Season Three, Episode 2: Deep Metal
Reviewed by Blackjack
A solid episode introducing a character that doesn't quickly regress into a toy commercial. Depth Charge's backstory and his cold-blooded vengeance against Rampage is well-executed. While not everyone might like Depth Charge the angst-ridden-Wolverine-wannabe, you have to admit that he is introduced in a way that is tied into the main story. The darker backstory between Depth Charge and Rampage is well thought-out, as are the interactions between Depth Charge and Optimus Primal.
The fight scenes underwater are impressive and are as brutal as any cartoon fight scene could be. Rampage, too, benefits from being portrayed as what he is—an indestructible sadist—after several episodes of losing his touch. Optimus Primal, too, is plays the guilty leader role perfectly. The setup to the episode is well done as well, with the Maximals adapting to their new stay in the Ark's exterior and the Predacons trying to find weaknesses in their defenses. However, there are some glaring plot holes in the episode that just can't be ignored, so it can't get too high of a score.
The first appearance of Depth Charge. The first mention of a 'Maximal High Council'. (Normally, Primal and Rhinox would say 'Council of Elders').
Depth Charge's spaceship is based on his 'jet' mode. A mighty big coincidence, that, since his alternate mode is only gained after his Transmetalization.
Along with his self-regeneration abilities, Rampage displays precognition abilities this issue. He senses that Depth Charge is coming even before Depth Charge crosses through the transwarp portal thing.
In the future/present, when Depth Charge enters Earth's solar system, he is informed that the area is declared off limits by the Maximal High Council. The writers had said that this is because that Earth had suffered an undecided-upon catastrophe, as well as making discouraging time-altering criminals like Megatron. However, this bit of backstory never made it into the show.
It is unclear what exactly the transwarp portal that swallowed Depth Charge's ship was. It could be due to the time storm created in 'The Agenda' and 'Optimal Situation', but that doesn't explain Depth Charge's Transmetalization due to the portal. Transmetalization should only happen due to the quantum surge. A mix-up, perhaps?
How Rampage manages to elude Megatron's scanners is not made clear. Why doesn't Megatron just squeeze that spark torture chamber to rein in Rampage?.
Depth Charge yells 'Maximize' to transform into beast mode instead of saying 'beast mode'. He does this repeatedly in other episodes as well.