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Old 2010-03-25, 02:07 PM   #26
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Dark Designs
Airdate: 4 November 1996
Written By: Ian Weir
Japanese Title: "Rhinox Rampages"

In an energon vein, the Maximals meet with failure as the energon they were searching for is inaccessible. The Predacons attack them, but they are saved by Rhinox, who cause a rockslide which takes out all the Predacons. The Maximals return to base, jubilant because of their victory. Meanwhile, at the Predacon base, Megatron determines that Rhinox is one of the major threats to their war, and orders Tarantulas to capture the lumbering Maximal. The spider heads out and finds Rhinox lagging behind the other Maximals, and takes him out with a dose of cyber venom.

The Maximals realise that Rhinox had disappeared. Rattrap uses his communicator to listen through Rhinox's, and were able to eavesdrop on the events in the Predacon base where Megatron uses an evil device called the 'Transmuter' to reprogram Rhinox into a Predacon. Although the Maximals are outnumbered, Primal plans to wait for a while before the Maximals rescue Rhinox, smiling conspiratorily.

In the Predacon basae, Megatron and the reprogrammed Rhinox plots on how to destroy the Maximals. However, the computer they were using fizzles out, and Megatron sends off Rhinox to check up on Scorponok's repair of the system. The computer system's damage was actually Rhinox's doing, and when he arrives to check on Scorponok, the brainwashed Maximal topples massive crates of hardware on the Predacon. Megatron and Waspinator arrive later, without any idea of who took out Scorponok. Waspinator places Scorponok into a restoration chamber, but as he does so Rhinox slams a large piece of weight on top of Waspinator, driving him, literally, nuts, flying around the base claiming that he is Shrapnel or Wonko the Sane. Terrorsaur witnesses this, and tries to make an ally out of Rhinox for overthrowing Megatron. Rhinox refuses, and beats up the treacherous Predacon. Meanwhile, Megatron discovers that Tarantulas and Blackarachnia have been poisoned.

Meanwhile, Primal explains the plan to the rest of the Maximals: leave Rhinox in the evil state, so that the brainwashed Maximal will run over the Predacons. But just in case Megatron has an ace up his sleeve, the Maximals are ready to mount a rescue. Meanwhile, a repaired Scorponok informs Megatron of Rhinox's treachery, and the furious Predacon leader decides to kill Rhinox. Megatron, Scorponok and Terrorsaur confronts Rhinox, but the brainwashed Maximal uses Terrorsaur's attempt at treachery as well as Scorponok's blind loyalty to turn the two Predacon goons at each other. Rhinox easily takes them out, and opens fire on Megatron.

Rhinox taunts Megatron and monologues about who's the boss, without realising that he has stepped into the Transmuter. Megatron activates the machine, converting Rhinox back into his old self. The Maximals, hearing this, blast into the Predacon base to rescue Rhinox. During the battle, a stray shot from the still-crazy Waspinator blows up the Transmuter. The Maximals escape, and afterwards joke around about the Predacons' personality flaws.

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

(Seven out of Ten)
While the plot device is another rip-off of a G1 'Weapon of the Week', the episode is so wonderfully done. It's very hilarious, and the scripting is amazing. Primal even shows some Rodimus-esque cold-bloodedness by allowing his teammate to get brainwashed in order to rough up the Predacons some. It's a nice spotlight for Rhinox, who so far hadn't done much other than to be the stereotypical scientist or old mentor.

The situation in the Beast Wars actually gives more credence to the Predacons' 'Weapon of the Week'. Why didn't the Predacons rebuild the Transmuter and reprogram, say, Optimus Primal? Because Waspinator blew the device up and there's not enough resources to scavenge in order to rebuild it again. Also, the comedy parts of this episode, like Primal and Rhinox quoting Megatron’s “Yessss”, or Waspinator’s mad ramblings, are wonderful gags. All in all, a hilarious episode, and one of the better ones in Season One.

The concept of Rhinox being reprogrammed into evil, only to have Rhinox being a better villain than Megatron, would be one of the major plot points in Beast Machines. Also, Rhinox gets a little repainted when he turns evil. Namely, all the brown fleshy bits turn purplish-brown, while all the gold parts turn silver.

Cheetor’s line ‘Better dead than Pred’ seems to be a reference to the anti-communist slogan ‘Better dead than red’ from the 1950s.

When Waspinator is driven bonkers by Rhinox, he references thinks that he is Shrapnel, the Insecticon from G1 continuity. He also repeats every last syllable in his sentences several times, a reference to how Shrapnel always repeats the last word in his sentences in the G1 cartoon, cartoon. He also sings the ‘More than Meets the Eye’ catchphrase. Waspinator also references Wonko the Sane, a fictional character created by Douglas Adams. Wonko the Sane is also a tribute to transformers fan Ben Yee, whose online username was Wonko the Sane at that time.

Optimus Primal and Rhinox say “Yesssss”, a joke on Megatron’s catchphrase when the Predacon leader is plotting.

The scene where Optimus Primal brandishes his swords, before Megatron lazily shoots him down, might be a reference to the fight between Indiana Jones and a Cairo swordsman in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Dinobot forcing Scorponok’s face onto his spinning blade weapon might also be a reference to the death of the German engineer in that same movie.

The time it took for Tarantulas to lug the unconscious Rhinox back to the Predacon base must’ve been some time. Even if the other Preds helped him, it would’ve taken some time; and the other Maximals should’ve noticed it.

When the Maximals are eavesdropping near the Predacon base, Dinobot is standing (seemingly floating) above a lava stream.

Evil Rhinox blasts Megatron’s kneecaps during their battle, preventing the Predacon leader from moving too much. However, when the rest of the Maximals burst in, he has no trouble running around and battling with them.

The length of Dinobot’s spinning sword weapon varies during the final battle.

Quote, unquote
Megatron: -finds flattened Scorponok- "Idiot! What have you done?!"
Waspinator "Idiot does not respond! Idiot is comatose!"

Waspinator: "Destroy all Autobot-bot-bots!"
Megatron: "Waspinator, what are you buzzing about?"
Waspinator: "Waspinator negative-negative-negative. I am Shrapnel, Decepticon hero-o-o-o-o!"
Blackarachnia: "Shrapnel? That was a Decepticon from the great wars three centuries ago. He's wacko."
Waspinator: "Wacko? No! Wooonko! Wonko the Sane!" -punches himself-

Evil Rhinox: "Well, what do you know? I win. Reprogamming me was the worst mistake you ever made cause now that I'm a Predacon, I'm just a little too crafty for you."
Megatron: "Yes, I see this now."
Evil Rhinox: "It's called irony, sport. I take over, and you head straight for the recycling bin, yessss."
Megatron: "So it would seem. And even now, Rhinox, you're teaching me a valuable lesson."
Evil Rhinox: "Yeah? Whassat?"
Megatron: "Sometimes, Predacons gloat too much!" -activates gizmo-
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