The episode begins with a communication from Ironhide to Ultra Magnus. Seems there's a Decepticon uprising at his station that took out their space bridge. Ironhide has just enough time to request backup before an explosion knocks his communication offline. As Ultra Magnus turns off the feed, the other members of the elite guard concur that Decepticon uprisings are occuring all over... and suddenly. Jazz connects the uprisings to the 'rumors' of Megatron's online status. Sentinel Prime immediately tries to pin blame on Optimus Prime for the 'rumor', but Ultra Magnus doesn't seem to care about blame. Instead, he orders Optimus Prime to prepare his crew to depart Earth in 12 megacycles.
Optimus Prime asks Ultra Magnus about the Decepticons on Earth. Ultra Magnus replies that, according to Sentinel Prime, there are no Decepticons. Optimus further tries to state his case but Sentinel Prime crudely interrupts and tells Optimus he'll have full opportunity to defend himself at a public inquiry back on Cybertron. Optimus, however, likens that statement to a court martial. Ultra Magnus, in a shallow attempt to play down the situation, tells Optimus it'll be more like a chance to set the record straight. Ultra Magnus fears that news of Megatron's resurgence, coupled with the destruction of the Allspark, will send the rest of the Autobots into a panic. Optimus insists that the truth must be known, but Magnus won't listen.
Back at the makeshift headquarters, Sari is saddened by the news. While Optimus and the others try to console her, Sentinel Prime instead informs Sari that the Autobots are not responsible for 'being babysitters to organics'. Sari runs off, and Bumblebee wants to go after her, but at that point Sentinel begins going into war rhetoric. Being that the Allspark is shattered, the Autobots hold their space bridge technology as their one advantage. Sentinel hints that Optimus and his crew will be crucial to keeping the space bridges online.
Sentinel leans over to Optimus and advises him that it's best follow Magnus' orders. However, Optimus still seems to be disgruntled about having to lie. Sentinel continues by telling Optimus he has "pull" and that if Optimus goes along with Magnus' story (and also take the fall for his crew's disappearance) that Optimus might have a chance of being restored onto the Elite Guard.
Optimus likens Sentinel's request to a bribe. Sentinel says it's a favor for not mentioning their incident with the Headmaster (see "Return of the Headmaster"). This doesn't sway Optimus, who would rather do the right thing than save his own self. Sentinel then pulls up a trump card. He informs Optimus that he will be placed under protective custody until their departure from Earth. This catches Optimus completely off guard. Sentinel then asks rather coyly if Optimus will make him use the Statis Cuffs on him.
The scene cuts to a garbage barge cruising down a water channel. Onboard the barge, there is rummaging in the pile until Starscream emerges from the refuse with both barrels ready to fire. He starts laying on Megatron but realizes after a few seconds that Megatron is not around... and neither are the other Decepticons. He can't even pick up his own energy signature, making him panic for a split second. He immediately regains his composure and realizes that he's still on Earth and very much online. Starscream swears vengance on Megatron, transforms, and heads to the skies.
Meanwhile, within a cave, Blitzwing remarks to Lugnut how he cannot pick up his energy signature. Lugnut welcomes this news, as he sees it as opportunity to move without being picked up by the Autobots. Blitzwing then turns to Professor Sumdac, still under Decepticon control, for this new technology. Megatron then confirms the success of the Decepticon Signal Dampeners. Megatron informs Sumdac that his next project will be a sub-space communicator which will allow him contact with other Decepticons galaxy-wide.
Sumdac replies that it is impossible to build such a device, but Megatron immediately convicts that he will deem what is possible. Megatron wishes to contact the other Decepticons in order to have more concerted strikes instead of random acts of carnage. Sumdac states that in order to build a subspace communicator, it would require a knowledge of tachyon energy, which humankind has not yet perfected. Megatron shows his thanks that he does not have to rely on 'feeble' human science. Megatron knows of a tachyon transmitter... located on the Elite Guard's ship. He also expresses his plan to steal it.
Back at Autobot headquarters, Sari continues to sulk. Bumblebee is worried about who will care for her after they leave. Ratchet surmises it has to be a trustworthy human. This leads them to Fanzone, who seems to have been stirred out of bed in his robe. He vehemently refuses to become Sari's guardian. Bumblebee tries to win over Fanzone. When Fanzone asks why he was picked, the Autobots admit that they hardly know any humans and that most of the ones they know (Prometheus Black, Nanosec, etc) aren't exactly trustworthy.
Onboard the Elite Guard ship, Sentinel is still trying to convince Optimus that Magnus' way is the best way to regain his career and 'ditch the stench' of his repair bot detail. When Optimus questions again about his having to lie, Sentinel exclaims that they're not asking him to lie. After getting a gleam from Ultra Magnus, Sentinel lowers his tone and simply suggest that Optimus confirms their scanners and that no Decepticons are on Earth.
But if he only knew that at that point, Lugnut and Blitzwing emerged from underground within the ship's barrier. Blitzwing, in his rage mode, spots the tachyon transmitter and proceeds to remove it. When Lugnut confirms that it is their quarry, Blitzwing starts to go off. Lugnut kicks him back into the hole then follows Blitzwing down. They both then transform into jet mode and blast off. They get the interest of Starscream, who was hiding behind a billboard, and he too transforms into jet mode and tails them.
Starscream is led to a mountainous area. He transforms and lands within the caves. As Lugnut presents Megatron with the tachyon transmitter, Starscream enters the room greeting Megatron with contempt. Megatron states "Starscream, you're alive", but Starscream implies that Megatron is scared and likens his appearance to seeing a ghost. Starscream opens up in a barrage of laser blasts, but Megatron retrieves his sword and promptly slashes Starscream across his chest, knowing him unconsciouss. After a short tirade about Starscream's failure to secure Decepticon leadership, Megatron fires his fusion cannon on Starscream to finish the job.
Megatron commands Lugnut to make sure Starscream is in fact offline. As Lugnut turns Starscream onto his back, he finds Starscream's spark chamber empty. He relays this to Megatron and assures him that his life force is extinguished. Megatron then commands Lugnut to dispose of Starscream fittingly. Lugnut gets Blitzwing to help him heave Starscream off a cliff and into a river below. Blitzwing and Lugnut then return within the caves.
As Starscream lays face down in the river, we can see a glow from within his forehead. Shortly after, he springs back online as if nothing happened and as if Megatron were still before him. He almost immediately catches himself and realizes he's somewhere else. He also catches his exposed and empty spark chamber. He then remembers his earlier fear and concludes that perhaps he has become a ghost. As Starscream crawls towards shore, he realizes that there is another explanation. He catches his reflection in the water and notices a fragment of the allspark embedded in his forehead. Starscream, now infused with the revelation that the allspark has made him immortal, reaffirms his commitment to unseat Megatron.
Back in the cave, work has been completed on the subspace transmitter. Megatron calls out to the various Decepticon forces within the galaxy. He acknowledges their exile from Cybertron and urges the forces to unite under him and accept his leadership so they can conquer the Autobots as one force. It is only then, Megatron says, that they can crush the Autobots and regain Cybertron.
The pure irony in this is that while this transmission is being broadcasted, we catch several more instances of Starscream trying to usurp Megatron. This would include another barrage of laser fire, a close up sneak attack from the rear, and another sneak attack using a bomb. In all three instances, Megatron again lays waste to Starscream. And in all three instances, both Lugnut and Blitzwing deposit Starscream back to the river. After his third attempt, Starscream acknowledges that he has to change his tactics. It's at this time that the Allspark shard activates to Starscream's surprise. It leads him to an earth truck, which seems to have an Allspark shard of it's own.
Within the Elite Guard ship, Ultra Magnus attempts to make Optimus reconsider his stance. However, Jazz interrupts and informs Magnus that they have found an Allspark shard embedded within a train. Sentinel requests to investigate, but Magnus rejects. Instead, Magnus asks Jazz to go with him and investigate while Sentinel keeps watch over Optimus. As Magnus and Jazz transform and leave the ship, Sentinel begins whining about being stuck with Optimus. Optimus ignores Sentinel and goes to the viewer. He suspects foul play, and his suspicions prove on the mark as an infrared scan confirms Starscream's presence.
Optimus urges Sentinel to contact Ultra Magnus and warn him of a possible Decepticon ambush, but Sentinel will have no part of it. He even threatens to put Optimus in stasis cuffs. Optimus thinks for a moment, then begins goading Sentinel. Sentinel charges Optimus, but Optimus pulls a fast one and lands the stasis cuffs on him. As Optimus leaves to intercept Magnus, Sentinel (in a classic G1 Megatron fashion) warns Optimus that he won't leave enough of Prime for spare parts.
Fanzone and Sari are discussing their co-existence at a local park. As Sari makes her demands on a swing, Fanzone's swing gives way and lands him on his rear. Seems Fanzone has a hatred for kids as well as machines. As the other Autobots watch, they get a transmission from Optimus asking them to move out. Bumblebee initially rejects to help the Elite Guard, but Optimus and Ratchet convince them to do the right thing. They transform and head out, with Fanzone in tow. Optimus rendezvous with the others midtown and they cut across town to catch up with the train, with Fanzone cutting off traffic to keep up
Meanwhile, the train is steaming through the outskirts of town and Starscream goes over his plan. The Allspark fragment within the train is rigged to explode once removed. Starscream's plan is to lure Megatron to remove the fragment, thereby causing an explosing that will take him, and half of new Detroit, out. At this time we see Megatron and Blitzwing racing towards the train. Megatron confirms the Allspark, and Blitzwing remarks on how easy it was to trace it. Blitzwing spots Ultra Magnus and Jazz, wondering if the Allspark is a trap set by them. However, Megatron spots Starscream and surmises that it is a trap by him.
On the ground, Ultra Magnus tells Jazz they must remove the fragment and save the humans. As the humans onboard panic, Jazz transforms and heaves himself onto the top of the train. He attempts using his nunchucks to free the spark to no avail. Ultra Magnus, now also transformed and on the train, tells Jazz to stand back as he uses his hammer to free the spark. This catches Starscream off guard, but then he delights in the fact that he can now destroy even more of his enemies.
As the Allspark shard seems to be getting aggravated over the bludgeoning it's taking, it blows Jazz and Magnus off the train. Upwind, the other Autobuts, under Optimus, form a plan to retrieve the shard and save the train. Starsceam seems frustrated that there are Autobots all over the place but no Megatron. Bumblebee and Sari get to the top of the train and Sari attempts removing the shard by using her key. Prowl also lands on the train and uses his shuriken to dislodge the passenger section from the engine. Sari manages to get the shard, but by then it seems to late to avoid crashing into the train station. As they scream and prepare for impact, they suddenly stop. Ratchet uses his magnet claws to repel the train back while Bulkhead and Optimus try to pull the train to a stop.
Starscream laments that his plan failed and pulls back. As the Autobots and Fanzone congratulate each other, Magnus and Jazz pull up. Optimus hands Magnus the Allspark fragment, but Magnus seems to not care about that. Instead, he angrily asks what Optimus is doing there. Optimus explains to Magnus that he felt it was a Decepticon trap and he was trying to warn Magnus and Jazz. This further annoys Magnus, who still isn't convinced there are any Decepticons.
Meanwhile, Starscream is still making his escape. Murphy's law strikes Starscream as he remarks the day couldn't get worse, as Megatron and Blitzwing in their robot modes emerge from the clouds above. As Starscream peels away, the other two Decepticons go to jet mode and pursue. Meanwhile, on the ground Sentinel catches up and proceeds to rail on Optimus. Just then, Optimus spots a falling object heading towards them. It's Starscream, who once again gets knocked offline by Megatron and comes crashing on the ground.
Sentinel Prime asks what 'that thing' is. Optimus sarcastically replies that it's a Decepticon. As Magnus draws closer, Starscream pops back online. Magnus urges everyone to stand back, but when he faces Starscream again he finds a laser barrel in his face. Starscream then proceeds to blast Magnus and hurls him back. This causes Magnus to lose the shard, which falls at Starscream's feet. As Starscream recovers the shard and begins to walk off, Bulkhead charges after him and lands his mace ball against Starscream's back, knocking him on the ground. This hardly fazes Starscream, as he gets back up and continues on.
Bumblebee and Ratchet give it a go with their combined EMP blast. It creates a sizeable explosion, but hardly affects Starscream at all. A well placed laser blast by Starscream knocks all three of them to the ground. As Starscream continues to walk away, Jazz looks for direction from Sentinel, but Sentinel seems to be having a hard time with the situation. Optimus immediately takes charge. Sentinel gets into a war of words with Optimus, but Jazz breaks it up and tries to focus them back on Starscream.
Sentinel sets up his force field. Jazz breaks away and attempts to land a nunchuck on Starscream. It smacks him directly on the forehead, but it doesn't affect him. Jazz eventually gets hit. As Starscream continues a steady barrage of laser blasts, Optimus removes the statis cuffs from Sentinel's waist and tells Sentinel to keep Starscream distracted. Optimus assumes alt mode and attempts to get behind Starscream. As Starscream gets directly in front of Sentinel and asks how long he can keep it up, Optimus transforms from behind Starscream and lands the stasis cuffs on him. Sentinel shows no gratitude for Optimus' work.
As Bulkhead and Ratchet carry a gagged and statis locked Starscream back to the Elite Guard ship, Ultra Magnus confirms that Optimus was aware of Decepticon presence. Sentinel, still feeling no gratitude for Optimus' actions, still wishes to treat Optimus as insubordinate. However, Magnus feels that sometimes, acting with your gut is better than following the book. Magnus asks Optimus if he agrees, but Optimus only gives a smug smile. Magnus allows Optimus and his crew to remain on Earth and gather the pieces of the Allspark.
As the Autobots watch the Elite Guard ship take off into space, we are reminded that the tachyon transmitter is missing from the ship. Back at the makeshift Decepticon headquarters, Megatron commands to make contact with their double-agent on Cybertron. Megatron wants to inform him that communication is re-established and that they are on the brink of cracking space bridge technology. The plan is to lure the Autobots from Cybertron so that Megatron can use the space bridge to warp to a defenseless Cybertron and take it without a fight.
I think a few questions have been answered in this episode. First, Starscream's fate. They merged two bad scenarios into one delightful conclusion. There was fear that Starscream would either be a ghost or a crazed zombie infected by the Allspark. Instead, Starscream still has his main functions (without a spark core), but has immortality thanks to the Allspark shard on his forehead. However, I wonder if the Autobots will remove this shard now that he's been captured. What then?
It will also be interesting to see the interaction between Sentinel, Magnus and Optimus now that Sentinel has been made a fool of several times over. It's an amazement that Magnus still takes Sentinel's council at all. I did enjoy the fact that not even Magnus can stand up initially to an attack from Starscream. It really makes the Autobots seem vunerable. Overall, a great episode.
|Date||April 27th 2008|
|Score||(9 out of 10)|
|Link||Animated Episode Guide|
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