If you’re following along, you may notice that this is a recap of episode 10 and the last one was episode 8. What happened? Well, this show has TWELVE clip shows in its season. Obviously I’ll skip all those. This week’s title introduces a new character/toy. It begins with the Autobots just tromping through a farm, though. I’m sure it’s supposed to look serene and impressive but that’s a space shuttle launcher just driving through a field of cows. There’s no way that goes well. Let’s just hit the jump and get into it.
Blacker (also called Gripper sometimes – both names suck) is apparently somewhat scientifically minded. He’s building something and Jean uses the questionably relevant compliment that he’s good with his hands. Jean, tell an adult.
After being complimented, Blacker explains what he’s actually doing that warrants that complimenting. He’s building a Decepticon detector. It’s a fine idea, although since they Autobots have never been, like, a day late for a Decepticon plan, it’s actual usefulness is debatable.
Jean has a good idea: use the device. Okay, to be fair, his full idea is to use a bunch of them. But really Jean, it’s sad that you thought that hadn’t occurred to the guy who built it. Wasn’t he supposed to be going to school?
Star Saber shows up and is like, yeah, I like Jean’s idea. Blacker acts embarrassed when he admits he’s only built one. Well, you gotta start somewhere. Maybe if everyone could give Blacker a few minutes of breathing room he could get around to it!
Star Saber is disappointed. He didn’t even know about this invention a minute ago and he’s already talking about how they’ll make do with just the one. He’s gonna create a lot of daddy issues with his troops.
Meanwhile, in the Decepticons’ space shuttle, Leozack is stumbling over excuses for why he hasn’t really succeeded at anything for the previous 8 episodes. Deathsaurus just lets him hang himself with his own rope. Leozack has no valid excuses although I’d suggest mentioning that Deathsaurus has usually had him use 6 functionally mentally-challenged troops, the Dinoforce, most of the time.
Leozack promises to start doing a good job. Jesus, man. Suggest a change or leave. Don’t just make empty promises.
And Deathsaurus really doesn’t accept it. He’s like, “Seriously? That’s it?”
Leozack starts to blame his troops, just like I suggested but Deathsaurus cuts him off by telling him anyone can talk. First of all, not everyone can talk. Second, it was actually a totally valid excuse. Hire some better troops or build them or whatever it is robots do.
Leozack says he has a new plan to steal information from a science center studying ways to extract energy from minerals. This placates Deathsaurus but he still drops a passive aggressive line about how he won’t say anything more… for now. Dude, just go and do the job yourself if you’re so unhappy.
Cut to the science center where they immediately notice that they’re being hacked. Although they refer to it as having their circuits hacked which is how no one has ever described it.
The main scientist runs straight to the “Date Room.” Either he has very inappropriate work habits or the animation team used the wrong vowel for the admittedly super tough word “data.”
Instead of rubbing one out, the scientist looks at the absolutely massive hole in the floor that no one heard being created. He looks behind the servers and a shadow moves. It turns out to be a big bat. The bat does not kill the scientist but flies straight out the wall. Ouch!
The scientist looks out the hole and sees the bat become the breastplate for a new Decepticon toy who announces himself as “Hellbat” which is a cool name. But then he also calls himself the fifth Chestforce member. Not one of five. The fifth. So he’s ranked himself right at the bottom for some reason.
Then he starts doing a super silly dance, flapping his arms like a little girl. This makes the scientist fall asleep. It perks me right up. It’s not a silly phrase like “Eat this!” but it’s one of the best things I’ve ever seen on this show. I hope he does more of it.
Then Hellbat is shot at by armed human guards and… two Autobots. Who are they? Where did they come from? When did they show up? No idea. They are just two generic Autobots that Hellbat beats up out of nohwere. It’s very sudden and bizarre.
Oh, but they do try to shoot back. But instead of hitting Hellbat or even getting anywhere near him, their shots go wayyyy off target and blow up one of the smaller buildings at the science center. Way to go, Tex. You’ve been a real help today.
While this is happening, Blacker announces his device is ready. Did you think it already was? It wasn’t. Now it is. You can tell because Jean and Stakeout start cheering and celebrating like their parent just defeated cancer for the second time.
He turns it on and immediately spots Hellbat. No testing necessary. Great timing. That’s Blacker for you. Oh, and he calls his finding a Decepti-creep, which I love. I haven’t heard that since maybe Ironhide back in season 2. Rust in peace, Ironhide.
As often happens, Star Saber gives Stakeout and his Rescue Team the boring job of cleaning up the mess. These guys never get to fight or figure anything out. They transport people, move rocks or put out fires. That’s IT. Can you imagine being built for such a mundane purpose while all your comrades fight for the fate of the universe?
Hellbat lands somewhere or other and meets up with the rest of his Breastforce teammates. So where’s he been this whole time? No explanation. He’s just here now. So get used to it.
Hellbat butters up Leozack. He’s sort of similar personality-wise. Leozack wants to undermine Deathsaurus and lead the Decepticons. Hellbat only cares about himself and his best interests. So he plays all sides. It’s a decent dynamic.
Leozack is mad at Hellbat for getting noticed and says that now their only choice is to raid the lab for all the data. You know, he’s got a point. Hellbat did a really shit job of stealing data. And why send a giant bat in there anyway? Do they really not have access to anyone who can transform into a little tape recorder anymore?
Blacker is hanging out with his fellow Brainmasters in some bushes and uses his new device to spot the Decepticons. So the Autobots are about to spring a trap on the bad guys. Way to go! That’s how a protagonist needs to act – proactively!
As they hang out, they mention to one another how the new Decepticon, whose name they don’t even know, can reportedly use hypnosis waves. Stop. Holdup. Reported by WHOM? They’ve never met this guy and yet they know about his one special ability? I believe, gentle reader, that I have spotted a plot hole in this otherwise flawless thriller.
Jean went with Stakeout and the Rescue Team and stands around not helping. Instead, he tells the guy who apparently runs the lab, Chief Ogaki, that everything will be fine now. Glad you came along, thanks Jean!
Only then does Chief Ogaki ask what Jean’s name is and reveals that he knew Jean’s father. Alright, so he’s a little slow, especially for a scientist, but he’s had a busy day and has been preoccupied. Except…
He reveals that he knew and worked with Jean’s father and had heard of Jean but didn’t expect him to be so grown up. Did this guy just forget when his co-worker died?
Oh, he says he was best friends with Jean’s father. Yeah, you know what a best friend might now? What his friend’s son looks like and how old he is. This guy has a weird take on the whole “best friend” idea.
He pays Jean’s late father the ultimate compliment. He calls him “good.” Not brilliant or a trusted ally or anything else. Good. Jeez, don’t dig too deep into your thesaurus, Chief Ogaki. Good should do the job. Oh, and he looks up at the ghost of Jean’s dad or something. Jean’s father had a really unfortunate beard.
This compliment makes Jean lose his goddamn mind. He shouts out to Star Saber that this guy knew his dad. Star Saber doesn’t really care.
Instead, Star Saber is bored of helping I guess, and says he’s gonna go help the other Brainmasters and tells Stakeout to keep doing the grunt work. Lead by example? Not when there’s something more interesting to do. See ya!
By the way, the Autobots just totally botch their surprise attack. They jump out of the bushes and shoot at the passing Decepticons and miss completely. Throw that new radar gun in the trash if you’re not going to take advantage of it. Hellbat flies right up in their faces and everyone starts fighting.
Hellbat does his zany dance and begins putting Blacker to sleep. And then Blacker becomes my favorite character for the episode by pulling out his sword and stabbing himself in the leg with it just to break the hypnosis. That’s pretty badass.
Unfortunately for him, Hellbat has more tricks. He launches his chest animal and the bat impales Blacker with a super long tongue. It begins draining Blacker of his energy. This makes Hellbat some sort of vampire robot and that idea is pretty terrific so now I like Hellbat.
Meanwhile, the rest of the goofballs all fight. Drillhorn tries to impale Laster and Laster just jumps over him and begins riding him like a bucking bronco. Good, ridiculous fun.
Star Saber flies in to beat up the bad guys. The Decepticons fire approximately a million shots and miss him completely. A new level of incompetence.
While everyone is wrasslin’ around, Leozack has a plan: everyone send their chest animals to gang up on Star Saber. Hey, might as well. They’re not doing a whole lot being a breast plate.
The little critters are surprisingly effective, tearing away at Star Saber. They’re adorable. The chest animals remind me of Soundwave’s army of cassette tapes. They were pretty great. Who was your favorite?
While Star Saber’s V-Star component is getting trashed, he transforms into his smaller robot form and tries to battle the Breastforce. While ganged up on by Leozack and Hellbat, he decides now would be a good time to announce his name to the world.
Hellbat does his dance like a total maniac. I love it. It’s like a breakdancer. Remember, this show was made in ’89. Still the 80s!
The hypnosis wave immediately weakens Star Saber. He’s actually having trouble this episode! And Star Saber is apparently not as tough as Blacker because he makes no effort to stab himself in the leg. I’m kind cheering for Leozack and Hellbat.
Don’t worry. Blacker comes up with a plan. He decides to invert the polarities on his radar. That’s some Doctor Who or Star Trek shit right there. Too bad there was no sonic screwdriver or deflector dish to use.
Anyway, it works perfectly, giving the Decepticons migraines. Hypnosis waves are red. Headache rays are green. Just an FYI.
The Decepticons all retreat. The Brainmasters comment on just how fast the Decepticons are when they’re fleeing. Yeah, well, I guess anything seems fast when you stand still and just watch them go away.
Normally an episode ends right about now, but this time Leozack realizes he shouldn’t go back empty handed so he loops back and grabs the Autobots’ new device. They were just standing there not expecting that. Kudos to Leozack!
Blacker is disappointed but reasons that the Decepticons probably won’t be able to use it for evil. That sounds like a good reason not to chase them down. It probably won’t be a big deal.
Oh, and what does Leozack get for taking this tactical advantage away from the Autobots? Deathsaurus just shoots him with it. Ha ha. I was rooting for Leozack but to be treated like that by your boss is so unreasonable, I have to laugh.
Deathsaurus calls it useless because it only works on Decepticons. Well then aren’t you glad Leozack took it away from them, dumb dumb? Maybe you should just send your chest tiger to steal data next time instead of just complaining and taking out your anger on your (very few) subordinates.
Hellbat has an aside where he thinks he would’ve done much better than Leozack. Oh, you mean like how when your one job was to steal data quietly and you immediately set off sensors and busted huge holes in the lab? Sure, buddy. You’re a real stealth machine.
Finally, the Autobots celebrate the sunset. Or winning. but you know they love their sunsets. Jean promises to visit Chief Ogaki soon, this time for fun. Feel free to skip that one.