SYNOPSIS FOR "THE RETURN OF OPTIMUS PRIME" PART 2
TOTAL NUMBER OF BLOOPERS: 99
OPTIMUS PRIME: "No more games, Rodimus! Innocent lives are at stake!"
RODIMUS PRIME: "No one is innocent!"
- Which of the infected Throttlebots are chasing Rodimus through the junkyard?
- What does Galvatron call the infected Cyclonus?
- This is the only episode where they had to use two screens for the episode title and its writers. Personally, I think it adds a more professional touch to it; we'll see more of this on Beast Wars.
- This episode, with a few others, finally answers the burning question: How many Matrix holders have there been? Answer: at least 20. Let's start chronologically: The oldest of them seems to be from this episode. Three grey-and-blue robots precede Alpha Trion, going back to a fourth, three-dimensional glowing head. We also see four more, appearing as ghosts who emerge from the Matrix, in "The Burden Hardest to Bear." In "Five Faces of Darkness" part 4, Rodimus is inside the Matrix, given a guided tour by the grey robot with the funky symbol on his forehead and swim goggles. After him was an orange-and-blue robot, who was recycled into a blue-grey gladiator. Two more follow, each with dialogue. A robot bearing a striking resemblance to Rodimus comes next, who passes the Matrix to an orange-and-blue fellow with a Throttlebot helmet. The last one we see is a mostly-blue guy, who ends up getting blown away by Megatron. Then, of course, we have Alpha Trion; Optimus Prime; Ultra Magnus; Rodimus Prime; and briefly, Scourge. (We also see five knight-looking robots, destroyed by a specter in Rodimus's Matrix-hallucination from "Five Faces of Darkness" part 2. who may have all been former Autobot leaders.)
I'd like to note two things here: First, the robot faces that morph into Alpha Trion give the impression that Alpha Trion came right after them. This contradicts "Five Faces of Darkness" part 4, though, which shows the mostly-blue-robot-who-ended-up-getting-blasted-by-Megatron passing the Matrix on to Alpha Trion. Also, somebody really did their homework! The three-dimensional glowing head in this episode actually appeared previously, as an entirely grey robot, in Rodimus's Matrix-hallucination from "Five Faces of Darkness" part 2.
PLOT OVERSIGHTS: (18)
- One aspect of Optimus's revival deeply troubles me; he seems to know a lot more than he should. First off, he remembers Sky Lynx. This is odd, since as far as I can tell, Sky Lynx didn't exist when Optimus was still alive. (In "Five Faces of Darkness" part 5, Marissa Faireborn had never heard of him, and Blaster was hard-pressed to describe him.) Also, Optimus recognizes the Quintesson. Supposedly, no one knew that the Quints created the Transformers until Rodimus discovered it in "Five Faces of Darkness" part 4. Finally, remembers Galvatron, and will even note that he knows him "all too well." Optimus couldn't know first hand that Megatron was turned into Galvatron, let alone what kind of Decepticon he's become.
Now, it's possible that Optimus picked up on some of this when he was reanimated in "Dark Awakening." He may have even learned some things while he was carrying the Matrix. But wait... isn't his personality contained within the Matrix now? When he was revived the first time, the Quintessons noted that only some lingering remnants of his memory and personality remained. So: this whiny little Quint essentially had to reprogram Optimus from scratch! How likely is it, even with a good description from Sky Lynx, that he'd be able to create a mind identical to the original Optimus?
A third possibility exists: Perhaps when Optimus was restored to life, his life-force traveled from the Matrix and re-entered his body. (They would call it his spark on Beast Wars.) Indeed, Optimus could have been watching everything from the vantage point of the Matrix, and known of all the events that occurred after his death. If that's the case, however, there's no reason for Optimus to ask Sky Lynx to explain what happened after the star went nova.
- Speaking of Sky Lynx, he sure knows a lot about the events from the beginning of part 1, especially since he didn't come into the picture until Rodimus Prime ordered him to find a Quintesson. How does he know how Optimus was rescued, or which Autobots were damaged by Sky Lynx?
- Again, Optimus lets himself be manipulated in this episode. He explains to Jessica it's too dangerous for her to accompany the Autobots to Chaar, but as soon as she points out that she saved him from an exploding sun, he gives in. So basically, since she already risked her life once, she may as well keep on doing it? What kind of logic is that? Bad call, Prime. (Then again, maybe he's so racked with guilt over her being paralyzed that he really has no choice...)
- Again, I question the behavior of some of the hate plague-infected Transformers. Why did the Predacons stop hating each other long enough to combine into Predaking? Why are all the infected Decepticons following Cyclonus as a leader? Why are they only attacking Galvatron? Shouldn't they be fighting amongst themselves?
- So, basically, Prime and Blaster (where the heck did he come from?) shoot at this giant spider that attacks Goldbug, causing it to fall hundreds of feet to almost certain doom. I mean, sure, all life forms are precious, but we can make an exception for this one since it's really ugly, right?
- Jessica spills the beans when she reveals to Galvatron that Prime plans to coat himself with the alloy. Wasn't she paying attention when Optimus gave an intentionally vague description about the Autobots' plans for the alloy--three times?
- Cyclonus manages to infect Jessica, even while she's wearing that exo-suit. Apparently the exo-suit doesn't protect against much at all; there would have to be gaps in the armor plating large enough for spores to pass through them. (And again, Cyclonus doesn't attack her... he just touches her. His odd behavior continues later when he beckons, "Join us, Galvatron! Join us now!")
- Erm... if this alloy is supposedly impervious to heat and radiation, then how in the heck to they manage to melt it down and coat Optimus with it? Next, I'm waiting for them to discover a container for the universal solvent...
- Rodimus's behavior is strange in this episode, too. He's running from the Throttlebots, challenging them to a race. Later, he'll taunt Optimus a bunch before Op finally subdues him. The plague doesn't make Rod hate everybody; it just makes him obnoxious.
- Optimus must know about a backdoor to the Matrix that Rodimus didn't. If you recall, in "Five Faces of Darkness" part 4, Rodimus had to short-circuit himself to get inside the Matrix; later, he rationalized to Springer that it was "the only way." In this episode, Optimus just enters it with no problem.
- Just out of curiosity, why aren't all the ancient Autobot leaders inside the Matrix infected by the hate plague as well, hmm?
- Speaking of the Matrix: As I said earlier, this Quintesson must have reprogrammed Optimus, essentially, from scratch. So, it's possible Optimus might actually meet up with himself while journeying into the Matrix! If Prime's consciousness did indeed travel from the Matrix back to his body, however, Alpha Trion should not be so surprised to see him. Here's why: Alpha Trion should be able to watch what's going on around him, just as Optimus did. Alpha Trion would know why Optimus re-entered the Matrix.
- Oh, and about Alpha Trion? He shouldn't be inside the Matrix at all! In "Five Faces of Darkness" part 4 we learn that he safeguarded the Matrix after the previous Autobot leader died, later passing it on to Orion Pax/Optimus Prime. Alpha Trion himself was never one of the Autobot leaders. In fact, he is inside Vector Sigma, not the Matrix, as seen when he merged with the computer in "The Key to Vector Sigma" part 2.
- Why is Alpha Trion warning Optimus that he might become lost forever if he travels back into the Matrix too far? Rodimus traveled back about 12 million years to the birth of the Transformers, and he made it back just fine!
- After Optimus returns from his Matrix trek, his chest immediately pops open, revealing the Matrix. Remember in "Five Faces of Darkness" part 2 when Springer says, "If Rodimus were dead, the Matrix would have emerged!" So... did Optimus just die?
- Say, why do the infected Transformers all fall over after the plague is cured, but none of the humans do?
- Swafford and Morgan seem to have gotten off very light at the end of this episode. By all rights they should be in police custody after what they unleashed upon the universe, but the ending gives the impression that they got off the hook with little more than an "I'm sorry."1
- In the very last scene as the Autobots transform and roll out... erm, where are they going? They're already inside Autobot City! As Liam Kavanagh writes, "Were they going for a cruise, hoping that the Decepticons will do a little dusting, maybe defragment Teletraan II while they're out?"
DIALOGUE AND SOUND EFFECTS: (15)
- The Quintesson delivers the same line at the beginning of part 2 that he does at the end of part 1, "I've done it! Optimus Prime lives!" His voice sounds different the second time, though. It's calmer, deeper, and less whiny (no complaint here).
- Also, at the end of the last episode, Optimus Prime said, "Yes, Sky Lynx. And this time, no force in the universe can stop me." In this episode he actually says, "And now, no force in the universe will stop me."
- Sadly, Roger C. Carmel died before this episode was produced, so they had to get somebody else (Jack "Ultra Magnus" Angel) to do Cyclonus's voice. It doesn't really sound like Cyclonus... but then, it is in keeping with Cyclonus's constant voice fluctuations.
- When Optimus tells Galvatron that they need to team together, his face plate doesn't move. The same drawing is used a moment later when Kup asks if he can be trusted and Prime responds, "No, but what choice have we?" Still no face plate movement.
- When the giant spider creeps onto the web, the combined weight of the spider and the Autobots causes the web to give a little, and a white cloud of dust shoots up from part of the web. The sound effects editors apparently thought that was a cannon blast from Galvatron, and dubbed in the appropriate sound effect. However, no shots came from Galvatron's vicinity, and his blasts are pink, not white. Also, this changes the entire feel of the scene! Later Galvatron will say, "I was ready to help, but I knew you didn't need me." Well, if the sound effects are to be believed, not only is Galvatron no helping, he's actively trying to bring about the Autobots' demise by firing on the web.
- When Galvatron asks why the metal is so important, Optimus responds, "I've explained it to you" without moving his face plate. In the next scene when Galvatron complains that Prime isn't being more forthcoming, Op's face plate doesn't move again when he says, "That's because I know you too well, Galvatron."
- When Kup transforms after being attacked by the energy leeches, there's no transforming sound effect.
- As Galvatron blasts the energy leeches attacking the Autobots, his cannon doesn't make the usual "Galvatron blast" sound effect (see above). Instead it sounds more like... Megatron's! Is he using a lower setting so as not to harm the Autobots? If so, he kept it on that setting for the rest of the episode.
- After Galvatron blasts the cavern ceiling, trapping the infected Autobots, he returns to robot mode with no transforming sound effect.
- When Galvatron kicks his cannon out of Sky Lynx's talon, Sky Lynx says, "What are you doing?" and his mouth doesn't move.
- When Optimus says, "I don't want to hurt you, Rodimus!" his face plate doesn't move.
- After Alpha Trion says he knows of no cure for the plague, when Optimus says, "Then, I must journey farther back," his face plate... um... you know.
- Doesn't that three-dimensional glowing head sound a lot like Optimus Prime?
- When the Quintesson begs Galvatron, "Stop, please, stop!" he doesn't move (any of) his mouth(s).
- The song "The Touch," from the movie soundtrack, is used at a couple different points at the end of the episode. I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't note that there was an edit near the beginning the song when we hear it the first time. (Also, I notice nobody bothered to acknowledge Stan Bush in the credits...)
ANIMATION AND CONTINUITY: (61)
- All of a sudden for part 2, Sky Lynx's bird and lynx modules are present. Last episode, only the bird module was in evidence.
- When Optimus stands up, he starts pulling off wires connected to his body that weren't there a second ago. Also, the chair he was sitting in is suddenly missing.
- There are a few scenes shown during Sky Lynx's narrative that didn't happen in part 1. One of them is a scene with Optimus lying on a table, shown while Sky Lynx explains that Swafford and Morgan tried to infect Prime's body with the plague. Prime is drawn with a bunch of extra circuits on his body, making him look considerably larger than usual. (This scene was slapped on the back of the box for the videocassette release.)
- Also, the same scene of Slingshot punching Silverbolt is used. Only this time Silverbolt's glowing red aura shines through Slingshot, who's in front of Silverbolt. It's strange that they would re-use the same animation (presumably to save money), but take the time to redo the backlighting!
- There's a new scene of Cyclonus fighting Scourge; Motormaster fighting Wildrider; and Dead End fighting Breakdown. It's used when Sky Lynx says, "It was Autobot against Autobot, and then Decepticon against Decepticon..." This never happened in part 1.
- After the flashback ends, Optimus is suddenly lying down on a table. I guess Sky Lynx's story was boring Prime so he thought he'd catch a quick nap. Also, when he stands back up, his forehead visor turns from blue to grey.
- Sky Lynx specifically explains that the Autobots injured by Superion were Kup, Wheelie, Blurr, Steeljaw, and Bumblebee. But when the Quintesson repairs them, Blaster is present instead of Wheelie. Did this nutty Quintesson completely rebuild Wheelie to resemble Blaster?? Or, fans may like this explanation even more... maybe Wheelie died!
- When Optimus assures Kup that he's not dreaming, the lower left part of Op's helmet is grey, like his face plate, instead of blue.
- In the first closeup of the new-and-improved Goldbug, his face plate is drawn wrong. It looks like Optimus's. Among other things, it should be a lot more narrow, and the front sides of his helmet should be grey, not blue. (Also, isn't it interesting that he's built just like a Throttlebot? Hmm...)
- In the high angle scene where the Quintesson and Jessica join the six Autobots, Goldbug is excitedly waving his arms, and they overlap Blaster's body, who's supposed to be standing behind him. This makes it look like Blaster only comes up to Goldbug's chest.
- Blurr has lips when he berates Optimus for not having a plan.
- As Optimus studies his gun, explaining that he no longer possesses the wisdom from the Matrix, watch the background. It shifts very slightly to the right, just before the scene changes.
- When Jessica explains the properties of the alloy to Optimus, she cranes her neck oddly--a bit like Victor Drath did at the beginning of "Only Human". It's possible for her to do this; it just looks weird. (Did she break her neck in the accident too, I wonder?)
- When the Autobots are cheering at the idea of taking back the alloy, there's a Hideous Yellow Something in the foreground on the left. It's apparently Steeljaw, but it's a ghastly rendering of him. Also in this scene, Prime is missing the detailing on his legs.
- After Op lets Jessica tag along, in the scene where Kup announces that they have an exo-suit for her, Goldbug is in the background, and his feet are grey instead of yellow. Also, in this same scene, the rectangle on Optimus's pelvis is blue instead of yellow, and his cod piece is white instead of blue.
- When Optimus transforms to truck mode, he's missing his smokestacks.
- Also, I think the animators finally owned up to the fact that they're just not very good at drawing transformations. At one point Goldbug drives by, taking up most of the screen, while Kup, who's standing downstage of him, takes this opportunity to transform so the animators don't actually have to draw it. The only problem is, after Kup transforms, he drives away backwards!
- On the whole, the few minutes dealing with the Autobots' restoration and plan of action suffers from a lot of re-used scenes. I guess the animators decided that if they produced some really cool-looking drawings, they could get away with using them two, maybe three times in succession. It doesn't work.
- On Chaar, as Galvatron flies off and proclaims, "It's no use! You're all crazed!" his eyes are grey instead of red.
- When Predaking says Galvatron looks like "something the cat dragged in," Galvatron's symbol is colored, but not drawn in.
- After Galvatron and the Autobots retreat to the cavern and Galvatron blasts the cave entrance shut in cannon mode, the scene where he returns to robot mode is another "hidden transformation." He's conveniently off-camera for all but the last of it.
- When Optimus explains that the Autobots need the alloy, the front grill structure on Prime's torso comes to a point at the top. It should be rectangular.2
- In the cave, as Optimus is in truck mode following Galvatron, not only does his front grill comes to a point again, his headlights are too small. Did the Quintesson redesign his vehicle mode or something?
- In the next scene, Op's front bumper is red instead of white. Then, when he and Kup transform to robot mode, there's a convenient flash of light to hide the transformation!
- When the spider appears and Jessica makes the brilliant observation, "A spider!" she's suddenly not wearing her exo-suit! Not that she needed one in the first place, since it obviously wasn't air-tight (see Plot Oversights above).
- As the Autobots enter the cave with the energon leeches, Optimus is missing the Autobot symbol on his trailer, and the fog horns on the top of his cab are grey instead of red. Also, he has only one smokestack in evidence.
- When Op sees that the infected Decepticons have caught up with them and says, "We've got to get out of here!" Sky Lynx is in the background, and his bird module has a Decepticon symbol on his forehead.
- After Galvatron traps the infected Autobots by blasting the cavern ceiling, a few rocks are left suspended in mid-air after the rubble falls. Weird gravity this Chaar has.
- When Galvatron grabs Optimus and demands to know the secret of the alloy, the panels on Optimus's legs are dark grey instead of white, and his cod piece is yellow instead of blue.
- The metal which Galvatron loads into Prime's trailer is two different colors--some rods are grey, some are gold. In part 1, all the metal rods the Terrorcons stole were gold.
- Three oddities about Optimus and Sky Lynx's retreat from the infected Jessica: First, Optimus was already coated with the alloy, even though at this point they haven't sprayed him yet. Second, Jessica definitely grabs Sky Lynx's tail as he flees. By all rights, he should have been infected. Finally, in this scene Jessica is colored red, but is missing her glowing aura.2
- Another word on this alloy... In part 1, as I said, the metal rods were golden. When we first see them in part 2, some are grey and some are gold. And then, when Optimus is being sprayed with it, the rods on the conveyor belt going into the machine are gold... but Optimus turns white!
- As I said in my review of "The Golden Lagoon," how can Prime see at all when this alloy is covering his optic sensors?
- Rodimus has his alternate "toy" design when he's fleeing from the Throttlebots.
- When Rodimus first transforms to robot mode, I thought at first that he was missing his Autobot symbol. Upon further inspection, it's there--but it's drawn in red and colored dark red, making it virtually invisible.2
- As Rodimus approaches Optimus and tries to digest "help... the universe?" he's got a Hot Rod face. Also in this scene, there's a rock in the foreground that's upstage of Rodimus' legs, obscuring them from view, but his glowing aura is showing right through the rock.3
- The entire sequence with Optimus and Rodimus really isn't all that visually appealing. I realize the need for visual cues to indicate that main characters have "changed," but a battle between an entirely white robot and an entirely red one just doesn't do it for me.
- The gun Rod carries in this episode is different from his usual weapon. It's a lot more compact and is missing the wings on either side.
- In the auto assembly shop, when Optimus steps up to a platform and warns Rodimus that he's wasting time, the symbol on Op's shoulder disappears.
- In the next scene, somebody fires at Optimus, but it's not Rodimus. This blast is pink; Autobot laser bolts are usually orange (a moment later when Rodimus shoots, the bolt from his gun is orange). Evidently there's some Decepticon hiding in the assembly shop that took this moment to get in a shot at Optimus.1
- After the assembly shop claw grabs Rodimus, when Rod kicks Op, Rod's glowing red aura disappears.
- When Rodimus utters that great line, "No one is innocent!" the inside of his mouth is grey (the animators thought maybe he was painted red?) and he has a Hot Rod face.
- After Sky Lynx catches Optimus, who's hanging from a compartment in the front of Sky Lynx's shuttle mode, Rodimus jumps up after him. As Op proclaims, "Rodimus infected Sky Lynx!" the backdrop of the compartment Op's inside of is grey, not red as it should be since Sky Lynx is infected.
- As Optimus grabs Rodimus and they fall onto the moving conveyor belt, at first they don't move along with it. In the next scene, the conveyor belt begins to move backwards for an instant when Op and Rod are fighting on it.1
- Isn't it convenient that the cutting torch Rodimus grabs just happens to fit in his hand perfectly? I mean, how big are the humans that work in this auto factory, anyway?1
- When Rodimus and Optimus fall off the edge of the conveyor belt, the bottoms of Optimus's feet are rounded (like Rod's) instead of square.
- Rodimus's chest opens up just like Optimus's in this episode--like a pair of double doors. But in "Dark Awakening," the flame design on Rod's chest swung open in its entirety (on the left side and right side, at different points).
- After Optimus removes the Matrix from Rodimus, Rodimus doesn't revert back to Hot Rod.
- When Optimus puts the Matrix in his chest, he pops it in sideways! Also, he's still missing the Matrix cowling (the component that folds down and covers the Matrix) he had from the movie.
- Alpha Trion is the wrong color when he talks to Optimus from inside the Matrix. At first, he's blue and gold where he should be purple and red. In the next scene, he's entirely gold.
- The entire flock of infected Transformers flies over Autobot City (betcha didn't know the collective term for Transformers is a "flock," did ya?). The problem here is, we'll see at least of these guys are Autobots--namely, Fireflight and Skydive. This may not be a blooper per se, but we've never seen the Aerialbots fly in robot mode before.
- One word on these Mystic Morphing Heads (see Notes above). When Optimus travels back past Alpha Trion, Alpha's head morphs into one head; that head then morphs into another very cracked-looking one. Then we cut to a scene trying to fend off the infected Transformers. When we return to the Matrix, the cracked head doesn't morph into the next one--it just fades into it. (I know, picky, picky, picky...)
- When the infected Decepticons sneak into Autobot City, the Sweep that bashes through the wall is carrying an axe that's also glowing red. Is this axe alive? Is he an Axemaster? Oddly enough, the large pole Galvatron is wielding just a few seconds later is not glowing; it's grey.
- Also, Galvatron is holding this pole very awkwardly. His left arm crosses over his right as he clutches it. I can't imagine this being an effective way to wield a weapon.
- When Optimus returns from the Matrix and his chest pops open, only the windows on his chest swing out, not the whole chest panels. Also, the Matrix cowling is still missing.
- As Optimus releases the energy from the Matrix, in the next scene of the infected Transformers, there's a Sweep among the group who has no beard or moustache! Maybe he finally got tired of looking like all his brothers? (Or, as my wife suggests, maybe he realized robots don't have beards or moustaches...?)
- I see that once Jessica is cured of the plague, she's no longer wearing her exo-suit. Even in her mad delirium, she realized that it didn't protect her from a bloody thing. Also... how in the heck did she and Gregory end up in Russia?? (Check out the Byzantine architecture in the background!)
- When the last of the Matrix energy is released, Optimus holds the empty Matrix shell, and his hands are blue. Shouldn't they still be white? Evidently not. Later on, as Swafford and Morgan are apologizing, Prime is back to his regular color scheme. If this alloy is impervious to heat and radiation, how did they get it off of him? (Somebody on a.t.t. once suggested that they just painted over it. Wow... that makes too much sense...)
- Hot Rod has a Decepticon symbol when he says, "The wisdom of the ages... it's lost!"
- In the very next scene when Prime asserts that the wisdom isn't lost, but Hot Rod counters, "But the Matrix is empty!" Hot Rod is still pink, but he's got a Rodimus face.
- All of a sudden, as Optimus hands the empty Matrix to Hot Rod (gee, thanks a lot, Op), Prime's coated with the alloy again! Also, in this exchange, Hot Rod and Optimus are the same height. Shouldn't Hot Rod be shorter than that?2
- In the final scene of the Autobots driving off, Prime is missing his smokestacks again, as well as the Autobot symbol on his trailer.2
- Chase, Freeway, and Searchlight.
- A worthless piece of slag.
©1999 Inspiration Studios