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Old 2011-01-26, 09:29 AM   #8
Blackjack
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Revelations, Part I: Discovery
Airdate: 30 October 1999
Written By: Brynne Chandler Reaves
Japanese Title: The Power of Love

Synopsis:
The Maximals are chased by Thrust and the Cycle drones, but Optimus Primal ruptures several coolant tanks, flooding the tunnel in which they were fighting in. Rattrap nearly gets himself swept away but Blackarachnia and Nightscream saves him. The Maximals make their way to the surface, but they were astounded to find bodies of hundreds of Cybertronians in some sort of dumping ground. Rattrap examined the remains and found out that the sparks were not extinguished but rather removed. Jetstorm, Thrust and Tankor arrive, and the Maximals stand and fight. During the battle, Thrust, for some reason, rescues Blackarachnia from a Jet Drone, causing a building to collapse on the two of them in the process.

The other Maximals and Vehicons recover from the crash and note that the coolant fluid they used to flood the tunnel earlier was meant to cool down the factory's machineries, and without it the factory would soon explode. Optimus tries to free Blackarachnia, while Cheetor and Nightscream question Optimus' actions. Blackarachnia wakes up in some sort of lower level, and sees Thrust rolling up to her. Again, Thrust saves her from a collapsing rubble. Blackarachnia asks the Vehicon why, to which Thrust tells Blackarachnia that it was his mistake and that it won't happen again.... only for Thrust to save Blackarachnia from a train moments later. Thrust has unclear flashbacks of having his spark extracted, and then memories of Blackarachnia during the Beast Wars. Blackarachnia and Thrust walk deeper into the factory, and inadvertently activates a giant spark extractor drone, which grabs them and tries to extract their sparks.

Thrusts knocks Blackarachnia out of the way and his spark is torn out of him. Blackarachnia, suspecting that Thrust is in fact Silverbolt, attacks and shuts down the spark extractor drone, releasing Thrust's spark. Blackarachnia realizes that this was the place where the Cybertronian bodies above had been de-sparked. The other Maximals knock out Tankor and Jetstorm, and finds Blackarachnia and Thrust. Thrust flees, much to Blackarachnia's disdain. Optimus mourns his inability of saving all the lost bodies. Cheetor sees that Optimus seems to be losing it, and orders a retreat. The Maximals get out of the factory as it explodes. Afterwards, Cheetor takes command back from Optimus Primal, and Blackarachnia tells the other Maximals that Thrust had Silverbolt's spark. The Maximals realize that their war had became more difficult now that they cannot kill their enemies...

Featured Transformers: Rattrap, Nightscream, Blackarachnia, Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Thrust, Cycle Drones, Silverbolt (vision), Jetstorm, Jet Drones, Tankor, Rhinox (flashback), the Spark Extractor Drone

REVIEW
So we begin the Revelations three-parter. It's a nice change of pace after several filler episodes to set up the guerilla warfare mood. However, such dark and fast-paced writing isn't exactly something that would appeal to Saturday morning cartoon kids, which, while making Beast Machines great fiction, would ultimately lead to its downfall. Still, it's a great episode. There are some places which feel like blatant padding like the whole 'fishing Rattrap out of coolant fluid' and the agonizingly long 'running away from fireball' sequence.

The revelations and complications given to us — that Thrust is apparently Silverbolt, that Megatron had stolen the sparks of everyone else, that the evil villains we saw were brave Maximals from the last show... if you aren't prepared, they would catch you unawares. It's great plot twisting, and the subplot of Cheetor and Nightscream thinking Optimus is still unfit to lead is nicely done. It was a bit cruel for Cheetor to wrestle leadership at the end. You could see the hurt on both their faces. As ugly as the BM Maximals may be, you have to admit that they were expressive.

The whole Blackarachnia-and-Thrust thing was well done, although not yet on par with Blackarachnia and Silverbolt on Beast Wars. The irony that the roles are reversed surely isn't lost to everyone? Although these won't mean anything to someone who hasn't watched Beast Wars, so... also, dialogue is kind of lacking in this episode, mostly introdumps and battle snarks other than Blackarachnia and Thrust. I do love Jetstorm's quirky jibes, though. While quite boring, it is a great set-up that couldn't be faulted.

(Seven out of Ten)

NOTES
First and only appearance of the Spark Extractor Drone. The first time we see sparks being extracted from their bodies. It won't be the last. The CG model for the coolant fluid would be reused for the techno-organic goop we see later on in the series.

The models of G1 characters made for Beast Wars appear again as corpses. A Prowl coloured in his blue-replaces-black Marvel comics colour scheme is the most evident, and the Soundwave model seen earlier in Nightscream's flashback also appears. Since these guys are noticeably the size of the Beast Warriors, they aren't them.

In his flashback, Thrust recalls Optimus Primal, Cheetor, Rhinox and Blackarachnia in their Beast Wars bodies.

When Thrust rolls up to Blackarachnia after his first save, his shadow is noticeably angled to look like that of Silverbolt's. Foreshadowing?

At one point Jetstorm says 'Gotta catch 'em all!', the catchphrase of the Pokemon franchise.

Thrust's dialogue about the 'positronic brain' is a reference to Isaac Asimov's works.

GOOFS
The colours of the other Cybertronian bodies that is not Marvel Prowl and not-Soundwave change from shot to shot.

At one point Rattrap's tail clips through his shoulders for a split second.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2011-02-05 at 12:05 PM.
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