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TRANSFORMERS ANIMATED SERIES / CARTOONS

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Season Two, Episode 11: The Agenda, Part 1
Reviewed by Blackjack [image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image][image]

Episode Review

A splendid start to one of the better stories in the franchise. The politics in this episode is well done with the Tripredacus Council. The fact that Megatron is a rogue agent and the Tripredacus Council wants to neutralize him (and most possibly the Maximals as well) is very realistic. The shaky romance between Silverbolt and Blackarachnia is handled nicely, nice interludes as the plot kicks up. The fact that Tarantulas being a mole planted in Megatron's crew is a great touch, although it begs the question why Tarantulas didn't contact Cybertron sooner.

Rattrap is well-characterized, picking on Silverbolt now that Dinobot's gone. And Silverbolt's self-righteous (and noble) streak is well-explored. Megatron's master schemer shtick is well scripted too. Also, the animation this episode is especially gorgeous, with nearly no animation screw-ups. And Ravage.. well, he's not comic Ravage, of course. He could as well be Kickback or Buzzsaw and serve the same role, but the shout-out to past continuity and the fact that he's made something like a professional killer of sorts, is well done. It's a shame that they gave Ravage a Russian accent, though... it just doesn't sound right on him. I'm not a fan of his upright model, but it works in the context. Let the G1 purists whine all they want. Sadly, the dialogue in this episode suffers a little, since it's an action-heavy episode. Still, this is a great build-up for the three-parter.

Notes

First appearance of Ravage and the first (and only) appearance of the Tripredacus Council. In the Beast Wars series, anyway.

Yes, Ravage is the G1 guy. References to the 'Great Wars' is a shout-out to the G1 cartoon. Ravage's cloaking field, meanwhile, is a reference to the ability in his tech specs, used in the Marvel comics. His body is Cheetor's Transmetal body with Tigatron's Beast head, all coloured black. And he has a Russian accent.

In the opening shots, some parts of Optimus Primal's original body (blown up in Other Voices Part 2) fly past the screen for a split-second before the Transwarp Wave arrives.

The Tripredacus Council's individual names are meant to be the components of the Tripredacus combiner toy (Sea Clamp, Ramhorn and Cicadacon), and are even referred to as such in the script. However, time constraints and schedules meant that its not possible to create toy-accurate CG renders for the three, so they receive generic renders, and they are not named individually. Only the group's name is given in their dialogue. The fact that the Tripredacus Council is the same with the Tripredacus toy is confirmed by the Beast Wars Sourcebook more than ten years later.

Cheetor wants to visit a theme park in Cybertron named 'Six Lasers Over Cybertron', a probable reference to the Six Flags theme parks.

Rattrap spouts some innuendo this issue in the dialogues quoted below.

Six Lasers Over Cybertron, which Cheetor gets excited about, is a reference to Six Flags over various states.

One of the Tripredacus Council says 'Terminate with extreme prejudice', a quote from Apocalypse Now.

Subsector Hooks is a reference to the fan who goes by the username Hooks.

The three missiles Rampage fires at the Axalon in the beginning of the battle each bear a symbol. The first is a model of an atom, the second is a death's head poison symbol and the third has a peace sign. No, really.

Ravage arrests Megatron in the name of the Pax Cybertronia, which is probably the truce between the Maximals and Predacons after the Great War. It's a name-play on Pax Romana.

Goofs

Don't the Maximals have sensors elsewhere/elsewhen that could've detected the Transwarp wave? Then again, how the wave moves through time and whatnot might have its own rules of physics...

In his original bio, Ravage has a 'cloaking field' that makes him near-impossible to see in the dark (and makes him immune to energy fields), not an invisibility field. Of course, he might've upgraded himself in the long stretch between the G1 and BW periods.

If the Maximals knew that Silverbolt is seeing Blackarachnia, why didn't they stop him? Rattrap at least seems to be aware of the meeting from his innuendo.
 
 
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