The Rebirth, part 2
And in the gap between last episode and this one, all the configuring hoohaas involving becoming a Headmaster are finished! It's now just a simple matter of having the Nebulons choose which dude to go inside. Duros, the combat specialist, makes the wise choice of picking Hardhead. Arcana, the aged intellect, sides with Brainstorm on the fact that although undisciplined, his youthful ideas are pretty invigorating. Stylor, who doesn't even get a description, picks Chromedome (who doesn't get a description of why he was chosen either!), leaving Gort with Highbrow, which wasn't what he hoped for.
Arcee reserved Daniel for herself, so the
kid's wheeled inside as they all begin refitting their noggins back on,
reawakening the Transformers' personalities. They all get along reasonably well
with their head partners, though of course, Highbrow has hoping for someone less
of a middle class nobody to live in his head, but he's stuck with him. With the
operation completed, they can see how well they fare against the Hive's
They do pretty well, actually. Somehow a bit of a mental helping hand is all they need to fire guns, rip tentacles and stick fists through vital circuitry, as well as other means of mechanical destruction. Job well done! Of course, Arcana puts a downer on things by mentioning although this is the best they've ever done fighting against the Hive's machines, those goons are sure to be aware that their robots are being busted up. Still, they kicked their asses hard, so even still it's not like they have much to worry about.
The Hive happen to be listening in on the very conversation, Lord Zarak mocking the claims of the resistance, but he wishes to observe them first before he exterminates them.
Back on Cybertron, the Aerialbots are
getting roughed up by Abominus when Punch and the Autobot clones returns to
Optimus Prime, having failed in finding the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber or
even Hot Rod, Kup and the others. Something is seriously wrong here, believes
Optimus, as he dashes elsewhere to "find some answers."
Back to Nebulon, Scourge has Hot Rod, Kup and the others stuck to a wall, hoping to get some answers out of them (i see what they did there). Blurr doesn't help much in letting them know where the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber is, and Kup isn't either, though he's grouchy enough to get tortured for it, though it doesn't last long before Cyclonus deems this charade a waste of time. After all, if those Autobots had the key, the rest of their forces would be all over them by now, right?
Bang on time, the Autobot Headmasters arrive and prepare to be all over them, though Scourge is doubtful that five warriors against eight Decepticons will end well.
The Headmasters charge forward, the bodies transforming to their vehicle modes while the heads turn into robots, opening fire from all directions. To put it lightly, the Decepticons weren't expecting this, and are getting their asses kicked from here to Jupiter (figuratively), even by bloody Daniel, of all people. The Hive take particular notice to this, finally realising where the resistance against them had been hiding - in the robotic exosuits disguised as heads! This could be most useful to their schemes.
Returning to Cybertron, Prime intends to find his answers from Alpha Trion, the dude who built him, but Ultra Magnus reminds him that he merged with Vector Sigma like twenty years ago, how can he even communicate with him? By using the shell of the Matrix to reactivate it, durr.
I liked it best when Transformers didn't have all this metaphysical nonsense that makes no sense unless you pay attention to more than the explosions.
Back to the battle, the Decepticons get the wise idea to flee, Scourge getting shot down in the process, though their attempt to pile into the mothership and escape to rethink their strategy is foiled when the Autobots totally blow up the vessel.
The five Autobots are freed and the Decepticons run for their lives, quickly losing sight of their foes. They proceed to mope about their embarrassing defeat, noting how with their lack of secondary operators and warriors, they'll always have the disadvantage and never find the key to the Plasma Energy Chamber. Just then, they're plucked from the ground by giant mechanical arms and dropped into a hole!
Down that hole is a conveyor belt that leads nowhere, just piling them up in a big stupid lump, as the members of the Hive reveal themselves by putting on the lights. Zarak has a proposal that will enable them to defeat the Autobots, and the only thing they have to give in exchange is their heads. Scourge claims they don't make deals with organic creatures, but they haven't got much of a choice since out of the wall come hammers, spikes, prodding tools and all kinds of pain!
Normally when you see something like that
you'd immediately give in, but they let themselves get clobbered and pounded
severely until Cyclonus deems it wise to accept his request, and shoots Apeface
when he voices his disagreement. However, only Apeface, Snapdragon and
Skullcruncher will give their heads, while the rest will offer their weapons to
be modified. Despite initial snickering, Zarak believes this to be a good idea,
and the reconfiguration to support the Nebulon partners begins.
Back on Cybertron and resuming Optimus' aim to find Alpha Trion, he's warped to a strange land inside Vector Sigma, and in no time at all Alpha Trion tells him that Nebulos is the place he seeks. He waffles on for a bit on how Plasma Energy seeks out anything that transforms but doesn't effect organic life, how it blew Blurr and company all the way to Nebulos, then goes on to mention how Vector Sigma made Galvatron aware of the Plasma Energy Chamber's key's existence, and how a second golden age of Cybertron will come is things don't go pear shaped. Prime's quite understandably confused by all this info, but he's basically told "this is happening, don't deny it" and he's booted back into reality again. Still, he got his basic answer, and he prepares to leave for Nebulos.
As the Decepticon enhancements are almost finished, Zarak mentions that afterwards, they will begin a new project that involves their entire city. Ooh.
As Prime embarks for Nebulon, he's leaving Ultra Magnus in charge of whatever shit rains down on Cybertron, though considering Prime's barely doing anything a leader needs to do in these two episodes, that's probably no big change.
And the Decepticon enhancements are finished! Yes, the pacing in this episode is wacky. Cyclonus is introduced to his new partner...
Nightstick, who likes to bust heads, which is unfortunate since he's a long-range weapon and all. Misfire receives Aimless, whose name is an accurate description of his firing skills, while Slugslinger gets Caliburst, who claims to have never missed a shot in his life, despite never firing a shot before in his life ("So? Would I lie to ya?". Triggerhappy gets Blowpipe, and finally, Scourge is left with Fracas, who's just as useless as the other guys except he's louder.
Onto the new Headmasters, Snapdragon and Apeface get Spasma and Krunk, respectively, and being tough-talking thugs it's an easy relationship to make with their new bodies. Mindwipe's partner, however, is top scientist Vorath who doesn't take kindly to being paired with a "mangy night scavenger," but he's brainwashed into playing along anyway. Skullcruncher's partner Monzo goes unnamed, but he's not too chuffed with the choice either, though Skullcruncher never talks in these three episodes leaving him without an opportunity to complain. With that out of the way, it's fighting time!
Despite shown being violently exploded, the Autobots are lugging the Decepticon ship back to the resistance's base when a damaged Cerebros stumbles into their path, mumbling about having found a city before falling unconscious. He's taken inside for repairs as Arcana notes that perhaps he found the lost city of the Hive which they had before moving underground, but the discussion is interrupted by the appearance of the Decepticons!
The Decepticon Targetmasters open fire, and by "open fire" that means firing one shot before throwing their guns in the air and letting them transform, allowing the gun robot to use tiny, smaller guns. This is followed up by the Headmasters attacking, something which Brainstorm doesn't react well to, though the Autobots soon realise it's better to fight back than simply stand by and crack wise. They don't do too well though, since there's effectively double the amount of Decepticons to face off against.
And that's no forgetting that the Targetmasters, when they actually hit, cause crazy explosions.
Vorath comments to Mindwipe that they can use some scientific toy to find which one of them has the Plasma Energy Chamber key, though Mindwipe can do the same thing without any extras, singling it out to Brainstorm. His attempt to fight back does nothing, and he's knocked to the ground as the Hive members swarm around him looking for the key. One manages to find it, prompting the lot to flee, but Arcana grabs Nightstick and gets Brainstorm to scan his body before he escapes.
Scourge receives the key and calls for them to destroy the Autobots before moving on, though Fracas demands they return to the Hive's city as soon as possible, threatening to shoot him if he says otherwise. It's hard to say no to a partner like that, so the Decepticons retreat. Since only two of the Autobots can fly it's pointless to chase after, though despite their enemies having the key, Brainstorm claims he has something that can help them get it back!
Which isn't anything exciting; it's just the fact that they scanned how they made the Targetmasters, they've got six Autobots without upgrades and six Nebulon sharpshooters, so it only makes sense.
Optimus Prime finally arrives on the planet, conveniently aware of exactly where the resistance base is located, and is greeted inside to meet a few new friends. He doesn't see anybody new, until Kup's gun turns into a robot: Recoil!
This is followed up by Blurr's buddy Haywire, who sounds exactly like Stanley Ipkiss from the cartoon of The Mask. Pointblank has Peacemaker, Sureshot gets Spoilsport, Pinpointer belongs to Crosshairs, and Hot Rod's Targetmaster partner is Firebolt. The Headmasters show Prime their new head buddies, though they're kind enough to the audience to spare him a repeat of how this all happened, reminding him that the Decepticons are also Targetmasters and Headmasters as well, not to mention they've got the key, so Prime encourages them to head on over and introduce their butts to their boots.
The Decepticons are awaiting Zarak to return, Scourge getting increasingly impatient, though the Nebulon partners refuse to do anything but wait for their master. Their urge to shoot something is fulfilled when the Autobots show up, and this time the fight is roughly in their favour, even though it's effectively balanced by now. Scourge has the key, prompting Arcee to run him down and steal it from him.
She returns it to Prime and is subsequently encircled by his comrades, so the Decepticons would supposedly have no way of retrieving it. That is, until the ground shakes beneath them, up rises Zarak in a monstrous city forty stories tall, who proceeds to taunt his enemies from above before transforming his city...
Only a few members of the Hive are seen before they get their exosuits, and a majority of them are clearly non-human robots, suspiciously identical to the residents of Lithone from the movie. Understandable. Why they even made character models for the Autobot-allianced Nebulons who are barely even seen before getting brand new character models for their exosuits is beyond me.
I've probably forgotten which of Nebulos and Nebulon is the planet and which is the name of the people who live on it. Wouldn't be anything new, though. I'm sure I mixed up the names of the Autobot Targetmasters, too.
Arcee is absent during everyone showing off their buddies to Prime and for pretty much all of the fight scenes, except for like one token scene. She ain't got a toy so phooey to her presence, I assume was what the producers thought.
The whole Targetmasters thing is pretty silly, really. For Headmasters, their actual, literal heads are reconfigured to allow it to transform and dudes to live inside, but for Targetmasters they just seem to get brand new guns that double as little dudes, not actually changing their original weaponry at all. In that case if they had the materials, couldn't they just make an army of little dudes who double as weaponry?
... why am I trying to make sense of a cartoon made to sell toys?