A look at the most recent episodes of Transformers Prime.

Stronger, Faster

Synopsis:  Ratchet endeavors to complete the synthetic energon formula, finally seeming to succeed. After testing out the substance on an inanimate engine, he tests it on himself out of a desire to do more for the Autobot cause. It works for him, giving him much more energy then ever before. It works so well that when Arcee gets into trouble on a mission, he goes out into the field himself and trashes an entire squad of Vehicons on his own. He excitedly showed the other Autobots what he's done, though Optimus is disappointed in his new found aggressiveness. Ratchet later injects himself with more synthetic energon and goes along on the Autobots' next mission. His vigorous interrogation of a miner and subsequent attempt to extinguish the Decepticon leads Optimus  to give him a lecture. He accuses Optimus of not being pro-active enough in their campaign against the Decepticons and goes off to confront Megatron on his own. Reaching the Decepticon energon mine, Ratchet makes short work of Breakdown, but Megatron proves more formidable than expected. He beats Ratchet, leaving him seriously injured and at Knock Out's mercy. After Knock Out takes a sample of the synthetic energon, Ratchet managed to raise enough strength to fight back and destroy the sample. The other Autobots rescue him, though he's lost a lot of energon and has to be hooked up to a drip. Ratchet apologized for his behavior, though at least they'd gained a supply of real energon out of it. Meanwhile, back at the mine, Knock Out finds dripping liquid, a sample of the synthetic energon left behind from Ratchet's wounds.

Comments:  One of the better episodes of season one, we finally get to see Ratchet kick some butt. We also learn from the previous episode that he has mostly been successful in synthesizing energon from the formula they partially extracted from the probe. It also raises the question of whether Optimus has been too soft on Megatron or whether Ratchet's new found power has made him cocky and underestimated Megatron's sheer power (which does prove to be the case). This was also one of the rare instances where we get an episode spotlighting Ratchet for a change, which was a welcome change from other episodes where it seems either Arcee/Jack or Bulkhead/Miko get the episode's time.

Verdict:  Excellent. One of the season's best.

One Shall Fall

Synopsis:  Optimus became concerned that a prophecy detailed in the Covenant of Primus is imminent and that Megatron could regard it as his destiny. When Agent Fowler reports that the Decepticons are stealing components for a new space bridge, Optimus takes a team to a military lab to stop them. Though they stop the Vehicons from stealing the power source, Megatron himself arrives and before they could react, Bumblebee also arrives with a gravely injured Raf. While 'Bee and Arcee returned Raf to base, Optimus and Bulkhead sneak aboard the Nemesis to retrieve the power source. They locate it, and Prime sends Bulkhead back to base with it, while he goes in search of Megatron. He finds his prey near a volcano and the ancient enemies fight. Optimus manages to beat Megatron, but as he prepares to deliver the killing blow, the volcano erupts with Dark Energon. Megatron experiences an increase in power, and turns the tide. The prophesized alignment of worlds had occurred, and Megatron had Optimus at his mercy.

Comments:  A good episode and it wasn't clear at the show's climax which way it would go. Would Optimus really kill Megatron? Or could Megatron succeed and Optimus would die instead (although he seems to die often in the canon).

Verdict: Excellent.

One Shall Rise, Part One

Synopsis:  As Megatron is about to finish Optimus off, the other Autobots appear through the ground bridge to rescue Optimus. The Autobots take their battered leader back to base where they're puzzled over the presence of Dark Energon on Earth. Slowly they realize the truth. June demands the children should go with her for their own safety but both Jack and Miko refuse to do so (Miko is adamant she will stay while Jack is more reluctant to defy her). She takes Raf with her instead and leaves. Fowler informs the Autobots of freakish global weather patterns and shortly thereafter, June and Raf get caught in a freak tornado along the desert highway. Bumblebee arrives just in the nick of time and saves them from the car, which gets sucked into the tornado. All three return to the Autobot base.
   The sequence of the tremors emanating from the Earth's core are found by Ratchet to be audibly comparable to a human heartbeat, meaning that the core of the Earth is pumping Dark Energon through itself instead of magma. Prime explains the conflict between Primus and Unicron to the gathered humans and tells them he believed that Earth has formed around the slumbering form of Unicron.
   Meanwhile, Megatron attempts to pledge allegiance with Unicron but fails after Unicron senses the presence of a Prime. Unicron tells him he doesn't need Megatron (even though Megatron has some sort of psychic bond with him thanks to the Dark Energon in his own systems). The Autobots set out investigating locations where earthquakes had simultaneously struck with the eruption of the volcano. However, Optimus soon finds himself confronted by a Unicron formed from stone. Optimus tries to plead with the Chaos Bringer for the billions of humans who dwell on Earth, but Unicron considers them parasites and attacks Prime. Though he seems to destroy Unicron, Optimus is quickly surrounded by many more duplicates of his new foe.

 Comments:  A great continuation to the previous episode and an intriguing new spin on the whole Unicron mythos.

Verdict: Excellent. A great way to start the wrap-up of the show's first season.

One Shall Rise, Part Two

Synopsis:  Unicron, manifests many rock forms of his body to try and overpower Optimus Prime. Prime shakes off most of the attacks and when he is finally overwhelmed, he is saved by the timely arrival of Arcee, Bumblebee and Bulkhead. However, Unicron ups the ante by appearing in a gigantic rock form far more powerful then his previous creations. The group is surprised when Megatron appears and attacks it, causing it signifigant damage. He explains that because of Unicron's stated attempt to slay Optimus, he decided to cast his lot temporarily with the Autobots in order to destroy their new enemy. When the group returns to base, the humans are unpleasantly surprised by Megatron's appearance (especially after Megatron's attempt upon Bumblebee and Raf's lives). The group (along with Megatron) resolve to take the ground bridge to the Earth's core in order to destroy Unicron from within (Megatron knows the exact location to send them thanks to his psychic link to Unicron). Bumblebee, Arcee, Optimus, Megatron and Bulkhead depart from the base as the humans and Ratchet look on. Before leaving, Optimus gives Jack the key to the ground bridge energy supply (in case that the Autobots do not come back alive). To Optimus, it symbolizes his perception of Jack's developing maturity throughout their time as allies.
   Upon entering the heart of Unicron, the tell-tale heart pounding is heard throughout, and a giant eye moves menacingly at the top of the chamber.

Comments: Another enjoyable part of the season one finale. Unicron's rock forms are a cool power and look neat. One wonders how they can possibly defeat Unicron since he is the Earth itself.

Verdict:  Excellent.

One Shall Rise, Part Three

Synopsis:  The Autobots and Megatron continue their battle at the Earth's core while Jack, Miko and Raf learn more about Optimus's history on Cybertron as Orion Pax. As Ratchet explains the history of Optimus and Megatron, he finds Jack holding the
key to Vector Sigma in his hand. Optimus told him it was the key to the ground bridge power supply, Ratchet quickly realizes Optimus thinks he will not return. Meanwhile, the other Autobots and Megatron battle the antibodies of Unicron, where they later locate Unicron's spark chamber. The others are cut off from Optimus and Megatron, who continue in to the spark chamber. Megatron struggles to not be controlled by Unicron through Dark Energon, Optimus unleashes the power of the Matrix of Leadership directly into Unicron's spark. All storms, and bad weather suddenly stop on Earth. Megatron then extends his blade, ready to slay a steaming Optimus. Right before Megatron is about to finally finish him off, Optimus addresses Megatron by the name of "Megatronus", referring to Megatron's original name back on Cybertron. As the other Autobots hurry to retrieve Optimus, he does not recognize them and instead goes off with Megatron back to the Nemesis. The Autobots escape to their base once more. It is later revealed that Optimus didn't only lose the wisdom of the Primes, but also his memories. The episode ends with Megatron declaring Optimus, under his original name "Orion Pax" as a Decepticon.

Comments:  I didn't see it ending this way. The defeat of Unicron seemed a tad anti-climatic in some way... I'm not sure what more they could've done with it but it seemed a bit too easy all the same. The ending with Optimus/Orion Pax was surprising but does anybody really suspect he'll remain this way for long?

Verdict:  Excellent. Looking forward to next season!

(Episodes synopsises courtesy Wikipedia.org)