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Old 2011-03-10, 02:21 PM   #24
Blackjack
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Sparkwar Pt. III: The Siege
Airdate: 5 April 2000
Written By: Steven Melching
Japanese Title: Eternal Friendship

SYNOPSIS
The Grand Mal hovers above the central spaceport, and the Maximals get ready to try to use the opportunity to stop Megatron. Obsidian and Strika are nearby and are organizing the drones' movement, when Noble appears and strolls towards the Maximals' hiding place without caring of hiding himself. The Vehicons attack Noble, causing Cheetor to order a retreat. Nightscream tries to get Noble to come, but Noble continues fighting, forcing Nightscream to unleash a sonic burst that destroys the drones. Cheetor admonishes Nightscream, and orders him to cut Noble loose. Nightscream reluctantly leads Noble away. Optimus, Cheetor and Rattrap discuss on how to infiltrate the Grand Mal. Cheetor leads Silverbolt and Nightscream to distract the Vehicons, while the rest of the Maximals assault the Grand Mal to free the sparks. Rattrap prepares new and improved discs. As they began to head out, Cheetor gestures at Noble, and Nightscream reluctantly shoos a whimpering Noble away.

Thrust reports in to Megatron, who presents himself in the form of his glowing red Spark. Megatron releases several Sparks from his collection, and as Thrust stares in confusion, Megatron consumes them. Megatron tells Thrust that he has mastered the secrets of the Oracle and nothing can stop his ascension now. On the surface, the Maximals spread out and initiate a mass distraction, slapping Rattrap's discs which gives the Vehicons Maximal frequencies while the Maximals themselves hide themselves from the Vehicons' sensors, causing the Vehicons to fire at their own drones. While Obsidian and Thrust are dumbfounded, Strika discover one of the discs on the wreckage of the drones. However, Optimus Primal has led a team into the Grand Mal, following the Oracle's voice which direct him towards the Sparks. Strika reconfigures the disc's harmonics, causing feedback that overloads all the other discs, allowing the other Vehicon Generals to detect and attack the ground forces. Optimus Primal's team are detected by the Grand Mal's senses and are pursued by Thrust. Rattrap manages to seal a bulkhead before Thrust can get them. They find themselves in a large, round chamber with a gigantic container full of Sparks. Above them, Megatron's Spark floats. He gloats and uses tentacles to restrain the Maximals. Megatron absorbs even more Sparks, much to the Maximals' horror. He intends to unite every Spark on Cybertron into one perfect being — himself. The massive container opens and the Sparks drift towards their doom. Optimus pleads for them to resist but to no avail.

All the combatants on the surface stop and stare as Megatron's Spark rises from the Grand Mal. He sends out beams that suspend all the Maximals, drawing out their Sparks by force. Nightscream evades the beams, but trips and is dragged away as well. Noble charges in to rescue Nightscream, knocking out a group of Ground Assault Drones, and then Obsidian and Strika. Noble transforms into Savage and frees Nightscream, but is zapped by Megatron. Transforming back to Noble, he dies in Nightscream's arms. Driven mad with anger Nightscream sends out a sonic scream at Megatron, disrupting Megatron's hold on the Maximals and the captive Sparks. The Sparks return to the container, and the Grand Mal begins to plummet. Inside the head, Rattrap manages to regain control of the Grand Mal in the nick of time before it crashes. It is a bittersweet victory, however, when the Maximals gather around Nightscream and Noble. Optimus Primal later eulogizes Noble. Elsewhere, however, in the empty streets of Cybertron Megatron's Spark flits through the shadows...

Featured Transformers: Nightscream, Megatron, Ground Assault Drones, Cheetor, Blackarachnia, Copter Drones, Strika, Obsidian, Savage Noble (killed), Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Silverbolt, Botanica, Thrust, Cycle Drones

REVIEW
A grand conclusion to the 'Sparkwar' three-parter. Like the other three, it's rather stand-alone, but an increase in pacing from the slow-paced first and second parts. The Maximals and Vehicons go all out, with the frantic scene of the Maximals fooling the Vehicons, then the Vehicons easily conterattacking, is well done. I particularly like how Obsidian and Strika controls their drones in the beginning of the episode. After being humiliated and thrown around like his BW career, Thrust returns back to form as well. He's not as big a threat as he is in the initial episodes (justifiably so), but at least he doesn't go down from one shot again.

Megatron's master plan is to consume all the Sparks so he can control all of Cybertron, and well, there is a hint of an ascension to godhood or something similar too. Just the type of what you expect from Megatron... time, space, sanity... all are mere tools in his insane, far-reaching ambitions. Megatron again gets some of the best dialogue in the series, especially in his meeting with Thrust and his confrontation with Optimus Primal. Kudos to whomever managed to fit that deliciously ironic misquote of 'til all are one' when Megatron consumes his spark. Optimus Primal himself is well played, especially his grief at seeing the Sparks, even if only a few, get consumed by Megatron. Rattrap also has his moments, being the guy that basically saves the day numerous times. His holo-discs, his signal scramblers, the bulkhead, taking control of the Grand Mal... Silverbolt, Thrust and Strika all also get some great moments. Silverbolt is beginning to warm up after the events of last episode, which is good. We don't need that many jerks in the cast.

Speaking of jerks, here we see Nightscream as the hero that saves the day. Contrary to the expectation that Optimus must always be the one to end Megatron's plan, or at least one of the 'cool' guys (Dinobot or Rhinox or Ratchet or somebody) we get Nightscream to do the deed. But instead of an absurd new-toy-power, Nightscream only does what he does after seeing Noble, a kindred spirit that is brought painfully into life by Megatron in the first place, murdered in front of his optics by Megatron. A bit emo, perhaps — well, VERY emo. Just look at his expression. Just look at it. His voice doesn't help either. I do like Noble's last stand, though. Kind of a fridge brilliance that Noble is able to resist Megatron's powers. Lacking a spark and being completely bestial, the Generals are also unprepared for him. But he isn't immune to Megatron, nooo. Zap. Bang. Noble dies. A veritable exit for something that is so controversial. A nice touch of characterisation for Nightscream, if a bit cliched and fanwanky. Things haven't ended yet for ol' Beast Machines, though, but we're on the final loop.

(Eight out of Ten)

NOTES
Since he gets killed, it's the final appearance of Savage Noble.

At one point Rattrap suggests pulling a trick similar to the Trojan Horse to fool Megatron to let them into the Grand Mal.

Megatron's Spark is an unnatural orange-red, and can eat other Sparks and assimilate them into himself. It is unclear whether Megatron has a mutated Spark (just like Starscream's immortal one) or it is because of his mastery of the Oracle. Considering he can pull out Sparks, and seemingly control the helpless ones he ate to his whim, I'm betting it's the latter.

When Megatron is calling the sparks to him, he says 'let us all become one!' It's an appropriate, if twisted, parody of the Autobot credo 'Til all are one!' first introduced in the 1986 Movie. Just like Megatron to twist something into such a delicious irony.

The way Optimus Primal eulogizes Noble, clustered around a disc with a hologram of the deceased Maximal, is similar to how they eulogized Rhinox previously. Must be a Maximal custom.

GOOFS
At one point Strika is miscoloured as one of her drones, without the additional paint applications.

When Silverbolt is lobbing the feather bombs at the Vehicons, at one point his arm clips through his head.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2011-03-13 at 01:48 AM.
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