104 - Equal Measures
Equal Measures is our first episode not written by either Bob Forward or Larry DiTillio. Like "The Web" before it, it also features Cheetor ignoring orders. Feeling a pattern yet?
Our episode opens with two lightning strike causing a mountain to... implode !!??!!?? Revealing a large Energon deposit. To outline how our second episode's plot was pointless, no one really cares about it, since they've now realized Energon is about as common as water on this planet. Optimus tries to contact the base to tell them to "Scrub the mission", but the weather is jamming the comms. Oh yeah, remember that "No communication past 100m?" That's gone now. Comms work fine so long as there's no weird weather or huge energon presence. Guess we can assume Rhinox refined his tech and upgraded the built-in commlinks? Back at base, Rhinox and Rattrap work on some strange spikes Rhinox built to detect predacon activities. Cheetor and Dinobot are building a bomb. Some antics follow, as Optimus returns to deliver the news, they are scrubbing the mission, the weather making their plans to sneak into the Predacon base and plant a bomb dangerous, as the storm could trigger weird Energon effects. Explains the survey posts need to be installed clear of any subterranean Energon. Cheetor insists he could do it before the storm hits, coz he's so damn fast and all, but Optimus shoots him down. It's too dangerous. Dejected Cheetor leaves the bridge, annoyed at not getting his way.
Optimus and Dinobot argue a bit. Optimus hopes to use the bomb to blow the Predacon Base, but give them time to flee. He hopes to win the way without casualties by denying the Predacons their base and its resources. Dinobot, still in his Predacon mindset, points out that Megatron would try to spare the base and kill them all. Optimus pulls rank and Dinobot leaves, dejected.
I have to pause to say that, it's nice to see Optimus being proactive, and looking for a course that doesn't necessarily involves totally annihilating the Predacons - ya know, show they are supposed to go for the moral high ground. Sadly, this is pretty much the only time in the series we see the Maximals actually being proactive in trying to defeat or cripple the Predacons. After this episode, they settle into Villains Act, Heroes React
. Any pro-activity they show towards defeating the Predacons is in response to a perceived threat.
The Face of Cheetor Forgetting Last Episode's Aesop.
Dinobot goes to meet Cheetor in his quarters, and goads him into carrying through the mission, by implying Optimus doubts
the size of his penis
his skills. Cheetor, being an idiot, forgets last week's aesop, and leaves to do just that.
Off he goes, planting posts and dodging lightning, passing a canyon filled with an amount of Energon that makes the mountain of the second episode look like breadcrumbs. Eventually a lightning strike causes one of the posts to fly an embed itself over an underground Energon deposit. Cheetor tries to pull it out but keeps getting Zapped by it.
In the Predacon Base, Terrorsaur checks a panel reporting on the perimeter sensors, he thinks they detected an intruder, but decide it is more likely a weather malfunction. No Maximal would be stupid enough to go out in this weather that can implode mountains. Dude clearly has never met Cheetor.
Cheetor keeps struggling with the post, till another lightning strike causes him to teleport to the Predacon Base, atop Terrorsaur's control pannel. Terrorsaur greets him with a line that would eventually spawn the ships name, through a fandom's amazing ability to give the strangest of meanings to the most simple of phrases. "Welcome to the Dark Side." Cheetor and Terrorsaur fight a bit, eventually ending with Terrorsaur landing on the control panel and getting beamed to the Axalon. Cheetor is pursued by Waspinator and Scorponok and feels inside a vent.
Dinobot is there, greeting him with "Welcome to Enemy Arms." Strangely, the fandom never decided to interpret this as the Axalon's name being "Enemy Arms". Terrorsaur and Dinobot declare a truce, realizing that this "accident of technology and nature" has accidentally created a transporter. I am not sure about the Technology part Dinobot. Lightning just made a mountain implode
. I think it's more likely we're getting Teleport Storms. Quick, find the Order Serpent!
Dinobot and Terrorsaur decide to strike an alliance, destroy the Maximals, bump Megatron off, and rule the Predacons together as
man and wife
partners. The fist bump and it causes lightning.
We get to more action bit with Cheetor fleeing Waspinator and Scorponok, nothing really worth describing in details. It's well done and entertaining for sure.
Dinobot milks Terrorsaur for info on how the transporter works - simply by touching it, before shoving Terrorsaur in a hatch and expelling him from the ship, before running into Optimus. He tells Optimus Cheetor disobeyed him, got beamed to the Darksyde, and is likely dead (leaving out his involvement), but that they could use the transporter to beam the bomb straight over. Optimus being rather gullible, doesn't ask where Dinobot got all this info, especially as Dinobot initially claims he doesn't know Cheetor left with the survey posts.
Meanwhile, Cheetor having momentarily avoided his pursuers, decide to copy some info of the Predacons' un-passworded computers. Comparing their maps of Energon deposits with his, he sees an Energon vein runs under both bases. If either base exploded, the other one would follow. He makes a copy on a floppy, and then avoids his pursuers some more.
Dinobot prepares the bomb, Optimus demanding he puts a 30 second fuse on it. Enough for the predacons to escape, but not to disarm it. They beam the bomb. At the same time, Cheetor reaches the panel, throwing the disk on it, which is immediately replaced by the bomb. Optimus finds the disk as it appears, notes Cheetor's smell is over it, and puts it in the Axalon computer.
Megatron and Terrorsaur corner Cheetor, and in what has to be the longest 30 seconds ever, convinces them to let him retract the bomb's anchors, so Terrorsaur can haul it out. They agree, he does it, though Terrorsaur gets caught in the bomb's shockwave. Cheetor hops on the transporter panel and Megatron shoots at him, destroying it and disabling the panel, but only after Cheetor's beamed away. A soot covered Terrorsaur falls on the broken panel, showing the transporter is no more. Cheetor's explosive exit causes the survey posts to explode. He re-appears at the Maximal base, as Dinobot and Optimus look over the data he sent.
Rhinox explains that Cheetor's disobedience saved them. Everyone (Except Dinobot, who leaves grumpily) congratulate Cheetor on his disobedience turning out so well, and he apologizes to Optimus for disobeying it, saying he won't do it again... till next time. And that's not me being cheeky. HE SAYS THAT. And everyone, Optimus included, laughs.
Like "The Web" this episode is better than the pilot. Really, on its own, there's little hold against it. It's just its place in the series feels odd, retreading the exact same ground "The Web" just covered last time. On the bright side, it's nice to see Cheetor show actual competence for one, as he's rather good when evading the Predacons in their own base. Dinobot and Terrorsaur get some character development. We see that though Dinobot has changed sides, he's still very much has a Predacon mindset.
- Terrorsaur speaks for the first time, not counting his "Terrorsaur, TERRORIZE!" activation code.
- Rhinox, Dinobot and Cheetor's voices all reach their final versions. Rhinox sounds a bit less sleepy and more expressive, Dinobot's voice is deeper, less screechy, more throaty, Cheetor looses a bit of the whine in his voice.
- The plot point of the energon vein between both bases is never brought up again, despite multiple explosions at both bases. Presumably, the Maximals mined the Energon under their base and broke the link.
- Dinobot calls Terrorsaur "Needlenose", which was a G1 character.
Ugh, the way that Terrosaur says "terroize" is one of the most annoying things ever. I get that they were going for a pterodactyl type sound, but they really should have noticed that it would get on people's nerves upon hearing it over and over and over. Really makes me glad that transmetal foreshadowing in the season 2 premiere never came to anything.