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:bulletblue: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.D
6. As the Kospego Commands!
7. Collect 'Em All!
8. True Colors
9. Rumble In the Jungle
10. Can You Dig It?
11. Adventures in Bumblebee-Sitting
12. Hunting Season
13. Out of Focus
14. Sideways
15. Even Robots Have Nightmares
16. Some Body, Any Body
17. One of Our Mini-Cons Is Missing
18. Deep Trouble
19. The Champ




For anyone reading the reviews, my apologies. I've been busy and will continue to be busy. My life is basically job, real life stuff, and webcomic. When I am not doing either of the first two, I am always knee-deep in the latter and it's always going to be first priority over these reviews. I also admit Robots in Disguise isn't doing it for me as much as it did at the start. I'm sadly losing interest (and honestly, I'm looking more forward to Rescue Bots' fourth season.) At the least I want to say I will try and wrap up the first season of RID and see what happens from there, but even I can't guarantee it. So, let me just work on what I got.

Mini-reviews of episodes 20 - 22. I haven't seen the Windblade one yet.


:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!



ROBOTS IN DISGUISE EPISODE 20. THE TROUBLE WITH FIXIT




Well.

Damn.

Now I know why Fixit was in charge of the Alchemor.

His first appearance didn’t sell anyone the idea that he’s capable of guarding an entire ship of Decepticons. For a while, we saw a stuttering, nerdy robot with vast, resources and an encyclopedic knowledge of the Cons Bee’s crew are capturing. He’s useful, but not in the way we’d expect him to. I especially love his growing friendship with Denny. They bonded so much that Fixit trusts Denny to fix him. Now if that ain’t a d’aww moment, I don’t know what is.

Fixit’s mysterious nature had a considerably decent built up that his reveal as a weapons-heavy death machine is unexpected and satisfyingly well-planned. And boy does the show go to town with it. The simple plot means the twenty-minute span of the episode drags it on a bit, but it delves deep into Fixit’s role. The Autobots noticeably choose not to tell him what he is, making me wonder - and hope - that it’ll be an issue brought up next time.

But the Optimus subplot is losing me. It's gotten to the point where it's less of an ongoing importance and just random sequences of Optimus popping in to deliver a cryptic warning without any new information or meaningful background. Aside from “Out of Focus”, there hasn't been anything to this specific B-story. Optimus' mission is suppose to indicate an upcoming danger, but I don't feel the sense of ominous and foreboding revelation this should have.
:star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS


ROBOTS IN DISGUISE EPISODE 21. LOCKOUT


Another good demonstration of Steeljaw's wiliness. Taking over the Bot's hideout is an effective means to get across the idea that he means business, even though it's frustrating that it took the whole twenty minutes for him to force Fixit into opening the rest of the pods and he failed that miserably! I know, status quo, but imagine if he had succeeded.

The ending is where it's at: Steeljaw meets up with an otherworldly robot with significant powers—so powerful he can lift up broken metal with his mind from the other side somehow—whom he teams up with in order to conquer Earth. Then stab him in the back after. Something tells me Steeljaw is biting off more than he can chew. I'd say we're finally getting somewhere in this series, but I feel like that phrase has lost all meaning. ...Aww hell, I'll try and maintain a positive attitude: FINALLY, we're getting somewhere.



I'm not keen on the Denny and Russell subplot though: when does Denny ever feel so despondent about his role as a “useless” human? He's shown plenty of resourcefulness and the confidence to pull if off. His issue seem far too late into the show to be a factor and it feels like a cheap obstacle to make Russell shine. I mean, Russell doing something is fine and all, but there are better ways of making the kid a badass.
:star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS


ROBOTS IN DISGUISE EPISODE 22. SIMILARLY DIFFERENT


A fantastic Grimlock episode. In spite of his punch-happy nature, Grimlock honestly strives to do good. He has a big moral center and wants more than anything to live up to it. He especially wants to please Bee (a pairing I am finding myself shipping more and more), but his aggressive Dinobot nature is challenged when he meets with a fellow Dinobot: Scowl.

Now Scowl is interesting: his psychotic lust for destruction and lack of concern for anyone puts a huge damper on Grimlock's philosophy. It's great to see the two clash heads—both literally and figuratively. I especially find it chilling that Scowl calls any of his victims “screamers.” It is legitimately one of the creepiest things in the show. Good episode, good character development.
:star::star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS

____________________________________________________________________________________________

:heart: STUPID FANCOMICS:heart:


Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. Placed there for archival purpose. Recently cancelled.

:heart: OTHER STUFF:heart:


Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like.
  • Listening to: NiGHTS Into Dreams
  • Reading: Various
  • Watching: Game Grumps
  • Playing: NiGHTS Into Dreams/Journey of Dreams
  • Eating: Chicken Wings
  • Drinking: Pepsi
Finally, I can launch this bad boy. Prince Marine: The Dandy Robot is an original webcomic I’ve been planning since 2012. It’s about a robot prince whose pristine, spoiled life takes a major turn for the worse when his kingdom goes kaput (among others.) Along with a human-ish person named Prima and his pet alligator, Iolite, Marine must save his kingdom and find out the deadly secrets that could affect him and the entire universe.

I’m launching it now with first three pages of Chapter One.

image


The website is here. You can read page one here.

I'll be updating every Tuesday and Thursday, so check back both here and the Dandy Robot website frequently! Thanks!
  • Listening to: Persona 4 OST
  • Reading: Persona 4 Official Design Works
  • Watching: Game Grumps
  • Playing: Life is Strange
  • Eating: Burgers
  • Drinking: Pepsi
:bulletblue: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.D
6. As the Kospego Commands!
7. Collect 'Em All!
8. True Colors
9. Rumble In the Jungle
10. Can You Dig It?
11. Adventures in Bumblebee-Sitting
12. Hunting Season
13. Out of Focus
14. Sideways
15. Even Robots Have Nightmares
16. Some Body, Any Body
17. One of Our Mini-Cons Is Missing


:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!



ROBOTS IN DISGUISE EPISODE 18. DEEP TROUBLE
(Not Featuring Singing Crabs and eccentric pirates.)




”We need you at your best; you're our muscle, we need you at your best.”

Both “Deep Trouble” and “The Champ” seem to be a Grimlock smorgasbord. A routine exercise in the first causes poor Grimlock to sustain an injury. He tries to shrug it off, but the pain matters less than what Bee's words do: he's the muscle of the team and they rely on that aspect of him.

"Deep Trouble” is a lovely deconstruction of Grimlock's role: he has no problems punching, smashing, and beating up whatever is in his path, but that one little injury really dampens his skills. Grimlock's straightforward mindset means he has to live up to Bumblebee's expectations and suck it up. This bites him in the ass, of course, but it gives the ol' lugnut depth. As much as he embraces who he is and his role, maintaining that level of pressure during a moment of vulnerability is stressful. The scene between Bee and a severely hurt Grimlock is definitely one of the show's poignant scenes. I...I kinda ship Bee/Grimlock. This is all the more better when the rest of the team pitches in at the end, telling Grimlock he doesn't have to do the heavy lifting every time; every so often, he can rely on them to be the muscle.



The only other thing of interest in “Deep Trouble” are the mountains of Fixit clones? Manufacturers? Brothers? All of them look automated and programmed to attack on command. Why there are so many Fixits in one ship is one question, the other is what IS Fixit? Strongarm doesn't seem surprised to see the literally 50 Fixits, implying this might be a thing that is common in Cybertron. Perhaps Fixit is just a series of identical robots tasked with various guarding functions of certain prisoners. However Strongarm also refuses to tell the team what she witnessed, too. Then again, that scene is treated with a lighthearted air that it may not matter in the long run. But even though it may not be stunning for the robots, it certainly IS for the audience. This adds yet another mystery to Fixit’s character and it definitely explains his nightmare in “Even Robots Have Nightmares.” Now we know why Fixit fears obsolesce; if he's merely one in a long line of many, why does it matter if one Fixit is dysfunctional? He can be replaced by another. There's more to this than we're getting and I hope we'll get a better insight into this part of his character.

Otherwise “Deep Trouble” is another standard RID episode.
:star::star::star: AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE STARS


BONUS OBSERVATIONS


TOILET HUMOR: Bee's latest rallying cry is accompanied by a distant toilet flush. Even inanimate objects know he stinks. Kudos to Will Friedle's exasperated reaction after. Lovely acting as always.

TWO TONS OF BEACH-Y FUN: I will forever be amused that of all the things I am willing to suspend my disbelief on about a show with transforming robots, seeing them swim underwater is something I can't wrap my head around. I mean, they weigh thousands of pounds and they can still somehow swim?

SPEEDY EYES: Sideswipe is the one who figures out the laser guns from the downed ship is aiming at a pattern. He mentions their training earlier, but I also like to believe his speediness means he was able to figure out an obstacle he'd be able to bypass easily.

DOOR LOCK: When the team enters the Decepticon ship, Grimlock actually places the broken door they slammed into back on the frames. Like the good person that he is. XD

THE KEY TO NIRVANA: Sideswipe and Drift's scene is a little piece of treasure on its own. What I really like is that in spite of Drift's possibly ineffiective meditation session, Sideswipe joins anyway even if it isn't his kind of a thing. I think it's a nice touch for the little punk. ;D

BEST LINE: ”You and I are gonna bring Octocpunch after we Octo-Punch HIM a little bit!”
The pun writes itself and it's glorious.







”"Grimlock's going for the gold, but can this handsome Dinobot actually handle that much weight? Yes, he can! The crowd goes wild!"

I can't go anywhere without thinking of Groundpounder as a big, mechanical Donkey Kong. I imagine the two of them would trash Mario's parties with boom boxes blazing.

“The Champ” is another Grimlock episode. As if to make up for that character deconstruction from the last episode, they revert Grimlock back to status quo when he tries to prove he’s all about the smashy-smashy. Well, it is Grimlock, so there is a certain simplicity to his personality, but the timing of the episode seems a bit of a step backwards after “Deep Trouble” established otherwise.

“The Champ” is a forgettable episode. It’s largely silly and has a heap of action for those who enjoy that sorta thing, but there’s not much in the way of a decent plot. I love the hardcore demolition derby girl though; good of the RID crew to put a woman in a sport otherwise seen as “masculine.” Clasher Casey certainly kicks a lot of ass. :D



The best thing about this episode is Fixit’s adorably hardcore appreciation for Cybertronian sports. He enthusiastically gushes over Groundpounder and Headlock until he finds out they really are cheaters, crushing his little spark. It’s a noticeable moment we fans can relate to: don't tell me you didn't feel a tinge of disappointment when someone you follow and admire turned out to be a cheat or an asshole or both. It also shows off yet another mysterious facet of him when he beats the living shit out of Headlock. Yeah, it's a robot his size, but Fixit hasn't demonstrated any physical combat skills in the vein of his bigger teammates, but here he is flipping Headlock over like he just don't care! For the longest time, we were lead to believe Fixit's small stature and geeky personality is a major contrast to his job as the Alchemor's guardian. After all, how does this small little orange bot keep an eye on a shipful of Decepticon prisoners? The more we see of Fixit, the better understanding I'm getting. He may be much more stronger than he initially seems. “The Trouble with Fixit” seems to delve into this, so we'll see.

Beyond Fixit’s role, “The Champ” is an uninteresting, mediocre episode that doesn’t set itself apart from the rest. Better luck next time.
:star::star: AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE STARS


BONUS OBSERVATIONS


MESS WITH THE MECH AND YOU GET THE HORNS: This might be unintentional since it's a catchphrase that's been in used to the general public, but the whole “you get the horns” thing was something Cliffjumper once spouted in Transformers Prime. Ahh, memories. Remember when Starscream killed Cliffjumper and that show proceeded to play that joke over and over and over?

BEST LINE:

STRONGARM: *unsure* Denny?
BUMBLEBEE: He's the closest thing to a responsible adult.

Eccentricities aside, even if it didn't boil down to choosing between him and Grimlock, I think Denny's already proven he's an adult.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

:heart: STUPID FANCOMICS:heart:


Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. Placed there for archival purpose. Recently cancelled.

:heart: OTHER STUFF:heart:


Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like.
  • Listening to: Persona 4 OST
  • Reading: Persona 4 Official Design Works
  • Watching: Game Grumps
  • Playing: Life is Strange
  • Eating: Burgers
  • Drinking: Pepsi
:bulletblue: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.D
6. As the Kospego Commands!
7. Collect 'Em All!
8. True Colors
9. Rumble In the Jungle
10. Can You Dig It?
11. Adventures in Bumblebee-Sitting
12. Hunting Season
13. Out of Focus
14. Sideways
15. Even Robots Have Nightmares
16. Some Body, Any Body

:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!



ROBOTS IN DISGUISE EPISODE 17. ONE OF OUR MINI-CONS IS MISSING
(Okay, never mind Episode 15, this is the best title in the show.)




"Communication is key to the master-pupil relationship."

Oh, so Drift is a new member? Gotta admit, didn't see that coming. I thought any potential Sixth Rangers would be on hold until season two. Hey, that’s cool, always good to shake up the status quo and this show especially needs it. If anything, I think I get why Drift is orange. I mean, Fixit is orange, too, but he's not an active fighter. Now we just need a purple Autobot to round out the Rainbow Brigade. Come on, Hasbro, make it happen.

RID's biggest strength is its characters. The cast exhibits a sensational level of chemistry and interaction. Drift's honorable and strict lifestyle could open interesting conflicts and interaction between him and his new teammates. How will a bot like him handle the off-the-handles Sideswipe? Will Drift respect the law-abiding Strongarm? And so forth and forth. This isn’t even accounting Drift’s desire to better himself.

Then there’s Jetstorm and Slipstream, two mini-con who are caught between strict obedience and a desire to stretch their legs. Behind Bumblebee, these two may be the closest I relate to. If we’re taking into account Drift’s stereotypical Strict Asian Teacher/Dad thing he’s got going, then they're in for a loooong wait. Do you know how long it took my parents (specifically my father) to loosen up? And even then, their Asian backgrounds and leanings is always going to clash with my American upbringing.

Baring that in mind, I’m pleased with Drift’s change of heart because it isn’t dramatically altered. Change takes time and he hasn’t fully left the kind of mindset he likely grew up with (imagine him during the war; he’d a deadly foe, but his honor means he’d likely had vast difficulties dealing with the gray morals behind the fight.) Drift wants to improve and his progression continues beautifully from “Hunting Season.”

However, I find it hard to believe Drift takes Russell’s reprimanding that seriously. Yeah, it’s a reaction from his own issues, but somehow the words of a ten-year-old boy is eating into Drift’s mind that oh my god I done screwed up and this boy is chewing me out shit I need to get my act together. I’d have been more convinced if the others bots at least joined in or Bee himself politely expressed his own concerns. Buuuut I guess it gives Russell something to do and he’s actually come a long way from the mopey little pissant that he was earlier. I like that he got this from Hank. I like Hank, we need to see more of her.



Not much to say on either Quillfire and Springload. Their incompetence means they get into a few hilarious pratfalls, but that’s about it. I just love the idea that these two knuckleheads stole a government tank that of course they’d somehow screw it up at the end; the script practically writes itself! But seriously, they kept the giant, missile-ladled (and of course, toy-centric looking) tank behind a fence? Not even an impenetrable wall? Really? God, no wonder Denny spun lies around your assess and he looks like Sergeant Pepper!



Yeah, he’s led a Hard Day’s Night HA HA HAAAAAAAA.

"One of Out Mini-Cons is Missing" is a good progression for Drift and his inclusion is an unexpected surprise. It's not a revelationary progress, but a new change regardless and that's a welcome thing for RID.
:star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS



BONUS OBSERVATIONS


THEY ALMOST CONSIDERED IT: There is a truly (and likely unintentionally) hilarious scene where Jetstorm and Slipstream are struggling to pull their unconscious master before he could end up as a robotic pizza from the tank, but it takes Grimlock's distraction before they suddenly gain the extra strength to easily drag Drift's not-corpse away. It's as if they were deliberately waiting till the last minute to save Drift.

BEST LINE: "Time to bring the zoom and lower the boom. .........Oh, never rhyme, never rhyme!"
This is going to be a low point in Bee's career, isn't it?


____________________________________________________________________________________________

:heart: STUPID FANCOMICS:heart:


Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. Placed there for archival purpose. Recently cancelled.

:heart: OTHER STUFF:heart:


Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like.
  • Listening to: Various
  • Reading: Various
  • Watching: Game Grumps
  • Playing: Persona 4
  • Eating: Ramen
  • Drinking: Pepsi
:bulletblue: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.D
6. As the Kospego Commands!
7. Collect 'Em All!
8. True Colors
9. Rumble In the Jungle
10. Can You Dig It?
11. Adventures in Bumblebee-Sitting
12. Hunting Season
13. Out of Focus
14. Sideways
15. Even Robots Have Nightmares


:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!





ROBOTS IN DISGUISE EPISODE 16: SOME BODY, ANY BODY
(Must...resist...urge...to...sing...from...annoying...band....Uuuuughhhhsssssssssomebody once told me the world is gonna owe me/I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed...)





"You're more than just moves, Sideswipe, and deep down, you know that."

In The Allspark Almanac (Volume II specifically), the creators of Transformers Animated shared a brief ancedote of an episode that almost never made it. Episode thirteen's "Headmaster" centered on a leet-speaking idiot nerd who hi-jacked Bulkhead's body by removing his head and replacing it with his Headmaster unit. Despite the crippling damage the robots have encountered (prior to "Headmaster", the bots have been scrapped across skyscrapers, had their internals exposed, chassis grotesquely melted off, blown up, nearly dissected, and all manners of violence that's a-okay with robots), this was considered too macabre for their young audience. Derrick's J. Wyatt’s humorous drawing of a protesting, bouncing bodyless Bulkhead (emphasis on the “head”) convinced them otherwise.

How far we've come.

Sideswipe is in for a rude awakening when the latest Decepticon hunt ends with him literally besides himself. Like Bulkhead before, Sideswipe's body has been, well, swiped. Now he's stuck in a Futurama head jar. This causes the poor guy to freak out not because his head's missing, but because he thinks his new immobility will be a burden to his teammates. As the one Bot who's always trying to prove himself to the team the most, this is another low for him, possibly the lowest (I mean, you can't get any worse than a stolen body.) That is, until he figures out no amount of chassis thievery can prevent him from guess-working what his own figure will pull next. This raises interesting implication. Logically, Vertebreak should technically be in control of his own actions, new body or not, but I don't think this is a plot hole. Cybertronian anatomy is vastly different from humans even if they share the same basic shapes. Me and a friend theorize that perhaps Cybertronians have a basic function. To connect it a bit further with Transformers Animated, perhaps Cybertron has specific body molds that each carries a standard basic unit and instruction built-in before given a spark for them to make it their own. Sideswipe' body might have been designed for speed and its general function was enough for him to figure out Vertebreak’s actions. Presumably we can attest Vertebreak was adjusting to Sideswipe’s body, hence working within the limits of its primary design. Of course, it's just a theory and I'm digressing a bit anyhow. Of course, it's just a theory and I'm digressing a bit.



My only real issue is how casual Sideswipe is taking this. As a robot, losing his body wouldn’t be a cause for alarm as it would simply be an annoyance, but the episode stapled a sense of urgency to it: Fixit states if Sideswipe doesn’t pull himself together (sorry, had to) in time, he will die. This is serious and while I don't expect RID2015 to delve into deep, nightmarish trauma, that little tidbit loses its impact when nobody reacts to the limited time frame they were given. Sideswipe especially should be panicking about this, but he's more irritated than anything.

At the least, Vertebreak is a better, less annoying villain than Headmaster (dude, you will always be the poor man's Control Freak to me.) His name makes sense less for his slithering species (since a lot of animals, ya know, have vertebrates) and more for his tendency to, well, break bots into pieces. He's not terribly frightening, but the episode suitably treats him as such.  The psychotic laughter adds to his madness, making him something of a kid-friendly version of MTMTE's Pharma.

"Some Body, Any Body" is a solid episode, but it doesn't really do much else. It's creepy when it needs to be, making it a lovely compliment to last episode's "Even Robots Have Nightmares."
:star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS




BONUS OBSERVATIONS


WITH BONUS SIZZLING SOUND EFFECT: I feel like I need to concoct a drinking game every time we stumble upon a mad scientist's lair and witness the following: creepy surgical tools, beakers and unknown colorful chemicals, and oh, electrical currents dangerously running amuck. Vertebreak gets the Boobie Prize.

IN THE FUTURE, SUBWAY CONDUCTORS ALL WEAR SUNGLASSES:  So unless the future has automated drivers for their subway system, did no one noticed several multicolored robots running right in front of them? Even if "W.W.O.D" established robotics have reached a point where Bee can convince the audience he's a manmade product, there should still be some questioning on a bunch of rogue robots on the loose where they shouldn't be!

BEST LINE:

BEE: Sideswipe, are you alright?
SIDESWIPE: Yeah, I'm gonna let that one go and say FIX ME!


Sideswipe has numerous good lines this episode, but his sarcasm especially hits it home here.

SIDESWIPE: Strongarm, you even worry slow.
GRIMLOCK: Ohhhhhhhh! Head-back-on-body buuuuuuuuun!

I feel like this specific comment is a very Grimlock thing to say. It's not just "You got burned", he had to add the "head-back-on-body" context to really give it that punch and we know Grimlock is all about the punch. ;)



(*NOTE: For the 12 or so people who read my reviews, I apologize that these episode recaps have been late. I know I’ve been reviewing and posting episode reviews a week after the latest ones air, but June has been an especially difficult month for me and I’m barely catching up in July. I have real life and a personal project that means more to me than this, so those are first priorities. I’ll do the best to catch up when things simmer down, whenever that may be.

Yeesh. now I'm glad Rescue Bots ended for the time; gives me space to breath.)


____________________________________________________________________________________________

:heart: STUPID FANCOMICS:heart:


Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. Placed there for archival purpose. Recently cancelled.

:heart: OTHER STUFF:heart:


Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like.
  • Listening to: Owl City
  • Reading: The Wisdom of Psychopaths
  • Watching: Steven Universe
  • Playing: Persona 4
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Pepsi
:bulletblue: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.D
6. As the Kospego Commands!
7. Collect 'Em All!
8. True Colors
9. Rumble In the Jungle
10. Can You Dig It?
11. Adventures in Bumblebee-Sitting
12. Hunting Season
13. Out of Focus
14. Sideways

:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!





ROBOTS IN DISGUISE EPISODE 15: EVEN ROBOTS HAVE NIGHTMARES
(Guest starring a bat bot that isn't an attorney or a whiny teenager.)






"We all have fears and we can help each other face them."

Fear. That pesky little emotion wiggling inside of your head when you feel threatened by something; I know all too well of its iron death grip and its impenetrable need to linger even beyond the point of acceptability. Suffering through Anxiety does that to a person, but being afraid of something (or somethings) is one of the fundamental elements of the human psych. Even robots can’t run from their fears in spite of their advanced forms.

Though the nightmares we see from Bee's crew are minimum, they are provocative and fitting for their characters. Bee's vision has him wallowing under Optimus' disapproval; he has failed to not only live up to his mantle as leader, but failed to protect those he loves and the world he tried to protect. It's not enough for him to be surrounded by burning buildings, Optimus, too is covered in flames. It's a visually tantalizing and genuinely terrifying vision. The fact that it looks so apocalyptic gives weight to Bee’s dilemma: his mission is something he takes seriously. To be fair, a rampaging Con could also do a shit ton of damage to Earth, so there’s that.

Strongarm is afraid the same police force she works for will arrest her because she pulled off something criminal to deserve it. Her vision is the most straightforward (and the shortest as a result), enabling a lot of her pushy, but well-meaning actions. Strongarm's motivation has generally been out in the open and though she doesn't possess as firm of a one-track mind that Chase does, her determination and goal has been on the straight and narrow path far more blatantly than the rest. One can't help but think if she doesn't keep trying hard, she'll falter. She takes on too much, but then so does Bee. It is his voice that she hears because he’s her superior and failing to leave up to his expectation is the worst thing in her life. After all, if she can’t impress her boss, what hope does she have to reach her dreams?



Sideswipe is an interesting one because it starts off goofy and insignificant. He's stuck in traffic lol. That is, until he's engulfed and nearly crushed Blurr-style from all corners; in a different context, it almost looks like the fourth wall itself is trapping him. This explains a lot about his motivation. It's no secret Sideswipe is a rebel because he likes it; he's trying to change for the better, but people like Strongarm is constantly reminding him of who he was. This episode reveals it goes further than that: the thought of being caged and losing his freedom isn't just something he can't stand the thought of, he is actively afraid of being locked up.

That just leaves Grimlock and Fixit. The first is silly and typical of the big lug, but the unsettling orange background actually enhances Grimlock's fears and if his nightmare isn't threatening to the average viewer, it at least convinced me that Grimlock does not mean business when it comes to that kitty.



Fixit's however is different from the rest of them because we've never seen this side of him before. While it's easy to nod at everyone else's fears, Fixit's is an entirely new perspective on his character. As the creepy trails of hands drags him to the dumpster, Fixit is forced to hear chants of his uselessness. He's worthless feelings brings up a lot about this robot we have never expericenced before. Suddenly him living in a junkyard brings up a lot of questions: does he ever feel comfortable there? Do the random discarded pieces ever conjure up further nightmares or insecurities? Importantly, what has caused Fixit to think this way about him? This makes his eagerness and his sarcasm a possible defense for his fears. Who is Fixit and will we ever get to the root of his problem?

A lot of these dreams wouldn't have worked if the entire episode wasn't haunting in its own way. Granted, it's hardly the scariest thing in existence and it's not going to give saaaay Transformers Prime's "Predatory" a run for its money in the spooky department, but it does well within the tone of the show. The use of color and visuals enhances it all the same and ultimately provides a bone-chilling (or at least bone-chilling enough) that this is a shoo-in for Halloween special. "Even Robots Have Nightmares" (possibly one of the best titles ever) is a nice, character-driven piece with enough of an atmosphere to let it stand out.
:star::star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS



BONUS OBSERVATIONS

I SWEAR TO GOD... That stray is the cutest damn kitty ever. Also, Russell, you probably shouldn't be giving milks to cats, apparently it's not good for them.



BOOS AND PERSONALITIES:  I'm always a fan of minor touches that indicate characters' personalities. The pranks the bots try to pull on Russell is filled to the brim with brilliance. Sideswipe attempts a past trick from a previous episode  by disusing himself (poorly) to scare the kid. Strongarm, however, almost managed her stunt, pulling something genuinely clever until Grimlock ruined it with his lovable simplicity (it's okay, Grimlock, if it were any other human, they'd be pissing their pants upon seeing a twenty foot axe murderer.) I also like that Strongarm isn't so far up her butt that even she denounces fun and games.

Another neat little incident is the signals the bots paint when in the caves. Strongarm's is simple: an arrow to indicate her position. Bee, too goes for the straightforward, except his design is sleeker than Strongarm's. Denny notes his as the initial "D" with a circle; a bit more garish than the other two, but simple enough to deduce. Sideswipe draws a face making a punkish expression because of course Sideswipe would.

Also, I think Denny discovered a dinosaur.

BEST LINES:

DENNY: *sigh* He's growing up so fast, I feel like I missed the "little kid" part of his life.
FIXIT: Just remember: scientifically, statisically, and genetically, he will always be your son.
DENNY: ...Thanks, Fixit.

Well, Fixit isn't wrong.



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Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

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:bulletblue: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.D
6. As the Kospego Commands!
7. Collect 'Em All!
8. True Colors
9. Rumble In the Jungle
10. Can You Dig It?
11. Adventures in Bumblebee-Sitting
12. Hunting Season
13. Out of Focus


:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!












"Clampdown realizes after all we've done for him, if he sided against us, I wouldn't rest until I made him eat his own claws."

Subverting her usual stance on rules, Strongarm's been leaving the base in secret during the dead of night for some reason. Unfortunately her favorite buddy, Sideswipe, caught her in the act. In an effort to keep up her creds and prove to her leader, Bee, she endures all the work he dumps on her. It's a classic blackmailing scenario, but what's important is Strongarm's little lapse in judgment. At least in her eyes. She knows what she's doing is against protocol and that it goes against everything she believes in, but it installs a lot of humanity and vulnerability in her, especially when said "vulnerability" is revealed to be a relaxing day at a car wash. 'Collect 'Em All!" had Strongarm dealing with a breakout of robot rashes from stress and overexposure to a foreign planet she's not used to. Mentally, a character like her probably overtaxes herself that she needed to find a way to adjust her needs. A car wash in privacy is probably the equivalent of me occasionally taking Yoga to reduce my anxiety (and back pain.) This is also comparable to Bee's method of relaxing: fighting Cons. He gets jumpy otherwise, though one can’t help but think he needs a better outlet. Hey, whatever works.

I also like the idea that Bee figured out Strongarm’s sneak out anyway, but instead of chastising her for it, he trusts her not to expose their secrets. This reveals that 1.) Bee is not an idiot 2.) Strongarm has worked hard that she officially has Bee’s trust that she won’t fuck shit up and 3.) Strongarm needs to be better at sneaking out. XD

In the Transformers Animated episode, "A Bridge Too Close, Part II", Megatron brands the Constructicons Mixmaster and Scrapper into his Decepticons legion after their services building an impromptu space bridge for his grand scheme. Instead of killing them or pushing them aside after they've done their part, Megatron sees value in keeping these two around and thus recruits them into his ranks. Megatron is pragmatic; he doesn't have any feelings or emotional ties for their well being. He cares for what they bring to the table; what they can contribute; and if must be, what sacrifices they can perform for the greater good of their clan. Animated Megatron treats his subordinates with a great amount of respect most villains in an all-age kids show would rarely afford: he never resorts to petty insults, he doesn't refer to them as his "minions" or "henchmen", but as loyal freedom fighters combating the Autobots due to their oppressed lifestyle. Sure, as long as you acknowledge Megatron as your superior (he doesn't necessarily see the rest of the Cons as equals which possibly adds a layer of hypocrisy and certainly an ego in him) and don't cross him, then you're good. All things considered, that's not a bad deal for an antagonistic foe. At worst, the most Megatron has ever done to his crew when they fail is an exasperated facepalm. Truly, the only one he ever roughed up and broke any of his cardinal rules for had always been directed to Starscream and we all know Starscream is a special snowflake case anyway.

All of these qualities fit Steeljaw to a tee or a near tee. He, too respects his comrades, never puts them down or insults them. "True Colors” reveals he’s quick to criticize, but just as likely to praise when Minitron didn’t off the Autobots, but did rescue Underbite. Of course Steeljaw also dropped the same bot as dead weight the moment he could, but that goes back to the same level of pragmatism Animated Megatron has: sacrifice once so the others can escape and live to rebel another day.

So far, the biggest difference between the two is how they present their ideals. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Megatron believes the Cons are oppressed. We don’t see it per say, but we can tell from the way the Autobot government acts: corrupt, biased, and xenophobic. More is underlined and detailed in the supplementary materials in The Allspark Almanac, but the leaders of Cybertron and its restrictive society (plus millions of years of war) gives plenty to doubt and more incentive to take Megatron at his words (and it’s a pretty bit incentive since their actions aren’t decent, no matter how desperate they are.) Steeljaw’s is a little iffy because we don’t know if his speech about Con oppression is true or a whole lotta bullshit he made to avoid prison time. He, as far as we know, didn’t have the whole war background nor do we have much details on Cybertron and its current government to know if what he feels is anyway justified. The closest evidence of a intolerable government is the council sending a bounty on Bee despite a previous episode establishing Jazz returning to Cybertron to placate them with Bee’s good intention. Since I don’t believe Jazz would sabotage Bee in anyway, this means the council likely didn’t believe or cared. Even then, this isn’t enough of a concrete evidence for or against Steeljaw.

Who is Steeljaw? Why did he act this way? Is what he is saying true or a mere facade? He's the most fascinating, mysterious character in the show that refusing to dwell into his background would be criminal. As much as I praise Animated (you’ll notice I compare a lot of TF shows to Animated a lot, but that’s because I haven’t watched Beast Wars in forever), they heavily dropped the balls with the Decepticons, refusing to dig into their specific stories and justification for their actions (even if a lot of their actions are downright malicious, if not obligatory for the purpose of giving them the standard antagonistic role on an all-age show; same applies to Steeljaw and his cronies.) Without understanding what makes their mind tick, we only have so much to take on Megatron and the Cons’ words. I hope Steeljaw won’t suffer the same fate, he is too interesting to be pushed off to the side.
:star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS




BONUS OBSERVATIONS


OH HAI MARK: When did Steeljaw pick up Fracture? Last time he appeared, dude just escaped before the Autobots could get to him. Sure, Steeljaw could have recruited Fracture prior to this episode, but all his recruitment before were shown on-screen, so this one sticks out a bit.

PARTING THAT RIVER: So anyone find it interesting Bee chose to turn his Decepticon Hunter into a staff? Anyone who's seen "Predacon Rising" (the Prime movie, that is) knows the Immbolizer was a thing Bee was semi-associated with since it, too was something of a stick-ish nature. There was a scene earlier in the movie where Bee upholds a rusty stick and uses it to bargain with Predaking. I once stated (something sarcastically) that it was a tool that symbolizes Bee's leadership. I wonder if there was an intent here?

BEST LINE:

FIXIT: A Decepticon alert!
BEE: *sigh* Thank Goodness, our dry spell is over.

Actually not the best line, but it made me think Bee gets off on Con searching.


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:bulletblue: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.D
6. As the Kospego Commands!
7. Collect 'Em All!
8. True Colors
9. Rumble In the Jungle
10. Can You Dig It?
11. Adventures in Bumblebee-Sitting
12. Hunting Season



:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!





ROBOTS IN DISGUISE EPISODE 13: OUT OF FOCUS
(Well, adjust the lens then!)






"The center of the storm is always still and it's easiest to find a solution there."

Robots in Disguise is a delightful show; its characters are fun and funny and their interactions are worth sitting down for. Story is what drives and motivates our characters to get places, but it's the cast themselves that are compelling. They each have problems of their own that we want them to work out. Whether it be Bumblebee's fears he'll never reach the level of leadership Optimus demonstrated to Sideswipe and Strongarm's contrasted arguments; each of them has something to bring to the table. In the long run, characters matter more to me than narrative. However, a good story is still a necessary component and without a good one to carry it through, all that is left are a bunch of characters assing around. This would probably work if the series was about a bunch of characters assing around, but Robots in Disguise built up three distinct plots from the start: the first is Bumblebee and friends locating the escaped Cons and bringing them to justice. The second is Steeljaw hoarding a Decepticon army to fight back against their "oppressors." And the third is Optimus going on a vision quest to train for a potentially big evil. They’re all set up beautifully, waiting to be explored. The problem is that two out of the three plots have yet to reach their full potential. Now that we’ve reached the halfway point of the show, the show is starting to get tedious.

The meat of the story so far centers on Bumblebee and the the Decepticon of the Week format, arguably the least interesting of the three central plots, but definitely understandable to start with. It’s simple and allows our characters to grow and get used to one another. It allows humorous antics for the target audience to gush over (and there are plenty of humorous antics), but the show hints something major is going to happen. If RID had been nothing but silly Con chases, that’s one thing, but the lack of exploration on Steeljaw’s supposed “victimization” and Optimus’ otherworldly quest is worrisome. I love Transformers Animated’s wackiness and I think RID carries many of the same tones, but Animated constantly reminded us of what the stakes will be by keeping Megatron as a secretive player behind his schemes. RID’s snail’s pace means it’s getting to a point where not even the character can save the humdrum.

"Out of Focus" is a breath of fresh air, but it squanders a lot of its potential. We finally get to see Optimus in the Realm of the Primes and it's a pretty place. I do love me some space nebula. :D He's put to the test: climb a giant...globe...thing without any distraction from the imaginary robots shooting at the imaginary people. A part of me appreciates the grand, wise Optimus struggling to figure out this trial because it gives him an interesting conflict. The other part of me cries “bullshit.” Micronus’ lessons seem arbitrarily in the grand scheme of things and even more so when it applies to Optimus. A lot of his lessons are advices Optimus - being a war-torn leader - likely already knew and dished out when he was alive. I find it hard to believe he would be this clueless. I think that's probably the biggest flaw of keeping Optimus around in RID; what can you teach a bot who has already learned so much?

The annoying part is that it does very little to move the overall plot. I mean it does to the extent that we see what Optimus has been up to and why he has to be trained for this, but if you're expecting any new and/or shocking revelations, there’s none. The Thirteen Primes is one of the most titillating aspects of Transformers lore (though I admit heavy bias because it's got that whole Greek Gods thing going minus the incest) and Micronus' reveal is all sorts of cool, but that’s really all there is to it. Optimus’ subplot drags on and it’s largely a vehicle (pun kinda intended) to compare his role with Bumblebee’s.

In this case: how to channel your focus. Bee's going through another crisis of faith about his leadership, but this time he has no doubts about himself; he’s trying to find another method to improve his talents. Struggling to take deep breathes underneath all that stress is another “I can sooo relate to Bee” moment I have piled in my closet. And his next mission gives the meaning, “leading the blind” a whole new meaning. Grimlock, Sideswipe, and Strongarm are briefly impaired visually from Skunkticon sprays, forcing Bee to put in extra effort than usual. As thrilling as this sounds, the episode doesn’t take advantage of it near as much as I wished.  I kind of think they could have cut down some of the action scenes to squeeze in a little centering around this obstacle.

"Out of Focus" is the first in a long time to push the greater plot and though it's not quite what I expected, it's better than nothing. Here's hoping the show picks up the slack in the second half of season one.
:star::star::star: AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE STAR




BONUS OBSERVATIONS


YOU LOOK FAMILIAR: For a split second, I almost mistook Micronus to be Ratchet due to the similar head structure. I was going to think Optimus would receive numerous hallucinations from his old comrades during his journey.

BEST LINE:

BEE: Okay, team, let's hit the trails!
SIDESWIPE: Cuz' Bee wants to bail.
BEE: Hey! ...I do the rallying cries.

It's the principle of the matter, Sideswipe!

WORST LINE: "Check out the tough bot, ready for anything, but are you ready for anything, Optimus Prime?"

I don't know, Micronus, do you like repeating words?



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Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

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  • Listening to: Dreams - Timecop 1986
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  • Watching: Pushing Daisies
  • Playing: Life is Strange
  • Eating: Rice and fish
  • Drinking: Pepsi
:bulletblue: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 THREE REVIEWS

53. Land Before Prime
54. Big Game

55. Too Many Kades
56. Phantom of the Sea
57. Unfinished Business
58. No Place Like Dome
59. Bugs in the System
60. Switcheroo
61. Bot-Tastic Voyage
62. Quarry's Quarry
63. Did You See What I Thaw
64. The Attack of Humungado
65. All Bots Great and Small
66. Time After Time
67. Pirates Ahoy
68. Turning the Tide
69. The Last of Morocco
70. The New Recruits
71. Rescue Bots Academy
72. A New Hero
73. Four-Legged Hero
74. Endangered Species
75. More Than Meets the Eye
76. I Have Heard the Robots Singing


:bulletred:SPOILERS DOWN BELOW!



RESCUE BOTS EPISODE 77/78: NOW AND THEN/TODAY AND FOREVER
(And now for most dramatic Rescue Bots titles ever...)




"Being a Rescue Bot means serving, saving, and protecting those in need."
"That's the "what", but your family gave us the reason "why."


There was a bit of grievous worrying on how season three’s finale. Season two’s finale started off strong with the amnesia-stricken Autobots vs. the Burns family, but a lack of emotional residue and the ending cop out meant it concluded with a pale whimper. Even more so now that Morocco is officially out of the picture for this ride. He’s always been key for each finale and though he kinda sorta has a teeny-tiny mark on today’s plot, season three’s endgame is the odd man out. Obviously, it’s hard to top the season one finale, what with its hellish Morocco-dominated Griffin Rock and it’s likely never going to happen again due to its it darker-presence-than-anyone-expected-for-a-show-aimed-for-very-young-children. So with all that in doubt, how do you make a competent, amazing finale?

Go epic and make it count and boy, do they make it count.

"Now and Then" and "Today and Forever" feel more like a series finale; I wondered if season four was even a factor during writers’ meeting that forced the crew to potentially throw caution to the wind and give it the awesome conclusion it deserves. Like season two, the entirely of Griffin Rock is in turmoil when the entire island is literally teleported to the Arctics.  I won't go into details, but it ends with Griffin Rock pulling a Sonic and floating flying back to Maine via the power of science. And alien blood. It's exactly as ridiculous and amazing as it sounds. Rescue Bots' stories have always dwell into that bizarre 1960s Silver Age comic of pure, undulated nonsense. Whatever makes for a good story makes for a good story, realistic logic be damned. This is why it's so easy to convince me that yes, in the Aligned Continuity, Rescue Bots has the means to lift up and secure an entire island back to its original location without any ramification on the Earth, the people living there, and the environment as a whole. Also, I feel like naming a rock "Reactaline" is just designed to backfire to begin with, so way to go, Doc.



Just about every character is involved or shown in some way or another to add to that "final" feel. The civilians, previously nothing more than screaming lemmings, pitch in and contribute to keep the island moving when power is running out to keep it literally afloat. This isn't just the Burns and the Bots' home, it's theirs’ as well. Woodrow gains sufficient character development when his leadership and rescue know-how comes forth in the absence of the Burns family. Even the people of the past plays a significant part when Elma Hendrickson stashes an important crystal to keep it away from Morocco knowing he'd abuse its potential (hence why I said he had a tiny involvement; gotta keep tradition of Morocco being the final season villain!) Oh, Hendrikson, to have faith in the future scientists of Griffin Rock; that's adorable. Despite Charlie's speech about failing tech, it doesn't denounce what the show always strives for: the balance between science and nature, the latter representative by mankind in this case. After all, it is man who makes tech and it is their abilities that rebuilds and reactivates it in their time of need. Not to mention it is the robots whose last minute struggles ultimately powered through at the end.

The catch this time is that the Rescue Bots’ latest act might be their last. They literally drain their own blood to power the island, nearly dying in the process. We know they're not going to die, but the emotional capacity is real. We've seen them risk life and limb every episode that to have them almost perish for good is a possibility that tugs the ol' heartstring. I'm glad they went there, even if everything turned honky-dory (and why wouldn't we want a happy ending?) In spite of my complaints on the status quo, death is a fate I wouldn't wish on these guys!

But the season doesn’t end in status quo. I wasn’t fond of Blurr and Salvage being stationed elsewhere and I find it especially pointless when they frequently make guest appearances afterwards. However, the finale offers a consolation prize that's just as titillating: Doc and Baranova's engagement! Okay, just kidding, but they do hitch and in spite of their limited interaction, what little we did see progressed their romance enough that I can buy their future nuptials. Though it probably helps that they only showed romantic interest in each other. Also, it's hard to say "no" when your boyfriend risks his life to get a diamond deep underground. That's the power of love, yo.



No, the real kicker is that after three seasons and 77 episodes later, the Rescue Bots can finally- reveal their true identities to the Griffin Rock citizens. I had no clue they would ever consider this option. After all, this show is part of a greater universe where if Robots in Disguise is any indicator, alien robots are still a secret thing in the future. However, Rescue Bots have always been in its own little world, er, island. That's why it takes place in an area surrounded by ocean and why it makes even more sense to keep said identity within the boundaries of the island. Besides, you gotta approach this kind of thing with kid gloves; if popular movies have taught us anything, mob mentality is a powerfully awful thing in the face of aliens.

Season Three has been kind of a gimmicky year. I know this is strange to say for a show designed to sell toys, so gimmick is kind of thing you have to expect, but compare to the previous seasons, we've had more doodads and new characters than the show could juggle: dino bot modes, new robots, a doggy toolbox, etc. It's more than I expected the show to handle and half of it sadly doesn't work because they tend to be limited in use or cast aside for no good reason.

But revealing the Rescue Bots' greatest secret brings up a bushel of new story potentials and interaction. This has the makings to be something great and I eagerly await the results. Come on, Heatwave vs. Mrs. Needlelander would be the most amazing thing ever. Come on. Come on.
:star::star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS





BONUS OBSERVATIONS



"WAS IT GOOD FOR YOU AS IT WAS FOR ME?"



Poor Hendrickson, that is the face of a woman who made the poor choice to bunk Morocco the night before. They just made a scientific discovery! It was exciting and fun! They just wanted to celebrate a little with wine, who'd have thunk the both of them would end up gabbing about their life's problem. Oh, her mother was always emotionally distant and daddy was absent. His best friend left him and wrote some book called 20,000 Leagues Under the Earth or...or...Around the World in Moon Days? No, wait, it was From the Earth to the...the... um...it was something! He's drunk, man, he can't remember off the top of his head! Besides, he's too sad. He never knew his parents; he was stuck in an orphanage and forced to work when he was only five. All the kids beat him up and the adults forced labor on him, paying him in measly quantities and gin. But he earned that hay-penny when he was eight and damn it all, it made him the man he is today. Once Henrickson drunkenly asked what the living shit he is talking about, Doc shrugs and said he's so plastered. Then he burst into laughter and everything that happened was...well, it was awkward, but I guess it was magical.

PRECIOUS MEMORIES WITH TIME CAPSULES: I feel it's my duty to now show you this clip of dumbass citizens of Pawnee as they argue over, among other things, what to put in the time capsule. Because these episodes made me think about that and Parks and Recreation is amazing.

SLEEPING ON THE JOB:



What the living flippity-flop, Woodrow!? You're sleeping in a boat in the middle of a storm!? You're either the dumbest person alive or have balls the size of Texas.

Oh my GOD, his ship's name is S.S. Close Encounter. This guy is just brushing death off like Teddy Roosevelt did on a daily basis.

Also, how did I not notice High Tide has flipper-like feet? That's ingenious!

TWIDDLING THEIR THUMBS ELSEWHERE: The unnamed robots last seen in the musical are nowhere to be found in these episodes. Presumably they're stuck back on base cleaning up Blurr's track marks.

LOVE IN SMALL DOSES, ER, LICKS: Mayor Luskey is upset at losing all his material goods, but his wife cheers him up with Poopsie. It is legitimately a cute, loving scene between the two.

REFERENCE TO A MOVIE FROM THE BIG MOUSE WHOSE NAME THAT CAN'T BE SAID OUT OF FEAR OF A LAWSUIT: Blades reference's Pixar's UP, one of Pixar's "meh"er films which I think says a lot given their usually high quality. All anyone remembers of UP is the first five minutes, which makes me wonder if Blades was tearing up lubricants during.

BREAK UP BATTER: When Charlie is making his grand speech, we see Kade and Graham's respective girlfriends, but now Dani's. For that matter, we don't see Carin either. Most likely they couldn't fit all the characters in the scene, but I imagine Dani having a bad break up with her boy. XD

MUMMFIED MOLD: There's a bushel of neat continuity moments in the new time capsule, including Cody and Frankie's medallion (aww, I guess they won't be able to find each other if one of them goes missing and/or has amnesia), but should they really have added that bread?



In seventy-five years, that thing is going to be moldy and gross as hell. Did Doc invent some kind of coating to keep it fresh? ...Actually, that's not within the realm of impossibility. I was honestly hoping the episode would have ended with like, I don't know, Morocco in the future discovering the time capsule.

CONFIRMED LINE-UP? FINAL DESTINATION? BLURR ONLY? I noticed Woodrow goes with the Burns when the Rescue Bots decide to reveal themselves to the public, so is this hinting of a future line-up? Cody gets Blurr while Woody ends up with Salvage? Interesting possibilities. Cody's mild-mannered personality clashes with Blurr's bluntness and impatience, so that alone holds good possibilities for fun interaction. As for Woody and Salvage? The latter is calm and kind, but his emotions get the best of him. Woodrow is excited and determined, but he also tends to go overboard when excited. Hmmm...

BEST LINE: "A question about the exchange of marriage rings: are they perhaps symbolic of handcuffs designed to prevent your spouse from escaping?"

Geez, Chase, you're the life of a party.



That’s it for season three! See you in the fourth season! Until then, I’ll be continuing my reviews for Robots in Disguise (the 2015 version.) Thanks for reading!
____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

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My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like.
  • Listening to: Dreams - Timecop 1986
  • Reading: Assassination Classroom
  • Watching: Pushing Daisies
  • Playing: Splatoon
  • Eating: Chips and Dips
  • Drinking: Pepsi
:bulletblue: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.D
6. As the Kospego Commands!
7. Collect 'Em All!
8. True Colors
9. Rumble In the Jungle
10. Can You Dig It?
11. Adventures in Bumblebee-Sitting

:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!




ROBOTS IN DISGUISE EPISODE 12: HUNTING SEASONS
(A Hunting we will go/A hunting we will go/
HI-Ho the dairy-o/A Hunting we will go)







"I saw how Bumblebee was willing to fight for all of you. I would never believe one so honorable could be a criminal."

(Late review. My bad, I had a busy week.)

Okay, I really like Denny. As I've stated waaaaay back in my review of the first two episodes, I instantly dismissed the guy because he embodied the traits of the paternal manchild. And as have been stated a million times, I hate that stereotype. But Denny has shown he's not only a lovable goof (an endearing quality in itself), but a lovable goof who has his head on straight. He's excited at the prospect of housing alien robots. He enthusiastically joins in on their missions, often in cheesy disguises because that's just the kind of man he is, and yet none of this deters the fact that he's an adult. The writers known he’s over 30, so he often has to deal with situations and responsibilities relegated to his age and position. That means he’s old enough to know when is enough that he can back away and let the robots handle the real dangerous shit. It also means Russell is his number one priority.

"Hunting Season" has Denny making the appropriately smart decision to leave Russell out of harm's way by banning him from future missions. We know that's not going to stick because he's the target audience, but it's good to see a father who isn't petulant, lazy, and terrible at his parenting. More of this, please.



Ahhh, Drift. Drift, Drift, Drift. Yeah, I don't really care about Drift. I wasn't there when he first graced his ninja butt in the earlier IDW comics, so the whole Creator's Pet shilling and the fandom drama that ensued is something that I never experienced. This all seems a thing of the past anyway and the current Drift as written by James Roberts looks to be a fan favorite (but then, who isn’t in that comic?) As exaggerated it can get, I do get a kick out of his blatant fundamentalism versus Ratchet's Atheist backgrounds because it creates an interesting (read: hilarious) conflict and makes me ship them more. ...Shut up, they totally respect each other much more than Ratchet is willing to admit. Now the Bayverse Drift is someone I oddly ended up liking. He looks and acts stereotypical, but given what Bayverse Transformers have done prior, he ended up far less racist than I thought he would. For reasons that I cannot fathom, I ended up liking him a lot; so much I almost would have bought his toy except I could never find the specific one that I wanted. Ahh well.

RID Drift looks like the love child of his movie verse counterpart and Animated Wreck-Gar. Lord knows why they gave him such a garish orange color though. Apparently Jazz's message wasn't enough to sway the Council since he's out for Bee's head as per request from the high ups. Who's surprised at this? Really. Really. Once Bee helps him out, Drift, being the honorable guy that he is, decides to pay a life debt by sticking to his side until Fracture's captured. So he basically designates himself as Bumblebee's mom. "Stay in the garbage dump for protection." "Stick close to me to survive." "Eat your Energon peas." "Go to bed before 10." "Did you finish your paperwork in time, Bumblebee?"

I can't say I endeared myself to this Drift either. He has a solid story even if I wasn't too compelled by it: Drift is honorable and makes good on his promises. He's disciplined and seasoned, but also strict and unforgiving; a perfectionist so to speak. He’s easy to criticize, but isn’t arrogant about it; he has high expectations. Drift doesn’t dismiss his pupils and from the way Slipstream (or was it Jetstorm) gushes about him compare to his previous life, Drift is good enough to help those in need if it means guiding them to an honorable path. Still, a little faint praise isn’t so bad here and there. Bee already has this balance; one where he can lead, but has enough of a young mindset to relate to his chargins.



Fracture has a powerfully sexy design, but little else. I think I’m interested in what he is than who. Despite being of Con allegiance, he’s also after Bumblebee. Me thinks the council doesn’t care what side you’re allied with; a bounty is a bounty is a bounty hunter. I like bounty hunters, they offer the rare cases of total neutrality and in a franchise built on two warring factions, hearing their stories is just as interesting. I’m not sure if RID has plans to do that with either Fracture or Drift. The latter certainly doesn’t deter to the councils, so maybe? Otherwise, I have little attachment to the guy. Sorry, Fracture, but there’s only one robot bounty hunter in my heart:



Fracture, you're not even a fraction of the level of creepy and badass this guy is.
:star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS



BONUS OBSERVATIONS



"INSPECTOR NIGEL NIGEL": The only way that name could get anymore British is if they replace "Inspector" with "Sir" or "King."

IN DEFENSE OF STRONGARM: When Drift insults the entire team, Sideswipe steps in and actively defends Strongarm. A very cute moment. :)

OH, SPEAKING OF SIDESWIPE: I just realized something. I think there’s an inherent brilliance in giving Sideswipe a sword. Having been rebellious for who knows how long and possessing the tendency to show off, giving him a weapon that most teenage boys would find "cool" makes an awful lot of sense. Who can bet Sideswipe bought a sword thinking it'd make him this awesome warrior dude without ever realizing the consequences of wielding one. Now obviously he knows how to use it, but being on Bee's team mean he has the opportunity to truly earn that weapon.

SACRIFICE MY BUTT! Bumblebee refuses to trade his own life to save his kidnapped friends. This sounds callous, but Bee reasons that Fracture won't let them go regardless knowing he's "the bad guy." I find this refreshing. So many heroes do the whole "Fine, I'll come with you if you let my friends" go routine. True, it's the noble thing to do, but none of them seems to even remotely consider the possibility that this immoral jackass would kill his or her friends anyway. Good to see Bee subvert it.

BEST LINE:

SIDESWIPE: Maybe it needs more fuel.
DENNY: Hey! Do I tell you to do...whatever you do?
SIDESWIPE: Nope, that's Strongarm's job.

BAM.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

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  • Listening to: Ghost - Mystery Skulls
  • Reading: Assassination Classroom
  • Watching: Various
  • Playing: Splatoon
  • Eating: Omurice
  • Drinking: Pepsi
:bulletblue: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 THREE REVIEWS

53. Land Before Prime
54. Big Game

55. Too Many Kades
56. Phantom of the Sea
57. Unfinished Business
58. No Place Like Dome
59. Bugs in the System
60. Switcheroo
61. Bot-Tastic Voyage
62. Quarry's Quarry
63. Did You See What I Thaw
64. The Attack of Humungado
65. All Bots Great and Small
66. Time After Time
67. Pirates Ahoy
68. Turning the Tide
69. The Last of Morocco
70. The New Recruits
71. Rescue Bots Academy
72. A New Hero
73. Four-Legged Hero
74. Endangered Species
75. More Than Meets the Eye


:bulletred:SPOILERS DOWN BELOW!



RESCUE BOTS EPISODE 76. I HAVE HEARD THE ROBOTS SINGING
(Do you hear the robots sing, singing a song of angry Heatwaves)




"There's nothing stronger than land or sea
Than ties that bond a family"


Was it only five years ago
that I became a Transformers fantastico
Deluxe, Warrior class, masterpiece, and generation
KREONS, Beast Wars, Animated, MTMTE, the whole robot nation

Between that half a decade gap
I had a strange desire Hasbro needed to sap
What about a musical where the robots sang and danced?
I didn't think it'd happen, it's just not the kind Hasbro would fianced.

Then lo and behold I heard the news
Of a Rescue Bot musical caused by Doc's kaoroke ruse
They'll be singing and prancing like I'd always dreamed
Months of anticipation rose as I sat with a gleam

But though it's whimsical and lighthearted as can be
"I Heard the Robots Singing" has problems, you see
It dipped and dived and swerved and swished
But it's everything I still could have wished



Ohhhh, the Rescue Bots musical may be somewhat flawed
The pitch doesn't reach and the pacing is odd
But it's clear
There was love, sweat, and tears

Because that's Rescue Bots in a nutshell!


Sadly to say the actors aren't professional singers
I can excuse those who purposely refuse to be autotuned stringers
For example, Heatwave mostly talks through the score
Because it makes sense for him to be an angry, grumpy bore

The rest of the cast only meagerly delivers
Presumably Hasbro couldn't hire any imitators
What with 8 - 12 people at any given time
There's only so much budget Hasbro probably had the dime

Maybe I'm not one to talk
I sound like a deranged parrot squawk
But I would have love this episode more
If the choral hit the singing floor

Priscilla is an appropriate baddie, stealing Doc's machine to cheat
Once humbled, she's not so bad and anyhow, Frankie's got her beat
But who's she living with? A deadbeat dad, her kooky aunt, a dumpster in an alley?
I ask cuz' her mom exit stage left in the season  two finale



Ohhhh, the Rescue Bots musical may be somewhat flawed
The pitch doesn't reach and the pacing is odd
But it's clear
There was love, sweat, and tears

Because that's Rescue Bots in a nutshell!


The plot takes time to catch up
The first half is a relentless exposition cup
Blurr's relieved he's outta that strange island lot
Holy Crap, are those other robots in that shot?!



But that isn't say all its points were low
Chase's meticulous rule book solo was hilarious, yo
Boulder's cue has lovely impressionist art
And I had a goofy smile during Blade and Dani's part



But the best of them all is the lovely Diamond White
She's got that magical light
Cuz' damn that girl can sing, standing ovation galore!
And it ends with a heartwarming credit that made my heart soar

Ohhhh, the Rescue Bots musical may be somewhat flawed
The pitch doesn't reach and the pacing is odd
But it's clear
There was love, sweat, and tears

Because that's Rescue Bots in a nutshell!


Though it has its flaws, I asked and received
ATransformers musical; its goal it did achieved
Sure, the songs aren't too memorable and the lyrics cheesy
But I've seen far worse that's made me uneasy

I hope we have more of that robot singing vignette
My kingdom for a Megatron/Starscream duet!
Now that this crappy rhyming is at an end
Blades, take it away, my friend!



Shave and a haircut...two biiiits!

:star::star::star::star: OUT Of FIVE STARS



BONUS OBSERVATIONS



SWEET, A village people reunion
Right here in Griffin Rock communion!



BEST LINE LYRICS:

DANI: "Right side Kade, you can serenade Haley, girls just love a man who sings."
KADE: "Good one, Dani, you get funny daily."

Well Kade, you have an excuse!
Also, apparently it's illegal to hunt moose



____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. Placed there for archival purpose. Recently cancelled.

:heart: OTHER STUFF:heart:


Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like.</font>
  • Listening to: Ghost - Mystery Skulls
  • Reading: The Anime Encyclopedia: 3rd Edition
  • Watching: Various
  • Playing: Splatoon
  • Eating: Chicken
  • Drinking: Pepsi
:bulletblue: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 THREE REVIEWS

53. Land Before Prime
54. Big Game

55. Too Many Kades
56. Phantom of the Sea
57. Unfinished Business
58. No Place Like Dome
59. Bugs in the System
60. Switcheroo
61. Bot-Tastic Voyage
62. Quarry's Quarry
63. Did You See What I Thaw
64. The Attack of Humungado
65. All Bots Great and Small
66. Time After Time
67. Pirates Ahoy
68. Turning the Tide
69. The Last of Morocco
70. The New Recruits
71. Rescue Bots Academy
72. A New Hero
73. Four-Legged Hero
74. Endangered Species

:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!




RESCUE BOTS EPISODE 75: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE
(Yet another title with this catchphrase)




"Magic is science dressed up and science no more than magic explained."

The topic of science vs. magic and/or religion has always been a hot button issue. TV shows seem to take it to its simplest conclusion and situate a student of science versus someone who believes in the unexplained as bitter rivals unable to see each others' thought process. I've always felt this was the wrong way to handle that kind of debate; the scientific character will spend their time arguing any believers outside of proven facts as ignorantly dummies while people who Believe tends to fall into a misguided and often naive trapping that is their own undoing. Either way, both of them come off intolerant and thus, unsympathetic and in the wrong hands, makes for a poor story.

"More than Meets the Eye" shoves that kind of narrative into a blender. Doc Green and his magician sister Maura (the Magnificent) have an instant rapport with each other, helping each other out wih their own brand of talent. This is what I want to see more of: people with vastly different viewpoints who gets along with no further complication. Doc and Maura are supportive of each other and open-minded to their lifestyle. When Frankie considers the possibility of being a magician herself, Doc doesn't chastise his child, but vows to support her no matter what she'll choose. That little scene is a beautiful lesson on acceptance. I'm glad Rescue Bots never attempted to pit the siblings against each other; in fact, "MTMTE" reinforces what the show has always been about: balance.

Speaking of balance, poor Chase can't keep his. A broken leg and a stubborn refusal to rest means the cop bot is relegated to monitoring. And it's borderline creepy! This bot can spy just about anywhere. It's not the most compelling Chase story, but it presents an appropriate dilemma for him. What is a cop who lives and breathes (the latter not literal) the code do when he can't enforce? He gives it his all anyway, however ill-attempted. Chase's literal grasp of anything and his inability to fully understand humans means he's  at a disadvantage, so he has to work around it. He does, because if Chase is anything, he is meticulous and dedicated. Waaaaay back in episode sixteen's "Rules and Regulation", we got an open glimpse into Chase's mind and how little he thinks outside the box. It's not that he can't, it's that he chooses not to because it goes against his core beliefs. But when push comes to shove, he works around it without compromising his rules. Chase figures out Evan and Myles' scheme without ever leaving the station.

I just love how Evan and Myles spent what I presume to be a decent amount of time with Maura just to steal her stuff. They're dedicated, I'll say. Though I wonder if the magic tricks they learned will stick because in the wrong hands, they could pull some sneaky maneuvers the next time they attempt a robbery.

Gotta love Frankie’s involvement, too. She takes this spy stuff like it’s the most badass thing she’s done and this is practically child’s play for her. Might I remind everyone she was once a superhero?

While "More then Meets the Eye" isn't groundbreaking, it's exceptional take on the the science vs. magic debate is novel and something I wish more TV shows did instead of using the opposites for cheap conflicts.
:star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS




BONUS OBSERVATIONS


A GOOD FLIGHT KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY: Blades is the one examining Chase's legs. It's never indicated if any of the Bots have first aid practice, but I'm going to assume they do given their line of work. But Blades has on routine been associated with it more than the rest, so this is a nice continuity touch.

ONLY IN GRIFFIN ROCK MOTELS... will they let a customer bring in their fully grown tiger.

RUDE TRANSFORMATION: Nice little animation touch: Kade leans against Heatwave until he transform. Kade nearly falls after. Heatwave doesn't care. ;D

BEST LINE:

KADE: Yeah, it's magic, kind of like my hair.
DANI: Yeah, tragic.

Kade needs to get hosed by Heatwave for that sick buuuuuuuuuuurn!


____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. Placed there for archival purpose. Recently cancelled.

:heart: OTHER STUFF:heart:


Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like.
  • Listening to: Various
  • Reading: The Anime Encyclopedia: 3rd Edition
  • Watching: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • Playing: Splatoon
  • Eating: Noodles
  • Drinking: Pepsi
:bulletblue: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.D
6. As the Kospego Commands!
7. Collect 'Em All!
8. True Colors
9. Rumble In the Jungle
10. Can You Dig It?


:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!




ROBOTS IN DISGUISE EPISODE 11: ADVENTURES IN BUMBLEBEE-SITTING
(Animated Bumblebee, what are you doing in this episode?)





”Young Bee is an evil genius!”

My birthday is drawing near (as of this writing) and aside from reflecting on my feeble, mortal soul, it also reminds me I’m no spring chicken. I’m not the only fan who writes episode reviews of their favorite television series. I’m not the only one who overlaps symbolic meanings behind Grimlock’s personality with say, a banana he’s holding or something. Sometimes I get super critical over certain plot points and weird character directions. I reassure anyone I do this out of love, but I often grapple with numerous doubt terrorizing my mind on how much of this is just pure fan enthusiasm and how much of it is “Old Woman Yelling at Clouds?”



I do my best to remind myself that Robots in Disguise and Rescue Bots are all-age shows. It is and should always, always be targeted to children first. No exception. Anyone who says otherwise is entitled. But I ask myself, “How long can I keep these reviews going before it stops looking amusing" and especially “This woman is almost thirty and she is writing episode reviews of a kid’s cartoon and isn't that sad and weird?” Never mind that I think the best kid’s cartoons are the ones that appeals to a wide age range; one where it targets children first, but has broad subjects and materials for adults. Never mind that animation is primarily made by adults, I still wonder with every review I write if I was being too harsh or if I should have said This instead of saying That or “Dude, of course this makes sense, kids will love and understand it!” I look back at my old Transformers Prime reviews and I want to cringe because as much as I agree on what I said, I wish I could have phrased them better so they don’t come off vitriolic and/or petty. Luckily, the whole aging thing means you grow up from your mistakes and learn to be a better amateur-critic.

Nowadays, I consciously try to rationalize why I feel this way over a certain direction on the plot, try and never take potshots at the people working behind the show or the people who enjoy a certain episode/show (because doing so is RUDE), and always inject a level of humor to ensure no matter how analytic I can get over a TV show, it’s still just a TV show. Needless to say, I try and be as reasonable as I humanly can.

If you managed to sit through my sadsack anecdote and currently  wondering what the point of all this is, well, it’s partially a reflection (and let’s face it, reassurance) of myself and partially because Bumblebee is a super relatable character. I’ve mentioned before that Bee is kind of stuck in the thresholds of full adulthood and leftover teenage mannerisms. He’s shown to be fun-loving, lighthearted, and able to relate to his younger peers. He hasn’t age so much that he forgot what it was like to be a little punk like Sideswipe or overconfident as Strongarm. But he IS older than they are and has a certain level of maturity and responsibility they don’t have yet. Which is why Kid Bee not only works as a narrative plot, but it especially emphasizes Bee’s growth from his younger heydays because if his behavior in this episode is anything to go by, he was much, much worse.

It’s hard to blame him, I mean; he has the mind of a six-year-old. Kid Bee is a rambunctious troublemaker who’s unable to sit still for more than five seconds. Wave a chain of keys and he’ll flutter around like a bright-eyed dork. That face he makes when he watches TV is quite honestly the most hilarious thing I have ever seen. It is my new avatar. Thank You, Robots in Disguise.



This presents a rare opportunity for Strongarm to self-appoint herself as the new—temporarily—leader of the team. I love the confidence Strongarm; it doesn’t always lead to good decisions, but it does ignite the passion she has for her job and goals. Strongarm is exhausted by the end, but she has a better understanding of what being a leader is about and going through the motions is a huge part of it. Naturally, Sideswipe is the one who takes amusement in all this. He doesn’t necessarily join Bee’s games; he’s kind of like that older brother who watches from the side, approving of the little devil’s shenanigans.

“Adventures in Bumblebee-sitting” is oddly reassuring. Bee returns, obviously, but he ends the episode with mild approval of a childish prank. He hasn’t left that side of him even though he’s grown up. I tackle with this issue all the damn time. For a show that clearly aims for the little’uns, they crafted a central protagonist whom people in their twenties might understand better than grade school kids will. I hope I never end up a Grandpa Simpson, but if I do, I can only hope someone will be kind enough to shut me down. At the least, can I grow up as a Sassy Old Lady? I would love to be a Sassy Old Lady when my smooth Asian skin wrinkles into sandpapery Troll form.
 
Forgive my brief existential crisis, but I want to thank the creators of this show and Rescue Bots for endless hours of entertainment. You guys: you writers, animators, voice actors, composers, producers, harmonica engineers, editors, and more gave something that kids will appreciate all around. I don’t know if anyone who works on either show is even reading this or even aware this post exists, but thank you anyway. I think there’s this too terrible attitude recently where older folks my age try to deny anything they love as actual things for children and seek to hoard it for themselves like Smaug’s insecure cousin; it’s a problem that exist and needs to end. All you fine folks at Hasbro, keep doing what is it you guys are doing, because you guys are doing it awesomely. RID2015 is awesome, Rescue Bots is awesome, and I hope we keep the TF franchise alive by reaching out to future generations. I hope I can keep writing these fun fan reviews for as long as I’m capable of because I love Transformers so much. And for anyone else reading this right now, I am sorry for getting sentimental. My heart will shrink back three sizes when my birthday passes and I’m not lying on the floor in fetal position fearing for my mortality.

At least I get presents.
:star::star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS



BONUS OBSERVATIONS


SQUEAKERS: This show really loves squeaky-voiced characters. After the Mike Tyson-ish Ped, we get Quillfire’s high pitched tone. The same thing happens to Bob the Security Guard. Somebody at the sound studio must enjoy this kind of humor.

PUBLIC TRANSFORMING IS A PLAYTHING OF THE EYE: Bee transforms to leap over a car to presumably catch up to Quillfire faster without failing to take in account the actual living human being inside. I mean, I guess Bee was fast enough to evade normal human vision, but uh, that dude could have seen a yellow car transforming into a robot, yo. Maaaaybe you should have just swerved to the side, Bee.

REAL BOTS CRY OIL: And we can confirm the Aligned Continuity Bots can cry. I love that they cry oil, it’s a very nice touch.



YIPPE-KA-YAY: Kid Bee gleefully tells Strongarm he loves cowboys to which she replies with a sincere, “I know.” It’s not only a good continuity nod, but an adorable scene in its own right.

BEST LINE:

RUSSELL: We’ll all have to babysit.
STRONGARM: Sit on a child? And this will help how?!

My friend made the humorous observation that Strongarm isn’t so much shocked at the idea of sitting on a kid, but how this solution will cure Bee.

RUNNER-UP:

STRONGARM: I’ll track down Quillfire alone. Come on, Grimlock.
GRIMLOCK: Um, Strongarm? How are you alone when you are with me?
STRONGARM: You have no idea how many times I’ve asked myself that same question.

She’s done with everything. Everything.

WORST LINE: ”Get ready to be oppressed right back into your statis pod, Con.”

I hear the pun, Strongarm, but I’m still cringing. Keep trying, girl! At least you’re not suffering for a catchphrase like your boss is. Bumblebee’s “You got served!” is also cringe worthy on how outdated that phrase is, but I’m willing to forgive since he’s essentially a child at the time.


____________________________________________________________________________________________

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Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. Placed there for archival purpose. Recently cancelled.

:heart: OTHER STUFF:heart:


Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like.
  • Listening to: Various
  • Reading: The Anime Encyclopedia: 3rd Edition
  • Watching: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
  • Playing: Nothing Right Now
  • Eating: Meat and noodles
  • Drinking: Pepsi
:bulletblue: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 THREE REVIEWS

53. Land Before Prime
54. Big Game

55. Too Many Kades
56. Phantom of the Sea
57. Unfinished Business
58. No Place Like Dome
59. Bugs in the System
60. Switcheroo
61. Bot-Tastic Voyage
62. Quarry's Quarry
63. Did You See What I Thaw
64. The Attack of Humungado
65. All Bots Great and Small
66. Time After Time
67. Pirates Ahoy
68. Turning the Tide
69. The Last of Morocco
70. The New Recruits
71. Rescue Bots Academy
72. A New Hero
73. Four-Legged Hero


:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!




RESCUE BOTS EPISODE 74: ENDANGERED SPECIES
(Starring woodpeckers without the annoying laugh)




”I find the variety and beauty of earth birds inspiring; Cybertron had nothing like this.”

Chock up the opener of this episode as one of the cutest, d’aww worthy moments of Rescue Bots. I wonder if he spent his time doing the same in Cybertron (however little variety they had, according to Boulder anyway) that the thought of his home planet in the pits means he pays an even greater attention to Earth’s creatures. It’s highly appropriate when he discovers a family of woodpeckers that were presumed extinct. A dying species is something Boulder probably would understand, even if Heatwave doesn’t (though RID2015 reveals Cybertronians aren’t endangered, just spread out during the war.)

The lesson is another good one that might raise an eyebrow though. Sometimes it’s always best to leave stuff well enough alone, at least until you got a stable handle on things. “Endangered Species” has the right idea about letting experts and professionals deal with rare animals and having a gaggle of people isn’t going to help. Boulder attempts to do the same, but he oversteps his boundaries. The real lesson seems to be to learn to keep a damn secret which is kind of a vague lesson that really works on a broader spectrum. A situation like this? Makes sense. A situation elsewhere might not. I guess it’s one of the more complicated and subtle message that you really only understand when you get older; I’m not sure preschoolers will get it, but admiration around for the creators to tackle something a little more cerebral.

The ending is typical of Rescue Bots, though I don’t say it like it’s a bad thing. The series has always been about balance and the solution the Bots and Burns figure out works well enough. But wow, Griffin Rock really loves birds because lying about those woodpeckers is equivalent to a lynch mob.

Otherwise, it’s another standard, generally decent episode of Rescue Bots. I suppose this is as good as any to say I do enjoy episodes of robots getting along with nature. Media has this kind of division and expectations that a cold, metal creature born of science and technology is antithetical to Mother Nature’s creations. Rescue Bots (and really, a number of Transformers show) strives to subvert and counter that train of thought. I love it when robots are so into animals and plants because it’s not what you’d expect of them. The Iron Giant, the robots from Castle in the Sky—they actively embrace it with such gentleness and care that not even humans would (for numerous reasons: being aliens from another world; being recently built and exploring Earth in ways humans cannot or lost their ways; etc.)
:star::star::star: AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE STARS



BONUS OBSERVATIONS



SPRING-HEELED:



How did Cody and Frankie climb up that tree? The nearest branch is way higher than they are.  
I’m also amused the parent woodpeckers actually shielded their kids when Cody and Frankie nearly fell down on them, like they have actual sentience to do that. Cartoon, I know, but I personally theorize the birds just drank toxic Griffin Rock water that gave them free will because I’m a sick person.

BIRD GUARDING IS SERIOUS BUSINESS: I love Frankie’s martial arts pose; she is going to protect the hell out of those birds.



SUGAR AND SWEET: Little girl voiced Boulder is also super adorable. Then it gets super hilarious when he delves into that deep creepy voice, especially when he says he ”loves birds.” Dear GOD.

BEST LINE:

BOULDER: I think it’s a red-headed cuckoo.
KADE: Why are you looking at me when you’re saying that?

I don’ t know, Kade, just something about you…

____________________________________________________________________________________________

:heart: STUPID FANCOMICS:heart:


Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. Placed there for archival purpose. Recently cancelled.

:heart: OTHER STUFF:heart:


Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like.
  • Listening to: Strange Magic
  • Reading: Yes Please/Gamespite Vol. 4
  • Watching: Various
  • Playing: Nothing Right Now
  • Eating: Rice, Sausges, and Tomatoes
  • Drinking: Water
:bulletblue: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.D
6. As the Kospego Commands!
7. Collect 'Em All!
8. True Colors
9. Rumble In the Jungle

:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!




ROBOTS IN DISGUISE EPISODE 10: CAN YOU DIG IT?
(The Tao of Jazz)





”You tryin’ too hard. If Bee put you on his team, that’s good enough for me. Just do what you do.”

Ped can dig it; I’m a little reluctant myself. “Can You Dig It” attempts to dissect another angle of Sideswipe beyond his supposed distrust for authority. He harps on his rebellious desires, but Sideswipe’s arguably the one who has undergone the most character development so far. He’s always been a decent kid who needed guidance. Being on Bee's team on a foreign planet opens a layer that he’s kept hidden. Sideswipe tries and though Strongarm isn’t as receptive, he’s earned enough trust from the rest that he may finally have a clearer objective of his future.

He’s also a teenager and that age gap is bound to confuse him about a lot of things in life (wait till he reaches Bee’s age.) Unfortunately his temporarily self-esteem issue is clumsily out-of-character for him. Sideswipe’s fanboy worship towards Jazz is adorable; the so-called “Parents-Don’t-Attention-Rebel” looks up a law figure in spite of himself. Perhaps Sideswipe just think he’s cool without really caring what Jazz’s background is; I think it’s further proof Sideswipe was never meant for a future selling Cyber-drugs. Otherwise, where did this reluctance come from? He’s goofed up before and that’s never stopped him. Sure, he’s goofing off in front of a personal hero, but it feels contrived to teach a standard “Be Yourself” message. If there’s one thing Sideswipe is good at, it’s being himself.

It’s good to see another Autobot, guest appearance or not. Leave it to Transformers to get me legitimately excited whenever a new toy arrives. Jazz is, well, Jazz. He’s smooth, he goes with the flow, and worrying is a minimum issue with him. Minus the lack of responsibility, he has Hakuna Mutata down to a science. Importantly, he reveals the aftermath of Cybertron after Bee’s little stunt. The council isn’t happy and sent Jazz as a representative to bring Bee back and explain what the blooming hell he’s been drinking when he activated that space bridge. Fortunately Jazz is an understanding soul and is more than happy to deliver the the team's true intent to the High Council. Yo, wouldn't it be neat if one of the councils used to be a member of Optimus' crew and said person knows Jazz and Bee are friends? So maybe this Council member specifically sent Jazz knowing he'd be able to talk with Bee, whatever the result may be.



Ped’s intimidating appearance belies his fantastic—fantastic—voice. Remember that scene in Pixar’s Up when that scary Rottweiler first makes his appearance with the squeaky Helium voice? That’s Ped. He’s one of the nastier looking Cons (partially on virtue of being a freakin’ bug) with claws that would have Freddy Kruger pissing his pants, but then you hear his voice. His Mike Tyson voice. Mike freakin’ “I want to bite off your audio receptor off” Tyson voice and somehow it’s the damn funniest thing ever. Cheap? Maybe, but it put a smile on my face, so sue me.

“Can You Dig It?” was a lot better on second viewing. The first time left me with a severe case of Dying-From-Boredom Syndrome. I’m not particularly sure why I was drowning off, but I think the Monster of the Week formula is already running thin for me. Repetition is usually not a factor with me; plenty of cartoons rely on a certain story structure that works to its advantage. Regular Show is one of my current favorite and a good 90% of their stuff is “What did Mordecai and Rigby do now and how can they fix this mess?” The thing is, Regular Show uses ten minute formats and its smaller timeframe means I’m not as restless as I would a half hour. That extra ten minutes does make a world of difference (at the least, it probably explains my lack of patience.) Robots in Disguise hasn’t been versatile outside of that formula. Jazz’s arrival is a nice touch. Not to mention there are hints of something greater involving Optimus and his Magic Ghost Quest as well as Steeljaw’s army, but I need something more to happen soon. The cast of characters is what keeps me going. Bee and his team of misfits are incredibly diverse and possess amazing chemistry with each other and it’s to the show’s strengths that I care for each and every one of them (Russell is still the exception, but I’m hoping for any kind of development in the near future.) Hopefully that'll be enough to carry me through until the show grows its beard.
:star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS


BONUS OBSERVATIONS


AND A MILLION FANART WAS BORN: Kissing is not a thing in Cybertron, meaning the fans have likely gotten on that shit and either drew all the kissing kiss goodness or got super creative on how the Aligned Transformers shows affection.

POLITICAL SNAFU: Last episode, Strongarm dreamed of being president, leaving me to wonder if Cybertron has a new political system after the war’s end. This episode reveals the council is still a thing that exists. So either presidency is only in a specific part of Cybertron or the President and the High Council have some kind of pseudo-political team up…somehow (Note: I doubt this is the case.)

THAT’S A SNUG HOLE: My first thought when Jazz and Sideswipe was wrestling Ped in the stasis pod was something much more dirtier than what it actually was.

BEST LINE:

SIDESWIPE: They don’t play by other people’s rules; they don’t want to be like everyone else.
FIXIT: Then why do they wear the same rackets…packets…jackets?
SIDESWIPE: They wear the jackets to show they’re different…in the same way.

You tried, Sideswipe. As the wise Homer once said, “You tried your best, but you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.”

RUNNER-UP:

JAZZ: Bee! What are you doing in this dump?
DENNY: Whooooa, watch the language!

The great part is Denny covers Russell’s ears because he thinks “dump” is just that offensive. XD






____________________________________________________________________________________________

:heart: STUPID FANCOMICS:heart:


Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. Placed there for archival purpose. Recently cancelled.

:heart: OTHER STUFF:heart:


Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like.</i>
  • Listening to: Various
  • Reading: Yes Please/Gamespite Vol. 3
  • Watching: Game Grumps
  • Playing: Grim Fandango
  • Eating: Stuff
  • Drinking: Pepsi
:bulletblue: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 THREE REVIEWS

53. Land Before Prime
54. Big Game

55. Too Many Kades
56. Phantom of the Sea
57. Unfinished Business
58. No Place Like Dome
59. Bugs in the System
60. Switcheroo
61. Bot-Tastic Voyage
62. Quarry's Quarry
63. Did You See What I Thaw
64. The Attack of Humungado
65. All Bots Great and Small
66. Time After Time
67. Pirates Ahoy
68. Turning the Tide
69. The Last of Morocco
70. The New Recruits
71. Rescue Bots Academy
72. A New Hero


:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!




RESCUE BOTS EPISODE 73. FOUR-LEGGED HERO
(How much is that robo-doggie in the window…)


image


”Servo is not a pet; he’s a Cybertronian helper dog and right now, he’s not helping.”

Knowing the purpose behind the Transformers franchise, I always welcome new gimmicks and elements to its tie-in television shows because most of the time, the writers can squeeze a decent and often excellent excuse why This New Character is here or This New Gadget will be used. Transformers has an unusually good talent for that and I think it speaks highly of the creators who either care or adore the franchise so much that they are willing to do it justice. It’s separated Transformers from other toy brands for a longest time because the legion of fan loyalty is so high its unique and almost unprecedented. Any toy addendum will often be used properly within the context of the show.

Rescue Bots’ sea of fancy knickknacks have been a frequent occurrence throughout the show, but season three has been bombarded with them to a bit of their detriment: Dinobot modes, new Cybertronians, a giant transforming ship, etc. Even for a toyetic show, this is ridiculous. After all, the only “fresh” additional to season two was a barely used truck-a-saurus hummer fire truck (technically a season one finale, but still) and Energize tools (something the crew still makes good use of.) The Dinobot alt modes is the gimmick that suffered the most because it derives the question, “What does dinosaurs have anything to do with first responding?” Nothing. The thing about a good gimmick is how well integrated it is and what use it can give to our wayward crew. But toy companies think on a different level than the writers, animators, directors, etc. They’re often at the mercy of the Hasbro overlords and have to find a way to make this work.* They tried, they really did, but nothing about their dinosaur modes add anything to the Rescue Bots’ growing repertoire, even if it gives Blades super awesome sonic wave blasts. The only wise decision is that the creators only bring it out when they absolutely have to, arguably for the best.

Then there’s Servo whom I’m not sure how to feel.

Servo should have me enthralled; I love dogs. I feckin’ love dogs. They’re the best animals ever and no one can tell me otherwise. I would have been ecstatic if Cody kept Noble the puppy back in season two’s “Rescue Dog”, but Servo leaves me with an oddly lukewarm feeling. A robot dog transforming into a handy toolbox felt the gimmickest of the gimmick. Because it’s an animal, Servo doesn’t have the luxury of having a personality outside of “doing dog things” to let him stand out (then again, this might have also happened to Noble if Cody had kept him.) His purpose is to be an aid to the Rescue Bots, acting as a convenient toolbox because Graham forgot his wrench back at the station. Servo hasn’t bothered me since his initial appearance, but that’s largely because he hasn’t done anything to annoy me. Servo helps when needed, but that’s about it. But I can’t say the dog is a riveting character that Salvage and Blurr were; two bots I wished had stayed instead of Rin-Tin-Tin over here.

That said, “Four-Legged Hero” is the cutest, most adorablest, sugar-coated, rainbow-brightening, gush-worthy episode ever. It’s exactly the kind of feeling I would get whenever I see a dog in real life (I am so the person who instantly goes over to a person’s house and pets the dog.) The thing is, it’s not because of Servo. No, the real star is Luskey’s wife’s little ragamuffin, the tragically named Poopsie.

Poopsie develops an affection for Servo that I can only interpret as a doggie crush after Servo saves her. She repays his kindness by going to truly death-defying lengths to win Servo’s heart, unaware the stuff she gives Servo and the situation she puts him through unintentionally causes the public to assume the worst of the robo-dog. Servo tries to do the right thing. The episode wisely gave him a simple, internal dilemma where he must be a proper non-sentient robot who obeys his human masters or act on his own for the greater good. And that damn Poopsie keeps mucking it up. It’s highly amusing to see Servo gently rejecting Poopsie’s gifts. In any other situation, would Servo have accepted?

"Four-Legged Hero” gives Servo a bit of character, though it didn't endear me to him. If anything, his whole “secret identity risk” has become a dime-a-dozen plot by this point. I actually came off liking Poopsie more. She saved the episode with her tenacity and her determination to win Servo’s mechanical spark. I don’t know, I think it’s just freakin’ adorable. Granted, cuteness alone doesn’t save the episode, but It’s nice that Servo got a focus with a logical conflict.
:star::star::star: AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE STARS

image



BONUS OBSERVATIONS



HEY, THE CROSS-EYED LION’S BACK: He was last seen all the back in season one.


*To the best of my knowledge anyway; I do not claim to know how Hasbro and their relationship with the people behind the TV show works.




____________________________________________________________________________________________

:heart: STUPID FANCOMICS:heart:


Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. Placed there for archival purpose. Recently cancelled.

:heart: OTHER STUFF:heart:


Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like.
  • Listening to: Various
  • Reading: Yes Please/Gamespite Vol. 3
  • Watching: Game Grumps
  • Playing: Grim Fandango
  • Eating: Nothing Right Now
  • Drinking: Pepsi
:bulletblue: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.D
6. As the Kospego Commands!
7. Collect 'Em All!
8. True Colors

:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!




ROBOTS IN DISGUISE EPISODE 9: RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE
(Pride cometh before a fall)





“Personal journal: I have driven 2,000 miles from the scrapyard and my pistons are positively tingling! Successfully completing this mission might mean a promotion. Sergeant Strongarm…Lieutenant Strongarm…President Strongarm!”

Here’s an interesting difference between Strongarm and Chase. The latter is presumably the Cybertronian equivalent of an adult and thus has come to an expectation that rules exist for a reason and must be followed to its strictest circumstances. He rarely bypasses this train of thought and is quick to whip out a code or law at any given moment. Chase doesn’t think outside the box that often – it’s such a foreign concept to him – and it takes time for him to bend the rules a little to accomplish his goals. Strongarm tries to live by this moral standard, but she’s a bundle of joy compared to the ol’ Rescue Bot. She’s very much a child and much like teenagers are apt to do, they tend to break or twist the rules to their own whim. Strongarm’s philosophy is exactly like Chase’s, but she finds loopholes or disobey her own line of thinking in order to get the job done much quicker than he did. A lot of this, I think, has to do with her youthful age. Strongarm leaps without thinking because she believes it’s justified through her central beliefs. Why wouldn’t she be right? She’s a cop who’s always obeyed the laws. That line of thinking might have worked for her back in Cybertron, but it only means so much on Earth. She’s had to adapt and change some of her perspective in order to survive, even compromising at times.

Strongarm’s the least adjusted of the five, as evident in “Collect ‘Em All”, but she tries. So when Bumblebee sends her on a solo mission, Strongarm has a chance to prove her worth to her superior and for all Cybertronian cops everywhere.  The opening intro reveals she’s got big dreams and possible delusions of grandeur, but her actions prove she’s got ways to go.  When Bee won’t stop babying her, Strongarm purposely lies to him about backup arriving in a bid to secure her original goal an ironically self-reliant, responsible cop. This is very much a rookie, teenage thing to do. Strongarm is so obsessed with what she thinks she can do that she doesn’t realize there are limits to her abilities and her ill-actions put her and Bee in jeopardy. Yet when given the chance, Strongarm is resourceful and she knows it. The episode is a humbling experience for her and a vital lesson on biting off more than she can chew.

Not that Bumblebee is any better. His heart is in the right place. He sent Strongarm on a simple recon mission, but sneakily tags along out of concern. Strongarm is not amused by this and questions her superior officer. It does say something about Bee’s leadership that he doesn’t trust her enough to work out a mission by herself, especially since he did give her the go-ahead. At some point, you gotta cut the umbilical cord. Buuuut she did bug him until he relented and her irrational behavior only prove Bee’s point. Lack of faith isn’t good moral support for your troop, but so is pride. There has to be a balance and compromises have to be made. Strongarm isn’t ready, but Bee knows if he keeps cuddling her, she won’t gain the experience needed for future missions, one where he won’t or can’t be involved in. He gives her another shot and she successfully captures Springload alongside her boss. Like strongarm, Bee’s internal logic is how to be a proper leader and making hard decisions like this is par for the course. You and Animated Optimus could have an entire plate of discussion there, buddy.



That’s also the central line of thinking with the Denny/Fixit subplot. Neither one refuses to acknowledge their skills, choosing to annoy one another until they give in. It is through the act of teamwork that they find a satisfying ground. They compromised and find a better solution to their woes. And hey, they fixed the Decepticon Hunter, so progress!
:star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS



BONUS OBSERVATIONS


DEMOCRACY IS THE RIGHT OF ALL SENTIENT BEINGS: Strongarm mentions being President someday. Is this the new line of government for the Autobots? Is presidency only relegated to a specific part of Cybertron? Either way, it’s a neat little world builder. Maybe the Autobots realized having a council is no longer the best method after the war ended. *shrugs*

OH THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME! I don’t know why they bother to conceal Bee until the opening theme finished, it’s obviously him.

BEST LINE:

STRONGARM: Fixit, good news. Springload fell into my lap. I’ve made the arrest, no need to send in backup.
FIXIT:  All this happened since we last spoke 60 seconds ago?
STRONGARM: …Yes. Remember, we’re in a different time zone!
FIXIT: Oh! Well…good, congratulations and see all three of you when you get back.

This dialogue is better heard than written, but it’s a gem.

RUNNER-UP

DENNY: You moved my snow sleds next to the microwaves?! What kind of system is THAT!?
FIXIT: Alphabetical. Cybertronian alphabet.

Fixit, you troll.





____________________________________________________________________________________________

:heart: STUPID FANCOMICS:heart:


Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. Placed there for archival purpose. Recently cancelled.

:heart: OTHER STUFF:heart:


Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like.
  • Listening to: Various
  • Reading: Yes Please/Gamespite Vol. 3
  • Watching: Rick and Morty
  • Playing: Nothing Right Now
  • Eating: Nothing Right Now
  • Drinking: Water
:bulletblue: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.D
6. As the Kospego Commands!
7. Collect 'Em All!


:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!




ROBOTS IN DISGUISE EPISODE 8: TRUE COLORS
(The closest thing to Clever Girl we're going to get.)





”Oh, I can definitely squish him…but then, I’m not a bad guy.”

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.
:star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS


BONUS OBSERVATIONS


THAT’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!




____________________________________________________________________________________________

:heart: STUPID FANCOMICS:heart:


Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. Placed there for archival purpose. Recently cancelled.

:heart: OTHER STUFF:heart:


Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like.
  • Listening to: Freedom Planet - Fortune Nights Act 1
  • Reading: Yes Please/Gamespite Vol. 3
  • Watching: Agents of SHIELD
  • Playing: Nothing right now
  • Eating: Burrito
  • Drinking: Pepsi
:bulletblue: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 THREE REVIEWS

53. Land Before Prime
54. Big Game

55. Too Many Kades
56. Phantom of the Sea
57. Unfinished Business
58. No Place Like Dome
59. Bugs in the System
60. Switcheroo
61. Bot-Tastic Voyage
62. Quarry's Quarry
63. Did You See What I Thaw
64. The Attack of Humungado
65. All Bots Great and Small
66. Time After Time
67. Pirates Ahoy
68. Turning the Tide
69. The Last of Morocco
70. The New Recruits
71. Rescue Bots Academy



:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!




RESCUE BOTS EPISODE 72: A NEW HERO
(I need a Hero!)




”I like to give things second chances.”
”Or in Blurr’s case, seventh or eighth.”
“See, you haven’t given up on him either.”


Yeah, I think “Rescue Bots Academy” really did pad things out because “A new Hero” takes a bit of time getting to the final climax. It’s a whole lot of back and forth between the main cast trying to prevent the latest disaster and Blurr slinking aboard the stolen spaceship. The latter goes back and forth on his decision to split, guiltiness eating up on him. It’s a crappy feeling to be sure, but it’s further honed by Optimus’ relentless messages, IRVIS unwittingly bringing up his doubt, and Cody’s past encouragement. Blurr thinks of the kid a lot because he not only kept believing in him, but was very vocal about it. A renegade satellite on a collision course is enough for Blurr's heart to grow three sizes that day and he nearly sacrifices himself to stop it.

It was at this point that “A New Hero” dropped the ball.

It turns out Salvage and Blurr’s visit is only temporarily; Optimus decides to hoist the two to another Earth location. On theory, I can understand the reasoning: spread out your ranks means more benevolent rescues from high powered alien robots as well as slowly opening a door between the two species. Where Optimus plans to send them is questionable; Griffin Rock and its tech-based island is an exception from the normal norms of every other world. I guess the US government can bullshit Salvage and Blurr as imports from Griffin Rock. It’s either that or whisks them off to Japan. The kids and Otaku would love ‘em.

The ending is a resounding disappointment and it sadly reflects the show as a whole. It gave us three episodes that introduced two new characters that were practically begging to be sixth rangers to the main squad. we got new cast members and new conflicts to deal with. The potential to take the story another step was there; a path in their interlocking road of awesome science and adventure has been revealed. adding two new guys added another sandbox for the writers to play with, so what happened? High Tide made sense as a guest star; he showed up in his debate episode and ensured the crew he wouldn't be a part of their posse. This? This was a waste of time and it irritatingly reverts everything back to status quo.

The show isn't brimming with Greg Wisemanian continuity and its episodic nature is beneficial for this kind of show, but it does have it and has embraced continuity and change before, however minor it may be. Heck, even the spaceship surviving despite actually saying the risk of losing it would be a huge factor doesn’t happen. Cody and Salvage also shared a rapport that felt like a future partnership just waiting to be explored. Why do I have this nasty feeling this was a Hasbro executive decision?



But I think Blurr and IRVIS would make a fantastic comedy duo together; the latter is surprisingly JARVIS-levels of stoically-toned snark.

The rescue mission itself is both terrifying and inspiring. It;s a contradicting combination that emphasizes the best and worst of Griffin Rock. You have an entire island of high tech that people rely on every day. Then the sun farts out a solar flare and knocks them all down. None of this prevents the Burns family from doing their job nor does it stop Doc from using his inventive mind to power GLaDOS a calculator with a potato. A Transformers Animated episode (“Nature Calling”) had Prowl calling out the dangers of technology reliance. Sari points out that there must be a harmonious nature between both organics and machinery and I think that alone extends to the nature of human and bot resourcefulness. Solar flares and the possibility of them messing up technology scare the crap out of me, but seeing episodes like this has a comforting optimism to it. That in spite of any downfall, humanity—and robots—will never give up. They will pick themselves up and damn well survive.  

“A New Hero” suffers some ill-pacing, but was an otherwise solid episode. Unfortunately the finale left a bad taste in my mouth. I want to give the benefit of the doubt that the creators have something up their sleeves and if there’s one show that can do that, it’s Rescue Bots. But all that build-up has gone to waste and the last three episodes are lesser for it.
:star::star: AND A HALF OUT OF FIVE STARS



BONUS OBSERVATIONS


”BLURR NATHANIEL WEASLEY!”



“HOW DARE YOU STEAL THAT SPACESHIP! I AM ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED! YOUR LEADER’S NOW FACING AN INQUIRY AT WORK AND IT'S ENTIRELY YOUR FAULT! IF YOU PUT ANOTHER TOE OUT OF LINE WE'LL BRING YOU STRAIGHT HOME! — Oh, and Salvage dear, congratulations on making the Rescue Bot team. Ratchet and I are so proud."

SPEAKING OF OPTIMUS: Okay, I know he’s a Prime and thus the Most Specialist Snowflake ever, but is it really up to him to create Rescue Bot logos for Blurr and Salvage? Shouldn’t this really be more of a Heatwave thing? He’s the Rescue Bot leader. Granted, a leader of one squad and not a whole, but Griffin Rock’s Bots are the whole. If anything, it would have shown Heatwave willing to give Blurr another chance.

BEST LINE: ”Excuse me, Chief, I’ve never done that before…and I’m quite embarrassed.”

It’s okay, Chase, you’re not the only one who can’t get it up.




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Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

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  • Listening to: Freedom Planet - Fortune Nights Act 1
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:bulletblue: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.D
6. As the Kospego Commands!



:bulletred: As always, SPOILERS!









”I realize that you, and Grimlock, and Fixit—even Sideswipe—you’re my ties to Cybertron, more than any rule book.”

I would argue “Collect ‘Em All” is a series of subplots than one major storyline with a side B-plot. Sure, the main goal is to catch Filch, but the episode is peppered with tiny character moments that make the episode.

Strongarm’s subplot provides the central heart. Being homesick has caused her to break out into the robotic equivalent of hives (or some kind of rash anyway.) She largely keeps this to herself, but Bumblebee notices and has a nice chat with her.  While I don’t think this is as emphasized as it could have been, I think it works as a greater whole with Strongarm’s character. She would be the Bot in the team to stress out first. Her strict upbringing and struggle to stick to a certain protocol is only going to work so far, especially on a foreign planet with different sets of rules and laws. Strongarm’s first connection to Cybertron after her teammates is her trusty code book. I think it keeps her stabilized and comforts her, even if going by-the-book often drives her batty when it doesn’t go the way it’s supposed to. Unfortunately she doesn’t have a cop for a partner or is part of a rescue square like Chase, so there’s little familiarity there. So Strongarm does what she has to do: step out of the books and improvise.

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Filch is the definition of one-note villain and that’s a damn shame. Other than it being the first female to pop up after Strongarm so far, she’s also got a killer design. The other baddies aren’t exactly filled with depth, living up to their own archetypes (with the possible exception of Steeljaw who’s shown the most depth out of all the Cons thus far), but they live up to their roles. Filch does what the Autobots say she does (stealing shiny objects), but it seems less a character trait as it is an instinctual desire. I guess if anything it lives up to her animal appearance.

Russell’s subplot isn’t doing jack to endear me anymore to the boy than he had at the start. He invites his father’s “old friend” Larry inside the junkyard despite Denny’s strong objection to the latter and his questionably amoral objective. Russell uses Larry’s Hollywood power to film Denny’s scrapyard and buy a ticket to fame and Crown City despite risking the Autobot’s existence to a stranger. Of course Russell learns a lesson because the boy isn’t a total asshole, but I spent much of the episode rolling my eyes at him. Being selfish shouldn’t be a character denouncement; people need flaws to work out, but maybe I’d be less annoyed with Russell’s antics if he was likable in the first place. Kid, here’s a lesson I learned at a very young age: you don’t always get what you want.

All the middling stories mean “Collect ‘em All” is kind of scattered.I think the reoccurring theme of collecting keeps the episode balanced though. There are those who want the goods for themselves and will use underhanded tactics to get them and then there are people like Denny who collect just because they love to collect. I don’t know if this was intentional, but the creators seem to have Transformers collectors in mind when they wrote this episode. We're a varied bunch, both the good and the unfortunate bad.
:star::star::star::star: OUT OF FIVE STARS


BONUS OBSERVATIONS


HE TRIES:



What was that stupid Tumblr phrase? Ahh yes, Grimlock is a beautiful cinnamon role too good for this Earth.

GENERATIONAL GAP: Oh, I never noticed this before. Russell’s phone is standard smartphone in appearance while Denny has an older model. This is a neat and subtle detail to the kind of people they are. Russell is all about the sleek and now, but Denny adores the old and dated. Heck, if it he could fix it to work with modern phone reception, he’d probably get one of those blocky 90s cellphones instead.

BEST LINE:

BUMBLEBEE: Filch: compulsive thief.
GRIMLOCK: Does it say “Future Punch Taker” cuz’ she’s gonna be that, too.

You’re incorrigible, Grimlock.

WORST LINE: ”Watch the birdie!”

To be fair, I can totally see Strongarm’s insults being as lame as the one she spouted here.



____________________________________________________________________________________________

:heart: STUPID FANCOMICS:heart:


Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. Placed there for archival purpose. Recently cancelled.

:heart: OTHER STUFF:heart:


Archive / Archive 2
If you ever want list of links to all the reviews/rants/analysis/time-wasters I wrote.

My Twitter: Follow me ramble in 100+ words or less here.

My Tumblr: Lots of pretty pictures I like.
  • Listening to: Various
  • Reading: Yes Please
  • Watching: The Golden Girls/Agents of SHIELD
  • Playing: Alan Wake
  • Eating: Rice, eggs, and pickled veggies
  • Drinking: Pepsi