Season One, Episode 24: Before the Storm
Reviewed by Blackjack
This episode is meant to be nothing more than a prologue to the two-parter 'Other Voices that would end Season One. At this point, the main arc is not why Megatron has arrived on the planet (yet, because they haven't figured out this is Earth yet, remember) but rather, the mysterious Aliens. Although what should be a boring episode where characters get to where they're supposed to, it manages to be entertaining. Inferno's little comedy with Megatron is hilariously done, while Tigatron builds up character from his little moment last issue. Rattrap manages to get a few good lines in too. However, Tigatron playing a video game to hack into Predacon databases is a thinly-veiled attempt to pad out time. The battle where the Maximals take down the Predacons through wacky methods are awesome, though.
But ultimately, both Optimus Primal and Megatron get wonderful chances to show some actual personality rather than be blank stereotypes like their G1 cartoon preceedors. Say all you want, but the Beast Wars characters are much less bland than the G1 guys. There are some short hilarious scenes in here as well, like Megatron brushing his beast mode head. Primal's frustration at not being able to refuse a truce, as well as Megatron being a ham, are wonderfully performed. Tarantulas also gives a more interesting split among the Predacons, and Megatron letting him actually do his work as part of his strategy is nice. Although, itís a safe bet that the Maximals and Predacons will have to team-up sometime down the next two episodes to combat the Greater Threatô. Still, it's a rather nice build-up to 'Other Voices'.
Bob Forward claims that this episode was originally planned to be a part of a four-parter 'Other Voices' to end the season. However, anything more than a two-parter is too hard to schedule, so plans were scrapped and 'Before the Storm' is made into a stand-alone episode.
Megatronís room has several trophies in his room, seen when heís talking to Inferno. Items of interest are a bowling pin, a golden trophy, a bust of a G1 Seeker head with an expression of horror, and G1 Megatronís fusion cannon.
Megatronís Beast Mode head seems to have its own personality. Early in the episode, the Beast Mode head is looking around while Megatron himself is asleep. When Megatron observes Tarantulasí break-in later, the head looks up at Megatronís robot mode head, and he pats it with his other hand as if itís a pet. Also, when Airazor calls the Predacon base, Megatron is actually brushing the Beast Modeís head with a toothbrush. Itís probably just some humorous bits the CG animators put in.
Megatronís code ĎATT overrideí which he uses to access Tarantulasí transwarp cell is a reference to the Usenet newsgroup alt.toys.transformers.
Blackarachnia shares Tarantulasí penchant for eating live animals. While Tarantulas eats deers and rats, Blackarachnia is seen briefly examining a red poison-dart frog in her web before Megatron communicates to her.
The virtual reality console that Tigatron uses to hack into the Predacon shipís database seems to homage the 1990ís techno-films like Johny Mnemonic.
Megatronís line, ďA storm of such power, such magnitude, it is beyond imagination!Ē is a possible reference to the tagline of the original Transformers Movie (Beyond Good, Beyond Evil, Beyond your wildest Imaginations) as well as a fan website at that time.
Perhaps more so than any other Beast Wars episode, Looney Tunes-style slapstick gags are used in this episode. Scorponokís facial features stretch in wild directions when he gapes before he slams onto Terrorsaur. The Spiders are squashed by a rock. Terrorsaur leaves a full-body impression on a sheet of metal. Inferno comes to a dead halt mid-air after Primal sabotages his jetpack, before realizing that gravity still exists. Also, when Inferno falls, thereís a Wile E Coyote-style dust poof.
When Optimus arrives at the neutral territory to talk with Megatron, his shoulder pads are missing. They show up later, though.
Megatron's shoulder armour pads are missing when he speaks to Airazor. Then again, considering that heís brushing his handís teeth, he mightíve taken them off.
While Megatron is in his closing words of the episode, he is missing his beast mode "kibble", except the head of course.
When Blackarachnia pursues Tigatron at the escape scene, she wields her gun although the truce rules means that you cannot fire guns. However, she doesnít actually shoot it, and it disappears in the next scene.