A Fistful Of Energon - Animated Episode 23

The episode begins in space, with the Elite Guard ship sailing through it. We get a good look at the ship now, which is exactly like the ship the Autobots on Earth use, except a more gray and blue color. Suddenly, an explosion happens on the port side. While the Autobot crew inside are bewildered as to what happened, a very familiar shape is seen through all the smoke. As Starscream streams away from the Elite Guard ship, he screams "Vengance will be mine, Megatron!"

Ruckus on Dinobot Island

Meanwhile, on Dinobot Island, Prowl is happily watching a herd of deer graze... until a ruckus scares them off. Prowl groans as Bulkhead emerges with a barrel of oil (presumably) and asks what Prowl was looking at. Prowl just throws up his hands and says "Nothing... anymore." At that point, Prowl intercepts a transmission from Ratchet. We find out that Prowl and Bulkhead have been sent to the island on reports of rampages. However, Prowl thinks the reports may be exaggerated. Optimus chimes in, saying he doesn't want to take chances and reminds Prowl that it is the reason Ratchet lent him his EMP generator and stasis cuffs. Prowl still is doubtful, trying to explain that the Dinobots are harmless if left alone. That's when the roar is heard.

Out of the forest emerges Grimlock in full charge. Bulkhead mentions he doesn't look to happy, then gets tailwhipped by Grimlock into the nearby trees. Grimlock then sets his optics on Prowl, with flames flowing from his nostrils. Prowl tries to catch his bearings, but ends up leaping out of the way of a fireblast instead. Grimlock seems writhed in either pain or rage. Prowl tries to reason with Grimlock reminding him of who Prowl is. Grimlock spots a nearby bird's nest with 3 chicks inside and takes aim. Prowl acts quickly and uses the EMP to knock Grimlock out.

The Lion and the Mouse

The impact of the EMP blast knocks the nest off the tree branch, but also knocks Grimlock out cold, as Bulkhead remarks. Prowl is flustered by the events, saying he had no choice. The other 2 Dinobots enter the scene, notably much calmer than Grimlock was. As Prowl walks over to Grimlock, Bulkhead looks uneasy and warns Prowl to use the stasis cuffs. Prowl starts to reply that they'll be OK, but something catches his optics. Seems Grimlock has a thorn stuck in between 2 claws of his foot. Prowl goes to look at it further but Grimlock stirs, making Prowl jump back. Prowl calls on Ratchet with a "medical emergency".

Ratchet is briefed on the situation, and calmly gives Prowl instructions on how to set the EMP generator to help with the task. Prowl calibrates the generator, then fires off 3 blasts. He then goes over to try to yank the thorn out, but it's wedged in tight. Bulkhead offers to lend a hand, and succeeds at getting it loose. The dislodging of the thorn throws Bulkhead back and rudely awakens Grimlock. At first, he yelps, but then says "Me... Grimlock... feel better!" before passing out again. Prowl resets the bird's nest back on the tree, then takes a call from Ratchet congratulating him on a job well done. Bulkhead remarks how Prowl likes the EMP generator now, while massaging Grimlock's head (much to Grim's pleasure). Prowl tries to hide his newfound liking for the generator, but then gets back to business and says he'll needs Sari's key to complete the repairs. Optimus says that's not possible, as Sari and Bumblebee went to do a field assignment at a location called "Five Banners Roller Coaster Kingdom" (seems Six Flags lost a piece).

The Bounty Is Offered

Right then, a transmission comes in from Ultra Magnus. He informs Optimus that Starscream escaped 10 decacycles ago. As the scene switches to the Decepticon HQ, Ultra Magnus states they had a delay contacting Optimus due to a missing tachyon transmitter. Megatron smiles as he eyes said transmitter, sarcastically wondering what happened to it. He then orders Lugnut to offer a reward for Starscream's capture. Back topside, Prowl mentions to Bulkhead that they have to track Starscream. However, they both realize that it is impossible since they lost the ability to trace Decepticon energy signatures (thanks to Sumdac, see Episode 17, The Elite Guard). As they approach the Autobot ship, which miraculously has been pulled out of the mountainside, Prowl gets the idea to use Teletraan-I to help them locate Starscream.

Shortly thereafter, SkySpy is launched into space. As it a activates, Prowl picks up a weird energy reading. He asks Bulkhead to verify it, but this is obviously above Bulkhead's capability. Prowl relays that he is tracing a faint Allspark energy pattern resonating from the moon. He mentions that they should take a shuttle there to investigate. Bulkhead seems to have other things on his mind, as he's completely out of loop with the conversation. Prowl seems confident with the stasis cuffs and the EMP generator. Bulkhead now seems on top of it, telling Prowl they perhaps should use some common sense, being that the quarry is Starscream. Prowl seems to side with Bulkhead. As Bulkhead walks away from the ship (thinking Prowl is in tow), he shows his relief at Prowl coming to his senses, noting that it's not his style to be reckless and take off to the moon alone. He doesn't get to finish that thought, as a shuttle (with Prowl in it) launches from the Ark.

Ticket To The Moon

As Prowl approaches the moon, Ratchet calls in wondering "what line of junk code is scrambling" his "software". Prowl replies that he traced the Allspark resonance to a junked Decepticon warship. This proves his theory that Starscream must be there (how I don't know). Optimus intercedes and demands that Prowl turn the ship around. Prowl answers back in a tone of arrogance that this is the perfect job for him. Optimus is taken aback and remarks that this isn't normally like Prowl. Ratchet seems to think it has to do with the EMP generator lent to Prowl, noting that when a bot gets a new mod they think "sludge don't stick to their tailpipe."

As Prowl lands and exits the shuttle, he tries to fake a weak signal then cuts out. Ratchet remarks that he thinks Bumblebee does a better job of faking static. Back on the moon, Prowl enters the wreckage and scouts around. He peers inside a dislodged panel and finds the adjacent room empty. Just then, a familiar voice asks Prowl if he's looking for someone. Prowl, shocks, whips around to find Starscream taking aim at him. As Starscream's null cannon warms up, Prowl takes the opportunity to lodge a shuriken in the barrel. Starscream lets out a yelp and throws the shuriken back at Prowl, who catches it. Starscream then takes a leap at Prowl. Prowl ducks out of the way, and Starscream leaps through the missing panel into the adjacent room.

Another Joins The Hunt

As Prowl enters the room, Starscream emerges from the rubble. Prowl uses his jets to avoid the flying debris as Starscream threatens Prowl will regret the day he was protoformed. Starscream jumps at Prowl and misses again. Starscream reminds himself out Prowl's agility, but by then it's too late. Prowl uses the EMP generator to knock Starscream cold. Prowl places the stasis locks on Starscream just as another familiar voice remarks on his nice work. It's Lockdown, who is ready to take Starscream with him (and wearing a Eastwood-esque poncho). Lockdown gives his accolades to Prowl for making it easier to get Starscream down than he thought, but Prowl isn't interested in words. He gets some distance from Lockdown. Lockdown fires an energon net towards Prowl, which Prowl avoids. Prowl in turn tries to attack Lockdown with a flying kick, but misses.

During this ruckus, Starscream comes back online. He notes the cuffs and taunts both of them to fight like Decepticons. The 2 take no notice of this. Prowl and Lockdown size each other up (with Lockdown ripping his poncho off) and then leap back into battle. Lockdown converts his left hand into a chainsaw and attacks Prowl midair. Starscream watches, taunting the both of them still. He says he'll rust before they conclude their skirmish. Prowl and Lockdown, in unison, tell Starscream to keep quiet. Lockdown swings at Prowl with his chainsaw, and Prowl dodges every swing. This occupies Prowl enough so that Lockdown and smite him with his hooked hand. Prowl then jets towards ground level as Lockdown launches his hook.

The Bounty Jumps

Prowl dodges the hook, and Lockdown tows himself to the ground with the hook. He then swipes nearby debris, hoping to hamper Prowl with it. Prowl dodges the debris while readying the EMP generator. Lockdown launches his hook at the ceiling as Prowl doses a barrage of EMP blasts. As Lockdown rappels to the ceiling, Prowl is still blasting away without reprieve. Lockdown then asks Prowl if he notices anything odd. Prowl looks down and notices something isn't there anymore... Starscream. Where Starscream was is instead broken stasis cuffs, which Lockdown shows some surprise as to how Starscream could move let alone break the cuffs.

The two bots, in an apparent cease-fire, leave the wrecked ship and spot Prowl's shuttle. Prowl then watches in fear as Starscream, hovering above the shuttle, blows it to bits. Starscream then jets off towards Earth. Lockdown tells Prowl he's bolting, since Starscream is the richest bounty out and he's not letting it get away. He interfaces with the commlink on his forearm, exposing his ship. At first, it looks like space debris, then de-cloaks itself to assume the form of Lockdown's craft. Lockdown boards and takes off, but not before Prowl can jet over and grab a wing.

The Team-Up

In his workshop, Lockdown tries to track down Starscream's signature. Just then, the doors activate and Lockdown hears the voice of Prowl stating "You wont' find him like that." Lockdown instantly whips around and strikes Prowl with his chainsaw hand. However, Prowl swiped a nearby shield and it proves to neutralize the chainsaw. Prowl thanks Lockdown for the (involuntary) use of his mod, but they shouldn't waste time let their quarry escape. Lockdown starts to correct Prowl about the 'we' part. Prowl, who retracts the shield into his left arm, states that he knows the unique energy signature but needs the sensors on Lockdown's ship to track him. He then offers to join Lockdown in a partnership.

Lockdown shows contemptable admiration in Prowl's courage, as well as his gesture to play bounty hunter. However, he warns Prowl that he has to 'go all the way'. Lockdown surmises that simple EMP generators and stasis cuffs won't bring Starscream down, then suggest Prowl make use of more of his "trophy mods". After some thinking, Prowl does just that, stating "Whatever it takes to get the job done, right?" Lockdown replies "Couldn't have said it better myself."

Starscream the Coward

Now in New Detroit, Lockdown de-cloaks his ship and lands in an empty lot. He then sets the hologram to resemble an abandoned warehouse. Lockdown asks Prowl if he's ready to go while transforming into his alt mode. Prowl transforms into his alt mode as well and, noticing his new addition of a side car, remarks "Immmpressive!" As the 2 bots patrol the streets, Prowl tells Lockdown that he recalibrated the ship's computers to seek Allspark energy above a certain frequency. Lockdown takes note and instantly spots a blip on his map. They take an offramp and, while speeding alongside support pillars, spot Starscream hiding between them.

They both transform and prepare to attack. However, Starscream seems a bit different. Is it his slight discoloration (which looks more magenta) or is it the fact that he's now acting like a blithering coward? Starscream panics and jets off, and Prowl takes off like a shot after him. Prowl notices the extra oomph from the jet jump boosters and seems proud of his new addition. Starscream seems to have a worried look on his face, then freaks out when he sees Prowl riding above him. Prowl plays with Starscream while Lockdown follows on the ground. Lockdown scolds Prowl to stop showing off and watch the target. As Starscream changes course, Prowl asks if he can do both as he fires off an EMP blast. Starscream is blasted and falls like a rock to the ground.

True Allegiance

Prowl lands next to the fallen Starscream, with a smug smile on his face. Lockdown approaches next, transforming into robot mode and locking Starscream with stasis cuffs. He then looks at Prowl, with his smug smile, and says "You remind me of someone.... oh yeah, me." Lockdown then turns and starts communique with Megatron, which surprises Prowl. Lockdown plays down the surprise, asking Prowl if the Autobots would place a bounty like that. Megatron doesn't seem surprised that it's Lockdown who brought Starscream down (never mind it was actually Prowl). Megatron and Lockdown then work out the details to meet and exchange their goods. Starscream regains consciousness at this point.

Still being cowardly, he begs with Lockdown not to be taken to Megatron. Prowl conforts Starscream saying he won't be taken to Megatron, as he holds the EMP generator to Lockdown's back. Lockdown doesn't flinch, and launches a capture rope at Prowl. Lockdown corrects Prowl and confirms Starscream's delivery to Megatron. He then mentions that once he has his bounty, he's going to return for Prowl and have a little 'spark to spark'. As Lockdown (in alt mode) drags Starscream down the road, Optimus arrives to Prowl's aid and frees him. Optimus attempts to lecture Prowl, but Prowl is more interested in catching up with the 2 Cons. Optimus is still trying to figure out what got into Prowl, and Ratchet reminds him it's the mods. Prowl, still determined to catch up to Starscream and Lockdown, transforms and bolts.

Starscream the Swindler

The other Autobots transform and follow Prowl. Ratchet tries a verbal claw at Prowl about his new sidecar, and Prowl states that to 'play with the big bots, you have to be big'. Bulkhead likens that statement to something Lockdown would say. Ratchet takes the blame for lending Prowl the EMP generator in the first place, just as a jet appears behind him. Ratchet and Prowl continue to argue about responsibility, just as Optimus spots Lockdown dragging Starscream. As Optimus points it out to the others, the mystery jet does a fly-by, and Bulkhead wonders who it might be. Prowl says it's just an ordinary harrier, until it lands and transforms into Starscream.

Like the cowardly Starscream, this one is also slightly discolored, with more of an orange appearance. Starscream greets them and the Autobots prepare to battle. However, this Starscream doesn't seem interested in battle. Starscream attempts flattery on the Autobots, but forgets Bulkhead's name. When Bulkhead reminds Starscream of his name, Starscream replies "Oh, that's too bad". He then offers, in eloquent wording, to team up with them and stop Megatron. Prowl doesn't buy it and brandishes a tuning fork device at Starscream. Starscream wastes no time jetting off, with Prowl in tow. Prowl catches up with Starcream and sticks the fork into his back, causing him to vibrate out of control, crash through a tree and barrel right into Optimus. Prowl then flies by and disarms Starscream of both null cannons.

Prowl's Dereliction

Prowl approaches Starscream with stasis cuffs and locks them on, telling him to be considered 'grounded'. Ratchet is appalled by Prowl's new demeanor and scolds Prowl for not simply using the EMP generator. Prowl asks where the fun is in that. Ratchet then tells Prowl it might have caused less damage, pointing to the fallen tree and upsetted bird's nest with 3 broken eggs. As Prowl looks on in amazement, Starscream wastes no time trying to flatter him, telling him he doesn't need to fight with honor and accusing him of having Decepticon tendencies. Ratchet almost has Prowl talked into ditching his mods, but Prowl says he has to retrieve the other Starscream first as he transforms and rides off.

Prowl arrives at a warehouse which Lockdown has set up his meeting and glides in unnoticed. A meeting between Megatron and Lockdown in currently in progress. Megatron lectures Starscream the Traitor on how he shall be used as an example, but a careless slip by Prowl and a falling bolt alert Megatron to Prowl's presence. Prowl gets ready to fight, as Megatron orders his troops to sieze the interloper... and the Cons prepare to blast him. Only Lockdown tries to talk Prowl down into doing something stupid. The tension is broken when Optimus and Ratchet break thru a bay door and demand that Megatron let Prowl go.

The Starscream Hoax

Autobots and Decepticons hold each other at gunpoint. Lockdown states he'll just take his bounty and run, but Megatron silences him. Megatron starts to speak when tire squeals are heard. It's Bulkhead, and he has the 2nd Starscream with him. This confuses Megatron, and Lockdown tries to use the confusion to weasel out. A warning shot from Megatron's fusion cannon changes his mind. Megatron proclaims that no one will leave until the real Starscream is determined. At this point, both Starscreams activate and expose bombs hidden in their cockpit chests. The real Starscream transmits a message divulging his plan to use his clones to gather all his enemies in one spot and destroy them at once.

As Starscream gloats on his apparent victory, Megatron isn't ready to give up yet. He blows out the skylights with his cannon and commands his Decepticons to "Transform and rise up". Lugnut and Blitzwing do just that, and all three of them escape. Bulkhead questions if they should bail out as well, but Optimus notes that the bombs pack enough power to take out half the city. Prowl steps in and says they can't outrun or disarm the bombs, but they can contain it. While saying this, he also begins shedding his mods. Prowl asks Bulkhead to put the 2 clones back to back as he removes the rest of his mods. Using the sword upgrade as a welding rod, he welds the jump boosters between the 2 clones. Prowl then orders the other to take cover as he shoves the tuning fork in between the clones, which activates the jump boosters and sends the clones into the atmosphere.

Prowl Finds Himself

The 3 Deceptions are still fleeing from the scene. However, the scene instead intercepts them. The bombs reach their ignition point and blind the city with their explosion. The three Cons are blown out of control into the unknown and not scene for the duration. Back at the factory, Optimus congratulates Prowl on a nice job. Ratchet laments that Lockdown has escaped again. Prowl receives a transmission from Lockdown, and Prowls seems agitated by it. Lockdown commits to their 'spark to spark'. He admits his admiration for Prowl, as we see Lockdown racing back to his ship. He then offers Prowl to "ditch those loser (Autobots) and come work for him. Prowl says he's flattered, but now sees overmodification as being for weak processors. Lockdown tries to coax Prowl, but Prowl says to not contact him again unless Lockdown wants to be turned over to the Elite Guard. He then cuts transmission.

Prowl then turns to Ratchet as he activates, then removes, the EMP generator. He thanks Ratchet for it's use, but claims he won't need it anymore. Ratchet gives a satisfying nod. On the moon, within the wreckage of the Decepticon starship, the real Starscream loops stasis cuffs around his finger as he watches a transmission from Megatron. Megatron is increasing the bounty on Starscream's head, but cautions that the one brought to him better be the real one. Starscream replies in a curse, and wonders what it will take to destroy Megatron. He shrugs it off, states "Oh well, plenty more where they came from!" then gives a menacing smile as he glances behind him. Stockpiled behind him are at least a dozen or more clones waiting to be put to work.


We finally get to see more Decepticon action. Prowl gets to learn a lesson about over relying on accessories and Lockdown learns there is at least one other bot that is his equal. We also get to see the ever widening rift between Starscream and Megatron. This certainly gives the Autobots another entity to worry about. Starscream is really developing as his own threat as well. Between his immunity to stasis cuffs, his ability to cheat death and his new ability to develop clones, he may be more than even Megatron can handle for awhile. Things are shaping up nicely.

DateMay 24th 2008  
Score 9 stars (9 out of 10)  

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