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Old 2010-07-25, 01:33 PM   #52
Blackjack
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The Agenda (Part III)
Airdate: 12 March 1998
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: Once Upon A Time

SYNOPSIS
Ravage and Megatron, in Ravage's shuttle, continue to assault the Maximal base. The remaining Predacons join in as well. Rattrap manages to latch himself onto the back of Ravage's shuttle unnoticed, and begins cutting into the ship's hull. Meanwhile, Optimus and Cheetor are pinned down by the Predacons' firepower. Quickstrike is shot down and subsequently crushed by a passing Rampage. Between Rampage's tank mode and Ravage's shuttle, the Maximal base's force field is quickly taken down. Rhinox joins the fray, holding Rampage back.

Aboard the shuttle, Ravage and Tarantulas prepare to launch a gigantic missile that would obliterate the Maximal base. Before they could fire it, however, Rattrap bursts in and tosses a pair of bombs that latch themselves onto Tarantulas. The bombs tear Tarantulas and the weapons around him apart. As the fireball expand throughout the shuttle, Ravage faces it stoically with a cry of 'Decepticons forever' before he, too, is consumed. The rermains of the shuttle crash inches from Rampage, and the missile detonates, taking the Predacon crab out. Rattrap manages to jump into the safety of Rhinox's lap. Alone with no troops, Megatron flees the battle. Optimus notes that the Predacon is not headed back to his base, and orders the Maximals to pursue.

Meanwhile, Blackarachnia and Silverbolt make their way into the inner caves of a dormant volcano, revealing what Blackarachnia was after — the Ark. Blackarachnia retells to Silverbolt the story of how the Ark — with the best Autobots and Decepticons aboard — had crashed on Earth four million years before the Great War. As she finishes the story, Megatron arrives, knocks Silverbolt out and seals the entrance with another rockslide.

The Maximals try to dig their way through the rockslide. Megatron uses the unconscious Silverbolt as a hostage to force Blackarachnia to give him the access codes to the Ark that she had downloaded off the Golden Disk. Reluctantly, Blackarachnia agrees. As the Maximals arrive, Megatron and Blackarachnia enter the Ark and seals the entrance

Blackarachnia is ordered to activate the ship's defences while Megatron goes off to do something more permanent. As the Maximals battle the autoguns, Megatron enters the main bridge of the ship, talking about the Decepticons and Autobots as he passes their deactivated bodies. He hovers in front of his intended target, Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots, who defeated the Decepticons and caused the Predacons to be subservient to the Maximals. Even though the risk of changing history is too great, Megatron carries out his predecessor's instructions and charges up his weapon, aiming it at Optimus Prime's head.

The Maximals defeat the autoguns and force the door open. But as the horrified Maximals watch, Megatron opens fire, tearing up Optimus Prime's head. A time storm begins to form, spreading from Earth into space. The Maximals find themselves phasing through past bodies, as Megatron laughs at his triumph.

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Megatron, Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Quickstrike, Rampage, Rattrap, Rhinox, Ravage (killed), Tarantulas (blown up), Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Optimus Prime (flashback and present, shot in the head), Prowl (flashback and present), Ironhide (flashback and present) Jazz or Bluestreak (flashback), Ratchet (flashback), Skywarp, Thundercracker, Starscream, Soundwave

REVIEW
(Eight out of ten)
Well-scripted. There are some parts that feel rushed, though. Like how quickly Rattrap takes out Tarantulas and Ravage, making you wonder why they included Ravage at all other than blatant fanservice. The action scenes are well-done, and Megatron's long dialogue at the end of the episode, as well as the reveal of the Ark, is a fantastic build-up. Megatron is pure gold in this episode, and both Rattrap and Blackarachnia have several great lines. The whole 'killing Optimus Prime to release the Predacons from virtual slavery' thing is a nice edge that allows Megatron to perform the act with a motivation instead of simple, pure malice.

The suspense as the Maximals battle the autoguns while Megatron takes his time to construct a poetic speech is well-executed. Some of the more glaring plot holes are excusable—Megatron didn't do this sooner because of the risks, while Blackarachnia might be the only one who could decrpyt the Disk. The whole impact of time travel, previously seen only in Marvel UK arcs (in fact, the plot of this episode seems to borrow aspects from Time Wars and Target: 2006) is well-done too. And the cliffhanger as Optimus Prime seemingly dies must've made G1 fans grit their teeth in anger. Ravage's death, however, feel very rushed no matter how you dice it. All in all, the Agenda three-parter, while not perfect, is one of the better story arcs. It's a shame that the law of fiction tells us that Megatron's triumph won't last until the third season...

NOTES
First appearance of the Ark, the Nemesis and Optimus Prime in the Beast Wars series. Blackarachnia retells the battle between the Ark and the Nemesis seen in 'More than Meets the Eye part one'. We also get to see cameos of Optimus Prime, Prowl, Ironhide, Ratchet and what could be Jazz or Bluestreak during the flashback. As Megatron walks through the Ark itself, the deactivated bodies of Prowl, Optimus Prime, Megatron, Ironhide, Soundwave, Starscream, Skywarp and Thundercracker could be seen, plus a few unidentifiable ones.

Rattrap refers to his vehicle mode as 'Knievel' mode, a reference to Evil Knievel.

Primal breaks the fourth-wall at one point, saying that the Ark has 'die-cast construction', before turning to the audience and saying that it's a lost art. It refers to the die-cast parts featured on early Transformers toys.

Apparently, Rhinox is afraid of heights. When flying with Primal, he looks down, and immediately looks back up with horror on his face.

GOOFS
This episode uses the Roman numeral for 3 (III) as part of its title instead of Arabic numbers, which the series uses for every other multi-part episodes, including the last two parts of 'the Agenda'.

Optimus Primal's chest is damaged and blackened early on, but the damage disappears and reappears at random.

If we follow what happened on the original cartoon, Optimus Prime was not in a sitting position prior to being awakened.

'Teletraan 1' is mispronounced as 'Teletron 1' several times. While not much of a big difference, the fans complained enough about this that it received a jab in a subsequent episode.

When the Maximals land outside the cave the colors on Rattrap's wheel kibble and his rat legs are reversed.

Why didn't Megatron think of downloading the codes to himself from the Golden Disk?

Quote, Unquote
Ravage: "Decepticons forever!" [dies]

Cheetor: "Where's he headed, Big Bot?"
Optimus Primal: "To the beginning of everything, Cheetor, and quite possibly the end."

Megatron: "Now I enter these hallowed halls. A conquerer, yeees. Autobots and Decepticons, still frozen in emergency stasis, awaiting the moment four million years hence, when they will awaken to start the Great War. Hmm. A Great War, when the Autobots defeated the Decepticons, and thus their descendants, the Maximals, rule we Predacons. Archaic energon guzzlers! How dare they? Unwilling though I was to follow my namesake's instructions, it has all come down to this. The ultimate risk, for the ultimate prize... A day of reckoning with those who made us slaves!"

Megatron: "So, we are now face to face, Optimus Prime. In one future, you awaken and become the great leader of the Autobots. But time shall take a different track, now. Computer- all available power to primary weapon!" [Pauses] "And now, Optimus Prime, in memory of the Decepticons... for the glory of the Predacons... for the Cybertron that is rightfully ours—and mine—to rule! I unleash the storm of vengeance... farewell!"

Megatron: "Say goodbye to the universe, Maximals! The future has changed. Yeeeees. The Autobots- lose! Evil triumphs! And you... you no longer EXIST!"
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2010-10-16 at 02:45 PM.
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