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Old 2010-03-26, 11:44 AM   #28
Blackjack
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The Spark
Airdate: 11 November 1996
Written By: Larry DiTillio
Japanese Title: "Falcon Warrior Airazor"

SYNOPSIS
One of the stasis pods orbiting around the planet plummets down to the surface. Megatron dispatches Scorponok and Blackarachnia to retrieve it. Meanwhile, Rhinox happens to be around the general area, noting that the raw energon deposits in the area. He also sees the pod going down, but is unable to comm the base due to the energon radiation. He rushes to the pod's landing site. Elsewhere, Cheetor also sees the same thing, but is able to call Tigatron for backup before speeding there.

Rhinox is the first to arrive, but his robot mode is in risk of damage from the energon radiation. However, if Rhinox doesn't repair the stasis pod, the protoform will die. Meanwhile, Tigatron takes out Scorponok in the pursuit, but is taken down himself by Blackarachnia.

Cheetor arrives at the landing crater, and Rhinox tells him that Cheetor needs to donate some parts to save the protoform. Cheetor deactivates himself to allow Rhinox to take out the hardware. While in deactivation, Cheetor gets a vision of Rhinox teaching him of the concept and existence of sparks. He wakes up to see Rhinox install the hardware into the protoform. Meanhwile, Blackarachnia arrives in the battlefield, and Cheetor heads out to battle her, finally managing to defeat the Predacon. However, Terrorsaur and Waspinator arrive, and Cheetor lure them away from the stasis pod, since his robot mode couldn't take the radiation anymore.

Rhinox interfaces his own systems with the stasis pod to revive the protoform, but the feedback traps him in Beast Mode. Cheetor manages to trick Waspinator into flying into a geyser, but Terrorsaur takes out Cheetor easily, and flies towards the pod. However, the stasis pod activates and scans a bird circling overhead, and the pod opens to reveal the new Maximal falcon. Revealing her name to be Airazor, she literally blasts Terrorsaur into a dozen pieces. Later, the Maximals are introduced to Airazor in their base, with Rhinox quoting the words in Cheetor's vision about sparks coming online cryptically.

Featured Transformers: Tarantulas, Megatron, Rhinox, Cheetor, Tigatron, Scorponok, Blackarachnia, Waspinator, Terrorsaur, Airazor, Optimus Primal, Rattrap

REVIEW
(Six out of Ten)
The fight scenes are certainly well done, as is the suspense as Cheetor battle against the Predacons to give time for the stasis pod to be repaired. This episode is also the first time Blackarachnia actually did something other than just being a wallpaper flower. The larger problem in this episode is rather Airazor herself. While a decent debut episode for the falcon Maximal, it reeks of the 'New Toy Syndrome'. Any new character introduced will be able to defeat any opponent sent in his/her way. While this is not true all the time in the Beast series (Inferno and Blackarachnia didn't win during their respective debuts) it is worth mentioning that Airazor brutalises Terrorsaur and blasts him into lots of little pieces in under a minute. She never does that again.

Personally I don't really like Airazor, not the way I like, say, Dinobot or Waspinator. She's an okay character, introduced certainly to add more flyers and a female into the Maximal ranks. However, she's just so... bland and boring. Oh, and this episode introduces sparks for real, although using Cheetor's dream to introduce them is a little corny.

NOTES
This episode is the first appearance of Airazor, although her falcon CG model had been seen several times before, most notably in 'Power Surge'. In Japan, her gender's changed into a male. That's right, because they think that little boys don't want to buy toys of girl warriors. So since Airazor isn't as... prominently female as Blackarachnia, she gets a gender-switch. This wouldn't be the first time it'll happen, either. Airazor will be changed back into a girl in the BW Metals manga (because her toy has boobs).

This episode also debuts the concept of sparks as the soul/spirit of Transformers, as mentioned before.

As a little foreshadowing to Tarantulas' secret agenda, he snickers evilly to himself when he observes the pod landing. It's a safe bet that he'll go and reprogram the pod by himself (as he tried to do with Inferno's pod) if Megatron hadn't been watching behind his shoulder.

We get a first clear look at a Protoform's body in this episode. In previous cases, we only see an arm (Tigatron) or glimpses of a modified Megatron CG model (Blackarachnia).

Oh, and Cheetor's prophetic dreams come again in this episode, with him foreseeing Rhinox's final line in the episode. Also, the sparks in Cheetor's vision is of many different kinds, although most other sparks are light blue in colour. Of course, Transmetal 2 and Techno-organic sparks, seen much later in the series (and its sequel) are differently coloured, so you might chalk it up to more of Cheetor's prophetic visions.

GOOFS
Why didn't Megatron dispatch Terrorsaur and Waspinator in the first place? They would've reached the pod before Cheetor did.

Cheetor is able to comm Tigatron, so why didn't he call for more reinforcements? For the matter, why didn't Tigatron?

Rhinox asks Cheetor what he's doing at the pod landing site, when it should've been obvious.

Vision Rhinox calls the Transformer race 'Cybertrons'. It should be either 'Cybertronians' or 'Transformers'.

Quote, Unquote
Blackarachnia: (to Scorponok) "Just as Megatron said, just as Megatron said! Don't you ever get tired of groveling to that saurian?"

Rhinox: "When a Spark goes online, there is great joy. When one is extinguished, the universe weeps."

Cheetor: (to BA) "By the way, how do you dance with all those skinny legs?"

Blackarachnia: "You don't know what fast is, furball."
Cheetor: "I know what ugly is, and you're it!"
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2010-03-28 at 02:15 AM.
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