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

Season Four

| The Rebirth, Part 1 | The Rebirth, Part 2 | The Rebirth, Part 3 |

“The Rebirth, Part 1”

US Airdate: 9 November 1987
Credited Writer: David Wise

Synopsis:Things have been quiet for the Autobots in the months since the return of Optimus Prime and the Hate Plague crisis. Goldbug and the Technobots talk about how nice it was to be peaceful. Naturally, the entire Decepticon armada arrives five seconds later. Ultra Magnus walks into a room to find Optimus on his knees, and Optimus reveals that he has been having visions since he opened the Matrix, and it's something very big, and it's starting now.

A large battle ensues. The Technobots and the Throttlebots charge the Decepticons. A battle ensues, where neither side gains the upper hand. Punch sees Wingspan and Pounce enter into Autobot City, and transforms into Counterpunch, he follows to 'check up on their progress', where he sees them steal something. Telling them that his Autobot counterpart is nearby, he transforms to Punch to attack them, but the Clones quickly beat him up and take their prize to Scourge. Galvatron orders a retreat. Optimus, realizing this was a diversion, discovers the empty vault and Punch, and orders everyone to go to Cybertron.

On Cybertron, a group of Autobots watch Blurr racing with Hot Rod, with Daniel riding in Hot Rod. With Daniel’s help, Hot Rod wins the race. Brainstorm claims that this supports his theory that human partners would be able to assist the Autobots in the war with the Decepticons. Hardhead and Cerebros disagree with him. Optimus contacts the Autobots, telling them of the situation. Apparently Galvatron stole the Key to the Plasma Energy Chamber, the forge which was used to create the bodies of the original Autobots. Since the Quintesson rebellion, the key has been in the keeping of the Autobot leaders, tasked with guarding the key with their lives. Galvatron intends to use the Key for world domination. What else? The Decepticons arrive, and chaos ensues. The Aerialbots are quickly taken down by Sixshot.

During the onslaught, Kup and Hot Rod's team see Scourge sneaking towards the Plasma Energy Chamber. Scourge opens the chamber, and is blasted by the energy overload. Spike and Cerebros manages to grab the key. However, the Autobots' ship is hit by a wave of energy from the Plasma Energy Chamber. Their ship is hurled off Cybertron. Cyclonus picks Scourge up, and with a group of Decepticons, head off after the Autobots.

Meanwhile, the Autobot ship crashes on Nebulon. With the engines fried, the Autobots, Spike and Daniel. decide to look for civilization. However, they're captured by a group of rebels that thinks they're machines being controlled by the Hive. Although the Nebulons originally plan to destroy the Autobots, the Decepticons show up. Spike finally convinces the Nebulons to release the Autobots. In the subsequent battle, Daniel is injured by Snapdragon, and Hot Rod, Kup, Blurr, Crosshairs, and Sureshot are taken captive. Some of the Autobots pursue them into the forest, but are quickly driven off by the Hive’s machines.

Returning to the cave, the Nebulons explain that the Hive is a tyrannical group of telekinetics who have used machines to enslave Nebulon. The resistance members know the weak points of the machines, but they just don't have the firepower. Spike thinks that Brainstorm's idea of organic partners just might be the ticket. The Autobots agree to allow the Nebulons to use their heads as suits, except for Cerebros, who ditches the Autobots, tired of fighting. Arcee asks to be Daniel's partner, and Spike agrees. As they remove their heads, Spike declares that they are about to become Headmasters.

Notes: This episode takes place several months after The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 2. This would not be the last you'll hear of the Key to Vector Sigma. The key's legend and its ability to transform organics into technomatter would be revisited in Beast Machines. This is the debut of the Autobot and Decepticon Headmasters, Targetmasters, the Nebulons (Nebulans in the comic), Clones as well as Punch/Counterpunch and Sixshot. Honestly, other than Optimus, Ultra Magnus, the Throttlebots, the Constructicons, the Aerialbots, the Technobots, the Terrorcons, every transformer in this episode are new guys. Sixshot in gun mode can be held by Cyclonus. Nebulons are curly-haired, big-nosed green-skinned humanoids. Brainstorm notes that as Headmasters, their personality is stored in their chests instead of their heads.

Errors: Goldbug and the Technobots talk about all the loose parts knocked from the Decepticons after Optimus Prime was resurrected. This never happened. Of course, it might have happed between Season 3 and 4… Scattershot claims there’s “a hundred” Decepticons heading towards Autobot City, but the force attacking is about, like, twenty, thirty at most? Also, the City is already smoking before the Deceps attack. Why do the Autobots rush out from their well-defended fortress, instead of transforming it into its battle station mode like in TFTM? What, the transformation cog is gone again? (Did Rodimus actually kill Metroplex in ‘The Return of Optimus Prime’?) Where the hell did Galvatron dig up that many new troops all of a sudden? Chromedome is coloured like a giant Pinpointer when he first speaks to Highbrow. Sinnertwin and Blot are fighting beside a totally-white First Aid at one point. A giant Caliburst is seen when the Decepticons attack. Daniel is practically chewed up by Snapdragon, yet his clothes are in perfect condition. Both Slugslinger and Triggerhappy alternate between Slugslinger's light blue and Triggerhappy's darker hues. Highbrow speaks in Hardhead's voice at one point. Hell, most of the new cast gets miscoloured at some point or other. Why didn't Brainstorm or Highbrow fly over the the Hive machines? They didn't think of using the universal greeting on the Nebulans. That's not counting the Nebulans, who are more or less indistinguishable from each other...

Featured Transformers: Strafe, Goldbug, Lightspeed, Scattershot, Ultra Magnus, Optimus Prime, Nosecone, Freeway, Wideload, Searchlight, Chase, Rollbar, Afterburner Apeface (first appearance), Misfire (first appearance), Skullcruncher (first appearance), Hun-Grrr, Weirdwolf (first appearance), Cyclonus, Galvatron, Scourge, Mindwipe (first appearance), Snapdragon (first appearance), Triggerhappy (first appearance), Pounce (first appearance) Wingspan (first appearance), Punch/Counterpunch (first appearance), Rippersnapper, Sinnertwin, Cutthroat, Blot, Blurr, Hot Rod, Arcee, Sureshot (first appearance), Hardhead (first appearance), Chromedome (first appearance), Pointblank (first appearance), Brainstorm (first appearance), Highbrow (first appearance), Cerebros (first appearance), Kup, Crosshairs (first appearance), Hook, Long Haul, Scrapper, Mixmaster, Bonecrusher, Silverbolt, Fireflight, Slingshot, Air Raid, Skydive, Sixshot (first appearance), Slugslinger (first appearance), First Aid, Fastlane (first appearance), Cloudraker (first appearance)

Notable Others: Daniel, Spike, Gort (first appearance), Duros (first appearance), Stylor (first appearance), Acrana (first appearance), Pinpointer (first appearance), Firebolt (first appearance), Recoil (first appearance), Haywire (first appearance), Peacemaker(first appearance), Spoilsport (first appearance), the Hive (first appearance, flashback)

Review: All things considered, it's quite a superb start to season 4. When you need to introduce, like, nearly thirty characters in a single episode, characterization is limited to single-line quips, a la “More than Meets the Eye”, only this is more rushed. The characters introduced are very memorable, though. The ‘superpowers’ of the Transformers take stage once more, with Mindwipe’s hypnotism, Sixshot’s kill all ability, Punch’s alligeance switch, the Clones’ similarity and more. Numerous golden scenes in here (Punch's stupidity comes to mind) Also, the errors are not as numerous as part two and three, and the animation is better than the subsequent episodes. This is a wonderful start to the miniseries, with wonderfully done fight sequences in the Autobot City and Cybertron fights. Highbrow, Hardhead and Cerebros are nicely defined. The set up of being blasted into Nebulos makes more sense than Marvel’s version of ‘I rip my heads off and give it to you as a peace offering’. This version, where the Autobots have no other choice (well, they have a lot, but then this is a cartoon…). The Nebulons are all generic, though. Not bad, but could do better.

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“The Rebirth, Part 2”

US Airdate: 10 November 1987
Credited Writer: David Wise

Synopsis: On Nebulos, the Autobots' heads are modified, allowing for the Headmaster process. The Nebulans choose their partners, and Daniel is placed inside Arcee. Upon activating, the Autobots decide to make a test run, and they trash the Hive's machines quickly. Satisfied with their abilities, the Autobots and Nebulan rebels decide that it's time to steal back the Key to the Plasma Energy Chamber. Meanwhile, the Hive is watching them, and recognises the rebel Nebulans.

Meanwhile, on Cybertron, the Autobots and the Decepticons are fighting to a standstill. A frustrated Optimus Prime decides that it's time to find some answers, and leaves the battle, with Ultra Magnus following.

Back on Nebulos, Scourge tortures the captive Autobots (Hot Rod, Kup, Blurr, Crosshairs, Pointblank and Sureshot) for information regarding the key. Cyclonus realises that the Autobots they captured didn't have the key. But before they could react, the Autobot Headmasters appear. They quickly overwhelm the Decepticons and free the captives, blowing up the Decepticon shuttle in the process. As the Hive watches this, some of the Hive members believe that the Decepticons should be destroyed as well, but their leader says he has other plans. After capturing the Decepticons and bringing them to the Hive's city, the Hive's leader, Lord Zarak, offers them a deal: submit to the Headmaster process with them or be destroyed. The reluctant Cyclonus and Scourge finally agree to deal, but with one condition: only the animals will undergo the Headmaster process. Apeface tries to object, but Cyclonus shuts him up. The other Decepticons offer their weapons as the Nebulan's exosuits. Zarak agrees, and their upgrade begin.

Back on Cybertron, Optimus and Magnus have reached the chamber of Vector Sigma. Using the Matrix's shell as a replacement for the Key to Vector Sigma, Prime activates the supercomputer to communicate with the spirit of Alpha Trion. Alpha Trion cryptically explains that the Key to the Plasma Energy Chamber is on Nebulos, and that Vector Sigma arranged for Galvatron to learn of it. All of this is being done to bring a second Golden Age, which depends on the merging of a human with an Autobot. Alpha Trion tells Prime to preserve the key at all costs. Prime is confused, but he departs for Nebulos, leaving a very confused Ultra Magnus in command of the Autobots in Cybertron.

On Nebulos, the modifications are complete, and the Hive members bond with the Decepticons, creating the Decepticon Headmasters and Targetmasters. Zarak, however, remains behind, having plans for the Hive's city. Meanwhile, the Autobots return to the rebel base, when Cerebros arrives, badly damaged and mumbling that he found a city before passing out. The Autobots are able to stabilise him, but the Decepticons show up, and subsequently trump the unsuspecting Autobots. Mindwipe takes the Key from Brainstorm. Brainstorm manages to run a scan on Nightstick before the Decepticons retreat.

Sometime later, Optimus Prime lands and is introduced to the Headmasters and the newly-built Targetmasters. With this force, the Autobots prepare to retake the Key. Elsewhere, the Decepticons are getting impatient while they wait for Lord Zarak. Prime leads the Autobots in an attack, in which Arcee and Daniel manage to take the Key and get it to Prime. The Autobots circle Prime and Arcee, vowing to let nothing get through. However, from beneath them, Zarak raises the Hive's city. Suddenly it transforms into a gigantic scorpion... Scorponok!

Notes: This might not be an error, but last episode Gort claims that the "Hive's bodies are withered and useless" due to their dependency on telephaty and technology, yet the two Hive Nebulans shown in the light, Lord Zarak and possibly Krunk or Grax (he was not named) are well-built and muscled. The other Hive Nebulans, before entering their suits, look exactly like the Lithonians. This either means the animators are feeling lazy, or Nebulans evolve into Lithonians when their bodies are 'withered and useless'. The Hive line "Exterminate, Exterminate" is the catch-phrase of the Daleks. Coincidentally, Daleks are alien beings who lived in mechanical bodies to compensate for the severe atrophy of their real bodies, like the Hive members. Nebulans are noticeably smaller than their exosuits. Optimus Prime appears rather... dazed and glum (instead of being TEH HERO from 'Return of Optimus Prime) in this episode. Returning from the dead must make him feel different. The Headmasters and Targetmasters make their proper debut as teams this episode, so does Scorponok. Despite appearing in TFTM, and now upgraded as a Headmaster, poor Arcee never got a toy in G1, although a repaint of Chromedome as Arcee was proposed. This was, of course, ultimately rejected.

Errors: So Daniel is in critical condition and the way to heal him is to place him in a suit which allows him to bend his bones unnaturally to form Arcee's head? That's extreme. There are various times where the Nebulan Headmasters and Targetmasters are shown to be the size of the Autobots themselves. Cyclonus and Blurr has Silverbolt-esque lips at several points. Scourge and Kup are seen in their early discarded character models several times. Slugslinger is also coloured as Weirdwolf for a split second. When the Decepticons are abducted by the Hive, one of the machines seen near the conveyor belt has a Decepticon symbol on it, despite the fact that they haven't been allies until, like, a minute later. Monzo's line ("This project is a bad investment!") is probably originally attributed to Grax, the businessman of the bunch. The Hive Targetmasters colour schemes and character models are haphazardly used. Brainstorm's face is coloured completely gray when he tells Mindwipe to hang from a tree. Triggerhappy is among the headless Decepticons which are preparing to become Headmasters. Right after the Decepticons steal the key from the Autobots, Spike claims that the Autobots can't fly, although Brainstorm and Highbrow have airborne alternate modes. For all their appearances (including the comics), Fracas and Nightstick's robot mode character models are reversed from their toys (or vice versa) but their weapon modes are correct. Skullcruncher is miscoloured as Weirdwolf when Skullcruncher combines with Grax. Haywire is drawn as Blurr's regular gun. Sureshot is seen among the Decepticons as they fly off. In the toys, Spasma and Krunk form Apeface and Snapdragon's beast mode heads in addition to their robot mode heads (you could see the ape head on the back of Apeface's robot head) but all throughout the episode, the Horrorcons are able transform into beast modes while the Nebulons are mucking around.

Transformers featured: Brainstorm, Arcee, Highbrow, Hardhead, Chromedome, Skydive, Slingshot, Silverbolt, Air Raid, Abominus, Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Punch, Fastlane, Cloudraker, Skullcruncher, Apeface, Snapdragon, Weirdwolf, Mindwipe, Slugslinger, Triggerhappy, Misfire, Scourge, Cyclonus, Sureshot, Crosshairs, Blurr, Hot Rod, Kup, Pointblank, Alpha Trion's Spirit, Cerebros, Scorponok (first appearance)

Notable Others: Daniel, Gort, Stylor, Duros, Arcana, Firebolt, Daniel, Lord Zarak, Nightstick (first appearance), Caliburst (first appearance), Spasma (first appearance), Blowpipe (first appearance), Fracas (first appearance), Aimless (first appearance), Monzo (first appearance), Krunk (first appearance), Vorath (first appearance), Grax (first appearance), Recoil, Haywire, Pinpointer, Peacemaker, Spoilsport

Review: Better than part One, what with the fast pacing and wonderful animation (albeit error-laden), Rebirth: Part two is still a decent episode. There are numerous character moments here, and the fighting scene when the Decepticons strike the Autobots are golden. Highbrow is a wonderful snob, and Hardhead is still well-defined. The interaction between the Nebulans and Autobots, as well as the various reactions between the Hive members as they bond with the Decepticon are very hilarious. Aimless, Fracas, Vorath and Caliburst are particularly funny. Kup defending Hot Rod... Scourge's torture session... Misfire calling Aimless a bad shot... Slugslinger and Caliburst... Brainstorm saying that he'll sue the Decepticons... The constant banter between Prime and Magnus... the Horrorcons' stormy partnership with their heads... Mindwipe hypnotizing Vorath... Lord Zarak's agendas... The episode is well-scripted, despite the rushed feel. There are many numerous memorable moments in this episode, which proves Transformer writers do work better under pressure. The Rebirth three-parter is three of the greatest episodes in the cartoon series, and possibly the best (and funniest) storyline involving massive toy introdumps.

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“The Rebirth, Part 3”

US Airdate: 11 November 1987
Credited Writer: David Wise

Synopsis: As Scorponok arrives, the Autobots retreat, while Arcee and Daniel are captured. As the Decepticons depart in Scorponok, Optimus Prime orders the Autobots to move out. However, Spike and an injured Cerebros remain behind. On Cybertron, Ultra Magnus and the Autobots are fighting off the Decepticons, but the tide is quickly turned when Scorponok arrives, allowing the Decepticons to win. Scourge and Cyclonus explain what happened on Nebulos, but Galvatron is so disgusted by the -Master process that he nearly blows them all to kingdom come. However, Zarak explains that he has the Key to Plasma Energy Chamber, and has control over Scorponok. Though still disgusted, Galvatron agrees to an uneasy alliance, while ordering a new rocket he installed on Cybertron to be activated. They threaten to torture Daniel, so Arcee gives them the Key.

Heading for Cybertron, Optimus receives a vision from the spirit of Alpha Trion, telling the Autobot leader to preserve the Key to the Plasma Energy Chamber at all costs. As Optimus Prime comes to, Hot Rod and Kup inform Prime that Cybertron has disappeared. Understanding Galvatron's plans, Optimus orders the shuttle to head for Earth.

Cybertron has entered the Sol system, and Galvatron reveals that he intends to activate the Plasma Energy Chamber, and let the energy blow up the Sun, destroying Earth and Cybertron. On Nebulos, Spike and Cerebros locate the Hive's abandoned city, and begin using long-abandoned controls to begin modifying the city.

Landing on Cybertron, the Autobots discover that their comrades have had their power packs removed, and their lives will end if they do not get immediate energon. The Nebulans think that they should just destroy the Key, lest the released energy reach Nebulos. However, Prime remains adamant, explaining that Vector Sigma has a plan. Unwilling to risk Nebulos, the Nebulans simply abandon the Autobots and head to destroy the key, pursued by the weaponless Targetmasters and the Headmasters (who are trapped in vehicle mode). However, they are attacked by the Decepticons, who are preparing to leave.

Just then, Spike and Cerebros arrive in the Hive's converted city, which transforms into Fortress Maximus, with Spike and Cerebros as its Headmasters. Fort Max engages Scorponok, and after a battle, drives the Decepticons into retreat. Spike and the Nebulans try to deactivate the Plasma Energy Chamber, but it's too late as it sent a Plasma Energy tendril into a sun.

Spike and the Nebulans modifies Vector Sigma to absorb the excess solar energy. Vector Sigma absorbs all excess energy and directs it into Cybertron's storage capacitors, resulting in the complete revitalization of Cybertron. As Cerebros comes to, he begs Spike to deactivate him, no longer wishing to endure the Great War. However, Spike tells him that the Golden Age of Cybertron is back. Optimus declares that the Headmasters and Targetmasters are to become the guardians of Nebulos, and to destroy the Hive's machines. When this is done, Cerebros will become the guardian of Nebulos, and the Autobots will live in peace.

However, Scorponok and the Decepticons survived the destruction. As Scorponok flew through space, Galvatron and Zarak bicker.

Notes: For some reason, Galvatron orders the Combaticons to contruct the rocket engine although he has the Constructicons to do it for him.First Aid is holding a gun and attacking the Decepticons, although in 'The Ultimate Weapon' he claims that he won't raise a weapon to save his life. Many generic Autobots seem to be killed by Galvatron's troops (well, their piled junk pieces are there...), but it can be assumed that they're revived when the energy revitalized Cybertron. The Plasma Energy Chamber would be revisited later in the Beast Machines series. Despite his usual trigger-happiness, Galvatron does not kill the Nebulans, even after he's obtained the Key, which is a little out of character for him. Then again, Scorponok and everything... The 'goldenification' of Cybertron ends the energy crisis plot that started waaaaaay back from episode one, so there's a conclusion of sorts. The Decepticons still tolerate the Nebulans at the end of the episode, perhaps due to Scorponok being controlled by them. Using Cybertron as a starship is an idea first proposed by Megatron. Cerebros can't see in his alternate mode. This is the final episode of Generation One.

Errors: Cybertron is smaller than Earth, when in 'the Ultimate Doom', it is the same size (or larger) than Earth. What I think is Chase is miscoloured as Crosshairs when they attack the Terrorcons. When Optimus Prime sees Alpha Trion holding the key to the plasma energy chamber, the key changes shape. When the Autobot shuttle lands on Cybertron, Earth looms in the background despite Cybertron is smaller in previous shots. Spike is able to construct a city-sized, complex, super-Transformer single-handedly out of an entire city using alien technology in what seems to be mere hours. Scorponok is miscoloured as the purplish-blue Cybertron background at one point. Vortex is misoloured as Blades. Daniel is wearing his exo-suit inside Arcee's head at one scene. Gort and Arcana are drawn as Brainstorm and Highbrow at one point. Bumblebee shows up in the Golden Cybertron, right next to Goldbug. In Nebulos, the Headmaster partners are as tall as Optimus. In the final scene in Scorponok, Lord Zarak is nearly as tall as Galvatron. Everyone gets their colour pallettes switched around one time or another, especially the Nebulans. The Targetmaster partners have similar problems. Shouldn't Cybertron's close proximity to Earth cause the planet to tear Earth apart, as it did in "The Ultimate Doom"? The Sun is somehow still intact despite all the abuse hurled into it (Plasma Energy Chamber, Solar Needle, et cetera).

Transformers featured: Scorponok, Sureshot, Crosshairs, Optimus Prime, Hardhead, Hot Rod, Kup, Blurr, Pointblank, Chromedome, Brainstorm, Highbrow, Skullcruncher, Mindwipe, Cyclonus, Scourge, Misfire, Slugslinger, Lightspeed, Strafe, Chase (maybe), Freeway, Searchlight, Rippersnapper, Sinnertwin, Blot, Cutthroat, Hun-Grrr, Silverbolt, Blast Off, Galvatron, Swindle, Brawl, Onslaught, Fireflight, Hot Spot, Ultra Magnus, Groove, First Aid, Blades, Streetwise, Triggerhappy, Weirdwolf, Apeface, Snapdragon, Cerebros, Alpha Trion's Ghost, Afterburner, Vortex, Fortress Maximus (first appearance), Bumblebee (error), Goldbug, Fastlane, Cloudraker

Notable Others: Daniel, Spike, Nightstick, Fracas, Aimless, Blowpipe, Caliburst, Lord Zarak, Monzo, Pinpointer, Gort, Stylor, Arcana, Duros, Peacemaker, Spoilsport, Firebolt, Haywire, Recoil, Vorath, Grax

Review:The conclusion of the G1 cartoon is serviceable. It feels rushed and improbable at points (using Alpha Trion's ghost to force plot points to work) and Spike building Fortress Maximus in five minutes are lousy shortcuts, for the most part it is okay. The fight between Scorponok and Fortress Maximus is cleanly done, and I like how Scorponok folds into city mode when he hits the ground. Cerebros is still a bitch, but Galvatron shines in this episode, especially when he doesn't accept the Headmaster/Targetmaster thing. Regardless, it's a decent ending to the Transformers series, and the plot point that ran through all four seasons--the search for energy--is resolved. All in all, G1 had a decent run, even if many episodes are frankly stupid. The Japanese will ignore the Rebirth and create several series of sequels to the original cartoon, each with varying degrees of success. But as far as the rest of the world is concerned, this is the Transformers' final episode in the cartoon until Beast Wars.

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| Season Three, Part 2 | Transformers Episode Guide | Beast Wars" |

 
 
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