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Old 2010-03-19, 03:30 PM   #23
Blackjack
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Gorilla Warfare
Written by: Greg Johnson
Airdate: 14 October 1996
Japanese Title: "The Assassin Virus"

SYNOPSIS
Optimus Primal and Dinobot are out on a scientific mission to observe plants, and the two argue a bit on the importance of studying the plants. A weird plant shoots a spiky seed onto Dinobot's back in the process, much to the warrior's chagrin. Just then, Scorponok ambushes them, and manages to launch his Cyberbee drone onto Primal's chest. However, the Predacon is swiftly defeated.

Back at the base, Primal is placed in the CR chamber, while Dinobot explains that the Cyberbee is a viral carrier designed to infect Optimus' core systems, causing him to be humbled and turn a coward. Rhinox deduces that since the Cyberbee is directly connected to Optimus' core systems, removing the Cyberbee would be impossible without seriously damaging the Maximal commander, which would trigger a self-destruct sequence.

As they discuss their next move, a beserk Optimus Primal tears the CR chamber apart. Apparently, since Scorponok had designed it, the Cyberbee had caused the opposite effect of what it's designed for, causing Primal to know absolutely no fear at all, essentially making him an angry killing machine. However, in his current state Primal is a danger to himself and the Maximals, and he's still at risk from the system drain of the Cyberbee. Clutching on the last strands of sanity, he orders his troops to lock him up.

However, soon after Primal convinces Cheetor that they could use the mine against the Predacons, causing the young Maximal to release him. However, the rest of the Maximals disagree with the plan, causing the unstable Maximal leader to fly off in a rage towards the Predacon base. Dinobot suggests that they think like the old Optimus, and proposes negotiating with the Predacons for the antivirus. However, their attempt only serves to give the Predacons warning of Optimus' oncoming assault. With no other options, the four Maximals grudgingly head out to support Optimus' assault.

Primal blasts his way in, taking out Tarantulas and Waspinator in quickly and brutally. Outside, the Maximals square off against Blackarachnia and Terrorsaur, giving Cheetor a chance to run into the base and support their leader. Meanwhile, Primal makes short work of the rest of the Predacons, until he comes face-to-face with Megatron, who gives him an ultimatum: submit to Predacon rule and live, or refuse the cure and die.

Inspired by the plant's will to survive from the earlier science mission, Primal chooses a third option and rips the Cyberbee off from his chest, activating the drone's self-destruct sequence. He throws it at Megatron, where the bee attaches itself on the Predacon's back, just like what the plant did when it shot its seed on Dinobot. Unable to reach the Cyberbee, Megatron drops the antidote and runs to Scorponok for help. Cheetor arrives in time and administers the antidote to Primal. The Maximals bail out, just in time for the Cyberbee to blow up.

Primal comes to in his quarters, finding Dinobot watching over him. He says some cheesy words, saying that he's glad that the monkey is back, before exiting the quarters. Dinobot had apparently brought Primal a sample of the plant they had studies earlier.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Dinobot, Scorponok, Cyberbee (destroyed) Rattrap, Cheetor, Rhinox, Megatron, Terrorsaur, Blackarachnia, Tarantulas, Waspinator

REVIEW
(Seven out of Ten)
The plot is basically reused plot #524, namely the heroic leader goes crazy and tries to kill someone. But the main treat would be Dinobot’s character development. Through the several episodes which had transpired between ‘Beast Wars (Part One)’ and this one, Dinobot has warmed up from being a power-hungry warrior who challenges Primal’s leadership every single moment to a competent team player. In this episode there are several moments where the ex-Predacon advises the other Maximals to follow what Primal would usually do. While not submissive like, say, Cheetor, both Rattrap and Dinobot are now better soldiers and actually listen to orders. Character development – they don’t turn into this within one episode, but rather after several episodes. And even then Dinobot would still show insubordination several times as the series goes on.

Scorponok messing up the Cyberbee programming is believable and entertaining enough, and the plot keeps recalling the introduction where Primal and Dinobot sees the alien plant. Primal beating the crap out of the Predacons is badass, although what else would be expected from the Maximal leader? Megatron is a decent enough villain, with melodramatic posturing and gambling, although he does come off as bumbling during some of the early episodes. Which is part of his charm, really… The episode is unnecessarily cheesy at some moments, but overall one of the better early episodes.

NOTES
This episode has the reference to a spark (as in the lifeforce/soul/central part/bright floating thingy of a transformer) in Transformer lore.

The title of the episode is a pun on the phrase 'guerilla warfare', which means sudden attacks carried out by an unofficial military group, usually a small one which intents to change the government.

This episode features some of the alien plants that are definitely not from Earth. These alien plants are most probably Vok creation, as seen by their penchant for plant-like weapons in ‘Other Visits’.

The first appearance of the Predacon-styled Cybertronix font could be seen in the computer screen in Scorponok’s lab. I can’t be bothered to translate it, though. You have to go to someone who’s interested for that.

The scene where Optimus Primal’s footsteps echo around the corridors, and afterwards his arm punches through a wall to brutally drag Waspinator is a reference to a similar sequence in RoboCop. Primal impaling Tarantulas on his own dart might be a reference to some movie too, but I can’t remember what exactly…

GOOFS
Although the Maximals make a huge deal out of ‘the Cyberbee’s self-destruct will destroy everything and kill Primal Oh em gee!’, Megatron and Scorponok manage to survive the explosion even though they are at ground zero. But that’s probably just Rhinox being a ham. Still, you can’t deny that the Cyberbee makes a big hole on the Predacon base.

Scorponok’s visor turns red yet again in this episode, instead of its normal yellow shade, during the scene where Primal blasts him towards a log. The timing when he fires his missiles seem a little awkward as well.

Quote, Unquote

Dinobot: "If we encounter any of Megatron's forces, you may learn that it is unwise to dally with plants."

Dinobot: "Yes, from now on I shoot my dinner salad before I eat it."

Rattrap: "As much as I'd love to see both of you scrap yourselves, save it for my birthday."

Cheetor: "It didn't work. All we did was tip them off, and they're gonna be waiting for him! You and your bright ideas!"
Dinobot: "It would appear that only Optimus can truly think like Optimus. For the rest of us we must now think on our own."
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2010-03-22 at 10:10 AM.
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