Quest for Survival
Things are just darn swell on a Vietnamese farm, with no giant robots or anything causing massive ruckus that would totally spoil the day. Of course, the Insecticons, who are made for just that purpose, swoop in en masse thanks to their newly enhanced cloning abilities, and start gobbling up all the crops like greedy little buggers. As if that wasn't bad enough, they destroy some innocent tractors, too! That's just pushing it too far.
Aware of this demonstration of being jerks to the farming industry who already have it bad as it is, Tracks, Huffer, Smokescreen, Skids, Inferno and Warpath roll in to cook their gooses. In response, Bombshell sets Tracks alight. Good thing Inferno's there to give him a quick dousing!
More missiles, lasers and explosives are exchanged with little regard to the safety of the forest or anything economic like that, but it doesn't take long for the Autobot forces to suffer some crushing defeats, what with a mere six up against at least three hundred lightning-powered clone insect things. Smokescreen calls for a hasty exit, while the Insecticons gloat over their victory.
The troops are brought back for repairs while Huffer whines about how it'll totally be impossible for them to beat these clone Insecticons, but Optimus reassures them that they'll have a solution. Bang on time, Bumblebee, Cosmos and Spike call in via commlink from Floron Three, where they've gotten themselves from robotic insecticide. Not even three minutes in and today's problem looks done and dusted!
Except for SPACE TENTACLES. They grope and throttle poor Cosmos, but the apt usage of some auxillery jets gets them free from that sticky situation.
Meanwhile, the Insecticons arrive back at Decepticon headquarters and promptly get themselves inside a trio of domes to extract the energy they gathered from the crops they munched...
And converts them into energon cubes! For their efforts, the Insecticons are given a single cube each, with Megatron passing off the minimal reward as a result from the transfer process being costly in energy, but if they try harder then there may be more for them next time. Of course, this is just bold-faced lying, as he's keeping a whole ton of the stuff for himself and laughing at how bad got owned.
Cosmos is continuing his journey to Earth, but a few of the tentacles have hitched a ride on his chassis, and are slowly taking control of his operating systems! He won't be able to make it to Earth, and urges Spike and Bumblebee into the ejector chamber just before he strikes down into a jungle. Spike and his automobile chum land perfectly safely on a tree branch, and immediately set about looking for their comrade.
And not too long after, they find him: Trapped inside a growing pile of those plant-like tentacles! He's still functional but unable to transform, and the insecticide is still A-OK, so with that confirmation Bumblebee and his human companion head back to the Ark for some assistance in this matter.
Meanwhile, the Autobots are being informed by Teletraan-1's magical sightseeing ability about the Decepticons and their latest scheme for energon, but are too busy watching the screen to do anything about it.
Bumblebee and Spike arrive and are immediately queried on Cosmos' wherabouts, but deem it wiser to show them, as it'd be a waste to not take advantage of a magic see-anywhere-in-the-world talking computer. While they set about getting the image up, Bumblebee notices he's got some of the plant things stuck on his back! While Ratchet and Perceptor tend to that, they see Cosmos' wherabouts, and discover that the plant tentacle vine things have not only engulfed their friend, but are doing the same to the entire valley!
The Autobots roll out for their destination, but Laserbeak, the privacy invading jerk, spies them and reports back to Soundwave, who begins telling Megatron all about it. Megatron is made aware that the Autobots are going to retrieve the robotic insecticide, but doesn't care to hear anymore after that as he intends to find it before they do, and thus hears nothing about the state of the valley itself. Silly Megs!
Perceptor, meanwhile, remains behind in the Ark with Prowl, examining the plant, and soon discovers it to be a Morphobot, a species of florae that was thought to be extinct. The news is reported to Prime, along with a reminder that Morphobots were known to devour robotic life, so they should approach with extreme caution.
Meanwhile, Thrust spies the Insecticons chowing down on yet another crop field, and is ordered by Megatron to tell them to stay away from the valley until they've taken care of the Autobots there, what with them and their robotic insecticide that'll totally eliminate their forces if they dare show up.
The Insecticons believe this is Megatron's nicely worded little way of hiding something from them, and zap Thrust full of electricity for his trouble as messenger boy, who responds with a missile or two before leaving in a huff, while the bugs feel the desire to pay their benefactor a visit.
The Decepticons arrive at the valley, sensing an Autobot distress signal, but before they go about "investigating" it, their interest is piqued in the bizarre plantlife filling the valley.
Starscream sees it as little more than an obstacle and opens fire upon it, only to have his lasers bounced right back at him. Megatron, although amused with his subordinate's stupidity, is none too pleased with that feature either, but upon sensing an Autobot presense approaching, take to hiding so their enemies can retrieve the insecticide for them. The Autobots arrive and proceed to stand around, talking about how grown over the area is and how they'll never find their airborne buddy.
Eventually, Warpath is ordered to blast a path through, making use of some explosive charges, but they prove to do diddly squat. Ironhide is given the opportunity to make use of his liquid-spewing arm holes under the hope that they'll act as weed killers to these extraterrestrial florae, but not even his freeze blasts cause a dent!
They proceed to stand around like goobers just to demonstrate how SHOCKED they are.
Blaster decides to do something now that he's appeared out of nowhere, and transforms with the addition of legs, belting out some generic rockin' tunes. This causes the plants to stand up on end, and with a little experimentation of walking closer and farther from them, it's revealed that the creatures are repelled by the music! Optimus Prime uses this opportunity to diss his ally.
Propping Blaster up on top of Bumblebee and using the immobility of the plants to give them a proper freezing from Ironhide, the Autobots traverse their way to the centre of the viney mass and find Cosmos, who's in pretty dire shape, no denying, but still functional. With Hoist pulling him out, they make it outside the maze of tentacles and out into relative safety where, after all this trouble, the insecticide is still intact. Party on!
Of course, they would if Megatron had decided to go home after waiting so long. He hadn't, and summoning in Dirge, Ramjet and Blitzwing, they surround the Autobots and open fire upon the lot of them. Despite standing on an empty patch of land with no cover or anything, nobody actually gets hit.
That is, until Soundwave uses Megatron to explode the robotic insecticide, essentially making the whole expedition pointless, but also dooming the world to possible starvation thanks to the Insecticons' gorging upon natural resources! Spike takes this pretty badly, but for the Decepticons it'll be like free pancakes day everyday, what with their super duper energy converter.
The Autobots are so pissed that they stand right in front of their mortal enemies and shake their fists in anger, but before the Decepticons can actually take advantage of such a wide opening, the Morphobots take hold of Megatron's legs and pin him down, forcing his underlings to try and free him before they're just flung into the air again, giving Tracks the opportunity to blast Megs while he's down.
With the tides turning, the Insecticons arrive on the scene; an image which Megatron believes to be them coming to save his skin, despite the risk to their wellbeing. In actuality, they've come to see what the dirty dick has been up to when they weren't invited, but instead of making any interaction with him at all, they fly past...
And head straight for the Morphobots, which, in their eyes, is one hell of a feast! A feast that Megatron was hoarding for himself. They swoop down to stuff themselves so full of that glorious foliage food that they could--
THIS WASN'T IN THE REHEARSEL
Realising that instead of eating the plants, these plants are eating them, the Insecticons witness their entire army being gobbled up before deeming it wise to make themselves scarce as well. The Decepticons, a mite pissed at everything today, decide to follow suit, calling for an apt retreat.
Today's threat quashed, Bumblebee and Spike realise that despite all their trouble, the Morphobots are the real heroes of this venture, which even Optimus Prime agrees with, but they know that they can't be kept on Earth. So...
They cram the lot onto a rocket ship and blast it into space, set on a course for a planet inhabited by robotic insects. Poetic justice. Well, all's well that ends--
Wot-ho? What's this?
"Optimus Prime? I could use some help in the lab. And, incidentally... I hope there's another space ship available!"
Oh, that wacky Perceptor!
(we're all going to die)
Skids makes one of his two appearances in the animated series, with only one line of dialogue and no real demonstration of any defining qualities in his personality, nor does he even appear in the real bulk of the story. Poor Skids.
Cosmos never appears in robot mode during this episode, nor do Ramjet, Dirge or Blitzwing even talk. There's a fair number of characters who show up for minimal reasons and add very little to the plot, aside from the obvious "hey kids, I'm on shelves, right now, priced accordingly to your parents' income!" factor.