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Old 2011-06-16, 05:46 PM   #38
Blackjack
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A Friendly Contest
Airdate: 1 November 2000
Written By: Yukiyoshi Ohashi
Adapted By: Matthew V. Lewis
Japanese Title: Gelshark's Trap

Synopsis:
The Autobot brothers and the Build Team search for O-Parts using a detector developed by T-AI and Doctor Onishi. After Side Burn finds one, the Brothers and Build Team decide to have a contest to see who would find more O-Parts. The Decepticons arrive, but the Autobots evade them with the Global Space Bridge. Elsewhere Sky-Byte and Slapper discuss their plan to find O-Parts. Sky-Byte has created a fake O-Part and attempts to bury it as a decoy at some ruins. However, the Autobots turn up and swipe the real O-Part. The Decepticons arrive and the Autobots retreat, while Sky-Byte and Slapper find themselves buried in the hole they made. Some time later Sky-Byte hides more fake O-Parts around other ruins, but realises that their detector can't tell the fake O-Parts from the real ones, and marks the bogus O-Parts with an S. Scourge arrives and takes the real O-Part, but the Autobots and Ultra Magnus steal it from him. At another site, the Build Team locates another O-Part. Sky-Byte pretends to be on their side and tricks them and swaps his fake O-Part and the real one. However, fire from Scourge (who, for once tries to help Sky-Byte but is not aware that the Predacon is acting) and the Autobots causes the fake O-Part to end up on Scourge's hand, and the Autobots to make off with the real one.

At a Pyramid Wedge locates the last O-Part, meaning that the Build Team wins their friendly contest. Side Burn is depressed. However, Megatron and the Decepticons arrive and attack. Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus likewise arrive to support the other Autobots. In the resulting scuffle Megatron takes Wedge hostage and demand Optimus hand over the O-Parts. Sky-Byte, watching from the sidelines and not understanding, charges in and tries to switch the real O-Parts with the fake ones. Sky-Byte collides with Optimuis and mixes up both real and fake O-Parts. In the commotion, Optimus and Magnus form Omega Prime. Wedge also manages to break free, allowing Omega Prime to open fire at the Predacons. The Predacons flee, and Megatron promises punishment at Sky-Byte's meddling. In their headquarters, the Autobots bring all the O-Parts they have gathered together, and they react to form something. Doctor Onishi believes it's a key to a brave new world, but T-AI isn't so sure...

Featured Transformers: Side Burn, Prowl, X-Brawn, Wedge, Heavy Load, Hightower, Grimlock, Scourge, Armorhide, Mega-Octane, Movor, Sky-Byte, Slapper, Ro-Tor, Ruination (flashback), Rollbar, Ultra Magnus, Megatron, Fortress Maximus, Omega Prime
Notable Others: Doctor Onishi, Koji Onishi, T-AI, Kelly

Review:
Pretty fun, with Sky-Byte and Slapper taking center stage. The two of them are pretty fun and have been sidelined quite a lot with new toys being introduced. Scourge and Side Burn make decent secondary characters with their own goals clearly defined, and even Wedge is not quite that annoying here. Scourge's backstory is great, and his willingness to help Sky-Byte, albeit grudgingly, is a nice justification as well. A solid, fun episode which basically details on the antics of Sky-Byte with the fake O-Parts, but while at the same time moving on the overdue O-Parts plot. Also, sadly poor Magnus have been reduced to nothing but a deus ex machina lately.

It still grates at some points and feels that it could be told in less than half of what it is. There are also many plot holes, like why the Autobots carry the O-Parts around with them when placing them securely at base would've saved them all the grief. Or why the Brothers and Build Team don't just hop into the Global Space Bridge before the final battle. Or why Sky-Byte doesn't just steal all the scattered O-Parts and sort them out later. Some of the jokes are blatantly not funny. It's not quite handled quite as gracefully or seriously as it should, but the slapstick and kind of half-assed, funny-not-quite-funny manner reflects the tone of the entire series. It's not quite terrible, but could never be mistaken of even approaching spectacular either... which, again, is a very accurate description of RID.

(Seven out of Ten)

Notes:
Thirty episodes and the Autobots only found two O-parts. This episode they found everything else in less than ten minutes. Quite anti-climatic, eh?

All of the O-Parts are found in archaeological sites, or similar copyright-friendly equivalents. Of course, none of them are named.

Scourge's memories as an Autobot continue to return. Apparently Scourge has the ability to detect O-Parts and their ilk.

Goofs:
Gas Skunk and Dark Scream are absent for the entirely of this episode for no explicable reason.

The webbings on Slapper's hands disappear when he catches the fake O-Part from Sky-Byte.

When Sky-Byte and Slapper are about to be buried under the soil, Slapper mouths Sky-Byte's lines along with him.

Slapper's lower teeth are coloured like the interior of his mouth when he pops out of the ground.

When Wedge is being held hostage by Megatron his right shoulder scoop disappears.

As he tries to escape, Sky-Byte disappears from view before he reaches the edge of the screen.
 
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