Time for the Decepticons to try out their nuttiest plan yet. In episode 13, “Head On! Fortress Maximus” Zarak and his Decepticons attack with plants and it’s a problem so big, the Autobots have to unveil their secret weapon. And it starts with bored robots, like way too many of these episodes do.
Let’s dive into it and get this crazy rollercoaster going!
The Headmasters are flying through space in Fortress and Cerebros, the Autobot leader tells the Headmasters, who are begging to fight, to calm down.
Meanwhile, on Earth, specifically San Francisco, and even more specifically at a bank office, there’s an earthquake. The employees don’t like it one bit, no sir.
This is no ordinary earthquake, though. A monster plant begins to break through the floor and the employees flee. Soon, the monster crashes up through the roof of the building. The police are called. And while we didn’t see it, you have to imagine some of those poor souls couldn’t get out because the exits at ground level were blocked by monster plant.
The plant looks like a puddle of green mud with a tree trunk full of toothy vaginas. It’s very vagina-esque. It had to be intentional. They call it a man-eater. Maybe the writer was just dealing with some issues. Eventually, the Earth commander of the Autobots, Ultra Magnus gets the word and orders the Aerialbots, Trainbots and Protectobots to help save people.
He specifically says to keep casualties to a minimum. I want to know what his acceptable limits are on loss of human life. The monster does eat a helicopter and a police car that the people absolutely, clearly do not escape from. Eventually the Autobots arrive but the Combaticons are also there as Bruticus.
He and Raiden (the Trainbots combiner form) have a lightsabre battle. I would be surprised but these characters showcase new abilities that are then forgotten every episode. You have to expect it at a certain point. Ultra Magnus takes some time to wonder if he should call on the main characters of the show as reinforcements.
In a surprise twist, he calls them. The Headmasters are all very excited that they get to fight and Chromedome either feels his robot bicep or gives Ultra Magnus a “screw you” salute.
Ultra Magnus is very amused (and why not? It’s not like people are getting eaten by a giant plant):
Yeah, Ultra Magnus calls the Headmasters “young ones.” Even though we know they’re AT LEAST 4 million years old. The show has never referred to Ultra Magnus being that old. Guess he must be though. Just roll with it.
The narrator helpfully asks the question none of us would consider without his help. Could this be a trap? Hey narrator. Go away.
Cerebros fortuitously remembers that he knows what that plant is.
He expresses some hesitation because it could be a trap. Chromedome wonders why he thinks that and Hardhead says it could be a Decepticon trap. Apparently this never occurred to Chromedome but he cleverly hides it:
Meanwhile, Daniel is eating food with his mom on planet Athenia. His b-story is pretty much completely irrelevant to the main plot and it features him and Wheelie. I’d rather have another Autobot karaoke party.
He heads out and plants some seeds he picked up on Earth. Wheelie shows up and says plants are dumb. Daniel is way into plants this week. What a coincidence.
Daniel reminds Wheelie that Wheelie likes plants. But Wheelie makes a fantastic argument:
Old people! That made me laugh out loud. This episode does not want kids to get into conservation and care about the environment. It’s like a cartoon version of Werner Hertzog: we must kill nature before it kills us. And in fact, Daniel’s new seeds instantly turn into another (smaller) plant monster. Wheelie attacks it instantly.
Daniel says it might not be a monster but after Wheelie attacks it, it fights back and Daniel and Wheelie retreat back to the base. Back on Earth, the big plant monster is smashing buildings and getting bigger and bigger. The Decepticon Headmasters show up and demand that the Autobots dance.
Unfortunately, no one dances. Back on Athenia, Daniel shows his dad the plant and Spike’s reaction is priceless.
Wow. The stuff Spike must have seen. I know he pals around with transforming robots but your son just dropped seeds in the ground and it became a walking plant monster in seconds. It doesn’t look like anything special to him, though. Back on Earth, the plant monster has become so massive, it’s broken out of the building and is walking down the streets of San Francisco.
Spike, Daniel, Carly and Wheelie are forced to retreat inside the base as the smaller plant monster begins smashing at the walls to try to get them. Spike has Arcee do some magic research on the computer and then says he understands and his wife stands around confused.
Spike determines that the Decepticons have harvested the plant to destroy both Earth and Athenia, using Daniel somehow to bring the seeds to the latter planet. He radios Cerebros, who has just arrived on Earth, with the news.
Cerebros says they need to find a weakness. Obviously. Then the plant grabs Fortress and beats on it.
Zarak is watching all of this on his monitor. Whoever gave him these helpful camera angles deserves a promotion. Soundblaster kisses his ass, telling him he though of everything. If by “everything” you mean he somehow put a big monster on Earth, I guess he did think of “everything.”
Meanwhile, on Athenia, the group realizes that Daniel has decided to fight off the monster plant by himself! If stupidity could level up, Daniel has maxed out his HP.
Daniel feels responsible but instead of asking his powerful robot friends to use their guns or anything, he’s decided the best course of action is to attack the monster with a baseball bat. It is less than effective.
On Earth, Cerebros realizes it’s time to do SOMETHING so he reaches for a big red key that’s embedded in a console in Fortress. He can’t pull it out but then he hears the cries of the Headmasters getting beaten and eaten by the plant monster and he pulls the sword out. It’s a sword-in-the-stone moment signifying him as the leader, in case you hadn’t picked up on the subtle metaphor.
He then puts the Master Sword (as he calls it) right back into the console. Hmmm. But he turns it. Ah! And then the big secret that you never could have guessed is revealed. Fortress… transforms! And Cerebros transforms into its head. Every character from Zarak to the Autobot Headmasters are completely shocked. He is now Fortress Maximus and he is fabulous.
Towering over everything, he slashes at the plant monster with the Master Sword. And the plant literally explodes in fire after getting cut!
Who knew plant matter was so combustible? You’d think this new, amazing Autobot weapon might worry the Decepticons. On the contrary, Zarak laughs and says his weapon, presumably the one hidden in the nebula from the last couple of episodes, will be even more powerful. Wow!
And the reaction back on Earth? The Autobots love it. Who wouldn’t? Highbrow compliments him on how smart he is (strong, I’ll give you, but smart?):
Oh, and were you worried about the other monster on planet Athenia? Don’t be. Once the big one exploded, the other one did too. How could that possibly be?
The answer is: because it did. It just did. Time to drink. Next time we get to visit Mars!