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Old 2011-02-13, 01:51 AM   #14
Blackjack
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End of the Line
Airdate: 18 December 1999
Written By: Steven Melching
Japanese Title: The End

SYNOPSIS
Cheetor and Rattrap try and hack into Megatron's central computer to try and find out if Megatron had tampered with the Oracle, but are ambushed by Tank Drones. Rattrap throws some vine bombs at the Drones, and they escape. The Diagnostic Drone reports to Rhinox that the Key to Vector Sigma has been downloaded to all the Tank Drones. However, Rhinox finds out that he no longer has command of the Tank Drones. While this presented a setback, Rhinox has the Diagnostic Drone interact with the Oracle to give Optimus Primal a fake vision which tells him he must undertake his final journey. The Maximals walk through a city and reach a dead end. While they prepared to turn back, Optimus' eyes flow and he reveals a large entrance. A quick ride in the elevator leads them to the Plasma Energy Chamber, something that Optimus Primal believes the Oracle intends him to control.

A mole drone arrives, and sure enough, Optimus uses a bolt of plasma energy to vaporize the drone. He explains that plasma energy will overload any technological systems, and plans to shut down everything technological on the entire planet. However, Cheetor argues with Optimus, citing the fact that Optimus mentioned the Oracle seems to have been tampered with. Optimus shuts down the Plasma Energy Chamber, and they decide to use Cheetor's plan — use the vine grenades to keep the tank drones busy while Rattrap disables the large Key cannon. Rhinox, meanwhile, knows that Optimus would never use a doomsday weapon like the Plasma Energy Chamber, but Megatron would never take that chance. The Diagnostic Drone tells of the Maximals' discovery to Megatron, who deploys the Tank Drones around a huge weapon-like structure that rises from the surface. The Maximals attack, throwing the drones into disarray.

Rattrap tries to hack into Megatron's mainframe, but Rhinox attacks him with a Key weapon. Rhinox then orders the Diagnostic Drone to try and convince Megatron to fire the large Key cannon. However, Megatron has reached the same conclusion as Rhinox that Optimus would never use the Plasma Energy Chamber, and destroys the Diagnostic Drone. Rhinox charges away, raging that he will not be denied. While the other Maximals fall to the Key weapons, Optimus Primal rushes into the Citadel to confront Megatron. In his rage Megatron transforms into beast mode and the two battle. Optimus tries to reformat Megatron, but Rhinox arrives and blasts Optimus with the Key weapon. However, he is unable to fire at Megatron as well due to a failsafe. Megatron binds Rhinox in energy bonds and transforms back into robot mode, gloating that all his enemies have been defeated. However, Optimus Primal sends out a mental command to open the Plasma Energy Chamber. Surprised, Megatron fires the Key cannon. The conflicting energies create a large maelstorm. And before Optimus' eyes, his hand begins to disintegrate...

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

REVIEW
Unlike Beast Wars' more spectacular season-enders, other than the big doomsday weapon battle it's nowhere better any other Beast Machines episode. Tensions reach a breaking point as Rhinox's machinations pits Megatron and the Maximals against each other... then fell apart because of his overconfidence. It's kind of stupid to believe that he didn't think of a failsafe Megatron might have installed, and being tied up and silent as Optimus and Megatron confront each other is a poor exit for Rhinox.

On the other hand, Optimus Primal, Megatron and Cheetor are all golden in this episode, and Rattrap has his moment when Rhinox mercilessly shot him with a Key. Cheetor pointing out that the Oracle may be tampered with, and Optimus Primal's fanatical overconfidence before Cheetor pointing this out is well scripted. The Diagnostic Drone has an exit, stage left, however... for a non-entity it's got a good run, and it's a viable exit. The rest of the cast, however, got shafted aside for the moment.

The Plasma Energy Chamber... well, it's sort of a nice antithesis to the Key to Vector Sigma, although the G1 fanboy in me is happy, the whole doomsday weapon battle is kind of poorly executed after all the build up. The Maximals go down almost immediately, and off-screen to boot. Although considering things, it's just as well that they didn't use padding sequences. While there's nothing particularly wrong with this episode other than Rhinox's sub-par exit, it just feels unspectacular, somehow, and fails to live up to all the build-up the past episodes have given it. The Maximals being turned into metal doesn't really have the same impact that keeps you on the edge like any of the cliffhangers for the characters there like any of the season finales for Beast Wars.

(Seven out of Ten)

NOTES
This episode marks the end of the first season of Beast Machines

The Plasma Energy Chamber was the titular plot device in the final episodes of the original cartoon, 'the Rebirth' three-parter, where the plasma energy was able to overload all mechanical Transformers. As with the Key to Vector Sigma there has been a little bit of the writers' own interpretation of the effects of the device.

The first appearance of Rattrap's vine grenades. You know, grenades that encase the Vehicons in fast-growing vines.

Apparently Megatron has suspected that Tankor has grown rogue all the way from 'The Key', and possibly the third part of 'Revelations' as well. If anything, the Diagnostic Drone's stupidity last episode would've confirmed Megatron's suspicions.

The last appearance of the blue-and-silver Diagnostic Drone, unfortunately. Another Diagnostic Drone (with a different voice actor) will appear later on in the series.

At one point Rattrap references 'Control-Alt-Delete', the shortcut in Windows computers to open the Task Manager for the uninformed. Go on, try it.

GOOFS
For the better part of the first half of the episode, Tankor is portrayed using the Tank Drone character model. Also, the headlights are missing several times as well.

The Plasma Energy Chamber looks a little bit different than how it looked like in G1 (but then, so did the Oracle).

The swirly maelstorm bit cuts through Megatron and Optimus Primal at one point.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2011-02-13 at 03:38 AM.
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