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Old 2010-03-13, 09:58 PM   #22
Blackjack
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A Better Mousetrap
Airdate: 8 October 1996
Written By: Chris Weber & Karen Willson
Japanese Title: "Goodbye Rattle"

SYNOPSIS
Terrorsaur, Waspinator and Blackarachnia drill a hole through the caverns beneath the Maximal base to deliver a sonic emitter that would clear a path for the Predacons to assault the Maximal base. Waspinator leaves to get something. On board the Axalon, Rhinox shows a holographic simulation of the Axalon's proposed new defences, the Sentinel, to Rattrap and Optimus Primal. However, as they see the holographic forcefield raised, Cheetor reports in, saying that he detects Waspinator flying around in Maximal territory. Optimus Primal and Tigatron (who happen to be in the local area), go and check it out.

Meanwhile, Dinobot is not impressed by Sentinel's non-lethal defences. Rattrap activates some of the defensive measures on to Dinobot to display their effectiveness. Dinobot is nonplussed and breaks free, and in his rage, lunges for Rattrap. However he misses and impales the computer console instead. This causes Sentinel to register the Maximals as intruders. The defensive mechanisms activate, forcing the Maximals to evacuate. Rattrap hides in a ventilation shaft to disable Sentinel.

Meanwhile, Tigatron and Optimus Primal find Waspinator flying around aimlessly in the skies, muttering about how he's going to rule everyone. Primal taps Waspinator's back to get his attention, and the bug flies away. The Maximal leader gives chase, but Waspinator manages to get away. The situation with Sentinel forces Primal to retreat to base, leaving Tigatron to hunt the Predacons alone. He follows Waspinator's scent into a mountain, passing through a holographic projection which hides the entrance.

Meanwhile, Rattrap works his way around the traps and whatnot around the base, with some rather unorthodox methods. Optimus Primal arrives on the base (well, outside it anyway) and gets briefed of the situation by the others.

Tigatron finds the Predacon goons underground in their excavation operation. After a brief scuffle, Tigatron grabs the Predacon device and tries to escape. Blackarachnia demands that he return the explosive, and Tigatron is happy to comply. The explosive detonates, forcing the Predacons to retreat. Tigatron gets out of the blast radius as well, but the underground cavern has collapsed. The danger averted, Tigatron heads to the Axalon.

Rattrap enters the main room. The defences try to terminate him, but he manages to push the big, red button, deactivating Sentinel. Outside, the Maximals witness the shield go out. Rhinox claims this is because Rattrap has been eliminated by the defences. The Maximals all go teary and began to say kind words for the rodent as we fade to black...

And Rattrap steps out of the hatch, alive, well and very smug.

Transformers Featured: Terrorsaur, Blackarachnia, Waspinator, Rattrap, Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Tigatron, Dinobot

REVIEW
(Six cubes out of ten)
Another average episode. So far, there are no blatantly bad episodes, but there are still no particularly impressive ones. Rattrap undoubtedly steals the spotlight in this tightly-knit episode. It's a better spotlight for the rodent than 'Double Jeopardy', simply because it's more believable for the rodent to risk his life in trying to deactivate his base's haywire defences than him being a double agent sent into the Predacon base to find something that might've not existed.

While these early episodes may seem humdrum and a rehash of G1, only with a different setting and less characters, Beast Wars does manage to get a huge amount of characterisation into the works. Especially on episodes with thin plots like this. Wait, the plot sounds very similar to something but I can't place it... ah. 'The House That Wheeljack Built', from Marvel UK. That's got a very similar plot to this one. You know, maybe it's where they got the inspiration for the story.

NOTES
This is the first episode not to feature Megatron in it, although he is briefly glimpsed in the Sentinel simulation.

This is the debut of Sentinel, the Maximal base's defence system. On later episodes, we would often see the forcefield activate to keep out Predacons, although the traps in the base are more seldom seen.

Sentinel sometimes speaks in bleeps and bloops, sound effects which would later be known in Armada as Mini-Con speak.

Despite his posturing on previous episodes, Rattrap is revealed to be quite a useful guy to have on your side during a fight. He's just about the most effective soldier in Primal's employ an excellent marksman, good at sneaking and fooling others, can handle himself in a fight and has a biting wit. What else do you want in a soldier?

Tigatron roams the wild, but is contacted by the Maximals with commlinks if he is needed.

GOOFS
Tigatron's voice actor Blu Mankuma is mis-spelled as 'Blu Mankma' in the credits.

Despite Dinobot and Rattrap making a big deal early in the episode that the defences are non-lethal, they are worried that Rattrap would die. Of course, we need our cheesy moments, don't we?

For being a non-lethal defence systems, Sentinel is pretty dangerous, what with it threatening to terminate Rattrap several times.

A carry-over goof from the previous episode despite Blackarachnia being missing at the end of 'Double Jeopardy', she's back in the Predacon fold now with no explanation.

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: "Waspinator sick of taking orders. Waspinator is greatest of Predacons. Waspinator ruuuuules! Heheheh."
Optimus Primal: "Looks like Waspinator's been on a sugar binge."

Rattrap: "This ain't a security grid, it's a gym just for spy-guys like me!"

Sentinel: "Resistance persists. Upgrading program."
Rattrap: "Oh man, there won't be enough left of me to fill a teaspoon."

Cheetor:" Rattrap? Gone? No way. I don't believe it."
Optimus Primal: "He was a difficult Maximal to deal with. At times, impossible. But I'll remember him with honour."
Dinobot: "I won't disgrace his memory with lies! He was a stinking, omnivorous pestilence! But still, in some perverse way I shall miss him."
Rhinox: "Sure, he smelled bad he was a rat. But he was my best friend."
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2010-03-17 at 11:13 AM.
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