This is the critique of Transformers: Prime - Beast Hunters Episode 4 Rebellion, and I must say, the episode was phenomenal.
In the wake of the newest episode of Transformers Prime, I am still quaking with excitement. I will analyse this new episode, so be warned of the spoilers. A number of my predictions for the episode were correct, but that did not make the episode any less exciting. If anything, it was even more exciting when I saw that I have correctly anticipated what I predicted.
So much occurred in this episode, I hardly know where to start, but I suppose that the beginning would be the best place. The episode starts off with the Autobots at the Harbinger coordinating a plot against the Decepticon fortress. This is, by far, the boldest move I have ever seen the Autobots do in this continuity. This plot surprised and excited me, especially since Ultra Magnus was the one leading it. Ultra Magnus didn't come across to me as the type of leader to charge into such a risky plan, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
In this plan, everyone was involved; the human children, even the US military. It was a very smart move to disorient the Decepticons and scatter their defenses before directly attacking their fortress. For such a formidable foe as the Decepticon army, it is better to come in at all sides and confuse them.
Speaking of confusing the Decepticons, I can only imagine how disoriented the 'Cons were when the 'Bots attacked. I can safely assume that they were not used to the head-on charge the Autobots led. For the entire series, there has never been an attack on the Decepticons, and they were no doubt unprepared for the attack. The only real warning they saw was when the 'Cons detected Miko's cell phone signal right after Jack's. Soundwave was the only one who apparently saw that there was something more going on than mere humans using their phones. Unfortunately, I suppose, for the Decepticons, Starscream brushed Soundwave's warning off and sent Megatron's forces after the two signals. This scattering of the Decepticon forces was precisely what the Autobots anticipated.
The Autobots split off, Bumblebee with Arcee, Bulkhead with Wheeljack, and Ultra Magnus alone with his large vessel. The first direct blow to the Decepticon fortress, known as Darkmount, was struck by Bulkhead and Wheeljack. They threw grenades at the base of the tower, drawing the Cons' attention to them. I was quite surprised to see that Wheeljack complied with Magnus's orders to attack the fortress. I noticed right off the bat that he was chafing under his strict, by-the-book demeanor. Seeing how Wheeljack acted under the brief authority of Optimus Prime in previous Transformers: Prime episodes, I was led to believe that he would defy the order of his commanding officer, regardless of who it was. I see that Wheeljack realizes that now was not the time to cause problems within the group. I believe he saw that all of their survival depended on everyone playing their part to the best of their ability. In this episode I saw the rebellious, white Wrecker officially become part of Team Prime, something I had predicted before I saw this air on television.
Bulkhead and Wheeljack took the more direct route, whereas Arcee and Bumblebee infiltrated the tower, something I will write about in a little while. Wheeljack and Bulkhead remained outside and enjoyed success in quickly detaining the Vehicons sent after them with the new weapons lent to the them by Ultra Magnus. Wheeljack's weapon in particular drew my attention. It appeared to be a sort of powerful, energon whip, capable of knocking several flying Vehicons right out of the sky. The whip was amazing, though it brings up a rather curious question. How did Ultra Magnus obtain it? A whip certainly did not seem to be his type of weapon, yet he had it. I can only speculate how he gained such a powerful weapon. Perhaps it belonged to one of the fallen Autobots he came across during his travels in space, or perhaps it is from one of the Decepticons he may have killed on his journey to find other Autobots. Either way, the energon whip is amazing in itself.
As I said before, Arcee and Bumblebee infiltrated the tower while Wheeljack and Bulkhead attacked head on. I can see how this worked, since Arcee and Bumblebee are better at scouting and penetrating enemy forces. Unlike Wheeljack and Bulkhead, who seemed to be doing excellent outside, Bumblebee and Arcee weren't having the best of luck. The Decepticons caught on and sent their forces to apprehend the two smaller Autobots. The Vehicons kept coming, and the two Autobots soon found themselves in too deep to get out safely. I wasn't too concerned about their safety, since Ultra Magnus was flying nearby in his ship. I assumed that he would do something to assist them, but to my surprise, he didn't. He merely said to 'keep them occupied'. I was mildly upset that he said that, but I saw that the plan was more important at the moment, and that Ultra Magnus was needed in the skies. I saw later in the episode exactly why he was so needed in the air.
When Shockwave realized that the typical Decepticon head-on attack may not be working in their favor, he suggested that they bring out the Dragon. It seemed like a good strategy to the Decepticons, but after the previous episode Prey, I knew that the Autobots were prepared to face the Predacon. The Dragon was sent after Wheeljack and Bulkhead, but it didn't get very far. The two Wreckers fired on the Dragon to slow him down. Soon Ultra Magnus shot at the Dragon in his ship, effectively distracting the creature and causing the Dragon to chase him. Once Ultra Magnus was in the right position he commed Ratchet back at the Harbinger for a Ground Bridge. Much to my surprise, the Dragon was Ground Bridged out to a very cold place very far away.
There, at first, seemed to be nothing that could stop the Dragon. I didn't think that they'd go back to basic Cybertronian biology to find a weakness. No Cybertronian, no matter what they are, can properly function in extreme cold. It was a simple, yet foolproof plan on how to get rid of the Dragon, at least for the time being. Had they not done that, I doubt the episode would have ended the way it did.
The one negative side about teleporting the Dragon to someplace far above the Arctic Circle was that Shockwave was possibly angered at the sight of his pet disappearing through the vortex. I am still not entirely sure whether or not Shockwave was angered due to his constant monotone and cold, logical, calculating demeanor, but I got a good indication when Shockwave left Darkmount to go down to ground and deal with the Autobots himself. Wheeljack and Bulkhead were quickly overpowered and taken down by Shockwave, something that I did not find surprising at all. Shockwave is a very powerful mech, and that cannon on his arm is only a fraction of that power.
While all of this is happening, Smokescreen is still with a badly damaged Optimus Prime buried somewhere beyond the rubble of the destroyed Autobot Outpost Omega One, in a spacious, nearby cavern. The Prime looked as if someone had dropped a bomb on him, which is essentially what happened. Smokescreen was not willing to accept the role as Prime, even as the wounded Prime was dying before him. I personally do not like the idea of Smokescreen being a Prime, He is simply too new to the fight to lead me to believe that he has what it takes to be a true leader. I have another mech in mind that I think would make a good Prime, but I will write of that later.
Optimus Prime seemed to slip in and out of consciousness, and for a moment I thought that he was hallucinating when he started asking seemingly out of nowhere who was calling for him. The episode allowed us to see what Optimus was seeing, and it was apparently a very bright light. Of course,I was very upset to see Optimus approaching the light, like he was willing to join Alpha Trion in the AllSpark.
The sight of Alpha Trion on the outer reaches of the AllSpark speaking with Optimus intrigued me. When I read Transformers Exiles by Alex Irvine, I was led to believe that Alpha Trion was still alive. But, this meeting between Optimus and Alpha Trion clearly says that Alpha Trion is dead. This conclusion leads me to wonder when he died, how he died, and how long he has been dead. I also wonder what came of the time-bending Quill and the Covenant of Primus, the two sacred artifacts that were in the ancient mech's possession.
I was surprised and vaguely angered that Optimus accepted Alpha Trion's offer to join with the AllSpark. I know he knew that he had unfinished business on Earth, and yet he took Alpha Trion's hand. Thankfully, Smokescreen put the Forge of Solus Prime in Optimus's hand before the dying Prime died for good. There won't be a new Prime, at least not now.
As I mentioned earlier, I had a mech in mind that would, in my opinion, would make an excellent Prime. That mech is Bumblebee. Although he may seem to be only a scout, he possesses the qualities of a good leader. The willingness to listen to everyone, being very steadfast in desperate situations, remaining calm in bad times, the list goes on. All it truly takes is the right set of circumstances for it to become obvious that Bumblebee would make an excellent, new Prime.
But, back to the analysis of this episode, I correctly predicted that Smokescreen would defy Optimus's wishes to become a Prime. I figured that he would be very unwilling to take such a responsibility. Thankfully, Optimus was empowered by the Forge of Solus Prime and was able to engage the Decepticons himself.
The new body the Forge gave Optimus is simply breathtaking. The tall mech is even taller now. He is much more 'robust', as Ultra Magnus observed upon meeting him. He now has a massive and powerful jetpack, enabling him to fly just as fast as Megatron himself in jet mode. None of the Decepticons could believe their optics when they saw Optimus rocketing towards them. Even the Decepticons who had caught the Autobots and rounded them up stopped and stared. Megatron tasted Optimus's newfound power when the Prime grabbed his alternate mode and hurled him back, into the Darkmount fusion cannon power core, destroying the massive weapon. From what I could see, Megatron was badly damaged from the blow.
I rejoiced along with Jack, Miko, Raf, Ms. Darby, and Ratchet upon hearing that Optimus Prime was back and better than ever, not that I didn't know this was going to happen. I saw on Facebook and other websites that Optimus Prime would receive a new body, and even saw the picture of his new form before Beast Hunters even aired on television. Optimus Prime's new and improved body was expected, but I wasn't any less excited to see Optimus 2.0, as Miko put it, in action.
Optimus brought the hammer down on the Decepticons, completely obliterating Darkmount and forcing them to retreat onto the Nemesis with their wounded warlord. This happening intrigued me. Not the fleeing of the Decepticons, but the fact that Starscream took Megatron with them. Megatron was in a weakened state and Starscream could have taken that opportunity to rule the Decepticons by leaving the warlord in the rapidly disintegrating fortress. But, Starscream chose not to take this opportunity, which is interesting considering his last attempts to rule the Decepticons. I saw Starscream hesitate before making the decision to get Megatron onto the warship, making me think that he was considering all options in regards to his next course of action. He may have decided that that moment was not the time to take the opportunity to seize power of the Decepticons. It is a smart move on his part. If Megatron is out of the way, then that leaves the seat open to both Starscream and Shockwave, something Starscream can't have. I am confident Starscream will wait, only because Shockwave is a potential and serious threat to his ultimate goal - power over the Decepticons.
This episode ended on a good note, with all of the Autobots alive, well and together with the humans. The world owes it to Optimus Prime. Had he not shown when he did, any number of major American metropolises would have been blown off the face of the Earth by the Darkmount fusion cannon. No one on the Autobot side was too badly injured, and they appear to have a new base, likely a courtesy of Agent Fowler.
I was reminded of the shining, red-orange interior of the Generation One Ark upon seeing the inside of their new base at the end of the episode. I don't know whether or not this was done on purpose. You decide.
Overall, this episode was absolutely amazing and I can't wait for the next episode next Friday. I hear from the promo that there will be little extras, similar to the Avatar Extras for the series Avatar the Last Airbender, in the next episode. I wonder what we will learn in this episode.
The next new episode will be airing on television on May 17, 2013 and will be called 'Project Predacon'. As a little heads up, I will give a critique of the next new episode.
What was your favorite part of the newest episode of Transformers: Prime - Beast Hunters, 'Rebellion'? In my opinion, the Autobot success in this intense episode was well worth that victory lap around the house.
Till next time!