Octane's busy hauling scrap for the Junkions, but after the Skuxxoid plants an explosive in the refuse, Octane realizes the Decepticons are still after him following the events in Carbombya (see "Thief in the Night"). He goes to Earth and seeks out his buddy Sandstorm to get protection from the Autobots, but the assassination attempts continue, even after Octane relocates to Cybertron. Cyclonus and the Sweeps sneak past the planet's security and pursue Octane into the old Decepticon crypt. He encounters the ghost of Starscream, who offers to help Octane out if he helps Starscream get revenge on Galvatron. Starscream possesses Cyclonus and pretends to capture and interrogate Octane; Galvatron expects to find Rodimus Prime alone on an asteroid, but it's a trap set by Octane and the Autobots, and there are plenty of Autobot troops waiting for him. Galvatron survives the encounter and returns to Chaar to find Octane and Cyclonus celebrating his defeat. Starscream reveals his true self, and Galvatron attempts an excision by blasting Cyclonus. What Galvatron doesn't know is that Starscream's still around...
CYCLONUS: He must be hiding in the crypt.
SCOURGE: Good... then we won't have to take him anywhere when we're done.
- What was the order number that Sandstorm and Octane were assigned?
- What did that alien think of the Skuxxoid's gun after he ate it?
- This episode originally aired before "Thief in the Night" as well as "Fight or Flee." The latter introduces Sandstorm, and the former sets up the entire scenario that Octane's situation is based on in this episode. We never do find out just how Octane and Sandstorm got to be such close pals, though.
- This is one of two episodes that I've always felt were the most inappropriately titles (the other being "The Search for Alpha Trion"). Starscream is hardly the focal point of the episode, given that he doesn't even show up until the second commercial break.
- I pretty much took this episode as a given when I first saw it, since I wasn't yet familiar with the circumstances that led up to Octane being branded as a traitor. After seeing "Thief in the Night," though, the premise of this episode doesn't make sense. Sure, Octane stole Trypticon, and he was planning to take over the Decepticons, but Galvatron never actually found out about that. Octane's discovery of the super-energon seemed to placate him, especially since he allowed Octane to continue to represent the Decepticons when dealing with the Carbombyans, and even paid him a compliment about his way with words. So why the change of heart? Did Galvatron twist things around and find a way to blame Octane for the Decepticons' defeat in Carbombya at the hands of the Autobots? (I wouldn't put it past him, actually.)
- I've also got to ask: Why would the Autobots take in Octane in the first place? Let's say Galvatron decides to banish him, so he runs to the Autobots and says to Rodimus, "Hey, I just tried to usurp Galvatron, but that kind of ticked him off and so now he wants me dead. Can I join you?" Is Rodimus really likely to welcome a Decepticon with open arms? (Rodimus did offer Blitzwing a place with the Autobots in "Five Faces of Darkness," but Octane hasn't shown a trace of the nobility that Blitzwing demonstrated.)
- Strikes me as odd that Octane would be transporting junk away from the Junkions. They usually covet the stuff. Besides, who else would want it?
- Assuming that the Decepticon crypt is roughly the equivalent of the Autobot mausoleum from "Dark Awakening," I find it hard to believe that the Decepticons would have ever had the time to erect one. Even if it were an already-existing edifice, though, my impression was that the Decepticons were kicked off Cybertron almost immediately following the events of the movie, meaning they wouldn't have gotten a chance to put markers up for the guys they lost during the movie, like Thundercracker and Starscream.
- The fact that Thundercracker got a memorial statue suggests that the Decepticons have no idea that he survived, after a fashion. It's likely they presumed him dead after he was tossed off Astrotrain in the movie. However, in "Five Faces of Darkness" part 1, Astrotrain knew that Megatron and Galvatron were the same guy. If the Decepticons knew that Megatron had survived, why would they assume Thundercracker hadn't? (On the other hand, it looks like Megatron actually did get a marker in the crypt. If it is Megatron, it's drawn quite badly (the background artists almost never draw characters accurately), but at one point we see Octane hiding behind the statue of a robot with a large cannon on his arm.
- One other issue I want to address about the crypt is the robot Octane is referring to when he says, "I know, I know. 'Death comes to anyone who hides behind my marker.'" This is almost certainly a reference to Dirge, since he had similar dialogue in both "Five Faces of Darkness" as well as the movie script. It is true that we see Ultra Magnus destroy Dirge and Ramjet in "Five Faces of Darkness," but Dirge pops up in "Thief in the Night" (which is supposed to come before this episode), so which one is right? Even assuming that he was killed in "Five Faces of Darkness," the Autobots already had control of Cybertron by this point. So again, how would the Decepticons have been able to erect a monument in his honor?
- This sort of thing is inevitable when bringing back older characters who have been out of the loop for a while, but Starscream shouldn't know Galvatron's name, nor the location of Chaar. I suppose he could have accessed Cyclonus' memory banks after possessing his body, and learned about Chaar that way, but Starscream mentioned Galvatron long before he got a chance to do so. (There's no indication that Starscream ever got out much, either. He was killed on Cybertron, so I expect his ghost would have remained on Cybertron until he met somebody like Octane.)
Dialogue and Sound Effects:
- The Skuxxoid's voice is much less heavily amplified than in previous episodes. You can actually make out what he's saying, this time. (Not sure if that's a good thing or not.)
- The music for the scene bumper after the race between Octane and Sandstorm is badly out of synch with the animation.
- I'm not going to mention that the space depot intercom announced that they finished refueling customer #27 and #29, but they never mentioned #28. I do have my limits, after all.
- Some of you have probably noticed that many of the sound effects used on Transformers were archive sounds that originally appear in the Star Wars trilogy. (Nightbird's laser sword sounds exactly like a lightsaber; Laserbeak's engines make the same noise as TIE Fighters, that sort of thing.) Well, it appears that at least one sound effect was lifted directly from one of the completed films itself, complete with overlapping dialogue. At one point in The Empire Strikes Back, C-3PO wanders into the wrong room in Cloud City and babbles apologetically, "Oh, I'm terribly sorry, I didn't mean to intrude. No, please don't get up--NO!" just as a stormtrooper blasts him into pieces.
Somebody must have sampled this scene thinking that it would make a neat cartoon sound effect, but every time they use this sound, you can hear C-3PO going "No!" as well. In this episode, it's the sound that Cyclonus' gun makes when he (as Starscream) fires away at the landscape. We'll also hear this sound effect again in "Only Human" and "The Rebirth" part 1.
- Here's an odd one. On Chaar, Octane and Starscream (still in Cyclonus' body) are celebrating the demise of Galvatron, who unexpected arrives in the throne room:
STARSCREAM: So, you think Galvatron's nothing but slag-iron now?
OCTANE: Yeah, we've seen the last of that sucker.
GALVATRON: Seen the last of who, Cyclonus?
It would make a lot more sense if Galvatron had said, "Seen the last of who, Octane?" since he was the one who delivered the line. Somebody else apparently thought so as well, since they drew Octane delivering Starscream's line, and they have Cyclonus speaking Octane's line. Galvatron's reaction makes much more sense when the scene's played this way, but two characters have to talk in the wrong voices in order to do it.
Animation and Continuity:
- When Galvatron is ordering the Skuxxoid to go after Octane, we see the Skuxxoid cowering before Galvatron's throne... but somebody forgot the cel with Galvatron drawn on it, so Skuxxy's trembling before an empty throne.
- Interesting that the female robot that Octane is ogling on his viewscreen looks identical in design to Arcee, except that she's got really big... uh, shoulders.
- After Octane gets picked up on the alien ship, the scene bumper changes from an Autobot symbol to another Autobot symbol. I guess this isn't necessarily a mistake, since Octane is technically on the Autobots' side at this point, but I thought I'd mention it all the same.
- This episode has one of my all-time favorite bloopers. When Sandstorm and Octane are walking along on Earth, Octane is distracted by a strange noise and trips over a rock in his path. Close examination of this scene reveals that this rock actually jumps out in front of Octane to deliberately trip him up! (Clearly, Galvatron didn't need to hire the Skuxxoid or enlist the Combaticons to take out Octane. All he had to do was send the rock after him!)
- When Octane hears the noise again, there's an outer space background behind him instead of the blue skies that should be there, given that he's on Earth during the daytime.
- When Onslaught the assassin turns his head to speak to Blast Off, the guns on his back also move as though they were attached to his head. Suffice to say, they're not supposed to be.
- As the Combaticons are all coughing in the wake of Sandstorm's escape (never mind the fact that they're all wearing face plates, so you'd think the dust wouldn't bother them), Brawl's face plate is grey instead of its usual dark red.
- Some Decepticon's got a sick sense of humor. Where the other deceased Decepticons got full body statues, Starscream's marker appears to consist of just his boots. I guess somebody wanted to commemorate what Starscream looked like after Galvatron got finished with him? (Seriously... I expect somebody just forgot the cel with the rest of Starscream's body drawn on it. The leg would be on a different cel since that's the part that gets knocked over.)
- When Octane turns around and sees Starscream's ghost, Octane's got teeth. (Yes, I still consider this an error.)
- Shouldn't Starscream's ghost have the fancy shoulderpads and cape that he was wearing when he was killed in the movie? I guess it's possible that since they were extra accessories, they weren't really part of him. If that's the case, though, why is he still wearing his null rays? Those are removable, after all. (This reminds me of Matt Groenig's "Life in Hell" comic strip. If you lose a leg when you're alive, is it waiting for you in heaven?)
- When we see Starscream's ghost from the rear, the component on his back is colored orange, like his cockpit, instead of grey like the rest of his body. (I wouldn't be at all surprised if the animation studio no longer had full reference materials for Screamer to work with. They probably put most of the dead characters' models in storage.)
- When Kup calls up the security breach on his monitor, the space background is already there, and Cyclonus and the Sweeps just sort of fade into it. (Also, that's Kup's younger-looking "toy design," not the standard movie version. Furthermore, that's Hot Rod who's with him, not Rodimus Prime.)
- In this episode, Rodimus appears in his inaccurate toy design again. The most noticeable difference is the rounded-off shoulders. Speaking of which, when Rodimus grabs Cyclonus/Starscream by the shoulder and demands Octane's release, when Cyclonus/Starscream takes a step back to respond, Rodimus still has his hand on his shoulder, but Rod's arm in in a really awkward position.
- Galvatron's alternate toy design shows up in this episode, too. The most noticeable change is that the spires on his helmet are far shorter and stubbier than usual.
- "Head 'em up and move 'em out! Come on down to Cybertron!"--The second part is what the announcer always said (and still does) after selecting a new contestant on The Price is Right game show.
- "A day without scrap-metal is like a breakfast without sunshine!"--taken from the Florida Orange Juice Growers commercial that went, "A breakfast without orange juice is like a day without sunshine."
- "You can't please all of the people all of the time."--Attributed to either Abraham Lincoln or P. T. Barnum.
- "The best to you each morning, Octane!"--Kellogg's advertising slogan used for their breakfast cereals in the 1950's.
- He said it was a little heavy on the photons.
This Page Created 12/11/2002
Last Update: 1/1/2002
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