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Old 2010-02-27, 02:37 PM   #18
Blackjack
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Fallen Comrades
Airdate: 30 September 1996
Written by: Bob Forward
Japanese title: Solitary Warrior Tigatron

SYNOPSIS
A stasis pod falls from orbit around the planet, plummeting down and finally crash landing on an icy, deserted sector in the North. Instead of going immediately to obtain the stasis pod, Megatron decides to ambush the Maximals' sole flier, Optimus Primal.

Somewhere outside the Maximal base, Dinobot warns Primal against heading out alone. However, Primal is insistent on heading off to retrieve the stasis pod containing a fellow Maximal. Waspinator and Terrorsaur ambushes Primal, and damage him. However, Dinobot manages to drive them off before they could finish off Primal. In the Predacon base, Megatron continues with his plans. Realising that the Maximals would send a ground party to retrieve the stasis pod, the Maximal base would be undermanned and vulnerable to attack. Megatron sends the airborne Predacons to fetch the pod, while he leads the remaining troops to assault the Maximal base.

Meanwhile, the Maximals run towards the crash site in their beast modes, leaving the damaged Optimus Primal and Dinobot in their base to recuperate. Rhinox urges the Maximals to hurry, as if the pod is damaged the Protoform robot inside will be expired to the unstable energon of the planet. True enough, as the pod opens, the Protoform's hand reaches out and starts to short out from the energon.

However, the Maximals come across an ice bridge above a crevasse. Waspinator and Terrorsaur arrives and after a brief battle, the Predacons blow up the bridge, hindering the Maximals from getting to the pod. Rattrap radios base and informs the status to Dinobot, who in turn accesses Optimus Primal's consciousness in the CR chamber and informs the monkey. Primal suggests that they send a transmission to the pod by bouncing the signal off of something.

A short while later, Megatron, Scorponok and Tarantulas arrive on the Maximal base to witness Dinobot setting up the transmitter on top of the base. Megatron offers Dinobot a chance to return to the Predacon fold, but Dinobot replies by blasting Megs.
However, Scorponok and Tarantulas return fire, damaging Dinobot. Despite this, he still manages to activate. The Axalon's autoguns which quickly takes care of the Predacons. Megatron, seeing that their situation is disadvantaged, orders his troops to fall back and head to the pod's crash site.

With the transmitter in place, Primal is able to bounce a transmission off one of the moons and towards the stasis pods, and the transmission triggers the stasis pod's DNA scanners. The repaired Primal then steps out of the CR chamber, puts the damaged Dinobot inside and flies off.

Waspinator and Terrorsaur struggles to open the pod, and the Maximals, having taken an alternate route, arrives. Before either side could attack, however, Megatron shows up and threatens to kill two white tigers if the Maximals do not surrender the pod. Unable to risk innocent life, the Maximals are forced to watch as Megatron gloats, claiming that he will reprogram the Protoform into a Predacon. He opens the pod... to find it empty. One of the white tiger transforms and introduces himself as the Maximal Tigatron. Tigatron opens fire on the Predacons, and the arrival of Optimus Primal forces the Predacons to retreat.

Primal thanks Tigatron and welcomes him to the team. Tigatron apologises for not acting sooner, as his identity circuits were damaged in the pod's landing and he was not sure who he was until he saw the Maximals were willing to sacrifice their lives to protect others. However, Tigatron declines the Maximals' offer to go to their base, saying that he's more tiger than transformer and feels that his home is in the wild. However, he pledges loyalty to the Maximals as a scout.

?Featured Transformers: Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Cheetor, Terrorsaur, Megatron, Dinobot, Waspinator, Scorponok, Tarantulas, Tigatron
Notable others: Snowstalker

?REVIEW
(Five out of ten)
Well, the build-up of the episode is well done. Megatron's scheming and strategies, the tension of the Maximals as they race to the pod, and it has some comical moments like Waspinator getting flattened by a rock or Scorponok finding himself face-to-face with the autoguns. However, the latter half of the episode suffers from bad scripting. How Megatron got from the Axalon to the crash site in under one minute is a niggling question, and Tigatron's 'new toy' status means he gets to beat up any Predacon in his way.

Regardless, it's a nice debut for Tigatron, although his refusal to join the Maximals and his explanation is very dodgy. Perhaps he just didn't like them? Also, I don't like the Maximals giving up one of their own to save a couple of animals. Protecting humans, a la G1, is a different thing. While it might teach kiddies to love animals, it doesn't make sense in context of the story. Surely the Maximals are made up of sterner stuff? That scene is a little emo, to be honest. But still, a decent episode.

NOTES
This is the first episode centering on stasis pods. Well, a little talk on them. Some sources say that stasis pods, containing protoforms, are like eggs who contain blank slates which are the protoforms inside. The protoforms would be like a newborn transformer, with little or no memory. Most of the transformers birthed from stasis pods do act this way, as newly born (albeit powerful) transformers. However, in several cases, like Rampage, or Grimlock (in the IDW comics), it seems that a pre-existing transformer could be reduced into a protoform-like state and put into sleep in a stasis pod. Sort of. It's kinda fuzzy.

The Predacons plan to reprogram Maximal protoforms with shell programs to boost their forces.

First debut of Tigatron, obviously. Also, that other white tiger with Tigatron, Snowstalker, also makes its debut in the episode.

Tigatron's quote at the end of the episode, "Let the trails lead where they may—I will follow." would serve as his quote in both his Fun Publications bio as well as his Beast Wars Sourcebook bio.

This is also the first appearance for the Maximal Autoguns. Apparently you can avoid getting shot if you stand really, really still. Considering they used to blow a hole in the Darksyde, their power seems to be depleted, since they didn't do that much damage to Scorponok and Tarantulas other than launch them away from the Maximal base.

GOOFS
Waspinator gets flattened (literally) by a huge rock, complete with Looney Tunes effects. However, he doesn't spend any time in the CR Pool or being repaired, and functions normally throughout the episode. Then again, he's Waspinator...

The big one: Terrorsaur, Waspinator and the Maximal trio takes the entire episode to get to the snowly wastelands and the pod, but Megatron manages it in several shots. Optimus Primal's jets excuse him from this fact, but that doesn't change that Megatron gets from the Axalon to the crash site in the same amount of time it took for Optimus to send a signal.

After Optimus is shot down by Waspinator and Terrorsaur, his right shoulder pad is upside down.

When Scorponok shoots Dinobot off the Maximal base's roof, his scorpion legs somehow clips through his chest. This is odd considering Scorpy's scorpion legs aren't supposed to be visible in robot mode.

When Cheetor lowers his gun in surrender, it clips through his leg.

In several shots near the end of the episode, Tigatron's beast-mode legs are yellow instead of white.

Terrorsaur's map of the landmasses look absolutely nothing like Earth, prehistoric or otherwise.

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: -flattened by giant rock- "Ohhhh no. Waspinator in trouble!"

Megatron: "You were a Predacon once, become one again. Turn the base over to me and the Beast Wars will be over. We Predacons will rule the galaxy and you shall be my second in command. What do you say?"
Dinobot: -pretends to consider offer- "Eat slag!"

Rattrap: "You win, you depraved wad of stinkin' slag."
 
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