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Old 2010-11-13, 02:57 AM   #64
Blackjack
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Other Victories
Airdate: 5 May 1999
Written By: Larry DiTillio
Japanese Title: I Have Returned

SYNOPSIS
In deep space, several skull-like ethereal entities — the true forms of the Vok — discuss the experiment on Nexus Earth. The Vok decide that there remains a threat, despite their efforts to sterilize the planet. The Vok merge the dormant bodies of Tigatron and Airazor together, creating a new Transformer. Two Vok inhabit the new body and fly off. Unseen by them, two sparks follow in their trail.

On Earth the Predacons hold a mock trial for Quickstrike. Quickstrike begs for mercy, offering to hunt down Tarantulas for Megatron. Megatron is about to order Quickstrike's execution when sensors suddenly detect an incoming, massive energy surge. The Predacons (and, from their respective bases, Rhinox and Tarantulas as well) realize that the aliens are back. The Predacons' autoguns are ineffective, and the Predacons abandon their base. The Vok-controlled ball of energy slam onto the Predacon ship, obliterating it immediately. Optimus Primal, worried that the timeline could be destroyed if the spark of the original Megatron is harmed, heads of to save the Predacons. As the Predacons recover, the Vok-controlled Transformer emerges from the ashes of the Predacons, introducing himself as Tigerhawk, the Emissary of the Vok. Commanding the powers of the elements, he easily dispatches the Predacon troops and faces off against Megatron. Megatron's powers give Tigerhawk some problems but the Vok Emissary is ultimately victorious. Before he could kill Megatron, however, Optimus Primal arrives. Tigerhawk does not wish to harm Optimus but couldn't let him interfere, and buries the Maximal under Earth. This provides the distraction that Tarantulas' spider drones need to swarm over Tigerhawk, subduing him and dragging him away.

Cheetor sees a prophetic dream of Airazor, Tigatron and the Vok. He wakes up to see the two sparks flitting through the air. Following it, he finds Tarantulas' lair, as well as Tigerhawk's unconscious body. Tigerhawk wakes up and recognizes Tarantulas. Tarantulas reveals that he intends to use Tigerhawk's powers to destroy the Maximals and the Ark, since he and the Tripredacus Council are not descended from the Autobots or the Decepticons. Tarantulas uses a deprogramming device on Tigerhawk, and the two Vok inside him exit and float towards Tarantulas. The machinery, designed to seek out the Vok's energy, swivels around and targets the Vok as they enter Tarantulas' body, obliterating all three of them. Cheetor jumps in and drags the now-lifeless Tigerhawk body out. Tarantulas' lair explodes. Tigerhawk and Airazor's merged spark enter the Tigerhawk body, and Optimus Primal welcomes the old-new friend back into the Maximal fold.

Featured Transformers: Tigatron, Airazor, Tigerhawk, Megatron, Rampage, Quickstrike, Dinobot II, Inferno, Waspinator, Tarantulas (killed), Rattrap, Rhinox, Blackarachnia, Optimus Primal, Cheetor
Notable Others: the Vok (two destroyed)

REVIEW
(Three out of ten)
A veritable mess. The action scenes are amazing, granted — the Darksyde's destruction, as well as Tigerhawk's elemental battle against Megatron are superb. Dialogue is at its usual great quality, and that opening scene with Megatron holding a kangaroo trial, complete with a wig, is priceless. Megatron's reluctance and cold anger as he is forced to give the command to abandon base is perfect as well. However, the plot itself is messy. They try to resolve the Vok plot, the Tarantulas plot, place the characters where they are supposed to be for the finale, as well as introduce a new character. Now Tigerhawk, unlike most (read: every other) character in the show, is so bland and devoid of characterization. His addition and portrayal as a god-like superpowered being seems to be a desperate ploy by Hasbro to get the show to advertise a new toy in the final few weeks that Beast Wars aired. It's awkward, and Tigerhawk feels inadequate. Airazor and Tigatron's "return" doesn't even bat an eyebrow from me, and it seemed that the two forgotten Maximals are simply thrown in to make kids want to buy Tigerhawk.

The Vok is finally revealed as well after their two appearances in past episodes, and their conclusion and exit from the show is executed badly. A lot of lingering questions remain. Why seed Earth with energon? What is this 'experiment' they are talking about? Why kill Megatron? Why sterilize Earth? Who are they exactly? The Vok hasn't always been likeable. Interesting, maybe, but the show's insistence of putting them in the shadows constantly, not revealing much, ended up to be a downfall in terms of storytelling. Tarantulas' master plan, too, along with the whole inter-faction cloak-and-dagger stuff hinted throughout the series ends up unresolved and unsatisfying. Tarantulas' exit isn't particularly glamorous, although believable. It's a shame, though, that Tarantulas wouldn't play a part in the series finale. I love that crazy bug.

NOTES
The first appearance for Tigerhawk and the Vok's true forms. Final appearance of Tarantulas, the Predacon base Darksyde, the Sentinel shields, Tarantulas' spider drones as well as Airazor and Tigatron.

After being mostly an unseen enemy until now, the Vok are finally revealed to be an extra-dimensional race of floating, transparent skulls with powers. They live in a place called Nexus Zero.

Quickstrike's trial is based on a real court-martial, with Megatron wearing a barrister's wig. You know, those white, curly stuff used by British judges? Inferno acts as the stenographer, complete with a typewriter.

Tarantulas states that he and the Tripredacus Council are not descended from the Decepticons. This is a bit of a glaring retcon, since in 'the Agenda' the Council was pretty adamant of sending Ravage to save the timeline. This could mean that Tarantulas and the Council are either created by Unicron (the option 3H comics use, based on a throwaway line in the second season) or descended from the second-generation Cybertronian Empire (a popular theory among fans).

Tigerhawk is originally a Vok-controlled Transformer, but by the end of this episode he has Airazor and Tigatron's merged spark (whatever that means). Tigerhawk's powers, at least those that we see, include: travel through space and time (though that might be because of the Vok rather than Tigerhawk himself), altering the weather and creating tornadoes, shooting light beams and lightning bolts out of his palms, splitting open the ground, powerful cannons and presumably all other kinds of cool stuff as well.

Cheetor has his precognitive dreams again, after being non-existent since the early episodes.

Note that Waspinator drops some angry retorts about getting blown up all the time.

The Nemesis, the original Decepticons' warship, is seen on Tarantulas' computer.

Tarantulas makes a symbol of the crucifix with his hands when the Vok come to attack him, a sign traditionally used to ward off ghosts.

Tarantulas blows up, leaving only his feet behind, in a manner akin to Starscream's death in Transformers: the Movie.

Tarantulas dies after the two Vok enter him and blew him up. 3H's unfinished Beast Wars/Universe comic would place Tarantulas as surviving his death, being revived in an undead-ish body by Unicron, and refer to the whole scheme as a deliberate plan to absorb the Vok's powers for himself. Um. Yeah.

GOOFS
The Tripredacus Council mention in their conversation in 'the Agenda' that the Decepticons are their ancestors. Surely if it's really a charade they won't take it so far as in their private discussions? A popular fanmade assumption is that the Tripredacus Council is descended from the Second-Generation Decepticons from the G2 comic that aren't affected by the original Autobot-Decepticon war, which accounts for both parts of the story.

When the Predacons get ready for Tigerhawk's coming, Megatron's eyes are miscoloured green instead of purple.

When he fires at Tigerhawk, Dinobot II fires a green beam (like the original Dinobot) instead of his normal red lasers. Foreshadowing or animation error? You decide.

Why do the Maximals need to re-tell the story of Megatron having the original Megatron's spark to Rattrap? Surely all the Maximals would have been debriefed last episode.

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: "Ooo, Waspinator like defense! A little more defense, and maybe Waspinator not get blown up all the time!"
Quickstrike: "Looks like this is my last round-up."

Waspinator: "Ah-eh-eh-hem! Two-head throw Megatron in lava pit. Megatron angry. Think Two-head traitor. Want to slaaag Two-head. Waspinator down with that!"
Quickstrike: "Ahh."
Waspinator: "Defense, take a rest."
Megatron: "Ah. Brilliant as always, yesss."

Inferno: "Royalty! It will destroy the colony!"
Waspinator: "Owhh... Megatron, what should we do? What should we do?"
Megatron: ".... Abandon base."

Rattrap: "Looks like the Beast Wars are over... for the Preds! Eheheh!"

Tigerhawk: "I am Tigerhawk, emissary of the Vok. Your form's changed, but I know you, Megatron. The Vok charge you with the willful disruption of time and space. Surrender to me immediately. Violence will not be tolerated."
Megatron: "Megatrons do not surrender. We conquer! Predacons, attack!"

Waspinator: "At least this time... Waspinator has companyyyyyy!"

Megatron: "[Tigerhawk]'s power is awesome."

Megatron: "This is my world now. You have no place in it!"

Rattrap: "Just when things were finally looking up... we're all gonna die."

Tigerhawk: "This is your last chance. Surrender or be terminated."
Megatron: "I give you... no chance at all!"

Tigerhawk: "You're insane!"
Tarantulas: "So they say. Bwaaaa!"

Tarantulas: "Something is wrong-"
Vok: [hisses]
Tarantulas: "AAAAA! No! Stay away from me!"
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2010-11-20 at 02:03 AM.
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