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Old 2010-05-01, 04:22 AM   #40
Blackjack
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Aftermath
Airdate: 26 October 1997
Written By: Larry DiTilio
Japanese Title: "We're Back"

SYNOPSIS
Following the events of last episode, the Maximals and Predacons all react to Optimus Primal's death. The Maximals are in a state of shock, while the Predacons are celebrating. However, the destruction of the Planet Buster causes a surge of energy which his the planet. In the Maximal base, Rattrap, Cheetor as well as Tarantulas' dead body are affected, causing them to glow. In the Predacon Base, the energy surge rocks it, causing Waspinator to fall into the CR pool, while Megatron, Terrorsaur and Scorponok are all affected by the surge. Scorponok and Terrorsaur lose control of their hover-platforms and collide into each other, and tumbles into their death in the lava below. After the surge has passed, Waspinator emerges from the CR pool, happy to have survived. He sees Megatron, having been upgraded by the surge into a new Transmetal body.

Meanwhile, Rattrap and Cheetor found themselves in new Transmetal bodies as well, and they try out their new Beast and Vehicle modes, but end up crashing into stuff. Tigatron and Airazor goes off to hunt Blackarachnia, who has sneaked off during the chaos. Meanwhile, Blackarachnia is controlled by Tarantulas' mind, and he forces her to leave the Maximal base while dragging Tarantulas' newly-Transmetalized body along. Unnoticed by the spiders, Inferno's severed head, meanwhile, glow back online.

Meanwhile, Rhinox and Dinobot come back online. After Rattrap tells the entire story to them, Dinobot tries to wrestle command, but Rhinox throttles him and forces him to back off. Blackarachnia and Tarantulas escape the Maximal Base, but are intercepted by Tigatron and Airazor. However, Megatron brings a full Predacon assault on the Maximal base (which, technically, amounts to Waspinator and himself). They join forces with the Tarantulas-possessed Blackarachnia, and knock out Airazor and Tigatron.

Rhinox, taking temporary command, sends the two Transmetals outside while Dinobot and himself set up perimeter defences. Inferno, however, having put himself together, barges into the control room and blasts Rhinox. Dinobot attacks the Predacon and a brawl ensues.

Outside, Tarantulas forces Blackarachnia to retreat despite Megatron's (and Blackarachnia's) orders. Waspinator battles Cheetor, but the Maximal's new flight mode sends the Predacon packing. However, Megatron's new Transmetal body is much more powerful than before, and knocks both Cheetor and Rattrap in quick succession, and prepares to kill them.

Meanwhile, Rhinox, having recovered from the blow, grabs Inferno and throws him out of the base lift, and opens fire at Megatron with his 'Chaingun of Doom'. Megatron, realising that all his troops have been knocked out, retreat.

Elsewhere, in a stormy area, three stasis pods are lying in a barren area, their machinery malfunctioning. A hand emerges...

Featured Transformers: Rattrap, Airazor, Tigatron, Cheetor, Blackarachnia, Waspinator, Megatron, Terrorsaur (killed by lava pool), Scorponok (killed by lava pool), Tarantulas, Inferno, Rhinox, Optimus Primal (flashback), Dinobot

REVIEW
A clunky episode, with way too much time spent on advertising the new Transmetal toys. The time spent on Cheetor and Rattrap checking out their new vehicle modes is galling. Terrorsaur and Scorponok also get the lamest death in the entire episode, falling into the lava pool and are subsequently forgotten. It's just poor, rushed writing, really, when characters are killed off like this only to make room for newer Predacon toys.

Also, this episode wraps up most of the loose plot threads from last episode, and restores the status quo. Dinobot challenging the leadership and Rhinox's calm is well-scripted, as is Waspinator and Rattrap. However, it doesn't change the fact that this episode serves simply to advertise the new toys and to reestablish the status quo of the show. While the Transmetal bodies does look cool, they fail to give the episode much meat. And Tarantulas possessing Blackarachnia is just morbid and hastily done.

(Three out of Ten)

NOTES
The Quantum Surge (as it was named later on) only affects the Maximals and Predacons who are not birthed on the planet (Inferno, Airazor, Tigatron and Blackarachnia are not affected) and are not in CR chambers (Rhinox, Dinobot and Waspinator are not affected). Why is this so? Why, because they ain't got Transmetal toys at that time in the market, duh. And for those who actually had, like Terrorsaur or Waspinator, I'll bet that it's too expensive to build that many CG models in such a short time, so...

The flashback shows Primal reaching the center of the moon, which is not seen last episode.

Terrorsaur and Scorponok buy the farm. It's worth noting that they were undergoing the Transmetalization process as they sink under the lava, bringing a loophole which the writers could exploit should their return be needed later on.

Waspinator was the one who's supposed to be killed off, but due to his popularity among fans and the need for comic relief, the writers decided to kill off Scoponok and Terrorsaur instead. This is reflected by Waspy's line when he emerges from the CR pool: "Waspinator is alive... hee hee!"

The Quantum Surge damaged both the Maximal and Predacon bases. The Darksyde's now grey instead of green, and the rear section has collapsed. The Axalon fares no better, and is fractured halfway through. This look would remain for the rest of Season Two and Three, until those ships were destroyed.

Megatron references 'new packaging' when describing the Transmetals.

Cheetor's 'vehicle mode' consists of jet boosters coming out of his sides. Rattrap's 'vehicle mode' consists of his legs retracting and being replaced by wheels. Megatron's vehicle mode consists of either having roller blades, or hoverjets on his thighs.

GOOFS
While being in CR chambers are a nice explanation, it's weird why those birthed on Earth do not suffer from Transmetalization in story context.

Waspinator's gun is destroyed by Cheetor, yet he is still able to transform, although his gun forms his Beast Mode's abdomen.

Rattrap drops his shield, which is one of his hubcaps in Beast Mode. However, when Cheetor crashes onto him, both hubcaps are intact.

Quote, Unquote
Megatron: "Yes, I am good, aren't I? But we can discuss my brilliance later. Now, there is work to be done."

Tarantulas: "I'm here, inside your pretty little head, controlling your pretty little thoughts."
Rattrap: "What's with you two?" -gestures toward crotch- "Is my gear box hanging out or something?"

Megatron: -on Transmetal Maximals- "New packaging. Same product. Losers."
 
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