I was typing this as I listened to the episode, so it really just follows my thought process.
-I think Brody being away from Earth for so long is just an after thought at this point, even if it's only 3/4 episodes in. (I did like the "Earth minutes" line in episode 3, though. Nice detail). Apart from his tantrum in the 2nd episode (which I thought was acted fairly well), nothing else really points to the fact that he had been abducted for 10 years. Even in the first episode, I would have loved a line like "But, Brody, your other plans have never worked" when he first brought up his escape plan, because i find it hard to believe over the years he hadn't tried to escape at least once. (But that, and the constant reminders that his dad was a ninja/he's a ninja/he was trained to be a ninja, is a topic I could go on about for a while).
-Victor and Monty aren't my favorite people, but I would argue that they're not all that useless. In terms of inputting humor in the show, I think it's forced most times (although I think Chris Reid and Caleb Bendit are pretty strong actors), but their characters have been pushing the plot forward for the Rangers.
Episode 1: Victor was bragging about the trophies and Sarah saw the Dane Romero trophy
Episode 2: They destroyed the paint machine that gave the Rangers a place for their "command center"
Episode 3: Taking the Data Comm helped Brody learn to lead without having the answers given to him. (I do agree, however, that if you have a tool like the Data Comm, they should use it).
Episode 4: With Preston's magic, they helped him figure out that he was using his abilities for "personal gain". (Although this was a moral of the episode I think fell flat considering how things still wasn't working when he actually tried to do right by Monty and put his two halves back together).
-While on the topic of the Data Comm, I thought we've had a couple of missed opportunities with Sarah's character. Her bio says she's the "engineer" of the group so why not have her help make the new Ninja Comms or help make the new Power Stars?
-I'm going to assume the Rangers are seniors but it's my headcanon that the questions in the class was preparing them for the SAT or something. It's the only thing that makes sens as to why they were so random and sounded so easy for them (Also to add to this, their school is pretty lax on absences or tardies as monster attacks do seem to take them away from school during the school day. Hope this is expanded on).
-In regards to the Ninja Master Mode, a lot of the things the Rangers have gotten in the 4 episodes, I don't feel like they've really earned. I mean, sure Rangers and zords are the show's bread and butter, but when you're always going to have them go "what's a power ranger?" or "mega...zord?" along with the fact that they all "have a feeling" that things can combine together is odd.
-The training suits I don't have much of a problem with except for the hood and the mouth cloth thing. Like I said on the podcast, I don't see the point in having it just to cover their mouths when they can do like Dino Charge and zoom in up to the eyes. They just look really weird when they're talking and they have colored cloth over their mouth. I do hope, however, we get to see them actually train in them because I don't see the correlation of calling them all ninjas and we don't see them doing any training like how the Samurai Rangers were seen training.
-All of the "legend says" will get tiring pretty quickly as Mick apparently knows a lot more about the ninja steel that he only tells them for plot convenience. Not to mention how convenient it is that the ninja steel is the answer to everything so far and we still don't even really know what it is, how Brody's dad knew it needed to be kept secret, etc. But, it is only 4 episodes in so...
-Will Shewfelt is the weakest actor out of all of them, however the cast has great chemistry that you can see on screen. Especially any small moments between Calvin and Hayley. Writing wise, there is something really clunky with it at times.
-I was skeptical about how the Galaxy Warriors show was going to be used, but I'm happy with how it turned out. The first episode had me worried that it would be each episode would be two villains battling to see who'd fight the Rangers, so I'm happy it's moved to it "broadcasting" the Ranger fights
-On a different note, I was crushed to head the usual narrator at the start of episodes 3 and 4. Between 1 and 2, it sounded like it'd be different between each episode, but then it went back to it's repetitive nature.
Another great episode. A lot of your thoughts on the episodes and the new season overall, I've shared. At this moment, because it's a new season, I'm interested in seeing how Ninja Steel goes, but it doesn't quite hook me as much as Dino Charge recently has. I can't give specifics as I don't fully understand what about the show makes me feel this way, but it's not as cohesive, I think, as DC was in the first season.