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Old 2010-04-02, 05:05 AM   #31
Blackjack
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Spider's Game
Airdate: 6 January 1997
Written By: Larry DiTilio
Japanese Title: "Inferno, The Ant Warrior From Hell"

SYNOPSIS
Another stasis pod falls out of orbit. Tarantulas detects it first at his base, and sends out a magnetic pulse which disrupts the sensors of the Maximal and Predacon bases. Tarantulas sets off towards the landing site, but Blackarachnia discovers what he's up to and insists on accompanying him.

Tigatron, being out in the wild, also sees the pod but couldn't comm the other Maximals, so he sets out to intercept the pod alone. On the way, however, he meets Airazor (who helps him bat off Waspinator). Tigatron tells Airazor to get to the fallen pod first. Meanwhile, at the crash-site, Tarantulas and Blackarachnia arrive to pick a spider alt-mode for the protoform, but Tarantulas is able to reprogram the protoform into a Predacon.

The new Predacon, Inferno, emerges from his pod, but he attacks the two spiders, and begins patrolling the stasis pod. Tarantulas deduces that Inferno's beast instincts has overridden his logic circuits, and he thinks that he's a real soldier ant defending his colony, which is the stasis pod. Tarantulas wants no damage done to the pod and prevents Blackarachnia from firing on it.

Airazor arrives at the scene, but Inferno takes her out with Blackarachnia's help. While Blackarachnia talks to Inferno to convince him that the spiders aren't his enemy, Tarantulas makes off with his real goal—the stasis pod. Inferno pursues Tarantulas, with Blackarachnia behind him. Tigatron arrives, helps Airazor up and tells her to go back to base while he chases the Predacons.

As Tarantulas gets closer to his lair, Inferno catches up and demands the 'colony' to be returned. Tarantulas manages to slow Inferno down with his web, but Scorponok arrives, telling them that Megatron wants the pod. Before any of the Predacons could respond, however, Tigatron arrives and blows the pod up. The Predacons make short work of him. Megatron arrives on the scene shortly after, and the two spiders beat it. Inferno is enraged at the colony's destruction, and Megatron, impressed, tells the new Predacon to finish off the destroyer of the colony, namely Tigatron.

However, Optimus Primal and Airazor arrive, blowing Inferno into a million pieces. Megatron tells Scorponok to restore Inferno, while the Maximals bring Tigatron back to base. Back in Tarantulas' lair, he monologues about the planet being doomed, and the pod's destruction sealed his fate with it. Blackarachnia observes this, and deduces that Tarantulas might be planning to convert the pod into an escape shuttle, but is unable to find out more from the secretive Tarantulas.

Featured Transformers: Tarantulas, Megatron, Scorponok, Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Blackarachnia, Tigatron, Waspinator, Airazor, Inferno

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
Oh, this is great. Inferno isn't the star of this episode, although the plot centers around him, and he's a wonderful and unique character. Where else, other in the context of BW, could you get a fanatically loyal troop who thinks Megatron is his 'queen'? Tarantulas, however, steals the spotlight, with Blackarachnia being a decent sidekick. Tarantulas' scheming, as well as the fact that this would tie into the overall plot of Season One, with hints of the aliens again and escaping the planet, is well done. This is a self-standing episode, yet ties heavily into the overall plot. I like that.

Blackarachnia's treacherous and female-fatale nature is shown yet again in this episode, and it seems that she's avoiding Megatron for a while after the events of 'The Trigger'. Tigatron and Airazor are not potrayed as strong as before, but it's okay since the Maximals are not shown much. After all, it's a Predacon-centric episode. And I'm a sucker for the bad guys. They're so much interesting than the good guys.

NOTES
This episode is the debut of Inferno. It's also the only Season One episode without Terrorsaur.

At one point, when Tigatron hits his head, a Looney Tunes-esque cuckoo bird sound effect is played.

Tarantulas wants to use the stasis pod as an escape pod in case the aliens come back. He apparently have been planning this for quite some time, as he seems delighted when he detected Blackarachnia's stasis pod crashing. He's probably anxious because of the Floating Island incident in the previous episode.

Tigatron's beast mode face bleeds at the end of the episode. It's kind of weird, since Cheetor said Transformers don't have blood back in 'The Web'. This might mean that the Beast Mode parts do have some sort of organic matter in it (thereby explaining the bestial instincts overtaking personalities for some transformers), or that mech fluid is red in colour.

Inferno is blown into lots of little bits, with his head still able to talk after it's decapitated. It's a curious coincidence that only the insect-mode transformers' heads could still function when they're blown off (Waspinator's head functions everytime it's blown off, and that's a lot of times) but Terrorsaur and Megatron's heads never speak during the times they were blown apart. Curiously, some insects (like cockroaches) could live for some time with their heads chopped off.

GOOFS
Inferno's Beast Mode is too big compared to his stasis pod. It's very obvious at the scene where he crawls out of it.

The pattern on Tarantulas' spider abdomen changes when he transforms after Inferno catches up with him.

When Inferno spins his abdomen-jet after he breaks free from the web, it clips through his leg.

Quote, Unquote
Blackarachnia: -on Inferno's Beast Mode- "Ew, another insect. So depressing."

Inferno: "Spiders, dare invade the colony? Inferno, terrorize!"

Tigatron: "You won't be getting any of our secrets from that pod, Predacons!"
Blackarachnia: "And you won't be getting any older, stripes."

Blackarachnia: "At least consider it. We could be a great team." -walks away- "Lunatic."
Tarantulas: "Witch."
 
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