The episode begins with an F-14 jet blasting through the skies. Then it smashes into the ocean! But it isn’t because it’s crashed. This is Decepticon Leozack, the #2 guy and he’s… now flying through the sea. We’re catching him as he boards his boss, Deathsaurus’, space ship the Thunder Arrow. Oh, it’s also underwater. Why? No reason. That’s just how this show rolls sometimes. Last week it was in space in zero gravity, this week it’s underwater where it’s presumably under significant pressure. Oh well!
The Autobots have a spaceship too, who is actually a Transformer named Galaxy Shuttle. He lost in the name lottery. Apparently he landed beside “a lake somewhere on Earth.” That’s vague, but unimportant. I’m just curious how he landed somewhere without a landing strip.
Leader Star Saber checks in with his Brainmaster buds to ask what’s up. Absolutely nothing. Transformers does this a lot.
It’s also worth noting that almost all of the Transformers this season did not get a major release here in the States. The Brainmasters, Multiforce, Breastforce and Dinoforce were all Japanese-exclusive toys at the time. The Micromasters DID get released over here, but so far we’ve only met Stakeout. The robots inside the Dinoforce Pretender shells were also sold here in the U.S., but with shells called Pretender Monsters. They had different names and coloring, but did merge to form a big gestalt, known as Monstructor. Anyway, different continuity. Just letting you know.
But don’t worry! Blacker says that he’s watching the monitors very closely and points to his eyes so that Star Saber understands that he’s looking. Because you look with your eyes.
Some of the Autobots are doing even less than the Brainmasters. Outside of Galaxy Shuttle, Jean and Stakeout are playing volleyball against the Multiforce. The ball gets smashed around without bursting but the Multiforce turns into jets and crap to win the game. This leads to one of Jean and Stakeout’s patented squabbling matches. No one wins those.
The “fun” is interrupted by Star Saber (he really doesn’t have much to do for a leader) who reminds everyone that Jean is about to start school. Jean acts like it’ll be fun to go to school, but Stakeout does his usual job of trying to shit on Jean’s parade. He tells him his data tells him it won’t be much fun. Wow. New levels of being an asshole every week.
Star Saber tells Stakeout that he’s wrong. Burn! Your leader just shut you down in front of everyone. He says that Jean will learn a lot and become mature. Star Saber needs to set more realistic expectations. Things more likely to happen than Jean becoming mature: Bumblebee defeating Unicron all by himself, Michael Bay filming a coherent battle scene between any two Transformers, Optimus Prime coming back and staying alive for a full season.
Over at Jean’s new school, which has the unfortunate name “Schwimmbad School.” It’s somewhere up in the Alps and is run by nuns. It’s straight out of The Sound of Music. The kids there are all talking about the most exciting news ever – a new student is coming! They wonder whether it’ll be a boy or a girl. There are four main students. Illumina, the nice girl. Joyce, her best friend, and who has purple hair. A guy who never gets a name all season. And Clump, the fat kid that acts sort of like a bully, but not quite. You’d probably be grumpy too if you looked like him.
Their conversation is interrupted when Jean bigfoots his entrance. He shows up with not one but TWO Transformers, which includes having the actual leader himself fly in, causing all the kids to let their jaws drop agape. You’d think they’d never met a transforming robot before.
The second Transformer is Stakeout, Jean’s “friend.” The students are are super impressed by a jet and a car, so you can only imagine how much they flip out when Star Saber transforms into a robot.
Stakeout wants some of that attention, too, so he transforms. But when his reaction isn’t as spectacular, Jean has to point out that he didn’t transform quite right. His right foot is still partially in car mode. He shakes it out in a fit of embarrassment. You have to wonder if it’s intentional, though, or if he’s trying to sabotage Jean’s first day at school.
Jean is especially shy and blushes in front of Illumina. As we’re about to learn, Jean has pretty much zero experience with human interaction.
The Headmistress, Mabel, comes out to see what all the confusion is about and Star Saber just picks her right up without asking for her permission. She’s a bit surprised and he says that this is less impersonal. Christ, who taught this guy manners? Not a nunbot, I’m guessing.
Ready for a bit of a twist? Star Saber explains that he’s basically Jean’s father. Yup, he adopted Jean and that’s why Jean has been hanging out with the Autobots in the previous episodes. They’re literally his family! Star Saber explains that he’s enrolled Jean in school so that he can learn and socialize with people. At this point, I’m stumped as to the logistics of how this went down. Everyone was expecting Jean, not any Transformers. Did Star Saber just do everything over the phone without explaining that he’s a huge robot?
He can’t sign the paperwork but promises to send a reduced copy of his signature later! Nuns really are sticklers for rules. Then, without really being prompted and even though it isn’t necessarily anyone’s business, Star Saber announces Jean’s super-sad history to everyone.
Jean’s parents were scientists that had done some mission or other on Mars and were on their way home. Right off the bat, we may have a problem. Two seasons ago, Galvatron blew up Mars. That happened around 2006 because Daniel was still a kid that season. This is the year 2025. So Jean would be AT LEAST 19. The one kinda/sorta explanation is that in the Japanese seasons, the future wasn’t 2006. It was 2015. That could make Jean the right age, but you are in turn giving Daniel almost a decade of age where he and his parents definitely didn’t age. Screw continuity.
Anyway, Jean and his parents are on their way home on a spaceship that looks a lot like the one from 2001 and it’s attacked by the Dinoforce for energy. It starts off with Kakuryu “hilariously” eating out of the thruster and then getting blasted in the face. His face becomes full of soot as though he’s been sweeping chimneys.
But things rapidly get serious as the Dinoforce begins punching holes in the hull. Jean’s father contacts the Autobots for emergency assistance while baby Jean and his Mom freak out like normal people.
Instantly deciding the Autobots will never make it in time, Jean’s parents make like Superman’s dad and put Jean in an escape pod. They don’t bother to get in the escape pod themselves even though a spaceship would presumably allow for such a thing. Maybe they were depressed.
The Dinoforce destroy the ship, killing Jean’s parents (and dozens of other scientists). Star Saber flies in, too late, and the Dinoforce retreat. Star Saber doesn’t track them down because he spots Jean’s escape pod.
Cut back to present day where Star Saber could not look much happier to tell this horrific tale. Star Saber is slotting himself right between Homer Simpson and Darth Vader on the dad list.
Eventually, Star Saber winds up his long-ass story about Jean, explaining that he grew up with the Autobots. Which is nice and all, but maybe he could’ve let the Headmistress know about Jean’s education somewhere in there.
Meanwhile, Leozack announces his plan: he intends to go destroy Star Saber by himself. Deathsaurus tells him to take the Dinoforce along and Leozack grudgingly agrees, but warns them to stay out of his way. Leozack has a really high opinion of himself for a toy that probably only cost about 6 bucks.
But remember how the Decepticon ship is underwater? Kakuryu explains that he can’t swim. Obviously meant as a joke, and it is a little funny but it’s also bizarre that he can doggy paddle his way through outer space but can’t deal with water.
Goryu escalates the comedy one more level by telling Kakuryu to put on floaties and goggles. We don’t get to see that, unfortunately, but it genuinely amuses me.
Back at school, Jean is apparently too rad to bother sitting at your desks and using your chairs. He just props himself up against the wall while the teacher lectures them about math. The kids, understandably, want to know more about the Autobots. The teacher really should have let some of this get discussed before he went into fractions. It’s just sensible class planning.
Jean starts excitedly jabbering on about all the Autobots and how great they are. He’s got no use for basic educational standards! He brags about how there are four Autobots with Brain Power. You know who else has brain power? Anyone who pays attention in class.
Eventually, the students stop even pretending to listen to the teacher and get up from their desks to crowd around Jean and hear about his awesome adventures. The teacher is about to have an aneurysm over this. Sorry, Teach, but this ain’t yo granddaddy’s school. Go sell your fractions and polynomials elsewhere, you old loser.
The kids can’t help but look out the window at the Autobots who ARE STILL HANGING OUT. Star Saber, if you’re gonna put your kid in school the least you could do is not stand around as a distraction. He couldn’t do much more to get those kids’ attention, unless he invites the whole team to come play more robot volleyball while the kids are stuck inside. Stakeout gets in one last jab as they finally get ready to leave, reminding Jean to not make everyone hate him. Either Stakeout knows that Jean has serious problems or Stakeout is a complete and utter asshole.
Apparently it was a good thing the Autobots dawdled and took their time leaving because just as they’re about to leave, Leozack does a flyby, destroying a bridge and peppering the area with blaster fire. The confusing part is how Leozack knew where to find Star Saber. A lot of episodes have Transformers searching for each other but Leozack just shows up. Don’t think about it.
Star Saber first tries the unrealistic approach: he tells the Decepticon that it’s not appropriate to fight there because it’s a school full of kids. This argument is less than persuasive.
Leozack responds by introducing himself as the “deadly” Leozack and also goes ahead and mentions that Deathsaurus himself is afraid of his power. This is pure bullshit that fools no one. Stakeout leaps at Leozack but Leozack’s chest shield leaps off of his body and transforms into a lion, occupying Stakeout in battle. Then Leozack summons some nunchuks to fight Star Saber. It becomes a sword vs. nunchuk fight but we don’t get to see much of it because the scene shifts to the kids who are not interesting fighting robots.
Things get worse. The Dinoforce shows up and smashes away at the school. Star Saber and Stakeout are able to hold the Decepticons back long enough for everyone to escape except for Jean and his classmates. Clump instantly turns on Jean and blames him for what’s happening. He does sort of have a point, doesn’t he? The Decepticons rarely target junior high schools in the Alps.
The students are turning into an angry mob but Illumina steps up to Jean’s defense and suggests something that none of them had considered: maybe it’s NOT Jean’s fault. Everyone is stunned.
Illumina argues that the Decepticons would attack Earth for energy no matter what, so the Autobots being there are trying to defend humanity, not bring more danger. And in two sentences, the class is convinced. Illumina better become a lawyer or politician.
With the addition of the Dinoforce, Star Saber decides to split himself up. Basically he splits his jet into two halves and the front half transforms into his medium-sized robot/Transtector body. The back half turns into a flying sled thing. He tells Jean to help him out and fly the sled part, which he names the V-Star but which looks like a hunk of metal that should not be airborne.
Leozack is able to tackle Star Saber in his smaller form and the entire Dinoforce decides they’ll help by dogpiling on top. All tension is immediately diluted as the focus goes from a Decepticon having the upper hand over the Autobot leader to Leozack complaining that everyone is just too heavy. This gag will repeat before the end of the episode so don’t use up all your laughs right now.
Fortuitously, the other three Brainmasters show up at that exact moment to help out their leader. They also have a strange idea of odds when they call the Dinoforce, which outnumbers them 2 to 1, “small fish.” Give an Autobot a sword and all of a sudden they’re king of the mountain.
The Dinoforce responds in a sensible manner by assembling into Dinoking. This is only the second time we’ve seen him but he is not treated as a threat like Devastator or even Menasaur or one of a half dozen other Decepticon combiners.
Because the three Brainmaster cars can ALSO turn into a combiner. It was a weirdly balanced toy because one become the entire top half with the others each becoming a leg. That’s smoothed out in the animated world. Anyway, they call themselves Road Caesar in this form. You know that has to upset the Powermaster known as Road King, from last season. I mean, who controls the roads between a king and a caesar?
Now that the forces are a bit more balanced, Jean decides to eject himself from the jet and allow Star Saber to fully power up. He hits the ejection seat and instantly realizes there is no parachute. So why is there an ejection seat? Jean goes flying to certain death, only to be caught by Stakeout’s metal hands. Jean is fine. Jean must be superhuman to survive that fall.
Road Caesar beats the living hell out of Dinoking. The Dinoforce opts to retreat. And they do that by letting their pteradon member, Yokuryu, fly away while they each hold onto one another’s tails. They can all fly, by the way. The Dinoforce is just really, really stupid.
You’d think the kids would feel relief that they won’t die. But instead, they all call for Leozack to keep fighting as he flies off. These kids need a lot of counseling. And they really aren’t any safer. The Decepticons know where Jean is studying and could come back at any time.
But no one’s thinking about THAT. Instead, they all praise Jean for helping to defend them. Jean isn’t just the audience surrogate, he’s a Mary Sue. A character with no real flaws who is constantly praised by the supporting cast for being so wonderful.
And to cinch his friendship in the group, he offers them all a ride on Stakeout. They all climb onto him and Stakeout drives off all crazy-like, whining about the load being too heavy. The episode ends before we see any of the children inevitably fall off the roof of a speeding car.