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Old 2010-09-12, 10:14 AM   #55
Blackjack
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Deep Metal
Airdate: 1 November 1998
Written By: Larry DiTillio
Japanese Title: Ray!

SYNOPSIS
In the future, a Cybertronian hunts for Protoform X in a space sector declared off limits by the Maximal High Council. A transwarp portal suddenly appears and engulfs his ship, sending him tumbling into the past. The Cybertronian's body is also changed by the transwarp portal. Meanwhile, the Maximals have moved into a now-fortified Mount Saint Hilary. Inferno leads Rampage on an attack on the Maximal base, but when Rampage sees the ship coming out of the portal, he leaves Inferno to fend for himself. Inferno is quickly defeated.

Cheetor also sees this ship, and follows its descent as it plummets into the sea. But as Cheetor is reporting to Optimus, Rampage shoots him out of the sky, saying that the battle between the visitor and him is personal. The visitor in question is the Maximal Depth Charge, who has scanned a manta ray as an alternate mode. Depth Charge rescues Cheetor from sinking, but leaves off immediately to hunt Protoform X. Depth Charge and Rampage meet each other underwater, and they engage in a brutal battle. Optimus Primal arrives on Cheetor's position. When Cheetor tells the story to Primal, Primal apparently recognizes Depth Charge.

As the battle moves towards the beach, Rampage heals from his wounds, and approaches Depth Charge. The two battle again, and Depth Charge gains the upper hand when he throws his sword into Rampage's cannon, blowing it up. However, Quickstrike, sent by Megatron to check on Rampage, shows up and knocks out Depth Charge. Optimus Primal and Cheetor arrive and take out Quickstrike, but the distraction was enough for Rampage to sneak away. The Maximals bring the damaged Depth Charge back to base.

While Depth Charge is placed in a CR chamber, Optimus Primal and Rhinox tell the other Maximals that Depth Charge was in charge for colony Omnicron, until Protoform X destroyed the colony. A vengeance-ridden Depth Charge was the one who ultimately hunted down X. However, instead of executing Protoform X, the Maximal High Council placed X aboard the Axalon to be dumped in deep space. Depth Charge has since tracked X's energy signature, intent on killing him.

Depth Charge awakens, but acts aloof with the Maximals. Even when he sees the Ark, he has no interest in saving history, and leaves off to hunt for Protoform X. Optimus tells the other Maximals that Depth Charge's obsession with Rampage has changed him. Meanwhile, Rampage, delighted that his old friend has come to play, blows up Depth Charge's ship.

Featured Transformers: Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Depth Charge, Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Inferno, Rampage, Megatron, Cheetor, Quickstrike, Waspinator

REVIEW
(Eight out of ten)
A solid episode introducing a character that doesn't quickly regress into a toy commercial. Depth Charge's backstory and his cold-blooded vengeance against Rampage is well-executed. While not everyone might like Depth Charge the angst-ridden-Wolverine-wannabe, you have to admit that he is introduced in a way that is tied into the main story. The darker backstory between Depth Charge and Rampage is well thought-out, as are the interactions between Depth Charge and Optimus Primal.

The fight scenes underwater are impressive and are as brutal as any cartoon fight scene could be. Rampage, too, benefits from being portrayed as what he is—an indestructible sadist—after several episodes of losing his touch. Optimus Primal, too, is plays the guilty leader role perfectly. The setup to the episode is well done as well, with the Maximals adapting to their new stay in the Ark's exterior and the Predacons trying to find weaknesses in their defenses. However, there are some glaring plot holes in the episode that just can't be ignored, so it can't get too high of a score.

NOTES
The first appearance of Depth Charge. The first mention of a 'Maximal High Council'. (Normally, Primal and Rhinox would say 'Council of Elders').

Depth Charge's spaceship is based on his 'jet' mode. A mighty big coincidence, that, since his alternate mode is only gained after his Transmetalization.

Along with his self-regeneration abilities, Rampage displays precognition abilities this issue. He senses that Depth Charge is coming even before Depth Charge crosses through the transwarp portal thing.

In the future/present, when Depth Charge enters Earth's solar system, he is informed that the area is declared off limits by the Maximal High Council. The writers had said that this is because that Earth had suffered an undecided-upon catastrophe, as well as making discouraging time-altering criminals like Megatron. However, this bit of backstory never made it into the show.

GOOFS
It is unclear what exactly the transwarp portal that swallowed Depth Charge's ship was. It could be due to the time storm created in 'The Agenda' and 'Optimal Situation', but that doesn't explain Depth Charge's Transmetalization due to the portal. Transmetalization should only happen due to the quantum surge. A mix-up, perhaps?

How Rampage manages to elude Megatron's scanners is not made clear. Why doesn't Megatron just squeeze that spark torture chamber to rein in Rampage?.

Depth Charge yells 'Maximize' to transform into beast mode instead of saying 'beast mode'. He does this repeatedly in other episodes as well.

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: "Inferno blow up, Waspinator must salvage. Waspinator blow up, nobody salvage! Why universe hate Waspinator?"

Rampage: "Greetings, old playmate. So glad you could come!"
Depth Charge: "X!"
Rampage: "I'm called Rampage now. A bit obvious, but to the point, don't you think?"

Rampage: "Ignore the pain... it's only going to get worse!"

Depth Charge: [on his vendetta] "It's not revenge I'm looking for, it's justice."

Optimus Primal. "X is not alone. He's a Predacon now, under Megatron's control. There are six of them."
Depth Charge: "I've got to hand it to ya, Primal... when you screw up, you do it big time. But thanks for the tip."

Rampage: "It was really so very nice of you to come. So glad you could stay. Oh, we'll have such fun!" [Laughs crazily]
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2010-10-16 at 02:46 PM.
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