INTRODUCTION: Over the last decade-plus of getting my Internet on, a disturbing thing has occurred to me. Just about every single thing that I like enough to say “hey, I am A FAN of that” has an internet fan base made up largely of the worst people there have ever been. Heavy metal fans run the gamut from meth lab hillbillies to neo-Nazis to uppity pricks who look down on anyone who owns a record with a print run of more than 300 copies to Manowar fans with whatever disorder it is that Manowar fans have. Chicago Bears fans tend to be slow-witted closet racists who think that the way they manage the team in Madden ’08 is a way to manage a football team that can actually happen. Pro wrestling fandom is a minefield of pillow-humping Japan fetishists and basement-dwelling would-be kid touchers who take stopwatches to wrestling shows, (because how long a match is tells them how good it was) and who are still trying to come up with ways to excuse or defend Chris Benoit murdering his family. But man, Transformers fans. Grown-ass adults who can’t scrape together the cash for the electric bill, but will still shell out $40 for a child’s toy of the 357th version of Optimus Prime to come out this year. People for whom this isn’t a nostalgic thing from their youth, but a very real and very important thing with important new developments happening all the time. People who actually sit in line on opening night every time one of those dogshit live action movies comes out, and mentally prepare their super-positive online review before the opening credits even start, because it’s the Transformers, and dammit, they’ve got nothing else in their lives. I hope everything I ever do pisses those people off.
That being said, I’m gonna go put on my Transformers sleep pants and go watch some cartoons, because I’m a giant man-baby.
EPISODE THE THIRD: “MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE, PART THREE.”
Right on, it’s the last of the three tedious pilot episodes before things start for real. It’s like they made one thirty-minute episode and stretched it into three, and by the end, the premise of “guy, guys, the Deceptions sure do want all of our energy” wears about as thin as the spandex bicycle shorts of the 42 year-old grandmother who thinks they still look as good as they did when she wore them to the Bon Jovi show, 25 years and 75 pounds ago. Soon, we’ll get to the really good episodes, where… uh… the Deceptions try to steal energy. But it gets better, I swear.
SYNOPSIS: Everyone who got exploded in the RUBY CRYSTAL OF BURMA mine is okay! Megatron wants rocket fuel! Spike writes in his diary! Starscream tries to kill Megatron twice! Hound uses HOLOGRAMS to try to trick the Decepticons into attacking a fake rocket base! The plan FAILS! The Decepticons attack a REAL rocket base and SUCCEED! Optimus Prime fights Megatron and loses due to outside interference! The Decepticons WIN! But then, Mirage pulls some sneaky shit on their space ship and they LOSE! Earth is safe because the Decepticons are ALL DEAD! …Or are they?
– Ironhide gets pissed and yells “leakin’ lubricants!” for the second time in three episodes, making it the worst attempt at establishing the worst catch phrase ever. It’s also kind of creepy, when you think that the human equivalent would be some gruff-ass redneck getting pissed and yelling out, “gushing blood!” Actually, I think I’m gonna start saying that.
– This episode has live a thousand different examples of INTENSE SHIT being said in what was otherwise kind of a dopey cartoon, like when Prime tells Spike that “there’s a thin line between a hero and a memory.” Then, this gets negated like three seconds later, when Spike, who is supposed to be old enough to work an intense, physical labor job and certainly isn’t seven years old, gives his opinion of Prime as “he’d make a neat President.” This dude is supposed to be like twenty damn years old.
– After just sounding like a regular cartoon character previously, Mirage straight sounds like Bing Crosby all of a sudden. Instead of invisibility, his special robot power should have been the ability to bust out a kick-ass rendition of “White Christmas.”
– The first syllable of the word “hologram” is NOT pronounced with a long O sound. It’s pronounced like you’re hauling a gram of coke somewhere. Ain’t got time for these hos.
– You know, I make fun of Transformers nerds and as such probably shouldn’t be making nerdy Transformers observations, but OH MY GOD, RAVAGE JUST TALKED, THAT IS INSANE, HOW CAN HE DO THAT, YOU CAN’T TALK, YOU’RE RAVAGE, AND YOU DON’T TALK, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS REAL ANYMORE, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!?
– “Extinction to all traitors!” Man, Starscream tries to assassinate Megatron twice in this episode, and all he gets is shot in the arm, and you’d think that eventualy the other Decepticons would start to rally behind that guy, after seeing how often Megatron pusses out on the traitor-extinction front. Maybe they still follow him because he says intense stuff like, “if you dispose of me, there will always be someone waiting to dispose of you.” Damn.
– Man, this episode is like one big pile of horrifying failure for the good guys. When Hound gets the brilliant plan to use a HOLOGRAM! to create a fake rocket base to trick the Decepticons into not attacking the real one, the Decepticons use FAKE DECEPTICONS to re-trick the Autobots into not defending the real rocket base that the real Decepticons are actually attacking. Except the real Megatron is there, having shown up just so he could be all like “ha ha ha, look at how much of my dick you are sucking, Autobots!” He risked his own saftey just for shit-talking purposes. That’s real villainy right there. That is why the Decepticons follow this robot.
– Optimus Prime and Megatron have another big hand-to-hand fight, and since this is the episode where the bad guys win all the way up until the end, Megatron one-ups Prime’s “junk ready for the scrap heap” barbs from an episode or two ago with an exchange of pure, absolute awesomeness:
OPTIMUS PRIME: “It’s just you and me, Megatron.”
MEGATRON: “Then you’d better get some help, Prime.”
– Sixteen years before everyone and their grandmother was trying to copyright the phrase in order to cash in on a national tragedy, Prime says “let’s roll.” Truly an American original.
– At the end, it’s just kind of assumed by the Autobots that all the Decepticons died horribly when their ship went down, and the Autobots could not have a more nonchalant attitude toward such a huge amount of death. You’d expect the good guys to have some sort of moment of quiet reflection, followed by Prime giving a stirring speech about the consequences of our actions and the harsh realities of war or whatever, but instead, they’re just like, “hey, the Decepticons have all died, presumably in a huge fireball. Awesome, let’s go chill back at the volcano.” I know the Decepticons are evil and all, but that was just way too many fucks not given about the mass killing of an entire race of their fellow robots for me.
TIMES THIS EPISODE PISSED IN THE FACE OF SCIENCE: THREE – Once again, Megatron goes from largest Decepticon to small enough to be held in Skywarp’s hand. Also, Soundwave manages to hold like five other Transformers inside of his chest cavity, which pretty much falls into the same category of matter shrinking, growing, or having either infinite or nonexistent volume depending on the needs of whoever’s matter it is at the same time, and MATTER DOESN’T DO THAT. Also, Hound manages to create a realistic, three-dimensional hologram of an entire rocket base that would, theoretically at least, fool anyone who sees it into thinking it was a real city-sized base, and he does this just in one quick blink of light, without any sort of elaborate network of thousands and thousands and thousands of hologram projectors. HOLOGRAMS DON’T WORK LIKE THAT.
PROBABLE REALISTIC HUMAN CASUALTIES: THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS? – This one’s kind of hard to nail down, as they all stem from the Decepticons descending on a rocket base and just blowing the shit out of everything they see, because I guess this is a good way to steal rocket fuel. I’m not sure if the kind of base they depict in the epsiode even exists in real life, but the internet tells me that over 13,000 people work at the Kennedy Space Center right now. Now, I kind of doubt that all of those are there at once, and I’m pretty sure the base wasn’t a total loss like the oil platform or the mine from the last two episodes, so I can’t justify a body count of 13,000 for this episode. Still, that was a lot of explosions in a place where there had to still be a lot of people, so something in the low thousands is pretty realistic.
NEXT TIME: “Transport to Oblivion,” wherein I can’t remember what happens.