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Old 2011-02-21, 09:37 AM   #18
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Prometheus Unbound
Airdate: 23 February 2000
Written By: Marv Wolfman
Japanese Title: The Monster's Awakening

SYNOPSIS
Noble howls at the moon. The Maximals aren't exactly happy about Noble running off, but Nightscream defends their newest member, blaming the team's treatment of Noble. Blackarachnia and Rattrap are freaked out by Noble, noting that he has been going to the same place for the past five nights. Nightscream storms off to find Noble, who is banging on the doors to Megatron's citadel. Noble transforms into Savage and continues his assault. Nightscream tries to stop Savage, but is attacked by the automated defenses of the citadel. Savage leaps in the way, however, and is knocked out. When he wakes up (back in Noble form) he tells the Maximals that he is confused about how he got there, and tells them that the Maximals should lock him up. Optimus defends Noble, citing his rescue of Nightscream even in his Savage form. Rattrap isn't very pleased, which earns him some harsh words from Nightscream. Optimus defuses the situation, ordering them to try and find the missing sparks. They prepare to infiltrate Megatron's citadel. Noble wants to help because he feels drawn to the place, and Nightscream vehemently supports him, but Optimus Primal refuses on the grounds of they already having enough trouble to worry about. Nightscream pouts.

Rattrap hacks open the door, and Optimus Primal shoots down an obvious trap. As they enter, Noble charges in, followed by Nightscream. The doors close just as they enter. Optimus isn't very pleased, but Noble says he can't help himself. While the Maximals try to figure out other traps Megatron would've laid around, Noble runs off again, activating a field of mines, which blows up upon his transformation into Savage. The group recovers to find Savage missing. Rattrap blames Nightscream, and the team split up. Nightscream and Optimus Primal goes off after Savage, while Rattrap, Cheetor and Blackarachnia head for the throne room. As the Maximals navigate the Citadel, Savage watch from the shadows. Savage changes to Noble and opens the door to Megatron's throne room, declaring success. He tries to leap through the bridge pieces but falls down. Nightscream and Optimus fly down after him. Rattrap's team arrives a few moments later, and after Cheetor and Blackarachnia help the not-agile Rattrap get past the floating bridge pieces, Rattrap plugs into Megatron's abandoned control harness. Rattrap tries to figure out the encrypted data, just as Optimus and Nightscream arrive with Noble. Noble spots Rattrap in the harness, and immediately morphs into Savage. The Maximals are surprised that the creature can control his changes.

Savage blasts Rattrap out of the harness. Things are plunged into chaos, as alarms blare and spark extractor tentacles slide out of the walls. The Maximals and Savage destroy the tentacles. Much to Rattrap's relief, Savage morphs back into Noble... but Noble yanks Rattrap and tosses him away. Noble puts on the harness, but nothing happens. Telling himself that he can't interface while in an organic body, Noble leaps away and graps two of the spark extractors and applies them to himself. An aggressively pulsating orange spark shoots out of the body, moves into the control harness and up the wires. Megatron's voice booms around the room, telling them that he is free. The Maximals rush outside, to see that Megatron's spark has taken residence in the Grand Mal. Megatron explains that 'Noble' was just a rule, and that Nightscream played straight into his hands. He further tells them that he had succeeded in separating his body into their organic and technological halves, but his spark was stuck in the organic half. Megatron fires a beam into the planet, activating all the systems including the Vehicon drones. The Maximals have no choice but to retreat back underground. Nightscream laments his loss, and Rattrap comforts him. Meanwhile, in the Citadel, the Noble body's eyes open...

Featured Transformers: Megatron, Savage Noble, Cheetor, Nightscream, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Blackarachnia, Tank Drones, Cycle Drones, Jet Drones

REVIEW
Simply put, it's dark. So we think Noble is just going to be another member of the cast, right? Albeit with a Jekyll Hyde complex that causes him to go Savage whenever he is angry. That's fine, he can be the Hulk of the team. But hey, turns out he's Megatron! And the whole 'Noble' character is an act. It's such a blow, that it's a shame that Maximal Noble isn't dragged on for another episode (which probably could tie up the really loose ends this episode has, we'll go about it in a bit) so he has a bit more of an impact. Nightscream's impetuous jerkassness early on in the episode to defend Noble, and his later grief at having been played like a puppet, is well done. This would be one of the few episodes hell, probably the only one where I don't want Nightscream to drop dead. Megatron is a glorious ham in this episode, the way he mocks Nightscream at the end. Simply excellent performance from David Kaye.

Both Rattrap and Blackarachnia also get some love after multiple episodes of being sidelined in favour for Optimus and Cheetor. Blackarachnia's characterisation isn't as strong as that in Beast Wars, but at least now she's doing something else other than trying to get Silverbolt back. Her snarkiness echoes her stronger chartacterisation during Beast Wars as well. Rattrap, meanwhile, takes back his Beast Wars characterisation in trying to undermine the new guy with suspicion, as well as his delicious pessimism, but thankfully Rattrap still retains the humbled character development he had in Beast Machines. That moment where he comforts Nightscream is particularly touching.

Sadly, the same couldn't be said about the plot. When on Earth could Megatron have separated his organic and technological halves? How did it happen? We last saw him plotting against Tankor and Optimus, then he fell apart. There was no way for his spark to be trapped in the wrong body. Poor scriptwriting, and one of the biggest loopholes in Beast Machines. While the irony of Megatron being trapped in a nearly totally organic transformer body is delicious, and his being freed into the Grand Mal (not so silly looking now that it can move) is simply badass. But sadly that doesn't forgive the bad scripting. Now if we have had hints of this beforehand... as it is, it seems like the writers were desparate to bring Megatron back and introduce a new character, and pulled a fast one out of their arses. Great characterisation and pacing, and very tense, but continuity takes a roundabout route.

(Seven out of Ten)

NOTES
Savage Noble is Megatron. So everything that has happened last issue is all Megatron's trickery, and Noble was never a good guy to start with. However, the body of Savage Noble somehow gains a life of its own at the end of the episode.

Megatron existing as a giant talking head has already been done before in the Beast Wars episode 'Other Visits, Part 2', although that wasn't quite as impressive as the Grand Mal.

Rattrap compares the Grand Mal (Megatron's big floating head, for those who don't know) to Unicron. In season three of the original cartoon, Unicron's damaged head orbits Cybertron like a moon.

It's worth noting that in Beast Machines, Unicron's head is no longer orbiting Cybertron, while occasionally a metallic moon can be seen. Not necessarily a goof (partially because I can't be arsed to track down which episode had the moon) since the Transformers could've rebuilt the moons that Unicron ate during Transformers the Movie.

When connected to Megatron's control harness, Rattrap references 'Sunday funnies'.

'Prometheus Unbound' is a play that is inspired by the Greek legend of Prometheus, a minor god who stole fire to give it to humans, tricking the big gods. As punishment Zeus chained him to a rock and had eagles eat his innards every day. In the play, Prometheus obviously broke free. Presumably this is meant to symbolize Megatron's plight, where, after an effort to make Cybertron better (twisted, but still) he is trapped in a fate worse than death inside Savage Noble, but finally manages to break free. Or something.

GOOFS
When did Megatron had a chance to separate his organic and technological halves? Prior to his destruction in the 'Revelations' three-parter and 'Fallout', he was treated like usual, and one of Tankor's plans hinges on Megatron using the Key of Vector Sigma on himself to cure his organic contamination. Megatron was still obviously having his spark in his original body, so unless there's a funky offscreen scene between 'Fallout' and 'Savage Noble' that involved Megatron's spark surviving being disintegrated and going into the Noble body, it's a big plot goof.

There was no way for it to be done in secret from Rhinox-Tankor either; the Diagnostic Drone was in Rhinox's control. Plus, Megatron was clearly still in his original body prior to his seeming destruction.

And why does he have so much organic matter in his body?

So, presumably the Savage dragon gained its dragon DNA from Megatron's dragon alternate mode (if there is such a thing, since, well, TM2 Megatron didn't get his dragon alternate mode by scanning something) but where does the Noble bit come from? Megatron only ever scanned a T-Rex for hiss alternate mode...
 
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