124 - Before the Storm
The last three episodes form the season finale and are pretty much a three parter for all intents and purposes. But the first part was given another title to make it appear more separate.
Our episode begins at night, with Tigatron moving through the bushes. He spots a mountain that is glowing.
Inside his quarters in the Darksyde, Megatron is napping, when his computer wakes him up with a message for his ears only: the ship has detected the glowing mountain. The energy signature matches that of the alien probe and flying island. Megatron muses that "this could be it"
Inside the hollow glowing mountain, Inferno digs his way up, seeing a golden disk attached to a stone pillar in the center of the cave. Despite the pillar radiating energon enough to make him almost immediately surge, he rips the disk out and takes it back to "the Royalty".
At the Darksyde, Megatron looks at his new prize and congratulates Inferno.
Megatron: Go repair yourself. I have much to think about.
Inferno: Yes, my queen.
Megatron: ...I wish he didn't call me that.
Optimus is scouting for the alien energy Tigatron saw, when he flies past a machine, that launches a probe that soars past him and projects a hologram of Megatron's head. He tells the Maximal leader that he has a matter of some urgency to discuss in person. Optimus is less than willing to walk blindly into what he can only assume is a trap. But Megatron says he wants to discuss a truce. They will meet in neutral territory, alone.
At the top of a mountain (How did Megatron get there?) the two leaders meet in Beast Mode. Megatron offers a truce, but Optimus is incredulous, he echos what Megatron said in the pilot: When Predacons talk truce, it usually means they need time to reload their guns. Megatron admits it is usually true, but goes on saying he's got bigger fish to worry about than Maximals, but he refuses to go into details. He says Optimus will agree, because he's a Maximal.
At the Axalon, Optimus admits Megatron is right, as a Maximal he has to give peace a chance, even if it sounds unlikely. Rhinox realizes this and the alien energy can't be a coincidence. Optimus agrees, Megatron's found something, and whatever it was, it is got him too worried to bother with the Maximals. They need to find out what it is, and this requires their best infiltration expert. Rattrap's not too happy about heading to the Darksyde again. Truce or not. Dinobot points out Megatron will see this coming a mile away. Optimus hopes he does.
Inside a vault of the Darksyde, Tarantulas uses Megatron's voice to bust open the lock on the transwarp module. He retrieves one of the Transwarp power cells, but Waspinator sees him. Tarantulas makes his way out, leaving Waspinator locked in the vault with a bomb, while declaring that "he's leaving".
Megatron has seen it all on internal cameras, but he decides to leave Tarantulas to his plans, they could serve him in the future, but he doesn't want Tarantulas to do this alone... He sends Blackarachnia on a fool's errand to investigate the "disturbance", knowing she'll likely team up with her fellow spider. He muses that the next move should be Optimus'.
Airazor is flying, carrying a screaming and protesting Rattrap, trying to sneak him past the Darksyde's perimeter defenses. However the autoguns begin shooting at them, and Airazor drops Rattrap past them, before transforming and contacting Megatron, who assures her it's all a misunderstanding, turns off the guns, but points out that she was in their territory. Asking her to leave. She thinks all went well when he asks she take Rattrap back too, a second camera having spotted him. Evidently their plan has failed. They report the abyssal failure to Optimus, who is obviously glad the plan IS working. And we see why, with the Perimeter guns offline and Megatron focused on the obvious infiltrator, Tigatron was able to sneak into the Darksyde from another direction.
Inside Tarantulas' lair, he is working on the energy cell when Blackarachnia arrives, kicking Waspinator's head like a soccer ball. Megatron has had the Spider's lab bugged, and observes from his CR bath. While Tarantulas is distracted, he uploads some programming onto the Transwarp cell.
Tigatron sneaks through the Darksyde and finds an access port to the computer. He connects and cracks the rubix cube password, downloading Megatron's intel on the aliens. But as he disconnects, Terrorsaur has a gun to his head. Tigatron points out a gunshot would break the truce, but Terrorsaur is not worried, saying he'll call it an accident. But Terrorsaur transforms and pounces him.
On Megatron's shelf: the head of a seeker, and the Original Megatron's Fusion Cannon.
By the golden disk, Megatron tells Inferno:
"There is a storm approaching. A storm of such magnitude, of such power... it is beyond imagination. And to think, I was once satisfied with mere energon. To think that my ambitions lofted no higher than the conquest of Cybertron. (He laughs, then coughs) Well, no longer. For I have seen given a glimpse of power. Real power. And that power shall be mine!"
The alarm blares, and Megatron tells Terrorsaur to get Tigatron - without breaking the truce. Tigatron makes Scorponok and Terrorsaur ram in each other. Outside the Darksyde, Rattrap gets Tigatron's signal, the Maximals leave the Axalon. As the entire predacon forces chase Tigatron, Optimus reminds his troop they can't break the truce. So what follows is an entire battle made out of slapstick, with very Looney Tunes-esque
Apparently Cybertronian truces only cover the use of guns. You can try to murder people any other way without breaking it. The Predacons return to base, broken, but Megatron reveals that it was all part of the plan: A bait needs to be believable.
Tigatron reveals what he learned. That Megatron found another golden disk. Optimus muses it can't be a coincidence, echoing the Maximal Golden Disk whose theft kickstarted the whole show. But Tigatron reveals that's not all, the disk shows that the Aliens, who seeded the planet with Energon and built the island, are coming to the planet. And they aren't happy.
On its own, the episode offers little, it's all setup for the season finale proper. That's why the chase scene was added, to give the episode some substance of its own. While it's funny, it almost seems to clash with the show's otherwise fairly tense atmosphere. Still, it is pretty much a required viewing as the two next episode hinge on this.
- Megatron's "plan" to get the Maximals to learn of the Alien Disk and what it contains is weird... Since as we will see, his plan doesn't really hinge on the Maximals having advance knowledge of the Aliens coming. Maybe it was part of a contingency we never saw?
- Inferno calls Megatron his "Queen" for the first time, to the later's irritation.
- Megatron's password for the Transwarp Cell "A T T override" is a Shout-Out to the Usenet newsgroup alt.toys.transformers, where the fans and the creators would regularly correspond.
- Megatron's reference of the aliens' power being "Beyond Imagination" is a reference of a fansite of the same name run by James Hooks, whom the series creators would have contact with. As far as I know, the fansite no longer exists.