Synopsis: In Dalian, China, a fire breaks out in an oil processing plant. Autobots Salvage and Longarm rescue the workers there, and Longarm transforms into robot mode to reach a bunch of worker trapped. Salvage berates Longarm for transforming, but Longarm tells him that Prime would understand. The two discuss Longarm’s penchant for languages, and accept the humans’ thanks, when two Protoforms shoot down from the sky. Salvage is killed immediately by a headshot, and in quick succession Longarm, the human workers and firemen are all killed. The two Decepticons survey the area, and Shockwave tells Astrotrain to gather materials for building. In the NEST base in Diego Garcia, Armorhide and the other refugees ask Optimus Prime to allow them back into the field, but Optimus refuses on account of their recent brainwashing. Armorhide inadvertently calls Optimus as Sentinel Prime, and seemingly realizes they’re not on Cyebrtron anymore. Ratchet reassures Optimus things will be fine, and Optimus decides that they can’t let humans get their hands on Transformer technology anymore. Optimus reflects that humans have the capacity to do evil, just as they have the capacity to do good.
In Eastern California, Director Galloway masquerades as an arms dealer buying weapons from a triad of Decepticons—Skystalker, Fearswoop and Divebomb—but Galloway’s less than spectacular acting leads the Decepticons to suspect a trap… and a trap it was, since the NEST soldiers, the Autobot Twins and the Arcee sisters attack. A full out battle ensues. Lennox gets Galloway out of the battlefield, while the Twins harass the Decepticons. Skystalker taunts the Arcee sisters, who are now three minds working as one, and they swiftly kill the Skystalker. Divebomb holds a bunch of NEST soldiers at gunpoint and tries to make his getaway, but Ironhide sneaks up from behind him and riddles him full of bullets for threatening the humans. Fearswoop surrenders to the Autobots. However, the Arcee part of the sisters doubles over in pain from her old wounds. Epps says he’s too old for this, and suggests to Lennox it might be time for them to retire.
Shockwave observes this from afar, before contacting Astrotrain. Astrotrain is making good progress, and is downloading the control software from the ‘Brain Unit’. Shockwave heads out to commandeer Starscream’s cadre, and tells Astrotrain to take care of the Brain Unit when he is done. The Brain Unit overhears this and asks Astrotrain what Shockwave meant, to which Astrotrain tells the Brain Unit to concentrate on the download. Developing self-awareness and unplugging himself, the Brain Unit, calling himself ‘Brains’, sneaks away from Astrotrain. Meanwhile, the NEST team returns to Diego Garcia. Elita-One reports to Optimus Prime, telling him that Starscream is behind the weapons dealing, and tells him about their bond, that each sister can literally feel what each other is feeling. In the outskirts of Mexico City, Shockwave arrives in a junkyard and accosts Starscream, telling him that Megatron requires his services. Shockwave kills an insolent Deadlift and knocks down Starscream, but before an agreement could be worked out Astrotrain contacts Shockwave with news of the Brain Unit escaping. Shockwave tells Starscream to make amends for his little rebellion. Brains, meanwhile, has escaped to Philadelphia, sneaking around and trying to talk to the locals, a bunch of cars. Frustrated at not getting a response, he kicks one of the cars… who transforms in public into Bumblebee, guns akimbo…<
Featured Transformers: Salvage (killed), Longarm (killed), Astrotrain, Shockwave, Optimus Prime, Blazemaster, Smokescreen, Armorhide, Brawn, Ratchet, Fearswoop, Skystalker (killed), Divebomb (killed), Skids, Mudflap, Chromia, Arcee, Elita-One*, Ironhide, Brains, Jolt, Dune Runner, Knock Out, Sideswipe, Ruination, Deadlift (killed), Starscream, Bumblebee
Notable Others: NEST Agents, Director Galloway, Sergeant Epps, Major Lennox, Sam Witwicky
*The Arcee Sisters are now regarded as three characters instead of one, not a retcon or a goof, see below.
Reviews & Commentary: Reviewed by Blackjack
Synopsis: A century ago: While the elite of the Autobots and Decepticons set off to space to search for the AllSpark, the Autobots left on Cybertron were left to the mercy of Megatron’s most lethal enforcers. Elita-One leads a group of Autobots to interrupt an Energon convoy, but Shockwave and his troops intercept them and kill Chromia. However, after killing the Autobot Shockwave receives a ‘cosmic scream’ from the AllSpark, which had been found by humans on Earth. Flatline recovers Chromia’s body for experiments, while Shockwave leaves command of Cybertron to Dreadwing. Shockwave rides an impossibly fast ship, and streaks towards Earth. 1908: Shockwave crash-lands in Tunguska, Siberia, knocked into stasis by the impact. 1919: The Soviets found Shockwave. 1944:the Soviets kept Shockwave on ice, but they did not do much until in 1957 when the turncoat Danco revealed that the Americans have captured Megatron in a similar manner. 1969: Megatron is moved to the Hoover Dam. 1973: Soundwave was drawn to Earth, but not by the AllSpark, but rather by something on the moon. He made preparations for Megatron’s return, apparently working with humans. 2009: Starscream frees Megatron, but recently split off to make his own coup.
Three days ago: While the Autobots are distracted with Starscream, Megatron concludes that Shockwave was on Earth. He arrives on the abandoned Siberian research center, and liberates Shockwave from stasis. Two days ago: The ever-loyal Decepticon follows Megatron to their new staging ground, a junkyard in Nambia, Africa. Shockwave was not impressed by the fact that Megatron wants to have some fun with the Autobots first instead of just killing them outright. Fun is not logical. There are several hatchlings with Megatron as well.
Now: Bumblebee and Sam have brought Brains to Sam’s college. Wheelie, having broken out of Sam’s closet, realizes that Brains is a scrap-drone like him, and brings the scatterbrained rogue Decepticon up to speed. Both Wheelie and Bumblebee note that Sam has just recently broken up. Barricade smashes through the wall, hunting down Brains, and Bumblebee battles Barricade. Sam, Wheelie and Brains try to escape, but meet a huge force of Decepticons led by Starscream that begins shooting the place up. Bumblebee crashes into the Decepticon forces and kills Brimstone, while Sam and Brains try to figure out what exactly it is that Brains had downloaded which made the Decepticons want him. Sam contacts Optimus Prime for aid. NEST assembles. Jolt’s team, as well as Galloway, is left on Diego Garcia to keep an eye on the refugees and coordinate a cover story respectively. The injured Arcee insist that she come with the strike force. In Philadelphia Bumblebee is pinned down and held at gunpoint by Sonar, but is killed by the energy blade of an unseen combatant called Mirage. Wheeljack arrives from another side, introducing himself to Sam, Wheelie and Brains. Mirage and Wheeljack then stand off to face against the Decepticons.
Featured Transformers: Astrotrain, Signal Flare, Cliffjumper (maybe, killed), Strongarm, Elita-One, Shockwave, Chromia (killed in flashback), Overcast (?), Thundercracker, Ramjet, Dreadwing-model Drones, Dreadwing, Flatline, Megatron, Soundwave, Starscream, Hatchlings, Ratbat, Ravage, Rumble, Beastbox, Brains, Bumblebee, Wheelie, Barricade, Bludgeon, Brimstone (killed), Storm Surge, Sonar (killed), Tankor, Mindwipe, Ruination, Blademaster, Sideswipe, Ironhide, Knock Out, Jolt, Dune Runner, Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Blazemaster, Armorhide, Brawn, Arcee, Mirage, Wheeljack,
Notable Others: Danco Junior, Walter Simmons, Sam Witwicky, Sergeant Epps, Director Galloway, Major Lennox
Reviews & Commentary: Reviewed by Blackjack
Synopsis: NEST base, Diego Garcia: Jolt, Dune Runner and Director Galloway discuss how the refugees are behaving so strangely, while Knock Out plays cards with a bunch of soldiers. Jolt heads off to check on their prisoner. Meanwhile, the Autobot strikeforce is en-route to Philadelphia to aid Sam and Bumblebee against Starscream's attack. Optimus dispatches the sisters to embark on an infiltration mission on New York to plant explosives in what is believed to be Starscream's staging ground, and suggests the wounded Arcee to remain behind, but Elita-One, bonded to her sister in every conceivable way. Optimus' and Elita's conversation soon turns ugly when Elita cites Optimus Prime abandoning him on Cybertron, and that death and rebirth led only to more fighting. The sisters depart.
Philadelphia: Sam and Wheelie run away for their lives from the Decepticon fire, but the newly-arrived reinforcements Wheeljack and Mirage give the Decepticons a hard time with their abilities. Mirage uses his invisibility powers to trick Bludgeon into killing Storm Surge, not that Bludgeon cared. In the chaos as Decepticons and Autobots battle, Brains has become separated from Sam and Wheelie, pursued by Space Case. Brains stumbles upon Carly, and Space Case is about to kill both of them with his trident. Sam uses a pipe to hit Space Case and distract him, and Carly commandeers the guns from Sonar's corpse to shoot Space Case. This distracts Space Case enough for Sam to get away. Sam and Carly exchange some pleasantries, but have to escape from the Decepticons again.
New York: The sisters silently approach their target, which was apparently given to them by Brains. They discover that it isn't Starscream's base, but apparently the construction site created by Astrotrain, who is in contact with Shockwave. The sisters recognize that Astrotrain has created a cage to contain Shockwave's 'pet', a monstrous creature from Cybertron. They try to contact Optimus, but transmissions are jammed by Soundwave, who unleashes his menagerie on the sisters. The shared mind of the sisters are pulled in different directions. Arcee and Chromia's desire to warn Optimus wins out, and Elita-One heads off to deliver the message while the other two make a stand. Astrotrain, however, pursues Elita-One.
Philadelphia: Starscream corners Sam, Carly and Brains, demanding that they turn Brains over. Sam smiles, noting that the cavalry always comes in when things are looking the worst, and sure enough, Optimus and Lennox's team arrives. Starscream panics contacting Shockwave and demanding explanations for the Autobots not being occupied as they should.
Diego Garcia: Shockwave tells Starscream that the Autobots are occupied... with Starscream. Shockwave arrives in Diego Garcia, kills Knock Out and in quick procession shoots Jolt and crushes Dune Runner's skull. Shockwave calmly asks the humans and the dumbfound refugees who is in command, and Galloway bravely steps forwards... only to be killed by Shockwave with a single blast.
Featured Transformers: Knock Out (killed), Dune Runner (killed), Jolt (probably killed), Blaze Master, Armorhide, Brawn, Smokescreen, Arcee, Chromia, Ironhide, Elita-One, Ratchet, Sideswipe, Optimus Prime, Mudflap, Skids, Wheelie, Space Case, Starscream, Wheeljack, Mirage, Bludgeon, Storm Surge (killed), Barricade, Bumblebee, Mindwipe, Ruination, Blademaster, Tankor, Brains, Sonar's Body, Astrotrain, Shockwave's Pet, Soundwave, Ratbat, Ravage, Rumble, Beastbox, Shockwave, Fearswoop
Notable Others: Director Galloway (killed), Sergeant Epps, Major Lennox, Sam Witwicky, Carly
Reviews & Commentary: Reviewed by Blackjack
Synopsis: In his secret staging ground in Namibia Megatron silently monologues to an imaginary Optimus. In Philadelphia, as Optimus Prime and the NEST team assault the panicking Starscream, Wheelie welcomes Brains into the Autobot ranks, who is a little overwhelmed by the offer. Sam is a bit surprised at how well Carly is handling the whole experience. However, as Optimus Prime trades fire with Starscream, he is called by Jolt, who pleads for help, saying that Shockwave has arrived and killed everyone in the NEST base. The transmission breaks up midway, however, and Shockwave delivers a killing blow to Jolt. With the freed Fearswoop, Shockwave shoots down some humans before taking into the skies. Near New York, Chromia and the wounded Arcee are overwhelmed against Soundwave’s minions, trying to buy time for Elita-One to reach Optimus Prime. The fleeing Elita, meanwhile, is chased into the city by Astrotrain. Thinking that Astrotrain’s unwieldy train alternate mode couldn’t chase her as she drives over roads, Astrotrain transforms into a flight mode and opens fire on Elita, causing her to lose her temper and decide to kill Astrotrain quickly.
In Philadelphia the battle is going well as Bumblebee takes down a Decepticon and Optimus shoots down Blademaster, while Epps thinks he should have retired. Lennox and Ironhide realize that the Decepticons aren’t really fighting, and are rather just trying to get away. In New York Elita-One has taken out Astrotrain, and drives off towards Optimus. Optimus Prime orders Wheeljack to expand his forcefield to hem in the Decepticons, but Elita arrives, screaming a warning that it’s a trap. However, before she could divulge too much Shockwave lands and crushes Elita-One to death. Elita’s death is felt by Arcee and Chromia, and the two are taunted by Soundwave. Chromia decides to trigger the explosives they bought with them, creating a massive explosion. However, Arece manages to drag Chromia out of the flames, despite her injuries, telling Chromia that their struggles are meaningful because it gave Elita a few more minutes of life, which is what they fight for.
Shockwave blows up Wheeljack and Mirage in quick succession. Fearswoop swoops in to share a mocking joke with Shockwave, but crashes onto Wheeljack’s forcefield and explodes. Apparently the wounded, dying Wheeljack has managed to recalibrate the forcefield, trapping Shockwave and Optimus Prime together inside the field. Driven into a rage by Elita-One’s death Optimus pummels Shockwave savagely… when Shockwave’s tunneling, gigantic pet arrives and throws the battlefield into chaos, snatching the wounded Shockwave away and drags him to safety underground. Ironhide reports that the Decepticons are gone, while Optimus is struck by grief due to Elita’s death. Sam and Ratchet inform Optimus of the terrible news from Diego Garcia. Ratchet says he is able to rebuild Mirage and Wheeljack, at least, but whoever is left at the base. Chromia and Arcee try to call for pick-up. Despite Lennox’s protests, Epps quits NEST for a consulting gig and Bumblebee says goodbye to Sam. In Megatron’s temporary base, Starscream and Soundwave arrives with a wounded Shockwave, and Starscream protests about being used as bait, and that Shockwave was almost killed. Megatron promises that this was only a rising storm, and true darkness is about to fall.
Featured Transformers: Megatron, Hatchlings, Brains, Wheelie, Wheeljack, Barricade (fate uncertain), Bumblebee, Skids, Mudflap, Ironhide, Ratchet, Mirage, Bludgeon (killed), Sideswipe, Optimus Prime, Starscream, Jolt (killed), Shockwave, Fearswoop (killed), Chromia, Rumble, Arcee, Ravage, Astrotrain (maybe killed), Elita-One (killed), Ratbat, Soundwave, Beastbox, Blademaster (killed), Sonar (see goofs), Tankor, Shockwave’s Pet
Notable Others: Sam Witwicky, Carly, Sergeant Epps, Major Lennox
Reviews & Commentary: Reviewed by Blackjack