Hrrrm. Ya know what would make a great plot? An episode where the characters are stuck in Beast Mode after a Predacon attack, and hunted helplessly by the Predacons, only to be saved at the end by a pseudo-mystical speech and abilities from one of their comrades that makes them embrace and overcome their limitations to beat the Predacons.
If you think I was referring to "Call of the Wild", joke's on you, I'm talking about this episode, "Dark Voyage".
Our episode begins with with Rattrap digging a hole, and finding an Energon crystal, which he pulls out with a tool. Cheetor's carrying containers to carry the Energon. Dinobot and Rhinox are also there. We do learn that Rattrap was a miner before becoming an explorer. Oh, and take a guess on Dinobot's opinion of Energon mining duties. He leads them to a giant vein of Energon. A missile flies and embeds itself in the Energon, before slowly building up to something. The Maximals, despite being next to a huge vein of Energon decide to transform rather than take cover. Rhinox has an excuse, as he was trying to remove the missile. But the rest do it even as the Energon vibrates and prepares to explode! God, you guys deserve what'll happen to you this episode. Scorponok declares nothing could've survived that blast, and the Predacons return to base to report to Megatron.
The Maximals come online, and soon they realize most of their internal systems are offline. As well as their optics. A bit of panic and Rhinox calms them. They begin to try and make to the base using their other senses. Rhinox figures that they have 60 Cycles, (aka minutes) to find a CR chamber less they risk permanent deactivation.
Now, if you'll excuse me... If they are only a 60 min walk away, wouldn't the Axalon have picked up the explosion? Heck, it was so big, they'd probably have felt IT!
Megatron points out to Scorponok he should've made sure the Maximals were offline, and him and Waspinator turn back to find scrap. The Maximals cross the forest, holding to each other's tail. Hrrrm, if they are so close to the base and in a forest, it has to be the FWTBAFC (I knew the acronym would pay off!) from last episode no? Surely they will come across one of FWTBAFC's cameras and Optimus can just go and help them as he sees how messed up they are! Rhinox hears something and a giant snake attacks Cheetor, constricting it. Rattrap attacks the snake, but ends up getting thrown away. The snake releases Cheetor to go for Rattrap, but Rhinox catches it and throws it away. Cheetor's badly damaged now. He can't walk. So he'll ride on Rhinox.
Tigatron is looking for the Maximals. So the Axalon DID detect the explosion then? But for some reason, Tigatron's incapable of simply tracking down his comrades despite him being, ya know, a skilled tracker and them not hiding their trail and moving at the land speed of a snail. Optimus leaves the Axalon to search by air.
At the site of the Explosion, Scorponok and Waspinator realize the Maximals must be still functioning. Waspinator scans for Energon traces and sees the Maximals' trail. Oh god Tigatron, when you are being out-skilled by Waspinator and Scorponok (Especially at a skill you are supposed to be one of the best at), you need to re-think your life.
The Maximals keep moving, and begin smelling water, figuring they are close to one of the falls feeding the river under the base. An easy path to follow.
At the Darksyde, the ship sensors detect the Maximals because they are so radiated with Energon.
WHAT????? So despite them being within spitting distances from the ship, it's the PREDACONS who detect them? I mean, we did get a line at the start about the Maximals needing the Energon to power the quantum scanners, but I didn't assume their sensors were all offline! Especially when the base can still run Sentinel! And what was Optimus doing at base if he couldn't use the sensors???
Megatron dispatches Terrosaur. The Maximals have left the forest and are by the river, now in the open, they'll be spotted by Airazor and Optimus no doubt. They try to cross a log, but Waspinator arrives, and makes the log fall, causing them to fall down in the river, down a waterfall. Okay, that's bad, but surely the gunfire so close to the Axalon must draw some attention? No? God... Terrorsaur arrives, and him and Waspinator look for the wreckage of the Maximals.
Of course they survive, and happen to all wash up almost at the same place.
Waspinator and Terrorsaur are arriving however, and the Maximals are helpless, unable to seek cover or defend themselves, as they are next to a cliff. Rhinox tells them to transform, and he sits on his hindquarters, meditating. This somehow gives him the ability to tell his guys to target the Predacons by picturing a targeting grid and him giving them coordinates. The Maximals blast their attackers, damaging Terrorsaur and making Waspinator retreat. Tigatron finally reaches the location of the gunfire (From the other direction the Maximals came from. Meaning he wasn't even looking anywhere between the waterfall and the site of blast. Worst tracker ever.) He alerts Optimus.
The Maximals manage to hit Waspinator. However transforming causes the Energon contamination to accelerate, sending them all except Rhinox in stasis lock, as Optimus arrives. Back at the base, the foursome comes out of CR Chamber. They thank Rhinox for his cool head saving them. Even Dinobot offers a (backhanded and reluctant) compliment. Optimus says he'd never have been able to get them all to the CR chamber in time if Rhinox hadn't gotten them so close to the base.
Rhinox says they were just lucky Optimus arrived when he did. With the skills they've shown this episode? You have no idea Rhinox. You are lucky he showed up at all.
Rhinox muses that all in all, it was a good learning experience. Dinobot disagrees, but Rhinox tells them they know better what they can do in Beast Mode. Ya know, like last episode's lesson! And like last episode, it is never brought up again, as we are enjoying filler.
Despite my whining, this episode is better than "Call of the Wild" and not bad. It's really average, having some good moments, and some facepalming stupid ones. The targeting grid bit makes the final battle seem less contrived and far fetched than it could've been. The episode's main flaw if the fact it makes Tigatron and Optimus look rather incompetent, unable to track 4 blind people who glow to sensors from the site of a huge, noisy explosion. That and re-threading ground covered by the last episode. For the first time however, I got no bullets to put in this episode recap. There's no new things introduced, no continuing pattern, no thread for future episodes... Just pure, unadulterated filler.