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Season Three, Part 2

| Ghost in the Machine | The Dweller in the Depths | Nightmare Planet | The Ultimate Weapon | The Quintesson Journal | The Big Broadcast of 2006 | Only Human | Grimlock's New Brain | Money is Everything | Call of the Primitives | The Burden Hardest to Bear | The Face of the Nijika | The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 1 | The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 2 |

“Ghost in the Machine”

Japan Title: “Starscream's Revival”
US Airdate: 21 October 1986
Credited Writers: Joey Kurihara Piedra & Michael Charles Hill

Synopsis: On Chaar, Starscream's ghost appears and possesses Scourge. After attacking Galvatron and damaging him severely, Starscream-Scourge escapes, and Galvatron orders Cyclonus and the Sweeps to pursue. When Cyclonus sees that Scourge is going towards Cybertron, he returns to Chaar to report to Galvatron, assuming that Scourge had defected to the Autobots. Unseen by Cyclonus, Starscream instead flies to the severed head of Unicron. After reactivating Unicron, Starscream offers his services in exchange for a new body. Unicron agrees to restore him in exchange for three labours. The first task is to bring Metroplex's eyes to Unicron.

On Earth, Kup is inspecting Autobot City when Scourge-Starscream arrive, at it goes smoothly, until Starscream's ghost appears and blows up Metroplex's security systems. Scourge and Starscream then head off to steal Metroplex's eyes. Spike and Bumblebee arrive to try and stop them, but they fail to stop Scourge and Starscream. They did cause the Decepticon to break one of Metroplex's eyes. When Spike inadvertently brings Metroplex into consciousness, Metroplex transforms in panic when he realizes that his eyes are missing, and opens fire randomly, knocking out the Aerialbots trying to pursue Scourge. Scourge planted a photon bomb inside Metroplex, causing him to crash back onto the ground. Scourge and Starscream head towards Trypticon to get a replacement for the eye they broke. Starscream and Scourge take out Runabout and Runamuck, and steal one of Trypticon's eyes, before eluding the Coneheads. Starscream possesses Astrotrain to serve as their ride to Cybertron, leaving Astrotrain to the mercy of the Autobots. Pleased with his new eyes, Unicron informs Starscream and Scourge of their next task: bring Trypticon to Unicron. Scourge complaints that they just came from Trypsy. Starscream heads off to complete the task.

Rodimus Prime interrogates Astrotrain, but he does not remember what happened. Blurr reveals to everyone that Unicron has his eyes back. Ultra Magnus takes Sky Lynx, Hot Spot, Groove and Springer to investigate, but Unicron drives the Autobots off as soon as they enter his head. Scourge is terrified of Autobot reinforcements, but Unicron is not too worried. On Chaar, Galvatron is about to execute (or punish) orders the quartet which failed previously (Runabout, Runamuck, Thrust and Dirge). However, it's too late, as Starscream has possessed Trypticon and departs, with the angry Decepticons chasing him.

Unicron commands Starscream to remove Trypticon's transformation cog and place it in Unicron. The Decepticons attack, but Starscream uses Trypticon to drive them off and apparently disable their weapons. As the Decepticons retreat, Unicron commands his minions to complete the third labor, which is connecting Unicron's head to Cybertron, thus making the planet his new body. A terrified Scourge runs away and warns Galvatron. Predictably, Galvatron didn't care much. Scourge, therefore, warns the Autobots, who get ready to set a trap. Within Trypticon, the Battlechargers and the Coneheads, who were inside Trypticon when he takes off, disable Starscream's control over Trypticon by blowing a panel off. Knowing this, Starscream demands that Unicron revive his body to complete the labors. Unicron restores his body, but Starscream characteristically betrays Unicron, telling the demigod that he won't help him.

Meanwhile the Autobots detonate some energon cubes on Unicron's head, causing Unicron's head to return to Cybertron's orbit and Starscream to be thrown into space. Thrown past the Decepticons, Galvatron orders them to fire on Starscream. Starscream tumbles into space, while Cyclonus is confused that a ghost could do so. Back on Cybertron, Rodimus agrees to allow Scourge and Astrotrain to leave because of their help, and congratulates his warriors, before joking around and asking them to go to Unicron's head to salvage Metroplex's eyes. After Magnus and the others backs away, Rodimus laughs and tells them that they'll construct new ones. As everybody laughs like idiots, Unicron's eye twinkles in the night...

Notes: This episode follows after the events of the episode 'Starscream's Ghost'. This is Runabout's first appearance. Unicron can electrocute the Autobots inside his head. Starscream is last seen tumbling into space in this episode, damaged but still alive and still has his body. The next time we'll see his ghost/spark is in the Beast Wars episode 'Possession'. However, how Starscream's spark managed to get torn off his body and travel a few million years back in time has never been explained. (This does not count as an error because BW never explicitly stated that it follows the cartoon continuity.) It's worth noting that Scourge is able to fight against Starscream's possession throughout the episode (he was at least still conscious, and can still talk) while the others: Runabout, Astrotrain and Trypticon, are all unable to do so.

Errors: Razorclaw is coloured... different (Divebomb's colourscheme?) for a split second early in the episode. Scamper is gigantic compared to Sky Lynx when he first lands. When he drives towards Metro's brain, Bumblebee has large wheels. Warpath enlarges suddenly when he drives up towards the screen. This might've been intended to be a zoom-in, but the background doesn't change. Hot Spot has a mouth on his faceplate numerous times. Sky Lynx had a red Decepticon symbol in one shot. The size of Metroplex's and Trypticon's eyeballs differs through the episode. Metroplex and Trypticon's eyeballs should be way too small for Unicron. Sky Lynx is larger than Unicron's head in one scene. Divebomb is clearly shown being blown apart into bits along with a Sweep when fighting Trypticon, but he's fine in the next scene. Hot Spot's blue is miscoloured white several times. Unicron's horns and face differ in detail and size during the second half of the episode. Galvatron claims that he is unable to shoot Scourge because Trypticon disabled his weaponry, but when Starscream's flies past him, his cannon works fine.

Transformers featured: Galvatron, the Sweeps, Cyclonus , Headstrong, Razorclaw, Scourge, Starscream (blasted into space), Unicron, Metroplex, Scamper, Sky Lynx, Kup, Blaster, Warpath, Bumblebee, Powerglide, Silverbolt, Skydive, Slingshot, Trypticon, Runabout, Runamuck, Thrust, Dirge, Astrotrain, Hot Spot, Groove, Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Wheelie, Blurr, Springer, Divebomb, Arcee

Notable Others: Spike

Review: A nice sequel to 'Starscream's Ghost', and Unicron's return is handled... well, rather adequately. No handy talisman that blows him up, certainly. The eyeball plot is a bit morbid, though. There are several interesting questions (like why Trypticon doesn't even act when Scourge steals his eye, and why Metroplex needs Spike to press a console before panicking). If you like Starscream, this episode is a must see. If not... well, I'd recommend this episode anyway. It's got a few memorable moments in it, like Galvatron giving a calm, collected monologue before opening fire on the Decepticons who failed to catch Starscream/Scourge. Scourge and Starscream are both handled nicely, and the Battlechargers' comedy act is cute. Starscream's possessing powers is played nicely as well, jumping from one transformer to another in quick succession. The pacing's a little fast, though, but that's because a lot happens in this episode. Shame that we don't get to know what happened to Starscream after Galvatron shoots him... well, until Beast Wars, that is. One of the better episodes in Season three.


“The Dweller in the Depths”

Japan Title: “The Vampires of Planet Seibertron”
US Airdate: 30 October 1986
Credited Writer: Paul Dini

Synopsis: On Cybertron, the Autobots have activated a new power core. Nearby in space, the Quintessons watch from their spaceship, angered by the success and progress of their creations. A Quintesson suggest a plan to release the Dweller. The Dweller is one of the early biomechanical creatures called 'Transorganics'. These Transorganics were developed by the Quintessons before the creation of the Transformers, but due to the Transorganics' instability and incompetence, the Quintessons sealed those monsters in a hibernation chamber within Cybertron.

The Quintessons arrive on Charr and inform Galvatron about the Autobots' new power core, but give him the wrong location. Galvatron, Cyclonus and the Sweeps arrive on Cybertron, and break into the tunnel. They are soon pursued by Ultra Magnus, Arcee, Kup, Springer, and Wreck-Gar. The Decepticons arrive in the stasis pods that contain the Transorganics and accidentally release them from their slumber. The creatures soon attack both Decepticon and Autobot. The Decepticons open another chamber and accidentally release the most powerful of the Transorganics: the Dweller, a giant energy leech that drains their energy and turns the transformers into energy vampires. As they fight throughout the mazes deep within Cybertron, the Dweller quickly defeats most of the transformers, and only Galvatron, Ultra Magnus, and Arcee manage to escape.

The two Autobots make it back to headquarters where they update Rodimus Prime and Perceptor on the situation before the energy vampires burst in right behind them. Perceptor determines that the vampire-ized transformers are suffering from a unique form of energy depletion and that a power surge should be able to stabilize their levels. The Autobots form a chain and they inject the crowd of vampire transformers with an energon surge. The surge returns the Autobots and Decepticons to normal. Cyclonus, Scourge, and the remaining Sweeps quickly regroup with Galvatron.

Meanwhile, the Dweller moves nearer to the surface, getting larger and heading towards Perceptor's generator. Perceptor uses the emergency eject switch to launch both the generator and the Dweller (who, by that time, had latched onto the generator) into space. By a sick twist of fate the Dweller attaches itself onto the Quintesson ship.

Notes: The Quintessons create the Transorganics before creating the Transformers. Simon Furman used an oddly similar storyline in the Marvel comics, in the energy-draining demons sealed deep within Cybertron. The idea of bio-mechanical creatures on Cybertron would be revisited in Beast Machines. The Dweller would reappear in the 3H exclusive 'Wreckers' story. Wreck-Gar quotes the catchphrases of G.I. Joe and Mighty Mouse, among others.

Errors: When the Dweller reaches Cybertron's surface, Hot Spot and Groove are seen shooting at it, but Hot Spot is miscoloured like Optimus Prime and Groove is miscoloured like Wheelie. Galvatron is willing to blow up his own men, but doesn't blow up the Quintessons that had tried to kill him before. One would think that being drained of energy would kill the transformer (as seen in 'Call of the Primitives'), not turn them into energy vampires.

Transformers featured: Springer (killed and revived), Perceptor, Ultra Magnus, Arcee, Galvatron, the Sweeps (killed and revived), Scourge (killed and revived), Cyclonus (killed and revived), Wreck-Gar (killed and revived), Kup (killed and revived), Rodimus Prime, Streetwise, Hot Spot, Groove

Notable Others: Quintessons, the Dweller (first appearance), Transorganics (first appearance)

Review: An okay episode, with another unique plot. The transorganic monsters are rather nicely animated, and the Quintesson backstory is well-developed. We get more insight to Cybertron's past. But the way that the Autobots got rid of the Dweller is rather anti-climatic, namely by throwing it into space. Still, this is another nice Quintesson episode, again portraying them as a thorn in the Transformers' side. A nice piece, even though the Techno-organics aren't exactly the coolest enemies out there. It's another layer to the Transformers' past, and while Quintessons might not be everyone's cup of tea, it's a nice background nevertheless.


“Nightmare Planet”

Japan Title: “Nightmare Planet”
US Airdate: 31 October 1986
Credited Writer: Beth Bornstein

Synopsis: Daniel has been having nightmares of Galvatron. Spike and Carly ask Rodimus Prime to come visit him. Rodimus manages to calm Daniel, but then has to leave. After he falls back asleep, a tentacle reaches out towards Daniel. Soon after, Rodimus, Ultra Magnus, and Springer are driving through some thick fog, when the Predacons attack the Autobots. However, both factions of Transformers are suddenly attacked by halloween monsters, on which their weapons have no effect. The Quintessons are apparently using Daniel's nightmares to create monsters which will destroy the Autobots and Decepticons.

Springer and Razorclaw are captured by a gigantic purple dragon and taken to a castle. While there, they meet a princess chained in a dungeon, whom Springer frees. She tells them of a 'magic lance' which can kill the dragon and claims that her father will give them gold if they free her. Springer agrees to slay the dragon, while Razorclaw just wants the gold. Back at the battle, Rodimus, Magnus, and the remaining Predacons are being threatened by a witch and giant. They manage to trick the witch into turning the giant into a frog, and Rodimus uses a bucket of water, which suddenly appear, to destroy the witch. Before they can recover, though, a giant snake/hydra monster-thing appears from the ground and attacks them. A biplane, piloted by 'Daniel', rescues them. In the real world, the Quintessons realize that Daniel's subconscious mind is assisting the Autobots, so they increase the power to suppress Daniel. At the castle, Springer and Razorclaw scheme to get out of the prison.

Elsewhere, Rodimus, Magnus, and the other Predacons fight more monsters, before find themselves in an abandoned amusement park. Heading into the fun house, Rampage and Tantrum are attacked by mirrors, while Divebomb falls down a large hole. Rodimus and Headstrong are attacked by a giant Galvatron, which is then defeated by a giant Rodimus Prime. Rodimus realizes that they are somehow in Daniel's dream. At the castle, Springer is fighting the dragon, but is pushed back. While initially reluctant to help, Razorclaw realizes that the dragon will come after him next, and he serves as Springer's mount, enabling Springer to stab the dragon, killing it. The castle disappears, and a yellow brick road appears.

Meanwhile, Rodimus is calling out to Daniel. Shocked, the Quintessons set the machine on its highest level, which might kill Daniel. The dream world begins to disintegrate, but the Princess guides them through the storm. Daniel is able to draw the Quintessons in, and the Autobots rescue him. Razorclaw wants to scrap the Autobots, but Headstrong, for some reason, cannot transform, preventing them from becoming Predaking. Razorclaw orders the Predacons to retreat.

Back at home, Daniel wakes up, not remembering what happened, and tells Rodimus that he took control of the dream. Rodimus tells Daniel that he won't have any more nightmares.

Notes: The yellow brick road and the witch being defeated with a bucket of water are both references to The Wizard of Oz. The giant's whole 'fi fie fo fum' routine is based on the evil giant from Jack and the Beanstalk. Apparently, the Witwicky residence has Transformer-sized doors. This does not count as an error since this is set supposedly in the future, and perhaps they've accommodated their residence for their forty-feet tall buddies. Plus, it might just be in Cybertron. Razorclaw likes gold. Rodimus Prime apparently spent talking TV with Wreck-Gar.

Errors: Okay, where the hell is everybody in this episode is never explained. Was it Earth, Cybertron, Oz, some other planet or just in Daniel's fantasy dreamland? In the beginning, with Witwicky's house and everything, make it seem like it's Earth, unless they've moved to Cybertron, where the other scenes take place (before Daniel's chaotic nightmares warp it). Also, if it's on Cybertron, how can the Predacons and Quintessons operate there, since it's Autobot territory? The zombies and demons are noticeably as big as the Transformers (if not slightly shorter) when they first appear. Several seconds later, one gets big enough to swat Predaking. Razorclaw is drawn as Rodimus Prime when the dragon flies away with him. And the Quintessons' plan with the dream machine is simply daft. Why hook it into Daniel, not one of the Quintessons or Sharkticons, and get them to imagine Unicron or something? Won't that be more effective? Rodimus Prime's optics change from to red several times. At one point, the Quintessons' faces (other than the Death ones) are all gray. Springer says that he's going to have a great escape plan, but it never happens, as the duo faces off the dragon immediately after the scene changes. Razorclaw's mane changes into a more boxy design halfway through the episode. In one shot, a Quintessons' body is missing, leaving a single face floating in the air.

Transformers featured: Galvatron (dream), Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Springer, Razorclaw, Tantrum, Rampage, Divebomb, Headstrong, Predaking

Notable Others: Daniel, Spike, Carly, Quintessons

Review: Boo. While the team-up between Razorclaw and Springer are nice to watch, the rest of this episode is jack shit. The Quintessons come out with a weapon that can make imagination into reality, but it fails as a plot device big-time. Again, the Quintessons are relegated into rubbish villains instead of profiteering bastards. That, added with an even-more-than-normal emo Daniel, as well as the sub par animation, it is literally painful to watch this. The transformers look clunky, and their fight scenes are worse than some Season One episodes, and that's saying something. The monsters are pathetic, too. The princess/dragon sub-plot is even worse than that time when the Autobots go back to the past... it's so wrong on so many levels. This episode is the worst among season three episodes.


“The Ultimate Weapon”

Japan Title: “The Ultimate Weapon”
US Airdate: 10 November 1986
Credited Writer: Arthur Bryan Cover

Synopsis: In 2006, bands of roving street gangs riot around the Netherlands. Unable to rely on the police, even old ladies wield laser guns to protect themselves. The desperate police turn to the Autobots, who seek to stem the fighting. The Protectobots, after an exchange with Rodimus Prime, roll out to stop the violence. Ultra Magnus tries to calm Rodimus, saying he's just as good a commander as Optimus Prime was. Rodimus still feels that he will never live up to the former Prime's legacy.

Arriving in the city, the Decepticons attack, and Blades is injured. First Aid takes him to Metroplex to get repairs. Galvatron attacks the Autobots, and as they retreat, Galvatron taunts Rodimus with the threat of the Ultimate Weapon. At Metroplex, Swindle breaks in and manages to steal Metroplex's transformation cog. First Aid tries to reason with Swindle, but the Combaticon merely shoots the Autobot medic, then leaves. Meanwile, in the sea, Trypticon rises from the sea and blows up an entire fleet of naval carriers. Galvatron tells Trypticon to destroy Metroplex. Swindle arrives and attempts to haggle for the cog. Galvatron, however, is not in the mood for haggling and offers him a simple deal: Hand over the cog or die.

At Metroplex, First Aid is feeling guilty over his pacifism. While Rodimus says that he would never force First Aid to violate his beliefs, First Aid leaves the Autobots. Meanwhile, the other Autobots learn that Trypticon is coming and roll out. Reaching a nearby city, Trypticon menaces a train, but Defensor (minus the First Aid arm) manages to save it. The Aerialbots move in to attack. Air Raid gets shot down, while Silverbolt flies into Trypticon's stomach through his mouth, firing all the while. Injured by Silverbolt's kamikaze, Trypticon is forced to retreat. However, it's merely delaying the inevitable, as Metroplex is still the only one who can fight Trypticon. Even if they recover the cog, First Aid is the only one who understands Metroplex's systems enough to fix him. Hot Spot decides to track down the medic.

Rodimus and Magnus head for Trypticon's hideout, with Spike and Daniel posing as repairmen. Vortex, while fooled at first, realizes that the cars are Autobots due to the pollution-free fuel that they are using. Daniel is thrown off a cliff, but Magnus saves him. Rodimus and Magnus distract the Decepticons while Spike and Daniel steal Trypticon's cog. Returning to Metroplex, they install Trypticon's cog in Metroplex, while the Decepticons install Metroplex's cog in Trypticon. Convinced that he "can still smash", Trypticon heads for battle. Metroplex transforms from city mode, but both cities suffer from transformation problems.

At a junkyard, First Aid is keeping NUL-A, a junkyard robot, company while fixing abandoned refrigerators in an effort to think about something other than the Autobots. Hot Spot finds him and informs him of Metroplex's problem. First Aid realizes that Metroplex's danger is more important, and rejoins the Autobots. Meanwhile, Trypticon has gained the advantage and thrown Metroplex into a nearby lake. Heading for Metroplex, First Aid manages to get inside and properly align the transformation cog, allowing Metroplex to transform fully. Metroplex throws Trypticon deeper into the lake, and the dinosaur sinks. Galvatron threatens to use the Ultimate Weapon, but Rodimus realizes that the weapon is a bluff. Out of options, Galvatron retreats. First Aid's faith in his work is restored, and Rodimus's confidence is emboldened.

Notes: It is unclear what species of robot NUL-A is. Pipes was able to instal Metroplex's transformation cog in "Five Faces of Darkness part 5", and should've been able to substitute for First Aid. Even if Pipes is not available at that time, there is still Perceptor... ah well. This episode suggest that the Decepticons hire legitimate human workers for repairs, instead of enslaving them or mindwiping them as in the past. How the mighty have fallen. Swindle is really awesome in this episode, haggling with Gavlatron for the cog. Both Octane and Blitzwing, who were supposed to be banished from the Decepticon cause, are seen among the Decepticons this episode.

Errors: The guns carried by the rebels disappear when they run up to the windmill and throw their grenades, and reappear as they run away. The laser beam the old woman fires from her pistol changes colour from red to blue between frames. How the heck did an old woman get a shotgun that fires lasers anyway? Galvatron's alternate mode is messed up several times during the first battle. When Ultra Magnus orders Steeljaw and Ramhorn to attack, he wields a different gun than the one he normally uses. Cyclonus' mouth is missing at one point. In contrast, Hot Spot has a mouth in several shots. As Silverbolt exits Trypticon's mouth, he's coloured like Air Raid. Daniel is as tall as Spike in this episode. And he shouldn't be allowed to drive. Vortex can't recognize the repainted Autobot leaders? The toolbox that Spike carries disappear and reappears in different shots. Trypticon completely misses Metroplex when they fire on each other, yet Metroplex falls down. As Rodimus Prime tells Ultra Magnus that he has finally wised-up to Galvatron's bluff, Ultra Magnus' left shoulder overlaps Rodimus' rear wing. Rodimus' mouth disappears in the end of the episode.

Transformers featured: Ultra Magnus, Blades, Hot Spot, Rodimus Prime, Groove, First Aid, Streetwise, Galvatron, Cyclonus, Brawl, Predaking, Octane, Vortex, Steeljaw, Ramhorn, Swindle, Scamper, Slammer, Trypricon, Blitzwing, Inferno, Silverbolt, Air Raid, Slingshot, Skydive, Fireflight, Grimlock Defensor, Motormaster, Drag Strip, Dead End, Breakdown, Wildrider, Menasor

Notable Others: Spike, Daniel, NUL-A

Review: The episode is a First Aid spotlight. Despite the title, the Ultimate Weapon itself is thankfully not that major a plot point. Rather, the focus of the episode is the Metroplex and Trypticon battle, as well as First Aid leaving the Autobots. The animation as Trypticon arrives to battle Metroplex is gorgeous, and there are many precious scenes throughout the episode, and many season two characters got much-needed characterization. Rodimus telling Galvatron to 'get used to losing', Defensor with one arm, Silverbolt's kamikaze run, Vortex's interrogation scene... however, the best scene must be the First Aid and Swindle interchange, as well as Swindle haggling with Galvatron for the cog. First Aid and Swindle are two of the more interesting transformers, and it's nice to see some characterization placed into them. Trypticon is golden as well, being portrayed as the most serious Decepticon threat ever. (well, until he gets pwned by Metroplex, anyway) I'd rather have this episode without the stupid ultimate weapon, instead focusing on First Aid/Swindle/Rodimus/Trypticon. Unlike the fight in the end of Five Faces of Darkness, the Metroplex-Trypticon fight is very well-done in this episode, although is the only way to defeat a citybot is a dunking in the lake/ocean? M'eh. The Ultimate Weapon is a distraction, and doesn't do much but make Rodimus scared. Still, not actually bad.


“The Quintesson Journal”

Japan Title: “The Quintessons, Merchants of Death”
US Airdate: 11 November 1986
Credited Writer: Richard Merwin

Synopsis: The Autobots are hosting a peace conference for two warring planets, Xetaxxis and Lanarq. They will 'wipe each other out within a generation', as explained by an alien moderator. Spike Witwicky asks the leaders of the two ambassador teams to shake hands. They take the opportunity to beat each other up. Rodimus Prime remarks that it's going well so far. Ah, politics...

Elsewhere, Predaking detects a strange signal of Quintesson origin. He contacts Cyclonus, who tells him to rezendevous with him at the coordinates. Meanwhile, Perceptor has also detected the signal, and he sends Sky Lynx, Blaster and Outback, to investigate. The foliage in the planet is too thick for Sky Lynx to land, so Blaster and Outback head out on foot. Blaster ejects Steeljaw and Ramhorn to help in the search. Meanwhile, Predaking suffers the same problem and separates into the Predacons. The Autobots are suddenly attacked by vines, but they manage to free themselves and find a strange golden cylinder, the source of the signal. A stray shot from Outback causes the device to activate. The Autobots learn that the cylinder is a Quintesson Journal, a record of their activities on various planets. The Predacons then arrive and attack. Sky Lynx arrives to rescue the Autobots, so the Predacons combine. The Autobots board Sky Lynx and escape, only meet Cyclonus, Scourge and the Sweeps. All of a sudden an energy field grabs Sky Lynx through an unseen warp gate, which closes.

On the other side of the warp gate, a Quintesson ship captures Sky Lynx, disabling his ability to transform. The Quintessons reclaim the journal and take Outback, Blaster, and the cassettebots prisoner. Outback tricks a Sharkticon into opening the cell, and Blaster thanks the Sharkticon by promptly blasting it. Outback grabs the journal, and the Autobots escape aboard Sky Lynx. However, Galvatron, Cyclonus, the Sweeps, and Predaking have located them. The Decepticons manage to steal the journal and flee.

At the peace conference on Cybertron, the two delegations leave, intending to purchase doomsday weapons from their suppliers...the Quintessons.

On a planet, the Decepticons begin to examine the journal. Upon discovering it is economic in nature, Galvatron is angry—well, angrier than usual. However, the Autobots have tracked the Decepticons down, and they discover that the war between Xettaxis and Lanarq is among the activities archived in the journal. This information could end the war, so the Autobots attempt to steal the journal back, only for the Quintessons to steal it back again. On Cybertron, the delegations begin fighting each other. Rodimus is so frustrated that the Autobot leader fires his weapon and orders the two delegations to sit down. Furious, the Xettaxxin and Lanarqen leaders request the Quintessons to bring their omega bombs. The Quintessons, however, would only deliver both bombs after they have been paid. However, Sky Lynx and co manage to break into their ship and steal back the journal.

Arriving on Cybertron, Blaster and Outback show the recordings to the delegations, who are horrified to discover that their war had been manipulated by the Quintessons. Having been ratted out, the Quintessons contact Cybertron, announcing that they will deliver the omega bombs—right into Xettaxis and Lanarq. Rodimus and Ultra Magnus jump aboard Sky Lynx and follow the Quintessons, which are near Cybertron at that moment, blowing up the ship. On Cybertron, a peace is negotiated between Xettaxis and Lanarq.

Notes: This episode features an intelligent Allicon, who is on the bridge of a Quintesson ship discussing strategy with a five headed Judge Quintesson. Predaking is hungry for revenge against Sky Lynx after his previous defeats in "Five Faces of Darkness, Part 5" and "Chaos". Sky Lynx evidently didn't consider the latter, though, as he specifically refers to only "one thorough drubbing". The Quintessons are depicted as war profiteers, which would be revisited in "the Big Broadcast of 2006", the prequel to this episode. Outback speaks with a slight Australian accent. Makes sense with his name, ey?

Errors: The Quintesson capsule falls from space into a planet. By the laws of Physics it should've made a crater. During the ride in Sky Lynx, Blaster is larger than Outback in tape mode, while equally large Steeljaw and Ramhorn rest against him instead of being inside his chest cavity. Predaking's face doesn't have any details before he disassembles. When Divebomb detaches from Predaking's back, Predaking still has his hand (which is supposed to be made up of Divebomb). This is repeated when Divebomb latches on to Predaking's head later on. When Predaking battles Sky Lynx, the background alternates between sky and space. The Sharkticon's arm cuts into the prison cell at one scene. Cyclonus' legs disappear halfway when he speaks to Galvatron and Predaking in space. The Autobots fly in space alongside Sky Lynx (who somehow transforms from lynx directly to shuttle mode) at one point. Now why would the Quintessons let the capsule float just outside the prison cells? Throughout the issue, the Journal's size varies, as does Ramhorn and Steeljaw.

Transformers featured: Blurr, Ultra Magnus, Rodimus Prime, Predaking, Cyclonus, Perceptor, Sky Lynx, Outback, Ramhorn, Steeljaw, Blaster Razorclaw, Divebomb, Headstrong, Rampage, Tantrum, Scourge, Sweeps, Galvatron, Sharkticons, Allicons

Notable Others: Spike Witwicky, Xetaxxin Aliens, Lanarqian Aliens, Quintessons

Review: A nice little episode that won't hurt your eyes, although there are numerous plot loopholes. Are the aliens uncivilized enough to beat each other up in a delegation? How come the journal is placed outside the prison bars? But this shows a profiteering side to the Quintessons, which is good value. Barring rubbish episodes like Nightmare Planet, the Quintessons are developing into a third-party evildoers rather nicely. Being war profiteers is a much better concept than just randomly sentencing people to death, although I do miss the courtyard scenarios for the Quintessons. They escalate a war between two planets to make cash. The peace conference scenes, as illogical as it is, is rather funny. Plus, Outback and Blaster are great main characters in this episode, and the Predaking/Sky Lynx rematch is well written as well. The Predacons are sadly portrayed as village idiots, although the scene where Headstrong and Tantrum carelessly knock down trees is well-animated. Pity that their voices are irritating with unnecessary snorts and whatnots thrown in.


“The Big Broadcast of 2006”

Japan Title: “The Big Broadcast of 2006”
US Airdate: 12 November 1986
Credited Writer: Michael Reaves

Synopsis: The Quintessons discover that one of their missing journals had landed in the planet of Junk. A Sharkticon retrieval team is quickly repelled by the Junkions. The Quintessons hack the television signals the Junkions watch, planting sublimal messages telling the Junkions that the other races are their enemies.

Some time later, Sky Lynx and Astrotrain are battling near Junk. The brainwashed Junkions fire on both Transformers, forcing both to retreat. Sky Lynx reports to Rodimus Prime and Ultra Magnus. The Aerialbots are dispatched to investigate. Astrotrain returns to Chaar, but Galvatron doesn't give a damn about Junk. However, Cyclonus is interested, and takes Scourge and the Sweeps to investigate. The Aerialbots arrive, but the Junkions are battling against the Quintessons. The Aerialbots combine into Superion and attack the Quintessons. The Quintesson ship damages Superion, but the gestalt is then rescued by Sky Lynx. The Decepticons arrive to investigate, but are driven off by the crossfire.

During the battle, the transmitter sending the mind-control messages to the Junkions was damaged, somehow causing the Junkions to believe that they should transmit their broadcasts to other races. The affected races soon begin lashing out at their neighbours, causing what become an interstellar war. The Quintessons see a good opportunity here, as they could sell weapons to the warring races, but decide that the recovery of the journal is the higher priority. Back on Chaar, Cyclonus tells an angry Galvatron that turning the Junkions against the Autobots is a good plan.

Meanwhile, Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Kup, and Blaster head to Junk in Omega Supreme, but Cyclonus, Scourge and the Decepticons attack them. Omega is damaged, and the Autobots distract the Decepticons long enough for Omega to recover and beat the Decepticons up. Meanwhile, the affected races have converged on Junkion, and are having a free-for-all war. Chaar has also been targeted, and a very angry Galvatron arrives on the party. The Quintessons, meanwhile, try to make a move for the journal. Galvatron blasts the Quintessons and sends the journal flying into deep space. When Rodimus' group arrives, Blaster determines that the Quints' transmissions are the cause of the mayhem, and sends out his own transmissions to counter them. Junkion and Autobot attack the Decepticons, who retreat. Wreck-Gar claims he don't know what happened.

Meanwhile, the Quintessons make plans to find their journal before others do...

Notes: This episode's events are into 'The Quintesson Journal'. An early script of this episode is also adapted by Marvel comics to fill in a gap. UK Comics made the story a make-up one by a captured Wreck-Gar, which leads into the Space Pirates arc. For more information, see Cliffjumper's review on both Marvel comics. The title is a reference to 1930's 'Big Broadcast' series. This is Omega Supreme's final appearance in the US cartoon. (And his only appearance in Season three.) Wreck-Gar apparently has a ruling queen of sorts, Nancy, who seems to be based off a Lithonian character model. The two refer to each other like a married couple. This is... weird. Owing to the fact that this episode has a major Junkion presence, dialogues reference many shows. For a complete list, go check out TFWiki.

Errors: Although this episode would logically take place before 'the Quintesson Journal', it is broadcasted after that episode. Galvatron noticeably mis-pronounces scrapyard as 'scrapeyard'. Must've been an error in scripting. A computer light effect cuts through the Quintesson in front of it. At one point when Ultra Magnus is trying to repair Omega Supreme, Omega himself is missing. The Aerialbots are miscoloured as each other in one scene. Omega transforms from space shuttle immediately into robot mode without combining with his base/tank parts.

Transformers featured: Wreck-Gar, Nancy, Sharkticons, Junkions, Sky Lynx, Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Astrotrain, Cyclonus, Galvatron, Silverbolt, Air Raid, Fireflight, Slingshot, Skydive, Superion, Junkyard, Scourge, the Sweeps, First Aid, Omega Supreme, Blaster, Kup, Blast Off, Soundwave

Notable Others: Quintessons, Marissa Faireborn

Review: Not really great for a G1 cartoon episod. Why the Quintessons ordered the Junkions to hate everybody, instead of simply handing the journal over to them is a bit beyond me. And if the Quints can broadcast stuff like that, how come they didn't take over Cybertron again? Still, the Junkions' hilarious lines and references are worth watching, but overall it's another throwaway episode. It's made all the more confusing when you consider that two episodes that are supposed to be connected to each other are broadcasted in the wrong order...


“Only Human”

Japan Title: “Human Transformers”
US Airdate: 13 November 1986
Credited Writer: Susan K. Williams

Synopsis: Springer saves a bunch of people from an explosion. The underlings of crime lord Victor Drath, led by Dutch, attempt to steal a canister of neutronium. Rodimus Prime and Ultra Magnus attempt to stop them. Dutch shoots the canister which explodes, allowing the criminals to escape in their flying car.

A furious Victor Drath contacts the mysterious 'Old Snake' who used to run some kind of terrorist organization in the past. Drath buys Old Snake's assistance and technology, setting up a laboratory at his base. Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Arcee and Springer investigate but are trapped and their minds transferred into newly created synthoid human bodies. While the human Autobots are taken away and disposed at a junkyard, Snake suggests that Drath can make use of the Autobots' former robot bodies.

The four Autobots manage to escape from the crusher, and they find clothing in a nearby building and swiftly realise what has happened. Magnus and Arcee decide to attempt to contact Autobot City while Rodimus and Springer go after Drath. Once the pair reaches Drath's house, Rodimus attempts to draw the guards away, but is badly wounded. For some reason, Drath's girlfriend Michelle helps him hide. Springer spots Drath's men taking the Autobots' robot bodies for a test drive to rob a jewellery store. He is offered to help operate his old body, claiming that he has experience with heavy machinery, and gains the thugs' confidence.

Meanwhile, Arcee and Ultra Magnus are having no luck contacting the police chief or Autobot City. They notice a nearby warehouse that is owned by Drath and break in, and find out that it's full of weapons. Arcee trips a silent alarm, and they're interrupted by thugs driving their robot bodies. Magnus threatens them with a grenade, giving Arcee time to escape on a stolen motorcycle, but Magnus is captured by Dutch.

Rodimus shares breakfast with Michelle, who tells Rodimus that she knows who he is, but will help him get into Drath's house. Arcee makes it to Autobot City, but the human security guards don't believe her and instead place her in detention. Jerks. Rodimus and Michelle enter Drath's home, but it turns out that Michelle had trapped Rodimus. Drath tells Rodimus that Snake has come up with a new plan — load the Autobots' robot bodies with explosives and use them to blow up Autobot City. Springer discovers the plan as well, when he drives his robot body to pick up the explosives. He and Ultra Magnus steal back Springer's robot body, though it is damaged. The bodies of Rodimus, Magnus and Arcee move towards Autobot City.

Rodimus manages to get free of the goons and take down Drath. Drath tells him that Autobot City is still doomed. Meanwhile, Springer and Ultra Magnus fly in Springer's robot form to catch up with the disguised criminals en route to Autobot City. Ultra Magnus tells Springer to attack the city himself, as that's the only way to alert the Autobots. They fire on Metroplex, giving Blaster the iniative to activate the city’s defenses and blow up the Autobot bodies.

Later, after the Autobots have assembled the pieces, Perceptor uses the equipment at Drath's former base and transfers the quartet's minds back to their rightful places. Rodimus gives extra consideration to Michelle as she's led away along with Drath's other men. Meanwhile, safely away, Old Snake muses to himself how they just don't make terrorists like they used to. He yells out 'COBRAAAAAAAAAAAAA' before having a coughing fit.

Notes: Old Snake is very clearly Cobra Commander from the GI Joe franchise, if the voice and scaly skin doesn't give you away. Cobra seems to have disbanded by this time. Lots of hovercars could be seen on 2005-era Earth. This episode was originally meant to be a two-parter, which probably would account for the unusually fast pace. It is very convenient that the new synthoid bodies to form complete with shirts and pants. (This is a children’s show, remember.) The human-Autobots adapt very quickly into humanhood, as they didn't have any problem with walking, eating, going to the toilet or breathing. This episode does not feature any Decepticons, or Quintessons. The "NYPD" markings on the police car suggest that the neutronium theft takes place in New York. Springer shoves aside someone who tries to sell him 'the way to true humanity'. Later the idea of Autobots being human would be revisited (sort of) by the Transformers Animated two-parter 'Human Error'.

Errors: Springer somehow catches a human on his helicopter nose. The rotors should've cut the humans into beef bologna. Despite being turned into humans, at times the Autobots' voice are still synthesized. Early animation models end up being used irregularly in this episode; most notable is Arcee's. In one scene, when Magnus' voice is talking, Rodimus' mouth is the one being animated. The background is inconsistent, switching around from day to night. Springer's body transforms from car to 'copter without any animation. When the first three Autobots approaching Autobot City, Springer is shown instead of Arcee. As Blaster watches Springer opening fire on Autobot City in the monitor, the laser beams are drawn as if they are coming right out of the screen. As the city transforms, the sky randomly switches from day to night and back. Rodimus' body changes into Hot Rod and back into Rodimus. This is particularly noticeable because he is in his alternate mode when this happens. It is a convenient coincidence that once human, the Autobots find clothes to wear that perfectly match their robot bodies' color schemes. The big one: Why the hell did Victor and Snake go all the trouble of creating synthoid bodies if they wanted to kill the Autobots all along?

Transformers featured: Springer, Arcee, Ultra Magnus, Rodimus Prime, Kup, Blaster, Perceptor, Grimlock

Notable Others: Dutch the Thug, Victor Drath, Michelle, Old Snake/Cobra Commander

Review: The concept was okay. A soft crossover of sorts with GI Joe's Cobra Commander, and changing Transformers into humans. However, the idea was badly executed. The pacing of the story was too fast and there are many logic loopholes (the main one being why Drath didn't kill the Autobots outright). It's a little disappointing to see such a concept wasted when it had so much potential. I mean, the Autobots just act as they are before. The animation is average; not good but not particularly bad. There are a lot of wasted opportunities here. Still, this is a unique episode, and quite fun to watch.


“Grimlock's New Brain”

Japan Title: “Grimlock's New Brain”
US Airdate: 14 November 1986
Credited Writer: Paul Davids

Synopsis: On Cybertron, the Autobots are having a ceremony to activate a new generator that will better supply them with power. As Rodimus Prime signals Grimlock to activate the machine, Grimlock forgets which button to press and literally uses the unorthodox ‘eenie menie miny moe’ method to try to find the button. After he causes a couple crashes, Rodimus, Magnus and Perceptor manage to switch the generator on. Grimlock says that the button they pressed was going to be his next choice. Elsewhere, a Skuxxoid and Sleazardo are sneaking into the generator to place anti-electrons inside the device, being paid by Galvatron to sabotage the generator.

In space, Cosmos and Sky Lynx are flying to attend the ceremony, when they suddenly begin to experience errors, and crash into the planet. When the other Autobots arrive, Springer and Blaster also experience the same problem. Perceptor concludes that the problem originates from the generator and Rodimus, Magnus, Grimlock, and Kup head down to check it out.

However, Grimlock breaks the compass that Perceptor had given them to navigate the tunnels, so they split up. Grimlock and Kup reach the generator's control computers, and Kup begins to have memory loss. Grimlock deactivates the generator with the works-without-fail tactic of chomping down on it, but immediately begins to speak in a proper manner (“I, Grimlock”), with a Perceptor-style vocabulary, and appears to be not interested in fighting anymore.

Grimlock and Kup save Rodimus Prime and Magnus from the malfunctioning defense systems, and predictably the two are also astounded at Grimmy’s intelligence. However, Ratbat has been observing them and reports back to Galvatron. Galvatron threatens to kill the two alien mercenaries for ruining his plan, as the anti-electrons were hard to find, but Sleazardo reveals that there is another source of anti-electrons in Unicron's brain.

Back on Cybertron, Grimlock and the Autobots pass the other four Dinobots fishing/bathing in a local pond. They invite Grimlock to join, but Grimlock refuses, saying he has ‘more important matters to attend to’. The Dinobots are astounded, as they always fish together. Elsewhere, Grimlock concludes that anti-electrons were the source of the problem, much to the chagrin of Perceptor. As Galvatron's ship approaches Unicron's head, he cautions his soldiers, saying that Unicron may still be quite powerful.

On Cybertron, the Dinobots meet Grimlock, who is building a new spaceship, and Grims asks for their help. With their leader not acting like one of them (“Grimlock no fun”) the Dinobots decide to go without him. Later, Grimlock takes Rodimus, Perceptor, and Kup to Unicron's head, having concluded that Unicron's body was the original source. However, Galvatron fires anti-electrons that he had found toward the shuttle, causing it to crash and the Autobots to malfunction again. Galvatron then unleashes the Terrorcons on the Autobots while Grimlock runs off. Grimlock then uses several components of Unicron to build Nosecone. Together the two drill a hole into Unicron’s brain.

Elsewhere, Cyclonus and Scourge are retrieving the anti-electrons when they accidentally reactivate Unicron. The Evil One’s internal antibodies activate, but Strafe, another robot Grimlock built, destroys the defences. Grimlock builds three more robots: Afterburner, Lightspeed, and Scattershot, calling the team the Technobots.

The Technobots fight the Terrorcons, and they manage to destroy the anti-electrons, but the Terrorcons merge into Abominus. Retreating, the Technobots ask Grimlock for advice, and Grimlock reveals that they are also combiners, and they merge into Computron. The computational capacity held by him is massive, yet he lacks the intelligence to feed it. Grimlock connects a device to Computron's head which transfers his new-found intelligence to Computron, and Grims reverts back to ‘Me Grimlock’. Now armed with both intelligence and power, Computron is able to defeat Abominus and send the Decepticons packing home.

On Cybertron, Rodimus holds a celebration for the newly functioning generator, the creation of the Technobots, and Grimlock's efforts. But Grimlock is not there; he but is fishing with the Dinobots. Grimlock says that being a genius is no fun, and he'd rather be a regular Dinobot. The Autobots cheer.

Notes: While being a genius, Grimlock's voice is basically his normal voice without the growling undertone, and with better vocabulary and pronunciation. This episode marks the first appearances for the Terrorcons and Technobots. The Technobots were created without personality components from Vector Sigma. Not an error per se, since the Dinobots themselves were created without Vector Sigma. This episode marks the return of Sleazardo (from "the Gambler") although this time he's bad guy instead of Devcon's sidekick. This episode also marks the only time where there is water on Cybertron, in the pond where the Dinobots were playing in. Computron's speech pattern is the same with Omega Supreme's. Jack C. Carmel substitutes as Unicron's voice.

Errors: Why let Grimlock near the sensitive switches when someone else would've done a better job? During the first scene, Springer is twice as tall as Blurr and Kup. When the Autobots are near the generator, Kup and Rodimus get affected (Kup loses his memory while Rodimus randomly transforms), but Magnus and Grimlock weren’t. Swoop wasn’t with the Dinobots most of the time. When Rodimus gets affected by anti-electron on Unicron's head, he transforms into Hot Rod's alternate mode (coloured as Rodimus') and later uses Hot Rod's robot model when he battles Hun-Grrr. When the Terrorcons combine, Hun-Grrr transforms into Blot and Sinnertwin (in leg forms), then a second Hun-Grrr hops on as the main body and combines into Abominus. The same thing happens when Abominus separates. The Decepticons are gigantic when they leave Unicron’s head.

Transformers featured: Ultra Magnus, Perceptor, Rodimus Prime, Grimlock, Sludge, Springer, Wheelie, Snarl, Kup, Broadside, Blurr, Grimlock, Slag, Cosmos, Sky Lynx, Blaster, Ratbat, Scourge, Galvatron, Sweeps, Rippersnapper, Blot, Sinnertwin, Cyclonus, Cutthroat, Hun-Grrr, Nosecone, Strafe, Lightspeed, Afterburner, Scattershot, Abominus, Computron, Skydive

Notable Others: Skuxxoid Mercenary, Sleazardo, Unicron

Review: The introduction of the Technobots is handled rather nicely. It's another 'let's make them laugh!' episode, so it's best to enjoy Grimlock out-smarting Perceptor. The dialogue is fantastic, and references to previous stuff like Unicron's head or Devcon's old buddy is an added bonus. Grimlock's quasi-British accent is handled nicely as well. The Technobots themselves are nice characters, although sadly they won't get much in the way of characterization other than your classic introdump. I'm pissed that the Terrorcons aren't handled properly with a proper introduction, and are there simply to give the Technobots a hard time. However, it's a nice 'to-sell-toys' episode, and it's kind of funny to watch.


“Money is Everything”

Japan Title: “Black Money”
US Airdate: 17 November 1986
Credited Writers: Carla Conway and Gerry Conway

Synopsis: Near the Moon, the trader ship Lazy Sue is under attack by Hun-Grrr, who is decidedly very hungry. The ship's pilot, Dirk Manus, calls for help. The EDC sends Marissa Faireborn, Scattershot and Strafe to help. Unfortunately, the scatterbrained Strafe gets confused and shoots down the Lazy Sue, while Scattershot is grabbed by Hun-Grrr. Faireborn calls Autobot City, and the other three Technobots head out to help their comrades and manage to drive off Hun-Grrr.

Manus takes the opportunity in the chaos to bury something near his ship. He introduces himself, flirting with Faireborn, who is a little flustered. Manus claims that Hun-Grrr may have attacked due to his discovery of a Quintesson base near Saturn. He offers a deal: pay his fee, he gives up the Quints. The Technobots form Computron, who with their combined intellect concludes that they should repair the ship and pay the fee. However, Faireborn decides to keep Manus nearby as she doesn’t trust him. However Manus uses that as an excuse to take Faireborn out dancing. No, really.

Later that night, Manus heads out to what he buried, and contacts his clients—the Quintessons. Apparently, the Quints sent Hun-Grrr to ambush Manus and take the ‘Recreator’ from him, and Manus now demands triple his original payment, or they don't get the Recreator. The Quintessons are concerned about the Technobots, but Manus decides to lead them into an ambush. Unfortunately for Manus, Faireborn overheard everything, and points her blaster at Manus. Manus has a microblaster of his own, which he uses to disarm her, then ties her up.

The next morning, Scattershot, Lightspeed, and Strafe, none the wiser, fly off with Manus, who is calculating his profits. Heading towards Saturn, the Technobots are attacked by Abominus, shooting down the Technobots before going for the Lazy Sue. However, coming over the Quintesson base, Abominus separates into their separate Terrorcon forms. Rippersnapper and Cutthroat are upset by this as the Quintessons installed an automatic timer which forced them to separate. Manus shows the Recreator to the Quints, who decide to test it on Blot. The Recreator dematerializes Blot, and then reforms him. Manus explains that the device also cured Blot of any injuries he may have received. Impressed, the Quints agree to pay Manus. However, Manus places a small device on the Recreator before leaving.

As it turns out, that was a wise move, for the Quintessons gave him ‘mimic dust’ instead of real gold. Manus activates the device he implanted on the Recreator, a micro-nuke, only to discover that the Quintessons themselves have placed a bomb on his ship, which goes off... while the Quintessons flick Manus's mini-bomb away from the Recreator. Manus survives the crash, only to discover that the Technobots did as well, and they're quite angry for a good reason. As they argue, Manus shouts for the Technobots to look behind them. Lightspeed says that old trick won't work—and is the first to be shot by the Sharkticons. The Technobots bring a set of thorny vines down on the Sharkticons, but their escape is cut short when they reach the edge of a cliff.

Fortunately, Nosecone and Afterburner arrive and drive off the Sharkticons. Marrissa's ship arrives, and she jumps out and gave Manus an uppercut to the jaw. Marrissa advocates leaving him to rot, but Manus warns them about the Recreator. The Technobots decide they have no choice but to trust him as their injuries prevent them from forming Computron. After a little trudging through the forest, Marrissa is grabbed by a vine. Manus jumps to her rescue, getting a reward when he steals a kiss—and her weapon. Now with a hostage, Manus forces the Technobots to surrender.

At the Quintesson base, Manus attempts to negotiate his contract with the Quints. Marrissa is horrified when Manus uses the Recreator to vaporize the Technobots. Just as the Terrorcons decide that she'd make a good lunch, Manus reforms the Technobots, the Recreator having healed their injuries. They promptly transform into Computron. As Computron and Abominus duke it out, Manus reveals to Marrissa that he brought the Technobots there so that they could be healed. He just didn't tell them because he wanted their reactions to be real. Computron detects the timer placed on Abominus, and fires a blast, causing Abominus to separate. Now facing a pissed Autobot combiner, the Terrorcons fly off, while the Quintessons retreat.

On Earth, the EDC decides to let Manus leave with the Lazy Sue, without any reward. Marrissa is talking to Manus when Lightspeed arrives, saying that the currency the EDC confiscated has been stolen. As Marrissa assumes it's Manus, he takes another kiss, then takes off. Marrissa, however, says they shouldn't bother pursuing him. On his ship, Manus discovers that the money he stole is mimic dust. But instead of being upset, he merely laughs, impressed that Marrissa outsmarted him.

Notes: Scattershot mentions that they're "still new here", referencing their creation from last episode. Marissa Fairborne states that the Quintessons are hiding out on Titan, Saturn's largest moon (and the second largest moon of any planet in our solar system). One has to wonder what happened to the Titanians seen in 'the God Gambit'. It actually makes sense for the Quints to install a timer on Abominus. This is unrelated, but Marvel’s Transformers Universe series it is stated that Piranacon has the same feature. Blot hates being repaired.

Errors: The Terrorcons were last seen under Galvatron's command, yet now they're under Quintesson command. Why does half the Technobot team stay on Earth? It's not like Autobot City is understaffed. Strafe and Scattershot turns into a spaceship, but flies around in robot mode. Are the Quints so stupid that they leave a machine that could heal the Autobots unguarded? When Abominus blasts Lightspeed, his face goes red for a scene. Afterburner switch pallettes with him for a short while afterwards. And the ‘Recreator’—dematerializes enemies before recreating them with no injuries whatsoever. What kind of stupid scientist would make that kind of 'weapon'?

Transformers featured: Hun-Grrr, Scattershot, Strafe, Afterburner, Nosecone, Lightspeed, Computron, Abominus, Cutthroat, Sinnertwin, Rippersnapper, Blot

Notable Others: Dirk Manus, Marissa Faireborn, Quintessons

Review: Lots of pointless dirge that offsets the character development for the Technobot and Terrorcon members. While the Technobots get several moments of characterization, they are completely ruined by the horrendous love arc for Marissa and Dick. Marissa isn't the best human character out there, but Dirk is far worse by trying (and failing) to act like Han Solo. Their faux-romance is utterly abysmal while all the double-triple-quadruple-crossing and betrayal are all too predictable. The Terrorcons also act like village idiots. A wasted episode.


“Call of the Primitives”

Japan Title: “Primeval Call”
US Airdate: 18 November 1986
Credited Writer: Doland F. Glut

Synopsis: Somewhere, an energy creature begins feeding off other forms of energy — slowly, at first. Then his creator gives him an Energon cube. The creature grows and spreads out into the universe. Soon, it attacks Cybertron. The Autobots attack it, but it simply drains their energy from them. The creature's creator is pleased with him, saying he's done better than his predecessor, Unicron.

On the Moon, a large group of Autobots is slugging it out against the Decepticons. However, the Dinobots, Predacons, Terrorcons, Sky Lynx, Trypticon, and the animal-form Mini-Cassettes are all summoned by a mysterious voice. They leave the battle inside Trypticon and Sky Lynx. Beffudled, Galvatron orders a retreat. Suddenly, the energy creature arrives and drains the energy from all the remaining Autobots and Decepticons, as well as the energy in Earth and the Moon.

Most of the departed Transformers are riding Trypticon. Headstrong picks a fight with the Dinobots by insulting Grimlock, and Sludge suggests they stomp him. The Preds stick with their teammate and fight the Dinobots, who tries to ‘cook’ the Predacons, and the Terrorcons decide to fight everyone. At Sky Lynx's suggestion, Trypticon shakes himself and causes his passengers to stop fighting. They arrive on an ancient planet near the centre of the galaxy. After touching down, Sky Lynx assumes command of the group, much to the chagrin of several Decepticons.

Entering a cave, they encounter a strange entity. He explains that he summoned the ‘Primitives’, all animal-based Transformers, to come to fight Tornedron, the energy being who was created by Primacron. The entity, who was once Primacron's assistant, explains how Primacron created Unicron but was nearly destroyed by his creation. After Unicron's defeat, Primacron created Tornedron as a replacement. Primacron's assistant hopes that the Primitives' simple instincts will allow them to defeat Primacon's complex plan.

Suddenly, Tornedron arrives on the planet and drains Trypticon of his energy. Trypticon crashes down onto the ground, and Grimlock is believed destroyed under the big fella. Sky Lynx attacks, only to have his energy drained as well. Slag leads the Dinobots in retreat, while the other Primitives split up. Tornedron separates into four parts to track them down. Changing into a giant tiger-creature, Tornedron easily dispatches the four Mini-Cassettes. Meanwhile, fighting Tornedron in a giant warrior form, Predaking is defeated as well. The Terrorcons try to fight back, but are also drained by Tornedron in the form of a giant serpent. The Dinobots ambush Tornedron, but they too are dispatched. Unknown to all others, however, Grimlock has survived, and he follows them.

At his base, Primacron is having trouble controlling Tornedron. Tornedron declares that he intends to kill Primacron, and that all of Primacron's fail-safes have failed. Grimlock breaks into Primacron's lab to find that Primacron is a tiny little alien monkey thing. Grimlock orders Primacron to reverse his damage, but Primacron declares that he's tried everything and gives up. Grimlock fixes things easily: He throws the reverse switch, which reverses Tornedron's energy polarity, restoring the energy to the drained Transformers and planets, resurrecting everyone. In celebration, Grimlock destroys Primacron's lab, declaring it the smartest thing he's ever done.

Notes: The art style in this episode is very different from all others in the Generation 1 series, with a more stylized character models and proportions. The character models for this episode are based on the Studio Ox designs rather than the standard animation models used for the other episodes. It is widely believed that this single episode was animated by Tokyo Movie Shinsha, though little evidence has been found to confirm this. It's sweet. Primacron’s Assistant would later be retconned as the Oracle in Japan, even though it doesn't make sense. The animation seems to hint that Primacron's Assistant is/would become the Matrix, or at least part of it, which is just a headache-inducing thing. Apparently Tornedron kills those he touches, turning them gray, so the entire populations of Earth and Cybertron are dead. This episode is the last appearance of the Dinobots, Trypticon, Ravage and Jazz. Bummer. It’s also the first and last appearances for Overkill and Slugfest. Primacron is a monkey-like alien that constructed Unicron, who rebelled against him. If you follow Fun Publiscations' 'Unicron is a dark god in every continuity' theory, presumably Primacron is the one responsible for rebuilding Unicron's asteroid prison into a robot. Or something.

Errors: When the Dinobots are being summoned, Sludge is referred to as Sweep. “Grimlock, Slag, Snarl, Sweep, Swoop.” Laserbeak and Buzzsaw is nowhere to be seen. Instead, two new cassette Decepticons make their debut: Slugfest and Overkill... who are then never seen again after being ejected. Windcharger is healthily running around in Cybertron, when he should had been killed in TFTM. Sky Lynx's legs are massive just before Grimlock falls down.

Transformers featured: Scourge, Sweeps, Headstrong, Tantrum, Galvatron, Cyclonus, Cutthroat, Sinnertwin, Rampage, Razorclaw, Ultra Magnus, Rodimus Prime, Springer, Slag, Snarl, Grimlock, Sludge, Blaster, Blot, Rippersnapper, Hun-Grrr, Divebomb, Scourge, Kup, Windcharger, Jazz, Bumblebee, Wheelie, Slingshot, Blades, Swoop, Abominus, Predaking, Trypticon, Sky Lynx, Soundwave, Ravage, Ratbat, Slugfest, Overkill, Steeljaw, Ramhorn (except Grimlock, all killed by Tornedron and ressurected)

Notable Others: Primacron (first appearance), Tornedron (first appearance, killed), Primacron’s Assistant (first appearance), Unicron (flashback)

Review: Right, where to begin? This episode has a large cast, absolutely wonderful animation (even though Predaking looks as if he's been hitting steroids at one moment), a rather excellent plot and reestablishes that the Dinobots are crack warriors instead of bumbling idiots. The really big fight between the Autobots and Decepticons at the Moon is simply gorgeous, as is Tornedron taking down everyone. This episode gives obscure team members a chance to show personality as well, such as Headstrong complaining about authority and Hun-Grrr using one head to eat the ground and the other to spit it out. Many great character moments, which are only helped by the gorgeous animation models. Sky Lynx, in particular, looks fantastic. Sky Lynx is beautifully characterized, so is Grimlock. The lines in this episode are golden as well, and the camaraderie between the Dinobots, Terrorcons and Predacons are just funny. Sky Lynx’s line "Think: what would Sky Lynx do?" is golden. A must-see, even if just to see the wonderful animation. However, like every other sane fan out there, I absolutely abhor the idea of a monkey being the one behind the creation of Unicron. Best to leave Unicron's origin untold, if this is the best they could come up with.


“The Burden Hardest to Bear”

Japan Title: “The Mission Too Heavy”
US Airdate: 19 November 1986
Credited Writer: Michael Charles Hill

Synopsis: At dawn, the people of Japan are awakening to do their daily tasks: fishing, going to shrines, and sword practice. Then, the Decepticons show up to have lots and lots of fun. Devastator begins harassing a few fishermen, but is chased off and broken into his Constructicon components by Broadside. Astrotrain tries to ram a train head on (he is very, very smart) only to have the Aerialbots drive him away. Bruticus and Defensor slug it out, and Cyclonus and the Sweeps arrive, but the ‘Cons are driven off by the arrival of Rodimus, Kup, and Sky Lynx, saving a sword training dojo from being run down.

However, instead of thanking the Autobots for saving many lives, the government of Japan is very upset, saying that the Autobots frightened people and ruined business. Seriously. When Marissa Faireborn arrives and brings more problems to Rodimus' concern, the Autobot leader loses his patience and drives off. Kup explains that Rodimus is merely strained under the burden of command, his ‘giri’, much like Optimus Prime was in his early days as leader, and Marissa decides to follow him, to let him have someone to talk to.

Meeting up on the highway, however, the two are attacked by Wildrider and Dead End, who knock Marissa into a lake and force Rodimus off a cliff with their reckless driving. When they inspect the unconscious Rodimus, they find the Matrix. Realizing that Galvatron will be really happy, they steal it and return to Chaar.

In his throne room, Galvatron congratulates the two Stunticons and inserts the Matrix into his cannon, but instead of making it even more powerful like he hopes, ghosts of the Ancient Autobots (including Optimus Prime himself) seep out of the barrel and demand that Galvatron return the Matrix.

Galvatron, horrified and clearly spooked, orders Scourge to destroy the Matrix, and he believes it is better that the Matrix be destroyed if the Decepticons can't have it. Scourge, however, outside the base, inserts the Matrix into himself, and becomes more powerful... but at a startling price.

Meanwhile, the Autobot leader wakes up, to learn that he's reverted to Hot Rod. Springer and Ultra Magnus argue that they should go after the Decepticons, but Hot Rod feels that the Matrix isn't worth it, and jets off. On Chaar, a mutated Scourge challenges Galvatron, defeating both him and Cyclonus. Scourge leads the Decepticons in an attack on Earth, with Galvatron and Cyclonus hot in pursuit.

On Earth, Hot Rod, while watching a martial arts class at the dojo he saved, gets some words of wisdom from the sensei there, and realises that he needs to get the Matrix back. He tracks down Scourge, and manages to defeat him in an alley, saving a couple of humans. He reclaims the Matrix and becomes Rodimus Prime once more.

Galvatron and Cyclonus arrive and find a less powerful and frightened Scourge. And they are none too happy with him...

As the Decepticons retreat, Rodimus realises that he must deal with his missing part, his burden, as have those who came before him. Kup reminds him that no matter who carries the Matrix, he will retain that part forever.

Notes: Wildrider has developed a bad Southern accent. When Galvatron inserts the Matrix into his cannon he says "Now, all shall become one under Galvatron". Yes, Optimus Prime and Alpha Trion are among the Ancient Autobots, and all of them are the same ghost guides that Rodimus Prime encountered in Five Faces of Darkness. When Scourge mutates, he somehow cries. I mean, tears and everything... Cyclonus rephrases Megatron's "I still function" line from TFTM. This is the first time in transformer fiction when 'slag' is used as a swear word in transformer fiction.

Errors: Predaking (or an orange guy the size of Devastator) is shown for a split-second behind Devastator in the opening scene, then disappears. Remember all those times Rodimus Prime is accidentally drawn as Hot Rod? Now Hot Rod is drawn as Rodimus Prime in some scenes. For some reason Marissa’s EDC (Earth Defense Command) symbol on her shoulder is replaced with ‘AOC’. When Galvy is about to put the Matrix in his cannon, Bruticus and a miscoloured Devastator is the same height with him. Galvatron's throne changes colour and shae between scenes. Optimus Prime's ghost is completely blue at one point. When Hot Rod regains the Matrix he sticks it in his chest without opening the compartment. A little mis-asigned power now: Wildrider uses an ‘oil slick’ to cause Marissa to spin out of control. That’s Breakdown’s trick, seen in “Marsequerade”.

Transformers featured: Devastator, Predaking (see errors) Broadside, Scrapper, Mixmaster, Long Haul, Hook, Bonecrusher, Scavenger, Astrotrain, Silverbolt, Skydive, Slingshot, Air Raid, Fireflight, Bruticus, Defensor, Cyclonus, Scourge, Sweeps, Onslaught, Swindle, Brawl, Blast Off, Vortex, Sky Lynx, Kup, Rodimus Prime/Hot Rod, Springer, Ultra Magnus, Arcee, Dead End, Wildrider, Motormaster, Optimus Prime (ghost), Ancient Matrix-Holders (ghost), Alpha Trion (ghost)

Notable Others: Marissa Faireborn

Review: A nice spotlight for Rodimus Prime, and to a lesser extent Scourge. The main highlight, is of course the big global Autobot-Decepticon slugfest at the beginning. This episode gives Scourge (who had frankly been sidelined by Galvatron and Cyclonus so far, and basically reduced as an extra alongside his Sweeps) some semblance of characterization. At the same time it gives Rodimus Prime/Hot Rod some wonderful character development before Optimus returns. Dealing with pressure is something I could see Rodimus do. The scene with Dead End and Wildrider stealing the Matrix is amazingly hilarious. (At one point I thought Wildrider was about to insert the Matrix into himself!) One of the better offers of Season 3. However, I can't stand the stereotypical sensei. "Autoboto-san"?


“The Face of the Nijika”

Japan Title: “Save the Planet of Telepathy”
US Airdate: 20 November 1986
Credited Writer: Mary Skrenes and Steve Skeates

Synopsis: Sky Lynx, carrying Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Blurr, and Perceptor, detects a disturbance nearby and discovers Galvatron bashing on some strange disk in space. They also detect a Quintesson ship heading for that same location. Perceptor theorizes that the Quintessons don't want Galvatron meddling with the disk, so Rodimus decides to meddle with the Decepticons and the Quintessons.

The Quintessons fire at Galvatron and are thankful that the quadrant lock is not damaged. However, the Autobots then arrive. The Quintessons refuse to let the Autobots learn anything about the lock unless they learn from the other side. Opening the lock, the Quintessons drive their ship through, taking Rodimus, Magnus, Blurr, and Perceptor with them. Not wanting the Autobots learn its secret, Galvatron throws Cyclonus at them who is also drawn through the lock, which closes, leaving Galvatron outside. Unfortunately for the Quints, their isolator key has been damaged, and it is the only thing that can open the quadrant lock, thereby locking everyone inside. However, Perceptor has a universal emulator, which could serve as a replacement.

Crashing into the nearby planet Zamojin, Perceptor suffers from transformation paralysis, and is stuck in microscope mode. On the planet, members of a primitive, humanoid civilization see their descent. One declares that the "devils" have returned. However, a blacksmith outside the city sees them and goes to investigate, recovering the solitary microscope-mode Perceptor. Meanwhile, the Autobots are not doing so well after their crash-landing. Rodimus and Magnus hit the trees, which according to them are as hard as rocks, while Blurr hit an actual rock (ouch) and is too injured and cannot walk. Rodimus tells him to lean on fearless leader, while Magnus ponders where Perceptor crashed.

At his hut, the blacksmith removes Perceptor's Autobot insignia, which also contains his universal emulator inside it. Having tracked Perceptor's descent, the Quintessons dispatch a pair of Sharkticons to deal retrieve the scientist. The blacksmith places Perceptor's insignia on the face of a small, female kimono-wearing robot called Nijika. The Sharkticons arrive, but the blacksmith fights them off, damaging their armour with his bare hands. Holy crap. Meanwhile, Perceptor, having taken control of Nijika, asks the blacksmith, named Katsu Don, what is going on. Perceptor was told that the Zamojin were once advanced and that they had developed interstellar travel, protected by the guardian Kodu Ri. Katsu Don's ancestor, Niko Don, built Nijika as an exploration drone, hoping to make contact with other races and planets. However, the Quintessons attacked, damaging Kodu Ri and Nijika, then sealed them with the quadrant lock, which blacked out the stars. The Zamojin were reduced from technologically advanced to almost primitive within a very short amount of time and have been that way ever since. Perceptor concludes that something about the Zamojin terrified the Quintessons so much that they locked them in this part of space, and now he and Katsu Don need to warn the Zamojins that the Quintessons have returned.

Elsewhere, Rodimus, Magnus, and Blurr are moving on, but Blurr is slowing them down. (No, really.) Blurr insists that they go find Perceptor, who might be able to heal him. The other two left, only for a band of Zamojin warriors to find Blurr. On the Quintesson ship, the Quintessons are debating what to do. One of them will have to go to the surface, but if a single Zamojin damaged two Sharkticons, they are none too miffled of their chances. However, Cyclonus offers them a deal: give him the secrets of the quadrant lock, and he will go with one of them to retrieve Perceptor.

Meanwhile, Rodimus and Magnus are able to detect Perceptor’s body after a skirmish with the locals. However, without the emulator, Perceptor is offline. The duo decide to search the nearby city. In the city, the Zamojin people are preparing to melt Blurr in a sacrificial ceremony, although Blurr is none too worried, instead thinking the hot liquid would heal his leg. Cyclonus shouts out “Burn him”, which incite the Zamojin to lower Blurr into the liquid.

However, the Empress commands them to stop. She reveals Perceptor-Nijika, who tries to explain the situation. Cyclonus grabs Perceptor-Nijika and orders the Quintesson to bring their ship nearby. Katsu Don grabs Cyclonus's legs, but the Quintessons order Perceptor to hand over the emulator, or Katsu Don will die. Perceptor complies.

The other Quintessons shoots Blurr's rope, causing him to fall into the molten liquid...which he describes as a nice soak that is repairing his injuries. Blurr jumps out, with Rodimus and Magnus arriving none too soon. Blurr frees Katsu Don, while Magnus takes on Cyclonus. Rodimus throws Katsu Don out, while Blurr grabs the emulator and Magnus manhandles Cyclonus, who follows after the Quintessons.

The Empress fears what the Quintessons will do, but Perceptor, now in his real body thanks to Blurr, says that the Quintessons are about to give the Zamojin something. The Quintesson ship passes through the quadrant lock...and it fades, revealing the stars. Perceptor had sabotaged the lock, and the Autobots realize the Zamojin's technology is telepathic in nature and powered by starlight. The intelligence of the Zamojin advances rapidly, and they repair Kodu Ri. As Sky Lynx lands, Perceptor asks Katsu Don if he will continue his ancestor's research. Katsu Don vows that Perceptor will meet Nijika again...out among the stars.

Notes: This episode is Perceptor’s last appearance in the cartoon. Worst exit ever. Blurr speaks at normal speed several times in episode, perhaps due to him being damaged. Katsu Don is the name of a Japanese delicacy. Kodu Ri's appearance is loosely based on Buddha. Surprisingly (or, rather, unsurprisingly) the Zamojin is very similar in appearance to ancient Japan. They are also more-or-less the size of Transformers, although this is common in G1. The Nijika is a small kimono-wearing mechanical doll. Perceptor’s personality is contained in his Autobot insignia (of all places). Apparently removing it causes the body to go offline.

Errors: The Zamojin hate robots and know what Quintessons look like, but they don’t mind Cyclonus and a Quintesson Judge standing in the middle of the crowd when they’re executing Blurr. So unobservant. So, Perceptor’s Autobot insignia contains an universal emulator and his spark/laser core/personality component? No, seriously? And Perceptor being reduced into a female kimono dancer is… not funny. Not funny at all.

Transformers featured: Sky Lynx, Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Blurr, Perceptor Galvatron, Cyclonus, Sharkticons

Notable Others: Quintessons, Katsudon, the Zamojin

Review: Have you noticed that the episodes in Season Three are either very good or very bad? This one, sadly, falls in the latter category. It's pure crap. Perceptor is reduced into a tiny kimono-wearing dancer robot which is the subject of a samurai warrior’s affection on a planet locked in a pocket dimension. The writers must be drunk, I tell you. It's painful to look at it. The only good scene is when Cyclonus shouts "Vengeance nooooow!" for Blurr to be dunked into the lava. The rest of it is trash. It's episodes like this that give G1 cartoon a bad name.


“The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 1”

Japan Title: “The Resurrection of Convoy Part 1”
US Airdate: 24 February 1987
Credited Writer: Marv Wolfman & Cherie Wilkerson

Synopsis: While on a deep-space mission to test a new alloy that they have developed, scientists Jessica Morgan and Gregory Swofford detect a ship carrying Optimus Prime's body on a collision course with a planet orbiting a star they are researching nearby. Despite Gregory's reluctance (his face was scarred in a previous battle between Optimus and Megatron, so he hates robots.), finally Greg and Jessica gets Prime’s body out of the ship and into their own ship, just in time before Prime's ship crashes into the sun, making it go nova. However, spores coat their ship.

Upon return to Earth, Jessica's father studies the spores and learns that they are not only alive, but are a contagious viral carrier that induces hatred and destructive urges into whomever they touch. A scuffle between the Technobots and Terrorcons over the new alloy gravely injures Jessica, her father is convinced by Gregory to try and resurrect Prime's body as a carrier of the spores against the Autobots. Later it was revealed Jessica was paralyzed from the waist down in the accident and now needs a special exosuit made by the Protectobots to walk. While Jessica feels okay about it, it increases Greg and her father’s hate against the Autobots. Unable to revive Prime’s body, Jessica’s father nearly melted it down before Greg has the idea of using it to bait the Autobots.

Jessica, forced to tell the Autobots, informs Rodimus Prime about the trap. Rodimus, eager to rebuild the former Autobot leader The trap succeeds, and subsequently many Autobots, including Ultra Magnus, the Throttlebots, Superion and Defensor, are infected. The Decepticons have learned about Optimus Prime's recovery as well via Ratbat, and have shown up to terminate Prime permanently. However, the Decepticon themselves are instead infected too. Only Rodimus, Jessica and Galvatron manage to escape unsatched, the former two taking Optimus’ body with them. Bumblebee, Wheelie, Blurr and Steeljaw also escaped infection but they are injured when trying to stop Superion, Defensor and Bruticus, who were rampaging in a city.

Back at Autobot City, Rodimus requests Wreck-Gar’s help to try and repair Prime, but Prime is too far gone even for the Junkion to repair. Desperate, Rodimus contacts Sky Lynx, one of the few uninfected, and orders him to locate and bring back a Quintesson, remembering that they had once before restored Optimus. He then disconnects Metroplex to keep the Citybot from being infected. Just as it’s done the infected Ultra Magnus barges in. Ultra Magnus and the infected Throttlebots give chase to Rodimus Prime. Wreck-Gar tries to stop Magnus, but is infected himself, and the resulting scuffle, Rodimus Prime was infected.

The Hate Plague, as it's now called, running wild and infecting humans and other Transformers, even so far as reaching to other planets. Sky Lynx finds a Quintesson whom he saves from infected Sharkticons, 'requesting' his help to revive Optimus. The Quintesson warns that should anything go too wrong during the process Optimus will never live again. Finally, however, Optimus is restored to full life, declaring that "no force in the Universe can stop me."

Notes: This episode marks Abominus’ single line in the cartoon series: “Computron think too much!” Meanwhile, Wreck-Gar's lines "I'm a doctor, not a forklift!" and "He's dead, Jim." reference popular quotes from Star Trek's DrMcCoy. Similarly "His engines, they cannae take the strain!" comes from Scotty. When Rodimus Prime gets the Autobots ready he begins with a long roll call, with the Aerialbots, Protectobots, Throttlebots, Blurr, Wheelie, Steeljaw and Bumblebee, saying their names one by one. The flashback is Megatron's final appearance in the cartoon series. Following Roger C. Carmel's death, Jack Angel substitutes as Cyclonus' voice actor for the remainder of the series.

Errors: More or less, the beginning of this episode is a retcon. Firstly, how is Optimus’ even in the sun (a natural one about to go nova) when he rammed the Quintesson headquarters in ‘Dark Awekening’? Besides, the injuries from the Movie and 'Dark Awakening' have all disappeared. At the end of ‘Dark Awakening’, Prime at least has a shattered faceplate, a missing arm, and broken panels, but he is shown intact and fully repaired at the beginning of the episode. Furthermore, Jessica and Gregory is able to lift Optimus’ intact body out of the ship into their own in less than thirty minutes, with no help whatsoever except for some rope. Sure, there's no weight and all, but still... They also 'detect life signs' when Optimus is supposed to be dead. When Gregory and Jessica's father rush at the hospital and find the Protectobots, Swindle is among them. Ratbat is white when he jumps in cassette mode into Soundwave. In one scene, Bruticus is the same size as all the other Decepticons. In Ratbat's report, they are talking about 'his body', but Galvatron immediately knows it's Optimus Prime's body. Rodimus is already block-coloured red for a few seconds before Wreck-Gar touches him. A normal truck is shown as infected. How did the Hate Plague beat Sky Lynx to the Quintessons, who are hiding in the 'far reaches of space'? Throughout the episode, the red glow effect of the Hate Plague cuts through other objects.

Transformers featured: Optimus Prime (brought back to life), Megatron (Flashback), Cutthroat, Blot, Sinnertwin, Rippersnapper, Hun-Grrr, Strafe, Scattershot, Nosecone, Lightspeed, Afterburner, Abominus, Computron, First Aid, Streetwise, Blades, Hot Spot, Swindle (error), Ultra Magnus, Rodimus Prime, Ratbat, Groove, Defensor, Silverbolt, Air Raid, Skydive, Fireflight, Slingshot, Superion, Searchlight, Freeway, Wideload, Chase, Wheelie, Blurr, Bumblebee, Steeljaw, Galvatron, Soundwave, Bruticus, Breakdown, Dead End, Motormaster, Drag Strip, Wildrider, Cyclonus, Scourge, Kup, Wreck-Gar, Sky Lynx, Metroplex, Brawl, Headstrong, Razorclaw, Vortex, Sharkticons

Notable Others: Gregory, Jessica Morgan, Jessica’s father, Quintesson

Review: Despite the novelty of Optimus Prime's return, which makes the fanboy in me happy, this episode contradicts basically almost everything we know from the excellent episode ‘Dark Awakening’. It seems to be convenient solution to things when there could be many other ways this could be done. At the bright side, this episode includes more than half of the Transformer cast, making for a more ‘war’ like atmosphere. However, the plot with the Hate plague is… rather dull and hastily-thought. Jessica is dull, and the two men are dull and very unrealistic. A quick reason to lengthen time, when, say, a search for Optimus Prime's body would've made for a better plot.


“The Return of Optimus Prime, Part 2”

Japan Title: “The Resurrection of Convoy part 2”
US Airdate: 25 February 1987
Credited Writer: Michael Charles Hall, Marv Wolfman & Cherie Wilkerson

Synopsis: The revived Optimus Prime demands that Sky Lynx tell him what had happened during his time dead. Sky Lynx recaps the events that had conspired to bring him back through a flashback. The Quintesson manages to reactivate the injured and uninfected Autobots, which include Goldbug, a rebuilt Bumblebee.

When Kup asks what the plan is, Prime admits that he doesn't have a plan. Without the wisdom within the Matrix, he doesn't have a clue as to where to start. Jessica comes forward with the experimental alloy that the humans had worked on, which proved strong enough to block the spores. Coating Optimus with this alloy would protect himself from the Hate Plague and allow him to get close enough to Rodimus to extract the Matrix from him. However, all the alloy had been stolen by the Decepticons. The Autobots decide to retrieve the metal.

Meanwhile, on Chaar, Galvatron is pinned down by his own soldiers, unable to fight back against their maddening ferocity...until Optimus and his team arrive to save Galvatron, making an uneasy alliance. However, Galvy is naturally suspicious of Optimus' motives, especially when he learns they need the alloy, but he cannot get anything out of them. Galvatron leads Optimus and his gang down a series of boobytrapped tunnels, the Autobots getting caught in a giant spider web. The delay causes all of them save for Optimus, Sky Lynx, Galvatron and Jessica to be infected. The quartet made their way to the storage chamber.

Unfortunately, Jessica accidentally blabs out loud their plan to coat Optimus with the metal, making Galvy attack Prime to get the alloy for himself, but he is soon subdued by Sky Lynx. Forced to help them, Galvy reluctantly loads the alloy to Prime’s trailer. However, the infected Cyclonus sneaks in and infects Jessica, who in turn infects Galvatron and Sky Lynx. The two remaining Autobots are forced to flee to earth.

Once on Earth, Optimus is coated with the silver alloy, and sets out to find Rodimus Prime. He finds Rodimus near Autobot City, taking down infected Throttlebots with reckless glee. Optimus attempts to reason with him, which fails. Unwilling to hurt Rodimus, Prime lures him to a nearby auto shop, attempting to peacefully subdue and talk Rodimus into helping him, but he fails again. Therefore, Optimus uses force to rip the Matrix out of Rodimus. Back at Autobot City, Optimus enters the Matrix to question the elders of the past to try and find out any information on the spores. The ghost of Alpha Trion warns him that if he travels too far to the past, he risks becoming lost within the Matrix itself.

Prime learns that, in a period of pre-Cybertronian history, the Plague has visited the planet before, but was contained and sealed inside the star using sheer wisdom, but no one had the wisdom to destroy the spores. Now that it has spread so much throughout the galaxy, it's doubtful that anyone has the wisdom to contain them again. Optimus then realises that a source of wisdom able to destroy the plague: the accumulated wisdom within the Matrix of Leadership.

The infected Transformers finally break into the base, and corner the Quintesson. As Galvatron prepares to kill the Autobot leader, Prime's chest opens to reveal a glowing Matrix, surprising the Transformers. Asking it to "light our darkest hour", Optimus Prime releases the energy of the Matrix of Leadership, which spreads across the universe and totally eradicates and erases the Plague from all Transformers. (with ‘The Touch’ playing in the background.) The Decepticons, respecting Prime, call for a truce and returns to Chaar. The humans apologize for the trouble they've caused.

It is then that Rodimus (now Hot Rod, without the Matrix within him) notes that the Matrix is now empty, its wisdom lost in order to stop the plague. Optimus, however, disagrees: although the Matrix is indeed empty of wisdom, it is up to them from then on to fill it again with their knowledge and experience. The episode ends with Optimus, once again the Autobot leader, ordering his troops to "Transform and roll out".

Notes: Optimus Prime says to Galvatron that he knows him "all too well", hinting at Galvatron's past life as Megatron. Also, according to sources, Orion Pax was erroneously slated to appear in this episode as the guy who speaks to Prime from the Matrix instead of Alpha Trion, but the error was spotted. The same spirit guides from FFOD reappear in the Matrix. Also, the ‘The Touch’ plays when Optimus opens the Matrix. Either the Matrix has a in-built stereo with 'The Touch' in it, or the scene is based on TF: TM Rodimus blasting Unicron to death. The unleashing of the Matrix seems to make Galvatron more sane this episode.

Errors: When Kup first transforms, he drives backwards. All throughout the episode, Wheelie (who was actually named by Sky Lynx) is replaced by Blaster, and Steeljaw promptly disappears after their intro. The alloy is heat-resistant to the point of surviving a supernova in the previous episode, yet it now can be melted down. Sky Lynx was touched by Jessica, yet he remains unaffected. When he transforms to get away from the plagued Galvatron, Optimus Prime and his trailer is already coated in the alloy. The glow effect on Rodimus at times is animated so badly that it appears Rodimus is a ghost at one point. As Optimus is explaining that the Matrix must be refilled with the future wisdom, he is colored as if he still has the heat resistant metal on him. Rodimus' chest opens like windows on Prime's chest, although previous episodes had it open vertically. In the same vein, Optimus puts the Matrix into his chest sideways. Alpha Trion is seen in the Matrix, despite him merging with Vector Sigma. Seems like the show creators mixed one plot device with the other, eh?

Transformers featured: Sky Lynx, Optimus Prime, Slingshot (flashback), Chase (flashback and present), Ultra Magnus (flashback), Wideload (flashback), Silverbolt (flashback), Wildrider or Breakdown (flashback), Dead End (flashback), Motormaster (flashback), Drag Strip (flashback), Cyclonus (flashback and present), Scourge (flashback and present), Sharkticons (flashback), Kup, Blurr, Goldbug (first appearance), Blaster, Galvatron, Sweeps, Predaking, Rampage, Razorclaw Divebomb, Tantrum, Headstrong, Rodimus Prime/Hot Rod, Searchlight, Freeway, Alpha Trion's Ghost, Ancient Autobot Leaders' Ghosts

Notable Others: Quintesson, Jessica, Gregory, Jessica’s father

Review: Optimus Prime is back, and he gets into character soon enough. The plot is far from perfect, though. Bumblebee is turned into Goldbug for no good reason, plays the ‘little guy in distress’ role and then he gets sidelined. If only he gets to do something more... Galvatron and Sky Lynx are also good value, but that's about it. Optimus Prime simply unleashes the Matrix, which apparently solves all their problems. 'Wisdom can combat all the madness' is rubbish logic. The conclusion is even worse than the rushed ending for the Movie, which is a shame after the decent build-up last issue.



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