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Old 2010-02-02, 08:16 AM   #8
Blackjack
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Equal Measures
Airdate: 23 September 1996
Written by: Greg Johnson
Japanese title: "Operation Time Bomb Transfer!"

SYNOPSIS
Optimus Primal watches as a bolt of lightning reveals a cache of energon crystals hidden inside a mountain. He attempts to contact the Maximal base, but the storm outside causes prevents the Maximal leader from sending the transmission clearly.

The other Maximals, meanwhile, are installing energon monitoring devices designed by Rhinox. Cheetor, bored, playes around with a time bomb. Dinobot don't like it and was about to snatch the bomb from the youngster when it was dropped towards the hatch. Fortunately, Optimus Primal was on his way up, and he caught the bomb before it could detonate. The Maximal leader orders the mission to be aborted until the storm fades. The other Maximals are unhappy with this development.

Dinobot enters Cheetor's quarters and suggests that the speedy youngster continue the mission despite the danger posed by the storm as well as the energon. Dinobot tells Cheetor to prove that he's no longer a child, and that Cheetor is the only one who could outrun the storm. Pride takes the better of Cheetor, and he goes off to do the mission.

Outside, Cheetor plants the energon monitoring mechanisms in quick succession. However, a stray bolt of lightning causes Cheetor to accidentally plant one of the devices too close to an energon vein. He tries to remove the device, but a second lightning bolt strikes, and Cheetor finds himself teleported inside the Predacon ship, much to the surprise of an on-duty Terrorsaur.

Terrorsaur welcomes Cheetor to the Darksyde and attacks the Maximal. In the resulting scuffle, Cheetor knocks Terrorsaur into the console that the Predacon had been manning, causing the pteranodon to disappear. Scorponok and Waspinator, attracted by the commotion, arrive and attack, pursuing Cheetor around the Predacon base until the cat hides in the ventilation shafts.

Terrorsaur, meanwhile, finds himself in the Axalon, where Dinobot gives him a friendly reception. The Predacon traitor questions Terrorsaur how he arrived, and the two figure out that a combination of the survey devices, the energon veins and the stormy weather caused a teleporter link between the two bases. Terrorsaur seems to convince DInobot that the two of them could take out the Maximals and Megatron, and rule together. Dinobot seems to go along, until he suddenly drops the charade and boots Terrorsaur into a waste disposal unit, which shoots him out of the Axalon.

Meanwhile, Cheetor continues to flee from Scorponok and Terrorsaur, and manages to elude the two long enough to hack the Predacons' data files, and figures that both bases sit alongside an Energon vein, so an explosion at one base would obliterate the other one. However, as soon as he downloads the data, the Predacons corner him.

At the Axalon, Optimus confronts Dinobot, and causes the former Predacon to tell him about the link between the two bases. Dinobot convinces Optimus Primal that Cheetor would've been destroyed by now, and tells Primal to send the time bomb through the link. Primal agrees, but he insists that the timer must be set with enough time to allow the Predacons to evacuate. Neither of them know that the destruction of the Predacon base would also blow the Axalon up.

Meanwhile, Cheetor throws the data storage device through the link, which transports it into the Axalon. However, before he or the Predacons could do anything, the time bomb appears in the console, forcing Megatron to allow Cheetor time to defuse the bomb. However, there wasn't enough time, so Cheetor throws it to Terrorsaur, who flies the bomb out of the base (and gets blown up for his trouble). Cheetor jumps into the console, disappearing through the link. The Predacons try to fire at Cheetor, but their attacks destroy the console. Furthermore, Cheetor's transport through the posts shatter them, destroying the link between the two bases.

Afterwards, Rhinox and Rattrap congratulate Cheetor's efforts at preventing the Axalon from being blown up. Apparently, Cheetor didn't tell anyone that Dinobot talked him into it, but it doesn't stop the velociraptor from stalking off. Primal tells Cheetor to obey orders, and Cheetor says that he will. Until next time, anyway.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Rattrap, Dinobot, Cheetor, Terrorsaur, Waspinator, Scorponok, Megatron

REVIEW
(Four cubes out of ten)
Well, how to put it? There are several good points this episode. Cheetor and Terrorsaur are no doubt the stars, with Cheetor's brashness and naiviety, as well as Terrorsaur's luckless ambitions to betray Megatron, being put up front. Dinobot's manipulation of his fellow Maximals is wonderfully done as well, and the moment where he makes it clear that he won't betray them (by booting Terrorsaur out) are wonderful moments of character. The Scorponok/Waspinator duo deserve a mention too, being very hilarious in their dialogue.

However, the plot itself is rather dodgy and pretty weird, even in Transformer standards. The energon vein is never mentioned again in any other episode, and some of the action scenes are dull, such as Cheetor's emo posturing in beast mode when Scorponok and Waspinator blast him. Still, not a bad episode, but another one which you could skip without missing anything.

NOTES
Terrorsaur greets Cheetor by welcoming him to the 'Dark Side'. While the episode script was intending for Terrorsaur to be dramatic, but some transformer fans thought that the Predacon was being literal and that the Predacon ship was named the 'Darkside'. This bit of fandom term would be canonized by Japanese game 'Beast Wars: Transmetals', as well as BotCon story 'Dawn of Future's Past'. However, to avoid trademark issues, it was parsed as 'Darksyde'. Seriously.

Scorponok's missile again has the 'Maximal kill' insignia stamped on it, although it has Predacon ones in 'the Web'.

After Cheetor escapes from the vents, the forehead crown on his head falls out on a spring. In the immediate next scene, it's back on his head. This doesn't go in goofs as it's more of a 'Looney Tunes'-esque cartoony damage, which appear occassionally in the Beast Wars.

Dinobot calls Terrorsaur 'Needlenose' before he flushes the Predacon out of the base. While this is mainly a reference to the pteranodon's long beak, it might be a veiled reference at the G1 Decepticon with the same name.

GOOFS
When Optimus Primal tosses the time bomb in his hand, it moves in an odd way, as if he was throwing it at the other direction.

The energon vein disappears after this episode. According to Cheetor, the destruction of one of the two bases would destroy the other. Explosions would happen frequently between the two bases. Even though the Quantum Explosion at the end of Season One would've neutralized said energon vein, it still doesn't explain how giant explosions which happen in both Predacon and Maximal bases (in episodes such as 'Victory' or 'Possession') doesn't destroy the other.

Quote, unquote
Terrorsaur: "Welcome to the Dark Side!" (replace with Darksyde if desired)

Cheetor: -in robot mode- "Cheetor, maximi.. did that already."

Scorponok: "He's gone into the vents! You better report this to Megatron."
Waspinator: "Me? You're second-in-command!"
Scorponok: "So make it an order!"

Terrorsaur: "Hey, what are you doing? We're partners!"
Dinobot: "In case you had not realized, Needlenose... I am not a team player."

Cheetor: "Okay, okay. I'll never do that again! Until the next time."
 


Last edited by Blackjack; 2010-02-27 at 01:13 PM.
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