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Old 2011-01-03, 11:13 AM   #6
Blackjack
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Forbidden Fruit
Airdate: 16 October 1999
Written By: Steven Melching
Japanese Title: Forbidden Fruit

SYNOPSIS
Under Optimus Primal's guidance, Cheetor and Blackarachnia train to be able to transform under duress. Rattrap, meanwhile, unsuccessfully still tries to transform. Optimus tells Rattrap to be patient, but the frustrated Rattrap snaps at Optimus, telling him to save his advice for Rhinox and Silverbolt. This harsh remarks causes Optimus to move away. In the process Optimus notices something that has been watching them during their training and catches it. Their mysterious watcher is a organic bat, who escapes Optimus' grasp with a sonic pulse. The Maximals pursue the bat and Cheetor holds him down, and the bat reveals himself not to be an animal, but rather a Maximal. At this point Jetstorm and his drones show up and attack. After a battle, the Maximals retreat. Jetstorm fires a homing mine, which is destroyed by the bat's sonic scream alongside Jetstorm's drones.

Optimus fills Nightscream in on the story so far. Nightscream tells the Maximals how he found himself trapped in a beast mode — when the Vehicons attacked everyone else on Cybertron, he fell down a pit and woke up in an organic body. The Maximals arrive at Nightscream's hideout, which is a towering organic tree. Nightscream offers the fruits of the tree to the Maximals. All but Cheetor (who only processes Energon, period) accept the fruit, thinking that it would help their organic components. Cheetor is suspicious of Nightscream and interrogates him. However, Nightscream hates Megatron as much as they do. Their little talk is cut short when the other Maximals began to behave in a bestial manner. Jetstorm arrives, and attacks. Cheetor and Nightscream unsuccessfully try to bring the others back to their senses, and finally takes the fruits away from the feral Maximals. Despite Nightscream's protests, Cheetor cuts down the trunk of the tree, restoring the affected Maximals to their old selves. The battle is joined in earnest.

During the battle Nightscream is wounded mortally by Jetstorm, and Optimus Primal tries to save the young Maximal by reformatting him. From Optimus' chest, a white light surrounds Nightscream's body, fusing his organic and technological components together, forming a techno-organic Transformer like them.

Nightscream transforms and uses his amplified sonic scream to decimate the jet drones, and launches his fangs into Jetstorm to drain his energon, defeating the Vehicon. Optimus Primal is weakened by the reformatting, and tells Cheetor to assume command. Optimus comments that the purely organic nature of the tree caused the imbalance in their bodies. Nightscream throws his lot in with the Maximals and tells them his name. As they leave, one of the abandoned fruit sprouts into what appears to be organic soil...

Featured Transformers: Blackarachnia, Cheetor, Optimus Primal, Nightscream, Rattrap, Jetstorm, Jet Drones, Tank Drones (flashback), Cycle Drones (flashback)

REVIEW
And we take a turn for the worse. This episode is very grating, and the fight scenes are blatant padding. Rattrap not being able to transform is still carried over and again is beginning to grate, and the organic fruit thing, while a nice foreshadowing in terms of what's to come, is executed poorly and is frankly stupid. The whole 'I eat a fruit and I go crazy' thing is rubbish as well. Jetstorm and Rattrap are great value in this episode, however, for their relatively minor role. Rattrap snapping in frustration at Optimus early on (I'd do that, too, if I were in his shoes) is believable.

Cheetor is excellent, having matured much (although some would argue that it's going against the grain but I digress) and able to take charge and not be as na´ve as before. The real problem here would be Nightscream and Optimus Primal. This is where Optimus Primal began his transition into the infamous hippie monkey tirelessly bashed by BM-haters. But, hey, see a vision from God himself and you'll go out preaching. The fact that he is all mystical and zen and whatnot doesn't bother me, it's the fact that he has suddenly turned into a na´ve guy that is unbelievable. And his mystical hogwash is rather poorly scripted in this particular episode. Nightscream here is, simply put, an annoying jerkass. Comparing Nightscream to other jerks like Animated Sentinel Prime or ROTF's Galloway, Nightscream comes off as really unlikeable this early in the series. Also, the fact that he's so insensitive and rude and downright irritating, with that stupid spitcurl... well, it's hard to feel any love for Nightscream, especially this early in the series. I really dislike Nightscream. And this from somebody who likes G1 Wheelie, Drift and Animated Bumblebee.

(Three out of Ten)

NOTES
First appearance of Nightscream. His powers is a sonic scream that comes out of the speaker on his hunchback in robot mode, as well as a detachable upper jaw that can drain the enemy's energon Dracula-style.

The bestial elements of the Maximals overpowering them have been used as a plot in one of the Beast Wars episodes. 'Call of the Wild' or something. Also, the organic side influencing the Transformers have been done before with Tigatron and Inferno in Beast Wars, although those were executed in a better and more plausible way than here.

The unlucky Transformer that Nightscream hides behind and subsequently gets blown up is based on G1 Soundwave, whose CG model was available for the Beast Wars show. It's not him, though.

When Optimus holds down Nightscream, he says 'get your stinking paws off me, you big dirty ape!', quoting the line from Planet of the Apes.

This episode was later aired in MSTF fashion at BotCon 2000.

GOOFS
How would cutting down a tree free the Maximals of the organic imbalance thing? It's like if you eat a poisoned fruit and you cut down the tree you would be healed.

For some reason, immediately after reformatting Nightscream can immediately transform despite haven't gone through the whole 'finding your balance' shtick, unlike the other Maximals who had to spend a lot of time relearning Transformation. Even Rattrap notes this.

Cheetor's comment that they only eat Energon isn't exactly true. In Beast Wars Rhinox eats wild beans (with hilarious implications), Rattrap once ate an apple, Dinobot ate his clone, Blackarachnia was about to eat a frog and Tarantulas eats mice, deer, Cheetors and anything that gets stuck in his web. But then Tarantulas is just creepy.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2011-01-23 at 09:08 AM.
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