Fire in the Sky
It's snowing by the Ark, and Spike and the Autobots are enjoying some good old fashioned snow-related violence, with other such antics as Jazz pretending to be a snowman and Spike rolling into a snowball big enough to engulf several of the other Autobots, only managing to stop after rolling into a cactus. Oh, what fun!
Optimus Prime, however, is more concerned with the abnormal weather, and it turns out that the world's heat is being drained away; Gears, naturally, blames the Decepticons for this.
And he was right! They're over in the Arctic
Circle and using a large green crystal from the Earth's core to fill energon
cubes, which kills two birds with one stone: It supplies them with enough energy
to take over the universe, and since the Earth would become an icy tomb by the
time they're finished, no need to waste time with the puny flesh creatures! Now
Rumble, using his pile drivers to unearth the crystal, eventually causes a tidal wave of slush to burst out of the ice, but he notices that in doing so he's discovered something other than the crystal. Megatron and Starscream come to investigate, and after thawing the ice some more, find out that it's another Transformer, for whom they get plans to rescue and make one of their ranks.
Back with the Autobots, Teletraan-1 is scanning the area from where the drop in global temperature is most prominent and spy the crystal. Jazz just believes it to be a foreign concept known as a "natural phenomenon," but eats his words after Teletraan also reports of Decepticon activity, so they roll out to stop their devious scheme.
The Decepticons, meanwhile, are busy
reviving their new troop, Skyfire, and Starscream explains his intent to get his
motor running is due to knowing him long ago on Cybertron...
The two of them were explorers and good buddies up until they came across Earth and Skyfire wanted to get a closer look, only to get caught up in gravitational winds or something and crashing into the ice, leaving his partner to circle half of the globe in search for him. Skyfire is eventually awakened and rather confused about his current location, but any chance of an emotional reunion with his buddy is interrupted by Megatron stepping forth and informing him of their goal, to revive Cybertron with energon and conquer the universe and their enemies the Autobots.
Skyfire joins the Decepticons and is put on guard patrol, where he asks his former comrade if he's content in his current position rather than as a scientist; Starscream finds it far more exciting and awaits the day he can overthrow Megatron as leader and have Skyfire as his second-in-command, while he just ignores the subject and thanks him for releasing him from his tomb of ice.
On duty, he spies approaching Autobots and aims a gun at them while feebly attempting to sound threatening by uttering "you must be destroyed!" This is apparently shocking enough for a commercial break.
Spike, while avoiding the laser fire, ends up slipping into pool of icy water and gets rescued by Sparkplug; however, Skyfire blasted the path back during that time, and Spike's pop insists that they wait for the Autobots to get them back rather than leap across ice; Spike's call for help alerts not only Hound and Cliffjumper, but also Skyfire, who lumbers over to them, ignoring the attacks on him, and scoops up the two.
The humans are naturally scared shitless (lucky they're in brown winter wear!) which confuses the big lug, whose claims that he won't harm them just get big "nuh uh you a bad guy" responses from Spike and Sparkplug, the latter of which flat out insults the guy in an attempt to enlighten him of the Autobots being the saving-the-world guys with Decepticons being kill-all-humans type. Skyfire just can't accept opinions, and brings the two of them along with him to Megatron to clear up the matter that Decepticons are good guys and Autobots are evil. Prime prevents his troops from firing at Skyfire for fear of harming the two and to simply prove the guy's point about their kind.
Megatron, unsurprisingly, merely traps the two of them behind bars of ice as bait for the Autobots and plans to dispose of them once their reason for existing is out of the way, leaving Skyfire dismayed at this treatment; he's a scientist, not a doom bringer!
Outside, Optimus Prime and half of the
Autobots transform and enter the cave Skyfire was guarding, and the rest fall
into a trap simply because Gears stalls them all because he got a feeling that
they're falling into a trap.
Bumblebee scouts about for the lost half but
gets no results, and Cliffjumper, alerted by Spike's pleas for help echoing,
makes his own way through the caves. He busts them out using the "defrost"
setting on his pistol, while Bumblebee is delighted with their rescue despite
sounding like a slight asshole in the process. "Awww
great!" Learn some manners, pintsize.
Ironhide, Gears and the other guys come across the scene of the crime where the Decepticons are sapping energy, where they conveniently repeat their plan aloud for the viewer to be reminded and the Autobots to be enlightened; however, Megatron catches sight of them before they can flee, with Thundercracker and Skywarp capturing them and Ravage sent to search for the rest, which doesn't take terribly long.
Prime stuns Ravage while they transform and head further down the cave, blasting the ceiling behind them to prevent the cassette mongrel from catching up. Up above, Starscream and Skyfire have their captives tied to the crystal and given the job of eliminating them, and the smaller of the two gives his old partner the opportunity to destroy them. Skyfire refuses, only to be blasted in the chest as punishment and leaving Starscream to finish the job himself, blasting them and totally obliterating the Autobots.
Well, shit. Here's a commercial break folks, to advertise the toys of your now deceased favourite characters.
Starscream laughs over this for a surprisingly short amount of time, commends Skyfire for not ending up like the Autobot scrap and leaves. But it turns out we were fooled! Hound merely made a hologram of them all dying grisly deaths, much to Skyfire's pleasant surprise, and falls unconscious. The other Autobots regroup with them and get him behind cover for Ratchet to fix him up, but his repairs still leave time and luck important factors in his survival.
Uh oh, Laserbeak's spying on them!
Not that this is anything new, though, since the Autobots can't even have breakfast without Megatron finding out how many astro-grams of cyber-sugar those energon flakes have.
Back in the cave, Megatron is informed of the findings and thumps Starscream with an energon cube for not obliterating the Autobots, so the three jets fly out together to fight them, using cluster bombs and all manner of weaponry to get the job done. Optimus Prime feels no hesitation in bringing out the big guns, deploying a cannon to blast Skywarp and Thundercracker out of the sky with a single shot, and disconnects with the trailer to shout out meaningless commands. Why meaningless?
Because nothing actually comes of whatever nonsense he babbles, due to Megatron attacking him. The two grab shards of the crystal to use as weapons, the Decepticon leader using revolving legs as a devious attack, but Optimus merely shatters his shard against a wall. Skyfire marches in, ignores his commands from Megatron and shows off his fancy new Autobot emblem before picking him up and chucking him against a wall.
Reflector then kind of shows up in the middle of a circus act and doesn't even attack, he just bumps into Skyfire and falls down. And they wanted kids to send away Robot Points for this guy?
Starscream tries his hand at fighting Skyfire, giving the large Autobot the opportunity to demonstrate that he can transform too, turning into an aircraft twice the size of the Decepticon, and chases after him. However, instead of firing at him or anything intelligent like that, they merely crash into each other, sending Starscream tumbling against a wall and screwing up his flying skills, but Skyfire is determined to cover up the crystal with ice blasted off of a mountain. He lands prematurely from his wonky altitude and gets swallowed up by the avalanche from the mountain.
With the crystal buried, the Earth's temperature will stabilise, and the Decepticons have been defeated for now, but Spike is distraught over the death of the robot he was criticizing and insulting ten minutes ago; Optimus consoles him by stating as long as freedom exists in the world, Skyfire will not be forgotten, and the other Autobots reminisce.
Starscream had friends? Who knew!
You have to wonder why Skyfire even bothered putting on his Autobot insignia only for him to be killed two minutes later.
There's a big old debate over what's up with Skyfire; he didn't have a toy named after him, though there was Jetfire, a similar character who was actually a Valkyrie from the Macross series, but yeah, it's a long story. Here's a link to said long story!