SYNOPSIS FOR "THE BURDEN HARDEST TO BEAR"
TOTAL NUMBER OF BLOOPERS: 58
OLD WOMAN: "We're trapped! We'll be killed!"
SCOURGE: "Remarkable... the woman is clairvoyant!"
- What kind of car does Marissa Faireborn drive?
- Which warp gate did Scourge use to get to Earth?
- If I didn't know better, I'd say Kup's got a hidden agenda in this episode. He seems to empathize with what Rodimus Prime is going through, but he also seems to be pushing Rodimus to abandon his responsibilities--planting suggestions like, "the weight of the world rests on your shoulders" and "you wanna run away?" That's right, Kup, encourage him to give up all hope!
PLOT OVERSIGHTS: (7)
- After Marissa Faireborn pursues Rodimus and the Stunticons spot her, Wildrider drops an oil slick to cause her car to spin out of control. Isn't that supposed to be Breakdown's trick?
- Apparently, the Stunticons' automatic force fields are back, or at least Wildrider's is. In "The Key to Vector Sigma" part 1, we learned that the Stunticons were equipped with force fields in car mode that, according to Megatron, made their hulls impenetrable. You may recall that in "Masquerade," Hoist blasted Wildrider and totaled him with one shot. (This is the same episode where Warpath puts his fist right through Dead End's roof.) In this episode, Wildrider collides with Rodimus head-on, and it doesn't faze him at all.
- After the Stunticons bring the Autobot Matrix of Leadership to Galvatron, he says, "For years, the Matrix has eluded us... but now, it is finally ours!" Wow, what a retcon! Back when he was Megatron, he had plenty of opportunities to claim the Matrix from Optimus Prime, but didn't seem at all interested. (Hook disassembling Prime in "City of Steel" would have been the perfect opportunity, for example.) If Galvatron really wanted the Matrix that badly, then this suggests that either Megatron didn't know it existed, or didn't know how powerful it really was until Unicron ordered him to steal it in the movie. That was in 2005, and this episode takes place in 2006. That makes one year, tops. There's also the fact that he's using Earth units of measurement to begin with.
- That's not the only bizarre use of time measurement in this episode, though. During Hot Rod's impassioned speech, he notes that the war has been going on for "a few dozen millenia." A Millennium is one thousand years. The Third Cybertron War began nine million years ago, according to "War Dawn," so that's nine thousand millenia. That works out to be about 750 dozen. I leave it to you to decide whether 750 is a "few."
- As Marissa Faireborn alerts Ultra Magnus to the ship approaching through the warp gate, Magnus goes, "What is it, Captain?" Excuse me, but when did they get so formal? Magnus called her Marissa way back in "The Killing Jar," which always suggested to me that they were friends. (This, by the way, is exactly how I would expect Earth Defense Command to respond to a Decepticon sortie; that's why the organization exists. Why, then, did they let Decepticons waltz on in back in "Five Faces of Darkness" part 4, "Starscream's Ghost," and "The Ultimate Weapon"?)
- After Galvatron recovers from the attack by the Matrix-endowed Scourge, he vows: "I will not rest until Scourge and the Matrix have been destroyed!" Near the end of the episode, though, Galvatron is carrying Scourge off the planet--unconscious, but otherwise intact. Between Scourge, Octane, and Blitzwing, Galvatron does seem to have a habit of forgiving the unforgivable, doesn't he? Galvy really is an old softy after all.
- After Scourge arrives on Earth, he starts tormenting an old woman. A Japanese warrior names Oso intervenes and commands, "Let her alone!" I know I'm just nitpicking here, but that's poor grammar. The correct phrase is "leave her alone."
- After Hot Rod defeats Scourge and regains the Matrix, Rodimus offers Oso and the old woman a lift home. At the very end of the episode, Oso and the old woman can be standing next to the Autobots amid the smoke and destruction. In other words, Rodimus brought them to a potentially dangerous battlefield instead. (On the other hand, maybe this is where they lived. I wonder if their homeowner's insurance covers Decepticon attacks?)
DIALOGUE AND SOUND EFFECTS: (8)
- When Superion spots Astrotrain at the beginning of the episode, he says, "It's Astrotrain! Aerialbots, separate and attack!" What's odd is the fact that the Aerialbots have already disengaged by the time Superion finishes talking.
- After Sky Lynx drives the Decepticons away and Kup says, "Nice shootin', Sky Lynx!" Sky Lynx responds, "Yes, Kup, I know," without moving his mouth.
- As Rodimus is expressing concern over his role as leader to Kup, when Kup asks if Rodimus feels "like you wanna run away?" Rod's mouth moves.
- Wildrider's voice has changed again since "Five Faces of Darkness" part 1. It's even more gruff, and he's developed a really bad Southern accent. When I first saw this episode, I was convinced they'd just replaced his actor. Upon close inspection, it's still Terry McGovern doing the voice--it just sounds nothing like Wildrider used to in episodes like "Masquerade."
- When Dead End and Wildrider spot Rodimus driving along the countryside and convert to their car modes to intercept, they're still transforming long after the transforming sound effect is heard.
- There's a scene where young Oso is sparring with his sensei. The sensei knocks Oso's staff out of his hands, and Oso yells "HiiiiYAH!" as he runs to retrieve the staff. (There's no reason why he can't do this, but it just seems weird.)
- Later, when the sensei is counseling Hot Rod, he instructs him that "thinking of defeat distracts the mind from what must be done in order to win." Apparently thinking of ventriloquism is fine and dandy, since the sensei's mouth stops moving for the words "in order to win."
- During the tail end of the battle on Earth, as Galvatron and Cyclonus fly overhead with Scourge in tow, Galvatron appears to be moving his mouth, but he's not saying anything.
ANIMATION AND CONTINUITY: (43)
- At the very beginning, as Broadside (in his new robot form he apparently acquired prior to "Grimlock's New Brain") is attacked by Devastator and Predaking, one of Predaking's shoulder guns is colored green, like Devastator. (Pred is standing behind Dev, so the colorist evidently thought it was part of him.)
- After Oso and his sensei hear Bruticus and Defensor fighting outside, Oso asks, "Sensei, what is it?" As the humans emerge from the building, the guy on the far left is carrying a sparring mask, which promptly disappears.
- When Bruticus separates back into the Combaticons, Onslaught transforms into a grey missile trailer. (Bruticus' body is grey according to his color model, but Onslaught is blue. I imagine it must be difficult to get him to change colors in a convincing way.)
- After Sky Lynx lands and Rodimus jumps off of him, Rod's spoiler and Autobot symbol disappear for an instant. Also, for those of you keeping track, the wheels on his shoulders are back to being maroon in this episode, instead of being black as they were in "The Face of the Nijika." (I also question why Rodimus and Kup are riding on Sky Lynx's back, instead of just flying inside him in shuttle mode.)
- When Sky Lynx reports that he's receiving a message from the Imperial Palace, Rodimus suddenly has his alternate "toy design" (get a load of the shoulders). He's also missing his symbol.
- After Marissa arrives and Rodimus turns his head and snaps at her, part of the exhaust pipes on his arm turns red. Also, when he talks to her, it looks like he has teeth (the inside of his mouth is white, at any rate).
- Again, for those of you keeping a running tally, Rod's legs go back to forming the trailer of his camper mode in this episode. In "Nijika," Rodimus just transformed to a Hot Rod-style vehicle mode, and the trailer connected to him.
- When Rodimus transforms and drives off in a huff, he leaves a cloud of smoke in his trail. Kup overlaps the cloud, but based on where Kup is standing, he should be behind it.
- It's a little-known fact that while the Matrix didn't change Hot Rod's outer appearance much when it turned him into Rodimus Prime, it completely overhauled his vehicular interior. We get to see what Rodimus Prime's vehicle mode looks like from the inside in this episode, and it's completely changed--most notably, the viewscreen on his dashboard and the fact that his steering wheel doesn't have an Autobot symbol on it anymore.
- When the Stunticons intercept Marissa on the road and cut her off, the symbol on her shoulder reads "AOC." You might think that the animators simply forgot that it's supposed to be "EDC" for Earth Defense Command, but actually this is a commonly-worn patch in the year 2006. It stands for America Online's Crappy.
- Also, in the very next scene when she jerks her steering wheel to the right to try to regain control, the background outside the car doesn't correspond. (Egads! She's out of steering fluid!)
- When Wildrider collides with Rodimus, the glowing blue flash that accompanies the impact stops glowing at the end of this scene. I guess someone forgot to do the backlighting for that frame.
- When Dead End spots the Matrix and says, "Hey, what's that?" Wildrider responds "What's what?" and he has a purple Autobot symbol.
- After the first commercial, when Marissa is trying to contact Rodimus on her carphone-thingy, her shoulder patch now just says "OC." (Stands for Ostrich Cookies, dontchaknow.)
- Shouldn't Rodimus have reverted to Hot Rod as soon as the Matrix popped out of him, as seen in "Dark Awakening"? He doesn't appear as Hot Rod until after the commercial break when Marissa finds him. (Or have we reverted to the idea from the movie that he remains Rodimus Prime as long as he's within the immediate vicinity of the Matrix?)
- Suddenly in this episode, Chaar is a metallic-looking planet with two moons. The last time we saw the planet, in "Fight or Flee," it was a blue-grey rocky planet with no moons. (I'm guessing this was actually a drawing of Cybertron, but even that's inaccurate since Unicron ate both its moons.)
- In the establishing shot of Galvatron's throne room, there are four Decepticons at the bottom of the screen who the animators basically made up. So naturally, someone colored them like the Constructicons.
- When Galvatron orders Scourge to destroy the Matrix, we're back to the same shot again, only now the fake Constructicons are missing, having been replaced with with Bruticus and Devastator... both of whom are shorter than Cyclonus.
- When we first see Scourge clutching the Matrix, it's entirely grey. It should have an orange spherical casing with a blue crystal inside.
- After Scourge puts the Matrix inside his chest, his eyes start watering. Then he begins to mutate; his eyes grow larger, but the tears are coming out of the same place on the screen--the middle of his eyes, in this case. (I won't even touch the issue of whether robots have tear ducts or not.)
- When the scene changes from Scourge mutating to the Autobots examining Hot Rod, they used a Decepticon Flippy Symbol that changes to another Decepticon Flippy Symbol.
- As Magnus is looking over Hot Rod, the top of his body is blue. It should be red.
- When Hot Rod wakes up, muttering "Oh, my achin' head," he puts his hand to his forehead, and the top half of his face changes color from grey to magenta.
- Hot Rod has a Rodimus face when Springer asks him how he feels. Then when Rod turns his head to look at Springer, the line on his face jumps much lower on his jaw.
- After Scourge dispenses with Galvatron and Cyclonus and orders the remaining Decepticons to follow him, Hook is colored like Dead End. (In all seriousness, this was an easy mistake to make, since besides Predaking, the only other Decepticons in this scene are Drag Strip, Breakdown, and Wildrider.)
- When the Matrix-endowed Scourge transforms into his vehicle mode, he appears to melt and re-form himself. His mouth and eyes end up becoming thrusters on the bottom of his vehicle mode! Freaky stuff.
- When Marissa announces that there's "a ship approaching" through the warp gate, she points to a monitor that shows one blip followed by three other blips. (That's odd as well, since we'll see later that Scourge brought three Sweeps with him as well as Predaking and Devastator. What, can Marissa's scanners only detect Decepticons in vehicle mode?)
- On a similar note, didn't Scourge order all the Decepticons to follow him? So where are the Terrorcons, Trypticon, etc.? Even assuming they're already on Earth somewhere, what about the Stunticons? We know they were on Chaar. (Same goes for the other Sweeps. There should be at least three more of 'em, according to "The Dweller in the Depths.")
- As Kup walks into the scene and says he still hasn't heard from Hot Rod, the computer station that Springer is hovering over jumps noticeably. Also, Ultra Magnus has white missiles instead of red in this scene, and his upper legs are grey instead of white.
- When the sensei asks Hot Rod if he is troubled by something, he's got a Rodimus face again, and he's in his alternate "toy design" (the shoulders, man, the shoulders!). In the next scene he's back to normal.
- In the scene immediately after the above, when the sensei asks whether Hot Rod wanted to know why he told his student to banish thinking, when Hot Rod responds, "The thought crossed my mind, yeah," he has teeth and a tongue.
- At one point during this exchange, Hot Rod moves up from his kneeling position, but his right arm doesn't move with the rest of him.
- On Galvatron's ship, when Cyclonus reports that Scourge has passed through the warp gate, Galvatron is missing the dark grey square component on his chin. Thankfully, the colorist made up for this glaring oversight by coloring his entire lower face dark grey. (He looks like he's got five o'clock shadow.)
- On the way to Earth, two of the vehicle-mode Sweeps have head that are sticking up, and the other's head is down. Is that a blooper? I have no idea. I just felt like pointing it out.
- Right before Scourge lands on Earth, there are now five Sweeps following him. Where'd the other two come from?
- Back on Galvatron's ship, when Galvy goes to open the air lock, the sign above the door reads, er, "AIR LOCK." In English. The sign also changes color; it's black with red lettering when we first see it, and red with black lettering in the next. In this second scene, incidentally, it actually reads "AIR LOOK."
- When the vehicle-mode Hot Rod rams Scourge, Scourge's chest panel pops open slightly, and it's hinged on the left. When he inserted the Matrix in his chest earlier in the episode, it was hinged on the right.
- When Hot Rod transforms to robot mode after ramming Scourge, his arms look like they want to rotate on an axis, but they don't complete the rotation--they just pop up a bit, then fall back into place.
- After Hot Rod blasts Scourge and the Decepticon falls to the ground, the Matrix has migrated from his upper chest to his lower torso. When he falls, a panel in his stomach pops open and viola! there it is. What, is he digesting it?
- When Hot Rod reclaims the Matrix and places it in his chest, he appears to just push it through his chest armor without opening up a panel or anything. Also, he's got a Rodimus face before he ever sticks the Matrix back in. (Must be more of that close-proximity thing going on.)
- When Rodimus offers Ozu and the old woman a ride home, he begins to transform, the transformation freezes for a moment, and then it finishes.
- When the Sweeps see that Scourge has been defeated and decide to retreat, three of them fly away, along with Bonecrusher, Hook, and Long Haul. What happened to the other two Sweeps, the other three Constructicons, and the Predacons?
- As Rodimus arrives after the battle (yeah, thanks a heap, Rod, you were a tremendous help there) and transforms, his trailer seems to be a separate piece from his robot mode. He's also got his alternate "toy design" in this scene. He's also got teeth. And he's wearing lipstick. (Okay, I made that last part up.)
- A "spinner."
- Warp gate 09A.
©1999 Inspiration Studios