Episode 19 is titled “Fight to the Death on Planet Hive” and follows up on the spacefaring adventure promised last episode. Galvatron and his Decepticons are flying around in space on Scorponok (sorry Astrotrain, you’ve been demoted) and Galvy declares that there’s a bee planet that they will steal energy from. We never hear how he learned about it. It just happens.
Apparently, the bee people are no strangers to the Decepticons. One of their spaceships sees Scorponok and his Decepticon emblem (so helpful!) and they instantly head for home and send a distress warning. The bee people look like weird hairy humans that are wearing the goofiest hats this side of Mardi Gras.
The Decepticons blow up the ship and continue to the bee planet. Shortly, the Autobots come across the wreckage. Wheelie and Daniel instantly guess the Decepticons did it. They’re right but it’s a lucky guess since there’s zero evidence. Sometimes I wonder if these guys blame the Decepticons for everything and we just don’t see it all. “My ice cream is melting! It must be a Decepticon plot!” “I didn’t get as big of a tax refund as I was expecting this year. I bet Galvatron is behind this!”
Chromedome flies to the wreckage to investigate and there’s a bunch of dead bodies. One pilot is still alive, however. He thinks Chromedome is a Decepticon but Chromedome says he’s not and that’s good enough for this guy.
Aboard Fortress, the last bee survivor is on, presumably, a medical table. I don’t know what Arcee thinks she’s doing. It looks like she’s just electrocuting him. Well, that’s why these guys need Ratchet back.
Back on the bee planet, which is conveniently named Hive, the Queen’s guard tells her about the warning sent from the ship before it was destroyed and she says to ready their defenses and call home all the ships they have out in the galaxy. Basically, the bee people send out ships to collect energy and bring it back. It’s a loose bee metaphor, obviously. Except there’s no pollination ‘cuz you know – sex, gross.
Meanwhile, back on Fortress, the bee man says he’s gonna die. He doesn’t get emotional about it or use flowery words. Maybe they’re trying to imply the life of a drone is a bit robotic? It is probably more credit that the show deserves, but it might be the case.
His last act is to give Chromedome his medal and ask him to return it to his son. I’d love it if Chromedome just pocketed it, but obviously this is a Plot Point™.
Scorponok approaches planet Hive and Galvatron tells Sixshot and the Horrorcons to come with him. When the Headmasters ask if they should come as well, the Horrorcons deliver this awesome putdown:
Since their names are DragonSNAP and ApeFACE, it’s completely appropriate. The Headmasters hate just sitting around, though. They ask Scorponok if they can go down to Hive but Scorponok tells them to be patient and just follow Galvatron’s orders. For now!
The Decepticons enter Hive and are temporarily held back by the royal palace’s weapons. The Queen orders women and children to escape through a secret underground tunnel out of the city. Meanwhile, the Autobots approach Hive but are intercepted by a large fleet of returning ships. The ships open fire on Fortress.
Cerebros insists they do not fire back and that eventually the bee dudes will understand they mean no harm. Chromedome disagrees strongly and heads out. At first I thought he meant to attack the ships himself, but the other Headmasters follow him and they just float impotently in space shouting that they mean no harm, while dodging laser blasts. It’s a less-than-impressive plan. Eventually, they retreat back to Fortress.
Cerebros says they need to sit through the attack and be patient. Chromedome acts like a pouty little brat and says he won’t go along with this plan. He then flies down to Hive on his own.
Once down there, he IMMEDIATELY bumps into a child who turns out to be the son of the bee pilot they’d met. Chromedome shows the kid his father’s medal and the kid promises to sneak him through the tunnel to meet the Queen. With the time Chromedome knows he saved, he sits around and plays video games. I’m kidding. He goes to the palace.
Once there, he requests permission to transform, which I thought was funny. I know he’s trying to be deferential but would you ask the president for permission to breathe? It’s what Transformers DO.
He informs the Queen of the situation. She buys it, despite her royal guard having concerns. However, Galvatron and his troops get past the Queen’s defenses and he demands an audience with her. His introduction is stellar.
Chromedome leaps into action, trying to hold the Decepticons off all by himself. He bonks the Horrorcons into one another in what is apparently the slapsticky ha-ha moment of the episode. Very odd place to go for humor when the stakes are escalating.
Chromedome’s driving around, distracting the bad guys and Galvatron loses his patience, as though he has something else he needs to get done.
Galvatron and Sixshot transform into guns and blast Chromedome who falls into the sea surrounding the royal palace. Then Galvatron has Scorponok come down and wreck shit since the bee people refuse to just hand over their energy. Scorponok just sort of humps a column.
Then the Headmasters on both sides show up and battle. The best move is when Highbrow and Brainstorm bounce Mindwipe up and down between them like a tennis ball. It’s pretty ridiculous. On the other hand, the Decepticons team up to beat the hell out of Hardhead.
However, the sea is full of energy and Chromedome leaps out, super-charged. It balances things out. I guess we’re supposed to be surprised that he’s not dead, and I tried to preserve a little of the mystery but they called the sea a “sea of energy” at the top of the episode, so… yeah. It isn’t a surprise.
Fortress flies in and instead of firing his guns, Cerebros has the Headmasters fly to him, pick up one of Fortress’ guns, and shoot it at the Decepticons. Cerebros calls it the Master Shot Attack™ but I call it The Inefficient Big Gun Attack.
Then Cerebros pulls out the Master Sword, is imbued by the Power of Greyskull, and transforms into Fortress Maximus.
However, Scorponok just punches him in the gut a ton of times. I’m glad that Fortress Maximus isn’t perfect and seeing him get punched so many times in rapid succession like a Capcom fighting game combo move cracks me up.
But you know that it won’t last. Why? Because the heroic opening theme music is playing. And sure enough, Fortress Maximus brings his sword down across Scorponok’s chest. It’s a serious injury so the Decepticons retreat. We’re left with Fortress Maximus standing trimuphantly in Hive’s orbit, while some very awkwardly composited shots of the rest of the good guys are superimposed over him.
The Autobots have retained peace on Hive. Will the Decepticons attack this energy-rich world again? No, I don’t think so. I think the next several episodes all involve new planets. Let’s see how it goes. Let’s see… together!