Season Two, Episode 4: Tangled Web
Reviewed by Blackjack
A solid episode. In season two and three, each episode, with the exception of several throwaway episodes, act more like a chapter to a larger story instead of simple slapstick episodes like the original Sunbow cartoon or Season One (to some extent). Yet they still manage to do this whilst still being self-contained, so kudos to the writers. Tarantulas' and Blackarachnia's mind link are starting to get old after three episodes, and thankfully the writers realise this and ended that particular plot device. Both spiders get excellent characterization this episode, which is marvellous since in the first season no Predacon bar Megatron got any serious three-dimensional characterization to themselves. Tarantulas gets more and more sinister and manipulating, nicely built up from the events of 'Other Voices'. Plus, Transmetal Tarantulas has one of the coolest designs of all. Blackarachnia, while still treacherous, is a much realistic character than Starscream or Terrorsaur in her methods. She's more stubborn and independent, and is not afraid to, erm, 'charm' others to do her work. While that scene with Quickstrike is a wee bit... awkward, it's in character. How else will you do seduction in a kids' show about robots?
Silverbolt is a corny to-the-book hero, and is executed wonderfully. He could've gone off as a stereotypical Autobot, but him being over the limit in heroism is simply charming and a stark contrast to the 'dirtier' Maximals like Rattrap and Dinobot. Quickstrike is a fun character, a simple-minded trigger-happy cowboy. Another thing that I love about Beast Wars is that stuff from previous episodes are mentioned. Things like Quantum Surges have impacts throughout an entire season. In season two, the padding scenes are better as well; scenes like Rhinox testing Primal's new Transmetal body is much better to see than, say, having Rattrap and Cheetor race around like hyperactive kids.
First hint of feelings between Silverbolt and Blackarachnia. Tarantulas seems to have a thing for her too, being somewhat 'jealous' when Blackarachnia sweet-talks Quickstrike.
Both Tarantulas and Rhinox are experimenting on the Transmetal bodies. Haven't mentioned it before, so here we go. Tarantulas' 'vehicle mode' is a spide-themed motorcycle, while Primal's attack mode involves a surfboard of sorts being made out of kibble, allowing him to fly.
"Grid Arakis" is a reference to a planet from the novel Dune by Frank Herbert.
Tarantulas' line "Of course, you realise this means war" is a quote of an often-used line by Bugs Bunny.
This is not the last time we'll see the jamming tower.
The final line spoken by Tarantulas "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home" is a reference to the traditional song "Home! Sweet Home!" although here it's much more sinister...
Tarantulas' transmitter thing dropped on Quickstrike's pile with a loud clang, but no one seems to notice it.
When Tarantulas says "we do live to please Megatron", the green spider-mode eyes on his chest are missing.
When Quickstrike warns the Spiders about the Maximals, his abdomen is a little messed up.