Season Two, Episode 10: Transmutate
Reviewed by Blackjack
When I read about this episode's summary, I actually thought it was going to be another boring filler episode. However, when I watched it for real, 'Transmutate' is actually a well-done episode. I don't really like Transmutate the character. Sure, he's interesting enough, but Rampage gets the best lines and characterization. Nearly everywhere else, he's a sadistic indestructible monster. Here, he is shown in a more sympathetic light, like how he tries to free himself from Megatron's slavery, and how he reacts to helping a kindred spirit. However, unlike, say, some other portrayals I could name (IDW's ongoing Prowl, IDW's Arcee, Rattrap in that one episode of Beast Machines), Rampage isn't terribly out of character. He's still dark, still hate-ridden, yet considers Transmutate a kindred spirit. It's nice scripting.
Silverbolt, meanwhile, did not get as much screentime to be a friend to Transmutate, so the death feels a little jarred. That moment where he debates with Rhinox over what is morally right and what is the greater good is well scripted, though. Inferno's mindless loyalty is portrayed well too in this episode, and he had some hilarious scenes with Rampage. Transmutate, meanwhile, as the titular character, doesn't get to do much. But when he dies, it gives more of an impact emotionally than, say, Snowstalker or the protohumans. Rampage's anguished roar when Transmutate dies, and Silverbolt's subsequent mercy to Rampage, is rather heartrending. It's a pity that Rampage's little softening isn't followed up in subsequent episodes.
First and final appearance for Transmutate. He is voiced by Susan Blu, voice director for the Beast Wars series and original voice actor for G1 Arcee and Marissa Faireborn.
Transmutate can give out a sonic scream and fly. In the dramatis personae in the original script, Transmutate was called a 'she', but in the rest of the script Transmutate is referred to as 'it'. For the purposes of this review I refer to Transmutate as 'he'.
Rattrap claims that Arcee is his great-aunt. Other than a shout-out to fans of the G1 series (and to the fact that Susan Blu voiced Transmutate in this episode) this probably is more of an in-joke than something to be taken as gospel.
Prior to the broadcasting of the episode, an early copy of the script with several... questionable scenes like Rattrap mounting Transmutate, is leaked to alt.toys.transformers, causing some uproar among the fandom. It turned out to be an April Fool's joke among the makers of the series, which got leaked to the public.
Megatron's energon infusion device disappears for a while at the beginning of the episode.
When Rampage drives up the cliff in 'tank' mode and transforms into robot mode, his tank treads simply vanish instead of being retracted/folded in.
Rampage calls the newcomer 'Transmutate' several scenes before he figures out a name for it.
Rampage's kibble is missing when Transmutate first exits his pod. It also disappears when he was about to step on Silverbolt during the final battle. The crab legs and claws are angled wrongly numerous times.
When Silverbolt says 'this one is not for you' part of his wing disappears.