumbles upon another hidden room where dinosaur Solon is busy rushing to release Red Ranger Zayto from a Stasis Pod.
Void Knight demands Solon show him the energy source. But before he can slash at her, Ollie grabs a saber from the wall to parry the attack. Amelia shoots an electrified net to trap Void Knight. But Solon says that’s not going to hold him long.
Solon tosses them a Key to lock into the saber and allow the Hengemen to fight for them. But Void Knight intercepts and puts the Hengemen under his control instead.
Both Amelia and Ollie have done years of karate and Ollie has done six years of fencing as well. They both do their best to battle the Hengemen using the sabers.
Void Knight continues searching the chamber for the power source. Solon continues trying to wake Zayto from the Pod, but fears the system is too damaged.
Just then, the sabers begin to glow and morphers appear on Ollie and Amelia’s wrists. Solon tosses them each a Key which they lock into their morphers to allow them to morph into Power Rangers.
Their new powers allow them to better take on the Hengemen.
But Void Knight finds a chest containing the “energy source,” Sporix. He orders Hengemen to grab the chest. But Solon is finally able to release Zayto who quickly leaps out to stop Zayto from leaving.
Zayto demands to know where Void Knight stole his armor. But that revelation is for another episode. The battle continues.
Zayto activates his Dino Dagger and hurls it at Void Knight. But Void Knight deflects and the dagger lands right at the chest of Sporix which are now free.
As the Sporix fly out of the command chamber and into the world, Void Knight follows and manages to momentarily trap the Rangers in. Above ground, a Sporix falls on the ground and hatches into a monster. The two of them leave together.
Back downstairs, the Rangers demorph. Zayto reveals himself as well as introduces his “wise friend” Solon. He also demonstrates his mind reading ability by innocently psychoanalyzing both Ollie and Amelia.
Solon tells Zayto he has been in the Stasis Pod for 65 million years. She explains that she is a cyborg dinosaur, a solonosaurus specifically, that was badly injured in a battle with the Sporix. She asks Zayto to explain the rest of their backstory.
65 million years ago, the Sporix were unleashed on his planet Rafkon. He led an army of knights against the embiggened beasts to defend their home planet, but were unsuccessful. When the Sporix were done killing most of the Rafkonians, they targeted Earth.
Zayto and his remaining knights chased after them and fought alongside the dinosaurs. They were forced to retreat until the legendary Morphin Masters appeared to help them by connecting the surviving knights to the Morphin Grid and infusing them with the spirits of dinosaurs.
The Masters entrusted them with the mission to defeat the Sporix and gave them access to zords to help in the fight.
Unfortunately, the best they could do was lock the Sporix up. And at the cost of all Zayto’s comrades being killed.
Since then, they had to lock and guard the Sporix to prevent them from wreaking death and destruction. But now they’ve been unleashed unto the world once more.
Zayto says the Sporix will hide and hibernate until they hatch and grow into Sporix Beasts each episode. And to combat them, Ollie and Amelia will need some training and asks if they are ready for it. The two new Rangers says they are.
That was a very nice premiere. Of course, there’s a little bit of déjà vu. I’ve said that about many a Power Rangers season premiere these last ten years. So I know to temper my expectations. There’s always a renewed sense of hope at the start of a season. And even though my apathy toward Power Rangers reached a high last year, I nonetheless look forward to seeing what would hopefully be a refreshing new season.
That said, this premiere certainly exceeded my low expectations. It’s easiest to compare to the season that just finished. And in that sense, this one Dino Fury episode manages to do at least one thing better.
When I think about the last dino season, Dino Charge remains the high point of the Saban Brands/Hasbro Era. Yes, the Super half of the season was very much subpar compared to the first half. But overall, it was a huge step forward after Samurai and Megaforce. Unfortunately, Ninja Steel and, to a lesser extent, Beast Morphers seemed to take multiple steps back. And in various different ways.
One of my biggest complaints about Beast Morphers was that the fight choreography and direction was just so flat. No excitement whatsoever. Here in this episode, all the fight scenes were actually much more dynamic. More fluid wire fu, properly used shaky cam. Simple things like that can do wonders for a scene.
It gave the right amount of excitement for the episode. And also, the scenes came across much better in context than they did when they were released the last few days to preview the premiere. I think the fight scenes were my favorite part of the episode.
Another positive from this premiere was them eschewing the typical exposition when it comes to the powers and the backstories. Yes, Zayto certainly had his expository monologue at the end of the episode. But the episode wasn’t solely focused on that. In a way, the episode established just what they needed to make the action make sense enough. It allowed for the events on screen and the characters we’ve only just met be things that you care about immediately.
And I think they did that. Ollie and Amelia were at the forefront of the episode and they did very well. Both good characters. I enjoyed their back and forth. Zayto at the end was fine as well. I very much like seeing Dr. Akana and having more family members be regular characters.
My favorite character though has to be Solon. Especially seeing that Solon is actually a female character. She reminds me a lot of Doggie Cruger perhaps. From recent seasons, I would have compared her to maybe Torin’s Dino Charge counterpart Zenowing if he had been the mentor instead of just a minor character. And really, Keeper was one of the things I liked most about both seasons of Dino Charge. So, it’s interesting how non-human mentors seem to be the way to go with contemporary Power Rangers. I have the highest hopes Solon can be a truly great character.
The Morphin Masters and the original Rangers provide some potential for future story. But I certainly hope Morphin Masters don’t become this season’s deus ex machina like Ninja Steel‘s Nexus Prism.
The only bad thing about this premiere was definitely the theme song. Just horrible. What is there to say about it? I thought the scoring/background music they played in the first battle after Ollie and Amelia first morph sounded like a better theme song.
Anyway, it’s a good thing that the theme song is the only thing I can nitpick about this premiere. Again, I keep my expectations low because these last ten years have really been disappointing. And of course it’s worse when you expect a lot more than the show is capable of delivering. But overall, Dino Fury is off to a good start. And the only thing we can hope for is they maintain the positives throughout.