As the title says, in “Lightfoot: A Dramatic Encounter” the Autobots come across Gordon Lightfoot and learn his hit song “Sundown.” Actually, to be serious they DO meet a Canadian named Lightfoot but it isn’t everyone’s favorite country singer, it’s… well, that would be getting ahead of ourselves.
Obviously we start with a fat coach yelling at boys to swim faster. Hit the jump to meet Lightfoot.
The swimmers are the swim team at the International School that Shuta, Cab and Minerva attend. Cab wins the race and Shuta comes in a close second. Then Shuta shakes Cab’s hand and points out that he’s a South Sea prince as though that explains why he’d win. Whatever you need to tell yourself to deal with your loss, Shuta.
The boys all shower in a huge group. And one kid keeps spraying water straight into his eyeballs. The chlorine content in the pool must be off the charts. Cab doesn’t take a shower. Is it because he’s the “weird kid” in gym class? Or something more… insidious?
Shuta goes to find Cab and locates him by the fence peeping on the girls’ swim team. If you’re wondering where this extended scene is going or what it has to do with the rest of the episode, the answer is nothing. We’re in for close to a third of the episode being a giant write-off.
Turns out Cab just wants to see Minerva in a swimsuit. Now I wonder if he spies on her all the time. What a creep.
So for the second time this season, the show presents a young teenager as some sort of lust object. It’s super uncomfortable. But the thing I am hung up on is why Minerva chose a big green hat to wear while swimming.
Cab and Shuta are caught by their teacher and the girls all freak out and berate them. But they have that coming. Cab and Shuta do not seem to get any formal reprimand and everyone goes on their way.
Later, Minerva instantly forgives them when they say they’re sorry. Then they all decide that they need to take a break from their duties as Autobots. Yup, that whole swim meet was a really exhausting experience for them and now they want to stop protecting the world from Decepticons for a while. They’re even excited about the idea of taking a break.
The go to ask Hawk if they can take a break and ask for an update on Ginrai’s plan. Ginrai recently went on TV and revealed his Transformer powers, asking if anyone else out there felt similar and to talk to the TV station if so. Hawk says they got mostly prank calls. So the plan is working about as well as you might expect, since Ginrai did it on a whim without confiding in his teammates first.
Hawk gives the kids permission to take a break and Minerva plants one on his cheek to thank him. Hawk instantly blushes, apparently having successfully avoided female contact for the thousands of years he’s been living as a human on Earth.
Not to be outdone, Cab starts dancing like a complete buffoon. Everyone stares at him and he eventually feels true shame. And that’s that. We’re done with all of these characters for the rest of the episode and a completely different plot starts up! You could say the show’s structure transforms! But if you said that, that’d be a bit on the nose. So don’t say that.
The Decepticon Godmasters remind each other that they’re supposed to defeat Ginrai and try to beat him to finding any future Godmasters. No new plans or weapons. Just reminding one another what they do each week. Maybe Hydra and Buster should stop retreating at the end of each episode.
Ginrai picks up the latest batch of mail for him at the TV station. He flips through a bunch and picks the one that he thinks has the nicest envelope. Seriously, he comments on how nice the envelope is. Things we know Ginrai likes: Beer, his dead trucker friend Billy, thick envelopes. Inside the envelope is a drawing of a robot and a letter from a dude in Canada who says he keeps dreaming of it. Ginrai decides to drive straight to the guy on the spot. Which is good because he just misses the Hydra brothers.
Yes, instead of flying around the sky and hoping to spot Ginrai, this time they actually visit the TV station, pretending to be fans of the show he was on, and asking to meet him. When the show producer demurs, Hydra and Buster choke him and get him to admit that he’s going to visit a viewer in Canada. Wait… this is a U.S. talent show. How did the guy in Canada even see it? At the time this was written, there was no YouTube or anything.
Ginrai drives on up to Canada while reading the letter again. Texting while driving=bad. Reading a letter=no problem. Ginrai’s a bit upset that the letter about the robot dream isn’t more romantic. Dude, it’s exactly what you’re looking for. Sorry there isn’t more poetry to it.
The Hydra brothers meet with the Decepticon Pretenders and order them to find Ginrai. The character models feel off this episode. Blood towers over everyone and Dauros is drawn squat. It’s not a bad design, just different than usual.
The Decepticons pull out the worst U.S. map ever created to figure out the path Ginrai might be taking. Seriously, did the animators not have access to real maps? Not only are the states all screwed up, there’s not even a clear line between the U.S. and Canada which is the point of the map in the first place. California and Texas are now thin little states and Washington dwarfs them all. Mexico is creeping up and taking over a large swath of the lower 48. Maybe this was the show’s prediction for the future.
Ginrai stops for gas and gets confirmation from the attendant that he’s close to the address, which is at a large car manufacturer. Shortly after he drives away, Blood flies overhead, terrifying the poor guy. The Canadian car manufacturer is named British Motors, further proof that the people making this show have never looked at a map.
Ginrai arrives at the car manufacturer and a secretary seats him in a room with a bottle of Courvoisier. And of course it’s a name brand, Napoleon. That’s the third time on this show there’s been a name brand alcohol, for anyone curious. Ginrai not only has some of the cognac, he gets visibly psyched about it and calls it out for its high quality. This show is really trying to sell us on liquor.
Shortly, Ginrai meets the letter’s author, a young man named Lightfoot, who is the heir to the British Motors empire. He lets Ginrai know that he’s been dreaming about a certain robot for three months straight. I’m sure Ginrai would have a boner over finding this potential Godmaster if he wasn’t so inebriated on Napoleon Courvoisier!
Lightfoot lays out his story. His father was from the UK but had a dream to design a new race car and moved the family to Canada while Lightfoot was still an infant. A strange meteor crashed near their home and Lightfoot’s dad used the metal to build his first car. He was not instantly killed by strange radiation. Instead, his design really took off and lead to him building a powerful car manufacturing business. Oh, and Lightfoot got the original car for his birthday the other day.
Ginrai is super shocked by this revelation. The car is pretty clearly built from one of the 7 Godmasters that broke off and fell to Earth. Although it’s pretty weird that it wasn’t already a car, like Ginrai’s truck or Hydra and Buster’s jets. Lightfoot’s dad still had to build it!
Ginrai asks to see it and Lightfoot lets him. Ginrai’s first thing to check is the underside for some reason. Not sure what he’s looking for down there. Do Godmasters automatically come with rust protection? After he’s sure that the car has axles or something, he asks if he can drive it. Sure, he’s only just met Lightfoot and he was drinking when they met a few minutes ago, but it seems like a reasonable enough request.
Meanwhile, Blood and the other Pretenders are following Ginrai. The other Pretenders want to simply ambush and kill Ginrai, but Blood suspects he’s headed to British Motors and if they spy on him, maybe they can find the next Godmaster. And when they see Ginrai at British Motors, he’s really proud of himself. Which makes the big vampire monster a lot less scary.
Ginrai drives Lightfoot’s car through the woods like a complete maniac. I’m guessing he’s intoxicated. Lightfoot is understandably nervous. And Ginrai never says anything like, “I gotta test its limits.” Nope. He’s just stone cold driving like a madman.
Finally, Ginrai stops and pulls out a pair of masterforce bracelets. Obviously Lightfoot doesn’t have a problem putting them on like Ginrai asks. After you’ve let a drunk stranger drive the family car, putting on some bracelets is pretty tame.
Lightfoot transforms into a Godmaster engine robot guy and is pretty freaked out. He saw Ginrai do this on TV, so I would’ve thought he was expecting it but he’s really confused and scared. Ginrai has to keep shouting at him to yell “Transform! God on!” Eventually Lightfoot listens and shouts the words.
Upon which he transforms into the robot from his dreams. I think we all saw where this was going right away. Anyway, Lightfoot is now a Transformer, so Ginrai found one of the 3 dudes he was looking for. Credit where it’s due.
Of course, then he sort of ruins his moment by looking at Lightfoot’s drawing and laughing. I have no idea why. It’s probably supposed to be him laughing with joy but it looks like he’s decided to take a look at Lightfoot’s artwork and laugh at him to his face.
Just then, the Decepticon Pretenders attack. With Ginrai in his human form he’s completely vulnerable and he left his truck back at the manufacturing plant. He’s forced to duck and dive but the Decepticons can’t quite seem to murder this guy. I’d suggest trying laser guns. They usually work well.
Ginrai tells Lightfoot to transform again and he jumps into the car with him. Lightfoot has zero experience, so he has no idea how to fight so instead they try to escape. Ginrai tells Lightfoot to take him back to his truck. Lightfoot dashes between Blood and Dauros but Gilmer is standing right in his path!
Lightfoot simply floors it, jumping between Gilmer’s legs and smashing him in the groin. And apparently Transformers had balls before Michael Bay made that explicit in Transformers 2: Dark of the Moon. Because Gilmer drops to the ground, holding his smooth metal area and cries about getting kicked in the balls.
Not knowing the boundaries of good taste, Ginrai tells Lightfoot he should wash his car after that move. Ugh, show some class, Ginrai!
Lightfoot gets Ginrai back to his truck and trailer where he transforms into Super Ginrai. He tells the Pretenders he’s going to finish them off. Yes, finally. Don’t just watch them run away at the end of every episode. They kill people all the time. Put them down!
A big fight commences in which Lightfoot starts to learn how to handle himself. Two of the Pretenders do their usual move of retreating but Lightfoot holds one back and tells Ginrai to go ahead and follow them. Eh, in this case he might be better off trying to keep Lightfoot safe and finishing off at least one of them, but he chases the two that are escaping.
The two Pretenders run away past a river where two Seacon Gulfs jump out and latch onto Ginrai’s arms. He’s able to smash them into little bits pretty easily, but while he’s distracted, the Seacon leader Turtler summons more drones and merges into King Poseidon. Dare we hope for a match between equals?
No, of course not. Ginrai pretty much just bashes King Poseidon in the face and that’s all she wrote.
To add insult to injury, King Poseidon’s sword goes flying into the air while he falls backwards and then gets impaled by his own falling sword. King Poseidon blows up, but Turtler escapes the wreckage unscathed for reasons.
Lightfoot also let his opponent escape so that’s it for the Decepticons this episode. As the sun sets (it frequently knows to do that at the end of an episode) Lightfoot asks Ginrai to be his mentor. If you want to learn how to drink and drive, you’ve found the right man, Lightfoot!