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Old 2011-02-06, 02:47 AM   #10
Blackjack
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Revelations Part III: Apocalypse
Airdate: 13 November 1999
Written*By: Steven Melching
Japanese Title: Mission of the Stars

SYNOPSIS
Jetstorm has extracted Blackarachnia's spark and flies off towards Megatron's Citadel. Nightscream flies off in pursuit. Meanwhile, in their underground base Optimus tells the Oracle that he couldn't understand the visions, only to be granted with another disturbing one. Meanwhile, as Cheetor and Rattrap discuss about getting Rhinox back, Tankor regains consciousness, and begans to go all 'Tankor destroy!' The Maximals try to reason with Tankor, but the duo are forced to flee as Tankor and the tank drones began to pursue the Maximals, involving lots of destruction as they jump around archs. Elsewhere Nightscream manages to snatch Blackarachnia's spark back from a distracted Jetstorm. The two have an aerial chase, which continues into a building until Nightscream drops an elevator on Jetstorm.

Nightscream returns to Blackarachnia's body, only to find Thrust carrying the body. The two battle, and Nightscream manages to disable Thrust with his vampire fangs. Blackarachnia's consciousness, meanwhile, finds herself floating in a white void, and she encounters Optimus Primal. Ptimus tells her that her spark must've been separated from her body. In the real world, Nightscream tries to force Blackarachnia's spark back into her body. However, this action causes Blackarachnia to panic and run in the void, something that the spark also does in the real world. Optimus calms her down, and this allows Nightscream to catch her spark and return it to her body. Meanwhile, Tankor knocks down all the arches like dominoes, and Tankor holds Cheetor at gunpoint. Cheetor begs Tankor to remember who he is... prompting the Vehicon to have a mental struggle and scream.

Optimus Primal hears this on his meditative position, and finds himself in a field with long grass, face-to-face with Rhinox. However, the bitter and angry Rhinox tells Optimus that he prefers to side with Megatron, with Megatron's vision of a technological utopia being closer to peace than their constant war. Optimus is then jerked back into reality. Nightscream and Blackarachnia arrive to Cheetor's aid, disabling all the Tank Drones. The four Maximals offer to help Tankor, but he replies in Rhinox's voice that he doesn't need their help. Apparently Rhinox has been conscious all the time, but is suppressed by the Tankor personality the whole time. He also announces that Megatron is Cybertron's only hope. The Maximals wonder is Rhinox's spark had been corrupted. They pin Tankor-Rhinox to the ground, and Cheetor orders Rattrap to reprogram Rhinox... but they are stopped from doing so by Optimus Primal, who tells them that Rhinox had made his choice. Rhinox leaves. Back at their base, Optimus gives a speech about how the Matrix sent them to prehistoric Earth for a reason: to restore nature to Cybertron.

Featured Transformers: Nightscream, Blackarachnia, Jetstorm, Thrust, Cheetor, Rhinox/Tankor, Rattrap, Optimus Primal, the Oracle, Tank Drones

REVIEW
Not as good as the last episode, mainly because the spark-chasing sequence and Blackarachnia floating around is blatant padding to the main focus of this episode, namely Optimus Primal confronting Rhinox's spark. And what a confrontation! You'd expect that after that outburst Rhinox would calm down and follow the good guys, right? After all, he had done so when he was Tankor in 'Mercenary Pursuits'. Dead wrong, and this had to be the best character twist I've ever seen. The gentle, flower-smelling, never-angry Rhinox now views the world in a different manner after his time as Rhinox. Bitter, he thinks that only by removing free will can peace arrive. It's so dark, and, well, if I were a little kid growing up loving Rhinox from Beast Wars last year I would've cried seeing him turn into a villain... but it's one of the best Heel Face Turns I've ever seen in any sort of fiction, and more realistic as well.

Optimus Primal, having been kept out of action from last episode, now appears as some sort of spirit guide to help Blackarachnia, and to confront Rhinox. That moment as Rhinox reveals to Optimus Primal, then to the other Maximals, that he chooses Megatron... oh, that had to be one of the best well-scripted parts anywhere. And that moment where Cheetor basically tells Rattrap to reprogram Rhinox with dialogue that eerily mirrors that of Megatron's in Beast Wars it's so dark that it hurts to remember that this was meant to be a kids' show.

Thrust's slight enigmatic developments is handled well, and Rattrap is developing nicely to become the team's resident hacker and tech support. However, Nightscream is proving to be more of a pest this episode, and the whole Blackarachnia sequence is hinging on banality. Still, a great installment.

(Seven out of Ten)

NOTES
Rhinox's true spark has been awakened, but thoughts of being abandoned, as well as the belief that harmony cannot exist with war which, in turn, is only prolonged by individuality makes Rhinox think that Megatron's way is the correct way. From now on, no more Tankor. Only Rhinox in Tankor's body.

Rhinox's dialogue confirms that Tankor is a separate personality. From his dialogue the Tankor personality suppresses Rhinox. While Rhinox is aware of what he is doing, he wasn't able to do anything. Presumably his time being stuck with Tankor in the driving seat has changed his viewpoint on life (as well as his hatred on his former friends for not helping him, presumably?).

Rhinox's character model and voice actor makes an appearance in this episode. Richard Newman voices Rhinox similarly to how he voiced the brainwashed Rhinox in 'Dark Designs', with a harsher undertone.

Another one of Optimus Primal's visions, this time again of plants being turned technological... but the plants have the Maximals' faces. Creepy.

After destroying several Tank Drones, Nightscream calls them 'Tonka toys', a take that to Tonka, the company that produced GoBots, the Transformers' primary competitors during the G1 era.

Tankor uses the buzzsaws on his arms that the toy has.

Cheetor references the turbo jets from his first Transmetal form.

Rattrap name-drops the Predacons. This is the only time the faction name is spoken in the entire series.

GOOFS
The size of Blackarachnia's spark relative to Nightscream and Jetstorm fluctuates slightly from frame to frame. It also cuts through the spark extractor at one point.

At one point Rattrap's red bits on his face is missing.
 
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