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TRANSFORMERS ANIMATED SERIES / CARTOONS

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Coming Soon... stuff on • Beast Machines • Robots in Disguise • Transformers: Prime

Season Two, Part 2

| The Golden Lagoon | Quest for Survival | The Secret of Omega Supreme | Child's Play | The Gambler | The Search for Alpha Trion | Auto-Bop | Prime Target | The Girl Who Loved Powerglide | Triple Takeover | Sea Change | Hoist Goes Hollywood | The Key to Vector Sigma, Part 1 | The Key to Vector Sigma, Part 2 | Masquerade | The Trans-Europe Express | War Dawn | Cosmic Rust | Kremzeek! | Starscream’s Brigade | The Revenge of Bruticus | Aerial Assault | B.O.T. |

“The Golden Lagoon”

Japan Title: “Mystery of the Golden Lagoon”
US Airdate: 11-4-85
Japan Airdate: N/A
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Dennis Marks

Synopsis:: Perceptor, Beachcomber, Warpath, Seaspary and Powerglide are on a research assignment on a secluded beach when they’re suddenly attacked by Blitzwing, Thrust and Ramjet. During the fight, Beachcomber runs through a cave and stumbles upon a hidden valley, untouched by man and a virtual utopia. Within the valley he discovers a lagoon of Electrum, a golden liquid which makes anyone who baths in it invincible. Beachcomber leaves the valley to help his friends, though he was unknowingly followed into the valley by Thrust. Thrust finds the Electrum, bathes in it and becomes invincible. He single-handedly defeats the Autobots. Powerglide, Beachcomber and Warpath retreat, but Seaspray and Perceptor are captured and taken back to Decepticon headquarters.

Thrust relays the news to Megatron and the entire Decepticon army heads to the lagoon. The Autobots head to their sub-base, Omega Supreme, and fetch back-up. However, when they enter battle with the Decepticons they’re completely thrashed. The Electrum-charged Decepticons then attack Omega Supreme and defeat him with ease. Amidst the attack, Beachcomber is taken prisoner. Back at Decepticon headquarters, Starscream is forcing Seaspray and Perceptor to fight for his entertainment. The Autobots try to escape but are stopped by Megatron, who tosses them and Beachcomber into prison cells.

Powerglide locates the pool of Electrum and relays the info to Optimus Prime. Understanding the urgency, Prime and the Autobots all roll-out for the valley. Meanwhile, Megatron gives the order for the Autobot prisoners to be executed, but when Skywarp attempts to take Beachcomber out of his cell, he tricks him and rescues his friends. With Seaspray’s help, the Autobots escape. Back at the valley, all the Autobot forces reunite and take down the lone Decepticon guarding the Electrum, Dirge. The Autobots bathe in the Electrum as the Decepticons attack the Ark. The Decepticons discover the Ark to be empty and realize the Autobots must have found the Electrum lagoon. The Decepticons arrive too late, as Omega Supreme rises from the Electrum pool. The effects wear-off on the Decepticons and they retreat. However, not wishing to let the Autobots have the Electrum, Megatron destroys the lagoon and most of the valley. As the rest of the Autobots celebrate their victory, Beachcomber sits alone in the ruins of the valley which was once a utopian home to hundreds of animals and laments “We won…”

Production Notes: This episode was not aired in the Kanto region of Japan and thus never received a proper nation-wide television broadcast. As such, this episode does not have a proper Japanese airdate.

Transformers featured (in rough order of appearance): Warpath, Perceptor, Seaspray, Beachcomber, Powerglide, Blitzwing, Thrust, Ramjet, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Megatron, Starscream, Omega Supreme, Smokescreen, Mirage, Soundwave, Reflector, Dirge, Astrotrain, Gears, Wheeljack, Bluestreak, Hound, Brawn, Sunstreaker, Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Longhaul, Jazz, Ratchet, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Trailbreaker.

Notable Others: Teletran-1.

Review: One of the few early episodes of the Transformers that tried to deliver a message to the audience. This one was a metaphor for the sacrifices of winning a war; while good may have triumphed over evil, innocents and the environment paid a hefty price. Though, to be honest, the episode doesn’t really beat you over the head with the message, and doesn’t even try to address it until the very end. Unfortunately, the ending music is so cheery it kills Beachcomber’s “We won…”, giving a totally different atmosphere. Other than the attempts at morality, this episode doesn’t offer much in the way of excitement. This episode is most likely also the source of Takara’s obsession with golden repaints as raffle prizes and what-not. Overall, they get an A for effort, but due to some bad direction, the message falls rather flat.

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“Quest for Survival”

Japan Title: “Operation: Survival”
US Airdate: 11-5-85
Japan Airdate: 2-28-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Reed Robbins and Peter Salas

Synopsis:: The Insecticons have been working overtime and amassed a huge army of Insecticon Clones. All over the planet, the Insecticons are devouring crops and food sources for energy. The Autobots attempt to thwart them but are severely out-numbered. The Insecticons return to the Decepticon underwater Headquarters and transfer all the energy they’ve collected. However, Megatron explains that crops just don’t yield much Energon at all, and can only pay them 3 Energon cubes for their troubles. Irked by Megatron’s cheapness, the Insecticons leave the Decepticon base bitter. However, Megatron has actually been amassing huge quantities of Energon from the Insecticons without telling them.

Back at the Ark, the Autobots are repairing themselves from their last battle with the Insecticon Clones. Out in space, Cosmos, Bumblebee and Spike are returning with a can of robotic insecticide. However, Cosmos is attacked by a bizarre robotic plant which covers him in seeds. The seeds quickly grow into full-sized plants which engulf Cosmos. Bumblebee and Spike flee inside an escape pod as Cosmos crashes down in a valley. Bumblebee and Spike return to the Ark to retrieve help, but when Teletran’s Skyspy beams footage of Cosmos’ location, they discover the plants have already spread over the entire valley. Perceptor studies a spore that was on Bumblebee’s back and discovers that they are a rare breed of plant called a Morphobot. The Autobots head out to help their buddy, unaware that Laserbeak has been spying on them the whole time.

Laserbeak returns to Decepticon headquarters and delivers the report of the robotic insecticide to Megatron. Not wanting the insecticide to fall into Autobot hands, the Decepticons race to the valley to steal it. Thrust is dispatched to warn the Insecticons to keep away from the valley until the insecticide is destroyed. The Insecticons don’t buy it and think Megatron is hiding something. Back in the valley, the Autobots try to rescue Cosmos but find the Morphobots to be practically invincible. Blaster cranks up a rock song and the volume manages to stun the plants. Ironhide freezes them with liquid nitrogen long enough to rescue Cosmos and retrieve the insecticide. Megatron then shows up and destroys the insecticide but is quickly attacked by the Morphobots and the Autobots combined.

Defeat assured, Megatron is pleased when he sees the massive Insecticon Clone Army arrive. The Insecticons see all the plants in the valley and think that Megatron was trying to hide a magnificent feast from them. However, once the Insecticons get close the Morphobots grab them and start eating them alive. Kickback, Shrapnel and Bombshell manage to just barely escape, but all they’re clones become lunch. Defeated, the Decepticons retreat. The Autobots are grateful that the Morphobots saved the day, but can’t allow them to remain on Earth. Instead, they ship them off in a rocket toward a planet completely inhabited by robotic insects. Back inside the Ark, Perceptor asks if there’s another rocket anywhere, as his Morphobot sample has overgrown and started tearing the base apart.

Notes: In “A Plague of Insecticons”, Kickback says that no spray can defeat the Insecticons. Yet Robotic Insecticide seems to exist. This episode is one of only two instances in the American series in which Soundwave is shown to laugh. The rock song Blaster plays is “Cold Slither”, a song featured in an episode of G.I. Joe by the same name.

Errors: So Optimus Prime happily sends a plague of certain death toward an unsuspecting planet or robot insects? Problem solved.

Transformers featured (in rough order of appearance): Kickback, Bombshell, Shrapnel, Huffer, Inferno, Smokescreen, Tracks, Warpath, Skids (first appearance), Optimus Prime, Grapple, Hoist, Bumblebee, Cosmos, Dirge, Megatron, Starscream, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Rumble, Beachcomber, Ratchet, Perceptor, Laserbeak, Soundwave, Prowl, Thrust, Ramjet, Blitzwing, Ironhide, Blaster.

Notable Others: Spike, Teletran-1.

Review: Another good Insecticon-centric episode. The Insecticons’ ability to create clones was touched upon but rarely played up to its potential earlier in the series. This episode shows just how powerful they can become when given the opportunity to, uh, “reproduce”. The animation is quite good, especially for the Morphobots. Soundwave laughing really caught me off-guard, as I thought he only ever did that in the Japanese version. “Robotic Insecticide” is a ridiculous concept, and they never say just where the Hell Spike and Bumblebee got it. I’d guess Cybertron, since maybe they have robotic roaches or something.

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“The Secret of Omega Supreme”

Japan Title: “The Secret of Omega Supreme”
US Airdate: 11-6-85
Japan Airdate: 3-7-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: David Wise

Synopsis:: Cosmos spies the Constructicons mining a mysterious asteroid in the Earth’s orbit. Turns out, the Decepticons have discovered a new ore within the asteroid which might contain boatloads of energy. On Earth, Optimus Prime goes to alert Omega Supreme, the only other Autobot capable of outer space travel. Omega Supreme is not excited about the assignment until Prime mentions the Constructicons. Suddenly, Omega goes nuts, declaring revenge and slow, painful death to the Constructicons. Optimus becomes curious and orders Omega Supreme to tell him why he has so much bad blood with the Constructicons.

Omega recounts the tale; long ago, On Cybertron, when many Autobots and Decepticons still got along and the war hadn’t fully broken out (the Decepticon rebels were merely trouble-makers at the time), Omega Supreme was good friends with the Decepticons, and a heck of a lot more charismatic, too. The Constructicons had built Crystal City, the most beautiful city on all of Cybertron. Omega Supreme was one of the elite Guardian Robots, assigned to protect Crystal City from Decepticon attack. To swell the Decepticon ranks, Megatron created a device called the Robo-Smasher to reprogram Transformers to be dedicated to his cause. While the Constructicons were busy repairing a section of Crystal City, Megatron and the Robo-Smasher attacked them. Later, the Constructicons came running to Omega, claiming that the Decepticons were attacking Capital City. Omega went to investigate, only to find Capital City in tip-top shape. Realizing something was amiss, Omega returned to Crystal City to find it destroyed by the Constructicons.

Still hoping he could save his friends, Omega Supreme hunted the Constructicons down and tried to return their circuits to normal. Unfortunately, the effects of the Robo-Smasher could not be reversed. Additionally, Megatron had given the Constructicons the power to combine into Devastator. Devastator held Omega in place as the Robo-Smasher hacked into his circuits. Omega Supreme managed to destroy the Robo-Smasher before it could reprogram him, but the effects permanently destroyed his emotions. The Constructicons then fled Cybertron and Omega Supreme chased after them, desiring revenge. He eventually chased them to Earth where the Constructicons rejoined Megatron.

Optimus Prime does not approve of Omega’s vendetta, but orders him to attack the asteroid and beat the Constructicons away. Shortly after giving the order, Perceptor discovers that that asteroid is actually alive. Optimus tries to relay the information to Omega, but Omega turns off his radio. Omega Supreme and the Constructicons fight, splitting the asteroid in half and releasing a bizarre monster. The monster heads to Earth in search of food and attacks San Francisco. Meanwhile, Omega chases the Constructicons down to Earth. The Autobots try to fight-off the monster, but can’t defeat it without Omega Supreme’s help. Omega Supreme is about to deliver the finishing blow to Devastator when Optimus intervenes. Optimus tells him that if he pursues his revenge, all of San Francisco will be destroyed just like Crystal City.

Moved, Omega leaves Devastator and heads for San Francisco. Omega lures the monster back to the asteroid it hatched from, which also happened to be its food source. The monster devours the asteroid and then flies off into space. Back on the Golden Gate Bridge, Optimus tells Omega he made the right choice, and while his emotions may be gone, there’s still hope. Omega agrees as his eyes swell up with “tears”.

Notes: Okay, the Constructons’ origin. It’s chalk-full of contradictions between episodes, but this one would seem to be the definitive version. Overall, their origin isn’t that confusing; here’s a quick run-down. In the early days of the Great War, the Constructicons created Megatron (“Five Faces of Darkness part 4”). Despite that, they were still relatively friendly creatures and befriended Omega Supreme. Megatron mind-raped them with the Robo-Smasher and they turned evil. Then they fled the planet with Omega in pursuit (“The Secret of Omega Supreme”). They eventually landed on Earth and were rebuilt by Megatron (“Heavy Metal War”). Not too complicated, really.

Errors: At the beginning of the episode, Sideswipe is shown chilling next to Megatron inside the Decepticon base. So Omega Supreme has no emotion, but “Just this once…” he can talk like he does? They say the effects of the Robo-Smasher could never be reversed, yet the Autobots used Dominator Disks in “The Core” to do just that. While Devastator is fighting Omega in the mountains, Hook is shown at the ore-refinery station with Megatron and Starscream.

Transformers featured (in rough order of appearance): Scrapper, Longhaul, Mixmaster, Hook, Bonecrusher, Scavenger, Megatron, Sideswipe (D’oh!), Astrotrain, Soundwave, Cosmos, Optimus Prime, Powerglide, Omega Supreme, Devastator, Perceptor, Starscream, Ironhide, Beachcomber, Tracks, Smokescreen.

Notable Others: Teletran-1, Asteroid Monster (first and only appearance).

Review: The origin of Omega Supreme and the Constructicons was a great piece of history. I dig the idea that not all Decepticons, at least back in the day, automatically hated the Autobots. A nice level of depth added to some otherwise paper-thin characters, too. The whole asteroid monster-thing was cheesy, yes, but it did serve a purpose. It provided the motivation for Omega’s slight character-development and a mirror for the events which happened in the past. They probably could’ve found a better way to get that across, though, as the monster was pretty silly. Overall, a nice second season origin piece along the same lines as “Desertion of the Dinobots” and “War Dawn”.

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“Child’s Play”

Japan Title: “Children Play”
US Airdate: 11-7-85
Japan Airdate: 4-18-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Beth Bornstein

Synopsis:: At a baseball stadium, Megatron and the Decepticons have set up a new Spacebridge to shuttle a supply of Energon cubes back to Cybertron. The baseball enthusiasts in the park protest, but the Decepticons makes short work of them. The Autobots show up and they all throw down. In the fray, Optimus Prime, Perceptor, Smokescreen, Inferno, Bumblebee, Starscream, Thrust, Soundwave and Ravage get tossed into the Spacebridge as Megatron shoots the control panel. The Transformers are flung across the galaxy and wind-up on a distant planet. The Decepticons are quickly attacked by enormous wildlife, including giant cats, fish and plants. The Autobots grab the Energon cubes and duck for cover inside a deserted temple. Outside, a giant green creature plucks all the Decepticons up and locks them away in boxes.

As it turns out, they’re actually in the bedroom of a giant alien child named Aaron. Starscream manages to escape into the temple (which is really a building set) and attacks the Autobots, exploding one of the Energon cubes by accident. Aaron catches Starscream as Inferno puts out the fire in Aaron’s bedroom. Aaron thanks the Autobots for saving his toys and they make friends. Just then, Aaron’s parents enter his room to inspect the ruckus and are terrified by all the tiny robots shooting at them. His parents take the Autobots and Decepticons from him and bring them to a laboratory. The scientists at the lab want to dissect the Transformers to see what makes them tick, but Aaron won’t let them. Aaron grabs the Autobots and races out of the lab. As the scientists and authorities chase after Aaron, the Decepticons free themselves and head after the Autobots.

Aaron and the Autobots split up, and the Autobots wind-up taking cover in the sewer. They meet up with the Decepticons and have a brief skirmish until someone flushes their toilet and the sewer floods with water. The Autobots and Decepticons part and the Autobots find their way back to Aaron’s home. Using Aaron’s telescope, his own magnifying lens and the Energon cubes, Perceptor constructs a crude teleportation beam back to Earth. Before the Autobots can jump in, the Decepticons arrive and steal their ride home. The Decepticons land in a swamp on Earth and Starscream is relieved to be free of giant green monsters. The Decepticons are promptly attacked by a horde of ravenous alligators. Back on Aaron’s planet, the Autobots seem out of luck until Aaron produces a toy rocket ship. Perceptor modifies the rocket for interstellar travel and the Autobots bid their friend good bye as they blast off for Earth.

Transformers featured (in rough order of appearance): Megatron, Starscream, Skywarp, Thrust, Soundwave, Ravage, Optimus Prime, Inferno, Perceptor, Ironhide, Brawn, Bumblebee, Smokescreen, Trailbreaker, Wheeljack, Huffer, Gears, Sideswipe, Ratchet.

Notable Others: Aaron (first and only appearance), Chip Chase, Spike.

Review: The episode got off to a promising start. The whole bit in the ballpark where the Decepticons terrorize the humans with Thrust unleashing a machinegun-fire of baseballs, Ravage chasing players around the bases and Soundwave and Skywarp playing catch with human beings (Soundwave saying “Skywarp, think fast!” is classic), is just comedy gold and a lot of fun to watch. It was even fun after the Autobots arrived and fit every single baseball-related pun in existence into the span of 2 minutes. But after that, it all goes downhill. The whole irony of the Transformers being considered “toys” by a giant alien child should’ve been more interesting than this, but it was all mostly just annoying. Anyway, I think it’s a law that every cartoon is REQUIRED to have at least one episode where the main characters are shrunk or made tiny by some means. It’s “Hackneyed Cartoon Plot #47B”. Oh, and the animation completely self-destructed halfway through the episode.

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“The Gambler”

Japan Title: “Monacus, the Gambling World”
US Airdate: 11-11-85
Japan Airdate: 3-14-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Michael Charles Hill

Synopsis:: Still trying to make it back to Earth aboard their rickety rocket ship, Optimus Prime, Perceptor, Inferno, Smokescreen, and Bumblebee are taken prisoner by a gambling-addict named Bosh. Bosh saps all the Autobots of their Energon, save for Smokescreen, whose pod malfunctions. Smokescreen sees Bosh struggling with a slot machine and strikes a deal. He’ll help Bosh win some much-needed Energon on Monicus, the casino planet, if he uses it restore the other Autobots. Bosh agrees, so long as he gets a handsome cut, and they go see Lord Gyconi. They trade the deactivated Autobots to Gyconi as collateral for 50 Energon chips to use as currency in his casino. Smokescreen uses a device in his wrist to cheat his way through the slot machines and racks up more than enough Energon to save the Autobots. However, he gets too caught up in the action and bets all their winnings on one slot. An employee catches Smokescreen’s wrist-device and detaches it. Smokescreen loses the bet and all the Energon.

Back at Gyconi’s office, the tubby mobster refuses to return the Autobots to Smokescreen and Bosh. But in return, he gives them two free passes to the night’s gladiatorial entertainment; the Autobots vs. the brutal Animaliens. Smokescreen and Bosh go to a bar to drown their sorrows, and Gyconi sends an abused lizard creature named Sleezardo to keep tabs on them. At the bar, Sleezardo is hassled by two thugs and is rescued by the sudden appearance on an Autobot named Devcon. Smokescreen and Devcon get to talking; Devcon is a bounty-hunter who has tracked Astrotrain, Dirge and Ramjet to Monicus.

As Devcon said, the three Decepticons are on Monicus. Dirge and Ramjet head to Gyconi’s office and shake him down, demanding a cut of his Energon profits. They then discover his captive Autobots and let it slide. The Autobots are infused with unstable Energon so that they’ll perform wildly in the tournament against the Animaliens. They don’t fair too well in the fight, so Smokescreen fills the auditorium with smoke. The fights are cancelled but he and Bosh are attacked by Dirge and Ramjet. The two Seekers give chase until Devcon arrives and scares them off. Sleezardo then shows up and tells them that Gyconi has taken the Autobots to Astrotrain as prisoners.

Smokescreen, Devcon, Bosh and Sleezardo attack the Decepticons as they load Energon into Astrotrain. The Decepticons and Lord Gyconi flee. Devcon gives chase and offers a partnership to Sleezardo, who readily accepts. Smokescreen and Bosh use the Energon the Decepticons left behind to restore the other Autobots to normal. Smokescreen then requests that the Autobots take a little R n’ R at the casinos and Optimus Prime concedes “Why not?”

Notes: The Autobots were stuck traveling back to Earth in a cruddy rocket ship after the events of “Child’s Play”. Energon chips appear to be a form of currency around the galaxy. Devcon would never appear in the cartoon again, but would show up in the Transformers Universe: Wreckers comics released through the Official Transformers Collector’s Club.

Transformers featured (in rough order of appearance): Optimus Prime, Perceptor, Inferno, Smokescreen, Bumblebee, Astrotrain, Dirge, Ramjet, Devcon (first appearance).

Notable Others: Bosh (first and only appearance), Lord Gyconi (first and only appearance), Sleezardo (first appearance).

Review: A surprisingly enjoyable episode. I never knew Smokescreen could be a fun character. Unfortunately, he was never given a spotlight again in the series. Devcon had some character-potential, but since there was no toy, he never showed up again in the show. The whole gambling angle was the most interesting part; it definitely could’ve used some more attention. But Smokescreen blows it all in the first 5 minutes and gambling has little to do with the plot after that. The episode is alright, not a bad one, but nothing very special.

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“The Search for Alpha Trion”

Japan Title: “The Search for Alpha Trion”
US Airdate: 11-12-85
Japan Airdate:4-25-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Beth Bornstein

Synopsis:: On Cybertron, three Female Autobots (Chromia, Moonracer and Firestar) sneak into Shockwave’s headquarters under orders of Elita One. They raid Shockwave’s stockpile of Energon cubes to power their fight against the Decepticons, but on the way out Moonracer accidentally trips an alarm. Shockwave, surprised to see Female Autobots still alive, sends a sentinel after them. The Female Autobots escape the sentinel and return to Elita One, though Shockwave deduces the approximate location of their underground headquarters. Shockwave contacts Megatron who sends Starscream, Astrotrain, Rumble and Ramjet to assist in the apprehension of the Female Autobots. Rumble starts an earthquake which damages the headquarters. Elita One attempts to lure them away from the base by attacking, but is captured. Rumble continues shaking things up until Starscream believes the base is suitably destroyed.

Megatron contacts Optimus Prime and shows him the imprisoned Elita One. Optimus rushes to her rescue, even though he knows it’s a trap. Apparently, 4 million years ago, Optimus and Elita had a thing going. Right before boarding the Ark, Elita begged to go with him but Optimus told her it was too dangerous. As they spoke, the Decepticons attacked and Elita vanished in the chaos, leaving Optimus to think she had perished. Not wishing to lose her a second time, Optimus heads for Cybertron via the Decepticon spacebridge. Powerglide, Ironhide and Inferno become curious as to why Optimus is heading to Cybertron alone and follow in secret.

As soon as Optimus arrives he is taken prisoner by Starscream, who dangles him over a barrel of acid. Rumble drops Optimus, but before he lands in the barrel, Elita uses her special power which stops time. Elita rescues Prime, but at the cost of her own life force, as the special power uses up so much energy. Prime loads Elita into his cab and races to find Alpha Trion, the only Autobot who can save her.

Back at Shockwave’s headquarters, the Decepticons believe Optimus has perished. Just then, the three Autobots arrive and attack. In the Female Autobots’ underground headquarters, Moonracer comes up with a plan to dig their way out. They detonate the Energon cubes they had just stolen, freeing up their exit. Moonracer, Chromia and Firestar reunite with their boyfriends Powerglide, Ironhide and Inferno, and together they take on the Decepticons.

Optimus eventually finds Alpha Trion, who uses his skill to repair Elita One as best he can. In the end, Alpha Trion instructs Prime to interface with her for a power transfusion, as he is the only Autobot compatible with her design. Prime remarks that only his creator should know that. After the transfusion, Elita One recovers and the two then return to help the Autobots fight off the Decepticons. Outnumbered, the Decepticons retreat. Alpha Trion then sets the Female Autobots up with a new secret base and the Autobots bid farewell to their gal pals.

Notes: Over the 4 million years the Transformers were on Earth, the Female Autobots were driven nearly to extinction. While Moonracer, Firestar and Chromia never appear in the cartoon again, they do appear in the mini-comics released with the “Garage Kit” model of Elita One, drawn by Hidetsugu Yoshioka. They were also plotted to make an appearance in the Dreamwave comic, however, Dreamwave folded before their issue was released.

Errors: Alpha Trion instructs Elita One, “Do not use your special power under ANY circumstances.” Why bother giving her the special power if she’s never, EVER allowed to use it? Sounds like he was just trying to tempt her into killing herself. Kinda like the “History Eraser Button” from that episode of Ren & Stimpy. You know the one. Oh yeah, and when Moonracer is firing on the Energon cubes inside their base, she talks in Chromia’s voice.

Transformers featured (in rough order of appearance): Firestar (first appearance), Chromia (first appearance), Moonracer (first appearance), Elita One (first appearance), Shockwave, Megatron, Starscream, Astrotrain, Rumble, Ramjet, Alpha Trion (first appearance), Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Cliffjumper, Perceptor, Ironhide, Powerglide, Inferno.

Notable Others: Teletran-1.

Review: I won’t go into detail on my feelings about Female Transformers, but I’ll just go on record as saying I really, really hate them. So want to take a guess on how I feel about this episode? Also, I wonder why they even bothered calling it “The Search for Alpha Trion”? Optimus finds him in a matter of seconds. I guess if they titled the episode “Hey Look, Girl Robots!” 90% of the male audience would’ve changed the channel. Additionally, the romance between Optimus and Elita is especially stupid without the context of “War Dawn”. So if you want to get anything out of this episode I recommend you watch “War Dawn” immediately afterward, as it sort of softens the blow. Oh, and the sexual innuendo during Optimus and Elita’s “interface”: subtle.

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“Auto-Bop”

Japan Title: “Broadcast vs. Soundwave”
US Airdate: 11-13-85
Japan Airdate: 7-11-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: David Wise

Synopsis:: In New York City, Raul and his pals, Poplock and Rocksteady, are break-dancing outside a new club, the Dancitron. Some thugs working for the club gang up on Raul and his buddies and chase them away. Tracks and Blaster show up and rescue the three. Blaster and Tracks then head over to the Dancitron to see what’s up and Tracks notices a bunch of out-of-place people dancing in the club, such as women in curlers, businessmen and men in tuxedos. Finding nothing incriminating, the Transformers leave. Starscream and Soundwave watch them leave from a secret room, and decide to deal with the three kids that lead the Autobots to their newest scheme.

Raul, Poplock and Rocksteady are riding a metro train home when the conductor snaps and sends the train out of control. Tracks and Blaster arrive, stop the train and rescue the humans. They decide the Dancitron incident deserves further investigation, so Blaster, Poplock and Rocksteady head back to the club while Tracks and Raul investigate elsewhere in the city. While driving around, Tracks notices more out-of-place people working at a construction site at 1 in the morning. Intrigued, the pair move in to investigate only to be attacked by the people. They escape, and decide to head to the Dancitron.

Poplock and Rocksteady get inside the Dancitron but become hypnotized by the music. Tracks and Raul arrive, though Tracks is taken prisoner as soon as he enters. Raul clogs his ears with some napkins so the music doesn’t effect him and tries to figure out what’s going on. Blaster then shows up and Starscream orders all the humans to attack. Raul uses a bucket of water to snap his friends out of their trance and together they free Tracks. Starscream transforms to jet mode and flies away, so Tracks transforms to flight mode and chases after him. During the aerial chase, Tracks starts a rainstorm; the rain waking the hypnotized construction workers from their trance.

Meanwhile, Blaster and Soundwave throw-down with their sonic attacks. Soundwave takes Blaster out with little effort, reveling in his victory. Blaster then grabs a pair of high-grade speakers to boost his sonics and blasts Soundwave out of the building. Soundwave then retreats. With the Decepticons defeated, Blaster demolishes their building. Tracks, grateful for Raul’s help, offers him any reward he wishes. Raul requests that Blaster act as he and his friends’ stereo for the next few days while they try to earn enough cash to buy a new one. Blaster is less than pleased.

Notes: Tracks first befriended Raul in “Make Tracks”. Sparkplug’s New York City garage/secret Autobot base first appeared in “Make Tracks”. The song playing in the Dancitron is “Cold Slither”, a song which first appeared in a G.I. Joe episode of the same name. Incidentally, Cobra used that song to brainwash the masses into servitude. This episode, along with “A Decepticon Raider in King Arthur’s Court”, are the only two episodes in the first two seasons NOT to have Optimus Prime in it whatsoever. This episode also features one of only two times where Soundwave is ever shown to laugh.

Errors: Just what the Hell was the purpose of that building the Decepticons were having the humans construct?

Transformers featured (in rough order of appearance): Tracks, Blaster, Starscream, Soundwave, Megatron.

Notable Others: Raul, Poplock (first and only appearance), Rocksteady (first and only appearance), Teletran-1.

Review: Well, the story is pretty much “Buster Witwicky and the Carwash of Doom”-level stuff, but you know what? I really like this episode. For one thing, it features one of the more memorable fights between Blaster and Soundwave, establishing their rivalry. The story may be goofy, but it’s still fun. It’s also nice to have an episode without Optimus Prime, and Megatron only appears briefly on a monitor screen for a couple seconds.

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“Prime Target”

Japan Title: “Target: Convoy”
US Airdate: 11-14-85
Japan Airdate: 7-4-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Buzz Dixon

Synopsis:: In Russia, an Oktober Guardsman is attacked and a top-secret jet fighter stolen. As it turns out, the world-renowned big game hunter, Lord Chumley, hunted the jet and other instruments of war simply for sport. The rest of the world doesn’t know this, however, and the Cold War gets a lot hotter when the Soviet Union blames the United States for the jet’s theft. The good hunter doesn’t seem to care, and with the help of his butler, Dinsmoore, Chumley prepares his next target: Optimus Prime.

To get to Optimus, Chumley gradually kidnaps various Autobots. One by one, Tracks, Bumblebee, Jazz, Beachcomber, Grapple and Blaster are taken prisoner. Optimus recalls all troops until he can learn more. Cosmos does recon and reveals the location of the kidnapped Autobots, and that they’re all succumbing to torture devices. Lord Chumley then directly contacts Prime through Teletran-1 and challenges him to a fight, the lives of the Autobots being his prize if he wins.

Prime agrees and heads to Chumley’s castle. At Decepticon headquarters, Megatron is impressed with Chumley’s work and orders Blitzwing and Astrotrain to persuade Chumley to join with them. At Chumley’s castle, Prime is ambushed by a number of strange weapons and robotic adversaries which Chumley and Dinsmoore are controlling from inside the castle. Prime navigates his way through Chumley’s traps without too much effort until the Triple-Changers arrive and surprise Optimus, knocking him out. Chumley, thinking Prime dead, turns on the Decepticons for taking his victory away and captures them.

Inside the castle, Bumblebee manages to send a distress signal to Prime, waking him up. Prime breaks into Chumley’s castle and gets through the last of his traps. Chumley, now desperate, frees the Decepticons on the condition that they save him from Optimus. Upon gaining their freedom, the Decepticons turn on Chumley and try to squash him. Prime scares them off, frees his comrades and delivers Chumley to the proper authorities in the Soviet Union.

Notes: The Oktober Guard appeared prominently in the G.I. Joe cartoon and comics. While Lord Chumley never appeared again in the TV series, he did reappear in the Binaltech storyline written by Hirofumi Ichikawa and released exclusively in Japan. A news reporter appears in this episode whom many believe to be the Marvel/Sunbow “crossover character”, Hector Ramirez. The reporter bears a strong likeness to Ramirez (Ramirez looked slightly different in every show he appeared in) and the episode was written by Buzz Dixon, creator of the character. However, he is not specifically named and his voice actor is not Neil Ross. The guide book released with the Japanese Transformers 2010 box set, written by Hirofumi Ichikawa, specifically refers to the reporter as being Ramirez, however.

Errors: Inferno can be seen with Prime in the Ark after being captured by Chumley. When Prime smashes a camera inside Chumley’s castle, the monitor Chumley is watching breaks like a window, as if Prime was somehow inside the TV. When cowering for his life, Chumley talks in Blitzwing’s voice. When they’re about to flee, Blitzwing talks in Astrotrain’s voice.

Transformers featured (in rough order of appearance): Tracks, Bumblebee, Blitzwing, Astrotrain, Blaster, Grapple, Beachcomber, Jazz, Optimus Prime, Inferno, Windcharger, Huffer, Hoist, Ironhide, Warpath, Cosmos, Mirage, Megatron, Starscream, Trailbreaker, Sideswipe, Prowl, Brawn.

Notable Others: Oktober Guard 1 (first appearance in Transformers), Lord Chumley (first appearance), Dinsmoore (first and only appearance), Teletran-1.

Review: It seems every cartoon HAS to do a parody of “The Most Dangerous Game”. I think it’s a rule or something, right up there with the “Episode where everybody’s small”. A bit of a clichéd plot, though there are a few gems in there. The G.I. Joe reference took me off-guard. Dinsmoore, the senile butler, has a few humorous moments, especially when he compares the Decepticons to the Humane Society. Other than that, though, pretty stupid. All the other Autobots are portrayed as absolutely useless, getting captured incredibly easily by two geriatrics. Additionally, some (most) of Chumley’s traps are absolutely ridiculous. Not a great episode, but it does have a few moments in there, somewhere.

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“The Girl who Loved Powerglide”

Japan Title: “From a Young Woman, with Love”
US Airdate:11-18-85
Japan Airdate: 3-21-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: David Wise

Synopsis:: On the roof of the Hybrid Technologies building, numerous corporate executives are being forced to celebrate the birthday of their bratty new chairman, a young girl named Astoria Carlton Ritz. Astoria starts throwing a temper tantrum because nobody is having any fun, when Dirge, Ramjet and Thrust arrive and try to kidnap her. Powerglide intervenes and manages to rescue her. Astoria becomes infatuated with Powerglide, who could care less. However, Powerglide takes Astoria to Sparkplug’s garage in New York City to keep her safe. Optimus Prime instructs Powerglide to take her to the Ark for better protection, but before he gets the chance, Astoria bugs Spike, who’s trying to work in the garage, causing all sorts of damage. As it turns out, Astoria has the strange talent of jinxing machinery.

Before Powerglide can take her back to headquarters, Astoria demands they stop by a carnival for food. Powerglide reluctantly stops, and Astoria forces him to ride a merry-go-round. Irritated, Powerglide gets ready to rough her up a little, accidentally touching her locket. Astoria freaks out, saying that her late father gave her the locket before he died and instructed her never to remove it. Powerglide apologizes just as the Conehead Seekers arrive. They chase the pair into the desert outside the Ark, shooting Powerglide down. Powerglide’s arm is injured after impact, and Astoria (showing a different side) tries to make him feel better by tying a tourniquet around the wound. Powerglide is touched and begins to change his mind about her, only to have Astoria taken prisoner by the Decepticons.

Ratchet and Wheeljack bring Powerglide back to base for repairs, after which, Powerglide sets off to rescue Astoria. The Seekers bring Astoria to the Decepticon sky platform, where the Constructicons have just finished building a device that will turn the Earth’s electromagnetic field into Energon cubes. However, they need a specific formula to make it work, and apparently Astoria is the only one with the information. Megatron attempts to use a machine called the psycho-probe to get the information out of Astoria’s brain, but the equipment keeps malfunctioning due to Astoria’s jinx.

Powerglide eventually shows up but has trouble flying through the energy storm the sky platform is creating. Astoria escapes and sees Powerglide’s plight. She then hurls her locket, which contained the formula Megatron was after, into the control antennae. The locket does a hell of a lot of damage and the sky platform begins to fall. The Decepticons retreat back to their headquarters as Powerglide struggles to steer the platform away from civilization. Before he and Astoria make a break for it, Powerglide finds the perfect place for the sky platform to land. Back in Decepticon Headquarters, the Decepticons are alerted to the sky platform, heading directly for their base. Megatron orders Soundwave, “Energize the force field!”, to which Soundwave replies “WHAT force field!?!” The platform crashes into the base, and Megatron then orders all the Decepticons to get busy on repairs. Back in New York City, Powerglide and Astoria agree to part ways as mutual admirers. When nobody’s looking, Powerglide opens up his chest, revealing a heart-shaped arrangement of LED lights.

Notes: Sparkplug’s Garage first appeared in “Make Tracks”. Errors: The way Powerglide keeps beating the crap out of Astoria, she should have died in the first 10 minutes of the episode. Why bother using the psycho-probe when Soundwave is capable of reading minds? Astoria has a hell of an arm, hurling her locket a good 300 feet into the air.

Transformers featured (in rough order of appearance): Dirge, Ramjet, Thrust, Powerglide, Optimus, Megatron, Ratchet, Wheeljack, Hook, Bonecrusher, Scavenger, Scrapper, Longhaul, Mixmaster, Soundwave, Rumble, Ironhide.

Notable Others: Astoria Carlton Ritz (first and only appearance), Spike, Teletran-1, Sparkplug.

Review: This episode makes me want to hurt people. Well, David Wise, mostly. It’s just so bad. It had a definite tongue-in-cheek atmosphere going on; I did get a good laugh when the sky platform crashed into Decepticon Headquarters. But that scene was the only enjoyable moment in this episode. Astoria is royally obnoxious and I can’t stand human/Transformer romance stories. They’re always so stupid. And that ending, with the heart…dear god. Avoid this episode at all costs.

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“Triple Takeover”

Japan Title: “Revolt of the Triple-Changers”
US Airdate: 11-19-85
Japan Airdate: 4-11-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Larry Strauss

Synopsis:: Starscream, Blitzwing and Astrotrain have apparently formed an alliance to other-throw Megatron and seize leadership of the Decepticons. Starscream leads Megatron into their trap, claiming that there’s a secret Autobot base deep beneath the city. Megatron follows and suddenly the tunnel they’re in fills with absolute zero molecules, freezing Megatron in his place. Starscream attempts to escape through his preplanned route, but finds that the Triple-Changers have double-crossed him, sealing the hatch.

Now in control of the Decepticons, or at least they *think* they are, Blitzwing and Astrotrain go about their business. Blitzwing invades a football stadium and takes the team’s Coach hostage, mistaking him for a military strategist. He demands battle plans but all the Coach can provide are football plays for Blitzwing to misinterpret. He recommends a “zone defense”, so Blitzwing has the Constructicons build a highway maze surrounding the stadium. The Coach then suggests he try a “long bomb”, so Blitzwing begins blindly firing shells in every direction, leveling the city. Meanwhile, Astrotrain takes-over a local train station and begins fitting all the locomotives with artificial intelligence so he can use them as soldiers.

Prowl, Tracks, Bluestreak and Skids go to investigate Blitzwing’s insanity and become lost in the highway maze. Blitzwing sneaks up on them inside the maze and trashes them, leaving Scrapper to use the wrecked Autobots as raw material for a new throne. Elsewhere, Astrotrain struggles to get his locomotive forces to coherently follow his orders, but eventually manages to get them to harvest Energon cubes from the various energy sources in a tunnel. Flying well above the highway maze, Powerglide spots Scrapper’s new throne and guides Hoist and Smokescreen through the maze to their rescue. The Seekers approach Astrotrain, making fun of his dimwitted “Astroforce”. Astrotrain tries to defend them until one of the trains busts a water main, causing a massive flood over the entire city.

Optimus Prime and Ironhide rescue Spike from the flood and decide to stop the Decepticons for good. Under the city, the rushing water reaches Megatron and Starscream, thawing them out. Optimus and Ironhide go down to the tunnel and repair the busted water main. Prime meets up with Megatron and Starscream and leads them to Blitzwing’s stadium. As they arrive, Astrotrain happens to wash-up at the same time. Further complicating things, the Constructicons show up demanding a partnership in leading the Decepticons as reward for building the ridiculous “zone defense”. It’s a Decepticon free-for-all with the Autobots as the spectators. Eventually, Megatron comes out victorious and cements his place as leader. The Decepticons then flee the city and the Autobots roll-out as well.

Notes: Megatron says “The Decepticon cause supercedes personal vengeance”, which might explain why he keeps letting the people who try to kill him and take his place hang-around so much. Errors: The Coach’s line “Okay! Okay, Commander!” comes out of Blitzwing’s mouth. A lot of inexplicable rainbow-coloring in this episode. The Energon cubes the Astroforce harvest are a delicious selection of fruit-flavors while Trailbreaker’s forcefield (which is usually just yellow) is shown as a spectrum of rainbow colors. As Megatron and the Seekers chase after Prime, Blitzwing is shown among them despite the fact that he should be in the stadium. Why exactly did Astrotrain say he had a score to settle with Blitzwing and shoot him?

Transformers featured (in rough order of appearance): Blitzwing, Astrotrain, Starscream, Megatron, Scrapper, Hook, Bonecrusher, Longhaul, Scavenger, Mixmaster, Hoist, Tracks, Bluestreak, Skids, Prowl, Powerglide, Smokescreen, Thrust, Thundercracker, Ramjet, Dirge, Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Trailbreaker, Devastator.

Notable Others: Football Coach (first and only appearance), Spike.

Review: One of the funniest episodes of the original series and a personal favorite of mine, the comic-timing in this episode is superb. Blitzwing and Astrotrain’s utter ineptitude as Decepticon leaders is a total riot, particularly the way Blitzwing interprets football plays as military strategy and keeps score of all his “victories”. Makes you wonder what might have happened if they Coach had suggested a “Hail Mary”. Would the Decepticons have converted to Christianity? Or perhaps they might have gone to St. Mary’s Cathedral and hailed a cab? Oh the missed opportunity. Blitzwing also has one of the best lines in the whole show, “Tell me what’s on your mind or I’ll splatter it against the wall and see for myself!” Hella violent, dawg. Overall, this is just a really funny episode that has some of the best re-watch value of the whole series.

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“Sea Change”

Japan Title: “The Lake of Transformation”
US Airdate: 11-20-85
Japan Airdate: 5-16-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Douglas Booth

Synopsis:: On the distant planet of Traal, the evil Deceptitran has enslaved a race of humanoid people called the Traalicons. They toil ceaselessly, building his city, while he sucks away their life force to make Energon cubes. The Traalicon slaves eventually rebel, and Deceptitran sends an SOS to the Decepticons on Earth. The Autobots intercept the message, not aware it was sent by Decepticons, and Optimus Prime sends Seaspray, Bumblebee, Cosmos and Perceptor to check it out. They arrive on the planet in time to help the Traalicons escape from Deceptitran’s warrior drones. Seaspray meets up with one of the rebel leaders, a girl named Alana, and both are instantly smitten.

Megatron, Soundwave, and Dirge arrive on Astrotrain to aid Deceptitran. Meanwhile, the Traalicons lead the Autobots to the Well of Transformation, a mystical pool of water which transforms living creatures into whatever they wish. The Traalicons use its power to transform themselves into mer-people, though Alana warns the Autobots to stay way, as the Well is fatal to machines. The Autobots go a different route and meet up with the Traalicons in their secret underwater city. However, Bumblebee gets left behind in the escape and is taken prisoner by the Decepticons.

Seaspray and Alana sneak into Deceptitran’s city to rescue Bumblebee and barely make it out. As Bumblebee escapes with the other Traalicons, Seaspray and Alana draw the enemy fire. They take refuge in the Well of Transformation, though Alana again warns Seaspray that the Well is fatal for machines. Seaspray wants to prove that he’s more than just a machine and enters the Well. He emerges as a handsome Traalicon. Seaspray and Alana express their feelings for one-another, though Alana says she liked him better as a robot. The two then enter the well together and change into mer-people. As they return to the under water city, the Decepticons attack and begin to destroy everything. Seaspray and Alana escape, though Megatron sends Rumble to follow them. Rumble follows into the Well of Transformation and begins to change. Alana tells him the only way he’ll survive is to think about a tree. Her ruse works, and Rumble transforms into a completely immobile tree. Seaspray emerges from the Well in his robot mode, and much to his surprise, Alana emerges as a robot, too.

The pair attack Deceptitran’s headquarters. Alana reprograms Deceptitran and has him send a message requesting help from Megatron. At the same time, Alana forces him to order all the warrior drones to attack the Decepticons. Megatron and his cohorts arrive and chase Seaspray into the Energon warehouse. The warrior drones then take them by surprise and attack, detonating the Energon supply. The explosion causes an earthquake which knocks tree-Rumble into the Well of Transformation, restoring him to normal. The Decepticons then retreat from Traal. The Traalicons celebrate their freedom as Seaspray and Alana boat-off into the sunset.

Notes: There have been at least 3 Cybertronian Wars to date, according to Perceptor. Robots can blush, it would seem.

Transformers featured (in rough order of appearance): Seaspray, Bumblebee, Perceptor, Optimus Prime, Cosmos, Astrotrain, Megatron, Soundwave, Dirge, Laserbeak, Rumble.

Notable Others: Deceptitran (first and only appearance), Alana (first and only appearance).

Review: A piece of me dies every time I watch this episode. I mean, it’s not nearly as bad as “The Girl who Loved Powerglide”, but that’s only on a “lesser of two evils”-scale. The rebellion against Deceptitran on Traal is somewhat interesting, but the romance between Seaspray and Alana takes the foreground and is like bad fangirl fanfiction. And, of course, there’s that whole moral at the end that goes along the lines of “looks don’t matter as long as you love what’s inside blah blah blah”. Not if you want to procreate, it doesn’t. Oh wait, they have that magical well that can turn ugly clunky robots with stupid voices into chiseled, Mr. Universes with stupid voices. Problem solved.

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“Hoist Goes Hollywood”

Japan Title: “Hoist Goes Hollywood”
US Airdate: 11-21-85
Japan Airdate: 5-23-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Earl Kress

Synopsis: While out for a drive, Hoist, Carly and Spike happen into a film shooting by accident. After a car chase goes wrong and Hoist rescues the stunt drivers, the Director asks him to star in his new movie. Elsewhere, Dirge is carrying an Autobot device stolen from Wheeljack’s workshop on Cybertron when he crashes into the Major Pictures lot. Megatron orders him to remain still so as not to compromise the mission and sends Astrotrain, Ramjet and Thrust to rescue their comrade and retrieve the stolen device.

Hoist, Spike and Carly arrive at the Major Pictures lot for work, only to discover that several other Autobots found out about their stardom. Powerglide, Tracks, Warpath and Sunstreaker arrive on the set, showing off and attempting to gain favor. The Director likes what he sees, but much to the Autobots’ chagrin, uses them solely for stunt work. The Autobots tell Hoist to convince the Director to give them real acting parts in the movie. The Director ignores their request and the Autobots storm off set. He then finds Dirge laying in the fake swamp on set and decides to work him into the film. No sooner do they get to work building around him, the Decepticons arrive. The Director thinks this is totally awesome and starts filming their psychotic rampage. The Decepticons then leave with the device, though Megatron reveals he has no idea what the device does. Astrotrain then tells him that they were filmed while on the set, so Megatron orders them to retrieve the film, lest they compromise their mission.

Back at Major Pictures, the Director loves the Decepticon footage so much he decides to rename the film “Attack of the Alien Robots” (leaving stars Harold Edsel and Karen Fishook very displeased) and hires the Autobots back. The Autobots are pleased with the acting parts…until they receive their cheesy costumes and hear the film’s dialogue.

Elsewhere, Spike and Carly discover that several reels of film had been stolen from the workshop. Megatron praises Starscream’s burglary until Soundwave reveals that the negative was still unaccounted for. Megatron whips the crap out of Starscream and orders the Decepticons to find the negative. Meanwhile, in order to keep the enemy distracted, Rumble rigs some special effects explosions which nearly kill the Autobots on set. In a viewing room, Spike and Carly watch a print of the negative of the missing footage and discover the Decepticons in their midst. Soundwave attacks and destroys the print, leaving the pair to hunt down the negative before the Decepticons can get it. A chase scene follows.

The chase leads them to the swamp set where Carly activates a bunch of animatronic dinosaurs to slow the Decepticons. Spike and Carly are slowed down themselves, as they discover every means of escape on the set are actually fake props. They eventually find Hoist and run into a studio building. Hoist then tricks Megatron into thinking the film negative has been destroyed by dunking Carly, Spike and the film in a vat of flesh-eating lava (holy crap!).

Megatron leaves, believing his mission is accomplished, not aware that the “flesh-eating lava” was all a fake. With the Decepticons gone, the Autobots show the negative to Wheeljack. Wheeljack laughs, as the device was nothing more than a pile of junk that never worked. The Director, impressed by Hoist’s acting skills, offers him a contract. Hoist declines, as his duty to the Autobots comes first.

Notes: The characters of Harold Edsel and Karen Fishook are obvious parodies of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher from the Star Wars films. Karen Fishook is voiced by Susan Blu, who would later voice another Princess Leia parody: Arcee.

Errors: After the explosion on the fake rocket, Warpath’s face-plate disappears briefly. The animators at Toei weren’t too kind on the spelling in this episode, what with instances of “Tracks” being spelled as “Trucks” and “closed” being spelled “clossed”.

Transformers featured (in order of appearance): Hoist, Dirge, Starscream, Megatron, Astrotrain, Thrust, Tracks, Warpath, Sunstreaker, Powerglide, Soundwave, Rumble, Wheeljack.

Notable others: Carly, Spike, Director (first and only appearance), Harold Edsel (first and only appearance), Karen Fishook (first and only appearance).

Review: Another tongue-in-cheek episode, but sadly not one of their funniest. A few bits got a chuckle out of me, such as the Director consistently calling Hoist “Moist” and Hoist’s reaction to things like bagels and donuts. I’d also like to compliment Earl Kress on actually reading the show’s bible and assembling all the Autobot glory-hounds and self-obsessed fops for the episode instead of just selecting random characters. Overall, though, a pretty “meh” offering. Megatron’s abuse of Starscream is more ridiculous than ever, with him blaming the Air Commander for messing up things he had absolutely nothing to do with. Kind of reminded me of that scene from Family Guy where a roid-raging Peter can’t cut his steak so he punches Meg in the face for no reason.

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“The Key to Vector Sigma, Part 1”

Japan Title: “The Key to Vector Sigma, Part 1”
US Airdate: 11-25-85
Japan Airdate: 5-2-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: David Wise

Synopsis: The government has offered the Autobots a supply of super-fuel to test out, but in order to keep it out of enemy hands, the Autobots accompany the fuel convoy as guards. The Decepticons inevitably attack, but fail miserably in the process. Licking their wounds, Megatron figures that the reason they keep losing is because they don’t have any “wheels”. A montage of grant theft auto follows, as the Decepticons gather the best cars they can steal. Megatron then alters the cars into Decepticon drones of incredible power, dubbing them the Stunticons. Nst, Megatron takes the Stunticons to Cybertron via the Space Bridge in order to grant them with life. On Cybertron, Shockwave reveals that he has located Vector Sigma, the super computer which gave all Transformers life, however, the computer cannot be activated without the special circuit key. Before Megatron can pout, Shockwave informs him that Alpha Trio possesses the Key.

Back on Earth, Prime deduces Megatron’s scheme and realizes the urgency. He orders Omega Supreme to take him and a troop of Autobots to Cybertron in order to stop Megatron from creating more Decepticons.

Megatron attacks Alpha Trion’s workshop, demanding the Key. He is over-powered and the Decepticons steal the Key. The Autobots arrive and seek help from Trion, only to find him damaged. Ratchet, Wheeljack and Hoist repair Trion, who informs Prime of the Decepticons’ full plot. The Autobots head down into the belly of Cybertron, hot on the Decepticons’ heels.

Meanwhile, the Decepticons are having trouble with a legion of nigh-invincible Centurion Droids guarding Vector Sigma. Megatron manages to subjugate them using the Key and orders them to destroy the Autobots. They then head into Vector Sigma’s chamber.

While on the Decepticons’ trail, the Autobots happen across a storage hanger full of archaic Cybertronian shuttles. They are then attacked by the Centurion Droids. In the chamber, Megatron activates Vector Sigma and orders it to give the Stunticons personalities filled with hatred for the Autobots. The Stunticons are activated and declare loyalty to Megatron.

Back outside, the Autobots are getting creamed by the Droids. To make some time to think up a plan, they reactivate a crew of repair drones and sic them on the Droids. The drones are clobbered instantaneously. Prime sends the second batch of drones off a cliff, which the brainless Droids follow to their apparent doom. They make their way into Vector Sigma’s chamber only to find they’re too late. To counter Megatron’s new threat, the Autobots plan to rebuild the archaic Cybertronian shuttles into air warriors.

On Earth, Megatron unleashes the Stunticons who rampage all over the roads. The Stunticons then attack a military base to steal the super fuel the Decepticons were after earlier. The soldiers at the base see the vehicles without drivers and mistake them for Autobots.

Notes: Alpha Trio first appeared in “The Search for Alpha Trion” (duh). The Centurion Drones would later appear in the Japanese “Headmasters” series, though they’ll be severely depowered. Vector Sigma will become a key part of the Japanese “Headmasters” series as well as Beast Wars Neo and especially Beast Machines.

Errors: Bank robbers and teamsters wear hardhats? Oh c’mon! The lock on the door to Vector Sigma’s chamber is encrypted with Earth numbers. After heading down the hole to Vector Sigma, Optimus exclaims “It’s a miracle we survived that blast!” What blast? I didn’t see anything. So the soldiers notice that no one is driving the Stunticons, but don’t notice the Decpeticon symbols on them?

Transformers featured (in order of appearance): Warpath, Optimus Prime, Prowl, Smokescreen, Megatron, Thrust, Dirge, Ramjet, Rumble, Soundwave, Ratchet, Shockwave, Hoist, Ironhide, Omega Supreme, Blaster, Wheeljack, Alpha Trion, Ravage, Motormaster (first appearance), Dead End (first appearance), Breakdown (first appearance), Dragstrip (first appearance), Wildrider (first appearance).

Notable others: Teletran-1, Centurion Droids (first appearance), Vector Sigma (first appearance).

Review: I kind of wish they’d have gone into greater detail on the history of Vector Sigma, other than “it gave us all life”. This isn’t my favorite two-parter of the season (“Desertion of the Dinobots” holds that honor), but it’s probably second best. With the only other competition being “Dinobot Island” and “Megatron’s Master Plan”, I suppose that’s not saying much. Overall, the episode offers little substance outside of the vague concept of Vector Sigma and is mostly a blatant “Buy New Toys!” advertisement. Well, more blatant than most episodes, anyhow.

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“The Key to Vector Sigma, Part 2”

Japan Title: “The Key to Vector Sigma, Part 2”
US Airdate: 11-26-85
Japan Airdate: 5-9-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: David Wise

Synopsis: The Autobots follow through with their plan to create a fleet of air warriors and then take them to Vector Sigma. Alpha Trion, being a first generation creation of Vector Sigma, sacrifices himself and merges with the computer in order to activate it. Sigma grants the air warriors with life turning them into the Aerialbots. Alpha Trion, speaking from Vector Sigma, informs Prime that the Key can be used as a horrible weapon on Earth. The Autobots head to Earth to stop Megatron.

Megatron and the Decepticons, now with the stolen super fuel, are on their way back to their base when Megatron receives a notice from Shockwave informing him of the Aerialbots as well as the destructive power of the Key. Megatron is intrigued and lands to examine the Key.

On Cybertron, the Aerialbots fight their way past some leftover Centurion Droids and the Autobots leave onboard Omega Supreme, not noticing Supreme has been damaged. On the way to Earth, Prime educates the Aerialbots on the history of the Autobots. Upon landing, Supreme explodes due to his damage. Ratchet begins repairs, though things look grim for Supreme. Making matters worse, once the Autobots arrive at the military base to investigate the Decepticon attack, the soldiers fire upon them. Slingshot wants to fight but Prime orders him to stand down. Slingshot views the act of retreat as cowardice and begins to doubt the Autobots’ power.

Just then, the Stunticons arrive and engage the Autobots in battle. Seeing the Autobots fighting the Stunticons, the soldiers realize the Autobots are still good guys. The Aerialbots attack the Stunticons and prove an equal match. Motormaster pummels Slingshot, who calls for help from Silverbolt. Silverbolt freaks out and retreats. Not far away, Megatron discovers the Stunticons attacking without his command and orders them to return. Silverbolt reveals he is afraid of heights and is harassed by Slingshot. The Autobots return to base to check on Omega Supreme only to find progress is slow. To try and help him deal with his fear of heights, Prime makes Silverbolt commander of the Aerialbots. The Aerialbots skulk around the Ark, developing a distaste for both the Autobots and humanity. Slingshot orders the Aerialbots to ditch the team, leaving Silverbolt to try and bring them back.

Out in the desert, the Decepticons continue to examine the Key and accidentally discover it can turn organic matter into metal. Megatron plots to use the Key to turn Earth into another Cybertron…one square foot at a time. Teletran-1 catches wind of Megatron’s plan, leaving Prime to order the Autobots to counter the threat without Omega Supreme or the Aerialbots. Outside, Silverbolt uses reverse psychology to convince Slingshot and the Aerialbots to return to the Ark and take over. Back at base, Silverbolt shows all the positive qualities of the Autobots and humans to the Aerialbots, convincing them to return to the team.

Elsewhere, the Autobots are getting trashed by the Decepticons and the Stunticons, who are getting closer to the densely populated city of Seattle. The Aerialbots arrive and turn the tide of battle until the Stunticons unite into Menasor. The Aerialbots then combine into Superion and the combiners clash. Omega Supreme returns, repaired, and the Decepticons retreat. Silverbolt chases after Megatron, overcoming his fear of heights and destroys the Key.

Notes: The Key’s ability to turn organic matter into metal will be a key plot-point in Beast Machines.

Errors: At this rate, Megatron will conquer the Earth in only a matter of decades. I’m pretty sure the animators at Toei had no idea what Seattle looked like.

Transformers featured (in order of appearance): Optimus Prime, Alpha Trion, Blaster, Ironhide, Ratchet, Hoist, Wheeljack, Silverbolt (first appearance), Air Raid (first appearance), Fireflight (first appearance), Skydive (first appearance), Slingshot (first appearance), Megatron, Soundwave, Shockwave, Omega Supreme, Motormaster, Dead End, Breakdown, Dragstrip, Wildrider, Smokescreen, Tracks, Jazz, Menasor (first appearance), Superion (first appearance)

Notable others: Vector Sigma, Teletran-1, Sparkplug

Review: Megatron’s evil plots are usually pretty lame, but this was one of his worst. I mean, they don’t even fly into the air and zap the Earth with the Key from a distance. No, they walk aimlessly around a desert, blasting one tree at a time. However, it was pretty badass the way Menasor picked up a skyscraper and *threw* it at Superion. Wonder what the death-count on that was? Still, a pretty weak two-parter, all things considered.

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“Masquerade”

Japan Title: “Masquerade”
US Airdate: 12-16-85
Japan Airdate: 9-19-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Donald F. Glut

Synopsis: At Decepticon HQ, Megatron orders the Stunticons to procure three components he requires, much to Starscream’s disapproval. The Stunticons split up into three teams and hit the road. At the Ark, Teletran-1 alerts Optimus Prime of the Decepticon activity. Elsewhere, the Stunticons collect the components they need: special laser lenses, an experimental generator and the world’s largest ruby. At the Ark, Teletran-1 has pinpointed all five Stunticons and the Autobots head out to stop them.

At various locations, the Autobots encounter the Stunticons and engage in battle. The Stunticons are defeated entirely then taken to the Ark and imprisoned in vehicle mode. The Autobots are uncertain what the Stunticons had planned for the components they stole, only able to divulge a location from their memory banks: a big ole crater. Using camouflage paint, Windcharger, Jazz, Sideswipe, Mirage and Optimus Prime disguise themselves as the Stunticons and head to the crater.

They arrive at the crater and seem to fool everyone but Starscream. Back at the Ark, the Stunticons escape from their cells and combine into Menasor. Menasor wrecks the joint and escapes. At the crater, Megatron has completed construction of his newest super weapon…a death ray. Just then, Menasor arrives and confuses everyone. To try and prove they’re the genuine article, the faux Stunticons merge into Menasor using Windcharger’s magnetic field. The two Menasors fight and Megatron swears to test the ray on whichever Menasor loses. The Autobots ditch their disguises and are at a serious disadvantage. Then the death ray proves unstable and self destructs. Autobot reinforcements arrive and the Decepticons retreat. As it turns out, Ironhide had made adjustments to the ruby the Stunticons stole which is what caused the death ray to explode.

Errors: Ratchet has a different voice actor throughout the entire episode. The scientist at the Republic Optics Company sees cars without drivers and naturally assumes they’re the Autobots, despite the gigantic Decepticon symbols on their hoods. During the Stunticon escape, Ratchet is drawn to be half the size of Ironhide. In tape deck mode, Soundwave can apparently fly as fast as a jet.

Transformers featured (in order of appearance): Megatron, Motormaster, Breakdown, Wildrider, Dead End, Drag Strip, Starscream, Soundwave, Ironhide, Ratchet, Optimus Prime, Wheeljack, Bumblebee, Grapple, Inferno, Hoist, Blaster, Warpath, Tracks, Hound, Sideswipe, Jazz, Windcharger, Mirage, Prowl, Trailbreaker, Huffer, Laserbeak, Hook, Mixmaster, Scavenger, Scrapper, Longhaul, Bonecrusher, Menasor.

Notable others: Spike, Teletran-1.

Review: Anything that might have been good about this episode was eclipsed by the usual ho-hum clichés that pollute the Generation 1 cartoon. I swear to God, if Megatron builds another freakin’ death ray my head will explode. The actual masquerade didn’t last very long, as the Stunticons escape from their cells almost as soon as they’re imprisoned. So that pretty much just left the death ray plot, and I already harped on that. I suppose the episode’s only real highlight is the Autobots vs. Stunticons bit at the beginning, though the Stunticons don’t fair too well. This is an altogether boring episode, to say the least.

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“The Trans-Europe Express”

Japan Title: “The Trans-Europe Express”
US Airdate: 12-23-85
Japan Airdate: 6-6-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: David Wise

Synopsis: In Istanbul, Megatron is violently searching for a seer known as Abdul Bin-Phizel. He eventually finds the old sage and coerces him into revealing the location of the Pearl of Bahudin. The Decepticons arrive at the location but find the Pearl is buried too deep for their sensors to locate, so Megatron figures they might as well kidnap an archeologist to do their dirty work.

In Paris, the Europa 2000, a race for charity to Istanbul, is being held with $1 million bucks promised to the winner. Several Autobots enter the race as and extra mil has been promised to the charities if they win. Then this jerkwad named Auggie Cahnay shows up, complaining they have no place in the race. The self-absorbed racer also happens to be under the protection of the Autobots (though he doesn’t know it), as his car is an experimental machine built for him by Simultech Industries and may attract Megatron’s attention. It’s also built from some sort of “weird metal”, as Wheeljack brilliantly deduces.

Back in Istanbul, the Decepticons have kidnapped Professor Terranova and forced him to locate the Pearl. As Scavenger digs up the Pearl, Soundwave returns with news of the Europa 2000. Professor Terranova uses the distraction to escape. Megatron orders the Stunticons to keep the Autobots busy. Back at the race, Cahnay is driving like a madman and endangering the other drivers. Bumblebee and Bluestreak get ticked and pull him over. Cahnay ignores their advice and keeps going. Meanwhile, the Stunticons are making short work of all the Autobots in the race. As Bluestreak enters Turkey he is attacked by the Stunticons. He happens upon Professor Terranova who explains the Decepticons’ plot.

As Auggie takes the lead, the Stunticons stop him and steal is car. Back at the dig site, Scavenger finally unearths the Pearl. Meanwhile, Bluestreak happens upon Auggie who climbs inside and takes the wheel, determined to get his car back. They reach the finish line but keep going, much to the astonishment of the announcer and the crowd. The Autobots reach Megatron who explains the origins of the Pearl to them. Apparently, it was the core of a weather machine that was on board the Nemesis when it crashed on Earth 4 million years ago. When the ship crashed, the machine was ejected and buried for millions of years. It was discovered in the 14th century but once exposed to Earth’s atmosphere it went crazy and destroyed cities. To stop it, a Persian seer built a solid gold, jewel-encrusted casing around it and had it reburied for centuries. In order to harness the Pearl’s power, Megatron needed the energy-resistant metal used to make Auggie’s car.

The Autobots ain’t havin’ none of this and attack. Bumblebee swipes the Pearl and cracks the casing, unleashing a raging thunderstorm that trashes the Stunticons. The storm goes out of control and the Decepticons retreat, leaving Menasor to take car of the Autobots. Menasor crushes the Autobots until Auggie drives his car off the edge of a cliff, jumping out at the last second as it smashes against Menasor’s face. With Menasor down for the count, Bumblebee is free to destroy the Pearl and solve the weather problems. The job finished, the Autobots are about to walk joyfully into the sunset when they realize that the entire Europa 2000 was nothing but a scheme cooked up by Megatron, and that means no money for charity. Showing a change of heart, Auggie hands over the golden casing of the Pearl and tells them to get a good price for it.

Notes: In the series “Robots in Diguise”, the character of Skid-Z was once a racecar that was driven by an Auggie Cahnay (in the Japanese version, “Car Robot”, the character’s name was Goldback, not Auggie Cahnay).

Errors: Where highly advanced alien sensors failed, Professor Terranova succeeded in locating the Pearl of Bahudin with aid from a hobby-shop metal detector. After fitting Terranova with energy shackles, Rumble leaves him right next to a device which defuses energy shackles, then all the Decepticons proceed to turn and look the other direction. Sideswipe and Sunstreaker mistake the Stunticons for normal racecars despite the giant Decepticon symbols on their hoods. The map of Europe used to show the race’s progression is so incredibly off from reality it almost hurts. I mean, if that map is accurate, France dominated Poland, Luxembourg, Belgium and a healthy portion of Germany. Did the animators at Toei live on the same planet as the rest of us? When the Pearl is shown being unearthed in the 14th century it has its golden casing, which Megatron explains wasn’t created for it until after it had first been dug up. During the final battle, Bluestreak is mistakenly drawn as Prowl for a few shots.

Transformers featured (in order of appearance): Megatron, Soundwave, Rumble, Bumblebee, Bluestreak, Tracks, Wheeljack, Smokescreen, Sunstreaker, Sideswipe, Scavenger , Scrapper, Motormaster, Drag Strip, Dead End, Breakdown, Wildrider, Menasor, Prowl (do’h!).

Notable others: Auggie Cahnay (first appearance), Professor Terranova (first and only appearance).

Review: Man, Auggie’s a prick. His change of heart at the end was expected, though. Doesn’t really matter, since he’s a one time character (unless you count that Easter Egg from “Robots in Disguise”) and any development on his part means nothing. I rather liked the origin of the Pearl of Bahudin, but man, a whole lot of dangerous crap got ejected from the Nemesis when it crashed, didn’t it? First the Insecticons, then the Heart of Cybertron and now the Pearl of Bahudin. Outside of that, though, the episode was pretty uneventful. It’s not one I’d watch over and over again, anyhow.

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“War Dawn”

Japan Title: “Caused War”
US Airdate: 12-25-85
Japan Airdate: 9-12-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: David Wise

Synopsis: The Decepticons have kidnapped several of the world’s leaders and taken them to the skies. The Aerialbots give chase and after a brief dogfight with Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker, rescue the humans. Back at the Ark, the Aerialbots are swooning over the aerial combat skills of the Decepticon jets, much to the disapproval of the other Autobots. Teletran-1 alerts the Autobots to bizarre energy readings emanating from Cybertron. The Autobots board Omega Supreme and head out to investigate.

At the Decepticon headquarters, the jets are still repairing themselves after their encounter with the Aerialbots. Soundwave alerts Megatron of the Autobots departure for Cybertron. Worried that they have learned of his scheme, the Decepticons activate the Space Bridge in order to meet them there. It seems Shockwave has been building a device called a Chronosphere, a time machine, so that Megatron can steal energy from Cybertron’s Golden Age. Megatron intends to use the Chronosphere as a trap to dispose of the Aerialbots.

The Autobots arrive on Cybertron and the Aerialbots immediately sneak off to go exploring. They are quickly attacked by Starscream and co, but rather than fight back, ask if they can talk shop. Sensing an opportunity, Starscream agrees to a little chit chat. Slingshot questions whether the Decepticons are truly evil and Starscream successfully manipulates them into stepping into Megatron’s trap. Silverbolt alerts Prime of the situation because he’s a tattletaling little dork. The Aerialbots walk right into the Chronosphere and Megatron activates it, attempting to hurl them into the oblivion before time began. Prime and the rest arrive, fighting off the Decepticons and stopping the Chronosphere by damaging it. The act leaves the Aerialbots stuck in Cybertron’s Golden Age, about 9 million years ago.

In the past, the Aerialbots are wandering around and are met by a warehouse worker named Orion Pax. Pax shows them around the joint and introduces them to his best friend, Dion, and his girlfriend, Ariel. The tour is interrupted when everyone stops to gawk at these super cool new flying robots called the Decepticons. The Aerialbots are suitably impressed, all except for that little nerdlinger, Silverbolt. Megatron introduces himself to Orion Pax and asks to store his equipment in Pax’s warehouse. Pax lets him in but as soon as he does all of Megatron’s vehicles transform into warriors. Orion tries to stop Megatron from stealing the energy inside the warehouse only to have himself, Ariel and Dion mortally wounded. The Aerialbots arrive too late and find the remains of their new friends.

Back in the present, Megatron ponders a way to reclaim the Chronosphere. Shockwave happens upon an old Guardian Robot and the Decepticons rebuild it in order to tackle the Autobots. Wheeljack continues to repair the Chronosphere.

9 millions years prior, the Aerialbots drag their injured friends to a young and dashing Alpha Trion. Alpha Trion takes in Orion Pax and agrees to rebuild him entirely. After some time, Orion Pax returns…as Optimus Prime, the first in a new generation of Autobot defenders. Prime and the Aerialbots head out to battle Megatron as Alpha Trion considers what he’ll name Ariel after he rebuilds her (answer: Elita One). The Decepticons are trashing the Guardian Robots when Prime enters the battlefield. Megatron engages Prime in battle only to suffer the first of nine million years-worth of miserable losses. Despite being beaten, the Decepticons are still stealing energy from the warehouse. Silverbolt concocts a plan to thwart their robbery.

In the present, the Autobots repair the Chronosphere only to be attacked by Megatron’s headless Guardian Robot. Wheeljack sets the controls to retrieve the Aerialbots in two minutes.

Back in the past once more, the Aerialbots are fixing to detonate the warehouse once the Decepticons all enter the warehouse. They set off the explosives with the intention of sacrificing themselves in the process, only to be recalled in the nick of time by the Chronosphere. Upon returning to the future, the Aerialbots merge into Superion and trash the Guardian Robot. The Aerialbots swear vengeance upon Megatron and the Decepticons. After the bad guys flee, Optimus conveniently remembers the Aerialbots from long ago.

Notes: This episode takes place only a few weeks after “The Key to Vector Sigma”, at least according to Optimus Prime. And whose going to argue with him? No one, that’s who. In an interview on the Rhino DVD box set, writer David Wise reveals that he had originally written for Orion Pax to be decapitated with his own severed arm by Megatron, only to have censors tone down the sequence into a couple of laser blasts. The final fate of Dion is uncertain, though many fans choose to believe he was rebuilt into Ultra Magnus (who is identified as Prime’s “brother” in several other fiction sources). The Chronosphere would eventually be rebuilt and cause more trouble in the Binaltech story written by Hirofumi Ichikawa and released exclusively in Japan.

Errors: Considering the distance the hostages plummeted, landing on the wings of the Aerialbots would probably have splattered them something nasty. Starscream attempts to trick the Aerialbots into following him with dialogue along such as “You’ll see, the Decepticons are a *swell* bunch. And do we have *fun*!” Sounds like that middle-aged guy who use to hang out around my elementary school in the ice cream truck with no license plates, or the clown who lived in the sewer and would offer me balloons and candy. This episode somewhat contradicts the origin of the Transformers as revealed in “Five Faces of Darkness”, as that episode establishes that the Autobots didn’t develop the ability to transform until long after their war with the Decepticons began, but this episode supposedly takes place before the war yet all the Autobots and Decepticons are transforming. Ariel can be seen rushing to the warehouse with the Aerialbots after she’d been mortally wounded. Thundercracker is not voiced by John Stephenson in this episode. Instead of sounding like Mr. Slate from the Flintstones, he sounds like Sam Elliot.

Transformers featured (in order of appearance): Starscream, Skywarp, Thundercracker, Silverbolt, Slingshot, Skydive, Air Raid, Fireflight, Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Wheeljack, Ratchet, Omega Supreme, Megatron, Soundwave, Orion Pax (first appearance - TEE HEE!), Dion (first appearance), Ariel (first appearance – TEE HEE!), Shockwave, Alpha Trion, Superion.

Notable others: Teletran-1.

Review: Now this is the type of episode I like, the kind that goes into the history of the Autobot/Decepticon war. While it may contradict some of the specifics as explained in “Five Faces of Darkness”, it’s nothing a little fanon can’t cure. While Optimus Prime’s origin was a little predictable, it’s still nice that he had one. The image of Orion Pax shaking Megatron’s hand in admiration makes for a very interesting picture. And I totally dig the dark humor of the Orion Pax vs. Megatron scene, as Pax rockets into the air all dramatically while Megatron effortlessly blasts him to near death without even trying. Optimus Prime’s and Megatron’s first encounter was especially fun. Yeah, “your worst nightmare” may be one of the most clichéd lines in cinematic history, but its cheesiness kind of added an endearing quality to the moment. I do wish the history lesson could have been delivered in a method that didn’t involve a time machine, mostly because what’s to stop Shockwave from building the Chronosphere over again and killing all the Autobots in their proverbial cribs? Still, this is certainly one of the best episodes of the season and easily one of my favorites.

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“Cosmic Rust”

Japan Title: “Terror of the Cosmic Rust!”
US Airdate: 12-26-85
Japan Airdate: 6-13-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Paul Davids

Synopsis: While flying through space, the Decepticons happen upon an Autobot colony on the planet Antilla that they never knew existed. The Decepticons investigate and discover the entire planet deserted. They locate a holographic warning from a decaying Autobot who warns them of a terrible curse. Megatron figures it’s a trick and that the Autobots are hiding something wicked sweet in the city. It appears he’s right, as they discover a powerful weapon called a Lightning Bug. As they leave, Megatron blasts a stray asteroid with the Lightning Bug. As it explodes, it sends a shard of rock straight through Astrotrain and directly into Megatron’s shoulder. Back at Decepticon headquarters, Starscream removes the asteroid chunk from Megatron’s shoulder, only to discover a bizarre rust covering his wound.

Elsewhere, Perceptor is being honored with a Scientific Achievement Award for inventing Corrostop, a substance which prevents rust and decay. The Autobots intend to use the stuff to coat all of Earth’s monuments, but at the present only have enough for one: the Statue of Liberty. Back at Decepticn HQ, a raspy Megatron shrouds himself in a dark room, demanding that the Decepticons kidnap Perceptor, as he is the only Transformer brilliant enough to cure his mysterious ailment.

At Liberty Island, the Aerialbots are ready to hose Lady Liberty down with the Corrostop. As they finish, the Stunticons arrive on a ferry and attack and kidnap Perceptor. The Aerialbots give chase but are blasted out of the sky by the Lightning Bug. Inside Decepticon HQ, Perceptor and his Decepticon escorts are horrified at the site of Megatron. Apparently, he is covered with a terrible rust which is causing him to rapidly decay alive. Megatron offers to surrender the Lightning Bug if Perceptor can cure him. Not given much choice, Perceptor agrees to the terms and gets busy. He eventually discovers that Corrostop cures the Cosmic Rust and gives the last of it to Megatron.

Out in space, Cosmos delivers news that there is no more of the ingredient to create Corrostop…anywhere. Doesn’t that suck? At the Ark, Megatron radios Prime and tells him that Perceptor is being released (albeit via a patented time-release death trap). The Autobots rescue Perceptor only to find him covered in Cosmic Rust. They take him back to the Ark where he proceeds to infect everyone. Making things even worse, Megatron has begun zapping the Ark with the Lightning Bug, but only with enough power to slowly roast them instead of obliterating them. Perceptor and Wheeljack manage to get a device called a matter duplicator to work in hopes of creating more Corrostop.

At Decepticon Headquarters Megatron learns that the Autobots plan to duplicate the Corrostop by scraping some off the Statue of Liberty. The Decepticons head out to destroy Lady Liberty with the Lightning Bug before the Autobots get there. A fight erupts at Liberty Island between the healthy Decepticons and the rust-covered Autobots. Superion destroys the Lightning Bug and the Decepticons retreat. Perceptor then duplicates enough Corrostop to save the Autobots.

Notes: The threat of Cosmic Rust would eventually lead to the creation of the Binaltech program in the Binaltech story written by Hirofumi Ichikawa and released exclusively in Japan.

Errors: As he sprays Lady Liberty’s torch, Gears is awkwardly given Shockwave’s colors. Sounds like an E-Hobby exclusive waiting to happen.

Transformers featured (in order of appearance): Astrotrain, Rumble, Starscream, Megatron, Perceptor, Silverbolt, Fireflight, Slingshot, Air Raid, Skydive, Optimus Prime, Wheeljack, Mirage, Ratchet, Red Alert, Ironhide, Bumblebee Gears, Jazz, Motormaster, Wildrider, Dragstrip, Breakdown, Dead End, Blitzwing, Dirge, Ramjet, Cosmos, Blaster, Inferno, Powerglide, Tracks, Hound, Beachcomber, Trailbreaker, Hoist, Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Prowl, Soundwave, Laserbeak, Smokescreen, Menasor, Superion.

Notable others: Spike, Carly, Sparkplug, Teletran-1.

Review: Oh yeah, this is one of my absolute favorites. They do a great job recreating a B-horror movie. I especially like the Japanese title, “Terror of the Cosmic Rust!” Sounds like something Mystery Science Theater would make fun of. Toei actually put some effort into a few effects, particularly shrouding Megatron in darkness until he revealed his rust-ridden self. I didn’t dig the Lightning Bug, though. It was another lame “weapon of the week” and really wasn’t necessary to the plot since it pointlessly distracted from the Cosmic Rust. A great change of pace and an episode that stands up to multiple viewings. Not perfect but a highlight of the season.

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“Kremzeek!”

Japan Title: “Panic—the Kremzeek!”
US Airdate: 12-27-85
Japan Airdate: 3-28-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: David Wise

Synopsis: At Decepticon headquarters, Megatron is finishing-up his newest creation; a menacing little monster of pure energy named “Kremzeek”. Kremzeek has a habit of utterly destroying any electronic devices it touches, so Megatron sets it loose at Autobot headquarters. Kremzeek runs amok, deactivating Autobots left and right, until Sparkplug comes up with a plan and coats the last remaining Autobots (Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Inferno and Blaster) with an insulating compound. Desperate to avoid capture, Kremzeek leaps into Teletran-1 and uses the Skyspy to teleport itself all the way to Tokyo; electronics capital of the world!

The Autobots take-off for Tokyo inside Omega Supreme. Meanwhile, 200 miles off the coast of Tokyo (what a coincidence), Megatron, Starscream and Soundwave are finishing the second wave of their plan: a giant energy tower. Elsewhere, the Autobots arrive in Tokyo, though Kremzeek deactivates Omega Supreme as soon as they get their. They chase the little creep all over the city, with it wreaking havoc in video game arcades and causing the bullet train to run wild. Kremzeek eventually takes refuge inside the Shibuya Manufacturing Plant and starts destroying everything in sight. The Autobots run into Dr. Yoshikawa, the Chief Engineer of the plant, and try to come up with a means to stop it. Yoshikawa recommends Blaster use radio-waves against Kremzeek, which works for a little while, but Kremzeek manages to ride the radio waves and get inside Blaster. Blaster attempts to fry the sucker with his own energy, but ends-up only powering the little guy up. Kremzeek then splits into a dozen multi-colored little monsters and things go from bad to worse.

The Autobots figure that the only way to stop the Kremzeeks now is to get them all in one place. Dr. Yoshikawa takes them to the nearest power plant and they create some high-voltage bait. All the Kremzeeks gather at the power plant, save for the original, which sneaks inside of Blaster. The Kremzeeks feed on the energy, combine and form a giant city-stomping monster. This just isn’t the Autobots’ day.

As the giant Kremzeek tears Tokyo apart, Megatron unleashes the full force of his energy tower, which drains Tokyo of all its electricity. The Autobots realize that Kremzeek was nothing more than a distraction and figure that they can use Megatron’s own weapon against him. Bumblebee lures the Kremzeek to Tokyo Tower, where they use radio signals to teleport it directly onto Megatron’s energy tower. Kremzeek destroys the tower and the Decepticons retreat. Dr. Yoshikawa and the Autobots eventually arrive at the tower by boat and use their equipment to build a large cannon. Reluctantly, they use the cannon to disperse all of Kremzeek’s energy, “killing” the monster. The Autobots return to Omega Supreme and Dr. Yoshikawa offers to help get their friend up and running again. As soon as they start to lament having to take such extreme measures against the giant monster, the original Kremzeek pops out of Blaster’s chest and starts terrorizing Tokyo again. Exhausted, the Autobots chase after the little guy once more.

Notes: While Kremzeek never appears in the cartoon again, an energy beverage appears through-out the Dreamwave comics which appears to have Kremzeek as the drink’s mascot.

Errors: Jazz talks in the wrong voice when firing upon Kremzeek. Later, Jazz is seen walking into the room with Ratchet shortly after he was just seen being deactivated. There are a lot of blond and Caucasian-looking people in Japan. The Japanese sign for “Game Arcade” uses English letters mixed with Japanese katakana, which is typically a big no-no. While sitting at the control panel of the energy tower, Starscream is shown with a faceplate for a couple scenes.

Transformers featured (in rough order of appearance): Megatron, Starscream, Soundwave, Thurst, Optimus Prime, Jazz, Smokescreen, Hoist, Ratchet, Huffer, Beachcomber, Sideswipe, Bumblebee, Blaster, Inferno, Omega Supreme.

Notable others: Kremzeek (first appearance), Teletran-1, Sparkplug, Dr. Yoshikawa (first and only appearance).

Review: A blatant comic-relief episode, and I rather like it. While Kremzeek and his Pokemon-like habit of saying his name over and over could get irritating, the Autobots’ reaction to things getting worse and worse is priceless. Like when the dozen Kremzeeks pop out of Blaster’s chest (Prime: “I’ve got that sinking feeling…”) or Teletran-1’s dialogue when Kremzeek causes him to malfunction (“Warning! Martians are invading super markets across the globe to steal Earth’s ammonia!”). And however silly this episode may be, it’s actually one of the best plans Megatron will ever come-up with in his entire cartoon career. Had he built some anti-Kremzeek safeguards into his energy tower, he would’ve won. “Kremzeek!” is very goofy (David Wise did write most of the old Ninja Turtles cartoon, so “goofy” is his strong point) but at the same time it can be very clever. Just relax and try to laugh.

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“Starscream’s Brigade”

Japan Title: “Starscream’s Army”
US Airdate: 1-7-86
Japan Airdate: 7-18-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Michael Charles hill

Synopsis: The episode opens with a brief look at Guadal Canal, 1943, during a World War II battle which leaves several war machines of the era destroyed. Fast forward to 1985 and the battered machines are still there, albeit half buried and decaying rather badly. Down at the Decepticon HQ, Starscream is pissing and moaning over how Megatron prefers Shockwave’s services over his own. While Megatron has his back turned, Starscream blasts him at point blank and assumes him dead. Megatron is far from dead and has finally had his fill of Starscream’s treachery. Megatron blasts Starscream out cold and orders Laserbreak to exile him. Laserbeak dumps him at Guadal Canal where Starscream happens upon the ruined WWII war machines. Starscream suddenly has a brainstorm and swears to build an army of his own.

At the Space Bridge, Starscream muscles his way past Thundercracker and Skywarp and travels to Cybertron. Sneaking into a Decepticon prison, Starscream steals the personality components of several Deceptions, then kills all the remaining personality components in the cell. Back at Guadal Canal, Starscream places the components inside the ruined war machines, reconfiguring them into Transformers he dubs the Combaticons. Starscream quickly forces them into his service by revealing he has not equipped them with energy-absorbers, their only means of refueling. The Combaticons agree to follow his lead for the moment.

At a small town, Jazz and Cliffjumper are attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new Optimus Prime statue. The Combaticons attack and take the two Autobots prisoner. Starscream celebrates his victory while the Combaticons fight amongst themselves. Starscream breaks it up and orders them to capture three more Transformers, otherwise they’ll never get their energy-absorbers.

On Cybertron, Shockwave reports of the liberation of the renegade Decepticon personality components to Megatron. Megatron believes it to be the work of the Autobots and swears vengeance. At the Ark, Teletran-1 reports the kidnapping Jazz and Cliffjumper only to be interrupted when the Decepticons attack. Megatron demands the return of the personality components of the renegade Decepticons, while Prime demands he return Jazz and Cliffjumper. Megatron gets confused, runs out of energy, gets shot and retreats. The Autobots go back inside and ask Teletran-1 for a report on the renegade Decepticons. It turns out they were political prisoners who had their bodies destroyed and their personality components imprisoned.

At a train station, the Decepticons are busy re-energizing when Starscream arrives and calls Megatron out for a showdown with his Combaticons. After a brief skirmish, the Decepticons retreat to complete re-energizing elsewhere. The Combaticons are just about through with Starscream’s leadership, but before they can dispose of him he buys them off with two more energy-absorbers, this time collected from the injured Dirge and Ramjet.

At the Ark, Optimus sends Powerglide out to scout for the missing Autobots. While at Decepticon HQ, Megatron orders the Stunticons to come to his aid, as he wants all Decepticons available to crush Starscream and the Combaticons. At the Amalgamated Water and Power plant, Starscream and friends are enjoying some energy via nipple plugs. Immediately after finishing, Megatron and the Decepticons arrive in full force. Overhead, Powerglide spots the action and reports back to Prime. The Autobots then roll-out to rescue their pals.

Back at the fight, the Constructicons merge into Devastator and overwhelm the Combaticons. The Combaticons counter by merging into Bruticus. As Bruticus pummels Devastator, the Autobots arrive and rescue their friends. Megatron attempts to retreat but Bruticus grabs him and forces him to renounce his leadership of the Decepticons. Starscream revels in his victory for all of two seconds, then the Stunticons arrive, merge into Menasor and flatten Bruticus. Starscream peers into the crater Bruticus was crushed into, only to have Megatron pop out and grab his throat. Not amused, Megatron orders Astrotrain to banish Starscream and the Combaticons to an isolated asteroid out and deep space. From his prison, Starscream swears vengeance.

Notes: Personality components are somewhat similar to the concept of sparks, the souls of Transformers, as seen in “Beast Wars”.

Errors: During the WWII flashback, the animators at Toei showed the armies fighting with lasers instead of bullets. The cells at the Cybertronian penitentiary are labeled with Earth numbers. The statue is referred to as the “Optimus Prime Memorial”. Don’t they usually only construct memorials after someone dies? Shockwave is shown on Earth with the other Decepticons after the fight at the train station. Dirge is shown back at Decepticon HQ when he’s supposed to be a prisoner of Starscream’s. Despite only having four stolen energy-absorbers, all five Combaticons are able to recharge at the power plant. Devastator switches back and forth between having a visor and individual eyes.

Transformers featured (in order of appearance): Starscream, Megatron, Soundwave, Dirge, Ramjet, Thrust, Astrotrain, Laserbeak, Thundercracker, Skywarp, Brawl (first appearance), Swindle (first appearance), Blast Off (first appearance), Vortex (first appearance), Onslaught (first appearance), Jazz, Cliffjumper, Shockwave, Optimus Prime, Gears, Bumblebee, Tracks, Powerglide, Reflector, Brawn, Rumble, Scrapper, Hook, Bonecrusher, Scavenger, Mixmaster, Longhaul, Motormaster, Drag Strip, Dead End, Breakdown, Wildrider, Ironhide, Prowl, Warpath, Devastator, Bruticus (first appearance), Grapple, Ratchet, Menasor.

Notable others: Teletran-1.

Review: Generally revered as one of the best episodes of the second season, and with good reason, as it really is quite good. After, what, 50-something episodes of watching Starscream defy Megatron, cry, get slapped, cry again and then repeat the cycle…it’s refreshing to see him take a more proactive approach. Megatron’s line “You and what army?” set the episode up nicely and the Combaticons have one of the better origins in the series. They also got some great voice actors and sound far more distinctive than the Stunticons, who all sound rather generic. I’m particularly fond of Blast Off, Onslaught and Swindle’s voices. What’s especially fun about this episode is that it’s almost entirely from the point of view of the Decepticons. Sure, the Autobots are thrown in there to rescue their friends, but they hardly interact with the Decepticons and disappear immediately after rescuing Jazz and Cliffjumper. I’m a sucker for stories that focus on the badguys. Of course, there’s the question of why Megatron would banish Starscream a second time when it obviously didn’t work the first time, but at least he’s doing more than pimp-slapping him and calling it a day.

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“The Revenge of Bruticus”

Japan Title: “The Attack of Bruticus”
US Airdate: 1-8-86
Japan Airdate: 7-25-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Larry Strauss

Synopsis: From his asteroid prison, Starscream is going stir crazy. The Combaticons get sick of his whining and after an argument Starscream flees into deep space, despite not having enough energy to make it anywhere. The Combaticons add Starscream to their revenge list as Blast Off slowly by surely tows their asteroid toward Cybertron. On Cybertron, Shockwave is training his Sentinel Guards using a holographic projector. The Combaticons arrive, crush the Sentinel Guards and hurl Shockwave out into space.

On Earth, the Insecticons are running amok, devouring cities and collecting Energon for Megatron. The Autobots arrive and attack the Insecticons. The Insecticons continue to devour the city, sending thousands of humans screaming in terror as skyscrapers crumble around them. Prime alerts the Protectobots who arrive on the scene to help. At the Ark, Spike and Perceptor are giggling that there’s absolutely, positively no remote chance that the Earth could ever conceivably collide with a star.

Out in space, Shockwave smacks into Starscream and the two join forces to reclaim Cybertron from the Combaticons. On Cybertron, Onslaught is busy reconfiguring the Space Bridge to hurl the Earth into the Sun (suck it, Perceptor!) as a means to destroy Megatron and the Decepticons.

At the Earth city, the Protectobots have succeeded in evacuating all the humans. The Autobots are then free to open fire on the swarms of Insecticons. Perceptor and Spike then arrive to alert Prime that Earth is on a collision course with the Sun. With no time to lose, Prime makes a break for the Space Bridge. In order to stop him, Shrapnel steals the control box for the Bridge and flees.

On Cybertron, the Combaticons believe they are under attack by aliens when it’s all really a hologram being projected by Starscream and Shockwave. While the Combaticons are busy, Starscream and Shockwave enter the Space Bridge chamber and discover Onslaught’s reprogramming. Before Shockwave can shut it down, Starscream double-crosses him and knocks him out.

On Earth, the Autobots are frantically searching for Shrapnel and the control box. Watching from a distance, Megatron suddenly receives a call from Starscream. Starscream tells him to hand over leadership of the Decepticons or he’ll let the Earth fry. While Starscream is busy, the Combaticons discover the hologram projector. Down on Earth again, Megatron orders Ramjet and Dirge to find Shrapnel and the control box so they can get off the planet. Back on Cybertron, Shockwave wakes up and scuffles with Starscream. The Combaticons then enter the building and throw the pair into jail cells.

Hey, guess what, we’re back on Earth again. Fires are breaking out all over the place as the planet draws ever nearer to the Sun. Both the Autobots and the Decepticons track the Insecticons to a parking garage and regain the control box. It’s badly damaged, so both Prime and Megatron donate the parts needed to repair it. Both teams take the Space Bridge to Cybertron and encounter the imprisoned Starscream and Shockwave. Megatron reluctantly releases Starscream and then engages in battle with the Combaticons. Out numbered, the Combaticons merge into Bruticus and even the odds. Starscream reveals that Bruticus has three weak spots on his back; hit them all and he deactivates. As Prime knocks Bruticus out, Sideswipe reverses the course of the Earth and returns it to normal. Megatron then destroys Bruticus and lets the Autobots return to Earth. After the Autobots leave, it is revealed that the Bruticus that was destroyed was only a holographic projection. Megatron reprograms the real Bruticus to obey only him, and allows Starscream back into his ranks for helping defeat the giant combiner.

Notes: Starscream and the Combaticons were banished and imprisoned after the events of “Starscream’s Brigade”.

Errors: What are the odds of Shockwave smacking into Starscream out in the infinite of space? During the final battle, Vortex orders the Combaticons to merge in Onsalught’s voice. As Sideswipe returns the Earth to its original orbit, the screen shows it far too close to the Sun for any living thing on the planet to have possibly survived. A giant solar flare licks the planet, for crying out loud. At the end, Sideswipe is not voiced by Michael Bell.

Transformers featured (in order of appearance): Starscream, Onslaught, Blast Off, Swindle, Vortex, Brawl, Shockwave, Shrapnel, Bombshell, Kickback, Megatron, Thundercracker, Dirge, Optimus Prime, Prowl, Sideswipe, Tracks, Ramjet, Streetwise (first appearance), Groove (first appearance), First Aid (first appearance), Blades (first appearance), Hot Spot (first appearance), Perceptor, Powerglide, Ratchet, Dirge, Inferno, Red Alert, Sunstreaker, Skywarp,

Notable others: Spike.

Review: A pretty good follow-up episode, all things considered. I really got a kick out of seeing the swarms of Insecticons leveling a human city with people running and panicking and skyscrapers crumbling around them. A really great visual and shows how great a threat the Insecticons can be. The ending is a bit too clean and tidy, with Megatron inviting Starscream back equating to nothing but a colossal “Reset Button”. Still, this is the Generation 1 cartoon we’re talking about, here. While not as strong as the previous episode, it’s still a good episode with some very nice animation. If this had had a “part 1/part 2” tagged onto it, it would easily rank as my favorite multi-parter of the season.

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“Aerial Assault”

Japan Title: “Charge, Airbots”
US Airdate: 12-10-85
Japan Airdate: 5-30-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Douglas Booth

Synopsis: At a bazaar in a Middle Eastern country, a young boy attempts (successfully) to steal the tire off a beat-up old car. A strange man then drives in and begins hauling out scrap parts as the boy watches from behind a pile of scrap. Up above, the Aerialbots are investigating the disappearances of several aircraft in the area. Silverbolt receives a distress signal from a nearby canyon, but as soon as the Aerialbots enter they are ambushed by the Combaticons. The Combaticons make short work of the Aerialbots until Optimus Prime and some Autobot reinforcements arrive on the scene. The Deceptions flee, though Sligshot is rendered buried alive after an attack from Blast Off. The Autobots fish Slingshot out of the rubble and take him to an airforce base for repairs. Ratchet puts Slingshot back together, though his weapons remain offline due to damage. While waiting, Skydive comes up with an idea to catch the plane-nappers. Skydive and Slingshot decide to stay at the base by themselves pretending to be regular jets in the hopes of catching the thieves red handed.

That night, the plane-nappers arrive and disassemble the two Aerialbots. Before they can radio for help, the thieves remove their transmitters and haul them off, leaving the two Autobots on their own. Back at the bazaar, the thieves decide that the Cybertronian jet parts are too complex to use to make cars and choose not to use them. The leader of the thieves (Ali), apparently in cahoots with Swindle, heads off with the Aerialbot remains. The young boy from earlier notices the suspicious transaction and decides to tag along. He sneaks inside the truck and encounters the two Aerialbots. The Aerialbots mistake him for a thief and attempt to apprehend him, only to discover that after transforming they are only torsos and heads. The boy identifies himself as Hassaan and explains that he wants to take Ali down as much as they do. The Aerialbots consent to a team-up.

At a royal palace, Megatron is radioed by Ali who informs him that the parts needed for Megatron’s drone airforce are on the way. Via convenient exposition, Megatron explains that Ali had deposed Prince Jamal, the former resident of the palace, and teamed with the Decepticons in order to take over the Middle Eastern oil fields and the riches they contain. Blast Off inspects Skydive and Slingshot but deems them “junk” and orders them to be taken away. Hassaan secretly repairs the two Aerialbots, giving Slingshot a grill from Prince Jamal’s Rolls Royce.

Outside, Ali’s workers are putting the finishing touches on Megatron’s ultimate weapon…a giant purple robot griffon monster…thing. Hassaan goes to investigate while Skydive radios for help from the rest of the Aerialbots. Help arrives and Megatron orders the drone jets to attack, not noticing Hassaan sneaking inside the griffon. Without his weapons, Slingshot is unable to help the Aerialbots battle the drones, though Hassaan notices the weapons console needed to repair him inside the griffon. Megatron orders Rumble and Frenzy to activate the griffon. Desperate, Slingshot attacks the Combaticons without any weapons. Hassaan retrieves the necessary weapons console and installs it in Slingshot.

The Combaticons combine into Bruticus and take the upper hand, at least until Fireflight arrives and the Aerialbots merge into Superion. Megatron attacks with the griffon only to have the beast completely destroyed by a well placed kick from Superion and sent hurtling into an oil field. Superion then separates into the Aerialbots, who ignite the oil and comically blast the Decepticons over the horizon. Back inside the fortress, Ali has been apprehended by the Aerialbots and confesses everything. Hassaan then comes onto the scene and reveals he is actually Prince Jamal. Slingshot then worries that Jamal will want the grill from his Rolls Royce back, but Jamal allows him to keep the bling. Bros before hos and all that.

Notes: This episode initially aired before “Starscream’s Birgade”, but due to the presence of the Combaticons would place it after “Revenge of Bruticus”, continuity-wise.

Errors: So Skydive and Slingshot just *let* themselves get chopped up into parts, radios and all? At a military inspection point, the soldiers looking through Ali’s trucks for anything suspicious but don’t even notice the gigantic Decepticon symbol on the hood of Ali’s jeep (Swindle). Similarly, Blast Off doesn’t notice the giant Autobot symbols on the two jets he inspects. After the defeat of the griffon, Ali says “Megatron, you promised me world domination” then proceeds to scream in Megatron’s voice.

Transformers featured (in order of appearance): Swindle, Silverbolt, Slingshot, Skydive, Fireflight, Air Raid, Onslaught, Brawl, Vortex, Dirge, Blast Off, Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Jazz, Hoist, Megatron, Ramjet, Rumble, Frenzy, Bruticus.

Notable others: Hassaan/Prince Jamal (first and only appearance), Ali (first and only appearance).

Review: A pretty boring episode, but it is a rather nice bit of character development for Slingshot. He’s previously been shown to think very little of humans and what-not, so having him show actual concern and a bond of friendship with one adds a tiny speck of depth to his otherwise forgettable character. The animation in this episode was also pretty sweet. Not “Microbots” sweet, but still pretty good. At least during the fight scenes. Megatron’s evil griffon is one of the lowest notes of his career and you’d wonder why he’d bother building something that could be defeated with such relative ease. Is he even trying anymore?

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“B.O.T.”

Japan Title: “The Resurrection of Bruticus”
US Airdate: 1-9-86
Japan Airdate: 9-5-86
Animation: Toei Studio
Credited Writer: Earl Kress

Synopsis: Bruticus is out terrorizing a city for about ten seconds, only to be scrapped by Defensor in a single blast. Swindle escapes destruction, though his Combaticon comrades aren’t so lucky. Swindle then goes to barter spare parts from a known terrorist. At Decepticon HQ, Megatron is running a simulation of a new device that can adjust the Moon’s orbit, allowing them to control Earth’s tides so they can flood canyons and create power sources of their own or something. Needing the Combaticons, but unable to find them, the Decepticons retrieve Swindle. Apparently, instead of bartering for scrap to repair his comrades, he just sold them for spare parts. Not amused, Megatron places a bomb inside Swindle’s head. Unless he reassembles Bruticus in 15 hours, his head goes kablam! Swindle gets crackin’ and collects all the parts, reassembling the Combaticons. However, he was unable to find Brawl’s personality component and the Combaticons are still unable to merge. Megatron tells Swindle to find Brawl’s personality component or die.

At Benjamin Franklin Pierce High, two punk kids (Martin and Roland) are given a mandatory assignment to win a blue ribbon at the school’s science fair or else fail their science course. They are paired with the hideous nerdlinger Elyse, much to their dismay. While watching the Protectobots quench a fire, the trio decides to build a robot for the science fair. They scrounge through a scrapyard for spare parts and unknowingly walk away with Brawl’s personality component. Building the robot, they decide to call it the Biotronic Operational Telecommunicator, or “BOT” for short.

They complete BOT (who looks like an overweight LEGO man) and install Brawl’s personality component. BOT goes completely berserk and tries to kill everyone. BOT escapes and the kids decide to call the Autobots for help. Prime gets the message and sends Ironhide, Bumblebee and Gears to check it out. At the scrapyeard, Swindle interrogates the owner and learns about the three kids who took Brawl’s personality component.

The Autobots arrive at the high school and encounter BOT. BOT beats the crap out of them and runs away. Swindle finds BOT first and retrieves Brawl’s personality component. Brawl is brought back online and Megatron continues with his crazy scheme. Back at the high school, the kids are looking through BOT and discover the personality component missing. They decide to go find it by tracking its brainwaves…just because. Hacking into Brawl’s personality component, they listen in on Megatron’s dastardly plan and discover he intends to test the orbit disrupter on the Ark.

The kids warn the Autobots just in time. Megatron attacks the Ark but the Autobots are ready for him. The Decepticons and Autobots are at a stalemate, leaving the trio of kids to send BOT in by remote to sneak up to the orbit disrupter. BOT hijacks the orbit disrupter, causing it to explode and send all the Decepticons flying. The Autobots thank the kids for their help in defeating the Decepticons. Elyse asks for some spare parts to rebuild BOT. Mortified, Martin and Roland gag her with duct tape and drag her away.

Errors: Brawl’s personality component looks nothing like it did in “Starscream’s Brigade”. The doors and hallways at the high school are big enough to fit three Autobots.

Transformers featured (in order of appearance): Onslaught, Brawl, Vortex, Blast Off, Swindle, Bruticus, Defensor (first appearance), Starscream, Megatron, Skywarp, Soundwave, Hot Spot, Blades, Groove, Streetwise, First Aid, Gears, Ironhide, Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, Wheeljack, Bluestreak, Prowl, Thundercracker, Ramjet.

Notable others: Martin (first and only appearance), Roland (first and only appearance), Elyse (first and only appearance), Teletran-1.

Review: What a terrible way to end a season. They couldn’t have tried any less. The three high school kids are some of the worst humans I’ve ever seen in a Transformers show, with Elyse being so offensively ugly I bet Kiss Players wouldn’t touch her with a ten foot pole. The thought of Swindle selling his comrades for spare parts is kind of funny, but it gets relegated to a brief montage sequence. Even after being rebuilt, the Combaticons don’t seem to really care what happened to them. Heck, most of them don’t even talk. A very poor episode and an even poorer note to end a season on.

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| Season Two, Part 1 | Transformers Episode Guide | Scramble City |

 
 
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