Season One, Episode 15: The Spark
Reviewed by Blackjack
The fight scenes are certainly well done, as is the suspense as Cheetor battle against the Predacons to give time for the stasis pod to be repaired. This episode is also the first time Blackarachnia actually did
something other than just being a wallpaper flower. The larger problem in this episode is rather Airazor herself. While a decent debut episode for the falcon Maximal, it reeks of the 'New Toy Syndrome'. Any new character introduced will be able to defeat any opponent sent in his/her way. While this is not true all the time in the Beast series (Inferno and Blackarachnia didn't win during their respective debuts) it is worth mentioning that Airazor brutalises Terrorsaur and blasts him into lots of little pieces in under a minute. She never does that again.
Personally I don't really like Airazor, not the way I like, say, Dinobot or Waspinator. She's an okay character, introduced certainly to add more flyers and a female into the Maximal ranks. However, she's just so... bland and boring. Oh, and this episode introduces sparks for real, although using Cheetor's dream to introduce them is a little corny.
This episode is the first appearance of Airazor, although her falcon CG model had been seen several times before, most notably in 'Power Surge'. In Japan, her gender's changed into a male. That's right, because they think that little boys don't want to buy toys of girl warriors. So since Airazor isn't as... prominently female as Blackarachnia, she gets a gender-switch. This wouldn't be the first time it'll happen, either. Airazor will be changed back into a girl in the BW Metals manga (because her toy has boobs).
This episode also debuts the concept of sparks as the soul/spirit of Transformers, as mentioned before.
As a little foreshadowing to Tarantulas' secret agenda, he snickers evilly to himself when he observes the pod landing. It's a safe bet that he'll go and reprogram the pod by himself (as he tried to do with Inferno's pod) if Megatron hadn't been watching behind his shoulder.
We get a first clear look at a Protoform's body in this episode. In previous cases, we only see an arm (Tigatron) or glimpses of a modified Megatron CG model (Blackarachnia).
Oh, and Cheetor's prophetic dreams come again in this episode, with him foreseeing Rhinox's final line in the episode. Also, the sparks in Cheetor's vision is of many different kinds, although most other sparks are light blue in colour. Of course, Transmetal 2 and Techno-organic sparks, seen much later in the series (and its sequel) are differently coloured, so you might chalk it up to more of Cheetor's prophetic visions.
Why didn't Megatron dispatch Terrorsaur and Waspinator in the first place? They would've reached the pod before Cheetor did.
Cheetor is able to comm Tigatron, so why didn't he call for more reinforcements? For the matter, why didn't Tigatron?
Rhinox asks Cheetor what he's doing at the pod landing site, when it should've been obvious.
Vision Rhinox calls the Transformer race 'Cybertrons'. It should be either 'Cybertronians' or 'Transformers'.