TRANSFORMERS PRIME SEASON 2 AND RESCUE BOTS SEASON 1 (DEVIANTART JOURNAL LINKS)
Links to my DA review of the respective shows.
TFP Episode 27 "Orion Pax: Part 1" Review
TFP Episode 28, "Orion Pax: Part 2" Review & TBR Episode 3 "Hotshots" Review
TFP Episode 29, "Orion Pax: Part 3" Review & TRB Episode 4, "Flobsters On Parade" Review
TFP Episode 30, "Operation Bumblebee, Part 1" Review & TRB Episode 5 "The Alien Invasion of Griffin Rock" Review
TFP Episode 31 Operation Bumblebee, Part 2" Review & TRB Episode 7 "Cody On Patrol" Review
TFP Episode 32 "Loose Cannons" Review
TFP Episode 33 "Crossfire" Review
TFP Episode 34 "Nemesis Prime" Review
TFP Episode 35, "Grill" Review & TRB Episode 8, "Four Bots and A Baby" Review
TFP Episode 36, "Armada" Review & TRB Episode 6, "Walk On The Wild Side" Review
TFP Episode 37, "Flying Mind" Review & TRB Episode 9, "Christmas In July" Review
TFP Episode 38, "Tunnel Vision" Review & TRB Episode 10, "Deep Trouble" Review
TFP Episode 39, "Triangulation" Review & TRB Episode 11, "Return of the Dinobot"
TRB Episode 12+13, "The Other Doctor" and "The Reign of Morocco"
TRP Episode 41, "Toxicity" Review
TRB Episode 14+15 "Small Blessings" and "The Griffin Rock Triangle"
TRB Episode 16+17 "Rules and Regulation" and "The Lost Bell"
TRB Episode 18 "Bumblebee to the Rescue"
TRB Episode 19+20 "You've been Squilshed" and "Countdown"
TRB Episode 21+22 "The Haunting of Griffin Rock" and "Little White Lies"
TRB Episode 23+24 "Shake Up" and "Rescue Boy"
TRP Episode 42 "Hurt"
TRANSFORMERS RESCUE BOTS, EPISODE 25+26" "IT'S A BOT TIME" and "BOT TO THE FUTURE"
Or: Fucking Christ, these are the most punniest, awful titles ever.
Holy Crap, the Rescue Bots are time traveling? Guys, whatever you do, DO NOT KILL HITLER! I know he's a douchebag, but even the tiniest alteration to the timestream will severely affect the future and if fiction has taught me anything, it usually doWHAT DID I JUST TELL YOU!?
I love time traveling stories. I like the idea of alternate timelines created by the heroes fucking up in some way. I like the possibilities of what their lives would be if something major in their past is changed. Back to the Future and its sequels are my favorite movies ever. I squealed when I read the summaries for the season finale months back and anticipated this shit like crazy. For all intents and purposes, it delivers, though not without its flaws.
All of the above I just described happens in the two-parter. Except the Hitler part. It's an epic story that's crazy on action and little on character moments. There are frequent increments of the chemistry between the characters, but for the most part, the main cast reacts to the plot. I normally would complain about this, but you know what, I'm going to let it slide. Rescue Bots has proven numerous times that it knows how to handle personalities. All of the cast are rich with idiosyncrasies and amusing mannerisms that successfully worked its way around the series; if they wanted to indulge two episodes to them just saving Griffin Rock and kicking a shitload of ass, they more than earned it. Both episodes are intense, entertaining, balls insane, awesome and end the first season on a high note.
There are a couple of things worth noting. Dr. Morocco is especially the big one now that we know he's essentially been around for over a hundred and fifty years. Seriously, what the hell? I need to know more about this man! What was his life like before he stole the Youth chamber? Who did he stole it from? I need to know! Season Two, oh my fucking GOD, get your ass over here now!
There are some middling timey-wimey issues I do have to bring up. Since Dr. Morocco met the kids and the Rescue Bots in 1939, does this mean he recognizes them when he made his first appearance way back in Episode 12? Is that how he was inspired to build his Morbot? If not, did the Rescue Bots just create a second timeline where Dr. Morocco knows now prior to his first actual appearance (which would be timeline one). I actually went back and watched "The Other Doctor" and "The Reign of Morocco" and came to the conclusion that either one is possible. Morocco's behavior to the Burns and Greene family are ambiguous enough that you can easily take it as either timeline and that includes the Morbot. I can easily just say he built if after hearing about the Rescue Bots and used it in order to gain acceptance in Griffin Rock (Timeline 1) or he's always known this since 1939, but only recently finished his robot because of limited technology (Timeline 2).
Also, how did Dr. Morocco keep fooling Griffin Rock? He was there in 1939 and he shows up again in present time. He keeps himself youthful, so wouldn't someone recognize they're the same person via old photographs or something? Unless Morocco has been claiming he is 1939's Morocco is his "father" ("grandfather?"), how did he fool the townsfolk? Granted, I know the townsfolk are rock stupid and the whole island is a conspiracy and you know what, I just answered my own question there.
I'm intrigued the Rescue Bots actually got to pull some moves on the Morbots. Me thinks they're actually better warriors than I initially thought. Speaking of actual warriors, Optimus and Bumblebee...er, well, I hate to say this, but I honestly think they shouldn't have appeared. Unlike "Bumblebee to the Rescue" and hell, even "Family of Heroes", both of their roles here are minimum and barely add anything of genuine worth to the overall story. They could easily be removed and the plot would only need a bit of tweaking without changing too much. They're not even glorified cameos; they're just extras.
Also, the Mobile Headquarter vehicle is the dumbest thing ever. It's a giant fucking fire truck that can house even the Rescue Bots. Look at this stupid thing.
God, it looks more toyetic than the actual Transformers. Honestly, these people could solve all their problems by just ramming everything in their goddamn paths with this thing. How many gas do you think this monstrosity takes up? This is cheese beyond cheese. Honestly, I think I hate this thing because it looks like a beefed up hummer and I hate hummers. Why the hell is this thing even around in the normal timeline? It was built in the alternate timeline which the main characters fixed so that it never existed in the first place. Shouldn't this abomination disappear along with that timeline? Argh, time traveling is so frustrating!
It's not a perfect season finale. A lot of the time traveling shenanigans makes my brain hurt and I'd be foolish if I expected a much more consistent usage of time traveling rules in a preschool kid's show. Much like the overall season finale, it basically amounts to "Rule of Cool", so it's a rule I can abide for once. It ends strongly (despite a slightly rushed ending) and I eagerly await for Season Two.
SIZE CHANGE BOOK, NOW AVAILABLE FOR ROBOTS: The book Boulder holds while studying Engineering with Graham is big enough for his hands.
KID FRIENDLY, ETHNIC APPROVED:
Damn, look at all those ethnic scientists. In 1939. This is the most progressive island ever. Yes, yes, kid's show; political correctness, I know, I know. I'm also making it sound a lot less complicated than it really is. I'm not complaining in any sense though.
FRANKIE, YOU DUMBASS: She expresses incredulous when Cody points out they're not exactly in their own time anymore despite acknowledging they're in 1939 in a previous scene. I think Doc's clones are getting more and more faultier.
OKAY, THIS IS ADORABLE: Is Frankie taller than Cody? I just noticed it. Was it like it in previous episodes? Girls mature faster than boys at this age, so it's truth in television. I just think this is ridiculously cute.
"HE'S MADE A FRIEND!"
Cody, you are such an innocent child. "Friend." Okay, we'll call it that.
THAT'S NOT ROLLING: When Heatwave tells his crew to "roll to the future", they climb. That's not rolling, goddamn it! Use the proper verb!
GREAT MINDS DO NOT THINK ALIKE: When Frankie asks if the Rescue Bots have to do everything Cody tells them to do, all four of them have different responses:
Heatwave: Absolutely not!
Boulder: Once in a while.
Chase: I take orders only from Chief Burns.
Blades: We have a choice?
FROM THE MOUTH OF BABES: I just love the possible implications that the only reason Dr. Hendrikson will invent great things is because a little girl told her she would. Apparently the word of one insignificant kid is the greatest moral booster ever.
DRAMATIC TELEPORTING: Optimus seems to make it a habit to dramatically enter and exit portals. He and his crew tends to do it a lot in Prime.
A ROW OF STEVES: The Morbots' guns make the same sound effect as the Vehicons do in Prime. Incidentally, neither Optimus nor Bee ever uses their guns against them. Is this really a censorship thing under the "good guys don't use guns" rule or something? This is also the first time the characters mention the Decepticons. About damn time!
PREVIOUSLY ON Peter Cullen provides the "Previously On" recap for "Bot to the Future" like he does in Prime. The previous two-parter is recapped by Presley Huxley (and it's much more clever.)
MOROPOLIS: So is Moropolis recognized as part of America? Is it separate and considered its own country? Are the US trying to save the people there and stop Morocco? What? What? What? I MUST KNOW!
UHHHH: Did Heatwave just stick his hose inside a Morbot's gun hole and squirted it with water? Does that count as robot sex?
HOLY CRAP: Charlie's apron is still there in the alternate time period. That thing is timeless! XD
OLD FASHIONED: Morocco's bullhorn is an old-timey microphone. The little touches they add to this show is amazing.
BEST LINE: "Why do Earth females so enjoy yelling at me?" Girl, please!
WORST LINE: "Do you mean there's more to these Rescue Bots than meets the eye?" Okay, seriously, that catchphrase has been abused enough; I think it's time to drop it.
TRANSFORMERS PRIME, EPISODE 43: "OUT OF THE PAST"
OR: "Why does Shockwave have such a puny head?"
As a general rule, I'm not too fond of origin stories. The major problem with a lot of 'em is that they usually end up telling stuff we already know. "Out of the Past" unfortunately does suffer from it. Arcee tries to cheer up a brokenhearted Miko by detailing how she and Cliffjumper became partners and ended up on Earth. The premise is a nice touch; neither gals had time to bond and for what it's worth, it's a genuinely sweet moment. After all, Miko almost lost her friend and who better to advice than Arce
Hey, HEY! Cliffjumper, get out of here! Don't pull that smile! It won't work on me!
The flashback doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know. Arcee is a loner. She has partner issues, etc. Even the present day scenes of Arcee sadly longing for Cliffjumper's presence had already been showcased ("Partners" if you're curious). This is the fundamental flaws about origin stories: they're repetitive and unnecessary. If done right, they can be gateways to brand new information that is relevant to the story and/or character.
Let me give you an example (and I fully admit this is from memory). Avatar: The Last Airbender's first season episode, "The Storm." Prior to this episode, all we knew about both Aang and Zuko is that the former did not want to be the Avatar while Zuko served as primary antagonist who chased the Avatar for his own personal goals. We had no idea why they were doing this until "The Storm" finally shed light into it outside of cryptic words and hints. Aang had led a peaceful, but happy life before he became the Avatar. Now his friends refuse to play with him, his favorite teacher is taken away from him by the Airbending council and he's forced to train for the upcoming war. Fed up with this shit, Aang runs away during a harsh storm which in turn forces him to create a frozen barrier around himself through his Avatar powers and stay there for the next 100 years. Meanwhile, Zuko's entire reasoning to find Aang is to please his douchebag of a father and prove he's a worthy so
HEY! I thought I told you to scram! Stop trying to woo me like you did Arcee!
The reason why this particular episode works is that it adds something to their characters that we did not know prior. We find out why Aang left: he was selfish and unprepared for his role and now we see how much this affects him. The consequences are dire and the decision he makes from then on extends his character development. Zuko wants to please his father and though it's been hinted before, all we mostly knew of this guy is that he's The Bad Guy (before Zhao took over). He's callous and blunt, but "The Storm" opens up a sympathetic side to him. He's more than Aang's unwanted pursuer; he., too has demons that he needs to conquer. It also draws heavy parallels between the two characters which eventually becomes a running theme throughout the show. "The Storm" provides new information to these guys which contribute to their overall growth.
If you want a more fitting comparison, Avatar's Season Two also has "Zuko Alone" (also going by memory; forgiveness please) which elaborates on his life in the palace before he was banished, before he got his scar. In this case, the new element is Zuko's mother, a key character in his life (and the subject of a zillion fan theories). It also juxtaposes with his current present day dilemma as a lone, "nameless" drifter who is honestly trying to figure out his path after shit hit the fan and he's been stripped off his throne (and the Avatar). The ending depicts someone who cannot runaway from his title and he will pridefully keep it. Keep in mind before all this, Zuko spent most of Season One as a haughty, banished prince. Afterwards, the first half of Season Two had him and Iroh on the run as criminals to the Fire Nation, a new situation Zuko has never been in and one he does not like. He also realizes how terribly his nation has wrecked on the outside world and it's possible he was slowly losing pride in his title and homeland. It's likely one of the reasons why Zuko kept himself nameless throughout "Zuko Alone" (that and ya know, he doesn't want to be captured). The flashback adds essential elements and boost his character instead of stating what we already kne
I think the closest "Out of the Past" does to add something "new" is elaborate a lot more on Cliffjumper's personality. We've seen all but five minutes of this guy and from what I could make out, he's who Wheeljack is. That's what I thought anyway. Cliffjumper has the drive, but he's actually much more smooth talking and calmer. He oozes confidence, but he's got this devilishly rogue-ish charm. He's got a lot of the personality traits of the Lovable Rouge (minus the criminal aspect) and well, I love Lovable Rogues. I find them fascinating. I wouldn't date them in real life, but I guess you could say it drives my fangirlism up the wall. So, yeah, if I could stomach one thing about the flashback, it's Cliffjumper. He's just fantastic and wow, I never noticed he's got such a nice face and pretty eyes. Tav said it best; they smile.
Granted, this doesn't change anything much either, but despite its irrelevancy, the flashback honestly is fun to sit through. Arcee and Cliffjumper's interactions is very good and the former's growth from resistant loner to accepting acquaintance feels very organic. So yeah, I was very entertained by it. Does it contribute to the overall plot? No. It doesn't say or do anything past episodes haven't already established nor open anything new that would be useful for future plots. It doesn't necessary close Arcee's arc either. "Partners" did a better job on that front only for "Crossfire" to open it up for some reason only to close it back up in "Armada." This is just an unnecessary extension, but I admit it was a pretty fun one.
God, it's nice to see Starscream back when he had dignity. This is the right kind of balance; cocky and assured, but just as cowardly when he has to be (he's the first to runaway when the space bridge is about to explode and damn, chicken legs run fast. XD) Shockwave has the right amount of creepy, but sadly his scenes are minor when I wished there had been more of him. His voice is okay, but it doesn't emphasize the creepiness Corey Burton usually delivers with his gravely British accent. Prime Shockwave's voice is deep and while this and his mannerisms does make him an intimidating foe, it's not creepy. Here's hoping Shockwave will appear in future episodes, I'd love to see this guy again.
But that Bulkhead subplot can go fuck itself. I already disliked that he survived in "Hurt" because it negates the emotional poignancy of "Toxicity." I had a feeling Bulkhead would get back on his feet, but I was under assumption it wouldn't happen for a long time, if not to give it some emotional weight. Ratchet even implied the recovery will not be so easy. One fucking episode later and he's alive and well, if not briefly handicapped and I raise my hands up high and wonder what the fucking point is. Bulkhead's little arc has suffered what Season Two had been repeating ad nausea: build a plot, and then solve it three to five episodes later. The Bulkhead plot is wasted and anything more would beat it to the ground. What more can they do?
OUT OF FIVE
About 7:40 minutes in, Starscream glides his hand on one of Shockwave's operation table. It's a minor animation detail that I like (and oddly sexy) and a very subtle character gesture that I wish the series did more off (instead of the hammy wavy limbs they pull off most of the time).
When Arcee messes with the space bridge, Shockwave smacks Cliffjumper out of the way. Funny as hell.
OPPOSITES ATTRACT: When Cliffjumper and Arcee are looking for Optimus' base, they are walking the wrong way. I imagine Optimus had to find them. XD
BEST LINE: "Funny, At first I didn't think I'd ever get used to Cliff's constant chatter. Now, there's nothing louder to me than the silence." Surprisingly poignant and tragic, I like it.
RUNNER-UP: "Well, it often pains me, but I try to be a team player." Again, this is more through Blum's delivery than anything good about the line. I love the sarcasm he puts into Starscream's response.
WORST LINE: None
Discovery (A Transformers Animated Fancomic): Read the entire thing here. More updated as the series progresses. Placed there for archival purpose.
Chess Piece (A Danny Phantom Fancomic):
An AU Danny Phantom comic. It's been canceled, but for those morbidly curious to read this convoluted train wreck, the link is here.
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