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Old 2010-05-16, 01:49 AM   #43
Blackjack
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Tangled Web
Airdate: 16 November 1997
Written By: Len Wein
Japanese Title: Grand-slam Tarantulas

SYNOPSIS
Megatron assigns Tarantulas, Blackarachnia and Quickstrike to develop a refueling station at a newly-detected cache of energon cubes. Meanwhile, Waspinator and Inferno are sent to construct a jamming tower. As the Predacons move out from their base, Tarantulas sneaks a transmitter into Quickstrike's equipment, apparently to attract the Maximals. Blackarachnia 'convinces' Quickstrike to help her carry the load.

Meanwhile, Rhinox conducts experiments on Optimus Primal's new Transmetal body to test its limits. The equipment short-circuits. Just then, Cheetor reports of a strange Predacon signal being broadcasted on a Maximal channel. Rattrap and Silverbolt are patrolling nearby and are told to investigate.

Tarantulas, Blackarachnia and Quickstrike arrive at their destination, and Tarantulas is quick in deciding that the site would be a perfect replacement for his old lair, which was destroyed during the Quantum Surge. Changing plans, he destroys the transmitter which is attracting the Maximals. Blackarachnia thinks along the same lines, mentioning it to Tarantulas. Tarantulas tells her about his plan to use the site as a staging ground against Megatron and the Maximals, forcing Blackarachnia to join via their psychic link. Blackarachnia and Tarantulas persuades Quickstrike to join their 'arachnid rebellion'. Meanwhile, Rattrap and Silverbolt loses the signal and are forced to follow their noses to track down the Predacons.

Meanwhile, Megatron relaxes in his CR jacuzzi, and is contacted by Inferno and Waspinator, who have completed the jamming tower. Megatron turns around to contact Tarantulas' team (failing to see the tower collapsing on Waspinator) and is frustrated when he couldn't do so, realising that they are up to something.

Meanwhile, Blackarachnia decides that she has had enough and is determined to terminate the psychic link between her and Tarantulas, threatening to blow up all the energon there. Tarantulas learns that their psychic link goes both ways and that pain is shared between them, so he agrees to break the link. Quickstrike arrives, telling them of the Maximals' arrival. Rattrap and Silverbolt gain the upper hand, but Silverbolt refuses to fight Blackarachnia because she's a girl. Blackarachnia has no such reservations.

After a fierce battle, Rattrap and Silverbolt realises that the Predacons are guarding the cave and attempts to break in. However, the entrance blows up and seals the cave in. Rattrap congratulates Silverbolt, thinking that the Fuzor did it, but Silverbolt claims that he didn't do it. The Predacons retreat to Megatron, and receive a scolding from the Predacon leader. A short time later, it is revealed that Tarantulas blew up the entrance so he could return and claim it as his new lair...

Featured Transformers: Waspinator, Inferno, Quickstrike, Megatron, Tarantulas, Blackarachnia, Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Cheetor, Rattrap, Silverbolt

REVIEW
(Eight out of Ten)
A solid episode. In season two and three, each episode, with the exception of several throwaway episodes, act more like a chapter to a larger story instead of simple slapstick episodes like the original Sunbow cartoon or Season One (to some extent). Yet they still manage to do this whilst still being self-contained, so kudos to the writers. Tarantulas' and Blackarachnia's mind link are starting to get old after three episodes, and thankfully the writers realise this and ended that particular plot device. Both spiders get excellent characterization this episode, which is marvellous since in the first season no Predacon bar Megatron got any serious three-dimensional characterization to themselves. Tarantulas gets more and more sinister and manipulating, nicely built up from the events of 'Other Voices'. Plus, Transmetal Tarantulas has one of the coolest designs of all. Blackarachnia, while still treacherous, is a much realistic character than Starscream or Terrorsaur in her methods. She's more stubborn and independent, and is not afraid to, erm, 'charm' others to do her work. While that scene with Quickstrike is a wee bit... awkward, it's in character. How else will you do seduction in a kids' show about robots?

Silverbolt is a corny to-the-book hero, and is executed wonderfully. He could've gone off as a stereotypical Autobot, but him being over the limit in heroism is simply charming and a stark contrast to the 'dirtier' Maximals like Rattrap and Dinobot. Quickstrike is a fun character, a simple-minded trigger-happy cowboy. Another thing that I love about Beast Wars is that stuff from previous episodes are mentioned. Things like Quantum Surges have impacts throughout an entire season. In season two, the padding scenes are better as well; scenes like Rhinox testing Primal's new Transmetal body is much better to see than, say, having Rattrap and Cheetor race around like hyperactive kids.

NOTES
First hint of feelings between Silverbolt and Blackarachnia. Tarantulas seems to have a thing for her too, being somewhat 'jealous' when Blackarachnia sweet-talks Quickstrike.

Both Tarantulas and Rhinox are experimenting on the Transmetal bodies. Haven't mentioned it before, so here we go. Tarantulas' 'vehicle mode' is a spide-themed motorcycle, while Primal's attack mode involves a surfboard of sorts being made out of kibble, allowing him to fly.

"Grid Arakis" is a reference to a planet from the novel Dune by Frank Herbert.

Tarantulas' line "Of course, you realise this means war" is a quote of an often-used line by Bugs Bunny.

This is not the last time we'll see the jamming tower.

The final line spoken by Tarantulas "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home" is a reference to the traditional song "Home! Sweet Home!" although here it's much more sinister...

GOOFS
Tarantulas' transmitter thing dropped on Quickstrike's pile with a loud clang, but no one seems to notice it.

When Tarantulas says "we do live to please Megatron", the green spider-mode eyes on his chest are missing.

When Quickstrike warns the Spiders about the Maximals, his abdomen is a little messed up.

Quote, Unquote
Rhinox: "Despite my tests, we still don't know what limits these new Transmetal states may have. Perhaps this new bio-gen scan will..." -gizmo fizzes out-"...or perhaps not."

Quickstrike: "Well, just ain't no figurin' a female."
Tarantulas: "Hahah, a fact of life, Fuzor."

Quickstrike: "Destruction's better 'n construction, ya get mah drift?"

Rattrap: "That widow's about as female as a piston."

Tarantulas: "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home. Bwahahahaha!"
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2010-06-10 at 03:58 PM.
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