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Blackjack 2010-05-09 05:15 AM

Coming of the Fuzors Part 1
Airdate: 2 November 1997
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: Enter the New Warriors! Snippety-snip, Sir.

SYNOPSIS
The Predacon base's sensors detected two stasis pods that have crashed in Delta Quadrant. Desperate for more troops, Megatron and Inferno heads off to claim them. Waspinator buzzes around, noting that there is only one moon now, before saying 'Waspinator knows!'. Dinobot is also observing the single satellite from afar. Dinobot sneaks into the Predacon base and walks towards where the Golden Disks are kept. Waspinator is there too, and Dinobot grabs him. They confirm their observations about the moon, and that they are on Earth now. The Disks can foretell the future. Surprisingly, Waspinator offers to join forces with Dinobot to steal the Disks, but Dinobot instead throws Waspinator onto the forcefield, overloading it. Dinobot steals the Golden Disks, escapes and blasts the computers.

Blackarachnia hauls Tarantulas' body to his lab and half-heartedly shoots Dinobot. Meanwhile, having been reduced into a crushed cube but ignored by Blackarachnia, Waspinator drags himself into the restoration chamber, grumbling all the way.

Meanwhile, the Maximals have found a sparkless, 'blank' protoform. Tigatron and Airazor, meanwhile, head out for an extensive survey to see the effects that the Planet Buster has on the planet. Rattrap is not impressed at the blank protoform, but Rhinox seems to have a use for it. Elsewhere, the two pods activate their DNA scanners but they malfunction, and the Transformers emerge, finding themselves a strange fusion of two animals. One is a wolf/eagle, while the other is a scorpion/cobra. The scorpion/cobra thinks that he could beat the wolf/eagle up, and attacks. Inferno arrives and attacks both of them. Megatron, observing the three-way battle, alters the new Transformers' command codes into Predacons. Megatron introduces himself and tells the confused Fuzors that they are Transformers. The scorpion/cobra Fuzor names himself Quickstrike, while the wolf/eagle names himself Silverbolt.

Meanwhile, Dinobot, ruminates to himself about the Golden Disks., debating with himself about destiny and whether he should peek and find out how he would die. (For a complete transcript of his monologue, see the quote-unquote section). He decides to be the master of his own fate, and resolves to know the truth, but later. He places the real Golden Disk under a rock, and takes the Alien Disk to the Maximal Base.

At the Maximal Base, Rattrap dispatches Cheetor to find Dinobot, while Rhinox hooks himself up to a massive piece of machinery. Cheetor encounters the now four-strong Predacon army. Cheetor contacts Rattrap, who tries to wake Rhinox up. However, the computer informs him that any disturbance to Rhinox or the machinery will separate Rhinox's consciousness from his body. Dinobot arrives with the Alien Disk and asks Rattrap what's going on, since Sentinel is under full alert. Dinobot and Rattrap arm themselves with additional weapons, and decides to take the fight away from the base.

Meanwhile, Tarantulas' mind is restored to his now Transmetalized body, but a strange side-effect kicks in. Tarantulas now has a psychic link with Blackarachnia. Megatron contacts Waspinator, who tries to tell his leader about the theft of the Disks, but Megatron orders Waspinator to rendezvous with the other Predacons. On a dusty plain, the Predacons, double the Maximal numbers, prepare to attack.

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Inferno, Megatron, Waspinator, Dinobot, Tarantulas, Blackarachnia, Rhinox, Rattrap, Cheetor, Airazor, Tigatron, Quickstrike, Silverbolt

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
Much better. This is how you introduce characters, by making them integral to the story. After the hullabaloo last episode, this issue gets back into form. Dinobot's dialogue is superbly scripted in this episode, and he even quotes Hamlet again! And references to Predator and old Western films... You don't get that in All Hail Megatron, do you? Dinobot is characterized superbly in this episode, contemplating about destiny and such. Meanwhile, Megatron is back to form. He's no longer a bumbling idiot, but rather retains the more sinister plotter we saw at later episodes in Season One. And he still manages to be a ham. Inferno, Waspinator and Rattrap all get nice scenes to themselves, especially Rattrap's dealing with leadership. Waspinator's little bout of alliance, while a little out of character, does lead into one of the more hilarious scenes ever.

The new guys introduced are Quickstrike and Silverbolt. Quickstrike, is just another trigger-happy trooper, but his accent and awesome alternate mode endears me. He's more interesting than his earlier counterpart, Scorponok, anyway. Silverbolt is like an overblown hero, like someone out of a storybook, with a simple black-and-white outlook, a stark contrast to, say, Rattrap. The Spiders' treacherous planning is handled much better than Starscream or Terrorsaur, and it doesn't interfere yet with the main story. Rhinox is obviously trying to revive Primal, that much is certain, which is a shame since it seems like next episode would be a big Primal toy advertisement. It's a much better start to a two-parter than 'The Trigger' and much more interesting. While toy advertising is still rampant with the Transmetals and Fuzors, it's not made such a big deal like last episode. Dialogue is simply fantastic. And the cowboy homage at the end, with the thing going into sepia... superb.

NOTES
It's the debut of Quickstrike and Silverbolt. Quickstrike is a scorpion with a cobra head for his tail, while Silverbolt is like a Gryphon with wolf parts (and a wolf face) instead of lion parts. Quickstrike's character is based on a cowboy while Silverbolt is a somewhat akin to a chivalrous knight.

The way Dinobot covers himself in mud to avoid being seen by infrared sensors is a homage to Predator.

A third stasis pod can be seen near the Fuzors' two pods. Its occupant's corpse could be seen before Quickstrike and Silverbolt arrive. This is presumably the same protoform whose hand appears in the end of the last episode. Presumably it died because it didn't have a chance to scan an alternate mode.

Silverbolt's line as he makes up his name "I think my name is...Silverbolt. Yes! Pure, strong, and...and fast." is a reference to the first line of G1 cartoon's Silverbolt after being created by Vector Sigma.

Dinobot quotes Hamlet again, "To be or not to be." Afterwards, his line is a misquote from Ebenezer Scrooge from a Christmas Carol.

As he prepares to leave the Maximal base, Cheetor's Maximal insignia lights up and fills the screen, acting as a scene-wiping transition in the style of the G1 cartoon.

Dinobot carries ammo strips around his body in the style of G2 characters.

The final scene of the episode is a reference to old Spaghetti Western films, right down to the music, the tumbleweed, the slow-motion, the sepia tone at the end and Quickstrike.

GOOFS
After Megatron shoots Silverbolt, the smoke in his shoulder gun barrels (well, T-Rex hands) stay in the same place even when he is moving.

When Rattrap explains the situation to Dinobot, his thumb is golden, but the rest of his hand is the correct silver.

Why didn't Rhinox tell Rattrap what exactly he is planning to do?

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: "Oh, sure. Don't mind Waspinator. Waspinator just lie here and suffer. Drag himself to CR tank."

Inferno: "Fool! Pain is my friend! Allow me to introduce you to it!"

Megatron: (to Silverbolt) "Teamwork and cooperation. Those are the Predacon watchwords."
Quickstrike: "How about backstabbin' and treachery?"
Megatron: "Oh, we can be flexible."

Rattrap: "What're you looking at? Hey, get your shiny new butt skyward and see if you can find chopperface before the Preds do."
Cheetor: "You mean fly?"
Rattrap: "Do I mean fly- no, I mean take a submarine. Of course I mean fly! Now get going!"
Cheetor: "All right!"
Rattrap: "-sigh- Optimus, how did you do it?"

Dinobot: "To be or not to be; that is the question. These disks I hold, are they a record of what will be, or only what may? For if, the future is indeed imutably foretold, then my demise is but moments from the confirmation. For I, I could not live if not the master of my fate. But if the future can be changed, if these disks record merely one path of all the myriad ways the cosmos might conform, then their power is infinite, and yet still limited. For they could be used but once, and in that change be rendered fiction, forevermore. I could destroy them! But no. It would be a coward's answer. I will know the truth instead. Then, it will be either them, or me, that face oblivion. Till then..."

Blackjack 2010-05-14 03:19 PM

Coming of the Fuzors, Part 2
Airdate: 9 November 1997
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: Convoy Reborn

SYNOPSIS
Following the events of the last episode, Dinobot, Rattrap and Cheetor battle the six Predacons, buying time for Rhinox. Megatron orders the Predacons not to take survivors, causing Silverbolt to protest. This earns him a beating from the Predacon leader. The battle continues and Silverbolt is confused about the Maximals' resistance, and Megatron thorizes that the Maximals are keeping them away from their base. Waspinator and Silverbolt are dispatched to assault the Maximal base, and they are met by Cheetor. A reluctant Dinobot rides an equally-disgusted vehicle-mode Rattrap, opening fire on the Predacons.

Meanwhile, Tarantulas uses their psychic link to force Blackarachnia to search for information concerning the Golden Disks. She apparently discovers something of importance, but refuses to share it with Tarantulas. The battle causes Tarantulas to be rendered unconscious by a boulder, giving Blackarachnia the opportunity to download the information into her brain and destroying Megatron's computer she was using (claiming that is was booby-trapped).

As they reach the Axalon, Silverbolt is shot down by the autoguns and is captured by the Maximals. Dinobot is ready to destroy the Fuzor, but Rattrap and Cheetor takes Silverbolt into a CR Chamber to be repaired. Meanwhile, Rhinox disengages from the machinery and tells the Maximals they must stand their ground for a little while longer. As the Maximals head out, a charge hits Rhinox's device and heads off to the blank Protoform. Axalon's shields fail under the fire, and the Maximals find themselves out of ammunition, and the Predacons proceed to give them a savage beating.

The Predacons are ready to deliver the killing blow, but before they can finish the Maximals, an explosion rocks the hull of the Axalon. Maximals and Predacons turn as one to see the cause of the explosion, namely a reborn Optimus Primal. Primal uses his new Transmetal body to scatter the Predacons, before taking to the air with his 'surfboard' and knocking out all the Predacon stooges. Megatron engages Primal and nearly delivers a killing stroke, but Silverbolt arrives and knocks Megatron off a cliff, proclaiming his defection to the Maximals.

After repairs, Rhinox remarks that all the energon within the area have been detonated or converted into more stable forms, so energon overload is no longer a problem. Tigatron and Airazor have yet to return from their survey on the rest of the planet, though. Primal resolves to get to know Silverbolt better and to drive out Rattrap from his quarters.

Meanwhile, at the Predacon base, Blackarachnia informs Megatron of Dinobot's theft of the Golden Disks, as well as the destruction of the computers. Both Megatron and Tarantulas ask her whether anything from the backups can be recovered, to which she replies negative. Megatron declares that the Beast Wars has entered a new phase, while some lines of binary code flashes across Blackarachnia's eyes...

?Featured Transformers: Tarantulas, Megatron, Inferno, Cheetor, Dinobot, Rattrap, Quickstrike, Silverbolt, Waspinator, Rhinox, Blackarachnia, Optimus Primal

REVIEW
(Seven out of Ten)
While not quite as messy as 'Aftermath', this isn't as nice as the first part. While Primal's return is handled nicely, his whole new-toy-beats-the-shit-out-of-everyone-else routine is banal. The spaghetti film homages are well-executed with the suspense being evident, but the rest of the plot falls short. Why did the Maximals run out of ammo all of a sudden? Silverbolt's defection is also little hastily handled, and unlike last episode, plain as the day. Why did Rattrap and Cheetor plonk him in a CR chamber of all places? So many hastily-done plot holes to get all the characters in place for the new status quo. Stuff like the Maximals running out of ammo are just lazy plotting.

On the other hand, the rest of the characterization are on-the-ball, with Megatron being smug and hammy as ever, while Quickstrike falls in line with Inferno as a rather dangerous guy who has a few screws loose with a cute accent. And it's hard not to feel all 'awww' for Waspy when Waspinator gives 'orders'. Silverbolt is okay as well for a character with so many ways to go wrong. Blackarachnia and Tarantulas double-crossing each other is well-scripted, and the intrigue on the mystery of the Golden Disks are delved into, so in this aspect at least this episode is better than the stand-alone slapsticks of the season one episodes. Dialogue is excellent, especially between Rhinox, Rattrap and Dinobot. There are many charming scenes like, for instance, Rattrap taking over Primal's room or Blackarachnia ransacking Megatron's stuff. In any case, it's an enjoyable episode, even if there are plot holes.

NOTES
Debut of Transmetal Optimus Primal.

As of the end of this episode, it is revealed that all energon have been destroyed by the Planet Buster, leaving only stable remains, so the Maximals and Predacons don't need to spend half the episode acting stupid in their Beast Modes anymore.

When Rattrap throws a rock into the air (and its cut down by Predacons fire), the Maximals' eyeballs pop out of their heads in a slapstick cartoon manner.

Dinobot references 'the Rat Patrol', an old war TV show.

Again, the Spaghetti Western films are homaged this episode, especially Megatron keeping the time and Optimus battling with Inferno.

Also, the Inferno toy was supposed to be a reborn version of Megatron (which is obviously scrapped). However, this abandoned plot was hinted at when Megatron and Inferno fly into each other and get their heads swapped.

As Rhinox goes into the Matrix/AllSpark/wherever it is he goes into, the Matrix of Leadership is briefly glimpsed. He also describes it as 'Where all as one', quoting Optimus Prime's infamous line in TFTM.

Several Easter Eggs could be seen among Megatron's stuff when Blackarachnia ransacks his room. Among those of interest is a small model of Starscream's head, a model airplane, a model helicopter, the Holy Grail, a pocket-watch and Megs' rubber ducky.

It is hinted that both Megatron and Tarantulas suspects that Blackarachnia made away with the Golden Disk data, although for this episode they are both content to let her go her way. Her having downloaded the data would prove an important plot point in subsequent episodes.

An earlier script revision had the elevator into the Maximal base to be destroyed during the fight, giving Primal a relevant reason to blow a hole in his own base. Presumably this was cut for time constraints.

GOOFS
Despite having arrived at the end of last episode, Tarantulas and Waspinator are shown arriving again.

At one point, Megatron's fingers clip through his tail-cannon thing when he fires on the Maximals.

Waspinator and Silverbolt take off for the Maximal base twice, going over the Maximals' heads a second time.

When pursuing the Rattrap/Dinobot duo, Megatron's VTOL engines are inactive when he flies.

Rhinox clips through Rattrap's rear wheel around the 'Comes the dawn' line.

Why do they even plonk Silverbolt in a CR Chamber? And even if they do, why didn't they secure it so Silverbolt can't escape? Surely they can't be planning on Silverbolt helping them?

Also, despite having ammunition bandoleers slung all over him G2-style, Dinobot says that his weapon is out of ammo.

On the same vein, Dinobot still can fire said weapon after the out of ammo line.

The Predacons have been battling longer than the Maximals, who have access to their base, yet the Maxies run out of ammo before the Predacons. Rhinox, for one, should have full ammo when he arrives for battle.

How did a blank Protoform get Transmetalized? After all, the Quantum Surge is shown not to affect guys like Inferno and Tigatron who are 'born' on Earth.

Quote, Unquote
Dinobot: "To think that a warrior must become a... a... rat patrol."

Waspinator: "Waspinator is in command. Waspinator will lead! Yes!"
Silverbolt: "Well, since you're the one who knows the way, go ahead! Lead on."
Waspinator: "Hmph! You not tell Waspinator what to do! Waspinator in command!"
Silverbolt: "Okay. Fine. What is your command?"
Waspinator: "Doggybot follow Waspinator. Waspinator will lead."

Dinobot: "Bah! Maximal sentiment! Oh, I must've been defective to defect."

Rattrap: "Where'd ya go, anyway?"
Rhinox: "Where all are one."
Rattrap: "Oh, where all are... What?"

Rattrap: "Oh, great. We're all gonna die."
Rhinox: "It happens. But miracles happen, too. Let's go!"

Rhinox: "Comes the dawn."
Dinobot:"And..." -arm falls off- "...our doom."

Silverbolt: "Consider that my resignation from the Predacons, Megatron! I know now that my place was always with the Maximals. May I join you?"
Optimus Primal: "Well, I like your resume."

Optimus Primal: "Specifically, to have Rattrap clear all his junk out of my quarters!"
Cheetor: "Rattrap!"
Dinobot: "Opportunistic vermin!"
Rattrap: "Come on! Gimme a break, will ya? The guy was dead." -Dinobot punches Rattrap-

Blackjack 2010-05-16 01:49 AM

Tangled Web
Airdate: 16 November 1997
Written By: Len Wein
Japanese Title: Grand-slam Tarantulas

SYNOPSIS
Megatron assigns Tarantulas, Blackarachnia and Quickstrike to develop a refueling station at a newly-detected cache of energon cubes. Meanwhile, Waspinator and Inferno are sent to construct a jamming tower. As the Predacons move out from their base, Tarantulas sneaks a transmitter into Quickstrike's equipment, apparently to attract the Maximals. Blackarachnia 'convinces' Quickstrike to help her carry the load.

Meanwhile, Rhinox conducts experiments on Optimus Primal's new Transmetal body to test its limits. The equipment short-circuits. Just then, Cheetor reports of a strange Predacon signal being broadcasted on a Maximal channel. Rattrap and Silverbolt are patrolling nearby and are told to investigate.

Tarantulas, Blackarachnia and Quickstrike arrive at their destination, and Tarantulas is quick in deciding that the site would be a perfect replacement for his old lair, which was destroyed during the Quantum Surge. Changing plans, he destroys the transmitter which is attracting the Maximals. Blackarachnia thinks along the same lines, mentioning it to Tarantulas. Tarantulas tells her about his plan to use the site as a staging ground against Megatron and the Maximals, forcing Blackarachnia to join via their psychic link. Blackarachnia and Tarantulas persuades Quickstrike to join their 'arachnid rebellion'. Meanwhile, Rattrap and Silverbolt loses the signal and are forced to follow their noses to track down the Predacons.

Meanwhile, Megatron relaxes in his CR jacuzzi, and is contacted by Inferno and Waspinator, who have completed the jamming tower. Megatron turns around to contact Tarantulas' team (failing to see the tower collapsing on Waspinator) and is frustrated when he couldn't do so, realising that they are up to something.

Meanwhile, Blackarachnia decides that she has had enough and is determined to terminate the psychic link between her and Tarantulas, threatening to blow up all the energon there. Tarantulas learns that their psychic link goes both ways and that pain is shared between them, so he agrees to break the link. Quickstrike arrives, telling them of the Maximals' arrival. Rattrap and Silverbolt gain the upper hand, but Silverbolt refuses to fight Blackarachnia because she's a girl. Blackarachnia has no such reservations.

After a fierce battle, Rattrap and Silverbolt realises that the Predacons are guarding the cave and attempts to break in. However, the entrance blows up and seals the cave in. Rattrap congratulates Silverbolt, thinking that the Fuzor did it, but Silverbolt claims that he didn't do it. The Predacons retreat to Megatron, and receive a scolding from the Predacon leader. A short time later, it is revealed that Tarantulas blew up the entrance so he could return and claim it as his new lair...

Featured Transformers: Waspinator, Inferno, Quickstrike, Megatron, Tarantulas, Blackarachnia, Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Cheetor, Rattrap, Silverbolt

REVIEW
(Eight out of Ten)
A solid episode. In season two and three, each episode, with the exception of several throwaway episodes, act more like a chapter to a larger story instead of simple slapstick episodes like the original Sunbow cartoon or Season One (to some extent). Yet they still manage to do this whilst still being self-contained, so kudos to the writers. Tarantulas' and Blackarachnia's mind link are starting to get old after three episodes, and thankfully the writers realise this and ended that particular plot device. Both spiders get excellent characterization this episode, which is marvellous since in the first season no Predacon bar Megatron got any serious three-dimensional characterization to themselves. Tarantulas gets more and more sinister and manipulating, nicely built up from the events of 'Other Voices'. Plus, Transmetal Tarantulas has one of the coolest designs of all. Blackarachnia, while still treacherous, is a much realistic character than Starscream or Terrorsaur in her methods. She's more stubborn and independent, and is not afraid to, erm, 'charm' others to do her work. While that scene with Quickstrike is a wee bit... awkward, it's in character. How else will you do seduction in a kids' show about robots?

Silverbolt is a corny to-the-book hero, and is executed wonderfully. He could've gone off as a stereotypical Autobot, but him being over the limit in heroism is simply charming and a stark contrast to the 'dirtier' Maximals like Rattrap and Dinobot. Quickstrike is a fun character, a simple-minded trigger-happy cowboy. Another thing that I love about Beast Wars is that stuff from previous episodes are mentioned. Things like Quantum Surges have impacts throughout an entire season. In season two, the padding scenes are better as well; scenes like Rhinox testing Primal's new Transmetal body is much better to see than, say, having Rattrap and Cheetor race around like hyperactive kids.

NOTES
First hint of feelings between Silverbolt and Blackarachnia. Tarantulas seems to have a thing for her too, being somewhat 'jealous' when Blackarachnia sweet-talks Quickstrike.

Both Tarantulas and Rhinox are experimenting on the Transmetal bodies. Haven't mentioned it before, so here we go. Tarantulas' 'vehicle mode' is a spide-themed motorcycle, while Primal's attack mode involves a surfboard of sorts being made out of kibble, allowing him to fly.

"Grid Arakis" is a reference to a planet from the novel Dune by Frank Herbert.

Tarantulas' line "Of course, you realise this means war" is a quote of an often-used line by Bugs Bunny.

This is not the last time we'll see the jamming tower.

The final line spoken by Tarantulas "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home" is a reference to the traditional song "Home! Sweet Home!" although here it's much more sinister...

GOOFS
Tarantulas' transmitter thing dropped on Quickstrike's pile with a loud clang, but no one seems to notice it.

When Tarantulas says "we do live to please Megatron", the green spider-mode eyes on his chest are missing.

When Quickstrike warns the Spiders about the Maximals, his abdomen is a little messed up.

Quote, Unquote
Rhinox: "Despite my tests, we still don't know what limits these new Transmetal states may have. Perhaps this new bio-gen scan will..." -gizmo fizzes out-"...or perhaps not."

Quickstrike: "Well, just ain't no figurin' a female."
Tarantulas: "Hahah, a fact of life, Fuzor."

Quickstrike: "Destruction's better 'n construction, ya get mah drift?"

Rattrap: "That widow's about as female as a piston."

Tarantulas: "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. Bwahahahaha!"

Blackjack 2010-06-10 03:25 PM

Maximal, No More
Airdate: 23 November 1997
Written By: Patrick Barry
Japanese Title: I Quit

SYNOPSIS
In the Maximal base, Dinobot ponders about the Golden Disk, observing that Megatron's plan proceeds, even without the disk. Dinobot ponders his fate, and whether he is betraying his Predacon heritage. Optimus Primal interrupts, ordering him for a survey mission, and Dinobot puts his thoughts aside for now. Dinobot rides vehicle-mode Rattrap into Predacon territory, and they are ambushed by Inferno and Quickstrike. The Maximals have the upper hand until Silverbolt arrives and gets shot down by Waspinator (yes, you read that right). Silverbolt crashes onto Dinobot, knocking them both out. The Predacons retreat with the unconscious Dinobot, but Rattrap manages to take out Waspinator and rescues Silverbolt.

At the Predacon base, Megatron is eager to chat with his former subordinate. After a scuffle, Dinobot offers to change sides. He convinces the Predacons to prove his loyalty with a challenge. Quickstrike is selected as an opponent and they both get ready to battle. Meanwhile, Rattrap sends the injured Silverbolt to inform Optimus while he goes off to track down Dinobot.

After a brutal face-off, Dinobot soundly defeats Quickstrike. Megatron orders Dinobot to finish off Quickstrike, but Dinobot refuses on the grounds that Quickstrike is an able fighter. Megatron accepts the excuse, but demands that Dinobot return the Golden Disks. The Alien Disk is still with Rhinox, but Dinobot takes the Predacons to where he had hidden the original Golden Disk.

Rattrap, not aware of Dinobot's betrayal, tails the Predacons when he sees them. Dinobot takes the Predacons to where he had hidden the Golden Disk and returns it to Megatron reluctantly. Megatron is about to attack him when Rattrap arrives, shooting Megatron. However, Rattrap is in turn attacked by Dinobot. Megatron orders Dinobot to kill Rattrap as a final test of loyalty. After a long moment of hesitation, Dinobot turns his sword towards Megatron, telling him that his ambitions are insane and will destroy both the Maximal and Predacon races. Optimus and Silverbolt arrive on the scene, forcing Megatron to retreat.

Dinobot confesses his treachery to Optimus Primal. He had foolishly believed that he wanted to share Megatron's victory, and now resolves to fight with the Maximals until the end. Optimus leaves the decision to Rattrap, who, after several insults and angry outbursts, allow Dinobot back among the ranks.

Featured Transformers: Dinobot, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Silverbolt, Inferno, Quickstrike, Waspinator, Megatron, Tarantulas, Blackarachnia

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
Okay. Face it. Dinobot ruled the second season. From his amazing monologue in 'Coming of the Fuzors Part One', Dinobot's character builds up nicely, giving him much more character development than the rest of the cast. For the few episodes that he was spotlighted in, Dinobot never disappoints with his dry wit and honour-related monologues. Most spectacularly, this characterization ties in with the main plot of Beast Wars, especially that of Season Two, what with all the speeches about destiny and the ever-mysterious plot devices. I suppose I'd better quit before I say any spoilers. Anyway, Dinobot's betrayal back to the Predacons is a believable plot twist. After all, the whole reason why he defected to the Maximals was because Megatron led them to the wrong planet. It flows smoothly from previous episodes. While it's no big surprise when he refuses to gun down Rattrap, it's still excellently scripted.

It's not just Dinobot, though. Rattrap is well-done as well, having warily trusted Dinobot after the events of the first season, only to have himself betrayed. Megatron suffers a little, but his vaudevillian tendencies are still charming. Guys like Waspinator and Inferno get themselves some nice scenes as well. The events of this episode has an impact all through season two, though. Dinobot's defection would lead to the events of 'Code of Hero', while the jamming tower directly leads into the Vok two-parter. Hints are dropped about Megatron's master plan, seen in the season finale. Why, yes. I'm being vague. Sue me. Anyway, this is a perfect installment in the Beast Wars series. A self-centered episode following on the events of previous episodes and building up to future ones.

NOTES
Lots of foreshadowing about Megatron's master scheme and the whole reason why he had traveled to the past. Without giving any spoilers, Dinobot claims that Megatron's plans will destroy Maximal and Predacon alike, and 'all who came before'.

In Dinobot's quarters, the scalp of Clone One is hung on the wall.

Dinobot observes that the Predacon installments match the locations of the Alien Disk, foreshadowing the events of the next episode.

When Rattrap does that 'computer vision' visor thing as he tracks Dinobot, there is a wedge of cheese in the bottom corner. Cute.

Starting from this episode, the other Maximals would start to doubt Dinobot's allegiance, or be wary around him at least.

GOOFS
At one point, Waspinator doesn't have stripes on his abdomen.

The animation of Dinobot's beast mode's skin fluctuates in quality throughout the episode. At times it's like normal, but at times it looks as if it hadn't been finalised. Well, the YouTube resolution might factor, but still...

Quote, Unquote
Inferno: "Stand your ground, traitor!"
Dinobot: "You're on my ground, insect!"

Waspinator: "Waspinator not serve. Waspinator rules! Hehehehehehe!"

Rattrap: [tricks Waspinator into knocking himself out] "Eeeh, I love that guy."

Megatron: "Inferno, aid Quickstrike."
Inferno: "Yeeees, my queen."
Dinobot: "I was... not aware you had given yourself a new title."
Megatron: [hurriedly] "The ant has some faulty programming."

Dinobot: "Your ambition has made you insane, Megatron. It will destroy both Maximal and Predacon... and all who came before!"

Rattrap: "You can't trust him, and he smells bad. Then there's the teeth. You ever seen him eat?"

Blackjack 2010-06-12 05:04 PM

Other Visits, Part 1
Airdate: 8 February 1998
Written By: Larry DiTillio
Japanese Title: Huh? The Flower?

SYNOPSIS
Rhinox scans all the known alien sites (the stone formation, the floating island and all that) while Dinobot observes. Both of them notice a pattern, and according to the pattern the next location is on course with Tigatron and Airazor, who are out on patrol. They try to alert the duo, but the Predacons' jamming tower prevents them from doing so. Dinobot and Rattrap heads off to destroy the tower, while Optimus, Silverbolt and Cheetor flies off to warn Tigatron and Airazor. Meanwhile, Tarantulas is repairing his lair, muttering that the rest of the Predacons are too busy helping Megatron. His computer alerts him to alien presence. Tarantulas transforms into bike mode and races off.

In the Predacon base, Blackarachnia is dozing off while watching a monitor, complaining that being loyal to Megatron is boring, not knowing that the Predacon leader is standing behind her. But before he could reprimand her, Blackarachnia detects Tarantulas on the scanners, moving in a rush across grid Vaxon. Blackarachnia suggests to Megatron that they follow Tarantulas to find out what he's up to, but Predacon leader is a little reluctant. Just then, Inferno reports that Waspinator and Quickstrike, on the jamming tower, are under attack. Inferno suggests that he help out at the jamming tower, but Megatron tells Blackarachnia and Inferno that with only Rhinox on the Axalon it would be an opportunity to steal the Golden Disk.

Tigatron and Airazor, meanwhile, see a clearing full of plant life, untouched by the Planet Buster's attack. Airazor and Tigatron transform to scan the unique plants, and share a moment. However, plant vines suddenly sneak up on them and bind them. As the vines raise them into the sky, they say that their sparks will find each other. Then, the two are abducted in flashes off light, just as Cheetor arrives.

While Cheetor laments his friends' fate, Tarantulas knocks Cheetor out. However before the spider has a chance to analyse the Vok site, Optimus Primal and Silverbolt arrives, forcing the spider to lay low. Cheetor comes to and tells Optimus and Silverbolt what happened. Rattrap calls them, saying that he and Dinobot had taken care of the jamming tower. At mention of Tigatron and Airazor's disappearances, though, all the Maximals head back to their base.

Rhinox is shocked by the news, but he keeps on his work, analysing the beam that abducted Tigatron and Airazor. However the base alerts him to Megatron attacking outside. An irate Rhinox opens fire on Megatron, not noticing as Blackarachnia and Inferno sneaking into the base and shutting off the defense systems. Rhinox tries to radio Optimus and the others, but Inferno interrupts him, and the two fight each other. Blackarachnia grabs the Golden Disk as Inferno and Rhinox punch each other's chins. Rhinox knocks Inferno out, and was about to blast Blackarachnia, but Megatron arrives. Megatron disarms Rhinox (literally), knock him out and take the Golden Disk, before retreating.

The rest of the Maximals arrive back at base, and Rhinox is repaired. Although Cheetor insist that they rescue Tigatron and Airazor, Dinobot and Optimus decide to stop Megatron before the aliens strike. The Maximals head off to the alien site. Meanwhile, Tarantulas contacts Megatron. Tarantulas claims that while he is no longer a proper Predacon, he is Megatron's only chance of surviving the imminent attack, and the two form an alliance.

Tarantulas orders the Predacon goons to ram posts onto the ground in the alien site. Megatron questions why Tarantulas would help, and Blackarachnia (since they shared minds previously) tells Megatron that Tarantulas hates the aliens. Megatron is pleased with this answer, since hatred is an emotion he could trust. After a quick monologue Megatron and Tarantulas then has a little 'evil laugh' contest, but this is interrupted by the Maximals. The two factions are ready to face off, but the aliens' beam comes down, interrupting the battle, and a giant silver spaceship-thing materialises. The top of the domelike ship opens, releasing and energy surge which knocks everybody out...

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Dinobot, Rhinox, Tarantulas, Blackarachnia, Megatron, Inferno, Tigatron (abducted by Vok), Airazor (abducted by Vok), Silverbolt, Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Waspinator, Quickstrike, Rattrap

REVIEW
(Seven out of Ten)
A nice build-up to one of the more decent two-parters of the Beast Wars series. The plot again centers on the Vok/aliens. While I don't particularly like the Vok, the intrigue and suspense is there. There is also a genuine display of continuity, which is basically out of the window with modern fiction. Stuff like Airazor mentioning the Quantum Surge's destruction of organic life, or Primal being pissed off at Megatron dealing with the Vok, or Blackarachnia mentioning her mind-link with Tarantulas, or Rhinox doubting Dinobot's intentions... you don't see those in the original cartoon, do you? And anyway, Megatron, Tarantulas and Rhinox all shine in this episode. Megatron's strategies actually make sense and is a little sneaky, and he gets a badass moment when he rips off Rhinox's arm, while we get more development (and mystery) for Tarantulas and the aliens. The duo's evil-cackle-contest is a cute little thing, too. Rhinox's 'cool under pressure' shtick works well, and the scene where he and Inferno takes turns to bonk each other's chins is hilarious.

That aside, Tigatron and Airazor's abduction is rather pointless, other than the fact that they needed to clear the cast to make room for new toys characters, and Mainframe's engines can't animate that many characters at the same time. However, the two that are removed don't really have characterization. Scratch that—Tigatron has got some (Airazor's just a stereotype heroic tomboy girl) but it's eclipsed by the development of the others, which goes to show how well Beast Wars treats their characters. Ther cheesy romance moment is poorly-written. Anyway, this would be the last time that Tigatron and Airazor would appear as proper characters in the series, and while this isn't a pretty exit, it's serviceable.

NOTES
Tigatron and Airazor exit, stage left. While they would be mentioned next episode, they won't be seen again until season three, and even then they would be rebuild into a new character. It's a better exit that falling into lava, though.

Rhinox still distrusts Dinobot since the events of 'Maximal, No More'.

Airazor and Tigatron had hints of romance in 'The Trigger' two-parter, but otherwise it's not developed like BA and Silverbolt would have in subsequent episodes. Of course, in Japan Airazor is a guy, so it leads to some... awkward moments with the dubbing. The show's producers in Japan tries to worm their way out of this by making Airazor into Tigatron's samurai apprentice (sort of an adoptive little brother) but the moment when they snuggle up against each other doesn't stop some people complaining that they are gay.

Tarantulas has made his split from the Predacon chain-of-command official since 'Tangled Web'.

The fight between Rhinox and Inferno references Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots, a video game.

Waspinator says that he's pinned like an 'iron butterfly', referencing the 60s rock band of the same name.

Optimus is not amused at Megatron 'dealing with the aliens', considering that the last time Megatron dealt with them Optimus Primal blew up real good.

GOOFS
Near the beginning of the episode, Optimus Primal's thruster (when he surfs/flies) is pointed down, but the engine flame is still animated as if the thruster is up.

Cheetor's arm clip into the cat head kibble during the discussion.

Quote, Unquote
Tigatron: "Wherever we go, my Spark will find yours!"
Airazor: "And mine, yours."

Inferno: "Say the word, and he will burn, my queen."
Megatron: "Not yet... and for the last time, stop calling me that!"
Inferno: "As you command, my-" [Megatron throttles Inferno] "-ack."

Megatron: [all of the Maximal base's big guns point at him] "I... uh.. come in peace?"
Rhinox: "You're about to leave in pieces."

Blackarachnia: "Ready to rock and roll, insect?"
Inferno: "I don't rock and roll. I buuuuuuurn."

Rattrap: "It's like I always say. We're all gonna die." [Everyone glares at Rattrap]"I know, I know. 'Shut up, Rattrap'."

Blackjack 2010-06-20 05:14 AM

Other Visits (Part 2)
Airdate: 15 February 1998
Written By: Larry DiTillio
Japanese Title: Huh? The Face?

SYNOPSIS
The Transmetals recover quickly from the structure's blast. Megatron walks around the Vok structure, noting that it did not react to Transmetals. Tarantulas tells Megatron that they must act quickly, and they activate the devices that they planted earlier, creating a forcefield that kept the Maximals out. Despite Optimus' warnings, Megatron uses the Alien Disk to open a way into the Vok structure. Optimus dispatches Cheetor and Silverbolt to take the non-transmetals (Dinobot and Rhinox) back to their base for repairs.

After figuring out that beast modes hide them from the Vok, while Transmetals are as good as invisible to their sensors, Tarantulas hacks into the structure's systems. Megatron uses the control interface of the structure, controlling it with the Alien Disk. Meanwhile, Rattrap uses several bombs to take out the forcefield web. Tarantulas takes Quickstrike out to repel the Maximals. As the four duke it out outside, Megatron causes the entire structure to rise and float above the ground. Megatron, successfully controlling the structure, discovers how to control the weapons, knocking out Optimus. Megatron uses the structure's powers to levitate all his troops, plus the deactivated Optimus.

A gigantic Megatron face appears in the base's side, allowing him to speak with his troops. Megatron tells Tarantulas that the aliens no longer matter and dissolves their alliance, dropping the spider to the ground. Megatron repairs the non-transmetals, and scoops in all the Predacons plus Optimus. Rattrap, having evaded the ray, watches as the base teleports away. The rodent is soon confronted by a battered Tarantulas.

The base rematerializes over the mountain where Inferno originally found the Alien Disk. Megatron needs time to prepare, and sends off Waspinator and Inferno to take the transwarp cells from the Darksyde to their new 'base'. Meanwhile, at the Maximal base, Dinobot and Rhinox are brought back online. Rattrap arrives with Tarantulas in tow. The rogue Predacon helps the Maximals to locate the alien basease. He also detects Inferno and Waspinator returning with the cells.

Meanwhile, Optimus Primal awakens in bonds, finding out that Megatron intends to take the alien base to Cybertron. Optimus tries to warn Megatron that the Vok would follow them, but Megatron is confident he could take the aliens in a fight. Megatron is convinced that the base would convince the Predacon Alliance that conquest is the right path.

Meanwhile, the Maximal forces attack, drawing the Predacon troops away from the base and generally providing a distraction. Rattrap and Tarantulas infiltrate the base. However, halfway through their journey, Tarantulas ditches Rattrap alone. Rattrap is close enough to the main room to stop Megatron from initiating the teleportation sequence, and to free Optimus. Optimus battle Megatron, while Tarantulas reappears, sending a download into the alien systems. Everyone flees the base. The base teleports into space, but before it could enter the transwarp portal it explodes. Afterwards, Optimus Primal swears to find Tigatron and Airazor.

Featured Transformers: Rattrap, Optimus Primal, Dinobot, Rhinox, Tarantulas, Megatron, Quickstrike, Cheetor, Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Inferno, Waspinator

REVIEW
(Seven out of Ten)
Sadly, this falls out to another Transmetal commercial, about how the Transmetals are so much better than the others. The main plan is much better though, with Megatron planning to take the plot device to Cybertron. Both Megatron and Tarantulas shine again this episode, Megatron as an actual mastermind while Tarantulas as a Vok-hating, double-crossing madman.

The fact that the Vok weapon does absolutely nothing until Megatron takes control of it is a little too convenient, but it's not very jarring. Optimus and Megatron have another well-animated face-off, with Rattrap getting several good moments inbetween. All in all, a much smoother (and darker) two-parter than the Trigger, but not as good as Other Voices.

NOTES
Megatron gives the Alien Disk a kiss for luck before he places it in the control room. This episode marks the end of the Alien Disk.

This is the first time that it had been said outright that the Predacon Command on Cybertron isn't working in tandem with Megatron. Previously it had only been hinted.

Tarantulas' line that being in Beast Mode would shield them from scanners would be a very major plot point in Beast Machines. The idea of a giant floating metallic ship with a giant Megatron head would be reused in Beast Machines as the Grand Mal.

GOOFS
Last time in Other Voices, the Vok were prepared to exterminate the planet. However, this time they dealt with the transformers with a plant base that kidnaps two Maximals before knocking everyone silly for a while, hardly the same level of 'cleansing' that the Vok wanted in Other Voices. Did they have a change of heart in the interim?

Since Megatron really loves to attack the Maximal base, why didn't he teleport the alien base over the Maximals and blow them up first?

Megatron's hand clips through his tail gun for a split second.

?Quote, Unquote
Optimus Prime: "Megatron, don't! Their power is beyond what you can imagine. You can't control it."
Megatron: "I am power."

Rattrap: "You do realize the web's the only thing keeping that alien locker quiet."
Optimus: "Blow it."

Rattrap: "Your turn to think of something."

Rhinox: "I'm getting sick of waking up in the slagging R Chamber."

Waspinator: "Waspinator not think this job so important."
Inferno: "Every job for the Royalty is a gift!"
Waspinator: "Antbot is major suck-up!"

Blackjack 2010-06-21 01:22 PM

Bad Spark
Airdate: 22 February 1998
Written By: Greg Johnson
Japanese Title: N/A (was released as part of the pilot movie for the Beast Wars Metals)

SYNOPSIS
Cheetor spots a giant stasis pod marked with a big yellow X crashed in a patch of unstable enrgon deep inside a swamp. Optimus Primal tells Cheetor not to open the pod until he arrives. Optimus and Rhinox leave, and Rhinox seems pretty spooked. Megatron sends Waspinator and Blackarachnia to retrieve the pod, and subtly places a listening device on Blackarachnia. Megatron taps his armrest, seemingly aware that Tarantulas has bugged it with a listening device of his own.

Optimus, Silverbolt and Cheetor land near the pod, and Optimus finds, to his relief, that Protoform X seems to be dead. Cheetor and Silverbolt question Prmal about this. He tells them that the pod holds ‘the dark secret of Axalon’s journey’, Protoform X. It was created in experiments attempting to replicate the immortal spark of Starscream. However, X grew insane and sadistic, so after it was captured Primal was ordered to dump X somewhere barren during their journey. The Predacons choose this moment to strike. Silverbolt refuses to strike Blackarachnia because his code of honour wouldn’t allow him to hit a female.

Tarantulas arrives and threatens Blackarachnia, and Silverbolt attacks Tarantulas. In the process, he accidentally ignites the energon beneath X’s stasis pod, which explodes and scatters the combatants for miles. Blackarachnia and Silverbolt land next to each other. Silverbolt’s wing is broken, and the two grudgingly agree to team up. Tarantulas lands near the pod, and finds that it is empty. Something looms over him, and he screams.

Optimus and Cheetor are too damaged to search for Silverbolt and return to their base for the time being. Blackarachnia and Silverbolt journey on foot, and begin to trust each other. The two find one of Tarantulas’ limbs hanging on a tree. Meanwhile, Megatron and Inferno eavesdrops on their quasi-romantic alliance. Megatron notes that Blackarachnia no longer needs Silverbolt to protect him with Tarantulas out of the way.

This turns out true as Blackarachnia is ready to shoot Silverbolt at one point. However, a saber-toothed tiger attacks Blackarachnia. Silverbolt defeats the animal, but is left dangling precariously on a cliff. Blackarachnia saves Silverbolt, awkwardly saying that it was in case of more tigers. As the two walk on, Silverbolt tries to appeal to Blackarachnia’s inner Maximal nature, but the Predacon fires at him. The two then finds the rest of Tarantulas’ body, torn apart violently. Silverbolt then tells Blackarachnia (and by extension Megatron) about Protoform X. Megatron prepares an energon blade.

Blackarachnia and Silverbolt suddenly find themselves with Protoform X. none of their attacks damage the monster, and it tries to crush Silverbolt in his powerful claw. Optimus Primal and Cheetor arrive, and together with Blackarachnia fire at Protoform X, freeing Silverbolt. During the attack, X is finally knocked down a cliff, but Blackarachnia fell down the other side in process. Silverbolt jumps after the Predacon despite his damaged wing, but he succeeds in saving the Predacon. The Maximals let her go. Blackarachnia watches them go, before departing herself.

Meanwhile, Protoform X, barely active in a pile of energon, sees Megatron loom above him with an energon blade. X wakes up in the Predacon base, finding that Megatron had carved out a piece of his spark and placed it in a tiny cage, that, when squeezed, is able to cause X pain. Megatron renames X ‘Rampage’, and is pleased that the monster is now under his command.

Featured Transformers: Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Silverbolt, Protoform X/Rampage, Megatron, Blackarachnia, Waspinator, Tarantulas, Inferno, Quickstrike, Dinobot

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
I like this episode. Rampage has been one of the more unique characters of Beast Wars. He’s a sadistic, unkillable, insane monster, yet is held in thrall by Megatron’s torture devices. Kind of like Galvatron from G1, but Rampage looks more imposing. And I was pretty surprised when he transforms into, of all things, a crab. The action scenes are executed nicely. Blackarachnia and Silverbolt is probably the only romance that worked in transformers lore. Sure, it’s cheesy, but at least they don’t fall head-over-heels with each other instantly.

The whole concept of the Maximal command trying to replicate Starscream’s immortal spark is also well-developed. The episode had this horror movie feel to it, with Tarantulas’ mutilation being well done. Rampage feels threatening and you could feel the suspense. Megatron is also defined nicely, with him being aware about Tarantulas’ bug but not doing anything, whilst spying on his own troops. His jokes as he eavesdrops on Blackarachnia are well done. All in all, a solid episode.

NOTES
The debut of Rampage, obviously. As well as Silverbolt and Blackarachnia's love-hate relationship.

Rhinox invokes Primus, the creator-God from Furman’s Marvel work. This is the first time it had been used out of Marvel continuity. According to Bob Forward, they poached it from an alt.toys.transformers post without realizing its significance.

Again, Starscream’s indestructible spark is referenced, this time as background information for Protoform X’s creation. It also tells us why the records for Starscream were sealed in ‘Possession’. Apparently they don’t want someone else making another Protoform X.

Cheetor’s transmetal body soaks up energon, but instead of seizing up like his non-transmetal body, he releases it in a burst of gas. This is the first time a transformer would ‘fart’.

Like Rhinox before him, Optimus Primal doubts Dinobot’s loyalty after the events of ‘Maximal, No More’.

Blackarachnia did not use his grapple line to scale up the cliff when X shoots him down, despite using the same grapple line less than a minute later. Not an error, since she seems to want Silverbolt to catch her. Ah, women.

GOOFS
As Optimus departs the bridge, the panels that make up his surfing board are missing.

Waspinator disappears after the energon field blew up.

The scorch-marks on Blackarachnia and Silverbolt sometimes disappears for a scene or two.

Quote, Unquote
Rhinox: “Primus help us all if that thing survived.”

Megatron: “Spiders spin their webs, yeees. But I spin them larger.”

Blackarachnia: “You! What are you doing here?”
Tarantulas: “You’ve got information I want.”
Megatron: [eavesdropping] “Yeeeees, let’s hear it.”
Blackarachnia: “Fine, Tarantulas. Here’s the scoop. Megatron is a slag-sucking saurian. Got it?”
Megatron: [eavesdropping] “Grrr. She’ll pay for that.”

Dinobot: “Forget the rescue plan, Optimus, and start devising an attack plan! Megatron has lost two, but we have only lost one.”
Optimus Primal: “I’ll remember that… next time you’re out missing in an energon storm.”

Rampage: “My spark, it feeds on terror. Let it grow! Let it consume your circuity! Feel it… yes, feel it! Feel the fear!”

Rampage: “I rise again!”
Silverbolt: “In that case, let us give you further to fall.”

Silverbolt: “You are much more than a Predacon, my lady. Someday, you will come to realise that.”

Blackjack 2010-06-24 12:57 PM

Code of Hero
Airdate: 9 March 1998
Written By: Ian Weir
Japanese Title: Farewell

SYNOPSIS
At the Maximal base, Dinobot meditates in his room, turning the blade around. After a moment, he throws it aside, growling in frustration. Meanwhile, Rhinox has been calculating the path of the transwarp wave from the Planet Buster’s destruction. Rhinox states that the transwarp wave is traveling through time at an accelerated wave, and will reach Cybertron in the ‘present’, alerting Cybertron to their location in space-time. Optimus Primal is afraid that Megatron has discovered the same thing and decides to increase their defences.

In his bad mood Dinobot nearly fights Rattrap who teases him about turning over the Disk to Megatron. The two walk off, disgruntled at each other. Dinobot reflects that his past actions cannot be undone, but they may be mitigated. He then heads out of the base. Meanwhile, Cheetor finds Megatron and Rampage moving suspiciously, but is driven off. Cheetor reports the sighting to Dinobot, who says that he would follow the Predacons.

In his lair, Tarantulas is about to eat an antelope when Dinobot suddenly bursts out of the ground, demanding to know the information on the Golden Disk. Tarantulas claims that he doesn’t know, saying that Megatron kept the Disk on his person at all times. Dinobot holds Tarantulas at gunpoint and uses the transmetal as his ride.

Megatron lands on a proto-human village, scattering them away. Rampage mocks Megatron, saying that the Maximals will soon arrive from Cybertron, and says that he’s looking forward to Megatron’s death. Megatron replies that this would only happen if history remains as it is. Megatron explains that the Golden Disk contains images recorded in the future.

As a demonstration, Megatron shows a picture of a mountain in the Golden Disk. They see the same mountain, and Megatron orders Rampage destroys the mountain. After a moment, the image on the disk changes to reflect the altered timestream, much to Megatron’s delight. Dinobot, having observed this from a distance, realizes Megatron’s full plan, which is to change the future.

Megatron explains that the proto-humans there would evolve into the human race, and would help the Autobots win the Great War, which would in turn lead to the Maximals to rule over the Predacons. Megatron summons the rest of his troops, ordering them to destroy the valley and all the proto-humans there, to ensure that the human race would cease to exist. Dinobot is engrossed at the display, allowing Tarantulas to get the jump on him. Dinobot squashes the spider under a rock, before contacting Optimus Primal.

Optimus orders him to maintain position, but Dinobot knows that there is no time. Dinobot says that he is ready to face his destiny. Dinobot moves in, attacking the entire Predacon army single-handedly. While he defeats all the Predacon goons, he loses all his weapons and suffers a lot of damage. His systems warn him repeatedly that he must enter stasis lock to survive, a command that Dinobot overrides.

As all the Predacons are knocked out, Megatron confronts the damaged Dinobot, gloating over his imminent victory. Dinobot lunges at Megatron, but Megatron uses a proto-human hostage to make Dinobot halt. However, Dinobot is still a warrior at heart. Stealthily creating a makeshift weapon from a rock and a wooden stick, Dinobot knocks the Disk out of Megatron’s hand. With his final energy, he blasts the Golden Disk with an optic blast.

The Maximals arrive, and Megatron escapes, lamenting his failure. The Maximals gather around Dinobot, but it is too late to help him. Optimus assures Dinobot that he has saved the lives of millions, and Dinobot exchanges a final round of insults with Rattrap. Dinobot tells the Maximals to tell his story truthfully, both his good deeds and the bad. With that, Dinobot dies. Rattrap leads the rest of the Maximals in a salute as Dinobot’s spark leaves his body, and Primal wishes that it would go into the Matrix to join Cybertron’s finest.

The next morning the Maximals hold a funeral for Dinobot. The fliers soar through the air in a missing man formation, while Rattrap and Rhinox dissolve Dinobot’s remains. Meanwhile, at the valley, a proto-human finds Dinobot’s hammer, and uses it to fend off a giant snake.

Featured Transformers: Dinobot (killed), Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Rattrap, Cheetor, Rampage, Megatron, Tarantulas, Waspinator, Inferno, Blackarachnia, Quickstrike, Silverbolt
Notable Others: Protohumans

REVIEW
(Ten out of Ten)
”The rest is silence.”
The technical errors aside, this episode is wonderfully done. The dialogue is perfect, with Dinobot’s Shakespearian quotes being wonderfully done, and Megatron’s master plan not disappointing the audience. Dinobot’s heroic last stand is a little clunky, but is memorable. Megatron, Dinobot and Rattrap are all simply wonderfully characterized in this episode, and the function of the Golden Disk is revealed. ‘Code of Hero’ is one of those big event episodes. Rattrap’s another well-characterized one, with his biting remarks nicely complementing Dinobot’s silent ruminations. I like how Dinobot seems to be contemplating suicide in the first scene.

Dinobot’s death might be one of the few heroic, memorable deaths that is memorable to me (another notable one being Scorponok’s original death in the Marvel comics). Megatron’s mockings of Dinobot, as well as the anguished cry of ‘I was soooo close’ when the Maximals arrive, are simply fantastic. In season two, Megatron is starting to build up into a proper mastermind, with his own distinctive poise and style, from the goofy serious villain in the first season, and the brutality against the proto-humans is one of the best examples of it. Sure, you don’t see dismemberment (this is a children's show after all) but the trees burning and everything, with dead bodies… it’s definitely more mature than G1. This is one of simply the best episodes in Transformer lore. Kudos to the voice actors and animators for this excellent episode.

NOTES
First appearance of the proto-humans. The final appearance of Dinobot and the Golden Disk. The last appearance of Rhinox’s beast mode, amusingly enough.

Dinobot’s infamous last words ‘the rest is silence’, are taken directly from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. When he initially leaves the base, his line ‘a deed, once done, cannot be undone’ is a misquote of Shakespeare’s ‘what is done cannot be undone.’

Megatron’s master plan is finally revealed, with him using the Golden Disk to change history. Killing the humans would probably mean that the ancestors of the Witwickies and people like Chip Chase would be killed. He had apparently not shared this plan with anyone. Instead, the others thought that he was merely looking for energon (Dinobot in the first episode)

Rampage crushes a butterfly as the Predacons enter the valley to destroy the humans. This might be a reference of the short story ‘a Sound of Thunder’ by Ray Bradbury, in which a time traveler steps on a butterfly and drastically changes the future of humanity.

When Rampage aims his cannon at Dinobot, the POV seems similar to the gun-barrel viewpoints from James Bond movies.

Silverbolt, Cheetor and Optimus Primal fly in the missing man formation. In a bit of foreshadowing, three birds fly past Dinobot’s window in the beginning.

Code of Hero is the first episode that was directed with storyboards (done by series writer Bob Forward), instead of being directed on-the-fly. The series’ writers admitted that they did Dinobot’s death since it seemed to flow with the story, and to prevent more characters from being shoved off abruptly (like Terrorsaur, Scorponok, Tigatron and Airazor), so Dinobot gets the ax.

GOOFS
The door of Dinobot’s quarters is noticeably smaller than Dinobot himself. This is because the CGI model of the Maximal base is made at a different scale to the character models.

When Rattrap is working at the wall panel, his right forearm is backwards for a scene.

When Dinobot laments about Megatron’s power being limitless, Megatron and Rampage could clearly be seen on the cliff behind him, implying that Dinobot is out in the open, exposing himself in front of both Predacons.

As Quickstrike approaches Dinobot, his left lower leg is backwards.

Rattrap is in his original pre-Transmetal body at Dinobot’s funeral. Bob Forward said that he could not believe how the production team (who had viewed the scene nearly a hundred times) could miss the error.

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: "Yeah? Funny, y'know not much changes around here… except maybe the occasional allegiance. Find any Golden Disks lately, hmm? Pass them on to any Predacons?"
Dinobot: "I don't need to explain my actions to you, mouse!"
Rattrap: "Yeah, that's right, you don't cause they pretty much speak for themselves."
Dinobot: "Go ahead, rodent. Push one more inch."
Rattrap: "You know, I used to figure I had you pegged. 'Oh, yeah, he's a slag-spoutin' saurian, but at least you know where he stands.' Guess we live and learn."

Dinobot: "The rodent's words give off the stench of truth. Destiny is one great test in store for us all. Has mine already come and have I failed it? A deed once done cannot be undone, but perhaps, it may yet be mitigated."

Dinobot: "The question that once haunted my being has been answered. The future is not fixed, and my choices are my own. And yet, how ironic... for I now find that I have no choice at all! I am a warrior... let the battle be joined."

Megatron: "One lonely turncoat, battling on against impossible odds. I'm almost touched! Fortunately, such moments pass quickly."

Quickstrike: "What's a warrior without weapons, eh?”
Dinobot: "A warrior still!" [defeats Quickstrike]

Megatron: "Hmm, my ears are burning! Yesss! Why, Dinobot, what a delightful surprise! Let's see, where are we now? I have the Golden Disk, I have the power to change the future, and the only obstacle in my path to unimaginable glory... is yourself. Exhausted, damaged beyond recovery. Defeated."

Megatron: “I WAS SOOO CLOSE!”

Optimus Primal: "Well fought, my friend. You saved the valley. You saved the lives of those who live here... and of those who are still to come."
Dinobot: "Then... there is nothing to regret."
Rattrap: "Like I said, you're just a blasted, slag-spouting saurian, but... it's nice to know where you stand."
Dinobot:"Upwind of you, for preference, vermin. ...Tell my tale to those who ask. Tell it truly, the ill deeds along with the good, and let me be judged accordingly. The rest... is silence."

Optimus Primal: "He lived a warrior... and died a hero. Let his spark join the Matrix, the greatest of Cybertron."

Blackjack 2010-07-01 02:01 PM

Transmutate
Airdate: 10 March 1998
Written By: Christy Marx
Japanese Title: I'm A Crab

SYNOPSIS
Rampage tries to steal back his spark from a sleeping Megatron, but gets a lesson in pain from the Predacon leader. Megatron then dispatches an Rampage and Inferno to deal with Rattrap, Silverbolt and Cheetor, who are searching for a jamming tower in an unstable mountain range. Optimus Primal, worried about earthquakes, heads out to intercept his troops.

A large earthquake sends several energy discharges, knocking Rattrap and Cheetor under an avalanche. It also uncovers a stasis pod buried in the mountains. Inferno lands beside the pod, which is malfunctioning. Silverbolt takes Inferno out, and both Rampage and he watches as the pod warns that 'deconstruction' is imminent. Rampage urges the powerful spark within to fight its way free, and it does, exploding to reveal its passenger.

Rattrap and Cheetor free themselves from the rubble, and witnesses the new arrival, a grotesque, misshapen creature. Rampage, impressed, tries to convince the newcomer to destroy the Maximals, while Silverbolt offers friendship. The newcomer is confused, but suddenly Inferno emerges, attacking the newcomer by mistake. The newcomer responds with a sonic shriek that knocks the Maximals and Inferno out. Rampage, not affected as badly as the others, leads the newcomer, dubbed 'Transmutate', away. Rampage tells Transmutate that he is its only friend.

Inferno catches up with Rampage and Transmutate, and demands that the creature be returned to Megatron. Rampage nearly comes to blows with Inferno, but a holographic projection of Megatron appears, intrigued with Transmutate. However, when he learns that Transmutate could not transform, Megatron orders that it be destroyed. Rampage asks Megatron to give Transmutate a chance to prove his worth by destroying the Maximals.

Optimus and Silverbolt split up to search for Transmutate, while the others head back. Rampage and Inferno use Transmutate to lure Silverbolt into an ambush. However, Transmutate refuses to finish off Silverbolt, causing Inferno to aim his weapon at the Maximal himself. Seeing this, Transmutate uses a sonic scream to blast Inferno away. Optimus arrives moments later, burying Rampage in a rockslide. Transmutate, seeing Rampage hurt, nearly attacks Optimus until Silverbolt talks him down. Transmutate, able to fly, help Optimus to take the injured Silverbolt back to base. Rampage breaks free and goes off to get Transmutate back.

Meanwhile, Rhinox scans Transmutate and finds that his malformed structure makes it a danger to itself and everyone else. Rhinox recommends putting Transmutate into stasis. Silverbolt argues against this, and in the heat of the argument Transmutate wanders off. Rampage chooses this moment to call him, and Transmutate breaks out of the Maximal base. Silverbolt, angry at the team, stalks off. Optimus Primal then orders the Maximals to find Transmutate.

Rampage welcomes Transmutate into the Predacon fold. Silverbolt arrives and a battle ensues. Transmutate watches the two. As the battle reaches its climax, Rampage and Silverbolt both launch missiles at each other. Transmutate jumps in front of the missiles, crying out 'Stop'. Transmutate uses his power to destroy the missiles, overloading himself in the process.

Rampage cradles Transmutate's dying head in his head as his spark fades away, and Transmutate mumbles some final words. Optimus arrives, but Silverbolt tells Optimus to leave the grieving Predacon alone, for they are 'brothers' for the moment.

Featured Transformers: Megatron, Rampage, Rattrap, Silverbolt, Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Inferno, Rhinox Transmutate (killed)

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
When I read about this episode's summary, I actually thought it was going to be another boring filler episode. However, when I watched it for real, 'Transmutate' is actually a well-done episode. I don't really like Transmutate the character. Sure, he's interesting enough, but Rampage gets the best lines and characterization. Nearly everywhere else, he's a sadistic indestructible monster. Here, he is shown in a more sympathetic light, like how he tries to free himself from Megatron's slavery, and how he reacts to helping a kindred spirit. However, unlike, say, some other portrayals I could name (IDW's ongoing Prowl, IDW's Arcee, Rattrap in that one episode of Beast Machines), Rampage isn't terribly out of character. He's still dark, still hate-ridden, yet considers Transmutate a kindred spirit. It's nice scripting.

Silverbolt, meanwhile, did not get as much screentime to be a friend to Transmutate, so the death feels a little jarred. That moment where he debates with Rhinox over what is morally right and what is the greater good is well scripted, though. Inferno's mindless loyalty is portrayed well too in this episode, and he had some hilarious scenes with Rampage. Transmutate, meanwhile, as the titular character, doesn't get to do much. But when he dies, it gives more of an impact emotionally than, say, Snowstalker or the protohumans. Rampage's anguished roar when Transmutate dies, and Silverbolt's subsequent mercy to Rampage, is rather heartrending. It's a pity that Rampage's little softening isn't followed up in subsequent episodes.

NOTES
First and final appearance for Transmutate. He is voiced by Susan Blu, voice director for the Beast Wars series and original voice actor for G1 Arcee and Marissa Faireborn.

Transmutate can give out a sonic scream and fly. In the dramatis personae in the original script, Transmutate was called a 'she', but in the rest of the script Transmutate is referred to as 'it'. For the purposes of this review I refer to Transmutate as 'he'.

Rattrap claims that Arcee is his great-aunt. Other than a shout-out to fans of the G1 series (and to the fact that Susan Blu voiced Transmutate in this episode) this probably is more of an in-joke than something to be taken as gospel.

Prior to the broadcasting of the episode, an early copy of the script with several... questionable scenes like Rattrap mounting Transmutate, is leaked to alt.toys.transformers, causing some uproar among the fandom. It turned out to be an April Fool's joke among the makers of the series, which got leaked to the public.

GOOFS
Megatron's energon infusion device disappears for a while at the beginning of the episode.

When Rampage drives up the cliff in 'tank' mode and transforms into robot mode, his tank treads simply vanish instead of being retracted/folded in.

Rampage calls the newcomer 'Transmutate' several scenes before he figures out a name for it.

Rampage's kibble is missing when Transmutate first exits his pod. It also disappears when he was about to step on Silverbolt during the final battle. The crab legs and claws are angled wrongly numerous times.

When Silverbolt says 'this one is not for you' part of his wing disappears.

Quote, Unquote
Rampage: "Do not speak. None shall hurt you now. Come with me, come. I will protect you... I am your friend, your only friend."

Rampage: [to Inferno] "Have I told you how much I like ants, hmm? Especially fried in a subtle blend of mech-fluid and grated gears?"

Rampage: "No! You will not have him, Optimus! The darkness of its spark echoes my own! It belongs with me!"

Silverbolt: [to Rhinox putting Transmutate on stasis] "Are we Predacons now? Do we destroy whatever does not fit our definition of perfection?"

Rampage: "I knew you wouldn't fail me. We are two of a kind. We belong together."

Transmutate: "No hurt."

Rampage: [to Silverbolt] "Time to go back to the Matrix, hero!"

Transmutate: "Friend… good. Friend… dark. I… am… hurt."

Silverbolt: "It's over. It's gone. We extinguished its Spark before we ever saw its true light."

Optimus Primal: "Cheetor and I will take care of Rampage."
Silverbolt: "No. Let him be. For the moment, we are brothers."

Blackjack 2010-07-10 12:38 PM

The Agenda (Part 1)
Airdate: 11 March 1998
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title Meow You're Under Arrest

SYNOPSIS
Rhinox announces that the Transwarp wavefront released by the destruction of the Planet Buster would reach present-day Cybertron soon. An unhappy Megatron has also made the same conclusion. Inferno reports that their attack on the protohumans had caused them to scatter, making wiping them out impossible. Megatron decides to implement his final plan, a gamble that includes Blackarachnia. The Predacon in question, meanwhile, leaves the base and meets Silverbolt in a secluded location. Silverbolt gives Blackarachnia a graviton generator, offering her a place among the Maximals, to which Blackarachnia refuses. They then began to flirt a bit with each other.

In the future, a. Cybertronian Predacon outpost in space is violently rocked by the Transwarp wavefront. The Tripredacus Council meets, tracing the wavefron back to Megatron. After several discussion, they detonate a Cybertronian satellite to ensure that the Maximal sensors don't detect the wave, and they send an operative to go to the past, find and terminate Megatron with extreme prejudice.

The Predacons assault the Axalon, and after a short siege the Predacons begin to gain the upper hand. Suddenly, someone opens fire at the Predacons from above, forcing Megatron to order a retreat. The Maximals watch as a sleek ship turns visible and lands. Their invisible ally snipes the Maximals' weapons out of their hands, and Optimus Primal realizes that their new 'ally' is a Decepticon who was granted amnesty after the Great Wars and rebuilt as a Predacon. Their 'ally' turns visible and reveals himself—Ravage.

Ravage apologizes to the Maximals for disarming them, saying that he was concerned that they would attack himwithout first hearing him out. Rattrap agrees, saying that a Decepticon is worse than a Predacon. Optimus tells Rattrap to shut up, and tells Ravage that Megatron had been less than friendly to them. Ravage apologizes to the Maximal on behalf of the Predacon Alliance for Megatron's actions, telling them that the Predacon Alliance did not sanction Megatron's actions. Ravage then tells the Maximals that he is there to neutralize Megatron, and enlists their help. When the Maximals question him about why the Cybertron-bound Maximals did not come, Ravage lies, saying that the Transwarp wave was too weak and was only detected by Predacon sensors, and that only Megatron's energy signature was detected.

Meanwhile, Blackarachnia has finished building a flying stasis pod with the equipment brought to her earlier by Silverbolt. Megatron calls Blackarachnia, as well as the rest of the Predacons, ordering them to fortify their base, anticipating an attack from the Maximals. Waspinator is dispatched on a 'special mission'.

Meanwhile, the Maximals ride Ravage's ship. Cheetor is unsure about their plan, but the advantages provided by the ship's ability to extend Ravage's cloaking ability. Ravage also notes that they have another ally inside the Predacon base. As they near the Predacon base, Tarantulas is alerted to it. Tarantulas transforms and sets off towards the Predacon base as well. Ravage and the Maximals begin their assault on the Predacon base. During the battle, Silverbolt refuses to open fire on Blackarachnia, despite Optimus' orders. Blackarachnia, meanwhile, takes off after where Waspinator had flown off to.

Meanwhile, Ravage uses his ship to open fire on the Predacon base. Megatron, sitting in his command chair, is ready to make a last stand. Energy chains suddenly appear and bind Megatron, and the base's energy is cut off. The Maximals and Ravage enter, and Ravage tells Megatron that he's under arrest under the name of the Predacon Alliance and the Pax Cybertronia, and that the Beast Wars is over...

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Rhinox, Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Silverbolt, Megatron, Inferno, Blackarachnia, Tripredacus Council (Sea Clamp, Cicadacon and Ramhorn; not named), Waspinator, Rampage, Quickstrike, Ravage, Tarantulas

REVIEW
(Eight out of Ten)
A splendid start to one of the better stories in the franchise. The politics in this episode is well done with the Tripredacus Council. The fact that Megatron is a rogue agent and the Tripredacus Council wants to neutralize him (and most possibly the Maximals as well) is very realistic. The shaky romance between Silverbolt and Blackarachnia is handled nicely, nice interludes as the plot kicks up. The fact that Tarantulas being a mole planted in Megatron's crew is a great touch, although it begs the question why Tarantulas didn't contact Cybertron sooner.

Rattrap is well-characterized, picking on Silverbolt now that Dinobot's gone. And Silverbolt's self-righteous (and noble) streak is well-explored. Megatron's master schemer shtick is well scripted too. Also, the animation this episode is especially gorgeous, with nearly no animation screw-ups. And Ravage.. well, he's not comic Ravage, of course. He could as well be Kickback or Buzzsaw and serve the same role, but the shout-out to past continuity and the fact that he's made something like a professional killer of sorts, is well done. It's a shame that they gave Ravage a Russian accent, though... it just doesn't sound right on him. I'm not a fan of his upright model, but it works in the context. Let the G1 purists whine all they want. Sadly, the dialogue in this episode suffers a little, since it's an action-heavy episode. Still, this is a great build-up for the three-parter.

NOTES
First appearance of Ravage and the first (and only) appearance of the Tripredacus Council. In the Beast Wars series, anyway.

Yes, Ravage is the G1 guy. References to the 'Great Wars' is a shout-out to the G1 cartoon. Ravage's cloaking field, meanwhile, is a reference to the ability in his tech specs, used in the Marvel comics. His body is Cheetor's Transmetal body with Tigatron's Beast head, all coloured black. And he has a Russian accent.

In the opening shots, some parts of Optimus Primal's original body (blown up in Other Voices Part 2) fly past the screen for a split-second before the Transwarp Wave arrives.

The Tripredacus Council's individual names are meant to be the components of the Tripredacus combiner toy (Sea Clamp, Ramhorn and Cicadacon), and are even referred to as such in the script. However, time constraints and schedules meant that its not possible to create toy-accurate CG renders for the three, so they receive generic renders, and they are not named individually. Only the group's name is given in their dialogue. The fact that the Tripredacus Council is the same with the Tripredacus toy is confirmed by the Beast Wars Sourcebook more than ten years later.

Cheetor wants to visit a theme park in Cybertron named 'Six Lasers Over Cybertron', a probable reference to the Six Flags theme parks.

Rattrap spouts some innuendo this issue in the dialogues quoted below.

Six Lasers Over Cybertron, which Cheetor gets excited about, is a reference to Six Flags over various states.

One of the Tripredacus Council says 'Terminate with extreme prejudice', a quote from Apocalypse Now.

Subsector Hooks is a reference to the fan who goes by the username Hooks.

The three missiles Rampage fires at the Axalon in the beginning of the battle each bear a symbol. The first is a model of an atom, the second is a death's head poison symbol and the third has a peace sign. No, really.

Ravage arrests Megatron in the name of the Pax Cybertronia, which is probably the truce between the Maximals and Predacons after the Great War. It's a name-play on Pax Romana.

GOOFS
Don't the Maximals have sensors elsewhere/elsewhen that could've detected the Transwarp wave? Then again, how the wave moves through time and whatnot might have its own rules of physics...

In his original bio, Ravage has a 'cloaking field' that makes him near-impossible to see in the dark (and makes him immune to energy fields), not an invisibility field. Of course, he might've upgraded himself in the long stretch between the G1 and BW periods.

If the Maximals knew that Silverbolt is seeing Blackarachnia, why didn't they stop him? Rattrap at least seems to be aware of the meeting from his innuendo.

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: "Oh man, you are gonna love it! I know this little place where you can get dirty mech fluid mixed with just a touch of radium. It'll take your head right off! And not only that... not only that, but the serving bots are walking around minus their torso plates, you know what I mean?"
Silverbolt: [disinterested] "Yes, obviously a veritable nexus of culture and refinement. How can I refuse?"

Rattrap: "So, uh, where you been, birddog?"
Silverbolt: "Uh, scout patrol."
Rattrap: "Oh, yeah, yeah, scouting the enemy, yeah. Find any new positions?"

Optimus Primal: "After the Great War, a few Decepticons were granted amnesty. Most have retired. But rumor has it that one was reprogrammed and rebuilt. As a Predacon!"

Rattrap: "Oh, for bootin' up cold, the only thing worse than a stinkin' Pred, is a stinkin' Decepticon!"

Ravage: "In the name of the Pax Cybertronia and the Predacon Alliance, you are under arrest."
Megatron: "Noooooooooo!"

Blackjack 2010-07-25 09:17 AM

The Agenda (Part 2)
Airdate: 12 March 1998
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: I Do Love You

SYNOPSIS
After the events of last episode, the Maximal prepare to hunt down the Predacon troops. Optimus Primal summons Silverbolt and confronts him about Blackarachnia. Silverbolt argues that Blackarachnia was originally a Maximal, but Optimus doesn't want to hear it. He confines Silverbolt to his quarters and dispatches Cheetor to hunt down Blackarachnia.

In his cell, the imprisoned Megatron chides Ravage for siding with the Maximals. Ravage responds that Megatron is nothing compared to the original Megatron. Megatron offers a stash of energon as a bargain, but Ravage reveals that he already knew about the energon stash, and proceeds to tell Megatron that Lieutenant Tarantulas is a Predacon secret police.

Cheetor apologizes to Silverbolt for being assigned this mission, but Silverbolt tricks Cheetor and knocks him out. Rattrap sees this and raises the alarm, forcing Silverbolt to flee. Some time later, Cheetor and Optimus fly to where Tarantulas had told them the energon stash was. They find that the energon crystals stored are unstable, and is guarded by Inferno. The energon build-up had driven the non-Transmetal Inferno crazy, and he ignites the energon crystals. The Maximals escape, but the cave collapses, and Inferno is seemingly incarcerated. The Maximals report this to Ravage.

Silverbolt manages to find Blackarachnia, who is following Waspinator with her hover-pod to a mountain. Silverbolt begs for Blackarachnia to come with him, but Blackarachnia shoots the Maximal. Silverbolt points out that it was non-fatal, and that the Predacon does care for him. However, the hover-pod they were in slams onto Waspinator, blowing him into pieces. Silverbolt saves Blackarachnia from the fall.

Meanwhile, Megatron still tries to bargain his way out from Ravage. Megatron points out that Ravage has no intention of letting the Maximals or Predacons stranded on Earth survive. Ravage admits this, and prepares to execute Megatron. Megatron then desperately tells Ravage that he had another motive for stealing the Golden Disk, something which could affect the Great War. Ravage laughs, noting the Disk's destruction, but humours Megatron anyway and releases his bindings. Megatron reveals that a fragment of the Disk still remain, and plays the message encoded in the Disk that Ravage will believe. Namely, a message from the original Megatron, leader of the Decepticons, during the Great War. The original Megatron had left instructions in the Golden Disk for his descendants to travel back in time to ancient Earth. Although the message cuts out, the sight of his former leader convinces Ravage to release his Predacon namesake.

Meanwhile, Silverbolt and Blackarachnia have discovered that Megatron had been there before, discovering that a tunnel had been drilled through and resealed with rocks. The two bicker for a bit as they clear away the rocks blocking the tunnel. Optimus Primal and Cheetor return to the Maximal base. Rattrap warns them a little too late that Ravage has switched sides. Ravage's ship looms behind the two Maximal fliers, with Megatron riding on top. Ravage transforms, and begins an attack on the Maximals...

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Silverbolt, Megatron, Ravage, Tarantulas, Cheetor, Rattrap, Inferno, Waspinator, Blackarachnia, G1 Megatron (recording)

REVIEW
(Seven out of ten)
The plot thickens. While the whole Inferno scene seems to be padding, the rest of the episode is splendid. Silverbolt and Megatron steal the spotlight, with the former's blind love and the latter's smooth-talking being some of the best-scripted scenes in Transformer lore. Silverbolt actually helping out with Blackarachnia's scheme is a little unbelievable, though. However, love is blind, no? Yes, the scenes are rather cheesy, but it feels natural. The interrogation between Megatron and Ravage lends to the more 'mature' feel of Beast Wars, with plotting and back-stabbing going on. The introduction of G1 Megatron as being the one who inspired BW Megatron (and seemingly who BW Megatron named himself after) is a nice touch as well, again cementing Beast Wars as part of the original cartoon.

However, there's no mistaking that this episode is merely there to get everybody in place for the big finish, so plot-wise not really much happens. However, this leads to better character development, and a more natural feel to the progression of the plot. Inferno's batshit craziness is portrayed well, even though his scene is basically padding. There is a nice cliffhanger, excellent dialogue, plot twists and nods to G1 fans. It's not bad, but there's a lot hanging for the finale where Megatron's plans would be revealed to us. It's a nice build-up, but it can still fail with the third part.

NOTES
First appearance of the original G1 Megatron in Beast Wars. The show creators intended for Frank Welker, his original voice actor, to voice Megatron. However, scheduling and payment conflicts prevented this from happening. Garry Chalk provides Megatron's voice instead.

Ravage transforms into his original Cassette alternate mode, with the transformation sound effect used in the original cartoon series. Bob Forward intended for the original cartoon theme song to play as Ravage transforms and begins his attack. However, due to copyright matters this idea was unfeasible.

Inferno was seemingly meant to be killed off this episode, considering how the show creators use the 'kill them all and sort it out later' approach with the season finales. Most noticeably, Inferno's head was shown disintegrating during the explosion. However, at the beginning of season three Inferno is fine, if a little beat-up.

Quickstrike and Rampage are apparently still out of commission after being brutalized last episode.

Optimus has a little trophy of a gorilla on his desk.

Silverbolt mimics a police siren when he asks Blackarachnia to 'pull this vehicle over'. He later breaks the fourth wall by referring to himself as a 'heroic character'.

Amusingly, a toilet is seen among Waspinator's parts as he's smashed into pieces.

Ravage uses Dr Evil's raised-pinkie gesture when preparing to execute Megatron.

GOOFS
Why didn't they use the stable energon in Tarantulas' lair (mentioned in 'Tangled Web') or those gathered by the Maximals to power Ravage's shuttle instead of going off to find a new stash?

Silverbolt punched his hand through the door to get at Cheetor, yet the door still opens without a problem. Having pieces of metal protruding out shouldn't let a door stay flat against the wall.

Why would the original Megatron not tell Ravage about the secret message on the Golden Disk?

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: [Silverbolt escapes] "Ah... I used to be young like that."
Optimus Primal: "What?"
Rattrap: "Duh, yeh. I mean, we got trouble. Oh yeah, trouble with a capital B."

Silverbolt: "I know how you're feeling. You don't know whether to kiss me or... kill me."
Blackarachnia: "I'm a black widow spider, you idiot. I can do both."

Blackarachnia: "You're not saving my life again? Even after I shot you?"
Silverbolt: "It's my duty, ma'am, as a Maximal and as a heroic character."
Blackarachnia: "You know I like them big and stupid, but you're really pushing it."

G1 Megatron: "This is Megatron, leader of the Decepticons. And if you're hearing this, it means I've failed. This time."

Waspinator: "Not fair. Waspinator minding own business when bang! Gets whole stasis pod right up the kazooty."

Blackjack 2010-07-25 01:33 PM

The Agenda (Part III)
Airdate: 12 March 1998
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: Once Upon A Time

SYNOPSIS
Ravage and Megatron, in Ravage's shuttle, continue to assault the Maximal base. The remaining Predacons join in as well. Rattrap manages to latch himself onto the back of Ravage's shuttle unnoticed, and begins cutting into the ship's hull. Meanwhile, Optimus and Cheetor are pinned down by the Predacons' firepower. Quickstrike is shot down and subsequently crushed by a passing Rampage. Between Rampage's tank mode and Ravage's shuttle, the Maximal base's force field is quickly taken down. Rhinox joins the fray, holding Rampage back.

Aboard the shuttle, Ravage and Tarantulas prepare to launch a gigantic missile that would obliterate the Maximal base. Before they could fire it, however, Rattrap bursts in and tosses a pair of bombs that latch themselves onto Tarantulas. The bombs tear Tarantulas and the weapons around him apart. As the fireball expand throughout the shuttle, Ravage faces it stoically with a cry of 'Decepticons forever' before he, too, is consumed. The rermains of the shuttle crash inches from Rampage, and the missile detonates, taking the Predacon crab out. Rattrap manages to jump into the safety of Rhinox's lap. Alone with no troops, Megatron flees the battle. Optimus notes that the Predacon is not headed back to his base, and orders the Maximals to pursue.

Meanwhile, Blackarachnia and Silverbolt make their way into the inner caves of a dormant volcano, revealing what Blackarachnia was after — the Ark. Blackarachnia retells to Silverbolt the story of how the Ark — with the best Autobots and Decepticons aboard — had crashed on Earth four million years before the Great War. As she finishes the story, Megatron arrives, knocks Silverbolt out and seals the entrance with another rockslide.

The Maximals try to dig their way through the rockslide. Megatron uses the unconscious Silverbolt as a hostage to force Blackarachnia to give him the access codes to the Ark that she had downloaded off the Golden Disk. Reluctantly, Blackarachnia agrees. As the Maximals arrive, Megatron and Blackarachnia enter the Ark and seals the entrance

Blackarachnia is ordered to activate the ship's defences while Megatron goes off to do something more permanent. As the Maximals battle the autoguns, Megatron enters the main bridge of the ship, talking about the Decepticons and Autobots as he passes their deactivated bodies. He hovers in front of his intended target, Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots, who defeated the Decepticons and caused the Predacons to be subservient to the Maximals. Even though the risk of changing history is too great, Megatron carries out his predecessor's instructions and charges up his weapon, aiming it at Optimus Prime's head.

The Maximals defeat the autoguns and force the door open. But as the horrified Maximals watch, Megatron opens fire, tearing up Optimus Prime's head. A time storm begins to form, spreading from Earth into space. The Maximals find themselves phasing through past bodies, as Megatron laughs at his triumph.

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Megatron, Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Quickstrike, Rampage, Rattrap, Rhinox, Ravage (killed), Tarantulas (blown up), Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Optimus Prime (flashback and present, shot in the head), Prowl (flashback and present), Ironhide (flashback and present) Jazz or Bluestreak (flashback), Ratchet (flashback), Skywarp, Thundercracker, Starscream, Soundwave

REVIEW
(Eight out of ten)
Well-scripted. There are some parts that feel rushed, though. Like how quickly Rattrap takes out Tarantulas and Ravage, making you wonder why they included Ravage at all other than blatant fanservice. The action scenes are well-done, and Megatron's long dialogue at the end of the episode, as well as the reveal of the Ark, is a fantastic build-up. Megatron is pure gold in this episode, and both Rattrap and Blackarachnia have several great lines. The whole 'killing Optimus Prime to release the Predacons from virtual slavery' thing is a nice edge that allows Megatron to perform the act with a motivation instead of simple, pure malice.

The suspense as the Maximals battle the autoguns while Megatron takes his time to construct a poetic speech is well-executed. Some of the more glaring plot holes are excusable—Megatron didn't do this sooner because of the risks, while Blackarachnia might be the only one who could decrpyt the Disk. The whole impact of time travel, previously seen only in Marvel UK arcs (in fact, the plot of this episode seems to borrow aspects from Time Wars and Target: 2006) is well-done too. And the cliffhanger as Optimus Prime seemingly dies must've made G1 fans grit their teeth in anger. Ravage's death, however, feel very rushed no matter how you dice it. All in all, the Agenda three-parter, while not perfect, is one of the better story arcs. It's a shame that the law of fiction tells us that Megatron's triumph won't last until the third season...

NOTES
First appearance of the Ark, the Nemesis and Optimus Prime in the Beast Wars series. Blackarachnia retells the battle between the Ark and the Nemesis seen in 'More than Meets the Eye part one'. We also get to see cameos of Optimus Prime, Prowl, Ironhide, Ratchet and what could be Jazz or Bluestreak during the flashback. As Megatron walks through the Ark itself, the deactivated bodies of Prowl, Optimus Prime, Megatron, Ironhide, Soundwave, Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker could be seen, plus a few unidentifiable ones.

Rattrap refers to his vehicle mode as 'Knievel' mode, a reference to Evil Knievel.

Primal breaks the fourth-wall at one point, saying that the Ark has 'die-cast construction', before turning to the audience and saying that it's a lost art. It refers to the die-cast parts featured on early Transformers toys.

Apparently, Rhinox is afraid of heights. When flying with Primal, he looks down, and immediately looks back up with horror on his face.

GOOFS
This episode uses the Roman numeral for 3 (III) as part of its title instead of Arabic numbers, which the series uses for every other multi-part episodes, including the last two parts of 'the Agenda'.

Optimus Primal's chest is damaged and blackened early on, but the damage disappears and reappears at random.

If we follow what happened on the original cartoon, Optimus Prime was not in a sitting position prior to being awakened.

'Teletraan 1' is mispronounced as 'Teletron 1' several times. While not much of a big difference, the fans complained enough about this that it received a jab in a subsequent episode.

When the Maximals land outside the cave the colors on Rattrap's wheel kibble and his rat legs are reversed.

Why didn't Megatron think of downloading the codes to himself from the Golden Disk?

Quote, Unquote
Ravage: "Decepticons forever!" [dies]

Cheetor: "Where's he headed, Big Bot?"
Optimus Primal: "To the beginning of everything, Cheetor, and quite possibly the end."

Megatron: "Now I enter these hallowed halls. A conquerer, yeees. Autobots and Decepticons, still frozen in emergency stasis, awaiting the moment four million years hence, when they will awaken to start the Great War. Hmm. A Great War, when the Autobots defeated the Decepticons, and thus their descendants, the Maximals, rule we Predacons. Archaic energon guzzlers! How dare they? Unwilling though I was to follow my namesake's instructions, it has all come down to this. The ultimate risk, for the ultimate prize... A day of reckoning with those who made us slaves!"

Megatron: "So, we are now face to face, Optimus Prime. In one future, you awaken and become the great leader of the Autobots. But time shall take a different track, now. Computer- all available power to primary weapon!" [Pauses] "And now, Optimus Prime, in memory of the Decepticons... for the glory of the Predacons... for the Cybertron that is rightfully ours—and mine—to rule! I unleash the storm of vengeance... farewell!"

Megatron: "Say goodbye to the universe, Maximals! The future has changed. Yeeeees. The Autobots- lose! Evil triumphs! And you... you no longer EXIST!"

Blackjack 2010-07-25 01:39 PM

And that's Season Two done for you. Season three reviews will take some time to come, though, since my life's getting in the way. I'll still be keeping up with the comic reviews as best as I can, though.

Blackjack 2010-09-07 04:51 PM

Optimal Situation
Airdate: 24 October 1998
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: Grow Bigger

SYNOPSIS
As the time storm begins to unravel space-time, Megatron gloats, telling them that Optimus Prime's death would mean that the Maximals would in result no longer exist. Blackarachnia, born from Maximal technology, finds herself affected by the time storm as well, and helps the Maximals. She uses the Golden Disk's information to access the Ark's security systems to drive out Megatron. Blackarachnia, with Silverbolt's help, activate the Ark's repair systems to stabilise Optimus Prime's condition. However, it is a temporary gesture at best, since reality is still in flux. Optimus Primal places Optimus Prime's spark in his body to protect it while Rhinox operates one of Teletraan 1's repair devices to repair Prime's body. Having Optimus Prime's spark inside him causes Primal's body to be transformed into a larger and more powerful body. Meanwhile, back at the Axalon Tarantulas' body is put together by his drones, while Ravage's is ignored. Quickstrike's cobra tail also finds its body.

Megatron calls for reinforcements, and after Inferno and Waspinator pull themselves together (literally) the Predacons attack. Optimus Primal drives Megatron off, while Blackarachnia sneaks away during the battle. However, the Predacons create an avalanche that blocks the entrance to the Ark. Blackarachnia is trapped outside at the mercy of the Predacons. As punishment for her betrayal, Megatron blasts her. The Predacons take their leave when Optimus Primal blazes a path through the rocks. Realizing that they are heading for the unguarded Axalon, Primal and Cheetor fly off in pursuit.

A distraught Silverbolt cradles Blackarachnia. Thinking that the Predacon is dying, Silverbolt comforts her, as well as admitting his love. Silverbolt finally manages to convince Blackarachnia to join the Maximals, before going limp. Silverbolt howls in anguish... only for Rattrap and Rhinox to tell him that Blackarachnia is merely in stasis lock. Meanwhile, Optimus Primal and Cheetor manage to shoot down the Predacon fliers, but they are too late to prevent Rampage and Tarantulas' spider drones from trying to drag the Axalon off the cliff it had slammed onto. Optimus severs the ropes, but Rampage fires a missiles that flies dead-on towards Optimus Primal. Fearing that the missile would hit Prime's spark, Primal deflects it, and it explodes on the Axalon, which plummets down the cliff, severs into two and crashes down into the river below. The Predacons make their escape.

Optimus and Cheetor return to the Ark, where Rhinox had repaired Optimus Prime's body. Primal returns Optimus Prime's spark to its rightful owner. They decide to relocate to the Ark in order to protect it from further time-tamperings, and the Maximals (plus Blackarachnia) begins to set up their new base.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Cheetor, Rattrap, Megatron, Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Optimus Prime, Waspinator, Inferno, Tarantulas, Ravage's Head, Quickstrike, Rampage

REVIEW
(Six out of ten)
A couple of mixed bits here, actually. There are some bad bits, like the tired-out 'new toy formula' with Optimal Optimus Primal going through his four modes upon ten minutes of reactivation. And the restoring of the status quo by the quick revival of Inferno and Silverbolt. The resolution to the time storm is also very flat after all the build-up running towards it. The romance between Silverbolt and Blackarachnia, while well-played, is a little overdone, although it's more of the fault of Silverbolt's over-dramatic character.

There are some nice moments, like the jokes in the dialogue and Silverbolt howling after Blackarachnia apparently dies. Megatron shooting Blackarachnia at point blank range for treachery is also a nice scene, as is Megatron and Optimal Optimus' initial confrontation. And besides, Primal shooting off Optimus Prime's catchphrases is simply appropriate on so many levels.

NOTES
First appearance of the 'Optimal Optimus' body for Optimus Primal. He now has three alternate modes — gorilla, tank and jet — and is about the size of a smaller G1 Transformer. Megatron even refers to Primal as 'Optimal Optimus', the toy name, once.

The last appearance of the Axalon, although the debris will play a part in future episodes.

Blackarachnia's now officially defected to the Maximals, though she still considers herself a Predacon. It's somewhat similar to Carnivac from the Marvel comics, minus the romance bit.

The 'spark container' which holds Optimus Prime's spark is based directly on the Matrix of Leadership, leading to some confusion. According to the creators, the animators used Optimus Prime's death scene from the Movie as basis and used the Matrix without knowing its significance. 3H's Primeval Dawn comic would retcon Optimus Prime to have the real Matrix of Leadership placed under Optimus Prime's Matrix-shaped Spark container. However, Rhinox's line "his spark has the Matrix with it" might mean that either Optimus Primal took the Matrix into him, or that Optimus Prime's spark has Matrix energies in it. It's about the same either way.

Ravage's head is shown to be knocked off a cliff to ensure us that Ravage wouldn't be brought back in Beast Wars. That didn't stop 3H or IDW, though.

Optimus Primal quotes several of Optimus Prime's catch-phrases. Primal says "Freedom is the right of sentient beings" when he faces off against Megatron, as well as "transform and roll out" when first changing to his tank mode. The former is Optimus Prime's original motto and the latter is his infamous catch-call when the Autobots go to battle. Bob Forward confessed that he had no idea of the significance of "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" during production, saying that it's something he picked up from fansite alt.toys.transformers.

GOOFS
When we rotate around Optimus Prime as the repairs are being made, the Autobot insignia inside the interior mechanisms of his chest is upside down.

When Primal first transforms into jet mode, the cockpit doesn't have Prime's spark in it. in all other scenes it's there.

In 'The Agenda Part 2', Inferno is apparently vaporized/atomized by the energon explosion. This episode retcons Inferno into just being very terribly burned and injured. But after the initial attack on the Ark he inexplicably returns into perfect condition.

At one point when the Axalon falls off the cliff the engines are missing.

Quote, Unquote
Optimus Primal: [sees Prime's injured head] "Well, that's just prime."
Rattrap: "Or what's left of him, anyway."

Megatron: "You wouldn't dare fire in here! It might upset history."
Optimus Primal: "We'd have four million years to clean you off the walls, Megatron. I might risk it."

Megatron: "This is not the end of it, Optimal Optimus. Nooo. The universe cowered once at the name of Megatron, and it shall do so again!"
Optimus Primal: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings, Megatron."
Megatron: "Then they'd better stay out of my way!"

Cheetor: "Jumping gyros, Optimus sure learns a new body fast!"
Rattrap: "Well wha'd ya expect? He changes 'em often enough!" [tiddy-boom]

Silverbolt: "Blackarachnia, dark poison of my heart, abide with me yet a while."
Blackarachnia: "You got a way with words there, rover. You almost make me wish I was a better girl."

Blackjack 2010-09-12 10:14 AM

Deep Metal
Airdate: 1 November 1998
Written By: Larry DiTillio
Japanese Title: Ray!

SYNOPSIS
In the future, a Cybertronian hunts for Protoform X in a space sector declared off limits by the Maximal High Council. A transwarp portal suddenly appears and engulfs his ship, sending him tumbling into the past. The Cybertronian's body is also changed by the transwarp portal. Meanwhile, the Maximals have moved into a now-fortified Mount Saint Hilary. Inferno leads Rampage on an attack on the Maximal base, but when Rampage sees the ship coming out of the portal, he leaves Inferno to fend for himself. Inferno is quickly defeated.

Cheetor also sees this ship, and follows its descent as it plummets into the sea. But as Cheetor is reporting to Optimus, Rampage shoots him out of the sky, saying that the battle between the visitor and him is personal. The visitor in question is the Maximal Depth Charge, who has scanned a manta ray as an alternate mode. Depth Charge rescues Cheetor from sinking, but leaves off immediately to hunt Protoform X. Depth Charge and Rampage meet each other underwater, and they engage in a brutal battle. Optimus Primal arrives on Cheetor's position. When Cheetor tells the story to Primal, Primal apparently recognizes Depth Charge.

As the battle moves towards the beach, Rampage heals from his wounds, and approaches Depth Charge. The two battle again, and Depth Charge gains the upper hand when he throws his sword into Rampage's cannon, blowing it up. However, Quickstrike, sent by Megatron to check on Rampage, shows up and knocks out Depth Charge. Optimus Primal and Cheetor arrive and take out Quickstrike, but the distraction was enough for Rampage to sneak away. The Maximals bring the damaged Depth Charge back to base.

While Depth Charge is placed in a CR chamber, Optimus Primal and Rhinox tell the other Maximals that Depth Charge was in charge for colony Omnicron, until Protoform X destroyed the colony. A vengeance-ridden Depth Charge was the one who ultimately hunted down X. However, instead of executing Protoform X, the Maximal High Council placed X aboard the Axalon to be dumped in deep space. Depth Charge has since tracked X's energy signature, intent on killing him.

Depth Charge awakens, but acts aloof with the Maximals. Even when he sees the Ark, he has no interest in saving history, and leaves off to hunt for Protoform X. Optimus tells the other Maximals that Depth Charge's obsession with Rampage has changed him. Meanwhile, Rampage, delighted that his old friend has come to play, blows up Depth Charge's ship.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Depth Charge, Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Inferno, Rampage, Megatron, Cheetor, Quickstrike, Waspinator

REVIEW
(Eight out of ten)
A solid episode introducing a character that doesn't quickly regress into a toy commercial. Depth Charge's backstory and his cold-blooded vengeance against Rampage is well-executed. While not everyone might like Depth Charge the angst-ridden-Wolverine-wannabe, you have to admit that he is introduced in a way that is tied into the main story. The darker backstory between Depth Charge and Rampage is well thought-out, as are the interactions between Depth Charge and Optimus Primal.

The fight scenes underwater are impressive and are as brutal as any cartoon fight scene could be. Rampage, too, benefits from being portrayed as what he is—an indestructible sadist—after several episodes of losing his touch. Optimus Primal, too, is plays the guilty leader role perfectly. The setup to the episode is well done as well, with the Maximals adapting to their new stay in the Ark's exterior and the Predacons trying to find weaknesses in their defenses. However, there are some glaring plot holes in the episode that just can't be ignored, so it can't get too high of a score.

NOTES
The first appearance of Depth Charge. The first mention of a 'Maximal High Council'. (Normally, Primal and Rhinox would say 'Council of Elders').

Depth Charge's spaceship is based on his 'jet' mode. A mighty big coincidence, that, since his alternate mode is only gained after his Transmetalization.

Along with his self-regeneration abilities, Rampage displays precognition abilities this issue. He senses that Depth Charge is coming even before Depth Charge crosses through the transwarp portal thing.

In the future/present, when Depth Charge enters Earth's solar system, he is informed that the area is declared off limits by the Maximal High Council. The writers had said that this is because that Earth had suffered an undecided-upon catastrophe, as well as making discouraging time-altering criminals like Megatron. However, this bit of backstory never made it into the show.

GOOFS
It is unclear what exactly the transwarp portal that swallowed Depth Charge's ship was. It could be due to the time storm created in 'The Agenda' and 'Optimal Situation', but that doesn't explain Depth Charge's Transmetalization due to the portal. Transmetalization should only happen due to the quantum surge. A mix-up, perhaps?

How Rampage manages to elude Megatron's scanners is not made clear. Why doesn't Megatron just squeeze that spark torture chamber to rein in Rampage?.

Depth Charge yells 'Maximize' to transform into beast mode instead of saying 'beast mode'. He does this repeatedly in other episodes as well.

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: "Inferno blow up, Waspinator must salvage. Waspinator blow up, nobody salvage! Why universe hate Waspinator?"

Rampage: "Greetings, old playmate. So glad you could come!"
Depth Charge: "X!"
Rampage: "I'm called Rampage now. A bit obvious, but to the point, don't you think?"

Rampage: "Ignore the pain... it's only going to get worse!"

Depth Charge: [on his vendetta] "It's not revenge I'm looking for, it's justice."

Optimus Primal. "X is not alone. He's a Predacon now, under Megatron's control. There are six of them."
Depth Charge: "I've got to hand it to ya, Primal... when you screw up, you do it big time. But thanks for the tip."

Rampage: "It was really so very nice of you to come. So glad you could stay. Oh, we'll have such fun!" [Laughs crazily]

Blackjack 2010-09-13 04:37 AM

Changing of the Guard
Airdate: 8 November 1998
Written By: Evan Somers
Japanese Title: Loose Fitting

SYNOPSIS
Rhinox tries to use the outdated Teletraan-1 forcefield, but the technology is incompatible with Maximal tech. This causes Optimus Primal to send a team to salvage the Sentinel module from where the Axalon had sunk. With Depth Charge refusing to help, the Maximals plan to use a single-occupant aquatic vessel developed by Blackarachnia. A reluctant Rattrap is selected to be the pilot. Soon, Silverbolt drops the submarine into the lake where the Axalon had sunk, and Rattrap has a good time as he explores the underwater surroundings, and begins to extract the Sentinel module. The radar warns him too late of Rampage's arrival.

Rampage catches Rattrap's submarine in a single claw, and would've crushed it completely if Depth Charge hadn't intervened. The vengeful Maximal battle with Rampage, letting Rattrap escape back to the surface where he is retrieved by Silverbolt. However, Waspinator attacks Silverbolt and causes him to drop Rattrap. Quickstrike then keeps the Maximal duo busy while Waspinator delivers Sentinel back to the Predacon base. Quickstrike is knocked out accidentally by Rampage. Silverbolt tries to enlist Depth Charge's help to recover Sentinel, but Depth Charge is obsessed only with hunting down Rampage.

Rattrap and Silverbolt improvises and manage to steal back Sentinel from Waspinator with a few aerial acrobatics, but Inferno arrives and harasses the Maximals. Depth Charge has a change of heart and goes off to help, but his untimely arrival causes him to slam onto Silverbolt, and he drops Sentinel into Inferno's hands. The Predacons leave, victorious for once.

Back at the Maximal base, Rattrap and Optimus Primal berate Depth Charge for getting in their way and causing the Predacons to obtain a strategic advantage. However, because they offer Depth Charge a place among them again, and this time Depth Charge warily accepts. Meanwhile, a jubilant Megatron installs Sentinel in the Predacon base, encasing it in a force field.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Cheetor, Rattrap, Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Rampage, Depth Charge, Megatron, Quickstrike, Waspinator, Inferno

REVIEW
(Seven out of ten)
Another aquatic-themed episode, although this one co-stars the more interesting Rattrap instead of just Depth Charge (which, if alone, would get boring pretty quickly). It's really too sudden and frankly unprofessional to have Depth Charge's unbridled vigilantism to end just after one episode, although I guess if it's pulled for too long we'll just have another Tigatron analog. The rivalry between Depth Charge and Rampage is, as always, well played but it's a little irritating that Rampage keeps running off between battles. The fact that the Predacons actually won from the Maximals for once is a nice twist. Changing the status quo like that is good storytelling... the Predacons actually obtaining Sentinel surprised me.

After not doing much for a couple of episodes, Rattrap gets back to form with his biting wit, and his camaraderie with Silverbolt is fantastic. That bit where Depth Charge's sudden change of heart at hearing explosions is realistic, as is the mistake when the uncoordinated Maximals clonk onto each other. The underwater scenes have improved from last issue, and the animators certainly are prepared to make more underwater scenes, what with the submarine being introduced and everything. Also, this episode follows up nicely on the loose ends left behind by the Axalon's destruction.

NOTES
The 'Changing of the Guard' traditionally refers to an elaborate ceremony in England wherein the sentries providing ceremonial guard duties at important places are relieved by other sentries. This presumably refers to Depth
Charge joining the Maximals.

Inferno, Waspinator and Quickstrike spend their free time playing what seems to be poker with hexagonal playing cards.

Rattrap apparently whistles/sings the background music score for the underwater scene, since Silverbolt listens to the same music through the walkie-talkie with a raised eyebrow.

Again, as a running gag, Silverbolt is the only Maximal that could be defeated by Waspinator.

This episode marks the only time when Rampage uses his activation code of terrorize when he transforms.

When Silverbolt drops Rattrap's submarine, it bounces around like a pinball. When it finally comes to a stop, the dizzy Rattrap has 'TILT' flashing in his eyes.

GOOFS
The writer, Evan Somers, is mistakenly credited as Evan Sommers.

When Rampage stumbles backwards after pulling Depth Charge's tail out, his legs are miscoloured as Depth Charge's.

When Inferno pushes a tree towards Rattrap and Silverbolt, Rattrap's chest is inverted.

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: "What are you grinning about, litter-butt?"
Cheetor: "I was just thinking... with you inside, this'd make a swell cat toy."

Silverbolt: "We're approaching the target area. How you faring in there, Rattrap?"
Rattrap: "I'm hot, I'm cramped, I'm airsick. Eh, the next time that big ape asks me to do something for him, man, I am gonna shove my blaster so far up his-"

Waspinator: "Doggy-bot no match for Waspinator."

Waspinator: "Waspinator having good day! Not get shot once." [Silverbolt shoots Waspy]

Inferno: "Stand and fight, vermin!"
Rattrap: "Oh yeah? Shrivel up and die, ant!"

Blackjack 2010-09-14 10:24 AM

Cutting Edge
Airdate: 15 0november 1998
Written By: Ian Weir
Japanese Title:Beast Wars Metals: Convoy's Great Transformation! (Released as a movie special in Japan)

SYNOPSIS
The tribe of protohumans led by the one that wields Dinobot's hammer are walking through a jungle. They are attacked by a gigantic Cyber-raptor that drives them off with laser optics. Two children, Chak and Una, hide and are separated from their tribe. Optimus Primal and Silverbolt arrive and drive off the raptor. They take the kids back to their base, where Rhinox deduces that the cyber-raptors are made by Predacons. Optimus Primal assigns Cheetor and Blackarachnia to return the kids back to their tribe, a decision that Silverbolt is not entirely pleased with. After the two leave, Rattrap (who has been spying on Blackarachnia's activities) tell Rhinox that Blackarachnia has taken something from the classified area of their base.

As Cheetor and Blackarachnia slowly trek through the jungles, Cheetor and the kids fool around, much to Blackarachnia's annoyance. A cyber-raptor attacks, and in the resulting battle damages Cheetor's flight engines after he tries to impress Blackarachnia with a grandstanding maneuver. They also find that their radios are jammed, so they are on their own. In the Maximal base, Optimus Primal and Silverbolt likewise go out to check out their ersatz team members. Megatron, meanwhile dispatches a whole squad of Cyber-raptors, Waspinator and Tarantulas to eliminate the two Maximals. Both Maximal and Predacon teams arrive on Blackarachnia and Cheetor's position and a full-out battle ensues. Tarantulas uses his new gun and blasts Optimus Primal, causing him to lose his mind and sing around. Meanwhile, Blackarachnia intercepts a blast meant for Chak and Una. As the Predacons seem to have the upper hand, the hammer-wielding protohuman jumps to help, damaging the backpack on one of the Cyber-raptors. With this knowledge the Maximals easily destroy the raptors and defeat the Predacons.

Meanwhile, Megatron leads the rest of the Predacons on an assault on the Maximal base. After using Quickstrike to spring the exterior traps, Megatron leads Rampage and Inferno to claim the Ark. However, the unexpected arrival of Depth Charge turns the battle in the Maximal's favour. Meanwhile, Cheetor's group deliver Chak and Una back to their tribe. Unseen by the other Maximals, Blackarachnia smuggles some hardware from the Cyber-raptors. Cheetor congratulates Blackarachnia on her heroic actions, but Blackarachnia disses Cheetor off, walking off with Silverbolt. Cheetor sighs for being treated like a kid. Meanwhile, Megatron considers using the technology from the Cyber-raptors with the half of Rampage's spark...

Featured Transformers: Cyber-Raptors (killed), Silverbolt, Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Rattrap, Blackarachnia, Cheetor, Megatron, Inferno, Tarantulas, Quickstrike, Rampage, Waspinator, Depth Charge
Notable Others: Hammer Protohuman, Chak, Una, Protohuman Tribe

REVIEW
(Four out of ten)
The protohuman kids are irritating and uninteresting, and Cheetor being tired of treated like a kid is one of the character threads that's been trite since Season one. The cyber-raptors are rubbish as well, reeking of G1's "weapon of the week" and Tarantulas' unexplained inclusion among the Predacon ranks is uncharacteristically bad continuity among the writers. Also, Cheetor's puppy love at Blackarachnia is laughable in execution. Quickstrike's dialogue this episode is hilarious, though.

There are some good bits of storytelling here, though. Cheetor's upcoming upgrade and whatever it is that Blackarachnia and Megatron are up to respectively in future episodes are foreshadowed upon, while Silverbolt being overprotective to the point of naïveness is believable. Rattrap being suspicious is true to character as well. But the foreshadowings hardly make this episode as good as the others... the bits with the protohuman kids drag on the episode for far too long.

NOTES
The first appearance of recurring characters Chak and Una, the closest Beast Wars would have to children sidekicks. The protohuman with Dinobot's hammer (I'm going to call him 'Hammer' for review purposes) also reappears. Also, this is the first (and only) appearance of the Cyber-raptors, which are of course modified CG models of Dinobot's beast mode.

This episode foreshadows the chain of events that would lead to the "Feral Scream" two-parter. Cheetor being insecure and being tired of treated like a kid, as well as Megatron creating Cyber-raptors, and Rampage's spark. Blackarachnia's pilfering of resources would be explored upon in later episodes as well.

Megatron quotes Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in his line "cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war".

This is the second time Megatron had attempted to clone Dinobot. It would not be the last. Megatron's little obsession with creating a loyal and competent Dinobot is... disturbing, to say the least.

GOOFS
The big one is, of course, the fact that Tarantulas is somehow working under Megatron's command. Before and after this episode Tarantulas has always worked on his own after being revealed to be Ravage's agent.

The first Cyber-raptor that Blackarachnia and Cheetor fight wanders off and doesn't turn up in the final battle (only the three raptors dispatched from the Predacon base appear), and where it runs off to is not made clear.

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: "Call me paranoid, but I don't trust Preds, I don't trust spiders, and I don't trust dames who sneak in and out of classified areas when they think nobody's watching."
Rhinox: "What are you saying?"
Rattrap: "Nyah! I'm saying that our little spider chum-" [Silverbolt enters] "-is a credit to her web-spinning species and I don't know what we ever did without her."

Blackarachnia: "Guys. Oh, they're only young once, but they can act juvenile forever."

Blackarachnia: "Oh, great. I get stuck with the one cat in the world who lands on his head."

Megatron: "Quickstrike, you may lead."
Quickstrike: "Yeah! That's what I like to hear!" [charges in]
Inferno: "Royalty, why was I not chosen?"
Megatron: "Because, Inferno, when expecting booby traps, always send the boob in first."

Blackarachnia: "Listen, tabby, you're a nice kid-" [Silverbolt approaches] "-which is two strikes against you, so don't go looking for strike three, okay?" [walks away with Silverbolt]
Cheetor: "I'm not a kid. And maybe I'm not so nice, either."

Blackjack 2010-09-20 03:45 AM

Feral Scream, Part 1
Airdate: 31 January 1999
Written By: Greg Johnson
Japanese Title: I am Resurrected

SYNOPSIS
Optimus Primal and Cheetor battle Megatron and Waspinator for a stasis pod through a canyon. Cheetor accidentally buries Optimus in an avalanche, allowing the Predacons escape. Depth Charge arrives and helps to get Optimus out of the rubble before going off on his own. Optimus drives off back to base for repairs and instructs Cheetor to wait for backup. Meanwhile, Megatron loads the stasis pod into a gigantic machine, with cells from Dinobot and half of Rampage's spark. Lightning strikes the Transmetal 2 generator, and a second Dinobot is born. Depth Charge and Cheetor arrives, and the new Dinobot attacks. Cheetor manages to steal the Transmetal 2 Driver from Megatron's machine, and tosses it to Depth Charge. However, this leaves him open to Megatron's attack, which causes him to be trapped in the electrical current of the machinery. Electricity runs through the young Maximal for a while, until a gigantic explosion engulfs him and the machinery.

Depth Charge arrives at the Maximal base and reports Cheetor's death to Optimus Primal and the others. He heads deeper into the caves to scan the Driver by himself, finding out that it's an Alien device altered by Megatron. Depth Charge tosses the Driver into the lava to destroy it, but when he turns his back, Blackarachnia zips down and catches the device. Outside the base, Optimus blames himself for Cheetor's death. But it turns out that Cheetor is still alive, although he isn't in the best of conditions.

In the Predacon base, Rampage is furious at Megatron for giving the other half of his spark being given to the Dinobot Clone, and tries to reclaim the spark fragment. However, Dinobot is also able to squeeze Rampage's spark, just as Megatron was able to do before, causing Rampage great pain. Megatron then dispatches Dinobot to recover the Transmetal 2 Driver. Depth Charge, meanwhile, sets out from the Maximal base after repairs to hunt down Rampage. Dinobot ambushes him, and easily subdues him. The Predacons interrogate Depth Charge, but suddenly a beast jumps down and defeats the Predacons one by one, overwhelming the Predacons with his speed. Depth Charge is left alone to wonder what had saved him, but the mysterious beast disappears by the time Optimus arrives to his rescue. Meanwhile, when they return to the Maximal base, a damaged Cheetor stumbles onto the scene and passes out. Primal and Rhinox rushes out to help him.

Featured Transformers: Waspinator, Megatron, Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Depth Charge, Dinobot II, Rhinox, Blackarachnia, Rampage, Quickstrike

REVIEW
(Four out of ten)
Completely mediocre. There are some precious scenes in here, like Dinobot's creation or Rampage being angry at Megatron, or Depth Charge being an ass, but the plot itself isn't that good. You never believe for once that Cheetor had actually died, and the faux-horror movie setting, while done decently, doesn't gel well with the very Looney Tunes takedown of the Predacons. The shadowed monster is very obviously Cheetor in a new body, so the audience, even Saturday-morning-children, wouldn't be fooled. The big event this episode, the introduction of Dinobot II, falls flat.

Another bad thing is the fact that they've got two episodes to introduce the whole concept of Transmetal Twos, but it's botched up pretty badly with no explanation on where the Driver came out from. The new Dinobot, while high on the coolness factor, seems to be just another sadistic, slovering monster like Rampage. Which is a shame, because now the Predacon goons seem to be split into two cliches — dumb thug that gets blown up every time, or super-powered sadistic monsters. The attempt at characterization for Cheetor fails somewhat, since we don't really get to see much of him. Not the best episode out there.

NOTES
First appearance of Dinobot II (or Dinobot Clone or Transmetal 2 Dinobot) as well as Cheetor's Transmetal Two Body.

Megatron's creation of Dinobot II is based on the creation of the monster from Frankenstein, complete with lightning bolts and Waspinator acting all hunch-backed and 'Masteerrrrr' like Igor. Well, the creation of the Dinobot clone from 'Double Dinobot' is also based on Frankenstein, so might be part of Megatron's creepy little obsession.

Megatron created Dinobot with a 'blank Protoform', a protoform without a spark. Whatever that's supposed to be. A malfunctioned protoform? A protoform that died during the crash? In any case, it's never touched upon again in the series.

'Subgrid Zarak' is a reference to Lord Zarak, the Nebulan Headmaster partner of G1 Scorponok.

Megatron spins around and over a cliff in a manner similar to the Tasmanian Devil and Wile E Coyote from the Looney Tunes cartoon series.

GOOFS
During the top panning shot of the Predacon base, the ship is reversed. Normally the right wing is the broken one and the left wing is whole, but it is reversed. On subsequent shots it's correctly shown.

Where did Megatron get the Transmetal Two Driver from?

Quote, Unquote
Megatron: "From the tempestous fury, the spark ignites… to sire new life! Transmetal two life! Mwahahahahaha!"

Waspinator: "Waspinator not like new lizard bot!"
Depth Charge: "I agree with the bug. But then, I'm not crazy about any of you."

Optimus Primal:"Where's Cheetor?"
Depth Charge: [tosses a piece of Cheetor] "Cat was tough. He went out fighting."

Optimus Primal: "Cheetor. This is my fault, Rhinox. I was rough on him, so he… so he tried to prove something."

Rampage: "You gave this the core of my spark? I shall rip it from his chest and restore it within me!"

Rampage: [on Depth Charge] "No! He's mine! I shall feast upon his still pulsating spark!"

Megatron: "What is that thing?"
Quickstrike: "Dunno, boss, some kind of ghost, maybe. Or it will be when I'm done with it! Yee-ha!"

Blackjack 2010-10-16 01:54 PM

Feral Scream, Part 2
Airdate: 7 February 1999
Written By: Jules Dennis
Japanese Title: Cheetor Arises

SYNOPSIS
Optimus Primal checks on Cheetor, who is sleeping in his room. Optimus discusses this with Rattrap, expressing worry about Cheetor refusing to use the CR chamber. Rattrap passes this off as Cheetor wanting to prove something, but Optimus is still suspicious. Cheetor, meanwhile, has a nightmare of himself being mutated, and is reviled by the other Maximals. A horrified Cheetor wakes up to see a green tendril emerging from his spark. Sleeping on the job, Rattrap is rudely awakened by Cheetor's scream and rushes to help, but is knocked aside by a large feline monstrosity. When Optimus arrives, Rattrap assumes that the monster had gotten Cheetor.

Meanwhile, Megatron hears the roar of the incoming beats, and deduces that Cheetor has been upgraded from their previous confrontation. Intrigued, Megatron sends Waspinator to investigate. On the Maximals' side, Silverbolt returns to the Maximal base, unable to locate Cheetor (and a little jealous of Blackarachnia's concern for Cheetor). Optimus Primal confronts Depth Charge and threatens him, forcing to tell the whole story to him. Reluctantly Depth Charge tells Optimus about the Transmetal Driver, and how he had gotten rid of it.

Cheetor finds himself awake, back in his Transmetal form, completely repaired. Waspinator leads an unhappy Dinobot towards the cave. After getting rid of Waspinator, Dinobot begins the hunt proper. Cheetor arrives again in front of the Maximal base, telling the others that he has taken care of the cat monster. Optimus takes Cheetor somewhere private under the guise of recovering the monster's remains, then urges Cheetor to tell him the truth. Dinobot chooses that moment to strike, and the sight of the downed Optimus causes Cheetor to morph back into his Transmetal 2 form, and he begins to battle with Dinobot and Waspinator. When Maximal help arrives, the Predacons retreat. Optimus Primal manages to bring Cheetor back to his senses. Back at the base, Cheetor flirts with Blackarachnia, who is actually more interested in Cheetor's technology than in the person.

Featured Transformers: Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Rhinox (dream and present), Blackarachnia (dream and present), Silverbolt (dream and present), Dinobot II, Waspinator, Megatron, Depth Charge

REVIEW
(Six out of ten)
Rather dull, because of its predictability. Cheetor's upgrade to Transmetal 2 is predictable, and is not worth two episodes to tell. Rather, it would be much better to have the change happen because of some other factor throughout the entirely of Season Three and focus this two-parter to introduce the new Dinobot. The scripting for this episode is rather sub-par, and the confrontation between Optimus Primal and Cheetor kind of feels rather emo. But then I'm not exactly Cheetor's biggest fan, so my opinion is a little biased. The whole 'werewolf'-ish brouhaha is banal, and all-too-predictable. Who was fooled that TM2 Cheetor really is Cheetor?

I love Waspinator and Dinobot's little camaraderie, especially after Waspinator getting very little screentime for the past few episodes. Rattrap's sarcasm and Depth Charge's hostility are back, as is Blackarachnia's self-centered plans. Silverbolt is golden as well, seemingly not willing to track down Cheetor out of jealousy in that reluctant little love triangle. However, these aren't enough to stop this being one of the duller episodes in Beast Wars, mostly because it tries to introdump another set of new toys and gimmicks. And unlike Transmetals and Fuzors, this isn't exactly the best sci-fi origin. Making this as an analog of teenagers, doesn't help the episode either. Although compared to stuff from Armada or Energon, this episode still isn't really bad per se, just below the high standard that Beast Wars sets.

NOTES
Alright, so Cheetor is now a Transmetal two. Transmetal twos have glowing sparks that could apparently have all sorts of wacky abilities (traveling at Mach 2, regeneration and being generally a kickass in Cheetor's case) that stem out of the coloured spark. However, TM2 Cheetor doesn't really get to display much of his abilities for the screentime that he was on. Cheetor's spark is now stored his thigh.

A Beast Warrior regressing into his feral senses was last seen in 'Call of the Wild', although this is more a homage of werewolf stories.

In Cheetor's room there are lots of junk, as the customary for these quarters. Of interest is a portrait of Blackarachnia (the kiddie-crush hinted on earlier), the potted plant seen in some scenes from season one, a photo of pre-Transmetal Cheetor and Optimus Primal, a model of the Axalon, three spare tails (!), a model of a wacky solar system, a model of a Cybertronian city, a trophy, and a holographic clock similar to the one that Megatron uses in 'Coming of the Fuzors'.

Optimus Primal's line to Depth Charge about tearing his head open and reading what's inside is familiar to a similar line from Blitzwing in the G1 episode 'Triple Takeover'.

Cheetor's change from Transmetal to Transmetal 2 is also accompanied with a change of personality from childish kid to rebellious teenager.

GOOFS
Yes, plot advancement and everything, but it's pretty daft that the Maximals don't realize that the monster cat coming out of Cheetor's room is really Cheetor when the Predacons were able to do so within moments.

How could Waspinator 'smell' Cheetor when Silverbolt (who is part-dog) evidently couldn't earlier on? Evidence points to the jealousy factor, or some sort of wacky Transmetal 2 stuff again...

Waspinator goes from being paper-shredded into perfectly fine with an arm on a sling within minutes, although this is more of a gag than a real error.

Quote, Unquote
Blackarachnia: "Any sign of our tabby?"
Silverbolt: "Oh, not so much as a whisker. Your... concern does you credit."
Blackarachnia: "I'm full of surprises." [winks]

Optimus Primal: [to Depth Charge]"You listen, hard-head. Cheetor's gone, and I think you know something, so you will talk, or I will rip out your core processor and extract the information personally."

Waspinator: "Ooooh, Wazzpinator detects stink of unnatural Transmetal!"
Dinobot: [growls]
Waspinator: "Oops. Wazzpinator exclude present company."

Waspinator: "Wait! Need plan! Wazzpinator in charge!"
Dinobot: "I am the plan." [shreds Waspinator]

Cheetor: "I don't see why we have to do this. Don't you trust me?"
Optimus Primal: "Normally, yes–but at the moment, I think you're hiding something."
Cheetor: "I'm not hiding anything! Why is everyone givin' me such a hard time?"
Optimus Primal: "Because we care, and because I think I know the truth. I just want you to trust me enough to tell me."

Rattrap: "Oh, joy... cyber-puberty."

Blackjack 2010-10-17 08:22 AM

Proving Grounds
Written By: Arthur Sellers
Airdate: 14 February 1999
Japanese Title: Love Typhoon

SYNOPSIS
The Maximals examine Blackarachnia's interior structures with an X-Ray machine, and Rhinox finds the location of the shell program that Tarantulas had inserted into Blackarachnia's protoform. A frustrated Blackarachnia snaps at Rattrap (who is suspicious) and Cheetor (who is infatuated), and leaves the Maximal base to clear her head after overhearing Optimus and Rhinox discuss an operation on her. Dinobot II, who is spying on the Maximals, stalks her. Blackarachnia finds herself walking into a secluded forest, and reflects on her situation when she notices Dinobot. After a scuffle, the two begin to hunt each other through the forest. In the Maximal base, Rattrap plays a video game but is evicted by Silverbolt, who uses the computer to locate Blackarachnia, and is surprised to find her in Predacon territory. Silverbolt manages to convince Rattrap not to report this to Optimus Primal, and sets off to rescue his beloved.

Blackarachnia and Dinobot continue their battle, tearing their way through large trees in a deeper, darker woods. Dinobot ultimately manages to trap Blackarachnia under two fallen logs, but Blackarachnia shoots Dinobot at pointblank. She manages to free herself and tries to radio for help, but doesn't notice Dinobot regenerating from his injuries. Fortunately for her, Silverbolt arrives. Meanwhile the other Maximals realize that Silverbolt and Blackarachnia are away, and heads off to help.

Silverbolt arrives near Blackarachnia, but is promptly attacked by Dinobot. Dinobot gains the upper hand, trapping Silverbolt's head in his optic laser, but Blackarachnia shoots Silverbolt, telling Dinobot that the fight is between the two of them. Blackarachnia proposes an alliance with Dinobot, but is rejected. Dinobot attacks, but Silverbolt uses the distraction to stand up, and uses Dinobot's hologram emitter used earlier on to fool Dinobot, and they shoot Dinobot over a cliff. Blackarachnia and Silverbolt argue about Blackarachnia's seeming betrayal. Blackarachnia explains that it was a stalling tactic to fool Dinobot

Blackarachnia tells Silverbolt of her decision to leave the Maximals, not wanting distrust to harm both parties. She headbutts Silverbolt, but it knocks both of them out. Optimus Primal arrives, and Blackarachnia confronts Optimus about the operation she overheard him discussing. Optimus explains that the choice falls to Blackarachnia alone and that the operation would not be forced. Satisfied, Blackarachnia remains with the Maximals.

Featured Transformers: Blackarachnia, Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Rattrap, Dinobot II, Silverbolt

REVIEW
(Eight out of Ten)
A nice little spotlight about Blackarachnia. Blackarachnia's character have been gradually developing episode by episode, and this little confrontation about her true loyalties is well-executed and is a natural development. Her frustration with the Maximals not trusting her, and simply taking a walk to clear her head, is a great character moment. The fight against the new Dinobot in the forest is very moody and brutal, although there are quite a bit of uncomfortable double entrendes in the dialogue between Dinobot and Blackarachnia. The little holoprojector also looks kind of phallic.

The romance between Silverbolt and Blackarachnia is well done, and while it may be a little cheesy, it feels... natural, somewhat. Dinobot II is also a nice foil for Blackarachnia, being a sadistic, people-shredding monster. The new Dinobot seems to be a cross between Rampage and the original Dinobot's personalities, being sadistic yet fair-play at the same time. That little moment where Silverbolt evokes the original Dinobot's memory to convince Rattrap to let him find Blackarachnia is also a nice moment. A great, tense spotlight for Blackarachnia.

NOTES
As of this episode, Blackarachnia now considers herself a Maximal officially. But then it's been that way since the start of season three, only that this is 'official' instead of just an alliance of convenience.

Dinobot's Transmetal two powers allows him to heal himself from his injuries almost instantaneously. Perhaps a side-effect of having half of Rampage's spark?

Rattrap plays a game based on 'Street Fighter' but uses a pixelated version of Transmetal Megatron and a simplified version of Optimus Primal.

Later, Rattrap plays a first person shooter game ala Doom, but instead of demons he shoots Waspinators.

GOOFS
While she is in the X-Ray machine, Blackarachnia's beast mode legs are missing from her hands. Then again, they won't fit there...

The damage on Blackarachnia's body sometimes disappears for short moments during the forest battle.

At one point when the Maximals try to locate Silverbolt and Blackarachnia, a piece of Rhinox's green parts clip through his chest.

Quote, Unquote
Blackarachnia: "What's the matter? Don't you trust me?"
Rattrap: "About as far as an anvil can jump." [Blackarachnia chokes Rattrap] "Of course, I mean that in the best possible way."

Blackarachnia: [to Dinobot] "I'm beginning to like you, skullface. Let's play."

Blackarachnia: "Mood, setting... all I need now is my dance partner."

Dinobot: "Now hold still. This will hurt."

Silverbolt: "You're going to hear the truth if it h-"
Blackarachnia: [headbutts Silverbolt in the face] "Warned you... ooh, not such a... great idea." [Falls to the ground]


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