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Old 2010-07-01, 02:01 PM   #49
Blackjack
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Transmutate
Airdate: 10 March 1998
Written By: Christy Marx
Japanese Title: I'm A Crab

SYNOPSIS
Rampage tries to steal back his spark from a sleeping Megatron, but gets a lesson in pain from the Predacon leader. Megatron then dispatches an Rampage and Inferno to deal with Rattrap, Silverbolt and Cheetor, who are searching for a jamming tower in an unstable mountain range. Optimus Primal, worried about earthquakes, heads out to intercept his troops.

A large earthquake sends several energy discharges, knocking Rattrap and Cheetor under an avalanche. It also uncovers a stasis pod buried in the mountains. Inferno lands beside the pod, which is malfunctioning. Silverbolt takes Inferno out, and both Rampage and he watches as the pod warns that 'deconstruction' is imminent. Rampage urges the powerful spark within to fight its way free, and it does, exploding to reveal its passenger.

Rattrap and Cheetor free themselves from the rubble, and witnesses the new arrival, a grotesque, misshapen creature. Rampage, impressed, tries to convince the newcomer to destroy the Maximals, while Silverbolt offers friendship. The newcomer is confused, but suddenly Inferno emerges, attacking the newcomer by mistake. The newcomer responds with a sonic shriek that knocks the Maximals and Inferno out. Rampage, not affected as badly as the others, leads the newcomer, dubbed 'Transmutate', away. Rampage tells Transmutate that he is its only friend.

Inferno catches up with Rampage and Transmutate, and demands that the creature be returned to Megatron. Rampage nearly comes to blows with Inferno, but a holographic projection of Megatron appears, intrigued with Transmutate. However, when he learns that Transmutate could not transform, Megatron orders that it be destroyed. Rampage asks Megatron to give Transmutate a chance to prove his worth by destroying the Maximals.

Optimus and Silverbolt split up to search for Transmutate, while the others head back. Rampage and Inferno use Transmutate to lure Silverbolt into an ambush. However, Transmutate refuses to finish off Silverbolt, causing Inferno to aim his weapon at the Maximal himself. Seeing this, Transmutate uses a sonic scream to blast Inferno away. Optimus arrives moments later, burying Rampage in a rockslide. Transmutate, seeing Rampage hurt, nearly attacks Optimus until Silverbolt talks him down. Transmutate, able to fly, help Optimus to take the injured Silverbolt back to base. Rampage breaks free and goes off to get Transmutate back.

Meanwhile, Rhinox scans Transmutate and finds that his malformed structure makes it a danger to itself and everyone else. Rhinox recommends putting Transmutate into stasis. Silverbolt argues against this, and in the heat of the argument Transmutate wanders off. Rampage chooses this moment to call him, and Transmutate breaks out of the Maximal base. Silverbolt, angry at the team, stalks off. Optimus Primal then orders the Maximals to find Transmutate.

Rampage welcomes Transmutate into the Predacon fold. Silverbolt arrives and a battle ensues. Transmutate watches the two. As the battle reaches its climax, Rampage and Silverbolt both launch missiles at each other. Transmutate jumps in front of the missiles, crying out 'Stop'. Transmutate uses his power to destroy the missiles, overloading himself in the process.

Rampage cradles Transmutate's dying head in his head as his spark fades away, and Transmutate mumbles some final words. Optimus arrives, but Silverbolt tells Optimus to leave the grieving Predacon alone, for they are 'brothers' for the moment.

Featured Transformers: Megatron, Rampage, Rattrap, Silverbolt, Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Inferno, Rhinox Transmutate (killed)

REVIEW
(Nine out of Ten)
When I read about this episode's summary, I actually thought it was going to be another boring filler episode. However, when I watched it for real, 'Transmutate' is actually a well-done episode. I don't really like Transmutate the character. Sure, he's interesting enough, but Rampage gets the best lines and characterization. Nearly everywhere else, he's a sadistic indestructible monster. Here, he is shown in a more sympathetic light, like how he tries to free himself from Megatron's slavery, and how he reacts to helping a kindred spirit. However, unlike, say, some other portrayals I could name (IDW's ongoing Prowl, IDW's Arcee, Rattrap in that one episode of Beast Machines), Rampage isn't terribly out of character. He's still dark, still hate-ridden, yet considers Transmutate a kindred spirit. It's nice scripting.

Silverbolt, meanwhile, did not get as much screentime to be a friend to Transmutate, so the death feels a little jarred. That moment where he debates with Rhinox over what is morally right and what is the greater good is well scripted, though. Inferno's mindless loyalty is portrayed well too in this episode, and he had some hilarious scenes with Rampage. Transmutate, meanwhile, as the titular character, doesn't get to do much. But when he dies, it gives more of an impact emotionally than, say, Snowstalker or the protohumans. Rampage's anguished roar when Transmutate dies, and Silverbolt's subsequent mercy to Rampage, is rather heartrending. It's a pity that Rampage's little softening isn't followed up in subsequent episodes.

NOTES
First and final appearance for Transmutate. He is voiced by Susan Blu, voice director for the Beast Wars series and original voice actor for G1 Arcee and Marissa Faireborn.

Transmutate can give out a sonic scream and fly. In the dramatis personae in the original script, Transmutate was called a 'she', but in the rest of the script Transmutate is referred to as 'it'. For the purposes of this review I refer to Transmutate as 'he'.

Rattrap claims that Arcee is his great-aunt. Other than a shout-out to fans of the G1 series (and to the fact that Susan Blu voiced Transmutate in this episode) this probably is more of an in-joke than something to be taken as gospel.

Prior to the broadcasting of the episode, an early copy of the script with several... questionable scenes like Rattrap mounting Transmutate, is leaked to alt.toys.transformers, causing some uproar among the fandom. It turned out to be an April Fool's joke among the makers of the series, which got leaked to the public.

GOOFS
Megatron's energon infusion device disappears for a while at the beginning of the episode.

When Rampage drives up the cliff in 'tank' mode and transforms into robot mode, his tank treads simply vanish instead of being retracted/folded in.

Rampage calls the newcomer 'Transmutate' several scenes before he figures out a name for it.

Rampage's kibble is missing when Transmutate first exits his pod. It also disappears when he was about to step on Silverbolt during the final battle. The crab legs and claws are angled wrongly numerous times.

When Silverbolt says 'this one is not for you' part of his wing disappears.

Quote, Unquote
Rampage: "Do not speak. None shall hurt you now. Come with me, come. I will protect you... I am your friend, your only friend."

Rampage: [to Inferno] "Have I told you how much I like ants, hmm? Especially fried in a subtle blend of mech-fluid and grated gears?"

Rampage: "No! You will not have him, Optimus! The darkness of its spark echoes my own! It belongs with me!"

Silverbolt: [to Rhinox putting Transmutate on stasis] "Are we Predacons now? Do we destroy whatever does not fit our definition of perfection?"

Rampage: "I knew you wouldn't fail me. We are two of a kind. We belong together."

Transmutate: "No hurt."

Rampage: [to Silverbolt] "Time to go back to the Matrix, hero!"

Transmutate: "Friend… good. Friend… dark. I… am… hurt."

Silverbolt: "It's over. It's gone. We extinguished its Spark before we ever saw its true light."

Optimus Primal: "Cheetor and I will take care of Rampage."
Silverbolt: "No. Let him be. For the moment, we are brothers."
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2010-10-16 at 02:43 PM.
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