POWER RANGERS WILD FORCE Has Two Cool Things Going for It

Wow, I’m almost caught up on where I left Power Rangers many moons ago. I just finished Power Rangers Wild Force and I was shocked at how much I actually enjoyed it. I watched it when it first came out and for some reason, all of my nostalgia is about me not liking it as much. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not my favorite, not even close, but I was able to say that I don’t hate the season.I’ll be honest. I didn’t really connect with any of the main characters. It’s not that I hated them per se, I just wasn’t really drawn to them. Cole is an orphan that was raised in the wild and then comes to Turtle Cove in search of his own path. He then meets the other Wild Force Rangers and joins the team as the Red Ranger. His whole thing is that he can hear the hearts of any living creature and believes there’s good in anything with a heart. Sadly, Orgs don’t have hearts which gives Cole no choice but to defeat them to defend the Earth. Taylor is the Yellow Ranger and she’s been the leader of the team until Cole joins. She was the first of the Rangers and used to be a member of the Air Force. She’s pretty uptight and just wants to get the mission done to protect the earth. She does lighten up as the season goes on, but she’s still fairly serious. Alyssa is the White Ranger and essentially the mom of the group. She’s in college but is the heart of the group. She’s often cooking meals for the group when she’s not busy with her school work. Max is the Blue Ranger and seemingly the youngest of the group. He is very touchy about others thinking and treating him as a kid. He’s also best friends with Danny the Black Ranger. Danny is the big teddy bear type. He is head over heels with a girl which creates a very small storyline that’s actually pretty sweet and he’s a florist. Princess Shayla is this season’s Zordon and she’s nothing special. She’s ok and sometimes gets annoying. However, it is really cool when she does fight Toxica towards the end of the season. We’ll talk about the sixth Ranger, Merrick, later.The main bad guys are Master Org who turns out to be a human who worked with Cole’s parents before turning evil and becoming part Org essentially, Toxica, and Jindrax. Toxica and Jindrax are Duke Orgs, so they’re like generals and they’re best friends. They’ve been causing some problems on Earth while waiting for Master Org to return and follow him. What’s interesting is that over time, Toxica gets suspicious of Master Org and eventually, she and Jindrax discover that he is a human with some of Master Org’s power. This causes some loyalty problems and introduces some other big villains throughout, but I felt like they weren’t as important.Watching the season, I would say the main theme really is protecting the Earth. We’ve had episodes in previous seasons about taking care of the planet, but this whole season is about this. There’s even a semi-big story where the ancient spirit Animus (who assumes the form of a child for some reason) gets mad at the Rangers and all of humanity because of pollution. Beyond that, there’s a lot to do with connecting with nature and animals (typically via Cole’s wild jungle powers similar to Maya’s from Lost Galaxy).The overall story isn’t the best, but it’s not the worst. The Rangers go to defeat the Orgs and save the Earth and humanity. Pretty simple. The last several episodes were getting to that really tightly writing point that many seasons go for now, but then I honestly didn’t like how it ended. Master Org straight-up murders every single Zord that the Rangers have collected and even Animus. This results in all of the Rangers losing their powers. However, they still go to make a stand against Master Org. This is all pretty good and is brutal to watch as the Zords are destroyed and then their crystals shatter. However, then, through the power of friendship, all of the Zords and even several that were never found by the Rangers return to defeat Master Org. All of that brutal emotion we just went through was for nothing because they apparently weren’t destroyed in the first place. Now, it wouldn’t have been so bad in my opinion if only the new ones showed up and helped them. But it wasn’t. All of the Zords came back from the dead, gave the Rangers their powers again, the Rangers are now stronger than before and attack Master Org along with the Zords and he’s defeated. Woot?Speaking of Master Org, I thought he was a boring villain and none of the other big villains were terribly interesting for the majority of the series. Master Org’s whole motivation was that he was interested in a woman he worked with, seems like they never dated or anything, and then he goes to propose to her and she says that the other scientist they’re working with proposed and they’re now engaged. Then, she gets pregnant with the other man’s child and he claims that the other man robbed him of having a family and this woman who Master Org is convinced shared romantic feelings for him. Basically, he is an incel. Worthy of being a bad guy? Sure. Making for a great bad guy leader? No.I actually do appreciate Jindrax and Toxica who mostly just serve as generals to whoever the big bad is at the time (it switches twice), but they do have a bit of independence. I already talked about their suspicions about Master Org, but that’s not the only bit. When Mandilok is in charge, they’re constantly worried about being destroyed or replaced. Toxica is later sent to what is essentially purgatory and this does not sit well with Jindrax who breaks away from Master Org who has returned as a full Org in a search for how to save Toxica. We then get a pretty silly episode of him bringing her back and then they even help the Rangers in the end. It’s an interesting arc that these two undergo. These two aren’t my favorite, but they’re the most interesting long-term villains.Let’s briefly talk about the two crossover episodes. “Reinforcements from the Future” sees the Wild Force Rangers teaming up with the Time Force Rangers after some Org/Mutant hybrids called Mutorgs start causing trouble. It’s a fun two-parter with highlights like the Silver Guardians for some reason being in Turtle Cove and giving Taylor a speeding ticket, Ransik and Nadira helping the Rangers and Ransik even being “cured” of his ugliness, and Max trying to steal Nadira from Lucas. Not the worst crossover. Then we get to “Forever Red.” This episode features a team-up of Red Ranger from the series to this point minus Rocky (I understand something went wrong with trying to get Steve Cardenas [also, probably best since then they’d have 2 Mighty Morphin Red Rangers which would’ve been confusing]). Apparently, the Big Bad Beetleborgs from the Machine Empire are still alive and they found Serpentera on the moon. Overall, this is a lot of fun to watch, but I’m disappointed by the end when they use Cole’s new toy to sell toys as it destroys Serpentera.Of everything in Wild Force though, there are two things that I think are the best parts of the season. First, Zen-Aku. He is a corrupted wolf spirit essentially who is able to prove a difficult opponent for the Rangers to defeat. He looks awesome, has an awesome crescent blade, and even has 3 Zords to fight the Rangers! Oh, and his dagger is also a flute to summon said Zords. Sound familiar? That’s right, Zen-Aku is the sixth Ranger but in evil form. Eventually, the Rangers bring him to the side of good and he becomes Merrick. Merrick is sadly not very cool and is just lame. His whole thing is that he’s good at pool and uses his weapon as a pool cue to summon his Zords. Oh, and he’s a lone wolf. Pretty lame if you ask me.The other awesome thing about the season is the modular Zords. Throughout the season, the Rangers acquire a wide range of Zords and they can be interchanged in the Megazords for different combinations. I actually really love this idea and to my knowledge has not been repeated. This is the number one thing I love about this season.Although I really do love these two things and enjoy a few other aspects of Wild Force, I felt the overall story was kind of flat and none of the characters (heroes or villains) really stuck out to me as being amazing outside of Zen-Aku who goes on to become a very bland character. Is it as bad as I had thought? No. Is it worth checking out? Yes.Current Power Rangers Ranking:Power Rangers In SpacePower Rangers ZeoPower Rangers Time ForcePower Rangers Beast Morphers Season 1Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 3Power Rangers Lightspeed RescueMighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 2Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Season 1Power Rangers Wild ForcePower Rangers S.P.D.Power Rangers TurboPower Rangers Lost Galaxy
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