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Old 2011-04-13, 03:27 PM   #21
Blackjack
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Commandos
Airdate: 24 September 2001
Written By: Yukiyoshi Ohashi
Adapted By: Marc Handler
Japanese Title: Quintuple Merge! Valdigus

Synopsis:
At a remote location, Scourge and the Decepticon Commandos to destroy a dam. Megatron is impressed, and the Decepticons plan to attack a larger one that humans depend on. Sky-Byte is angry that Megatron is focused on the Decepticons, and along with the Predacon trio plans to steal Scourge's thunder in the next mission by disguising as Autobots to trick the Decepticons. The four argue who gets to be Optimus. In the Autobot base, the Autobots have witnessed the Commandos' attack, and Autobots are deployed to various dams. Koji is at the Sherman Dam, and X-Brawn, patrolling nearby, encounters the Decepticons. Scourge easily tosses X-Brawn into the water where he sinks like a brick. As the Decepticons begin to climb the Dam and plant bombs, Koji alerts Optimus. Side Burn and Prowl are deployed. Sky-Byte and the Predacon trio, all disguised as Optimus Prime, open fire on the Commandos. Scourge drives off the fake Autobots and again tosses Prowl and Side Burn into the water. Dark Scream flies unnoticed and plants a transmitter on one of the bombs.

Optimus Prime arrives as well, while Megatron broadcasts a threat to Los Bogus, where lots of people (including Kelly) watches. Megatron monologues and then orders Scourge to detonate the charges... but nothing happens when Scourge presses the detonator. Megatron is enraged, and Sky-Byte tells Megatron he could do it. Before he could press the new detonator, Optimus arrives and battles the Predacon four. The detonator falls into the water where the Brothers have sunk in, sitting and waiting for help. Megatron is enraged and orders the Decepticon to tear the dam apart. Mega-Octane blows a hole in the dam, causing a blackout in Los Bogus, just before Kelly gets a jackpot. Optimus Prime attack Scourge, while the Brothers, washed down by the water gushing out of the dam, charge the ground-bound Commandos. Movor and Ro-Tor arrive, but so do Team Bullet Train. The Predacon quartet fire indiscriminately from the dam to take out everyone in their way, but a bunch of stray shots from Optimus sends the quartet into the water. Team Bullet Train combines into Rail Racer, but the Commandos combine as well into Ruination. Ruination initially gains the upper hand, but the Brothers disrupt the Decepticon, allowing Rail Racer to blast Ruination apart. The Decepticons retreat. The dam is repaired, power is restored, Megatron is angry, Kelly doesn't win anything and Sky-Byte swears vengeance.

Featured Transformers: Scourge, Megatron, Mega-Octane, Ro-Tor, Armorhide, Rollbar, Movor, Dark Scream, Sky-Byte, Slapper, Gas Skunk, Optimus Prime, X-Brawn, Side Burn, Prowl, Midnight Express, Rapid Run, Railspike, Rail Racer, Ruination
Notable Others: T-AI, Koji Onishi, Kelly

Review:
Another forgettable, overlong episode. The Decepticons are generic yes-man thugs, Scourge is an angry, super-powered generic thug (in here), the Predacons are bumbling fools, and the battle between Ruination and Rail Racer falls flat. Megatron, after seeming more menacing after several episodes of being kept out of the limelight, comes off a total idiot more concerned about speeches instead of napalming the dam. Add that to the uninteresting plot and the big plot hole of why didn't the stupid Predacons and Decepticons blow up the dam with their weaponry and have to rely on mines... Sky-Byte's jealousy is executed terribly here, being flat and unsympathetic unlike how his jealousy would be in later episodes.

Kelly is also godawfully irritating. It was funny at first when she appeared for a couple of seconds to be chased by Side Burn or run off the road and all. Give her a wee bit more screentime and she gets on your nerves. The only good bits here are the gag scenes the Predacons cosplaying as Optimus Prime and discussing about who gets to be Prime, and X-Brawn's swim-swim-swim scene. Charming, but gags won't save a crap episode.

(Two out of Ten)

Notes:
First appearance of Ruination, otherwise known as Valdigus in Japan, which is a play on Bruticus' name (upon whom Ruination/Valdigus is repainted off). Ruination has two combination modes since he's a scramble city-type gestalt. Here is the more common one with air-based Movor and Ro-Tor as arms and the ground-based Armorhide and Rollbar as legs.

The Ruination five are referred as 'Commandos', while the group as a whole with Scourge is referred as 'Decepticons'.

Ruination uses the combined weapons of his components.

Los Bogus is, of course, Las Vegas in all but name.

When G1 gestalts combine, the extra parts (fists, head et al) are grown from the combiners' body. Ruination, however, has his combiner kibble (head, chestplate et al) flying in out of nowhere during the stock footage.

The first feud between the Decepticons and Predacons. Won't be the last.

Slapper quotes Optimus Primal's catchphrase 'Well ain't that just Prime'.

Sherman Dam had been featured in the second G1 episode 'More than Meets the Eye Part 2', where that series' Optimus and Megatron had their iconic (and clunky) fight with the energy axe and flail.

Goofs:
The Autobot Brothers can swim underwater pretty well in 'the Hunt for Black Pyramid' but here they sink like bricks, despite X-Brawn's efforts.

Why don't the Decepticons and Predacons, you know, shoot the dam? Mega-Octane alone should be able to create enough holes to cause enough stress for the dam to break.

When Ruination first combines, his thumb clips onto his chest.
 
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