If you want to read my reviews for previous Transformers shows, click here
for the first archives or here
for the second archives.PREVIOUS SEASON ONE REVIEWS:1+2. Pilot 3. Trust Exercises 4. More than Meets the Eye 5. W.W.O.D6. As the Kospego Commands! 7. Collect 'Em All! As always, SPOILERS!
ROBOTS IN DISGUISE EPISODE 8: TRUE COLORS”Oh, I can definitely squish him…but then, I’m not a bad guy.”
(The closest thing to Clever Girl we're going to get.)
Grimlock being a Decepticon in a team of Autobots is an interesting angle that I stated
as A Thing that needed to be explored in future episodes. “True Colors” isn’t what I had in mind, but that’s before I realized Grimlock wasn’t going to be anything but a well-meaning goofball. Keep in mind this is not a bad thing whatsoever. Grimlock was the surprise character for me. I don’t care for The Big Guys; they just never did much for me. Yet Grimlock’s enthuasium for violence and eagerness to be a team player earned a spot in my cold, cold heart. He took it to such extreme levels, but it’s balanced with a level of silliness that makes him endearing. He is too simpleminded—too kindhearted—and comical to dedicate a story on the philosophical differences between Bots and Cons. “True Colors” instead roots itself into something far fitting for his character.
The episode is clever about Grimlock’s sudden transformation into an antagonist; he attacks and insults his team (often in that order) and escapes with Underbite in tow. For a bit, we’re to assume he truly did turncoat until Russell realizes he’s “talking to himself.” I like the individual cast’s reactions to this unexpected development. Naturally, Strongarm is quick to accuse Grimlock without taking anything in account, thinking he’d play them all for saps. Sideswipe remains Grimlock’s biggest supporter, showing a likable demonstration of loyalty and friendship he wouldn’t have cared for as much in the first episode. Out of the main five, Sideswipe has shown the most growth and the Rebel-Turned-Hero understands what it’s like to have fingers pointed in his direction, whether he was responsible or not. Appropriately, Bumblebee is the Middle Man; he refuses to jump the gun like Strongarm has, but exercises precaution in case Grimlock has
been yanking their chain the whole time. This leaves Smart Guy Fixit and Russell to figure out what’s really up with Grimlock: his body has been taken over by a miniature Con named - wait for it - Minitron.
I also love Fixit trying to confront the currently deranged Grimlock when past episodes had him cowering behind Russell. Aww, Fixit’s growing a spine.
I cannot begin to tell you the amazing
reactions Bee’s team gets when they discover Minitron. The critter sneaks up on all the bots and Bee is literally screaming bloody murder trying to get it off, careening into an awkward pile of tangled robot bodies as they try to pry the little jackass off. I wish I could snap a screenshot for you, but this is something that works better in motion. It’s hilarious.
If Grimlock doesn’t have the necessary brainpower to delve into a political rant about the unfair treatment of Decepticons, there is one guy who can: Steeljaw. I got to say, I like Steeljaw’s attitude to his underlings. He’s not above helping the possessed Grimlock carry Underbite (citing a leader as equal to his people) nor does he callously dismiss him for running away from the Autobots (“cowardly”, you ran away, too, Steeljaw!) A lot of his patience could be the charisma he carries and uses to keep the other Cons loyal and at bay, but Animated
Megatron’s savvy intellectual and suave sexiness. So far, Steeljaw is a class act and I’m glad they didn’t settle for a Punch-First, Scream-Second, Think-Later (not necessarily in that order) baddie.
This is the first time the Autobots confronted Steeljaw and his growing posse and I got to admit it’s not as heated or dramatic as it could have been. For a show as lighthearted as this, the eighth episode probably wouldn’t be fueled by intense life-or-death situations, but I really wished it had a little more, ya know?
This episode reveals Grimlock was locked in the Alchemor
for property damage. In the Grand List of Shit the Decepticons Did, “property damage” seems the least offensive. If we’re going to count the entirety of the Aligned Continuity somehow, then Grimlock was an Autobot in the past before this show slapped a Con label on him. If that’s the case, I find it telling he was jailed for cause of destruction (understandably justified), but did they brand him as a Con because of it? Remember, the war ended with the Autobots winning, who’s to say bias isn’t heavily in their favor? Imagine an Animated
-style xenophobic, classist government structure. You know, the very thing Megatron chided in the first place? This is why Steeljaw’s speech back in episode 3 feels so much more poignant even if he’s likely a manipulative Lying Liar who Lies. That’s my current theory anyway. OUT OF FIVE STARS
BONUS OBSERVATIONSTHAT’S A LOT OF HARMONICA PLAYING:
I wonder how long the miniature Con was trapped that he still thinks Optimus is alive? LITTLE GUY, BIG NAME:
Minitron might be an appropriate name for the tiny tick, but I love the “-tron” at the end; it’s like he deliberately decided to curb from Megatron’s naming scheme to make himself feel bigger than he actually is. Dream big, little guy, dream big. SPEAKING OF NAME DROPS:
Also gotta love Strongarm specifically cried out Solus Prime’s name. BEST LINES: ”The comm-system will either work or be caught in a fiery explosion! Heh, 50/50.”
I like those odds!
STUPID FANCOMICSDiscovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic):
Read the entire thing here. Placed there for archival purpose. Recently cancelled.
OTHER STUFFArchive / Archive 2
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