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Old 2011-10-02, 10:26 AM   #14
Blackjack
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Out of His Head
Airdate: May 7, 2011
Written By: Nicole Dubuc

Synopsis: Ratchet declares that Optimus Prime has been fully recovered from the cybonic plague. As they discuss recent events, Megatron’s psyche monologues to himself, determined to completely take control of Bumblebee’s body to return to his own. A short while later, Bulkhead and Bumblebee play a scaled-up version of basketball, but Bumblebee has a flashback to the Space Bridge explosion and lobs the ball, nearly hitting Bulkhead’s head. They shrug it off and play on. A short while later, Bumblebee freezes as Megatron takes control of his body. Megatron wonders how he escaped death, and recalls Starscream pulling the sliver of Dark Energon from his chest. He vows revenge, as well as knowing what he needs to revive his body. On the Nemesis, Starscream taunts Megatron’s mindless body with the Dark Energon shard, monologuing to the otherwise empty room, announcing that he will lead the other Decepticons with a new, epic plan. Knock Out enters to hear the tail end of the speech, and Starscream manages to hide the sliver from sight. Knock Out is very interested in being promoted to Starscream’s second-in-command. Outside his house, Raf calls Jack that Bumblebee hasn’t picked him up for school. Bumblebee is on the Autobot base, under control of Megatron. Mega-Bee crushes a piece of equipment, but this was seen by an angry Ratchet. Bumblebee, regaining control, explains his visions of Megatron. A short while later Ratchet, Optimus and Raf induces a power-down to allow Bumblebee’s mind time to rest and recover. Agent Fowler contacts the Autobots just then, telling them that Decepticons have broken into an Observatory in Hawaii and stole the Heuck Nigoghossian telescope’s primary lens. Fowler has traces the lens to the Arctic. The Arctic has a massive, unmineable energon deposit, and the Autobots realise that Starscream plans to melt the glacier with the lens, an action that would devastate coastal cities. In the Arctic, the Nemesis have been equipped with a giant heat ray cannon, and Starscream begins opening fire on the glacier with the ray. Optimus Prime, Arcee and Bulkhead Ground Bridge to the Arctic.

Raf chats to the sleeping Bumblebee, and tells Ratchet that he’s doing so because Bumblebee is family. Raf talks a bit about family, how Bumblebee listens to him to a rather disinterested Ratchet. Ratchet leaves Raf and Bumblebee to find parts to repair the equipment Bumblebee had damaged, but as soon as he leaves, Bumblebee powers up and heads to the control room despite Raf’s questions. Bumblebee activates the Ground Bridge, knocks Ratchet away and leaves. Ratchet is shocked to find out that Bumblebee has gone to the canyon where Megatron had first used Dark Energon to raise zombies. Realizing that the only one other than him and Optimus to know of the location was Megatron himself, Ratchet realises that Megatron has taken over Bumblebee’s mind. Just as Ratchet activates the Ground Bridge to take down the possessed Bumblebee, Bumblebee returns just then, with a shard of Dark Energon, and knocks Ratchet down. The possessed Bumblebee notable doesn’t harm Raf, only placing him on a ledge. Bumblebee activates the Ground Bridge to go to the Arctic. Ratchet decides to follow, but Raf insists on coming, causing Ratchet to relent. Meanwhile, in the Arctic, Bulkhead and Arcee drive across the terrain towards the spot above which the Nemesis is hovering. Starscream and Knock Out sics Breakdown to deal with the two Autobots, and a massive brawl soon ensues. Optimus Prime, unseen by the Decepticons, scales a nearby cliff.

Ratchet and Raf Ground Bridge into the Decepticon ship, finding disabled troopers everywhere. The two reach the lab, finding Bumblebee hooked up to Megatron’s body with a cortical psychic patch. The possessed Bumblebee knocks down Ratchet easily. Raf tries to talk to Bumblebee, convincing him to take control and telling him that Megatron is not fully in control, and for a while it seems to work. However, Megatron takes full control, flicks Raf away and gloats. Ratchet pulls off the life-support cable off Megatron’s body, but is tossed across the room. Raf tries to jump and pull off the cord, but fails. Bumblebee stabs Megatron’s body with the Dark Energon, resurrecting the Decepticon leader in both body and mind. A group of Decepticons enter the room to find Megatron, who orders them to get rid of the Autobots while he does his own extermination. Bumblebee, Ratchet and Raf battle the Decepticons and retreat. Outside, Optimus Prime charges and leaps towards the Decepticon ship, boarding on one of the spiky protrusions. Bulkhead and Arcee continue to battle Breakdown on the ground. Starscream and Knock Out spot Optimus Prime coming across them across the hull of the ship. Starscream turns the heat ray on the Autobot, but Optimus Prime is so hardcore he braves the ray all the way to the machine, where he slices it apart with his blade, blowing the device and causing a massive explosion which blows everybody. Optimus Prime, heavily damaged, lays prone on the ground. Starscream divebombs Optimus Prime, gloating that he wouldn’t make the same mistake that Megatron did… only to have Megatron intercept him, taking him onto the warship. Starscream attempts to flee and beg, but Megatron beats Starscream down, promising retribution. Not even the promise of Autobots to destroy could deter Megatron. The Nemesis leaves. The Autobots regroup, and later at base Bumblebee is declared healthy, and the mute Autobot thanks Raf.

Featured Characters: Optimus Prime, Ratchet, Bumblebee, Arcee, Megatron, Miko Nakadai, Bulkhead, Jack Darby, Rafael Esquivel, Zombies (flashback), Starscream, Knock Out, Agent Fowler, Car Vehicons, Breakdown

Review:
Allright, hands down so far this has one of the most spectacular animation of the show. From Starscream's lively facial expressions, to the playing of shadows to make Bumblebee-Megatron look threatening, to anything involving Starscream or Megatron transforming, to Optimus Prime's assault on the Nemesis, to the excellent fight scenes between Arcee, Bulkhead and Breakdown, and most especially I like how all the metal glints in the daytime Arctic, what with the superpowerful laser lighting the area up and everything. And I particularly like the moment where Starscream basically just monologues his heart out to the vegetative Megatron. Another particular scene I'd like to point out is the exchange between Rafael and Ratchet. Ratchet initially just shoots down Raf's claim about them being a family, and only leans down out of politeness (that disinterested 'mmhmmyesverynice' must be heard to be believed) but it's a charming moment when Raf just tells Ratchet that Bumblebee listens. Megatron is great fun, and his monologues, and his single-track egomaniacal mind (any sane person would’ve killed Optimus Prime first before punishing Starscream) is pretty entertaining, but unlike Beast Wars Megatron, this hybrid of G1 and Movieverse might not be to everybody’s liking. Personally, though, I love this Megatron.

Great animation, great dialogue. But the episode itself really leaves something to be desired. On the first watching I was so astounded with the pretty pictures that I didn't notice it, but yeah, this episode has a bit of pacing problems. Also, while charming the first time around, on rewatching some of Raf’s momens do seem a little forced. Most jarring is when Bumblebee places Raf on the ledge, that borders on Armada narminess, a stark contrast to the excellent character moments between Raf and Bumblebee from a few minutes earlier. Things also move way too fast, with the teleporting to the Nemesis and whatnot. The giant laser cannon (finally we have one again) seems more of a distraction, and more of a way to get the other Autobots out of the way and to get the Nemesis in a place where Bumblebee-Megatron can reach. While it does give a great bunch of action scenes, it isn’t pretty good for the pacing, which moves back and forth constantly. And, despite his role from last episode as Megatron’s staunch supporter, Soundwave is missing, which is a wee bit jarring when you realise it. The ending is a wee bit unsatisfying too. What happened to Breakdown? Why is Megatron carrying the idiot ball? Where is Knock Out or Soundwave?

Not much to say, really. Like the rest of Prime, astounding animation, action sequences and dialogue. Plot moves forwards, but it’s a bit wonky. Mind, don’t compare the 6.5 here with the 6.5 I give the G1 or RID cartoon. Really if they two use the same scale, all RID cartoons won’t ever get a score past 3.

(Six and a Half out of ten)


Notes:
A wee bit of continuity callbacks to previous episodes here. The events of last episode, of course, are recalled. The battlefield against the Dark Energon zombies that Megabee goes to take the new Dark Energon shard is the same one in ‘Darkness Rising’, the events of which are referenced several times by Megatron as well. Megatron apparently vaguely remembers a glimpse of Starscream tries to steal the Dark Energon shard from his chest in ‘Masters and Students’. Arcee recalls her disastrous trip to the Arctic from ‘Scrapheap’. And a more subtle one, Jack’s ringtone is the same as it is in the pilot episode.

In case you’re lazy to keep track, that big chunk of Dark Energon was at Cybertron. The small shard Megatron used to power-up himself is stolen by Starscream, and the shard that Megatron tossed to create his zombies in ‘Darkness Rising Part 4’ is used by Megabee to revive Megatron’s body.

Sierra’s unnamed friend cameos again this episode as one of the students in Jack’s class.

Bumblebee and Bulkhead play a basketball using the ball they used for lobbing, a sport introduced in ‘Con Job’.

Ratchet says one of his catchphrases, ‘I needed that’, although the recipient here is Bumblebee instead of Bulkhead.

Raf states that he doesn’t know how he understands Bumblebee, but he just does. Other Transformers (including Megatron) have no problem understanding Bumblebee’s R2-D2 speech as well, so apparently it’s just humans bar Raf. Maybe Raf is a robot in disguise? Also, Raf has seven people in his family, including himself.

In the Arctic, Optimus Prime references an ‘end run on Polyhex’. Polyhex is one of the earliest named Decepticon cities on Cybertron, dating as far as the Bob Budiasky Marvel comics.

The Heuck Nigoghossian telescope is apparently named for TF: Prime directors Vinton Heuck and Shaunt Nigoghossian.

Starscream definitely watches cable, for in this episode he channels his inner Hannibal Smith by quoting the A-Team’s leader’s catchphrase, ‘I love it when a plan comes together.’

Starscream announces the ‘reign of Lord Starscream’, a possible reference to the movie tie-in comic series ‘the Reign of Starscream’.

Megatron carrying Starscream away for punishment is a tired staple from the G1 episode. Hopefully this Megatron would follow his Animated counterpart’s footsteps and not retread old ground again.

Goofs:
Despite all the fuss made about him last episode, Soundwave is conspicuously absent even when Starscream and Knock Out are basically taking over.

At the end as Starscream tries to fly away from Megatron, his engine is not producing any flames.
 

Last edited by Blackjack; 2011-10-04 at 12:09 PM.
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