Why is this episode one of the best?
In the wake of Dino Super Charge's finale, I feel like a lot of fans, myself included, have a little bit of a bitter taste in our mouths when it comes to the season (well, seasons.) It's important to remember though that while Super Charge is a bit of a mess, Dino Charge is, in and of itself, a pretty great season.
Return of the Caveman excels because it's simple. We get to see the backstory of how Koda found his Energem, and we learn that he had a little brother in the past. Koda saves his brother from a Smilodon attack, and in the process falls over a cliff, becoming frozen until present day. (We actually don't see this explained until a bit later, and actually see him get discovered in Season 2. Cool stuff.)
Return of the Caveman also exists as one of the only "bike episodes" of Power Rangers to actually have much in the way of character development- and that is no small feat. (Koda having to deal with his fear of the new Dino Charge cycles, and bikes in general.) In short, the episode is about an old soul who can't quite seem to get used to modern day technologies, and it makes him wonder if he is cut out to be a hero.
As a bonus, Koda gets to say "It's Morphin Time!" in this, and you can practically feel the joy in Yoshi's line delivery. (They also name the little kid he's trying to save Peter, which is his real-life brother's name, who is currently on Power Rangers. The kid in the episode is supposed to represent Koda's brother. It's Inception-level Power Rangers references.)
Why is this episode not higher on the list?
While Dino Charge is nowhere near the level Samurai, Megaforce, and now regrettably Ninja Steel is, it still has some line deliveries that feel like they're being targeted directly at toddlers. Some jokes, for example, are delivered so slowly that they stop being jokes, and just become Golf commentary.
There's also the return of Power Rangers' favorite problem- terrible child actors. Now, the kid who plays Peter is definitely not that bad as an actor, but as with most of the New Zealand-filmed shows, he has a bit of trouble keep his accent in check. I can forgive that though. His friends at the end of the episode however? They might as well have been cardboard.
And last, but not least, that terrible, terrible CGI Smilodon.
How does this episode possibly influence the movie?
There's a lot about the new Power Coins that feel very close to the Energems in Dino Charge. They don't necessarily give civilian powers like in Disney seasons, but they do channel the power of the suits into the rangers while they are un-morphed. I think that's what the movie is doing as well.
Then there's the talk of Rita and Zordon's battle going back 65 million years, versus the 10,000 in the TV Show. Alpha, Rita and Zordon seem like they'll be fish out of water in the film, and like Koda, have to adapt to their new surroundings. As they're already part of an alien war...it's probably going to be easier on them than it was for him.
NOTE: TICKETS ARE OFFICIALLY ON SALE FOR THE POWER RANGERS MOVIE!
Head to Fandango and check for theaters in your area!
Also, Becky G, who plays Trini, will be a guest on Wendy Williams today to promote the movie. Check your local listings for times.