Season One, Episode 2: Beast Wars, Part 2
Reviewed by Blackjack
This episode plays off the plot threads from the first episode nicely, developing the Maximals' characters. The main thing which happened in this episode is Dinobot's defection from the Predacons and his subsequent integration in the Maximal army. Unlike Skyfire from the G1 cartoon, who joined the Autobots with little to no dissent from the other Autobots, Dinobot was not welcome with open hands. Rhinox and Rattrap were practically ready to blow him up after the rock bridge incident, and throughout the series Rattrap would keep bickering with Dinobot. Primal and Dinobot gets some of the better dialogues in their fight scene early on in the episode. The slight friction between Optimus and Rattrap early on in the series is evident as well, although you could see that Rattrap is getting used to the idea of Primal leading the Maximals.
Animation is mediocre, but then, this is an early episode. The battle scenes were nothing spectacular, but at least it delivers an impact, as well as physical contact, which the first part did not. The energon cache thing seems to be an overdone reuse of the plot 'Decepticons head off to an energy source', only that a mine of energon crystals would make a more interesting target for alien robots compared to, say, an oil rig. All in all, this episode is rather entertaining, and a nice introduction for the main characters. It's a shame that most of the Predacons are sidelined into brutish, dimwitted thugs.
Megatron says 'yesss' several times in this episode, playing on from his vaudevillian self from the first episode. 'Yesss' would be later immortalized as the Predacon leader's catchphrase of sorts.
Again, this episode emphasizes that the Beast Warriors cannot handle energon radiation in their robot mode. Spending a long amount of time in their robot modes also shorts out their circuits, forcing them to revert back into beast modes.
This episode marks the first appearance of energon crystals.
This episode is also the first debut of Optimus Primal's 'Prime Jets', which makes him the only Maximal who could fly in Season One until Airazor comes along.
At several points during the episode, some animation, like transformation scenes or Tarantulas firing his machine-guns, are re-used from the first episode, albeit with different backgrounds and whatnot stapled in.
Again, as in the first episode, Waspinator's black stripes are at times mapped vertically instead of horizontally, although in this episode it's not so noticeable.
Scorponok tells Megatron to look at the missiles before they impacted (and revealed the energon cache). Unless Scorponok is a psychic, there was no way he could know that the mountain would have energon inside it.
Megatron bites quite a chunk out of Optimus Primal's leg in the last battle. However, this damage disappears when the Maximals retreat, as well as all subsequent scenes after that.
During close-ups of Primal and Dinobot during the end of the episode, the other Maximals disappear from the background. This is made worse by other shots showing Rhinox and Rattrap standing behind the two during long shots (as well as during their respective dialogues). The rubble from the destroyed energon cache are visible on the scene featuring Rhinox and Rattrap, but said rubble all disappears when Primal and Dinobot talks.