204 - Tangled Web
Our episode begins at the Darksyde, looking more decrepit than ever (The ship is now bent). Megatron hands out some orders: Tarantulas (Despite his protests of being busy studying the new Transmetal forms) will take Blackarachnia and Quickstrike to build a refueling station in grid Arakis
. Blackarachnia notes to Megatron he's sending her and Quickstrike because he doesn't trust Tarantulas. That's a good point. Megatron, why do you keep teaming the Spiders together, and then act surprised when shit happens? Send Inferno with Tarantulas, sheesh. Waspinator and Blender Butt are sent to build a Maximal Signal Jamming Tower. When asked about his plan, Megatron simply says he's planning for the future.
Inferno: As you command, My queen.
Megatron: Ugh, I do wish that he'd stop calling me that.
Tarantulas notes that Megatron seems to persist in his madness. Both teams prepare their materials, Blender Butt laughing like a lunatic as he does so. Tarantulas whines at being put to such menial work. Blackarachnia flirts with Quickstrike to make him carry part of her trailer's load. Tarantulas decides that maybe the Maximals could wreck Megatron's plan, and he throws a walking emitter a foot from Quickstrike. The thing lands with a loud clang and has a blinking light, but neither Quickstrike or Blackarachnia see it as it moves to hide in a pack of girders. Waspinator bets him and the ever-laughing Blender Butt will finish their work first, and the Predacons depart.
At the Maximal base, Rhinox is using Optimus to study the transmetal forms. But his experiments only get him and Primal shocked as Cheetor reports a Predacon signal moving around. Rattrap and Silverbolt, being the closest, are sent to investigate. Silverbolt takes the assignment in his usual verbose, overly melodramatic chivalrous manner, to Rattrap's exasperation.
Quickstrike keeps putting his best moves on Blackarachnia, who feigns interest, till he moves away, and Tarantulas uses the opportunity to remind her of their psychic links, warning her against crossing him. Blackarachnia swears she will free herself.
The make it to the cave, and Tarantulas notes Megatron chose an ideal spot. Full of stable Energon cubes and easily defensible. He decides he will not need the Maximals and destroys the emitter.
With the signal gone, Rattrap and Silverbolt decide to find the trail by scent.
Blackarachnia also remarks how good this cave could be, and how it could be easily fortified to be near impregnable. Tarantulas agrees, and offers her to team up, with Quickstrike too against Megatron and Maximals alike as an arachnid trio, using this as a new lair (His old lair got destroyed by the Planet Buster's beam). She's got not intention to cross Megatron for Tarantulas' benefit, but he reminds her that with the link, she has no options. Tarantulas then asks Quickstrike his opinion of Megatron. He doesn't mind him, though he wishes he could fight more often. Tarantulas offers Quickstrike to side with him against Megatron for all the battles he could desire, and the Fuzor is all over that, especially after Tarantulas mocks the size of his
The Maximal duo find the trails and realize who it is, and they are carrying heavy loads.
Blackarachnia monologues about how she'll free herself, and Tarantulas tries to scan her mind, only to find part of it is blocked off. He tries to force it, but she throws something at him to distract him, and flees. Tarantulas quotes Daffy Duck's catchphrase.
Megatron watches his favorite DVD: "Waspinator's funniest Injuries".
Waspinator reports to Megatron (Who is taking a CR bath) that him and Blender Butt have finished their work. That is until Inferno laughs like a lunatic and begins hitting the struts of the tower, for reasons that will forever be known only to him. The tower falls on Waspinator. Yes, even in an episode where he's got less than a minute of screen time and no fight scene, the universe still finds a way to hurt Waspinator. Megatron tries to reach the other team but cannot, and he wonders what the arachnids are up to. That's what you get for teaming them together.
Tarantulas follows Blackarachnia, cornering her, but she takes a combination Dagger/Vice Grip and takes an Energon cube, hoping its radiation as it cracks will block the link. It doesn't, so she cracks it more, and soon the pain of the Energon surges flows through the link both ways. Blackarachnia makes it clear she'll destroy them both if Tarantulas doesn't terminate the link, so he reluctantly does so, but recovers first and prepares to kill Blackarachnia, when Quickstrike intervenes, citing complications with a capital M.
A battle occurs outside the cave. Tarantulas is neutralized by Silverbolt, but as he's got Blackarachnia vulnerable, he refuses to attack her, saying he will not fight a female, even a Predacon. Rattrap is shot by a defensive Quickstrike when he mocks Blackarachnia, and Quickstrike himself is taken out by Silverbolt. Tarantulas comes running out of the cave, saying they must keep the Maximals from it (not a continuity error!). Silverbolt hears this, and while the Predacons bicker, he flies into the cave. This is immediately followed by an explosion, as the cave explodes and he's thrown out. The Predacons retreat. Silverbolt notes to Rattrap he did not destroy the cave.
In the Darksyde, the Predacons report to Megatron, who is displeased that they took this long and failed, when Waspinator and Blender Butt both finished their assignment (twice) long ago.
Later, Tarantulas celebrates what he can do with a single demolition charge as he admires his new lair...
This episode is very light on plot. Almost nothing happens and there are no big stakes. It's mostly character bits. There's a lot of small stuff I didn't cover in the recap. That does make the episode better (also because it gives us a rare view of how the Predacons are when not fighting the Maximals). That said, while the character stuff is nice and welcomed, the lack of any serious plot drags the episode down. It's not bad, it's even a fun watch, but it is not something you are likely to watch again several times. In those terms, it does come off as one of the weaker episodes of season 2, though I would still put it a notch over the similarly plot-less Aftermath
simply because of all the nice character bits give it a bit more substance.
- Silverbolt must have met Blackarachnia offscreen before this episode, as he recognizes her scent this episode (saying he smells both spiders, rather than Tarantulas and a stranger), and they did not meet during Coming of the Fuzors.
- Early in the episode, Blackarachnia eyes glow yellow rather than green when using the psychic link.
- Tarantulas knows Blackarachnia's got something in her mind she's very eager to hide. A later episode will show he is catching on.
- The episode cements the change in how Blackarachnia is treated. This episode treats her plight with more sympathy, something it does not generally do for the Predacons, heralding a change to come later.
- Of course, this also marks the beginning of a Silverbolt / Blackarachnia plot.
- This episode is also the closest Quickstrike ever gets to really getting any time in the limelight and character development. For most of the series, he's just a Predacon mook for the most part.
- Quickstrike's willingness to team up with Tarantulas against Megatron will factor in late season 3.
He did knock out Rattrap this episode! Otherwise I do think you are right.