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Old 2011-08-13, 01:58 PM   #45
Blackjack
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Surprise Attack!
Airdate: 9 March 2002
Written By: Tadashi Hayakawa
Adapted By: Tom Wyner
Japanese Title: Brave Maximus’s Rise

Synopsis:
Galvatron sends out energy from his spark to reprogram Scourge and the Commandos into loyal servants. Galvatron praises Sky-Byte and the Predacon Trio for their constant loyalty, and places Sky-Byte in command of the now-loyal Decepticons and of their next mission. Sky-Byte goes off to find Koji, and after an awkward moment with Jenny, Sky-Byte is given instructions to Koji’s house. Sky-Byte hides on the side of the street as Koji runs past, and trails the boy in hopes that Koji will lead him to the Autobot base. Surprisingly this plan works and Sky-Byte finds out that the base is inside a parking structure. Sky-Byte informs Galvatron. In the base, Side Burn gives the unresponsive Cerebros a speech about how he’s an Autobot that needs to protect Earth. Cerebros replies with a soulless tirade of his own, how Cerebros is programmed to obey Autobots while Maximus is programmed to obey humans. X-Brawn points out that it’s a silly system. However, the Decepticons attack the structure. T-AI contacts every single Autobot in the field, and sends them to a rendezvous point. Optimus takes Cerebros as bait, leading the Decepticons and Predacons to said rendezvous point. Sky-Byte, thinking that he’s cornered Optimus Prime, soon finds himself in a trap with all the Autobots waiting for him.

In a nearby lake Kelly is in a paddle boat, trying to ignore the Autobots. Galvatron has been floating in the lake in his hydrofoil mode and transforms. The Decepticon ship appears out of the sky and open fire on the Autobot forces. The Predacon trio hide behind some rocks, only to find Sky-Byte doing the same. Ultra Magnus pops up and Omega Prime is formed. Build Team combine into Landfill but gets shot down quickly. Rail Racer is next and uses his speed to try and fire into the afterburner of the Decepticon ship, but he is blown back by missiles. Wedge rushes the ship all by his lonesome and says that he’s an Autobot that can’t give up, but predictably gets shot down. However, Wedge’s courage activates Fortress Maximus. Galvatron transforms into his claw mode and links up with the Decepticon ship’s right arm. Controlling the ship, Galvatron and Maximus battle each other while the Autobots easily defeat Ruination and Scourge. Maximus roars and finally unleashes his entire arsenal of firepower and blows up the Decepticon ship. Galvatron hits the ground, and the Autobots rejoice… but Galvatron begins to twitch.

Featured Transformers: Scourge, Rollbar, Armorhide, Mega-Octane, Ro-Tor, Movor, Galvatron, Dark Scream, Slapper, Gas Skunk, Sky-Byte, Cerebros, Prowl, X-Brawn, Side Burn, Optimus Prime, Ruination, Skid-Z, Tow-Line, Mirage, Ironhide, Crosswise, Wars, Rev, Hot Shot, Rapid Run, Midnight Express, Railspike, Hightower, Grimlock, Wedge, Heavy Load, Landfill, Rail Racer, Ultra Magnus, Omega Prime, Fortress Maximus, Emissary
Notable Others: Doctor Onishi, Koji Onishi, Jenny, T-AI, Kelly

Review:
A decent episode, mostly because it’s more action oriented and we get some payoff after all the pain we had watching the series. Finally the Autobot base is found… by way of Sky-Byte following Koji in the back. Thirty episodes of fruitless searching for the base, and like the O-Parts and the kidnap of Doctor Onishi, this major plot point is handled like turd by the story writers. Likewise, Scourge and the Commandos are brain-wiped into basically loyal trooper drones, which means we will never see the manipulative Scourge again. It’s frankly rather tragic for a show in which not a single character gets injured-to-the-brink-of-death, let alone die. Sky-Byte is in full fun form this episode, even though again the villains carry the idiot ball. The Predacon Trio have devolved into uninteresting gag-deliverers instead of their more funny appearances in early RID episodes.

The Autobot assembly scene is pretty fun (even though T-AI has about the same amount of personality as Koji). Wedge… well, he is plucky and kind of irritating in that Bumblebee-Cheetor kind of way, but I don’t hate Wedge the way I hate Koji or T-AI. I suspect it’s because his plucky charge into battle actually helps to move plot forwards. Yes, Fortress Maximus is finally revealed to have actual free will in a grossly stereotypical anime ‘fight for the Earth scene’. The problem with RID is, the Decepticons or Predacons never even have the slightest chance of winning a single battle, so it’s really a show without any tension. And when there is no tension, there isn’t really much of a story, isn’t it? At least RID has the decency to try and wrap its plot up.

(Six out of Ten)

Notes:
Final appearance of the Decepticon ship other than in flashbacks, which is apparently named Megastar. Blackjack is only aware of the ship’s name until after he finishes the guide, so he won’t bother to change anything.

Cerebros and Maximus are finally shown to act independently this episode. All previous appearances have them as mindless, soulless robots. Cerebros again initiate ‘Headmaster protocol’. It is unclear who build and programmed Fortress Maximus with such a stupid system.

Galvatron again mentions a Predacon Council, and states that the whole reason that he comes to Earth is for Fortress Maximus.

One of the buildings that the chase scene passes through is the building of Dongwoo Animation. Due to looped background Optimus and Sky-Byte passes through the building three times. Eh.

To note is the fact that Skid-Z and Tow-Line (and to a lesser extent the Spychangers and Predacon Trio) reappear after a lengthy disappearance for the series. This was especially jarring for Skid-Z, who has only appeared in his debut episode before. Of course, neither Skid-Z nor Tow-Line do anything but fill crowd scenes.

Goofs:
The animation of the smaller Commandos transforming is one of the stock footages. However, it uses background from ‘the Decepticons’, so the military base pops up for no reason.

Also, the Spychangers avoiding the Decepticon ship’s missiles is lifted directly from ‘Volcano’, so the sky is all different. And Wars just kind of falls in from the sky (he was thrown by Scourge in Volcano).

Every time Omega Prime calls Wedge, he refers to him as ‘Landfill’.

Galvatron is out of scale terribly when he combines into the arm of the Decepticon ship. The Decepticon ship is shown as being about the size of Maximus’ torso, so Galvatron is as large as Maximus’ fists. Problem is, usually Galvatron is only a head taller than Cerebros, who is the head of Maximus’ transformed head. Which definitely is not the size of a fist. Not to mention, with Galvatron that big he wouldn’t be able to fit inside the ‘Con base.
 
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