First of all, you haven’t missed an episode recap. The last one was episode 12 but episode 13 was a clip show so that brings us here. The episode starts off with oil tankers (third episode in a row to feature them!) and some of them blow up. The captain of one of the ships states what we’ve just seen, presumably for the blind audience members. Things look grim for this fleet. Hit the jump to see what’s causing the explosions (hint: it’s not Michael Bay).
So Leozack and his Breastforce teammates are attacking the ships. Surprise! But Leozack is actually really mad because their teammate Hellbat isn’t there and apparently he’s the only one who knows which tankers have energy and which ones are decoys. Sure, we might wonder why the Decepticons all agreed to start attacking without Hellbat present, or why they didn’t ask him to share that information before the attack. We might wonder. But these guys don’t, because they’re very stupid.
Cut to the Autobots’ base and their computer is telling them about the attack. It isn’t a satellite feed or anything. It just throws up random equations while one of them fiddles with knobs and that tells them what they need to know. Hey, they’re alien robots. You think you’re gonna understand their technology?
All of the Autobots start to head out to save the day. Then leader Star Saber tells the Multiforce members to hold up. They are told to stay behind and guard the base. The base that is also a transformer. And there’s also the completely unseen Rescue Patrol to watch the base. But if the Multiforce went along, then you’d have to animate extra Decepticons to fight them and it just becomes this whole thing. So the Multiforce says behind and they don’t do anything useful for the rest of this episode. Hope you enjoy their cameos!
Meanwhile, Jean is riding in Stakeout, heading back to the base. Jean is excited that it’s almost summer and he can take time off of school. Stakeout is an asshole, so he reminds Jean that he’ll have tons of summer homework. Jean argues that if he uses the computer at the base, he’ll get done quickly. Then Stakeout paraphrases the BIBLE and tells Jean, “Those who live by the computer, die by the computer.” Yup, this episode of the cartoon about talking robots has an anti-technology message. You can also find two examples of decidedly retro technology later so I suspect the writer just didn’t like having to write tv scripts with a word processor. Typewriters were fine for him when he was young and they should be fine now, dammit!
On the boat, Leozack and team are just ripping open various boats and finding no energy. This is a very poor plan, even by the low standards the Decepticons usually hold to. Soon enough, the Autobots all show up. And the Decepticons didn’t even bother to take any of the crewmembers hostage.
The Autobot base has a big space shuttle that flew three of the Brainmasters out along with their leader, Star Saber (who turns into a jet). After dropping off the Brainmasters, Star Saber just yells out for everyone to hear that Galaxy Shuttle (his name is very on-the-nose) isn’t much use over water. I think Star Saber just wants to be the only big flying robot. So he tells Galaxy Shuttle to just leave. He does. Everyone else starts with the punching and the shooting.
Laster punches Drillhorn real hard and the screen flashes black. It was weird so I captured that one. Drillhorn is supposedly the Decepticons’ combat veteran. And he just takes a punch to the gut within seconds. Just pathetic.
So where is Hellbat? He went to spy on the Autobots’ base. He’s just standing around doing nothing and then says to himself that he’ll go steal the Autobots’ secrets. He’s literally been standing around doing nothing and nothing prompts him to get started doing something. It’s quite awkward.
Remember how the Multiforce were told to stay behind and guard the base? Here’s how they do that. We see them watching a monitor watching the base. Nothing’s going on. They decide now’s a good time to clean their guns. They walk away, leaving no one watching the security feed. I laughed at this.
We see the security monitor and Hellbat is just flat out walking around, crawling under laser sensors. But since no one is bothering to do their job, he easily finds his way to the control room.
The computer, at the very least, does not allow him access. And apparently Hellbat can’t hack the system or anything because he tries to tell the computer to help him find Autobot secrets and alarms start going off. Good thing Star Saber left behind three warriors to watch the base, right?
Hellbat then hits eject on a floppy disk slot and takes a floppy drive, saying to himself that this probably has ALL the Autobot secrets on it. Those are some pretty terrible secrets if they can fit on a tiny disk! He runs away before the Multiforce guys can return and beat him up.
But just as he hits an exit, Galaxy Shuttle returns and transforms, blocking his exit. Galaxy Shuttle is big and this freaks Hellbat out. His eyes bug out and he breaks a flop sweat, like robots are known to do.
Galaxy Shuttle reaches in to try to grab Hellbat but he can’t reach far enough. Hellbat tells him he should try a diet. Hellbat is not aware of how his fellow robots work. Galaxy Shuttle radios the Multiforce and tells them to make sure Jean doesn’t enter the base since it’s dangerous.
No one tells Jean and Stakeout not to enter. They enter the base and immediately teleport to another part of the base. They teleport right beside Hellbat. If it weren’t for bad luck, they’d have no luck at all.
Hellbat grabs the two and, now that he has hostages, orders Galaxy Shuttle to step back. The Mutliforce arrive and demand that Hellbat puts his hostages down. To which he replies:
So he flies away with his two hostages. This is one of those instances where Transformer scale never makes any damn sense. Why can a guy who turns into a jet carry someone who turns into a police car? Sure, one is bigger, but good luck putting a car on a fighter jet and expecting it to fly.
Oh, meanwhile the Brainmasters and Breastforce are still punching each other over on those oil tankers. Leozack shouts out “eat this” as he fails to hurt Star Saber and I realize that this season doesn’t use that phrase as much as the previous two. I miss it. Eventually, the Decepticons all give up and retreat. Since Leozack is the only one that can fly, the other three just jump in the ocean. It’s probably going to take them a long time to get anywhere.
Star Saber gets updated on Stakeout and Jean getting kidnapped. He doesn’t really do anything with this info.
We instead cut to a cave that apparently is Hellbat’s own base. He’s meeting with the Dinoforce to convince them to help him out with his latest plot. I’m sure it will work because the Dinoforce is exceptionally dumb and easily manipulated but the scene goes on forever, anyway. Right about here I was barely able to stay awake, seriously. This episode was one of the most boring ever.
Hellbat’s big pitch? If the Dinoforce help him, they’ll get “glory.” Leozack’s always getting credit for the work the Dinoforce does, argues Hellbat, forgetting that every plan by any of them have all failed so NO ONE has any glory.
Goryu is instantly convinced!
Hellbat keeps talking. This goes on forever even though everyone’s on the same page. There is NO conflict here at all.
Goryu agrees (again) to help. He isn’t very excited about it, though. So we have everyone on the same page, but kind of bored by everything going on. Why did the writers think this would engage the viewers?
Hellbat tells Kakuryu to bring out the hostages and that makes Goryu mildly irritated. It is instantly overlooked…
…because Hellbat shyly reasons he was only doing it to help. And he seems to grab his genitals. I just don’t know anymore. At this point, I’m trying to stay awake. I’m cutting out all the filler for you!
Hellbat threatens Stakeout and Jean with a cool wrist blade thing. He orders them to tell him about Star Saber’s secrets. They refuse. Kakuryu worries that they’re being mean to the hostages and Hellbat yells at him to back down and reminds him that he’s the leader. Kakuryu says he’ll obey Hellbat.
And that makes Goryu mad because he has to remind Kakuryu that HE’S the leader. Ugh. WHO CARES?!
The Brainmasters are all headed back to their base and wonder where Jean and Stakeout could be. One of them asks if they could be in space. Star Saber just kinda says no and that’s the scene.
Hellbat tries his hypnosis wave on Jean and… it just doesn’t work. The same thing that crippled the Autobot leader and brought the Decepticons the closest they’ve come to victory yet. Now it can’t even work on a preteen kid. Goryu threatens to bash him in the head if he doesn’t talk.
But he just ends up hitting himself on the head and tying himself up. The Dinoforce find new lows of stupidity every time they show up. Hellbat gives up and tosses Stakeout and Jean into a holding cell.
Stakeout has a plan of escape: wait for Star Saber to save them. Jean does something slightly more proactive. He empties his pockets and realizes he has TONS of art supplies. He sits down to draw.
Hellbat takes a look at the disk he stole. It has basic math equations. Hellbat reasons that it’s simply an encryption code. Holy crap, Hellbat must think the Autobots are really, really stupid.
Jean’s big plan involves the second bit of retro tech. He has drawn a test pattern and puts it in front of the camera that’s watching them. Even though it’s something like 2025 on the show, this analog test pattern is an effective distraction. Kakuryu is watching the monitor and figures the whole system is down. Jean and Stakeout walk away.
The two sneak through the vents and Jean finds his communicator. He radios Star Saber to tell them where they are but the Decepticons hear them and shoot at them. Hellbat seems very concerned that they’ll hurt the hostages but why does he care? They weren’t going to spill secrets and they don’t need to trade them for anything. Kill them! There’s no reason not to!
Jean and Stakeout escape into a tunnel system. They then find a stream of water and hop in it like a water slide. Where does it go? Literally nowhere. We cut to a cliffside and water bursts out of the rock wall and the two go flying out into the sky. What was the water doing before they got in the chute?
As they plummet to their deaths, they land in a net carried by Galaxy Shuttle who has shown up at just the right moment to save them. Even though none of this could have been planned, Jean and Stakeout don’t get too scared or excited. They treat it like it’s just another day.
The Dinoforce bursts out of the mountain, merged into Dinoking. They face Star Saber and there’s some clashing blades and tough talk. The usual generic battle stuff.
Then Star Saber cuts a mountain in half and it crushes Dinoking. Maybe next time, use the sword that can cut a mountain in half to cut Dinoking in half?
So everything’s over but there’s still a few minutes to kill. Jean thanks Star Saber. Polite.
Star Saber lets them know that the Decepticons stole a CD that belonged to Jean. Even though it was clearly a floppy disk, not a CD.
Jean is upset because the disk had his homework on it. Instead of exhibit any sympathy at all, or even put things in perspective – the Decepticons ONLY stole some useless homework – Stakeout taunts Jean about using computers to do his homework instead of his brain. This is a self-hating robot, methinks.
Back at the Decepticon base, Hellbat puts in the disk. It shows some math, then an animation of Jean shooting Deathsaurus, the bad guy leader. Then it shows a face sticking its tongue out. Jean has some weird homework.
Deathsaurus yells at Hellbat. And that’s how it ends. No twists or reveals. No cliffhangers. Not even a setting sun and hopeful words of wisdom from Star Saber. Just Deathsaurus yelling like he’s Dr. Claw or Cobra Commander or any other shouty 80s cartoon villain. Sigh… see ya next time, space cowboy.