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Old 2011-02-09, 01:56 PM   #11
Blackjack
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Survivor
Airdate: 27 November 1999
Written*By: Brynne Chandler Reaves
Japanese Title: The Innards of the Machine

SYNOPSIS
Megatron rages at another setback in purging his organic form. The Diagnostic Drone suggests capturing Nightscream so they could study the process by which the Maximal has scanned an organic body then reverse it. Megatron sends the Vehicon Generals and the Diagnostic Drone to the underground tunnels. Meanwhile, the Maximals try to help Nightscream unlock his memories, and discover that Nightscream has an inbuilt DNA scanner, the replacement to the stasis pods. Nightscream mocks the Beast Wars, causing some tension between him and Rattrap. The Maximals then puzzle how organic DNA like wherever Nightscream scanned his bat mode and where the tree they saw earlier came from. They decide to return to the chamber where they found the tree. However, it is sealed off and their attempt to break it draws the attention of the Vehicons. During the battle Thrust and Blackarachnia do not fire at each other again. Tankor and Jetstorm knock out all the Maximals, and when they come to Nightscream is gone.

Meanwhile, Nightscream is stuffed into a CR tank. The Diagnostic Drone is fascinated by Nightscream's physiology and claims they will be able to purge Megatron's beast form. The Drone enters the regeneration chamber, but is blasted point-blank by Nightscream's sonic scream. Thrust and Jetstorm pursue the fleeing Maximal while Tankor digs out the Diagnostic Drone. Tankor hides in some rubble to evade the Maximals, and confronts the Diagnostic Drone, revealing his Rhinox's awareness. Rhinox explains that he understood that Megatron's plan has more merit, with the only problem being Megatron himself. Rhinox intends to replace Megatron at the head of Cybertron... and then proceeds to reprogram the Diagnostic Drone, giving him the task of tracking down a particular energy signature.

The Maximals arrive to help Nightscream. Optimus Primal flies off after Nightscream to calm him down while the other Maximals battle the Vehicons. Blackarachnia hesitates in attacking Thrust, allowing the Vehicons to escape. Nightscream and Optimus Primal arrive in a soil-and-rock cave staring at the skeletons of a bat that Nightscream had scanned to survive Megatron's purge. Nightscream angsts on why he was the only survivor, while Optimus is amazed at the evidence of organic life. The Vehicons arrive but Nightscream's sonic cry blasts them away, revealing more bones in the process. Nightscream regrets not telling other Transformers about the cave. Optimus plants the seed of the fruit that Rattrap had found prior. At the Citadel, the reprogrammed Diagnostic Drone explains to Megatron that this most recent failed purge is probably because of Megatron's subconscious desire. After it is dismissed, it contacts Tankor-Rhinox to report. Rhinox has found himself at the location where the Drone has tracked the energy signature... the Oracle.

Featured Transformers: Diagnostic Drone, Megatron, Jetstorm, Thrust, Tankor/Rhinox, Blackarachnia, Cheetor, Nightscream, Rattrap, Optimus Primal, Cycle Drones (vision), Jet Drones (vision), Tank Drones (vision), the Oracle

REVIEW
Good lord, Nightscream is a real dick. That insensitive bit where he basically disses off all the Maximals' work in the Beast Wars... there's absolutely no reason for him to do that. And not even the narmtastic revelation that he's an emo guilt-ridden kid could really make me feel sorry for Nightscream. He feels like a horrible fan character a faux-angsty past, actually gets on my nerve, disses other characters like he owns the show, has a stupid-looking spit-curl, and is horrendously overpowered. Why bother having five members on the team when Nightscream's sonic attack can blow everyone away?

Optimus Primal's beginning to delve into fanaticism. See how he is more interested at seeing the fossil, before he goes off to comfort Nightscream. Blackarachnia and Thrust, likewise, continues the dance of their reluctance to shoot each other. Megatron, Jetstorm, Rattrap and Cheetor continue to build up on their characterization. I don't think I've mentioned it, but Jetstorm's so much fun! A nice contrast from the either crazy or bumbling Predacons, to have this mean-streaked, wiseass bastard as a villain.

The main plot, Nightscream's story, is uneventful and uninteresting, and could've been told as part of the flashback in 'Forbidden Fruit'. However, the Diagnostic Drone is golden. Amazing how something that's basically a ball with wings and hands can emote so well, something that puts much of TF: Energon and Cybertron, released some eight years later, to shame. Rhinox-Tankor, meanwhile, is shaping up nicely as an anti-hero. He genuinely believes that a wholly technological Cybertron would be good (any self-respecting G1 fanatic would nod their heads vigorously) but knows that Megatron is evil and stuff, so he thinks he can be a better leader. But by doing so he's delving deeply into power-hungriness himself. Check out that sinister 'meeee' at the end of his Nazi monologue. And that surprise reveal that Rhinox knows about the Oracle, unsurprising when you think about it, is a great plot twist. I am massively liking the Tankor-Rhinox plot, since the Maximals leave much to be desired for now.

(Seven out of Ten)

NOTES
The organic tree, obviously, was from the episode 'Forbidden Fruit'. Nice cryptic parallel to the Oracle's mysterious 'seeds of the future' thing, no?

Apparently Nightscream (and possibly the rest of the Maximals as well) has accelerated healing abilities. By accelerated it would be compared to us normal flesh-and-blood organisms, I guess. Also, CR chambers do nothing to the techno-organic Nightscream.

Nightscream mentions that everyone eschews the stasis pods in favour of inbuilt scanners in the 'Quantum Cycle Upgrade', so they can scan alternate modes on the fly. Evidently with the purge with Megatron this doesn't matter.

Rattrap name-drops the previous show's name (Beast Wars) as a term for the events of that series. He also references 'lost friends' in that war, most likely referring to Dinobot (and to a lesser extent Depth Charge, Tigatron and Airazor).

One of the monitors near the one showing Nightscream's body has the schematics of a floating Megatron head. Foreshadowing, yesss.

When Jetstorm attacks the Maximals, he says 'Honey, I'm home!', a recurring line from the '50s show I Love Lucy.

Nightscream's line 'alone again, naturally', is a reference to the song of the same name by Gilbert O'Sullivan.

The montage with Rhinox envisioning himself at the head of Cybertron, with his poses and that of the Vehicons, are very Nazi-esque.

GOOFS
You cannot get DNA from a fossil, no matter what Beast Wars or Spotlight Shockwave says.

Thrust uses the transformation code 'accelerate' instead of his usual 'overdrive'. Granted, accelerate does sound a lot cooler...

Everyone else also scanned organic bodies in Beast Wars, albeit they can still transform into robot modes, unlike Nightscream initially. Why can't Megatron pull out records of that and reverse it?
 
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