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Old 2010-07-10, 12:38 PM   #50
Blackjack
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The Agenda (Part 1)
Airdate: 11 March 1998
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title Meow You're Under Arrest

SYNOPSIS
Rhinox announces that the Transwarp wavefront released by the destruction of the Planet Buster would reach present-day Cybertron soon. An unhappy Megatron has also made the same conclusion. Inferno reports that their attack on the protohumans had caused them to scatter, making wiping them out impossible. Megatron decides to implement his final plan, a gamble that includes Blackarachnia. The Predacon in question, meanwhile, leaves the base and meets Silverbolt in a secluded location. Silverbolt gives Blackarachnia a graviton generator, offering her a place among the Maximals, to which Blackarachnia refuses. They then began to flirt a bit with each other.

In the future, a. Cybertronian Predacon outpost in space is violently rocked by the Transwarp wavefront. The Tripredacus Council meets, tracing the wavefron back to Megatron. After several discussion, they detonate a Cybertronian satellite to ensure that the Maximal sensors don't detect the wave, and they send an operative to go to the past, find and terminate Megatron with extreme prejudice.

The Predacons assault the Axalon, and after a short siege the Predacons begin to gain the upper hand. Suddenly, someone opens fire at the Predacons from above, forcing Megatron to order a retreat. The Maximals watch as a sleek ship turns visible and lands. Their invisible ally snipes the Maximals' weapons out of their hands, and Optimus Primal realizes that their new 'ally' is a Decepticon who was granted amnesty after the Great Wars and rebuilt as a Predacon. Their 'ally' turns visible and reveals himself—Ravage.

Ravage apologizes to the Maximals for disarming them, saying that he was concerned that they would attack himwithout first hearing him out. Rattrap agrees, saying that a Decepticon is worse than a Predacon. Optimus tells Rattrap to shut up, and tells Ravage that Megatron had been less than friendly to them. Ravage apologizes to the Maximal on behalf of the Predacon Alliance for Megatron's actions, telling them that the Predacon Alliance did not sanction Megatron's actions. Ravage then tells the Maximals that he is there to neutralize Megatron, and enlists their help. When the Maximals question him about why the Cybertron-bound Maximals did not come, Ravage lies, saying that the Transwarp wave was too weak and was only detected by Predacon sensors, and that only Megatron's energy signature was detected.

Meanwhile, Blackarachnia has finished building a flying stasis pod with the equipment brought to her earlier by Silverbolt. Megatron calls Blackarachnia, as well as the rest of the Predacons, ordering them to fortify their base, anticipating an attack from the Maximals. Waspinator is dispatched on a 'special mission'.

Meanwhile, the Maximals ride Ravage's ship. Cheetor is unsure about their plan, but the advantages provided by the ship's ability to extend Ravage's cloaking ability. Ravage also notes that they have another ally inside the Predacon base. As they near the Predacon base, Tarantulas is alerted to it. Tarantulas transforms and sets off towards the Predacon base as well. Ravage and the Maximals begin their assault on the Predacon base. During the battle, Silverbolt refuses to open fire on Blackarachnia, despite Optimus' orders. Blackarachnia, meanwhile, takes off after where Waspinator had flown off to.

Meanwhile, Ravage uses his ship to open fire on the Predacon base. Megatron, sitting in his command chair, is ready to make a last stand. Energy chains suddenly appear and bind Megatron, and the base's energy is cut off. The Maximals and Ravage enter, and Ravage tells Megatron that he's under arrest under the name of the Predacon Alliance and the Pax Cybertronia, and that the Beast Wars is over...

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Rhinox, Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Silverbolt, Megatron, Inferno, Blackarachnia, Tripredacus Council (Sea Clamp, Cicadacon and Ramhorn; not named), Waspinator, Rampage, Quickstrike, Ravage, Tarantulas

REVIEW
(Eight out of Ten)
A splendid start to one of the better stories in the franchise. The politics in this episode is well done with the Tripredacus Council. The fact that Megatron is a rogue agent and the Tripredacus Council wants to neutralize him (and most possibly the Maximals as well) is very realistic. The shaky romance between Silverbolt and Blackarachnia is handled nicely, nice interludes as the plot kicks up. The fact that Tarantulas being a mole planted in Megatron's crew is a great touch, although it begs the question why Tarantulas didn't contact Cybertron sooner.

Rattrap is well-characterized, picking on Silverbolt now that Dinobot's gone. And Silverbolt's self-righteous (and noble) streak is well-explored. Megatron's master schemer shtick is well scripted too. Also, the animation this episode is especially gorgeous, with nearly no animation screw-ups. And Ravage.. well, he's not comic Ravage, of course. He could as well be Kickback or Buzzsaw and serve the same role, but the shout-out to past continuity and the fact that he's made something like a professional killer of sorts, is well done. It's a shame that they gave Ravage a Russian accent, though... it just doesn't sound right on him. I'm not a fan of his upright model, but it works in the context. Let the G1 purists whine all they want. Sadly, the dialogue in this episode suffers a little, since it's an action-heavy episode. Still, this is a great build-up for the three-parter.

NOTES
First appearance of Ravage and the first (and only) appearance of the Tripredacus Council. In the Beast Wars series, anyway.

Yes, Ravage is the G1 guy. References to the 'Great Wars' is a shout-out to the G1 cartoon. Ravage's cloaking field, meanwhile, is a reference to the ability in his tech specs, used in the Marvel comics. His body is Cheetor's Transmetal body with Tigatron's Beast head, all coloured black. And he has a Russian accent.

In the opening shots, some parts of Optimus Primal's original body (blown up in Other Voices Part 2) fly past the screen for a split-second before the Transwarp Wave arrives.

The Tripredacus Council's individual names are meant to be the components of the Tripredacus combiner toy (Sea Clamp, Ramhorn and Cicadacon), and are even referred to as such in the script. However, time constraints and schedules meant that its not possible to create toy-accurate CG renders for the three, so they receive generic renders, and they are not named individually. Only the group's name is given in their dialogue. The fact that the Tripredacus Council is the same with the Tripredacus toy is confirmed by the Beast Wars Sourcebook more than ten years later.

Cheetor wants to visit a theme park in Cybertron named 'Six Lasers Over Cybertron', a probable reference to the Six Flags theme parks.

Rattrap spouts some innuendo this issue in the dialogues quoted below.

Six Lasers Over Cybertron, which Cheetor gets excited about, is a reference to Six Flags over various states.

One of the Tripredacus Council says 'Terminate with extreme prejudice', a quote from Apocalypse Now.

Subsector Hooks is a reference to the fan who goes by the username Hooks.

The three missiles Rampage fires at the Axalon in the beginning of the battle each bear a symbol. The first is a model of an atom, the second is a death's head poison symbol and the third has a peace sign. No, really.

Ravage arrests Megatron in the name of the Pax Cybertronia, which is probably the truce between the Maximals and Predacons after the Great War. It's a name-play on Pax Romana.

GOOFS
Don't the Maximals have sensors elsewhere/elsewhen that could've detected the Transwarp wave? Then again, how the wave moves through time and whatnot might have its own rules of physics...

In his original bio, Ravage has a 'cloaking field' that makes him near-impossible to see in the dark (and makes him immune to energy fields), not an invisibility field. Of course, he might've upgraded himself in the long stretch between the G1 and BW periods.

If the Maximals knew that Silverbolt is seeing Blackarachnia, why didn't they stop him? Rattrap at least seems to be aware of the meeting from his innuendo.

Quote, Unquote
Rattrap: "Oh man, you are gonna love it! I know this little place where you can get dirty mech fluid mixed with just a touch of radium. It'll take your head right off! And not only that... not only that, but the serving bots are walking around minus their torso plates, you know what I mean?"
Silverbolt: [disinterested] "Yes, obviously a veritable nexus of culture and refinement. How can I refuse?"

Rattrap: "So, uh, where you been, birddog?"
Silverbolt: "Uh, scout patrol."
Rattrap: "Oh, yeah, yeah, scouting the enemy, yeah. Find any new positions?"

Optimus Primal: "After the Great War, a few Decepticons were granted amnesty. Most have retired. But rumor has it that one was reprogrammed and rebuilt. As a Predacon!"

Rattrap: "Oh, for bootin' up cold, the only thing worse than a stinkin' Pred, is a stinkin' Decepticon!"

Ravage: "In the name of the Pax Cybertronia and the Predacon Alliance, you are under arrest."
Megatron: "Noooooooooo!"
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2010-10-16 at 02:44 PM.
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