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Old 2010-09-07, 04:51 PM   #54
Blackjack
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Optimal Situation
Airdate: 24 October 1998
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: Grow Bigger

SYNOPSIS
As the time storm begins to unravel space-time, Megatron gloats, telling them that Optimus Prime's death would mean that the Maximals would in result no longer exist. Blackarachnia, born from Maximal technology, finds herself affected by the time storm as well, and helps the Maximals. She uses the Golden Disk's information to access the Ark's security systems to drive out Megatron. Blackarachnia, with Silverbolt's help, activate the Ark's repair systems to stabilise Optimus Prime's condition. However, it is a temporary gesture at best, since reality is still in flux. Optimus Primal places Optimus Prime's spark in his body to protect it while Rhinox operates one of Teletraan 1's repair devices to repair Prime's body. Having Optimus Prime's spark inside him causes Primal's body to be transformed into a larger and more powerful body. Meanwhile, back at the Axalon Tarantulas' body is put together by his drones, while Ravage's is ignored. Quickstrike's cobra tail also finds its body.

Megatron calls for reinforcements, and after Inferno and Waspinator pull themselves together (literally) the Predacons attack. Optimus Primal drives Megatron off, while Blackarachnia sneaks away during the battle. However, the Predacons create an avalanche that blocks the entrance to the Ark. Blackarachnia is trapped outside at the mercy of the Predacons. As punishment for her betrayal, Megatron blasts her. The Predacons take their leave when Optimus Primal blazes a path through the rocks. Realizing that they are heading for the unguarded Axalon, Primal and Cheetor fly off in pursuit.

A distraught Silverbolt cradles Blackarachnia. Thinking that the Predacon is dying, Silverbolt comforts her, as well as admitting his love. Silverbolt finally manages to convince Blackarachnia to join the Maximals, before going limp. Silverbolt howls in anguish... only for Rattrap and Rhinox to tell him that Blackarachnia is merely in stasis lock. Meanwhile, Optimus Primal and Cheetor manage to shoot down the Predacon fliers, but they are too late to prevent Rampage and Tarantulas' spider drones from trying to drag the Axalon off the cliff it had slammed onto. Optimus severs the ropes, but Rampage fires a missiles that flies dead-on towards Optimus Primal. Fearing that the missile would hit Prime's spark, Primal deflects it, and it explodes on the Axalon, which plummets down the cliff, severs into two and crashes down into the river below. The Predacons make their escape.

Optimus and Cheetor return to the Ark, where Rhinox had repaired Optimus Prime's body. Primal returns Optimus Prime's spark to its rightful owner. They decide to relocate to the Ark in order to protect it from further time-tamperings, and the Maximals (plus Blackarachnia) begins to set up their new base.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Cheetor, Rattrap, Megatron, Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Optimus Prime, Waspinator, Inferno, Tarantulas, Ravage's Head, Quickstrike, Rampage

REVIEW
(Six out of ten)
A couple of mixed bits here, actually. There are some bad bits, like the tired-out 'new toy formula' with Optimal Optimus Primal going through his four modes upon ten minutes of reactivation. And the restoring of the status quo by the quick revival of Inferno and Silverbolt. The resolution to the time storm is also very flat after all the build-up running towards it. The romance between Silverbolt and Blackarachnia, while well-played, is a little overdone, although it's more of the fault of Silverbolt's over-dramatic character.

There are some nice moments, like the jokes in the dialogue and Silverbolt howling after Blackarachnia apparently dies. Megatron shooting Blackarachnia at point blank range for treachery is also a nice scene, as is Megatron and Optimal Optimus' initial confrontation. And besides, Primal shooting off Optimus Prime's catchphrases is simply appropriate on so many levels.

NOTES
First appearance of the 'Optimal Optimus' body for Optimus Primal. He now has three alternate modes gorilla, tank and jet and is about the size of a smaller G1 Transformer. Megatron even refers to Primal as 'Optimal Optimus', the toy name, once.

The last appearance of the Axalon, although the debris will play a part in future episodes.

Blackarachnia's now officially defected to the Maximals, though she still considers herself a Predacon. It's somewhat similar to Carnivac from the Marvel comics, minus the romance bit.

The 'spark container' which holds Optimus Prime's spark is based directly on the Matrix of Leadership, leading to some confusion. According to the creators, the animators used Optimus Prime's death scene from the Movie as basis and used the Matrix without knowing its significance. 3H's Primeval Dawn comic would retcon Optimus Prime to have the real Matrix of Leadership placed under Optimus Prime's Matrix-shaped Spark container. However, Rhinox's line "his spark has the Matrix with it" might mean that either Optimus Primal took the Matrix into him, or that Optimus Prime's spark has Matrix energies in it. It's about the same either way.

Ravage's head is shown to be knocked off a cliff to ensure us that Ravage wouldn't be brought back in Beast Wars. That didn't stop 3H or IDW, though.

Optimus Primal quotes several of Optimus Prime's catch-phrases. Primal says "Freedom is the right of sentient beings" when he faces off against Megatron, as well as "transform and roll out" when first changing to his tank mode. The former is Optimus Prime's original motto and the latter is his infamous catch-call when the Autobots go to battle. Bob Forward confessed that he had no idea of the significance of "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" during production, saying that it's something he picked up from fansite alt.toys.transformers.

GOOFS
When we rotate around Optimus Prime as the repairs are being made, the Autobot insignia inside the interior mechanisms of his chest is upside down.

When Primal first transforms into jet mode, the cockpit doesn't have Prime's spark in it. in all other scenes it's there.

In 'The Agenda Part 2', Inferno is apparently vaporized/atomized by the energon explosion. This episode retcons Inferno into just being very terribly burned and injured. But after the initial attack on the Ark he inexplicably returns into perfect condition.

At one point when the Axalon falls off the cliff the engines are missing.

Quote, Unquote
Optimus Primal: [sees Prime's injured head] "Well, that's just prime."
Rattrap: "Or what's left of him, anyway."

Megatron: "You wouldn't dare fire in here! It might upset history."
Optimus Primal: "We'd have four million years to clean you off the walls, Megatron. I might risk it."

Megatron: "This is not the end of it, Optimal Optimus. Nooo. The universe cowered once at the name of Megatron, and it shall do so again!"
Optimus Primal: "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings, Megatron."
Megatron: "Then they'd better stay out of my way!"

Cheetor: "Jumping gyros, Optimus sure learns a new body fast!"
Rattrap: "Well wha'd ya expect? He changes 'em often enough!" [tiddy-boom]

Silverbolt: "Blackarachnia, dark poison of my heart, abide with me yet a while."
Blackarachnia: "You got a way with words there, rover. You almost make me wish I was a better girl."
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2010-10-16 at 02:47 PM.
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