SPOILERS FOR "POWER RANGERS: DINO CHARGE"
The latest entry into the "Power Rangers" franchise, "Dino Charge," was easily the best season we've gotten since "RPM." It's not hard to top the uncomfortable atmosphere generated by "Samurai/Super Samurai" and "Megaforce" in total was boring. "Dino Charge" started off the gate strong, and unique.
Instead of a complete Megazord, we only had three of the Ranger zords to use. The beginning of the series was different than most we've seen. It was slow, but introduced the characters, showing us their backstories. Immediately, we understood where Tyler, Shelby, Riley, Keeper, and Kendall were all coming from. Chase and Koda later got their own well-deserved episodes.
I don't want this to turn into a review of sorts for "Dino Charge," either, but to get where I'm coming from looking ahead at "Dino Super Charge," you should know my thoughts. The villain was great, though I really wish they'd done more with Fury. I'm glad they actually went with him having Ivan trapped inside him rather than Tyler's father, although there is still the mystery of where his father is. That has to be addressed sometime. I'm still wondering if Tyler really did see his father during the wish-making episode, while the group had their stint in New Zealand, but considering how fast it was dropped, I'm also thinking it was just a projection based off of the monster's abilities.
The team has fantastic chemistry, even with characters who may not be around as much like Prince Phillip or Keeper. Keeper should technically have more of a role, but his impact is still felt as a background mentor, and it's well-implied that he's giving the group development off-screen. Prince Phillip isn't around as much and I'm okay with that. Not that he's a bad character, but I think it's a smart move on the writer's part. Would an entire kingdom logistically allow their prince to just get up and leave to work at a museum? No. In fact, he does more good there as he can use the Energem for the benefit of his kingdom, as well as allow the Rangers to do their own thing. He isn't much of a deus ex machina, either. As we saw in the season finale, Prince Phillip did help but it was only enough to hold off the monster.
As a whole, the core five Rangers are incredibly memorable. At first, Tyler came off as a bit of a goody-two shoes and Chase's "hot-shot" lines got a bit annoying, but following the inclusion of Ivan as the Gold Ranger it died down. Watching Tyler and Ivan develop together was great, as we got to see two leaders naturally come to term with their responsibilities. My only real gripe with the characters is that Riley really didn't do much of anything. His trope was that he was the smart one, and had only one or two episodes dedicated directly for himself. Everyone else had multiple, so I'm hoping he gets a bigger role as we get a smarter villain.
Which, it seems, we will. While I'm really hoping that Sledge and the gang weren't just taken out by their ship crashing (though on the other hand how they might have survived that outside of jumping off is beyond me), I do hope this new villain Snide proves his worth. He was given a single episode as Heckyl, and was built up pretty well, considering how Sledge feared him so much. I wondered since then why he wouldn't just bust out, but apparently the "Snide" part of him is the more powerful, more villainous one. He's based off of "Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde", so "Heckyl" and "Snide" are just the writer's way of making it so the parent's get the joke and the kids have a cool villain name to say.
Snide excites me if only because I have no idea what he may be after. His only interest in the Energems as Heckyl was to be free of his prison. If I remember correctly, he had no other motive. He just wanted out. And now that he is out, will he want revenge on the Rangers? He only fought them to get them out of his way. I hope it's not something as simple as world domination. At least with Sledge, there was a bit of a "chess-game" feel to it all, as pieces were moved around the board in search of the next Energem. It's part of the reason why I think Sledge isn't entirely gone and we may see him possibly team with the Rangers in order to stop Snide. Sort of like a Ransik situation like from "Reinforcements from the Future" where they have a much bigger threat to face and just have to unite.
The big selling point to "Dino Super Charge" is that we'll have 10 Rangers on the roster again--not since SPD have we had that many, although two of those ten were just one or two episode appearances. I don't expect Phillip to be around for much of the season, and those other three will appear scattered throughout it. This isn't much of a big surprise, though. Given how there are ten Energems they need to find and only have eight so far, well, you do the math. (But for some reason the Power Rangers wiki has eleven Rangers listed, so, I apparently know nothing. Whatever)
If there's one thing I'm looking forward to this year, it's sadly a crossover. I say sadly because I highly doubt we'll get it. "Dino Charge" used an insane amount of original shots and battle scenes, and it really, really helped the series. The Sentai footage was by no means bad or misused. But just knowing that this really was our Ranger team fighting did make a big difference in some episodes. Because of that, I don't know what the budget would look like for a crossover. The only crossover material from the Sentai is between what we know as the original team as well as the "Dino Thunder" team. Which, if we see a crossover between the five original Power Rangers and the second Dino-team...well I could very well have a heart attack of joy. Will it happen? Probably not. The original Rangers are quite old, and getting them all the way out to shooting would be difficult compared to possibly just flying out the three main "Dino Thunder" Rangers.
Besides, it makes more sense. In the Sentai "Dino Super Charge" is based on, Snide's character is related to Zeltrax. I don't know how they could properly work that in, but there's also the possibility that maybe the new Rangers discover some hidden, other dinosaur power--the Dino Gems. The problem is, Snide beat them to it, so Kendall secretly contacts Hayley about Connor, Kira, and Ethan. After they steal back the Dino Gems from Snide--who has found the power to temporarily reactivate them in order to resurrect Zeltrax (again, but, the guy never seems to go down)--they hand them back to their proper owners, and an epic Dinosaur battle ensues!
Honestly it'd be better than teaming up with the Megaforce group, because all of their villains have been wiped out clean by all the other past Ranger teams, so, that'd be weird. Plus the "Dino Thunder" team is so cool! There'd also be no need to call in Jason David Frank, as it would be just the main three team members, so that really saves some money on the budget.
And, really, that's all we know about "Dino Super Charge," and that's all we need to know. "Dino Charge" was a surprisingly amazing season and I've missed being able to watch it on Saturdays since it left the air for the seasonal break. I'm excited for it's return (January 30th, be there), and can only hope that this follow-up season is going to rock just as much.