Season Three, Episode 10: Master Blaster
Reviewed by Blackjack
After the Silverbolt-Blackarachnia romance thread after the previous episodes, we finally kick up the gear for the final arc of Beast Wars. While this episode begun like something similar to another 'weapon of the week' episode, it is refreshingly surprising to see the Ark revisited again. Tarantulas is excellently portrayed here, in his manipulating the Predacons. The dialogue in this episode is especially well-scripted, Megatron in particular. We get lots of comedic moments for poor Waspinator and Inferno, while Blackarachnia's newfound sense of heroism works well. Taking over Optimus Primal's body might not have been the most original idea, but it suits well to get the Predacons in position in the Ark, in order to have Megatron do his stuff.
There are quite a bit of plot holes, though. Why didn't Megatron kill Optimus Prime while he's at it? Why hand Blackarachnia to Rampage when killing her outright or imprisoning her would've caused the plan to succeed? While they might be explained by Megatron simply being your typical gloating megalomaniac, the fact stands that they are glaring plot holes. Megatron's battle against Optimus Primal is nothing short of epic, as is the unveiling of his dragon body. And Optimus Primal's solemn proclamation at the end sets up the mood for the cataclysmic end of Beast Wars...
First appearance of Megatron's Transmetal 2 body. Well, the toy is marketed as a Transmetal 2, and all fans call it Megatron's Transmetal 2 body, but it's never referred to as such for the four episodes it appeared in, and Megatron's upgrade into a Transmetal 2, unlike Blackarachnia, Cheetor and Dinobot II, is unrelated to the Transmetal 2 Driver. That's what happens when toy gimmickry collides with storytelling...
This episode effectively retcons that all Transformers in G1 had sparks as their soul or lifeforce thing. Megatron's spark is also funky instead of the normal blue... it lashes around, too. It is unclear if the original Megatron's spark influences the Beast Megatron's mind while the two are combined. There have been arguments on both sides of the party, but in the end it's up to the fandom to decide.
After several episodes of loosely working alongside the Predacons again, Tarantulas is now his own independent faction. Why does he want to destroy all the Autobots and Decepticons when it would lead to his death as well? Tune in next episode!
Several new abilities are showcased this episode. Blackarachnia apparently has telekinetic powers in her new body (which would not be seen again after this episode), while Megatron's new body can breathe fire or ice.
After several jibes in the then-still-growing online fandom, Teletraan-1 is now pronounced as such, instead of 'Teletron-1' like it had in previous episodes.
Megatron's line "Enter the Dragon" is a reference to a Bruce Lee movie of the same title.
Teletraan-1's line when it shuts down ("Eight clicks to core implosion. Five... four... three... two... one- Core implosion aborted. All systems normal. Have a nice day.") is a homage to the Star Wars parody 'Spaceballs'.
Several times the Beast Warriors interact with consoles for Transformers their size (roughly slightly bigger than a human) when in previous episodes the consoles in the Ark have always been portrayed as large compared to them.
At one point before his upgrade, when he's gloating about collecting the set of Maximals, Megatron's head is coloured like his Transmetal 2 head.
Why didn't Megatron shoot Optimus Prime's head again? It's his master plan, after all...