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Old 2011-03-20, 11:59 AM   #27
Blackjack
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Endgame Pt. II: When Legends Fall
Airdate: 26 April 2000
Written By: Steven Melching
Japanese Title: Hope's End

SYNOPSIS
The Grand Mal is besieged by the Vehicons. Megatron orders the Vehicon Generals to destroy the Maximals and recapture the Sparks, then returns to the project of his new body with a Diagnostic Drone. However, the Vehicons decide to undergo field repairs on their drones, buying the Maximals time. Botanica sprouts out near the Maximals in the Grand Mal and shows them a power conduit they can tap into. Rattrap is overjoyed but refuses to admit it. Silverbolt notes that they get only one shot, and that the power surge will be detected and cut off. Silverbolt and Blackarachnia, as well as Rattrap and Botanica, share a quiet moment. Optimus Primal enters the Spark chamber and calls on the Oracle for help. A vision overtakes him, and tells Primal that he already have the wisdom. The Sparks offer their strength, and the Maximals' Sparks all glow in their respective colours, powering them up. Megatron offers one last chance to surrender their Sparks painlessly, to which the Maximals naturally refuse. The Vehicon legion move in. The Maximals activate the shield with the power source, obliterating the first wave of the Drones. The Generals try the harmonics trick, but discover that the shield harmonics are changing rapidly. The Vehicons then send drones to ram the shield to deplete it, and the shield soon goes down.

There are no words and no sounds as the Maximals give everything they got at the Vehicon Drones, before falling back to the Grand Mal. A squad of Mole Drones attack the Techno-organic Orchard with wheels and flamethrowers, and Botanica feels the pain. She gang-presses Rattrap and Nightscream to go underground to fight the Mole Drones. They soon meet battle, and Nightscream veers off to protect the fossil chamber, also under attack. The rest of the Maximals battle the legions of drones, and Primal chases down a trio of Tank Drones that manage to enter the Grand Mal by being airdropped. Optimus Primal destroys one of the Drones, but the Spark power-up begin to glow and destroy the Tank Drones. The other Maximals also find the same thing happening to them, with Drones exploding everywhere. Elsewhere, Megatron states that his new body is complete. The Oracle is also part of Megatron, and he cuts the connection, severing the Maximals from their Spark boost.

Thrust singles out Silverbolt, and deals with the traitor by blasting him and dropping a tower onto him. Obsidian takes out Blackarachnia before she could get her revenge on Thrust. Cheetor confronts all three Vehicon Generals, and the battle manages to enter the Grand Mal. They enter a dark room, and a roof hatch opens as Cheetor activates the anti-gravity generators. Thrust had the presence to scoot away from under the hatch, but Obsidian and Strika are blasted into orbital space. Elsewhere, Megatron tries out his new body, and notes that he is alive again. Cheetor and Thrust circle each other, and Thrust throws away his Spark extractor. The two battle, but when Thrust grapple-hooks Cheetor, Cheetor picks Thrust's Spark extractor and tears out the Vehicon's Spark. Cheetor is shadowed, and mistakes it for Optimus Primal... but it's really Megatron, who zaps him. Megatron confronts Optimus Primal, revealing his new body to be Optimus' former Optimal Optimus body, albeit with a different face. He gloats that the day of the Maximals is at an end. All around the Grand Mal, the Drones despark the Maximals one by one. Megatron tells Optimus Primal that now it is his turn.

To be continued...

Featured Transformers: Obsidian, Strika, Thrust, Megatron, Diagnostic Drone, Optimus Primal, Rattrap, Cheetor, Botanica, Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Nightscream, Tank Drones, Cycle Drones, Copter Drones, the Oracle, Jet Drones, Ground Assault Drones, Mole Drones

REVIEW
Out of any story, conclusions are always the hardest to write, and Transformers lore have a bad habit of having piss-poor conclusions in story arcs, or an adequate, mis-paced one at best. All conclusions, especially that of a cartoon, usually ends with a big-ass fight, though, and Beast Machines does not disappoint. More Maximals versus Vehicon action, and I especially adore that scene where the Cycle Drones were flipped and destroyed by the forcefield suddenly coming on. The moment of silent action sequence, on the other hand... granted, it is cool, but it is also rather narmish, especially with the rather 'dull surprise' look the Maximals have on their faces, and the streaky anime lines behind them. Pity, since they could've done something spectacular. Instead we get this.

Obsidian and Strika get one of the worst exits ever, by being blown into orbit. Before you ask, no, they don't get any conclusion to their character arc, not even a proper death in the battle against the Maximals, which would've added to the drama and to a satisfactory end to those two. One thing I have to note about Beast Machines is that despite the darker and the more psychological/spiritual tone, very few characters actually die, unlike Beast Wars or even Generation One. Only Rhinox and Noble made the grand total of death so far, since we all know desparking isn't permanent. And Noble isn't even a proper person. Unlike the finales in Beast Wars' Season Two or Three where a huge majority of the cast gets either killed or seriously incapacitated. Surely if they aren't going to use Obsidian and Strika in the climax it would be much better to kill them off, in a huge action scene instead of having random Drones blasted here and there? And the Maximals... we could've seen a climatic battle. Instead, we get basically a rerun of 'Revelations' part three, with all the Maximal troops being incapacitated and a fanatical Optimus Primal confronting Megatron. Only instead of the Key to Vector Sigma, it is the Spark extractors now. And the stakes are higher, but that's a given. This execution of the final Endgame always bothered me.

There are good things in this episode, though. The confrontation between Cheetor and Thrust is golden, with Thrust having enough honour to toss away his Spark extractor, only for the Maximal — bent to protect the Sparks — to go and use said weapon. The little quiet romantic moment between the two couples (Rattrap and Botanica felt forced and abrupt, though) are also nicely done. Also, I like the fact that it isn't just a single battle on a single front, but rather multiple fronts with the Mole Drones wanting to obliterate all techno-organic DNA in the orchard and the fossil cave. Megatron, meanwhile, has fully reverted into his hamfisted Beast Wars persona, yeeess, picking the Optimal Optimus body purely to taunt Optimus Primal. While the execution of the Maximal and Vehicon troops leave much to be desired, at least this promises an asskicking fight scene next episode.

(Six out of Ten)

NOTES
Final appearances of Obsidian and Strika. Presumably when the Maximals remember that they are still orbiting Cybertron they'll send someone to drag the two of them down.

Megatron's body is a replica of Optimus Primal's "Optimal Optimus" body from the third season of Beast Wars, albeit with Megatron's Transmetal face under the helmet. Fashionably ironic, yeeeess. Presumably he got the schematics during the course of Beast Wars (Tarantulas did make that control harness thing) or by downloading it off Rhinox's memories.

And he says yeeess again, yeeeess.

Another Diagnostic Drone, identical to the one that appeared in the first season, is featured here. He sounds the same but is voiced by a different voice actor. Also, he's less emotive, acting really like a lifeless drone.

Due to Optimus summoning the mumbo-jumbo powers of the Oracle, all the Maximals' sparks now glow and infuse them with power. They are colour coded too, with the same glowing effects when they transform (Blackarachnia's is green, Rattrap's red, Silverbolt's yellow, Nightscream's is light blue and so on). Presumably this multi-coloured Sparks is the result of their techno-organic body.

Note that the Tank Drones and Jet Drones, previously unseen ever since Obsidian and Strika entered the fray, are utilized alongside the Copter and Ground Assault Drones, presumably taken out of reserve for this final battle.

Also note that Silverbolt is knocked out by Thrust. In Beast Wars, Silverbolt was the only Maximal that Waspinator ever defeats. Twice, to boot.

At the end of this episode, Thrust and all the Maximals have all been de-sparked, leaving only Optimus Primal and Megatron functional.

GOOFS
If the Vehicons need to repair their Drones — which had always been shown as close to infinite in numbers — presumably they can't spare too many drones to be destroyed. So why would they resort to kamikaze tricks?

Why didn't Nightscream use his super-powered sonic scream thing during the initial battle? Rattrap was the one who needed to rely on vine bombs, not him...

One of the cycle drones is again miscoloured as Thrust.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2011-03-22 at 02:48 AM.
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