A Prime Problem

by Galvatron



The Decepticons stand over a recently created crevice where they had detected a large amount of energy. They head over to inspect it and Starscream just wants to take it all right now only for Megatron to stop him and tell him that this new energy could be dangerous, so they'd better check it first. Soundwave sends out a new cassette to find out exactly what they are looking at.

The cassette transform into something Megatron calls an "Auto-scout" and heads inside the crevice. The Decepticons find out that the energy they detected is actually corlonium crystals, which can be quite deadly -as the Auto-scout finds out when it grabs one and then explodes. It seems that these crystals can destroy any electric circuitry instantly so they are useless to the Decepticons, but instead of leaving them Starscream suggest they get Optimus Prime to somehow come down here with the Autobots and use the crystals to destroy them all.

Megatron says that the real Optimus Prime would never do something so foolish, and Starscream questions what he means by real. Megatron says that he'll soon find out as a large rocket comes in to land a short distance away from the three Decepticons, and Megatron says that this is their new temporary base of operations so they can put the new plan into motion.

The Autobots show up at the crevice having also detected the energy readings but before they can get a proper look at what's down there, Starscream jumps out with a bunch of Decepticons and attack. He goes with Thundercracker and Skywarp to attack Optimus Prime but things don't get that well and all three of them are defeated.

Megatron is watching the fight from inside his new base and has Soundwave send out Laserbeak to attack Optimus Prime. Optimus tries to shoot the tin-foiled turkey but misses and is blasted a couple of times, sending him over a ledge and down into another small crevice below.

Laserbeak is about to go in for the kill when Megatron tells him to stop as it will be the Autobots who will kill their own leader -and for now, all Megatron needs is holographic images of Optimus Prime, which Laserbeak gets for him. As this data is sent back to the Decepticon base, Megatron goes over to a machine to start work...

...on a clone of Optimus Prime! Soon enough, a new Optimus Prime walks out of Megatron's cloning machine, and it looks exactly the same as the real think but there is one important difference - Megatron controls this Optimus Prime and shows Soundwave that he can get it to move by remote control and can also speak exactly like the real Prime to.

Megatron sends out clone Prime to the battle, and almost as soon as he reaches the other Autobots, the Decepticons retreat. Clone Prime then orders the others to transform and roll out back to base as the real Prime climbs back out of the crevice only to find that all Transformers are gone. Back at the base, Ironhide gets confused when Prime starts calling him Bumblebee and soon the others are wondering why their leader can't get Teletraan-1 to work properly. Spike thinks that there is something very wrong with Optimus Prime.

The others ask Optimus what's up and he just says that the fall he had damaged his memory chips and that he'll be back to normal in no time. An alarm then goes off and the other Autobots bring up the intruder on Teletraan-1 but are all taken aback when they see another Optimus Prime! The Optimus with the Autobots says that it must be a fake and orders them all to destroy it when it comes into the room.

Ironhide runs across and says that they'll be no shooting until they figure out who is the real deal and who isn't. The two Primes see each other for the first time and none of the Autobots can tell who really is the real one, so Bumblebee gets Teletraan-1 to scan them both, only for it to say that the two Transformers are identical - and therefore, both are Optimus Prime.

Only one of them can be the real Optimus Prime, so all the Autobots can do is try some tests so they can see who is the best. The first test is meant to be a sharp-shooting event but for one of the Primes everything goes wrong when a boulder falls off a cliff and crushes him - he's okay though and removes the boulder and gets back up.

Cliffjumper then suggests that they have a race and both Primes transform and speed off, but they are both sending up a lot of dust making it hard to see who's winning. And as they come back, so much dust is going everywhere that no-one can see which Prime is in the lead, making this test just like the last one - completely pointless.

With none of the tests working, the Autobots head back to base and find out from Teletraan-1 that the corlonium crystals energy readings are getting higher and are now in danger of exploding. These readings that the computer picked up however were actually because Megatron has put energy boosters around to give fake readings. The Autobots don't know this and Ironhide takes command as until they get to the bottom of who is the real Optimus Prime, neither of them are fit to lead for now.

As the Autobots get to the crevice they are all soon under Decepticon fire. Megatron, Starscream and Soundwave are watching the battle, but to destroy the Autobots completely, Megatron needs them to trust his clone Prime so they will all follow it to their doom in the corlonium crystals crevice. And to do that, he'll get it to destroy a Decepticon - Starscream!

Starscream's not to happy about this and says he'll never sacrifice himself and flies out of the base. Laserbeak follows him and after a brief fight brings him back inside the base, but the event wasn't missed by Spike and Windcharger who saw them come out of the mountain somehow. As the two Decepticons return inside the mountain they see a hidden entrance and follow them in before it closes.

Megatron tells the cowardly Starscream the he didn't hear him out -his plan is to create a Starscream clone to send out and get his clone Optimus Prime to destroy it. Soon the clone Starscream is created and the real Starscream gets to control it, and has is sent out to join the battle outside. But Windcharger and Spike have seen everything and also head back out to tell the others. But before they can, Spike gets captured by Laserbeak and Windcharger trips over and falls straight into the corlonium crystals crevice.

Spike gets taken back inside and Megatron tells him that Windcharger has been destroyed and that soon, the rest of the Autobots will suffer from the same fate. Spike says that the Decepticons will lose but Megatron says that this time, that won't be the case and goes back to watching the battle outside where Hound, Warpath and Prowl are in a heavy fire fight.

Starscream then tells everyone to stop firing and challenges Optimus Prime to a one on one battle. Trailbreaker asks which one is he going to fight as no-one knows which one is the real Prime, but Starscream just picks one of them and they start to shoot at each other. After a lot of shooting Optimus Prime gets one good clean shot at his opponent and destroys him.

Since this Optimus Prime destroyed Starscream, the second in command of the Decepticons, the other Autobots believe that he must be their real leader and follow him. Despite a protest from the other Optimus Prime, the Autobots all head towards the crevice when Windcharger suddenly drives out of it and heads towards them.

He transforms and explains that the crevice is not safe to go down into and that he only survived because he transformed into his car mode when he fell in - the rubber insulation on his tyres stopped him from being destroyed, and that Megatron has Spike. Optimus Prime says that Megatron must have re-programmed Windcharger to babble nonsense at that the crystals are perfectly safe. The Autobots want to save Spike but Optimus says that he's not important and that they must all go into the crevice now. But now the Autobots know who the real Prime is and who isn't, and the fake Prime is finally exposed.

The Autobots turn back to the fake Optimus Prime and shoot at him, and soon he falls down into the crevice and is destroyed. With Megatron's plan failing at the last moment, the Decepticons blast off in their rocket before the Autobots can get to them. But to make sure that they aren't followed, Megatron decides to get rid of Spike...

...by throwing him out of the rocket. Thankfully Powerglide is hear to save the day and rescue Spike before he hits the ground. With the Decepticon's foiled once more, Optimus Prime does a bang-up job of convincing everyone that he is indeed the genuine article and then hand shakes Spike for no reason as the episode ends.

This episode marks the first appearances of two new Autobots -Warpath and Powerglide. Who are they and where did they come from? It's never explained and it's one of my main complaints with the second season of Transformers - tons of new characters appear left, right and centre with, for the most part, absolutely no explanation to how they got there.

What's funny with this episode is that the supposed real Optimus Prime does a couple of things that should have made him look quite bad to the other Autobots, and prove that he's a fake. At one point, he calls Trailbreaker "Trailblazer" and then later calls Spike "Splik". Did the Autobots really destroy the right Optimus Prime?

Soundwave has a new cassette in this episode, the Auto-scout. Actually, Megatron tells him to send out "an Auto-scout" which makes it sound like they have more than one, although this is the only time it ever appears in any Transformers series.

Ironhide is seen with a different gun than usual in this episode, and it looks like the one that came with his toy. He also had this weapon in "City of Steel".

Megatron's Optimus Prime clone calls Ironhide Bumblebee at one point. The problem with this is that Megatron should know who these Autobots are as he called Ironhide by name in "The Autobot Run" and Bumblebee in "The Immobilizer", so has he suffered a memory circuit malfunction too?

For some bizarre reason, Skywarp has grenades in this episode, and throws one at the Autobots when they come back to the crevice. He's never had them before and never gets to use them again either.