Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Episode 13
I am in awe.
This might be the biggest farce Power Rangers has ever done. I feel like I need to pull up the definition of farce because it shockingly sums up this episode better than the next 800 or so words will.
Farce: noun. a comic dramatic work using buffoonery and horseplay and typically including crude characterization and ludicrously improbable situations.
I mean that says it all, doesn’t it? Let’s run down what happens.
Sarah gets an A+ on a test and doesn’t think she needs to study. This is totally reasonable, considering she basically invented a cloning machine and working hover board technology. Instead she’d much rather go see Train On The Run: Part 6, a plot that involves a group of characters stopping a runaway train. Presumably for the sixth time but it could also be six movies of stopping the same train? What?
The team is given another “harder” test the next day and to get out of it Victor and Monty eat a ton of beans. Okay, sure. Fart jokes are a (not funny) thing in Ninja Steel. Sure. They stink up the room so bad no one can focus on the test. Then the teacher, clearly prepared for this, brings out a giant box of GAS MASKS.
The teacher had a box of Gas Masks. Um. SURE! Why not? Although she doesn’t have enough for Victor and Monty, who are so intoxicated by the fumes that they finish their tests at super human speed and SMASH through the door. I don’t mean they just run out really fast. I mean they become cartoon characters and rip the door off its hinges with goofy zig zag lines.
At the end of the class the students are given their tests, proving their teacher must also be a superhero because there’s no human way a teacher could grade a test for a full class that quickly. Sarah, despite clearly being established as the genius of the team, got an F. How this happened in a day when the class clearly hasn’t been taught anything new, is baffling but sure.
If you think this episode is only broad farcical there is a moment of subtly. It carefully sets up Brax as a cowardly buffoon who runs away after one attack. It’s shocking how original this is for the show, especially since the Rangers call out how weak he is. Then, in a moment that the episode acts like is the biggest twist in the world, Brax turns around and is super powerful.
This is so subtle it almost might be seen as something that wasn’t telegraphed in any meaningful way. We only have the speculation from the Rangers that Brax was faking but its never confirmed in episode so… who knows????
Also there’s hilariously dramatic music while Sarah realizes the lesson of the day (which is then repeated ad nauseam) and Monty has farts that can destroy doors.
So that was insane. That doesn’t make it good. It suffers from all the problems Ninja Steel has struggled with. Victor and Monty being cartoons, a test somehow being graded in about five minutes, describing exactly what we’re seeing on screen, the perplexing morals, etc. But you know what? At least it’s fun.
Look, Ninja Steel has been pretty lackluster. A year and half of episodes mostly being boring, perplexing, waste of potential, or just straight up bad. The show hasn’t been really fun to watch in awhile. So when a farce like this comes along, at least it’s entertaining. It reminds me a lot of Super Megaforce, a season that made so many perplexing and laughable decisions you ended up just having to have fun with it.
I’m sure the cast felt the same way. They’re all clearly frustrated with how absurd this episode is so they just give up any pretense of “serious” acting and play it all for broad comedy. Chrysti Ane plays it like she’s a four year old in an after school special. William Shewfelt makes Brody funny. Chris Reid and Caleb Bendit read their lines in the final scene so dryly it could almost be read as bad acting. It isn’t. It’s the two of them clearly making fun of the script through their performances and you can tell under the surface they’re gleeful about it.
Again, none of this makes the episode good. It’s not, but at least it seems like most everyone involved was aware of it and just said “screw it.”
I’m not saying I want Ninja Steel to be a farce, but I’ll take that over it being lackluster. At least this was fun to watch. Bad, but fun to watch.