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Old 2011-04-08, 03:31 PM   #14
Blackjack
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Tow-Line Goes Haywire
Airdate: 20 September 2001
Written By: Yukiyoshi Ohashi
Adapted By: Matthew V. Lewis
Japanese Title: Parking Violation! Wrecker Hook

Synopsis:
As Side Burn hits on a red sports car, a tow truck revealing himself to be the Autobot Tow-Line arrests Side Burn and impounds him for parking in a no parking zone. Prowl is pleased by this, and intends on combating all unlawful parkers with Tow-Line. Tow-Line undertakes his job with extreme dedication, but it soon spirals out of control, pulling anything that even resembles illegal parking, including tricycles and wedding vehicles. Prowl tries his best to tell Tow-Line what counts as illegal parking. Sky-Byte and Gas Skunk see this and begin to hatch a plot. The Predacon trio hide inside a trailer truck, and when Tow-Line tries to tow it away the trio ambush the rookie. They capture Tow-Line and take him to Sky-Byte. After Slapper and Gas Skunk tries their hand at hypnotism (which only succeeds in putting Slapper to sleep). Dark Scream arrives with a disc containing a brainwashing device. It alters Tow-Line into thinking that the Autobots have been doing the evil deeds that the Predacons did.

The confused Tow-Line begin to hunt down Autobots. He tows X-Brawn away, and in the struggle that ensued X-Brawn knocks Tow-Line's memory banks with his own grapple. Even more confused than before, Tow-Line drops X-Brawn into a deep hole in a power plant. Tow-Line then attacks Side Burn and Rapid Run in quick succession, dropping both into the same hole X-Brawn was. As Tow-Line carries the larger Rapid Run, he causes collateral damage that doesn't go unnoticed by Prowl and Koji. Optimus and Prowl, thinking that it's a towing addiction, tries to talk Tow-Line down, but the poor Autobot has been clearly brainwashed. The Predacon troops arrive to help their 'friend', but Optimus blasts them away. They manage to tear out the control disc, restoring Tow-Line to his normal self. Tow-Line rescues the three Autobots he impounded, and apologizes to them. Megatron arrives with the Predacons, but the Autobots make quick work of them. Later on, Tow-Line tows Prowl away for parking illegally... even if it's only to get a wash.

Featured Transformers: Side Burn, Tow-Line, Prowl, Optimus Prime, X-Brawn, Sky-Byte, Gas Skunk, Slapper, Dark Scream, Rapid Run, Megatron
Notable Others: Koji Onishi, T-AI, Kelly

Review:
I really think this episode is funny, with Tow-Line's voice being the first voice that's distinctive enough to stick in my head. I can't stress how important voices are. Despite his scant appearances and rather silly misunderstood misconception, he's basically a dimwitted, over-enthusiastic rookie guy with this cute 'duhhh' accent. I have no idea why but I really like Tow-Line. Maybe it's his voice, maybe it's because he's such a ditz... 'No parking meens no parking, leettle man.' The plot is the one of the stock 'one of the good guys is brainwashed!' plot in cartoons. Prowl, Rapid Run, Slapper and Side Burn all get nice moments as well. Especially Prowl, crazy traffic cop of justice. I'm starting to warm up to the RID guys after a bit, and am beginning to enjoy this rise in quality and dubbing. Slapper is great fun as well during the hypnosis scene. Rapid Run gets some nice solo act with his 'Deflector-Shield!'. It's not the best episode out there, but it's fun to watch. A nice little gem around the repetitive banality of RID.

(Seven out of Ten)

Notes:
The first appearance of Tow-Line, a.k.a. Wrecker Hook in Japan. Like Skid-Z, Tow-Line is a repaint of a Machine Wars toy that never saw release in Japan previously, in this case the Hoist/Hubcap mold.

The most frequent of Tow-Line's call-out attacks is called 'Wrecker Hook', a shout-out to his Japanese name.

The dialogue of the Predacons and Autobots at several points suggests that the Predacons have caused lots of small-time trouble off-screen, as well as actually succeeding in stealing energy.

Goofs:
Tow-Line's window that X-Brawn breaks reappears intact in all subsequent shots.

Rapid Run's black parts are not coloured during a panning shot.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2011-11-25 at 05:49 AM.
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