SYNOPSIS FOR "THE RETURN OF OPTIMUS PRIME" PART 1
TOTAL NUMBER OF BLOOPERS: 108
BEST LINES: Galvatron: "They've all gone mad! This is no place for me!" (Funny, I would have thought Galvatron would fit right in!)
- Who was the first Decepticon to be infected?
- What is the name of the reporter who broadcasted a story on the hate plague, and what is her station's call sign?
- When "The Return of Optimus Prime" was released to video, it was heralded as the sequel to The Transformers: the Movie. First of all, this isn't right, especially since "Five Faces of Darkness" was later released to video as well. That's the sequel. Even with that being the case, those who only have access to the video releases have no explanations as to how Prime got aboard that flagship, nor how the Quintessons "revived him once before."
PLOT OVERSIGHTS: (23)
- When Optimus is found by the Solaris, he's unconscious (not to mention in a heck of a better condition than he was before, but I'm getting ahead of myself). In "Dark Awakening," though, he was conscious, supposedly right before the detonator exploded. Of course, we learn in this episode that Prime was rescued before his ship was destroyed. So why is he suddenly unconscious? Did his Quintesson "zombie programming" kick in again?
- Gregory's magical talking watch is seriously fast. He says they have five minutes before the star goes nova, okay? Then, six seconds later, his watch reports they have 4 minutes left. About nine seconds later, it says 3 minutes. Four seconds later, 2 minutes. Methinks a time warp of some kind is at work here...
- Also, there's a drastically changed premise here! Wouldn't the Autobots or Quintessons have noticed if somebody had removed Prime from the flagship before it was destroyed? And anyway, the Quintessons were firing on the ship unrelentingly before it hit the star. By all rights, Jessica and Gregory should have been turned into charred Bac-O-Bits as soon as they left the safety of the Solaris. (Come to think of it, they're parked right outside a small sun. If the Quints' fire didn't blow them away, the sheer heat from the sun should have, as soon as they exited their ship!
- Here's a question: Maybe the hull of the ship is coated with this metal, but what are the windows made of?1
- For that matter, why man (and woman) a ship, directly in the blast of an exploding star, if you don't even know if the experimental alloy protecting you even works? Wouldn't an unmanned (and unwomanned) expedition be in order?
- Back home, Gregory concludes that "the spores are a virus that manifest hatred." A spore is the asexual reproductive cell of a plant. A virus is a microscopic disease-causing agent. Take your pick, Doctor Swafford--they can't be both.
- First Aid sure moves like greased lightning in this episode. After Jessica is hurt, one second Scattershot tells Strafe to summon First Aid, and the next second First Aid is already there! (Must be another time warp.) Also, it seems that all the Protectobots came along, even though First Aid was the only one who was required. (Of course, this is just so the other rescue vehicles can transform and show Morgan that the monster robots are taking away his daughter.)
- I'm surprised none of the Autobots stayed behind and offered to help repair the damage to the lab caused by the Technobots' battle with the Terrorcons. Then again, I'm surprised that none of the Autobots noticed the body of Optimus Prime while they were in the lab!
- If Dr. Morgan really believes the Autobots are so dangerous, then why does he send Jessica directly into their midst? He's probably hoping that they kill her so he can say, "Hah! I told you so!"
- When Jessica approaches the Autobots about Optimus, Rodimus asks if Optimus is alive, and Jessica tell him no. Wait a minute! Didn't they pick up life signs from Op's flagship at the beginning of the episode? (It can't be the spores. Jessica scanned for life signs after they spotted the ship. The spores came from the star, and she would have no reason to scan for life inside the sun.) Either way, Prime was alive at the end of "Dark Awakening." Why did he die between then and this episode?
- This isn't really a blooper per se, but it amazes me that Groove and Streetwise were never referred to by name until this episode.
- When assembling the strike force, why did Ultra Magnus have the Protectobots and Aerialbots combine, then leave for Swafford and Morgan's lab? We'll see later that Superion can fly, but poor Defensor has to walk all the way there!
- Where the heck did these Throttlebots come from? Plus, there are only four here--Chase, Freeway, Wide Load, and Searchlight. We'll learn later that there's a fifth, Rollbar. Where was he in this episode? (Also, as somebody pointed out on a.t.t., why rattle off all the names of the Protectobots and Aerialbots, introduced last season, when they don't bother to name these brand-new characters?)
- I'm amazed that Galvatron can deduce that Jessica is talking about Optimus Prime just from the clip recorded by Ratbat, "My father has his body in the lab."
- After the Aerialbots are infected by the spores, they combine into Superion. If the disease manifests hatred, then wouldn't they rather destroy each other than cooperate and combine?
- Back outside the lab, all of a sudden Kup is with the other Autobots! I really don't understand why the writers bothered with the Autobot roll call at all if they were just going to change who tagged along later on.
- When Rodimus meets with Wreck-Gar, he asks if the Junkions can repair him. What happened to putting Optimus's body where he can rest in peace, as he told Ultra Magnus before they went to rescue Prime?
- This begs the question, though--why can't Wreck-Gar fix Optimus? Galvatron destroyed Magnus in the movie, but the Junkions brought him back. Springer was dismantled in "Five Faces of Darkness" part 4, but Wreck-Gar saved the day again. And as Rodimus points out, the Quintessons brought back Prime once already.
- Jessica asks who created Optimus in the first place. This makes sense; whoever built him might have an idea of how to restore him. Unfortunately, Rodimus comes up with entirely the wrong answer--the Quintessons! Um, I don't think so, Roddy. Alpha Trion created Optimus Prime, as seen in "War Dawn." (True, it's possible that the Quints created Orion Pax. Rodimus learned, through the Matrix, that Orion Pax became Optimus Prime in "Five Faces of Darkness" part 4, so it's possible that he realized Prime was a Quintesson creation, deep down inside. But it's a stretch.)
- Rodimus summons Sky Lynx, ordering him to find a Quintesson to rebuild Optimus Prime. Does this sound right? Prime's body seems intact; he's just a little dead is all. (Sky Lynx must have understood what Rod really meant, since later he asks the Quintesson to restore Prime to life.)
- Now all of a sudden, the Quintessons are in hiding. As of "Face of the Nijika," just two episodes ago, they weren't. Did seeing Perceptor in drag really shake them up that badly? :)
- When Rodimus is endeavouring to shut down Metroplex, he desperately tries to finish deactivating him before Ultra Magnus infects him. Specifically, before Magnus touches the control panel. Hang on, here. Magnus is already inside Metroplex! By all rights, Metroplex should have been infected the moment Magnus stepped foot inside him.
- Speaking of Ultra Magnus, he's behaving rather curiously in this scene. He's not trying to attack Rodimus--he's trying to touch him (thereby infecting him). Shouldn't Magnus be trying to punch him or something? Brawl does this later when he infects Headstrong--he just runs over and puts his hands on him. Finally, the Sharkticons do it as well. One of the crowd chasing the Quintesson is yelling, "Get them! Infect them all!" Shouldn't that be, "Destroy them all"?
- Speaking of the Sharkticons... who, exactly, traveled all the way to the far reaches of the galaxy to infect them?
- I'll save Optimus's knowledge of events after his death for part 2.
DIALOGUE AND SOUND EFFECTS: (17)
- Usually, Sinnertwin's two heads each talk in a different voice, one high, one low--often to each other. When the Technobots arrive in this episode, though, Sinnertwin exclaims, "Technobots!" in his high-pitched voice, but both mouths move. A bit later in the episode, the higher voice says, "The alloy!" and the lower voice--different head, this time--chimes in, "It's here!"
- This isn't exactly a blooper, but this episode is the first time Abominus actually speaks! Judging by his grunts and growls from "Grimlock's New Brain" and "Money is Everything," I assumed he was too dumb to speak. But in this episode, he manages a "Computron think too much!"
- When the Autobots leave the lab, First Aid says, "We'll bring your daughter to County General, sir!" and Lightspeed's mouth moves.
- After Jessica's father explodes at the Autobots over Jessica's robotic exo-suit, Hot Spot replies, "We thought you'd be pleased!" Morgan responds, "Pleased? At my daughter becoming a blasted machine?" Well, he must be pleased; his lips are curled up into a smile throughout this entire exchange.
- When the Aerialbots transform to their jet modes, Silverbolt makes a transforming sound effect, but none of the others do except for Slingshot, who makes a little tiny one.
- Soundwave's voice is amplified incorrectly in this episode. He sounds like a Borg version of Dr. Claw.
- When Ratbat plays back his recording of Jessica's meeting with the Autobots, she says, "My father has his body in the lab." What Jessica actually said, though, was, "My father has his body in his lab."
- When Rodimus instructs the Autobots to patrol the area outside the lab, his mouth doesn't move.
- And when Rodimus orders Defensor to stay behind for backup, Defensor's mouth moves.
- When the Autobots begin brawling after being infected by the spores, somebody is yelling just like Rodimus. (The script probably read something like "Everybody starts fighting," and Dick Gautier joined in the fun.)
- A moment later Ultra Magnus goes, "Where's that punk Rodimus Prime? I want him!" and his mouth doesn't move.
- When the Protectobots retreat from the infected Superion, they apparently transformed to vehicle mode, but there wasn't any transforming sound effect.
- From the Protectobots' retreat to Magnus chasing Rod, it's a Decepticon-to-Autobot Flippy Symbol.
- When Jessica asks who built Op and Rodimus explains it was the Quintessons, neither of them is moving their mouth.
- All three times the Quintesson changes faces in this episode, it doesn't make the characteristic clicking noise.
- As the Quintesson tells Sky Lynx, "Too much power, you metal moron!" his mouth doesn't move. Then he changes faces and continues talking, and his mouth is moving again.
- When Op says, "Yes, Sky Lynx. And this time, no force in the universe can stop me," his face plate doesn't move.
ANIMATION AND CONTINUITY: (65)
- When Jessica and Gregory first call up the image of Optimus Prime on their monitor, he's unconscious, but otherwise in perfect condition. This is really odd, since the last time we saw Optimus, he was in terrible shape--namely, missing his left arm and about half of his face! Who fixed him?
- In the flashback of Optimus battling Megatron, at one point Megatron picks up a flask and throws it at Prime. One has to ask, how big is this flask? It seems like it's designed perfectly to Transformer scale--the entire lab does, as a matter of fact.2
- Either Op has grown some, or Jessica and Gregory are midgets. In "Triple Takeover," just to cite an example, Spike came up to Optimus's knees. In this episode, the humans are at least half that size! (My wife found this one, by the way.)
- At one point, Gregory tries to rope up Prime's fist to drag him off the ship. When he slips and Optimus's arm drops, the joystick Optimus was holding disappears!
- The footage of Optimus's flagship crashing into the star was taken directly from "Dark Awakening."
- Back in Swafford and Morgan's lab, at first the lab rats in the glass container are colored red. In the next scene, they're a normal grey color. Then Gregory fills the glass container with spores, and they turn red. Also, in the first scene with the rats, it looks like one of them is being squashed underneath one of the glass walls!
- When Strafe and Scattershot are firing at the Terrorcons, one of Strafe's guns is orange, and the other has just an orange tip with a white base.
- When the Terrorcons combine into Abominus, Cutthroat, Hun-Grrr and Rippersnapper are the only ones in evidence in the scene.
- And when the Technobots combine, Scattershot forms the body and left half of the chest; Strafe forms the left arm; and Afterburner forms the right arm and the right half of the chest.
- When Abominus blasts Computron, Computron falls and lands on the laboratory. When his hand tears through the roof, though, it's colored purple like Abominus's instead of dark red.
- As Abominus stomps on the building with his foot, his eyes are grey instead of red.
- Jessica ends up on her stomach when the ceiling collapses on her, crushing her legs. Then after Abominus stomps on the building, she's suddenly on her butt, shielding herself from the rubble. If the chunk of ceiling on her legs is so heavy that she can't move them, then how can she turn around 180 degrees? Two possibilities: either she's a carnival sideshow contortionist and can twist her spine around, or--my wife suggested this gruesome possibility--she lost her legs altogether.
- When the Decepticons grab the alloy, Rippersnapper has a purple square on his monster head instead of a Decepticon symbol. And in the very next scene, they're all suddenly back in robot mode. (If they were going to transform anyway, why did they grab the alloy in creature mode?)
- After the Protectobots arrive, when Blades transforms to robot mode, he's missing the symbol on his chest.
- Lightspeed, Blades and Hot Spot all "moonwalk" as they leave the lab.
- At the hospital, Hot Spot and Blades are guarding Jessica's room, along with... Swindle. The Combaticon. (Also, Hot Spot's chest plate is blue instead of red.)
- For that matter, why are the Protectobots all standing there, weapons drawn, in a hospital? Are they afraid some patient from the psychiatric wing might attack them? It certainly doesn't go very far to reinforce the "good guy" image Hot Spot is trying to promote after Dr. Morgan objects to their presence.2
- I'm surprised that the hospital let Jessica continue to wear her own clothes. I'm doubly surprised her clothing even survived the accident! Also, I don't mean to be crude, but... how does she use the bathroom in that getup?
- Back at the lab, when Optimus is lying on the conveyor belt, his front chest windows are colored red, like the rest of his chest.
- There must be something wrong with the motor for that conveyor belt, too. In the five different scenes of Optimus moving along on the conveyor belt, he's moving at a different speed each time.
- Also, when Gregory first starts up the conveyor belt, the fuel tank on the side of Prime's leg is blue instead of grey.
- When Jessica grab Op and rather futilely tries to pull him off the conveyor belt, her left hand grabs him, but her right hand grabs empty air. Also, oddly enough, while Optimus is still rolling down the conveyor belt, Jessica doesn't move with him.
- The statue of Optimus Prime which Rodimus is mooning over is rather poorly crafted. Must have been made by the same Autobot who did the relief on Optimus's tomb in "Dark Awakening."
- After Rodimus finishes talking to Prime's statue, his head slides back on his neck twice in a row.
- Also, Rod's missing the wheels on his forearms in this episode.
- When Jessica is explaining that her father wants her to betray the Autobots, Ultra Magnus is standing beside her and his leg is colored like Optimus Prime's.
- When Rod asks Jessica, "Is... Optimus alive?" he's briefly got his "toy" design.
- When the Protectobots combine into Defensor, his eyes are grey instead of blue. Also, his left arm is missing! Did First Aid run away again, as he did in "The Ultimate Weapon"? (What's weird is, this scene wasn't even taken from that episode.)
- When the Aerialbots combine, they go from robot mode to jet mode. Then Air Raid and Skydive go back to robot mode, and form the legs of Superion. Why did they transform to jet mode at all, then? (Their transformations aren't drawn all that well, either.)
- I don't normally comment on the way characters are drawn, but the Throttlebots' transformations look really crappy. They pretty much melt into their vehicle modes. (Also, Freeway is with the group when they're in robot mode, but when they transform, he vanishes.)
- Magnus orders Blurr, Bumblebee, Steeljaw, and Wheelie to transform, but Steeljaw never does. I guess he realized he wouldn't be able to do a whole lot of traveling in cassette mode...
- When Rodimus transforms (very badly, I might add), Jessica climbs in through a door on the side of his cab. In "The Burden Hardest to Bear," his entire cockpit swung open. Also, after she climbs in, the overhead compartment on Rod's trailer decides to spontaneously retract.
- When Soundwave stands up to retrieve Ratbat, his symbol disappears for a second. Then, his cassette door opens without his ever pressing his eject button. When Ratbat transforms, he's entirely white instead of purple, black and gold. (Maybe he's coated with the alloy?) Also, Ratbat is in front of the cassette window, not behind it, when he enters Soundwave's chest. And finally, when Soundwave looks down at his cassette window, his face plate doesn't move with the rest of his head.
- Galvatron's chin flashes briefly from light to dark dark grey when he realizes Optimus may yet live.
- When Rodimus orders Defensor to stay behind as backup, Superion disengages into the Aerialbots, and they run off with... Goldbug, who doesn't exist yet. (I suppose it could be Freeway or Chase or Searchlight colored like Goldbug, but still...)
- Isn't it really convenient that all the doorways in Swafford and Morgan's lab are really large, so as to easily accommodate Transformers?
- Earlier in the episode when Magnus brought Jessica to see Rodimus, he faced forward to transform. Later, after he's infected with the spores, he turns around with his back facing the camera, then he transforms and is facing forward.
- Magnus is semi-transparent right before he rams Fireflight. A few scenes later, Chase's arm is transparent as he attempts to punch Magnus.
- When the infected Aerialbots combine, Slingshot forms the right leg, and Air Raid forms the left. Just a few minutes back, Air Raid was the right leg and Skydive was the left.
- When Defensor fires on the infected Superion, the glowing aura around Superion shines through the blast from Defensor's gun. Based on the above problems with transparent Transformers, I doubt it was intentional... but it's a cool-looking effect.
- As Rod flees from the infected Ultra Magnus, he turns the corner to find two Throttlebots--I'll hazard a guess and say Freeway and Searchlight--along with Wildrider!
- When the Decepticons arrive at the lab, Bruticus is the same height as the individual Stunticons.
- When Galvatron demands to know where Optimus is hiding, he's got teeth.
- It's amazing to me that Superion manages to take down Steeljaw, Kup, Bumblebee and Blurr (especially Blurr) without ever aiming his gun. He just points it down, fires, and they all get hit! (And where's Wheelie while all this is going on? "When in doubt, peel out"?)
- In the next scene with Defensor on the bridge, his chest plate is blue instead of black, and the wheel on his left leg is blue instead of black.
- Then, in the scene immediately following that, it looks like the Protectobots are just finishing combining into Defensor.
- When Superion infects Defensor, he splits back into the Protectobots, who fall to the ground. Apparently, the animators thought that Streetwise was Rodimus Prime. They gave him a glowing red aura on his back in the shape of Rodimus's spoiler, and when he turns around they drew Rod's detailing on his back and pelvis. Also, Blades is missing one of his leg guns in this scene. In addition, while the other four Protectobots are fighting each other, Groove, the odd-robot out, is on the left-hand side of the screen having seizures.1
- Wreck-Gar is missing the spiked wheel on the side of his leg in this episode.
- At Autobot City, when Rodimus parks in front of Wreck-Gar, just as Wreck-Gar goes to lift Optimus off of Rod's roof, Rod jumps forward a bit. Then, when Rod transforms, he's suddenly twice the height of Wreck-Gar and Optimus.
- When Rod asks if the Junkions can repair Optimus, the little triangles on Op's pelvis are white instead of yellow.
- Should I even ask who's up in space, aiming a camera at Sky Lynx so he can appear on Rodimus's monitor?
- When Ultra Magnus arrives at Autobot City and blasts a hole through the wall, he has a Decepticon symbol on his shoulder.
- Isn't it considerate of the infected Magnus to just stand there, giving Rodimus time to pick up that piece of equipment and throw it at him?
- When Rodimus is shutting down Metroplex, he presses a red button, and on the row of lights to the right, two lights go off. Then he ducks to avoid Mag's grasp, throwing the equipment at him, and as he returns to the controls, the two lights are lit up again.
- As Rod runs from the entrance and looks back over his shoulder, his head turns from dark red to orange.
- After Rodimus leaps over truck-mode Magnus, the empty space in the middle of Magnus's trailer is colored red, as though it were solid.
- When Magnus has got Rodimus trapped in the dead end, Magnus faces forward to transform again.
- After Wreck-Gar throws the rope around Magnus, in the very next scene, the rope is missing.
- In the scene right after that, the "nose" on Rodimus's Autobot symbol is yellow instead of red.
- Usually, as soon as a victim is touched by someone who has the plague, the victim is infected immediately. When Wreck-Gar is infected, however, it takes several seconds for him to turn red.
- Rodimus is already colored red before Wreck-Gar touches him and infects him.
- There's a scene on the news where a group of infected humans is brawling. All the clubs, baseball bats, etc. that they're carrying are apparently infected (they are glowing red, after all), as is the military transport truck parked nearby.
- When Headstrong infects Razorclaw, Razorclaw's red, glowing aura is visible through Headstrong's body.
- When the infected Vortex is terrorizing some humans at an airport, he flies right into the open passenger door of an airplane in helicopter mode. That's gotta be one large plane!1
- In the scene after that, Defensor grabs what appears to be the Washington Monument and throws it into the Lincoln Memorial building. The only problem is that the monument is yellow, instead of white as it was in "Atlantis, Arise!"
- When Optimus's arm "accidentally" hits Sky Lynx, the details on Optimus's pelvis are white instead of yellow.
- "Aye yi yi yi yi! Lucy, Lucy, what have you done now?"--Ricky Ricardo, innumerable episodes of I Love Lucy
- "I'm a doctor, not a forklift!"--Dr. McCoy, various episodes of Star Trek
- "His engines, they cannot take the strain!"--Scotty, Star Trek
- "He's dead, Jim."--McCoy again.
- "Well excuuuse us!"--Steve Martin's stand-up comedy routine from Saturday Night Live. (What's odd is, Wreck-Gar is alone when he says this.)
- "I'm a Pepper. Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too?"--1980's Dr. Pepper soft drink slogan.
- Bruticus; Ultra Magnus punched him.
- Bonnie Carlson for K-SUN TV.
2 Liam Kavanagh
©1999 Inspiration Studios