Recap: Power Rangers Dino Fury, Episode 20 – Waking Nightmares
Aiyon is having nightmares of the Final Battle of Rafkon when their comrades and most of the planet died. He gets up for a walk and runs into Zayto who says he too has nightmares of that day. And often. Feeling some survivor’s guilt, Aiyon wonders if their teammates would still be alive if they made different choices that day. Zayto avoids the question and says they should get some sleep in order to help Dr. Akana dig up the Ranger Keys tomorrow.
Over at Area 62, Mucus has a dream about trying to sneak into the Sporix machine room and instead activating a machine that makes her the coolest thing ever by having her own musical number. Slyther wakes her up just as Void Knight reminds them to collect more Sporix for the meter.
Next morning, Dr. Akana digs up the two new Battle Keys: Light Dino Key breaks magical curses while the Shadow Dino Key can create a black hole. When combined into the Cosmic Dino Key, it can create a portal to anywhere in the universe.
The Rangers thank Dr. Akana for her help. She asks if she can analyze and study the dinosaur statues and Zayto says to go right on ahead.
The Rangers head down to the command chamber and Solon discovers the zords connected to the new Keys are located on the planet of Nibyro. Zayto says during the Great Sporix Battle, their zords were blasted pretty hard and could’ve landed anywhere.
Aiyon uses the Keys to open a portal. Zayto quickly jumps through and is met by his and Aiyon’s four thought-to-be-dead teammates. The Rangers watch the portal close just as the four original Rangers charge toward Zayto.
Solon says the Keys aren’t strong enough to sustain a portal since the zords are so far away. Aiyon does not understand how their teammates could’ve survived.
Before they can think about the situation more, Dr. Akana calls and asks the Rangers to be above ground with her while she conducts an experiment. She attaches an energy conductor to the statues and when activated, the morphin grid appears in the sky above them.
Aiyon is able to charge up the Shadow Key using morphin power. Void Knight, Slyther and Mucus watch from behind a bush and realize the morphin power could be used to power up Void Knight’s machine. They leave to make preparations.
Dr. Akana leaves for her lab to fix the overloaded capacitor. In the meantime, Aiyon tries out the Key and it opens a portal which he immediately jumps through. And it also closes just as quickly.
Aiyon finds Zayto battling their former teammates who keep repeating the same things over and over again. Aiyon recognizes their words and they realize these people are just a physical manifestation of their nightmares and not their actual teammates.
Over in Area 62, Void Knight visits his lover and says they are so close to being together again. He summons Reaghoul and removes his handcuffs as he has a
few requests for him.
First, Void Knight has Reaghoul resurrect Boomtower to whom he gifts some upgraded balls. Boomtower demands a Sporix blob and Mucus suggests they forcefully take one from Slyther’s body.
They head downtown to meet the Rangers. Boomtower shoots his balls at the Rangers, but nothing seems to happen. The Rangers morph, but Boomtower’s balls somehow bring about randomly placed explosions.
They ask Solon to contact Zayto and Aiyon.
Zayto and Aiyon are able to tame their nightmares by using the good memories they had together. The nightmare Rangers disappear and the Guardian of Nibyro appears.
The Guardian explains that the nightmare illusions are a way to protect the planet from marauders. But Zayto and Aiyon have proven themselves to be noble.
Solon’s message reaches them and Aiyon opens a Cosmic Gateway for Zayto to pass through in order to hurry back and help the others. Together, they realize the upgraded balls release a gas that will explode with the tiniest of sparks.
Meanwhile, The Guardian leads Aiyon to the twin zords who accompany him back to Earth.
Aiyon uses the Shadow Dino Key to absorb the gasses into a black hole. Boomtower embiggens and Aiyon summons the zords to form Mosa Shadow Megazord. The others hop into the regular Megazord and they battle Boomtower until he gets sucked into a black hole, explodes and dies a second time.
Solon calls the Rangers and tells them to immediately return to Dinohenge as Void Knight has stolen Dr. Akana’s equipment.
So this episode definitely illustrates one of my biggest problems with Power Rangers in the Saban Brands/Hasbro Era.
This episode is obviously setting up the midseason finale. But that’s the problem. Just like the recent seasons, the standalone format of the series hinders what should be an exciting climactic event. Instead of a climax of a season’s (or half season’s) worth of episodes, you are essentially getting a regular two-parter being billed as a finale event. And that’s a shame because a lot of, if not most of the recent seasons’ finale episodes have been excitingly hollow. That is, big explosive episodes, but hollow with respect to the foundation needed to make them emotionally satisfying and exciting.
If finding keys had been a bigger plot thread over the 20 episodes, perhaps this would have meant much more. Maybe even dropping hints of the “twin zords” earlier on. With Ryusoulger, the team’s connection to their zords was a major part of the story. And by extension, the zord’s relationships with each other as well. So the search for these long lost twin zords could’ve been a great way to have good character-driven story here on Dino Fury with similar dynamics or something else in place of it.
In turn, the idea of both Zayto and Aiyon having a bit of survivor’s guilt would’ve been an amazing way to introduce our Gold Ranger as well. Mixing his cocky attitude with genuine regret and guilt about his former teammates dying; that combination would make for great story. And the balance would help temper his abrasive and haphazard introduction.
What a meaningful and emotional story if it was Aiyon trying to hide his guilt or sadness about his comrades by putting on a façade to hide his true feelings. Would’ve been one of the best character-driven stories Power Rangers has seen in years. Would’ve also been a great way to flesh out his relationship with Zayto instead of that exposition we got in the other episode.
Then when it comes to Void Knight’s quest to resurrect his lover, all his Sporix-hunting is negated by an almost deus ex machina-type arrival of Dr. Akana’s morphin grid-summoning equipment. Though maybe tapping into the morphin grid still won’t bring his lover back and he’ll have to continue collecting Sporix blobs into the second half of the season.
As exciting as a battle on a faraway planet wasteland can be, the standalone style of storytelling takes so much away from great potential. There is a way to balance standalone episodes with a serialized format. And modern Power Rangers has not found a way to do that yet or refuses to find it, for whatever reason.
Anyway, why is Power Rangers obsessed with musical numbers lately? I don’t get it. Nor do I particularly like it. lol
Overall, another hollow, though fun episode. It’s just disappointing to consider what could have been.