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MUNKY NOT TRUKK!! Let's Watch Beast Wars!
Ghilz

[table of contents]
108 - Double Jeopardy
I'll pick "The Rapist" for 500, Trebek.

Obvious jokes out of the way, our episode begins in space, with a stasis pod crashing in the arctic... Wait a minute, that sound familiar. Am I watching Fallen Comrades again? No, in fact, this time it's Optimus and Dinobot who are near the pod, at the bottom of a canyon. Rattrap, guiding them from the ship, leads them to realize the pod is up on the edge of canyon. However, Terrorsaur, Scorponok and Waspinator attack. Boxed into the canyon, Dinobot takes damage, while Waspinator grabs the pod and leaves. Optimus tries to pursue, but he's shot down by Terrorsaur and crashes messily. The Predacons retreat with their prize.

In the Maximal base, Optimus complains that their three last operations have been ambushed. Sounds like someone would be giving the Predacons info. Dinobot, ever happy to star something with Rattrap, mentions that Rattrap guided them to the boxed canyon where they were attacked. The rest are incredulous, except Optimus, who tells Rattrap they need to speak in private.

And suddenly a girl joins the show!
In the Darksyde, the lifeform scanner is activated. It scans a black widow as it devours its mate. Tarantulas, it turns out, is manning the scanner, and selecting a beast form for the newest Predacon. The new Predacon, Blackarachnia, is introduced. Megatron suspect Tarantulas had ulterior motives in selecting her beast form. She practices a few kicks in the background, as Megatron sarcastically thanks the Maximals for their "gift".

Back at the Autobot base, as the Maximals discuss if Rattrap could or could not turn traitor, Optimus decides Rattrap's loyalties are suspicious, and sends him on a mission to collect Energon in the "lava pits", in Decepticon territory, to prove his loyalty... Somehow... Rhinox wonders if Optimus is letting his emotions over losing the pod get the best of him.

During the mission, Rattrap reports finding nothing. The Predacons are listening in on this conversation, and Megatron dispatches Terrorsaur to take out Rattrap.

Rattrap is attacked by Terrorsaur, and after a bit of fighting, surrenders, offering to switch sides, since the Maximals don't trust him anymore. His radio is still on, so the Maximals hear the whole discussion. Terrorsaur demands his personal loyalty, and Rattrap gives it, changing his insignia to that of the Predacons, to the disbelief of the listening Maximals.

Back at the Predacon Base, Rattrap is in a cage behind Terrorsaur, who announces his plans to take over the Predacons to the lot of them (Megatron included), with Rattrap as his lieutenant. The speech is hilarious for while Terrorsaur gives his speech, Rattrap (in rat form) keeps punctuating his sentences with funny gestures in the background. Megatron points out Rattrap might just be a plant, and Rattrap sneaks out of his cage to taze him. The Predacons offer to continue debating Terrorsaur's bid for leadership, but in private, so Rattrap and Megatron are put in cells, hanging over lava.

Optimus orders the other Maximals to ready to assault the Predacon base, as he can't allow Rattrap to remain in their custody, as he's too dangerous a tool. Rhinox and Cheetor are still in disbelief, but Dinobot looks forward to taking care of the traitor.

Megatron uses his own voice code to override the lock ("The wise tyrant always makes sure his cells are designed for his personal escape.") on his cell and get out, noting he'll get his revenge on Rattrap, after regaining power. Rattrap reverts his insignia, and reveals a set of lockpicks, unlocking his cage and jumping to a nearby passage, nearly falling in the lava. He begins sneaking in the base, while the other Predacons' debate is going nowhere. Scorponok is loyal to Megatron while Tarantulas and Blackarachnia don't seem to care who is in charge.

As he reaches a crossroads, a rat comes across Rattrap, points the way to him, , and he decides to follow it, it nods to him in recognition.

Outside the Darksyde, the Maximals are gathered, but Optimus holds off the attack until he gives the order.

Rattrap finds the computer the Predacons use to listen on Maximal transmissions, and opens it, finding a Maximal chip inside, which he retrieves. He then tries to find a way back to his cell. Tarantulas finds the rat that helped Rattrap, and is about to eat it when Rattrap steps into a laser tripwire, causing one of Tarantulas' web to activate, trapping him while alerting the insane Predacon who discards the rat. Rattrap cuts himself free and makes his way to his cell, but Tarantulas sees him climbing back. Sadly he's not fast enough, and Rattrap shoots him, blowing his leg off and severely damaging him. Rattrap sends a signal.

Optimus receives the signal and declares the attack, the Maximals transforming and hitting the Predacon base. Inside, Terrorsaur panics as Tarantulas is missing, the codebreaker is offline, the shields are failing, and Megatron approaches him, but Megatron decides to leave him in command during the battle, to let him show his own incompetence. Terrorsaur orders Rattrap freed and a sortie.

Waspinator gets Chaingun of Doom'd ...again. Though outnumbered, the Maximals lay the smackdown. Rattrap fires at Optimus, causing him to crash. Cheetor blows all of Blackarachnia's spider legs off, but she kicks him unconscious, before leaving the battle. Dinobot beats the crap out of Terrorsaur, and prepares to finish Rattrap off, but Megatron stops him, grabbing Dinobot and demanding Rattrap destroy Dinobot, while Terrorsaur gets back to his feet. After a bit of hesitation, Rattrap headshots Terrorsaur, and Dinobot frees himself, beating Megatron down. The Maximals and Rattrap make their escape, as Rhinox transforms to beast mode, stampeding over Waspinator (He's got it out for the poor bot doesn't he?) and Scorponok, clearing a path.

As Terrorsaur's body looks for his head, Megatron asks his men who would follow Terrorsaur's lead now? All of them shake their heads. Megatron makes a short tally of Terrorsaur's short rule: Blackarachnia is MIA, an unknown amount of damage inflicted by Rattrap while on board the base, and a battle lost.

Back at the Maximal base, Dinobot tries to execute Rattrap for his betrayal, but Optimus reveals it was part of the plan. Rattrap shows them the decoder chip, probably found on a broken piece of the Axalon from the crash and Optimus explains it was necessary to keep them in the dark, even during the battle to ensure Rattrap's safety.


Blackarachnia's introductory episode. She does very little in it, when you think about it. Otherwise this episode continues the theme of "Rattrap is awesome". It's a fun watch. Megatron's trick of letting his minion faceplant themselves to prove their ineffectiveness contrasts with his namesake and Starscream. Indeed, after this episode, Terrorsaur makes no serious attempts to take command of the Predacons*.

8th Feb '12 7:53:49 AM flag for mods
comments
I really appreciate that they made an effort to explain why Megatron keeps The Starscreams around in this series, as he likes to keep his wits sharp by dealing with their betrayals. And Blackarachnia was easily my favorite character as a kid, the first time that happened with a female character.
Eegah 2nd Feb 12
...well, if the episode listing for the Season 1 collection is right, the 2011 DV Ds do follow this episode with A Better Mousetrap. I can't say for sure about the older discs, since I only got the first volume of those, which covered Beast Wars, Part 1 to Power Surge (by contrast, the 2011 discs are in two 4-disc volumes: The first is Season 1, the other is Seasons 2&3).
Hunter1 2nd Feb 12
There's two version of the DV Ds. Those by Rhinomation (Which came in two forms, the volume format, and the entire season format, which are those I have), and those by Madman Entertainment. There were also VHS releases.

The VHS and the Rhino DV Ds (Both in Volume and in Seasons) have the order messed up. Madman, the latest release (with commentaries with some of the worst sound capture) have the good order. All the others have it wrong, switching A Better Mousetrap and The Probe.

I think the reason Megatron keeps Terrosaur around isn't just for the fun - it's an added bonus, but it's also because he literally can't afford to dispose of him. Losing Terrosaur means losing one of his fliers, and with Optimus being severely more powerful than Waspinator, this would put him at a disadvantage. On top of that, losing Terrosaur puts him at a numerical disadvantage. And there's always the risk of Terrosaur pulling a Dinobot and switching sides. Megatron has no choice but put up with Terrosaur, so he uses the entertainment as an excuse.

But at least he does do something to stop his attempts to undermine his leadership, unlike his namesake who put up with Starscream despite Starscream not being critical to the balance of power AND being a constant threat.
Ghilz 3rd Feb 12 (edited by: Ghilz)
Actually, the 2011 DV Ds I'm talking about are from Shout Factory. The TF wiki doesn't list them, but you can find them on Amazon (I, however, managed to find them at the local Walmart).
Hunter1 3rd Feb 12
Huh. Cool. I got the old fashion Rhino ones.
Ghilz 3rd Feb 12
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