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Old 2010-11-16, 01:43 PM   #65
Blackjack
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Nemesis Part 1
Airdate: 6 May 1999
Written By: Bob Forward
Japanese Title: Kaboom!

SYNOPSIS
Tigerhawk shows off his elemental powers while Optimus Primal reads a passage from the Covenant of Primus, believing Tigerhawk to be a good omen. With the Predacons missing a base, the Maximals begin to hunt down the disadvantaged Predacons. The Predacon troops are dissatisfied, but the ever-loyal Inferno offers to take Quickstrike and Waspinator to find a new 'colony' for his queen. Megatron, Rampage and the Dinobot clone search the abandoned remains of Tarantulas' lair. They discover a hatch that leads to an underwater tunnel. After accessing the files of a nearby computer Megatron becomes excited, and hops onto the rail car Tarantulas had prepared alongside Dinobot.

Silverbolt and Depth Charge, patrolling the skies in search of the Predacons, spots Inferno's squad. Despite Optimus Primal's orders otherwise, the two head in to investigate. Optimus Primal is forced to leave the base with Tigerhawk, Cheetor and Blackarachnia to support them. As Primal's group arrives, Depth Charge finds the hatch in Tarantulas' lair, but finds that it is booby-trapped. Silverbolt is torn to pieces, forcing Blackarachnia and Cheetor to carry him back to base.

Inferno declares that the Protohumans' cave dwellings would be their new colony, and, alongside Quickstrike, is prepared to wipe the Protohumans out. Waspinator, however, snaps, and bursts into an angry rant against everything in general. After several insults, Inferno and Quickstrike blasts him, and assault the Protohumans. However, the Protohumans have found ways to defend themselves with primitive spears.

Optimus Primal, Tigerhawk and Depth Charge locates a data terminal inside the tunnel, and discovers what Tarantulas had been planning — the Nemesis, the flagship of the Decepticon fleet, the vessel that the first Megatron used to shoot down the Ark. Primal and Tigerhawk flies through the skies while Depth Charge takes an aquatic route towards the Nemesis' landing site. Megatron likewise introduces Dinobot to the Decepticon warship with his usual flair for drama. They discover that Tarantulas had repaired the vessel, as well as added a transwarp cell and a Predacon-sized control panel. Megatron and Dinobot powers up the vessel for an attack.

Depth Charge informs Optimus of the Decepticon warship, and Optimus authorizes Depth Charge to neutralize the Nemesis by any means necessary. Rampage attacks his archenemy, and while Depth Charge tries to proceed with his mission, the inevitable fight occurs. The two mortal enemies engage in a brutal battle, which ends with them falling onto a field of energon crystals. Depth Charge gains the upper hand and manages to get an energon crystal above Rampage's spark. After a short struggle, Rampage let's go of the crystal, laughing like a maniac as a determined Depth Charge plunges the crystal into Rampage's spark, creating an explosion that kills both combatants. Dinobot II, with the death of Rampage, cries out in pain. Optimus Primal mourns Depth Charge's loss as pieces of him float up to the surface, but notes that the threat of the Nemesis has been dealt with... until the Nemesis rises from the ocean, fully operational...

To be concluded...

Featured Transformers: Tigerhawk, Rhinox, Optimus Primal, Blackarachnia, Cheetor, Rattrap, Depth Charge (killed), Silverbolt, Dinobot II, Rampage (killed), Quickstrike, Megatron, Waspinator, Inferno
Notable Others: Una, Hammer, Protohumans (many presumably killed), Chak

REVIEW
(Nine out of ten)
An amazing start to the conclusion of what is undeniably the best series in Transformers lore. The action scenes are non-stop, and the writers have manages to tie in reasons for Tarantulas' seemingly erratic plans. The soundtrack and the visual effects (especially the dramatic unveiling of the Nemesis), and the comparison of how massive the Decepticon warship is, are breath-taking. The Nemesis is a great plot device, with the threat of a gigantic warship being realistic and believable. And having it reference something from the original cartoon, thus cementing the whole time-travel thing, it sets up the mood for a do-or-die situation. There's a lot that I like about this episode. Megatron's grandiose speech, Silverbolt trying to act tough, Waspinator standing up for himself, Inferno rambling about the royalty, the Covenant of Primus... really entertaining stuff. Dialogue is perfect, with quoting the Covenant of Primus leading to the characters quoting some excellent (if a wee bit corny), almost biblical, quotes. No doubt Furman's work.

But to me, the real clincher was the Rampage and Depth Charge battle, resolving the cold-blooded rivalry between the two, while the Nemesis powers up in the background. You might argue about whether it comes off, but for me personally it does. Depth Charge's characterization is fantastic, especially that point where he was ready to abandon the fight to complete his mission, showing us that even cold-hearted pricks can warm up. The resolution to the brutal, excellently animated fight is so satisfying yet tragic. Rampage letting go of the energon dagger could be interpreted as many things — he wanted to end the mockery of a life being forced to serve Megatron, or he wanted to test Depth Charge's will, or he simply wanted to kill Depth Charge with him. It is a touching moment for both characters, and a nice, if a little abrupt, ending for those two.

However, there are bits where things could have been improved. Inferno's party of sidekick Predacons, while highly fun, feels so much like padding. The assault on the Protohumans, while supposedly a major plot point before (in 'Code of Hero'), doesn't attract the attention of the Maximals like it should, and seems to be a half-assed attempt to get the minor characters out of the way.... which is a shame, because I love those three goons. There is also Tigerhawk. He fills Silverbolt or Cheetor's role as a flying Maximal, only more lifeless. It's just because he's a new toy. And that little advertisement with Primal reading the Covenant of Primus in the beginning, making Tigerhawk seem like some promised deliverance... eesh. Plus, there's that whole unexplained Dinobot II/Dinobot thing. Still, like all things the writers of Beast Wars does things with charm and grace, and it's easy to overlook these minor mistakes in favour for the prelude to Beast Wars' conclusion. It's an excellent episode, with some of the most spectacular CGI for the series. Compared to G1's Rebirth, Nemesis feels like an all-or-nothing finale instead of yet another episode. At least Beast Wars would go out with a bang.

NOTES
The deaths (and final appearances) of Rampage and Depth Charge. The first appearance of the Nemesis, and the first time that the Decepticon shuttle is ever named.

The Nemesis crashing down under the sea solidly cements Beast Wars as being part of the G1 cartoon continuity as opposed to the comic continuity (where the Decepticon ship kind of floats around in space until Galvatron shoots it). However, Optimus Primal describes the Nemesis as shooting down the Ark, instead of the battle between the Autobots and Decepticon boarders aboard the Ark causing it to crash down onto Earth, as seen in the first episode of the cartoon. Although it seems to be a deliberate choice on the part of the writers to make the Nemesis more badass, using the advantage of Optimus Primal as an unreliable narrator.

Longtime Transformers scribe Simon Furman worked together with Bob Forward on the outline of Nemesis. However, when a fourth season was deemed unfeasible, much of the plans they had developed was cut short.

The Covenant of Primus seems to be the Transformers' equivalent of the Bible. The bits read by Optimus Primal, with a mighty warrior casting a great dragon and his followers away, while parallels Tigerhawk casting Megatron and the Predacons away, is a reference to a passage in the Bible where God banishes Satan and his followers from heaven.

There are only two copies of the Covenant of Primus. One of them is in the Ark, the other is in the Nemesis. It's also revealed that Beast Megatron took his name from the Covenant of Primus, not from G1 Megatron. Not directly, anyway.

Megatron calls Tarantulas "Unicron's Spawn", something that is possibly should be a generic insult. However, some fans took this literally, since last episode tells us that Tarantulas is neither of Autobot or Decepticon descent.

Silverbolt's remark 'tis just a scratch', followed by his arm falling off, is a homage to Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Inferno utilizes Looney Tunes' classic "somehow hiding behind an impossibly skinny tree" maneuver.

Waspinator has a long, green tongue. Also, this is the only time (barring his appearances as Thrust) where Waspinator refers to himself as 'I' instead of 'Waspinator'.

Like the T-Rex head in his original body, Megatron's dragon head seems to have a life of its own, being treated like a pet by Megatron.

When contacting the Maximals, Optimus encodes transmission 'M Sipher', a shout-out to a fan of the same name.

Depth Charge's part that sinks sombrely into the ocean floor totally has the same ball joint that the toy has.

GOOFS
The major plot hole: when Dinobot II cries out in pain after Rampage's death, he flashes back to the original Dinobot's character model and memories. It doesn't make any sense, since the episode 'Dark Glass' remains unproduced.

When Optimus Primal recites the Covenant of Primus in the beginning of the episode, Cheetor in his first Transmetal body could be glimpsed walking around.

Depth Charge flies around in his robot mode, when this is normally his vehicle-mode ability.

Depth Charge is the one who opened the hatch and was closest to the bomb, yet Silverbolt was the one who fell apart afterwards.

When Dinobot squeezes Rampage's spark to pacify him, his shoulder pads are missing.

Quote, Unquote
Waspinator: "Ant-bot not find own thorax with both hands and a road map."

Silverbolt: "Worry not, my love. It's just a scratch." [arm falls off]
Optimus Primal: "Maybe. But I think you're due some time in the CR chamber."
Silverbolt: "Sir, I'm fine. I..."
Blackarachnia: "Shut up and obey your commander, bone-brain."
Silverbolt: [head falls off] "Yes, dear."

Waspinator: "Waspinator feels much damage coming..."

Quickstrike: "Ew, I don't wanna move in there! It's got all those hairy critters livin' in it! Unless... unless... you mean we's gonna slag 'em! Oh, oh, puh-leeze tell me that's what you're plannin'!"

Waspinator: "No. I said no! Dragonbot command you, sub-commander Kiss-butt! Dragonbot not command Waspinator! Not any more! Waspinator sick of being evil. Sick of being Predacon! And Waspinator especially sick of getting blown to scrap all the time! So, Waspinator quit! As of now, which means Ant-bot and Two-head can just pucker their mandibles and plant big, wet, juicy one right here on Waspinator's big, fat, stripey-" [Quickstrike and Inferno blasts Waspinator]

Waspinator: [reduced to a head] "Waspinator has plans..."

Optimus Primal: "You have to stop Megatron at any cost."

Dinobot II: "Mmm... impressive."
Megatron: "Oh, it is more than that, my malevolent minion. That is the most powerful Decepticon warship in Transformer history. The ship that shot down the Ark itself! The NEMESIS!"

Rampage: "Think you can save the universe, fishboy? Don't make me laugh."

Depth Charge: "I have no time for you, X."
Rampage: "Like you had no time for Starbase Rugby? You had friends there as I recall. Tasty ones too!"

Rampage: "I was your assignment, and you failed!"

Depth Charge: "Raw energon! Right through your twisted spark! Take it- take it straight to the Pit, you sickening piece of slag!"
Rampage: [lets go of dagger] "Hahahahahaha!"
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2011-08-29 at 02:36 PM.
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