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Old 2011-04-30, 01:07 PM   #24
Blackjack
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The Test
Airdate: 26 September 2001
Written By: Junki Takegami
Adapted By: Tom Wyner
Japanese Title: Awaken to Righteousness! Black Convoy

Synopsis:
Sky-Byte is dispatched to destroy a drilling platform in the ocean, but as he celebrates his success, Scourge attacks him. Optimus Prime arrives, and this drives Sky-Byte away. Optimus tries to recruit Scourge, appealing to his Autobot nature and tells him to reject Megatron's programming but Scourge leaves without a word. At the Predacon base, Sky-Byte reports to Megatron about Scourge's betrayal but Megatron refuses to believe him. Sky-Byte is convinced that something is wrong. In Autobot HQ Optimus is convinced that the Decepticons' good side is winning out but the Brothers are much more distrustful. T-AI receives a clandestine transmission from Mega-Octane, requesting a meeting with Optimus. Despite advice otherwise, Optimus arrives at the location and meets with the Decepticon. Mega-Octane explains that the Decepticons wants to defect to the Autobots. Optimus is pleased, while an eavesdropping Sky-Byte hatches a plan to get rid of the Decepticons. Afterwards Mega-Octane reports to Megatron that their plan to fool the Autobots is working, and that they will discover the Autobots' secret base in no time. Scourge is unhappy with all these non-fighting schemes.

The Brothers argue with Optimus Prime, who insists on giving the Decepticons a chance. Side Burn has an idea to subject the Decepticons to menial tasks. The Decepticons are set to clean up a random forest of fallen leaves with giant brooms, but after some protests the Decepticons work anyway, surprising the Autobots with their 'enthusiasm' and dedication. The Decepticons are set to direct traffic, working construction and cleaning waterways. As the Decepticons huddle around after the ordeal, Mega-Octane barely keeps Scourge from exploding, but the Brothers are satisfied. Optimus is about to take the Decepticons to HQ when Sky-Byte attacks, intent on destroying the traitors. The Decepticons consider that blowing the Predacon up will prove their loyalty to Prime whilst getting rid of competition, and attacks. Scourge goes after Sky-Byte but nearly kills a passing Kelly if not for Optimus' intervention. Mega-Octane tries to calm things down, but Scourge lost his temper and mocks Optimus for his gullibility. Enraged at this, Optimus Prime single-handedly takes down all six Decepticons, forcing them to retreat. Later Optimus Prime apologizes to the Brothers for allowing blind hopes override better judgment.

Featured Transformers: Sky-Byte, Optimus Prime, Scourge, Slapper, Gas Skunk, Dark Scream, Megatron, Side Burn, Prowl, X-Brawn, Mega-Octane, Rollbar, Armorhide, Movor, Ro-Tor, Ruination
Notable Others: T-AI, Kelly

Review:
The Autobots are stupid, the Decepticons are stupid, Megatron is stupid. Sky-Byte, on the other hand, shines. Actually seeming dangerous by blowing the oil rig up, lobbing haikus and poems (with excellent delivery for once), trying so hard to defeat Scourge and the Autobots yet failing at every turn, yet keep getting back up to attack the Autobots... with uninteresting Autobots and unbelievably incompetent Decepticons in this episode, I can't help but cheer solely for Sky-Byte. He is the only source of any points I give this episode. Rollbar (I think) manages to become the second Commando to have a personality by carrying the fake act even when they don't have to, but that's not saying much. Any suspense that they are actually defecting is ruined by the illusion being dissolved very early on.

The Commandos and Brothers are flatly characterised. Scourge, usually portrayed as a competent leader, now hugs the idiot ball by simply not being able to control his temper in order for the plan-of-the-week to succeed. It's pretty daft, although playing on Optimus' hopes (although Optimus himself shares the idiot ball with Scourge) is a pretty interesting concept... if used properly. And what do the Autobots do when six Decepticons join them? Do they launch a full scale assault with two combiners, the Spychanger squad and human military at the remaining five Predacons? No, they set them to sweep parks of fallen leaves. No wonder they never get anything done.

(Three out of Ten)

Notes:
First appearance of Optimus Prime's missile rain thing (the name sort of varies dfrom episode to episode.

Sky-Byte once again hums the Jaws theme soundtrack as he moves towards the drilling platform.

I don't think I mentioned this before, but Scourge's trailer, like Optimus Prime and his G1 counterpart, disappears and reappears from off-screen as needed.

Goofs:
Ro-Tor is missing his rotors at one point.

Ruination's scale relative to Scourge are out of whack. Well, more than usual anyway.

while helping the law and traffic and stuff might be understandable considering how RID Autobots help the humans, what good is cleaning a forest of fallen leaves?

Why didn't Sky-Byte attack the Decepticons when they were, like, sweeping the forests or something?
 
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