Episode 26 is called “I Risk My Life for Earth” and while the good guys do that most episodes, I’m pretty sure the phrase is supposed to be attributed to Spike who sustains a serious injury this week. But the episode begins with Zarak declaring himself the Decepticon leader (for a second time this season, if you were keeping track) and he chooses a goofy-ass title that no one ever uses:
OK, Great Emperor of Dread. Good luck with that. Everyone’s gonna call you ‘ol “Forgot-to-pay-the-electric-bill” since your first dozen episodes you were cloaked in shadow.
Read on to learn about Spike’s injury and whether it changes the status quo.
As the Decepticons cheer for their new leader, the Autobot spy Counterpunch looks around like a kid stealing his first candy bar and walks away. He’s the ONLY one to walk away. He may as well have set off his own car alarm but no one seems to notice him leaving.
He reports the latest news to the Autobots, that Zarak plans to blow up Earth through its volcanoes. Some real Dr. Evil shit. Meanwhile, the Headmasters ask if Highbrow has translated his microfilm yet to learn Scorponok’s weakness. It’s been weeks, but the answer is no. Highbrow must have named himself because if his comrades named him he’d probably have a much more modest name like “Functionally Literate.”
Zarak corners Sixshot and announces that it’s time for the Decepticons to press their advantage, since Ultra Magnus is dead. He seems to be overlooking the fact that Galvatron is also dead. Galvatron. The guy who survived a planet exploding.
Sixshot is totally in! But for some reason he isn’t in quite enough. Zarak frowns in disappointment that his only competent soldier isn’t doing jumping backflips for him. And where are the balloons?!
Zarak then meets up with his loyal fellow Headmasters. Skullcruncher whines about being out of shape. Zarak grudgingly buys them gym membership passes but insists they have to match half of the sign-up fee and pay for any personal training sessions out of their own pocket.
Zarak then says that they are the only TWO he trusts. He either forgot how to count or he has a clever management technique where he makes his subordinates all wonder who is the weakest link.
On the Autobot’s main base, Planet Athenia, Spike announces he’s heading to Earth to talk to some world leaders about how to potentially fix the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is the real-life series of earthquakes and volcanoes around the Pacific Ocean. Hardhead doesn’t get it so he was named well.
Spike sits in on the meeting which has mostly businessmen of all ethnicities, and… two terrorists? Not explained, of course. Also, the animators painted Spike’s face to look like Lion-O.
Spike later gives a scientific briefing to the Autobots. The idea of a former oil driller giving scientific lectures to an army of robots never ceases to amuse me. Of course, going by this show’s outdated technology viewpoint, the Autobots probably save their memories to 3.5″ floppy disks.
The Decepticons pick that moment to attack the Autobot base. Trypticon runs in and Metroplex shows up in seconds to deliver one of the best dropkicks ever. When you consider that these guys are supposed to be the size of a small city, the impact of this would have to be equivalent to a nuclear bomb, right? That’s a good kick.
Then Sixshot remembers Zarak’s note and flies in at his most peppy ever, announcing his entrance for everyone. Not to be outdone, some random Autobot damns him, so both sides sound equally silly. It’s a fair match.
Sixshot fires a blast at the headquarter’s entrance and blows Spike up pretty good. A random Trainbot tends to him while the Autobots defend their base. Honestly, I don’t know what Spike thought he’d do to help. He didn’t even bother to put on his Exo Suit. Just flat out ran at Trypticon in his space jumpsuit. Spike has either the biggest balls known to man or severe cranial damage.
Chromedome, as usual, makes it all about himself. He says he blames himself for not protecting Spike better. Wheelie points out that yeah, it’s pretty unrealistic to have expected Spike to do much against Trypticon. Daniel hunches in his chair, bitterly staring down Chromedome.
So what’s the damage to Spike anyway? Cerebros announces that like Tony Stark, Spike has a piece of metal shrapnel in his chest that’s dangerously close to his heart! Ouch.
Chromedome AGAIN tries to steal the focus by saying he’ll go fight the Decepticons by himself. Highbrow asks him to be reasonable and Chromedome starts bitching at him like a little kid. Cerebros has his hands full managing this crew, that’s for sure. Optimus Prime had Wheeljack, Ironhide, Blaster, Ratchet. Some serious depth. Even Rodimus Prime had Grimlock, Kup and Ultra Magnus. Cerebros is saddled with Wheelie and Chromedome as the guys closest to him.
Cerebros goes over the Decepticon plan to blow up Earth. And then Hardhead wastes everybody’s time, including ours, by asking if Zarak is trying to turn Earth into a sun. Cerebros. Send your soldiers to grade school.
With eyes reflecting his dead soul, Cerebros quietly explains that no, the Decepticons are just trying to blow the planet up. Like they did with Cybertron and Mars, remember? It’s a thing they do to get energy. They’re not trying to make a new sun. There’s already a perfectly good one.
Spike is in sick bay and Daniel checks in on him. Spike’s lesson for his son? Don’t cry. Yup, your dad is dying and you’re not in high school yet, but don’t you dare cry. Daniel promises that he’s not crying as tears stream down his face. Spike quietly dies inside.
Meanwhile, Chromedome hangs out by the closed door, eavesdropping and listening to their whole family conversation. This doesn’t go anywhere. I think we’re just supposed to know that Chromedome is a creep.
The Decepticons are busy on the Kamchatka Peninsula, setting up bombs, but the Autobots were expecting them so the Headmasters try to keep them at bay. Mindwipe gets in the second-best kick of the episode, basically kicking Hardhead in the junk so hard it knocks him off the screen. Not too shabby.
Cerebros announces that the only way to save Spike’s life is telekinesis. Surgery is out because that’s hard. Instead, he came up with a new magic power that he’s never used before and I am pretty sure will never be used again.
Cerebros transforms into a big head and fires pink lasers out of his head onto Spike. His family prays over him. Maybe they’re praying to Cerebros. If so? I guess that’s a good move.
While everyone else is occupied, Chromedome decides he’ll take a look at Highbrow’s research himself. And yeah, it’s a pile of papers. Love it.
Fortress is getting stomped around by Scorponok this whole time. Zarak/Scorponok makes his usual threats. He does toss Fortress into a pool of lava that he sinks in. That’s… not how lava works. He just floats down in it like it’s boiling acid. Lava is actually quite thick.
The other Headmasters try their best to attack Scorponok but he’s so tough and cool that kids everywhere buy his toy and the attacks are useless. Scorponok rubs it in, but Hardhead tells him, “Die, Creep” which is sort of beautiful in its simplicity.
Chromedome sorts through Highbrow’s notes on Scorponok’s weakness. And guess what? He flat out solves the problem in minutes. He goes over all the paperwork (love it!) and discovers that Scorponok has a weak spot: it’s the Decepticon symbol on his chest. They mentioned this many episodes back but I guess that was a mistake because they act like they just noticed it.
Meanwhile, Cerebros gets that special feeling that lets him transform into Fortress Maximus. He transforms and leaps out of the lava at Scorponok fully transformed. It’s a pretty good entrance.
Chromedome runs up and tells his boss about the weak spot. I’m shocked he didn’t try to use a pager.
Fortress Maximus attacks Scorponok who defends a few blows with his (new?) shield but eventually the master sword cuts him across the chest. It’s a strange place to not have reinforced, isn’t it?
The Decepticons retreat and Spike feels great. So Carly and Daniel celebrate the only way they know how: stupidly.
Join us next week for the aftermath of the Decepticon’s attempt to bomb Earth.