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View Full Version : [Prime] S02E18 New Recruit


Knightdramon
2012-09-09, 10:19 PM
Decent episode and about damn time the autobots got a new face around.

Smokescreen, in this Prime incarnation, is actually an amalgam of Prowl's features with Smokescreen's characteristic "38" insignia. To me, he's more Prowl than Smokey.

With him enters a new characteristic in the 'bot line up; that of the rookie. So far we've had the ninja scout [Arcee], the R2D2 [Bumbles], the medic [Ratchet], the bruisers [Bulkhead and Cliffjumper], the leader [Prime] and the "sixth"\rogue [Wheeljack]. Smokescreen effectively fills the eager rookie, though to be honest he does not gaff that much and actually is more action than words.

Plot wise, Bulkhead is still recovering and is very bitter about the new member, Starscream has returned from the bottom of the sea, goes after a new, Red Energon [supposedly makes him faster], loses the Apex armour and STILL hasn't installed a T-Cog.

Chronologically-wise is where this episode falters. I can't be the only person in the fandom that finds Smokescreen's timeline extremely wrong and unjustified.

Short story: He gets captured near the end of the war in the Iacon hall of records, becomes a prisoner, escapes, crashes into earth after being in stasis. Hasn't seen action at all.

Plot holes: The breach he talks about occurs early on in WFC, Megatron's third mission. So for the entirety of the time length from ~4 million years ago, to present day, he's either in a coma or a prisoner? That makes him either a vegetable or a very, very bitter and cruel bot, and he's neither. Megatron's been gone for three years by the time of Darkness Rising, and before that the earliest story we have is FOC, which is still a long long time ago.

Design wise, Smokescreen is a mix n match of Knock out and Bumblebee. The torso is very similar to Knockout, the arms are parallels, even the wheels stick off his back, but with elongated door wings and legs that are similar to Bumblebee. Curiously, Smokescreen changes colours when he scans a vehicle mode. There's more blue added to his shoulders, his elite guard symbol is gone and he gets a racing 38 pattern on his doors\wheels on his back once he scans the rally car [off screen].

Next week: one man, one bot return...

Skyquake87
2012-09-10, 09:48 AM
Leaving aside his rather skewed chronology,i really liked how smokescreen was introduced.normally he'd be demonstrating all kinds of bad ass skills and special powers which would seldom be used in subsequent episodes,so it made a refreshing change to have a character whom looked around himself for opportunities before acting.its very rare-if unheard of-to see this in a kids show where everyone just normally jumps in guns blazing without a second thought.

Bulkhead having a sulk about being replaced seemed childish and unwarranted,but also struck me as almost fourth wall breaking - as if he knows that cast regulars are ignored when new characters turn up. I did like miko leading his physio though!

I wasn't too sure of the out and out hostility and mistrust smokescreen was greated with by the autobots.fair enough,their situation on earth is precarious,and their dealings with wheeljack wont have helped with him not toeing the line,but there were more than a couple of lines of dialogue suggesting that the autobots had been routinely betrayed by anyone let into their confidence...which i can't recall happening.

Jaynz
2012-09-10, 08:32 PM
A couple of points. Starscream has his T-Cog, but it's fairly worthless to him while wearing the Apex armor and he otherwise needed his hands in this episode. His jet fighter mode can't exactly pick up the energon on his own...

Smokescreen was in stasis in the pod, so he didn't age and likely wasn't aware during that time. So there's no need for him to be all 'mental', time effectively didn't affect him for the duration he was in the pod.

Also, the final assault on Iacon appeared to take place well after Prime and his crew left, presumably with Megatron behind them. Still a long time ago, perhaps, but we don't have a firm date on the fall of Iacon for Prime just yet.

Lastly, the Autobots had a 'ringer' with Makeshift pretending to be Wheeljack. Since that wasn't all that long ago, and Smokescreen's arrival was very advantageous in a few ways, suspicion was clearly warranted. I actually thought it was handled well.

Knightdramon
2012-09-11, 07:51 AM
A couple of points. Starscream has his T-Cog, but it's fairly worthless to him while wearing the Apex armor and he otherwise needed his hands in this episode. His jet fighter mode can't exactly pick up the energon on his own...



Actually, no. In that episode where he picks up the Apex armour, he's just about to operate but stops at the signal of Decepticons mobilizing. He's even using a hovercraft to move around.

If he had installed it prior to this episode I do believe he'd have made a deal about it, so unless it occurs on-screen [not the surgery, but some sort of transformation] he's still without one.

Also, I'm not sure about the timing of the attack on Iacon, could be that you're right since Prime asks about A3 [if he was still in their capital, he would have known himself].

Skyquake87
2012-09-11, 07:56 AM
I wonder if he's managed to fit his T-Cog then? He couldn't access his weapons on his forearms without it - which he did in this epsiode.

I have noticed with Prime that Transformation sequences are kept to a minimum...which puzzles me, Are they animating them from scratch each time rather than using stock footage..?

Jaynz
2012-09-12, 02:31 AM
I have noticed with Prime that Transformation sequences are kept to a minimum...which puzzles me, Are they animating them from scratch each time rather than using stock footage..?

It's a pre-created animated sequence, so it's a 'stock animation' which still has to be rendered for each episode. I think, though, that we're seeing a lot of what plagues the Transformers comics - transformations more and more serve to get from A to B and not much else...

Knightdramon
2012-09-12, 02:52 AM
I wonder if he's managed to fit his T-Cog then? He couldn't access his weapons on his forearms without it - which he did in this epsiode.

Starscream can both fire his forearm missiles [red parts] AND transform his arms into blasters [as seen prominently in Operation BB: Part 2 and the Armada episodes which his clone did]. The missiles don't need a T cog, as he blasted Airrachnid without it, the blaster does. I can only assume that his missiles are loaded manually from a spare stock parts.

Jaynz
2012-09-12, 03:24 AM
Starscream can both fire his forearm missiles [red parts] AND transform his arms into blasters [as seen prominently in Operation BB: Part 2 and the Armada episodes which his clone did]. The missiles don't need a T cog, as he blasted Airrachnid without it, the blaster does. I can only assume that his missiles are loaded manually from a spare stock parts.

Hard to say how much he has hanging out in the Harbinger as well. He DOES have the extra T-Cog, explicitly, so if he doesn't have it installed at the moment (and, just pointing out, reliance on the Apex armor would make transformation out of the question at present) it's likely because he needs someone else to do the job. Maybe Knock Out makes house calls?

Skyquake87
2012-09-12, 07:37 AM
I was just a bit puzzled as there was a short sequence in ...whatever epsidoe (Op BB?) where after losing his T-Cog he can't fire those missiles off his arms, implying that some Transformation is required to launch them. It just didn't seem terribly clear on what he can and can't do without the cog in place. It doesn't really matter at the end of the day, just something I noticed...

Cliffjumper
2012-09-13, 04:25 PM
Liked on the whole. Little bit thrown that Smokescreen is Bluestreak but there we go.

Thank **** someone remembered Ratchet's been stockpiling superweapons all season.

Agree that Team Prime were perhaps a little paranoid and spiky (cf. subway guy) - aren't they, like, after reinforcements in general even before Bulkhead got crippled? Do they have a shortage of bunks or something? Glad Op was the one who wasn't a prick.

Bulkhead's emo shit was a bit annoying.

Really loving Starscream - he's like the idiot scientist from Peter David's X-Factor comics who's always coming up with epic new ways to fail.

Bit weird that the Decepticons make no follow-up on Smokescreen after their recon team get torched.

Thunderwave
2012-09-15, 12:25 AM
Bulkhead having a sulk about being replaced seemed childish and unwarranted,but also struck me as almost fourth wall breaking - as if he knows that cast regulars are ignored when new characters turn up.

I actually kind of liked that about the episode. It shows Bulkhead has some self-awareness of himself and his role in the group. He was the big badass bruiser and he knows it. He's not as smart as the others, but he's big, and he knows how to break stuff and that's what he's there for. Now he's just big and a "useless" cripple. I'd say a little fear at being replaced is warranted considering Ratchet isn't sure if he'll ever be fully functional again and his recovery is harder and taking longer then he'd like.

As for the timeline...

I really wouldn't try and fit WfC and FoC into Prime. While "officially" they are the same time line, it's awfully shoehorned in at best, and both started off with no regard for the other. I take Prime for what it is, and the games for what they are, and move on with my day. :-p

Overall I liked this episode. I liked the return of the Autobot Elite Guard, even if it's the rookie.