Episode 18 is titled “Daniel Faces His Biggest Crisis Ever” so you’d think it’d be Daniel-centric. I certainly feared that. But it’s really not, even though we do have to deal with him a little. It also has some classic Galvatron scheming.
Follow me, won’t you gentle reader?
The episode begins on planet Chaar. The Decepticons spot two incoming shapes on their radar and their Headmasters, um, head out to intercept it. Who could it be?
Two space jets fly in and the Headmasters try to attack them, so they transform into an ape and a dinosaur and smash shit up. New characters tend to get to do that. It’s how we know they’re cool. If they can beat the guys we know and like, they must be better so we should go buy THOSE toys. Right?
After a while, Galvatron introduces his newest allies, two new triple changer Headmasters. The old Headmasters realize they should have known they were allies by their emblems. Uh, yeah? What’s the point of them otherwise? Their visual sensors suck for being robots. The new guys have the not-at-all-embarassing names Snapdragon and Apeface.
Galvatron says they’re his new recruits and Skullcruncher compliments them on being so cool. I mean these guys are the best. Have you bought them yet?
The Autobots hear about it courtesy of their new guy, Counterpunch, who never really got a proper introduction but he’s part of the show’s dynamic so get used to him. He tells the Autobots what the Decepticons are planning when the story needs to move forward. They assume Galvatron must be up to something, based on the fact that he always is. I never tire of the casual swearing on this show.
The Autobots know who Apeface and Snapdragon are. Turns out they were with them back on planet Master, but allied themselves with Scorponok and after they were all exiled, these two just flew around space doing their own thing.
Anyway, Spike says he’s got a plan of his own. It inspires quite the reaction from every Autobot:
It sounds crazy and it probably is because how could you ever trust Galvatron? However, Spike does have his reasons. Before he can get to them, everyone feels the need to register their disbelief. It takes a while for each of them to act stunned.
He finally explains his rationale. Things have escalated. The Decepticons have successfully blown up both Cybertron and Mars. Their destruction, according to Spike and his amazing scientific mind, has made the space bridges unstable. The space bridge is how the Transformers (usually) travel between Earth, Athenia, Chaar, and, previously, Cybertron.
Spike wants to negotiate with Galvatron to come up with a way to develop new energe resources. Cerebros considers this very seriously. If there’s anything that defines Cerebros, it’s that he likes to think things through. He’s not a man of action like Optimus or Rodimus but it contrasts relatively well with Chromedome’s hot-headed attitude so I guess it works.
It’s not a great plan but it is a decent rationale for why he’d consider negotiating. Cerebros decides to give him the go-ahead which leads to a silly handshake and a message being sent from Teletran 1. Teletran 1! I never expected to see the Autobots’ old computer from season 1 and 2 but there it is. Nostalgia fun!
Galvatron receives the message as a fax. So obviously I already love this episode. I love anytime the Transformers use paper in the future. Where does Galvatron get his paper? Does he place an order at Staples for some Hammermill 28 lb. 100 bright paper or does he skimp and just settle for regular text? Does he have a Decepticon on Earth whose job is just to steal office supplies? Maybe that’s what Reflector does. We haven’t seen him since season 1.
Anyway, Galvatron rejects the idea, crumples the paper up and tosses it. For some reason, Soundblaster catches it. Maybe he is the Decepticon janitor? Scorponok (unseen for some reason) tells Galvatron he should consider accepting the offer because then maybe he could attack the Autobots at the same time. Apparently, Galvatron never considered this and he takes some time to mull this radical notion over.
Meanwhile, Spike (along with Daniel and Carly and the Headmasters who are only supposed to be escorts and can’t negotiate) travel in a ship through a space bridge and are bombarded with energy but completely ignore it. It’s probably meant to indicate the space bridges aren’t as stable as they used to be, but there’s not so much as any turbulence and they travel from Athenia to Earth with no problem.
Spike meets Galvatron on Earth at Shangri La. Galvatron’s first demand is that he surrender his wife and son to the Decepticons as hostages before he’ll begin talking. Why Spike would possibly agree to this, I have no clue. But he does. Maybe he just misses the single life. Maybe he’s been bonked on the head by an offscreen coconut.
Galvatron and Spike sit in a private meeting room and begin talking about a joint energy research program. Galvatron’s first request is that Spike do the research on Earth, not Athenia. This makes sense. He says how can Spike claim to be neutral when he works on the Autobots’ base planet? Spike argues it’s where his research takes him.
Galvatron delivers an ultimatum. If Spike will leave his most precious thing on Earth, he can continue to do his research on Athenia. Galvatron explains that he means he’ll have to leave his son on Earth. They take a break so Spike can deliver the news to his beloved son.
Daniel doesn’t like it but if it will lead to a peace between Autobots and Decepticons, he says he’ll do it. Carly says she’ll also stay on Earth to be with Daniel. We then cut to planet Chaar where the Decepticons gather as Galvatron enters the room to tell them his new plans. Wait. Galvatron enters? Yeah, and Counterpunch is confused, too.
He’s shocked – SHOCKED! – that the Decepticons are acting deceiptful. He passes the info on to the Autobots who decide they need to distract the Decepticons and rescue Daniel and Carly. To do this, two of the Trainbots begin a sumo wrestling match on the beach. It’s pretty obviously a distraction, and it only gets a casual response from the Decepticon Headmasters:
Meanwhile, it’s enough of a distraction for Chromedome to run into the meeting and tell Galvatron he knows he’s an imposter. He instantly gives up the impostering and turns into Sixshot, who was using ninja magic to appear to be Galvatron. Apparently. It’s not explained. He just glows and turns into Sixshot.
Meanwhile, the other Headmasters have snuck Carly and Daniel out of another cottage and then the Autobots and Decepticons fight on the beach, while Spike and his family hide behind a broken palm tree, the perfect cover from laser blasts. Daniel declares that from now on, he WON’T trust Decepticons.
Eventually, Sixshot uses ninja magic again (I think) to disappear in a puff of smoke. The Decepticon Headmasters didn’t know that he would do that and retreat. But first they refer to Sixshot again as a “consultant.” I am fascinated by what his working relationship is. Does he have to put in a full day’s work?
The Autobots chase the Decepticons but the Decepticons get on a space bridge (apparently they had one on Shangri La?) and blow it up before the Autobots can follow them. Blowing up this bridge causes all of the space bridges, already unstable, to blow up on Athenia, Earth and Chaar.
Without the ability to teleport between worlds, Cerebros declares that he will take the Headmasters with him on Fortress and follow the Decepticons through space to prevent them from pilaging other worlds. It’s a status quo change for the show. Daniel immediately begs to be taken along and after a bunch of whining, Cerebros actually agrees. Even more bizarre, his parents are ok with this. Wheelie also tags along to watch out for Daniel. They don’t mention whether Arcee is coming along or not.
And with that, Fortress flies off into space!
The episode ends promising more space adventure, which is the direction the show has been going. It’s written out Cybertron completely as a setting and now they’ve minimized Earth as much as possible. Let’s see if it works.