Season One, Episode 5: Chain of Command
Reviewed by Blackjack
Well, there's very little to find fault with in this episode. It nicely introduces the Aliens, but it's self-contained in itself, what with the bickering between Rattrap and Dinobot being the main plot after Primal's disappearance. The friction between Dinobot and Rattrap, and the former's deference later after discovering his errors, are just nice character moments. Even second-stringers like Rhinox and Scorponok get their own little moments: Rhinox expresses his pent-up frustration of having to invent the device and acting as the peacemaker by unleashing his 'Chaingun of Doom' on Waspinator, while Scorponok loses his cool near Tarantulas and Terrorsaur.
Well, the heroic leader disappearing and the troops having to manage on their own is probably reused cartoon plot #25298, but it is delivered well anyway. The fight scenes are well done, even if some stock animation is reused. Little moments like Primal reading something and Dinobot mistaking the CR chamber for a torture chamber is precious. One of the better episodes of the season.
This is the first hint given to the Aliens, and their name would later be given in the series as the Vok. The Beast Wars is partly due to their... ah, well. Nevermind. We'll come into this later. Well, just notice that the episode which debuts the aliens has the second moon in the opening shot. Foreshadowing, perhaps?
The Standing Stones has previously been glimpsed in 'Beast Wars (Part 2)'. The Standing Stones might have been inspired by real-life rock formations like the Stonehenge, which, according to some people, were built by aliens.
This episode also features the debut of Rhinox's 'Chaingun of Doom'.
This episode is also the first time Waspinator gets blown up. This would be a running gag throughout the series after this point, with Waspinator litterally being blown up at nearly every episode afterwards.
Rhinox voted for Rattrap, while Cheetor voted for Dinobot. This could be seen when Rhinox gave Cheetor a glare when he reads a second vote for Dinobot. This voting might seem odd, since Rattrap helped Cheetor in the previous episode ('Equal Measures') while Dinobot got him into trouble. Perhaps Cheetor just wants to go into battle that much?
Terrorsaur's upper body is distorted during the initial fight when Waspinator and him swoop to attack Optimus.
Scorponok wears a Maximal insignia on several scenes.
Dinobot's foot cuts through Megatron's head when the former delivers his flying kick thing.