A look at the most
recent episodes of Transformers Prime.
Bulkhead is left in a critical condition after
his ordeal with the Insecticons. As he lies in stasis while the
other Autobots monitor him, Wheeljack and Miko head out to find
Hardshell and exact revenge for what has happened. At an Energon
mine, Wheeljack engages with Hardshell and his Insections, as
Miko watches the battle from his ship. Wheeljack becomes heavily
injured, at which point Miko fires the ship's missiles, killing
Hardshell. Meanwhile, Knock Out tries to convince Megatron that
the Insecticons are a danger to the rest of the crew after
Hardshell had attacked a pair of troopers.
Comments: This was definitely one of the better episodes
of season two. Bulkhead lays dying and his two closest friends
go out for revenge! It doesn't get more adult then that and I
thoroughly enjoyed it. Great action and great characterization
in a story that held together in its internal logic. What more
can one ask for?
Verdict: Very Good.
Out of the Past
Miko is angered by Bulkhead's slow
recovery and storms out of the base. Arcee tries to cheer her up
by telling her the story of how she and her old battle partner
Cliffjumper first came to Earth: The two were captured and
brought to Kaon by Starscream, interrogated by the Decepticon
scientist Shockwave, and uncovered Shockwave's plan to build a
Space Bridge. Miko and Arcee share from their respective
experiences that they should not be closed off from others.
Comments: This basically
amounted to a retelling of the story from the Prime comic
mini-series/TPB from last fall (same writer too, I believe) but
with Shockwave thrown into the mix for no apparent reason. I
didn't like the choice for Shockwave's voice actor (he sounds
like an black guy now--much more baritone then the classic
English voice someone like Cory Burton would use). I much prefer
the classic voice. Other then showing him off for some reason
(help sell the toy? Get a character model ready for the
future?), Shockwave disappears quickly and is not seen on-screen
again. He adds nothing and doesn't need to be there. Also,
Cliffjumper has a sound-alike of Dwayne Johnson, which is
noticeable (serves them right for stunt casting in the first
Verdict: Good. A good
back story for Arcee and Cliffjumper with an reasonably good
framework around it. To my mind, it seemed pointless to recycle
this story from the comic and it makes me wonder which is the
"real" version (perhaps we can assume Shockwave was in the comic
but unseen?) Still, good overall.
During a fight with the Decepticons, the
Autobots are unexpectedly aided by Smokescreen, a young and
adventurous Autobot. Despite Arcee and Ratchet's distrust in the
newcomer, Optimus Prime invites Smokescreen to the base for
further training. Later, Starscream and the Autobots battle for
Red Energon, which grants the consumer enhanced speed. The
Autobots return to the base, where Optimus Prime welcomes
Smokescreen as the newest member of the group, leaving a
still-injured Bulkhead in fear of being replaced.
Comments: Enter the youthful
character trying to prove himself. Hot Rod--er, I mean,
Smokescreen, is an okay addition to the cast and he doesn't
irritate the viewer too much by his inclusion. The whole "will
Bulkhead be replaced by a newer model" angle was a nice touch
too. A part of me briefly expected them to have him turn out to
be a Decepticon infiltrator but they didn't go that direction
with it. It wasn't an extremely memorable episode but a decent
The Human Factor
Silas is merged
with Breakdown's body as a result of a biotech surgery
performed by the M.E.C.H. surgeon. With the new body, he
terminates his crew, then confronts Megatron for a position
in the Decepticon ranks, promising to aid their cause with
Project Damocles, to create a satellite enabled to fire a
particle beam with precision to any given location on Earth.
Raf, however, manages to hack the system, leading the
project to failure. Megatron calls Silas back to his
warship, and orders him to be dissected by Knock Out.
finally get to see the end result of Silas' mad plans to utilize
Cybertronian technology for his own ends...and then it's
terminated early. Silas kills his own men (for some irrational
reason) and runs to try and join up with Megatron (why? He
suddenly ran out of ambition to do anything more interesting
with his new found power?) This is emblematic of Prime this
season--set up a great premise and then just tosses it away with
a lame payoff. Silas getting his at the end was somewhat
satisfying after all the trouble he caused but it just feels
like a waste of a great premise. Were they in a rush to wrap up
the sub-plots to clean the slate for Season Three or did they
just hire some new and incompetent writers?
Verdict : Pass. A terrible waste of
The Autobots are
led astray with a decoy pot from the Decepticons for Megatron to
retrieve a new relic, until Ratchet informs the rest of the crew
of the real location containing the actual relic, the Star
Saber. The relic is lodged in a mountain, and it can be removed
only by an Autobot leader, a "Prime". The Autobots eventually
arrive at the location. Optimus Prime is able to wield its power
and send a powerful attack to the Decepticons warship. Back at
the base, Optimus Prime receives an incoming message from Alpha
Trion via the Star Saber.
Comments: A good
premise with some great action and a great ending. The Autobots
now have "the" super weapon and a desire to use it to serve
good. Sadly, like so many other stories this season...the
premise ends up being a waste of time next episode.
informs Optimus Prime about the last four remaining relics left
in play, those being the Omega Keys capable of regenerating
Cybertron through the Star Saber across the ages. Megatron goes
to Cybertron and desecrates a sacred tomb of an unidentified
Prime along with his second in command, Dreadwing, to obtain its
hand so he can master the Forge of Solus Prime. After using the
Forge of Solus Prime to create the Dark Star Saber from a chunk
of Dark Energon, he challenges Optimus Prime to a battle in
which the Star Saber's blade is broken remaining only his hilt.
This unwittingly allows Smokescreen to retrieve the Omega Key
with some help from the Phase Shifter and he and Optimus return
to the Autobot base. Smokescreen receives the Phase Shifter as
his permanent weapon but looks at the Star Saber in despair,
before being cheered up by Ratchet telling him that Prime does
not need it to be the mightiest warriors.
Apparently, anyone can use the weapon of a Prime--all they need
is to rip the arm off a dead Prime and presto! That Megatron got
a Dark Energon sword was not a terrible story development per
se, but that he got it so soon after the first sword showed up
and then rendered it useless made me wonder why they bothered to
have the Star Saber at all. Of course, the Autobots can't keep
the super weapon forever or they'd win the war in a matter of
episodes. But to loose it so soon after and have it neutralized
by an evil sword? Talk about lame! And now Megatron has a super
evil sword--but conveniently won't use it to destroy all the
Autobots and take over Earth outright. Again, why--nobody
bothers to think of an answer. He just won't. End of story. The
beginning of the lamer writing this season, where the balance of
power must be maintained at all cost (because the writers are
too lazy to find creative ways to make it work).
Verdict : Pass. This
episode needed a serious re-think.
Optimus determines the whereabouts of the second Omega Key,
Bumblebee and Arcee bridge to the destination to retrieve it.
But Knock Out, wielding the Resonance Blaster, gets there first
and recovers the key. Similarly, Bulkhead and Smokescreen head
out to find the third Omega Key, but Starscream, equipped with
Red Energon, knocks out Smokescreen from behind and takes the
key. The final relic is discovered to be inside Smokescreen
himself. Soundwave manages to kidnap him and accordingly
retrieve the fourth key.
drama with both sides trying to get the Omega Keys first. An
episode in the middle without much to show for it other then to
move events along as it goes. Meh. Good action, I guess, but the
plot was thoroughly by-the-numbers.
Verdict : Average. Nothing
great, nothing terrible.
After Smokescreen is brought
on board the Nemesis, Megatron learns that the final
Omega Key is within the young Autobot. Despite this, Smokescreen
manages to not only steal the second Omega Key, but retrieve
both the fourth Omega Key and his Phase Shifter back from Knock
Out and Megatron and escape the ship. Later, however, Starscream
uses his new speed power ,courtesy of the single dose of Red
Energon, to sneak into the base and steal the remaining Omega
Keys, giving him all four keys. He sneaks his way onto the Nemesis
and presents the Omega Keys to Megatron as a peace offering.
Comments: The part
of the story where Smokescreen gets free and
steals all of the Decepticons Omega Keys is worth the price of
admission. However, the whole tit-for-tat nature of the show
kicks in when Starscream uses his red energon to sneak into the
Autobots base (via their space bridge) and steals them all back,
only to offer them to Megatron.
Verdict : Good. Overall, a
worthwhile episode but I am getting tired of the whole "make
sure the balance of power stays equal all the time" mentality
this series seems to have picked up.
Starscream approaches Megatron with the four
Omega Keys, proposing a truce with the Decepticons. Skeptical,
Megatron orders Knock Out to set up a cortical psychic patch in
order to discover Starscream's true intentions within his
memories. However, despite the past events revealed to him, in
the end Megatron allows Starscream to rejoin the Decepticons,
for every member's participation is imperative in aiding the
leader's cause of conquering Cybertron.
Comments: This was
a strange story choice ("I don't know if I can trust you,
Starscream, so I'll go into your mind and scan your memories").
It just seems like an odd tactic for Megatron to employ (they
obviously needed some framework to re-use the old animation for
a clip show and save money on the budget). Being that it was
mostly flashbacks, there wasn't much new here although Dreadwing
discovering what happened to Skyquake was priceless and worth
withstanding the rest of the blah storytelling.
Verdict : Average. The ending
was the only worthwhile segment really, while the rest of it was
offers the Forge of Solus Prime to the Autobots, and Optimus
Prime uses the relic to upgrade the Autobots' ground bridge into
a space bridge, enabling direct transport to Cybertron. Then on
the Nemesis, Dreadwing tries to kill Starscream after
his T-Cog is installed, but Megatron kills him for disobeying
his order to stand down. The Autobots race to the Omega Lock on
Cybertron, defeating Megatron's army of troopers along the way
while regaining all four keys.
Comments: I'm glad
the whole Dreadwing/Starscream arc was resolved here but
disappointed how it was done. Dreadwing had the potential to be
an interesting character but was characterized
inconsistently (he's an honorable Decepticon--but he uses
bombs to sneakily kill his enemies?!) and he was underused at
times too. There simply aren't enough named Decepticons in the
show and those who are quickly get killed off (Breakdown), put
on ice (Airachnid) or otherwise marginalized (Knock Out,
Starscream at times). We need more of them to fill the ranks not
less. While I applaud that characters can die (unlike
previous shows where everyone always managed to either survive
or get rebuilt inexplicably), they need to stop wasting
Verdict : Good. A mixed bad in
some respects (Dreadwing's death) but the final action scenes
where the Autobots go on the offensive made it ultimately worth
The Autobots are forced to
surrender all their weapons and the Keys in exchange for the
humans. Megatron then puts the Omega Lock to use, initially to
reform the war-torn Cybertron, but then also to convert Earth
into a new metal planet, at which point Optimus is forced to
destroy the Omega Lock. The Autobots retreat back to Earth, but
the Decepticons have discovered the Autobot base's location, as
a new dark citadel had been created in front of it.
Comments: After all
the build-up I was disappointed by this episode. About half of
it takes place on Cybertron and then it turns into a final
solution type scenario with the Decepticons chasing the Autobots
out of their base before destroying it. I had assumed they would
succeed in reformatting Cybertron and it would then introduce
the new beast characters for Season 3. I understand that trying
to shake up the viewer's expectations can be a good thing but in
this case I feel like they went too far off-course at a strange
time. I think the viewer wanted the main story to unfold as
expected (I know I did) not switch gears and become about the
Decepticons running the Autobots out of their base. Also, after
the previous episode's aggressiveness, why didn't the Autobots
take on the Decepticons instead of running away. They have one
battleship and have lost multiple Vehicons, how many more could
they really have left? If the Autobots gave up so easily when it
came to Cybertron, it's small wonder the Decepticons won.
Verdict : Pass. The season finale of
Prime catalyses the inconsistent writing this season. Changing
gears in the story at the worst time, building up to an
unexpected twist ending. The ending could have been effective
but do to the strange story choices fails to have as much impact
as it should have. Also, how many times has Optimus Prime died
already? Try something new!
synopsises courtesy Wikipedia.org)