Time for a Daniel-centric episode. Not only is there an ongoing season-long continuity to these episodes of Transformers, there’s several 2 and 3-parters, or at least an arc. This is the first of a two-parter set on Mars. It’s an interesting change from the US episodes which were almost always standalone with the small exception of the initial episodes of season 1 (really a mini series) and season 3 (establishing the new status quo following the movie). This week, the Decepticons want to blow up Mars!
Read on to see how well their plan goes!
The show begins with a series of bombs erupting and destroying Mars but it is just a simulation that Soundblaster is running for Zarak to show his troops how his plan will work. Before he can explain WHY he wants to blow up a planet, the Headmasters begin kissing his ass.
Mindwipe points out the big obstacle for them overall is Fortress Maximus, the newly discovered super-massive robot form that Cerebros can control.
Zarak (still in shadow, by the way) says that if they blow up Mars, they won’t have to worry about Fortress Maximus any more.
Meanwhile, Spike, Daniel, Wheelie and the Trainbots are coincidentally on Mars. They’re there because Spike is conducting a geological survey. Yup! Add geology to his rapidly-growing science background on top of solar engineering and botany. His work is apparently accomplished with the help of a train robot placing boxes on the ground to study Martian earthquakes.
So while Spike conducts important scientific research, Wheelie and Daniel waste a visit to another planet by playing a game of tag.
As it turns out, Spike is on Mars in a complete coincidence from the fact that the Decepticons want to blow it up. He’s studying how to make the planet support life, which Daniel lets him know is super cool, dude!
Before more exciting research can continue, the Terrorcons fly in. Zarak has tasked them with placing bombs throughout the planet in 3 locations. But not to worry, Daniel and Wheelie are on the case.
They tell Spike who tells Cerebros, the Autobot leader, on planet Athenia. He sends the Headmasters to Mars. You’d think maybe Earth base would make more sense since it’s closer but I’m not a robot leader so what do I know?
Cerebros is more concerned with the mystery of what Zarak is hiding in the nebula (on planet Zarak). We, the audience, get to see. It’s a big robot getting charged up with the energy from the stolen Solar 1.
Ultra Magnus, on Earth, decides to send the Technobots to help. It goes very poorly.
The Technobots are IMMEDIATELY shot out of the sky by Trypticon. Sixshot is somehow expecting them, and brags about his weapons, which probably means he’s really proud of how he has six transformations.
The Headmasters arrive on Mars and this is as good a time as any to mention that EVERY time each of them transforms to robot mode, and the head attaches, their chest plate shows their tech specs:
The Trainbots are spying on the crater that Wheelie and Daniel saw the Terrorcons enter but the Decepticons somehow know the Autobots are there and sneak up on them, getting the drop on the Trainbots.
The Predacons show up, too and there’s a whole big fight, like you should expect from the show. Wheelie angrily yells at Daniel that he should be fighting, which is ridiculous.
Eventually, the Predacons merge into Predaking and beat the Headmasters around. Meanwhile, the Terrorcons kidnap Wheelie and Daniel.
While captured, Wheelie and Daniel overhear the Decepticon plan to blow up Mars. Daniel is horrified at the potential consequences because he’s pretty much the only character with emotions.
Back on Earth, there’s a battle still going on. The stakes are low but it leads to the best kick in animation, when Metroplex kicks Trypticon in the butt and it sends him into a mountainside where his head gets stuck in the rock.
On planet Athenia, Arcee and Carly sit out the action just as much as Cerebros. But they wonder why he’s sitting it out? We’ll find out by the end of the episode. But man, this show does not have any proactive female characters. It’s maddening.
In the underground Mars prison, Daniel remembers that his Autobot symbol on his Exo-Suit can play an emergency beacon, but can’t use it because the Horrorcons are staring at them. It leads to this amusing plan:
It works and the Headmasters rescue them, so Daniel relays the Decepticon plan to blow up Mars. The Headmasters kind of take it in stride. Like every other plot point on this show, they just sort of acknowledge it and report it to their leader.
Cerebros finally decides he’ll have to show up so he boards Fortress and travels to Mars. On the way, he tells Spike to escape while he still can. I like that Cerebros only cares about Spike.
The Decepticon Headmasters show up on Mars and the Autobot Headmasters decide to torture them for information on blowing up the planet.
Chromedome and Hardhead execute the same plan of sitting on their enemy’s back and pulling back on their neck. They resist but then Mindwipe eventually misses with his hypno-ray and hits Skullcruncher.
While hypnotized, Skullcruncher “reveals” that their bombs are in a nearby crater. The Autobots leap in to stop it and we find out that the Decepticons were lying and have set a trap for them. When did they set the trap? Was it always part of the plan to shoot Skullcruncher with the hypno ray? I like to think they didn’t let Skullcruncher in on the fact that they were tricking the Autobots. He gave up what he thought was real info and felt terrible about it. Regardless, the Headmasters get shot with guns and we are treated to no less than three repeated shots of each of the four Headmasters getting blown up. The first time I saw it, I thought they were killed but then the animation would repeat so I guess they were just getting blasted.
The Decepticons demand that the Autobots dance for them. Again. Just like last episode. But even if the Autobots could hear the request, they’d probably have a hard time enacting it since they’re being blown up repeatedly. Cerebros arrives and wants to transform into Fortress Maximus but he can’t get it up. Basically, in order to remove the Master Sword and engage the transformation, his physical and mental states have to be just right. They aren’t, but then they are. There’s no time for tension because this all happens in a row.
His sword drawn, Cerebros leaps out of Fortress to smash the Decepticon Headmasters but they launch a bomb at him and he strikes it, which is where part one ends:
So that’s where it ends. Who will live and who will die? And what is the explosion on mars that’s mentioned in the title? Find out next episode!