SYNOPSIS FOR "GRIMLOCK'S NEW BRAIN"
TOTAL NUMBER OF BLOOPERS: 64
PERCEPTOR: "Anti-electrons--of course! They attack our electro-circuits! Now why didn't I think of that?"
GRIMLOCK: "Perhaps because your mental abilities are so limited."
- On Galvatron's monitor, which two Autobots are shutting down the master power generator?
- Which Aerialbot was present during the re-activation of the power core?
- There is some circumstantial evidence in this episode that suggests Grapple may be dead. Perceptor notes that he'll construct a crane to move Sky Lynx to the repair bay after he crashes on Cybertron. I suppose this could also mean that Grapple was off on a mission with Omega Supreme, but I just thought I'd mention it.
- After the Autobots crash into Unicron's head and exit the remains of the shuttle, Rodimus begins malfunctioning and transforms into Hot Rod's vehicle mode. I believe this was intentional on the part of the writers--his voice gets higher, and the animators colored him a lighter magenta, both indicative of Hot Rod. I guess the anti-electrons made him lose his connections to the Matrix?
PLOT OVERSIGHTS: (17)
- Why entrust Grimlock, an obvious walnut-brain, to throw the switch during the ceremony to activate the master power generator in the first place? The Autobots probably felt bad for him because he doesn't get to be in many post-movie episodes. Also, I know it's a plot contrivance, but Grimlock is even dumber and more child-like in this episode than usual, and that's saying something.
- Also, when Grimlock is trying to figure out which switch to pull to activate the generator, he says, "This switch real rad. Gonna pull!" I find it unlikely that an early 1990's slang expression like "rad" (short for radical) has survived to 2006. It wasn't even in popular use when I originally reviewed this episode in 1997.
- Well, we finally learn what happened to good ol' Sleazardo. We last saw him in "The Gambler," who departed with Def-Con the bounty hunter for parts unknown. He apparently had a change of heart at the end of that episode, since he joined the Autobot after having worked for the tyrannical Lord Gyconi. Well, he apparently had another change of heart, because he's working for Galvatron in this episode.
- Also, why does Galvatron continue hiring this bumbling Skuxxoid? Didn't he prove his incompetence beyond a shadow of a doubt in "Starscream's Ghost"? (Maybe--maybe--he sent these slimy little dudes to Cybertron because a Decepticon wouldn't be able to get past Autobot security? If that's the case, the Autobots have upgraded their defenses considerably since "The Dweller in the Depths.")
- After Grimlock says of Cosmos and Sky Lynx, "Me, Grimlock, say we must save them!" Perceptor adds, "For once I agree with you!" Not to get too nitpicky, but Perceptor just agree with Grimmy earlier in the episode when Grimlock boasted being the "smartest Dinobot of all" and Perceptor admitted, "Unfortunately, that's probably true."
- After Sky Lynx crashes, Springer offers to fly him into the repair bay. Um, how? Sky Lynx is a space shuttle capable of holding half a dozen Autobots. Springer is a tiny little helicopter. Methinks the anti-electrons are affecting his mind, too...
- In a similar vein, as Blaster starts to transform uncontrollably, he says, "This ain't never happened to us before, Auto-buddies! I'm busted!" Apparently he's forgotten all about the time the Autobots started malfunctioning from cybertonium depletion in "Desertion of the Dinobots."
- Are the writers trying to suggest that anti-electrons bring out the most diametric qualities in robots? Brave Sir Rodimus begins panicking and needs to escape the power generator at all costs. Kup with 1001 tales to tell, suddenly develops Alzheimer's. And Grimlock becomes a super-genius after he chomps on some wires. (Is that how Unicron attacks, by turning robots into their opposites?) The problem here is that anti-electrons, also called positrons, are better known as... antimatter. That's right--the same substance Megatron coveted way back in "Roll for It." As we all know, antimatter eradicates normal matter, so either these really aren't anti-electrons, or they're being used entirely wrong in the context of the episode. (One wonders what sort of magic flask Cyclonus was using to contain this matter-eradicating substance...)
- Also, where exactly did Grimlock's newfound intelligence come from? It couldn't have simply generated spontaneously. Two theories:
- The cord that Grimlock chewed on actually led straight to Vector Sigma, and gave him a genuine cybernetic personality. Or,
- Wheeljack and Ratchet already had the Dinobots' personality components in storage, but they hooked up the cerebral connections poorly, so the Dinobots came off as being rather stupid. The anti-electron surge unlocked intelligence that was already there.
- At one point, the other Dinobots are on Cybertron in a lake of some sort, eating fish. They look like robot fish, actually. All I have to say is... why? What possible purpose could there be for robot fish on Cybertron? (Well, to feed the Dinobots, obviously. Duh.)
- Grimlock determines that the anti-electrons came from Unicron, before his body was destroyed. If this is correct, then Galvatron had to have acquired them at some point during the movie. Why did it take him this long to use them? (Don't you dare tell me the Skuxxoid somehow hornswaggled Unicron out of the stuff!)
- Also, just to nitpick again, Grimlock says, "My data reveals that the source of the anti-electrons was Unicron..." The word "data" is a plural. "Datum" is singular (an odd mistake for Grimlock to make, since it's Computron's favorite word).
- As the Decepticons approach the head of Unicron, who should be in the mothership with them but... the Terrorcons! Since the Technobots are created in this episode, it comes before "Money is Everything," which also features the Technobots. The problem is, the Terrorcons were owned by the Quintessons in that episode. This means that in "Grimlock's New Brain" they're Decepticons; then in the next episode they're under Quintesson control; and then in the episode after that, "Call of the Primitives," they're Decepticons again! Do the Quintessons rent them out to Galvatron or something?
- I guess this is as good a time as any to ask: Has Grimlock forgotten he's a Transformer? He spends the entire episode in dinosaur mode. The height of silliness is when he builds the Autobot shuttle in his T. rex form. It must be tough to work with those puny little arms...
- How does Grimlock give Nosecone and the other Technobots life? "The Key to Vector Sigma" explains in no uncertain terms that only Vector Sigma can give Transformers cybernetic personalities. I guess the Technobots aren't really alive at all, then--just incredibly good simulations. (One wonders why Grimlock gave Nosecone sentience in the first place, when all he needed was a drill tank to bore a hole to Unicron's brain.)
- I also question the speed at which Grimlock slaps these Technobots together. I don't care how smart Grimmy is; the simple fact is it takes time to build a robot from scratch (especially with those puny little arms). Think about it. He's got to fashion each part from existing materials inside Unicron's head. He's got to find things like transformation cogs, energy absorbers, weapons consoles, and optic sensors. Is all this stuff really laying around in Unicron's sinuses somewhere?
- Shortly after Computron's activation, he says, "My computation capacity is nearly infinite--yet I lack the intelligence to feed my capacity." I think he means he lacks the knowledge to feed his capacity. Intelligence is reasoning skill, or the ability to apply knowledge one has accumulated. Grimlock didn't seem to gain additional knowledge, of course, so he really didn't need to dump his super-intelligence in the first place. Silly Grimlock.
DIALOGUE AND SOUND EFFECTS: (12)
- Near the beginning, when Grimlock is playing with the switches, he says, "Silly Grimlock. Pull wrong one by mistake" without moving his mouth.
- The Skuxxoid's voice isn't amplified at all in this episode. Compare this to "Five Faces of Darkness" part 2, where it's amplified so heavily you can barely make out what he's saying.
- Cosmos' voice isn't amplified either (it's missing the flanging and the echo). I get the feeling the sound editors didn't know what either of these characters were supposed to sound like.
- After Sky Lynx and Cosmos crash and Perceptor explains that "something incapacitiated their aerial capabilities," Grimlock goes, "Huh?" and his mouth doesn't move.
- Hey, the electro-map makes cool Star Trek communicator noises! (Was anyone else expecting Rodimus to go, "Prime to Enterprise, four to beam up"?)
- When Kup starts to malfunction, Grimlock says, "Me think something wrong with you, Kup." Watch for when Grimlock says the word "wrong" and you'll see for a brief instant he has two lower jaws. (I put this under DIALOGUE AND SOUND EFFECTS because it seems to be a lip-synching problem... or is that jaw-synching?)
- Doesn't Grimlock sound exactly like Skyfire after he gains his super intelligence? (One wonders why his voice changes at all. If his vocalizer isn't designed to sound a certain way, that means he's been trying to sound stupid all this time!)
- When the Dinobots are fishing in the lake and Grimlock declines their invitation to join them, Snarl protests, "But Dinobots always go fish together!" (which is why Swoop is missing, right?) but Slag's mouth is moving. (Well, more like quivering, really.)
- Later when Grimlock basically asks Sludge to serve as a workbench while he finishes the shuttle, he mouth isn't moving yet again. (Grimlock isn't just super-intelligent, but he's a damn fine ventriloquist to boot!)
- When Galvatron blasts the newly-constructed shuttle, Grimlock uses his super-intelligence to determine, "Anti-electron attack!" and his mouth... well, let's just say it's motion-challenged.
- When Sinnertwin gives the order to merge into Abominus, they've already finished combining long before Sinnertwin finishes giving the command.
- That blast from the end of "Ghost in the Machine" really messed up Unicron, didn't it? Besides searing half his face off, his voice suddenly sounds a lot higher... a lot more like Cyclonus. Hm. (Or we could just chalk it up to the sfx editors forgetting to deeper his voice.)
ANIMATION AND CONTINUITY: (35)
- At the start of the episode, there's a group of Autobots listening to Ultra Magnus' celebration speech. There are two glitches here. First, Sludge is in dinosaur mode, colored like Grimlock. (It's funny--if it were Grimlock, he has no forearms!) Also, in perhaps the most radical (not rad) changed premise, Broadside has an entirely new robot mode! (I know it's Broadside because he appears later in "The Burden Hardest to Bear.") Apparently the animators came up with a new character model that more closely resembled the toy. He's also a lot bigger than he used to be in "Carnage in C-Minor." (Makes sense, I guess, since he transforms into a freakin' aircraft carrier...)
- When Grimlock is trying to decide which switch to pull, his Autobot symbol disappears for a split second.
- When the generator is first activated, there's a scene showing a round metal tower with steam coming out of it and lights flashing. It looks kinda lame, though, because the lights are just flat paint, not backlit and glowing as I assume they were meant to be.
- I hate dealing with size differences between characters, but this one is a little extreme. I realize Springer is a pretty beefy Autobots, but in the scene with the Autobots applauding, Kup and Blurr only come up to his waist. (I could have some fun with this. Ahem: Springer was the same height as Rodimus Prime in "Only Human." Rodimus and Octane were the same height in "Thief in the Night." Octane looked to be the same height as Starscream's ghost in, uh, "Starscream's Ghost." Back in "Atlantis, Arise!" Starscream and Wheeljack were the same height. Wheeljack and Bumblebee were close to the same size in "A Prime Problem." Bumblebee and Wheelie were the same size in "The Return of Optimus Prime" part 1. Kup, meanwhile, was about the same height as Optimus Prime in "The Return of Optimus Prime" part 2. Therefore, Wheelie is twice as tall as Optimus Prime!)
- Sleazardo is colored wrong in this episode. Underneath his eyepatch there is a fold of skin that they color yellow in this episode, like his eye. The eye isn't supposed to be visible at all, however. Also, in some scenes his right eye isn't colored at all--it's green, like the rest of him.
- When Rodimus transforms to vehicle mode to attend to Sky Lynx and Cosmos, his robot form becomes the entire vehicle form. When he transforms back, however, the front cab becomes his robot form, and the trailer disconnects and slides off-camera.
- When Blaster begins to transform involuntarily, the top handle of his boom box mode pops out of the tops of his shoulders. In previous episodes (like "Madman's Paradise"), the handle is formed by each half coming out the sides of either of his legs.
- As Teletraan II explains the problem with the master power generator, the screen before which Perceptor, Rodimus, and Grimlock are standing shows a scene in space with a bunch of stars. I'm sure this has something to do with the power core, but I'm completely blank as to just how.
- Grimlock notes that he wonders how the power core began malfunctioning, and the scene is at a low enough angle that you can see the roof of his mouth is missing. Also in this scene, Rod's collar is a dark red instead of orange.
- In the very next scene, the same aforementioned drawing of Perceptor, Rodimus, and Grimlock is reused, except this time Teletraan II's monitor has gotten so large that it fills the entire scene. (I think the animators just forgot to slip in the cel of Teletraan's viewscreen.)
- In the following scene, Rodimus is standing behind Perceptor, but Rod's shoulder overlaps Perceptor's body. Also, Perceptor's nose looks way funny when he turns his head to speak to Rodimus. The darned thing looks ready to fall right off his face. (As Raoul would say, "Time to pull a Michael Jackson!")
- In the scene after that, Perceptor's shoulder disappears as he hands Rodimus the electro-map.
- Don't you just love that mega-kewl close-up of the back of Kup's head, as he worries that the Grimster might activate Cybertron's security defenses?
- After Grimlock gets... uh, smart an' stuff, he rather patronizingly pats Kup on the head as he explains how he shut down the generator. Well, I guess the animators didn't realize Kup wasn't standing close enough for Grimmy to reach, so they move Kup up a tad right before Grim pets him.
- After Grimlock saves Rodimus and Magnus by shutting down the security system, Grimlock is still playing with the controls even after the system shuts down. (Here's a naughty thought--maybe he's trying to reactivate it?)
- Rodimus' gun is red again in this episode. In "Fight or Flee," it was black.
- Cybertron's got some weird scenery in this episode. There's mountains, fishing ponds, and some kind of weird mechanical trees (plantobots?). Has Perceptor started landscaping in his spare time?
- Also, as I alluded to earlier, where's Swoop? He's missing in every scene, even the one where the "Dinobots always go fish together."
- The Skuxxoid's been eating his veggies. In "Starscream's Ghost," Octane could hold him in the palm of his hand. In this episode he's up to Galvatron's waist.
- When the Terrorcons approach Unicron's cerebral chamber and begin cutting it open, Sinnertwin's gun barrel is yellow instead of turquoise. (That's what color it is for the toy, anyway.) Also, Blot's back-mounted gun has been corrected--it doesn't stick up like it did in the last episode.
- When Grimlock is trying to enlist Sludge as a workbench (sorry, I just think it's funny), the Dinobots walk along behind Grimlock, and part of Sludge's neck flashes from grey to yellow and back.
- Hun-Grrr is colored like Sinnertwin when Rod is in his clutches and yells, "Grimlock, come back!" right before the second commercial break.
- Grimlock wanders off into the bowels of Unicron's head and finds parts to build Nosecone. What he appears to find, actually, are three components that would basically complete the assembly of his drill tank mode. How in the heck did those get there?
- Also, after the Flippy Symbol when Grimlock is completing Nosecone's assembly, he's tightening a bolt on what appears to be Nosecone's vehicle mode; and yet, Nosecone is standing right behind it. Nosecone's Autobot symbol is missing here, too (although I suppose one could argue Grimlock simply hadn't painted it on yet).
- Grimlock explains to his new creation, "You must help vanquish the evil Decepticons." Then the scene changes and Grim commands, "Now, transform!" except the same background is used. This sort of thing is always very disconcerting to me--it's like Grimlock teleported or something.
- When Nosecone first transforms to drill tank mode, he falls forward, with the drill replacing his head. This is consistent with "Money is Everything." When he changes back, however, the front of the vehicle forms his pelvis.
- When Strafe takes off to disarm Unicron, the scrolling background behind him repeats itself rather badly, as it jumps noticeably.
- When Grimlock is fitting Scattershot's gun into his hand (which I find odd in and of itself, but moving on...), Scattershot's behind Strafe, but Scattershot's shoulder is in front of Strafe's body.
- When the Technobots introduce themselves, in the close-up of Lightspeed and Afterburner, Lightspeed is missing his symbol.
- During the Technobots' attack on the Terrorcons, just about all of the Technobots' transformations are done sloppily. First off, why does Scattershot turn almost entirely brown when he turns into his gun emplacement mode? Afterburner and Lightspeed transform totally differently than they did in "Money is Everything" (in this episode, Lightspeed's head somehow disappears into the hood of his car mode). Also, when Afterburner transforms and skids sideways, Strafe is behind him, colored like Scattershot.
- Also, where is Nosecone during this battle? If he's still disabled from Unicron's defenses, then how in blazes do they form Computron?
- When the Terrorcons combine, Hun-Grrr somehow manages to split himself in half, each half forming a leg to Abominus, and also taking on the color schemes of Cutthroat and Sinnertwin. Hmm. (Pretty much the same sequence is shown in reverse when they disengage.)
- When the Technobots combine, Afterburner forms the right arm and part of the chest; Strafe forms the left arm and another part of the chest; the center of the chest is a separate piece, as is the rest of the body. In order for two more guys to form the legs, we'd need a sixth Technobot!
- When Galvatron orders the retreat, he, Scourge, and Cyclonus fly away... abandoning both the mothership and the Terrorcons! (There, now we're all set for the Quintessons to pick them up in time for "Money is Everything"!)
- During the celebratory re-activation of the power core, when Rodimus asks where Grimlock is and everybody turns around, the motorcycle wheel on Afterburner's back actually seems to be mounted on his shoulder.
- None really, although at one point Galvatron does say, "Terrorcons! I want those Autobots torn into so many pieces that we couldn't even sell 'em as junk to the Junkions!"
- Rodimus and Kup.
©1999 Inspiration Studios