117 - The Trigger, Part 2
Our episode opens with a recap of last one: The entirety of Tigatron's message. Convenient!
Tigatron continues to muse about how he's more tiger than bot, how he likes it here, how it's a paradise (filled with death traps and enemies, as all paradises should be). He decides it should not fall into the hands of the Predacons. Not because they'd use it blow the Maximals up, no. But because it's so gosh damn peaceful and nice.
Meanwhile, Blackarachnia informs us the obelisk is probably the control center for the whole island. You don't say! The control center being located in the ONLY BUILDING on the whole island? That's genius!
Worst part is, she then mocks
Scorponok for pointing out that it's probably guarded. The pair of them see a rock with the same mark Tigatron passed earlier, and a hole opens beneath Blackarachnia. She uses her web to catch herself and climb back out, realizing the symbols mark traps.
Tigatron finally decide he's drooled over the island enough and maybe they should get moving to reach the obelisk. It was nice of him to give Scorponok and Blackarachnia a long head start. Airazor can't fly, so he offers to let her ride on his back. Here's an idea, why didn't you leave Airazor here where she can repair herself, and go for the Obelisk right away, capitalizing on the head start you had? Were you thinking she needed to hear you spout your Granola Boy
rantings to repair faster?
Optimus leaves the Axalon with Rattrap on his back, since Rattrap is the only Maximal he can carry for so long, and if they are heading to an island filled with traps, Rattrap is the trap expert. Rhinox sets up an infrared laser link to be able to communicate with Optimus over long distance, and through the cloud. Cheetor reports Waspinator and Terrorsaur are repaired and left the Darksyde. Optimus sees them and a battle ensues.
Back on the island, Blackarachnia and Scorponok avoid a symbol, and Airazor who can spy them from miles away (why didn't she use that to avoid getting shot by Scorponok by not flying in the open in part 1?) sees them. The Maximals trigger a symbol, causing two rocks to block their path and two more to begin a The Walls Are Closing In
. Tigatron transforms, blasts one of the rocks blocking their path, and drags Airazor out of the laser's way. The Predacons see the laser fire.
We go back to the air battle. Rattrap is falling, but he manages to commandeer Terrorsaur at gun point in beast mode as flying mount, and with Waspinator shot down, the pair of them head to the island. Once there Terrorsaur slams Rattrap into a branch and flies off. Tigatron and Airazor fill them in, explaining how the island works and how the trap are marked by a symbol. Rattrap points out that with traps and the forbidding of weapons, this island sounds like a test for intelligent species of some sort, and suggests not sticking around to become lab rats. But Tigatron again rants about how wonderful and peaceful the island of doom is.
Meanwhile the Predacons reach the obelisk, and Blackarachnia uses her commlink to make Terrorsaur and Waspinator think she intends to kill him. The idiots can't figure he's being played, so he shoots them, and gets shot by the obelisk. Blackarachnia then shoots the wall of the Obelisk to make an entrance while it's still recharging. She's promptly shot by the Obelisk whom we clearly saw last episode can shoot in quick succession and without recharge time and the episode ends.
Making her way inside, he monologues about how she intends to take the island over and use it to destroy the Maximals and rule the Predacons. Scoponok prepares to shoot her, revealing Megatron had predicted her treachery. But she goads him into stepping near a symbol and a hole opens, making him fall off the island.
Now the Maximals begin charging the Obelisk.
Blackarachnia tries out the Evil Rhinox look.
Blackarachnia makes her way to the control room, where the floor empowers her, giving her a new color scheme. She then sits on the control chair, and begins making the tower bombard the island and sends it towards the Maximal base.
The Maximals attempt to close in on the Obelisk while the Axalon is evacuated. Tigatron makes his way inside the tower, and reluctantly, as the tower nears the Axalon, he fires on the island's generator, the island crashes while the Maximal fliers pull their comrades off in time.
As the tower falls among the island's debris, it fires a blue beam at the moon, which bounces off an identical tower into Transwarp space. Tigatron mourns the loss of his incredibly lethal paradise, while the Maximals wonder who got that signal... and how will they react to the island's destruction.
This episode is... average. I'd almost call it bad. Even as a kid, I remember not liking it, but I couldn't put a finger on why till now, as I was writing this liveblog. This episode feels padded
out. Like the script was too big for a single parter, but not big enough for two parts. So we get characters figuring out things we've seen happen, slowly. Characters explaining each other things they've figure out (Seriously, you could make a drinking game of how often a character figures out the marks trigger a trap, or tells about them to another character). The whole Optimus/Rattrap ark of part 2 is beyond pointless: Neither characters contribute anything once they reach the island. You could've made it just Tigatron and Airazor, and you'd have to change nothing! Heck, it would free time that could be used to have Tigatron and Airazor interact. Not that Airazor really contributes anything to the plot either after she leaves the Axalon. And then there's Tigatron's stupid Granola Boy
eco-aesop he's constantly spouting about how the island is paradise despite the fact it's trying REALLY HARD to kill him. This gets grating and doesn't make the episode endear itself further.
- Part 2 is the only episode where Megatron does not appear in any form, including flashbacks or dreams.
- The response to the island's destruction would form the season finale.
- Rattrap's station in Part 1 has a toy submarine on it. He'd end up piloting the real thing in season 3.
- We get the first hint of Tigatron and Airazor's romance here.
- This leads me to talk about the Japanese dub... I shall copy this from the TFWiki, which explains it so well:
For whatever reason, the Japanese dub of Beast Wars notoriously chose to turn the series into a goofy comedy show with lots of fourth-wall humor and a relentless string of over-the-top and in-your-face jokes, even at the most inappropriate of moments. This was the work of Iwanami Yoshikazu, director of the Japanese Beast Wars series.
Some examples include:
- The beginning of every episode would start with one of the characters asking a ridiculous question and receiving equally ridiculous answers (Optimus Primal asking "Where is my banana", for instance) before segueing into the opening rap theme by Banana Ice. (On that music note, "FOR THE DREAM" is the closing song, while "Hello! Toughness" was the ending song for the special "Clash! Beast Warriors".)
- An attempt was made to ensure that nary a moment went by in which at least one character wasn't talking. Dramatic silences and subtle jokes involving body language or facial expressions were killed with meaningless, prattling dialogue and corny jokes. Characters could even be heard talking when their lips were visibly not moving at all. Even in close ups. Perhaps worst of all, a "gag" that ran through the course of the entire series featured each character "making noises" every single time they fired their weapon. For instance, Rattrap would make a sound along the likes of "pikyuu!" every time he fired. Every. Single. Time.
- Rattrap would constantly break the fourth wall by "smelling" what the audience was eating and make gluttonous comments.
- Many characters received completely new personalities that were polar opposites to their Western interpretation (Depth Charge enjoyed singing folk songs while Megatron became a flamboyant madman that shrieked like a little girl at the sight of danger). A character had their gender altered (poor, poor Airazor).
- Clip shows would feature the characters interacting in silly situations such as game shows and contests (in one instance, Megatron acted as judge in a celebrity impersonation contest).
- Why am I telling you this? Well, you'll recall from "The Spark" that Airazor is a male in Japan. And the Japanese didn't want her and Tigatron to be homosexuals on a show aimed at young viewers, so their relation was changed to Airazor being the ward of Tigatron, who was already portrayed in the Japanese series as a Samurai retainer. This didn't stop the amount of Ho Yay due to their animations, and eventually a certain scene in season two caused the dubbers to back pedal furiously and make them "come out" of the robot closet, so to speak.