205 - Maximal, No More
Our episode begins with an overhead of the Predacon base, which turns out to be a simulation by Dinobot. He sees the Darksyde and Megatron's jamming stations overlay to form a pattern identical to that found on the Golden Disk. He muses that even without the disk, Megatron's plan is still going forward. He wonders what will become of him if it succeeds. He ponders his allegiance to the Maximals, if he is willing to betray his heritage for them. He wonders what would Megatron's reaction be if he was not.
I'll do a bit of a leap forward with a minor spoiler for later this season, so skip this paragraph if you don't want to read it. Megatron and his crew are not righteous Predacon soldiers on a mission on the behalf of the Predacon Leadership; they are renegades. Stealing the disk guaranteed that they could not return to the Predacons unless they could bring back something that would unite the Predacons behind Megatron in a new Great War (ie: a huge cache of Energon). An Dinobot likely signed on to this mission, knowing the cost, for his honor and the glory that success would bring. When Megatron crashed the Darksyde because he did not listen to Dinobot's advice, wanting to play with his prey, on top of being on what Dinobot perceived as the wrong planet, this came as a betrayal to Dinobot: Megatron letting his ego rendering the sacrifice all his troops moot through incompetence. So Dinobot left because it was the honorable thing to do. He had nowhere else to go. But now he knows Megatron didn't fail. Furthermore, he now sees that Megatron can now achieve far better than mere Energon. With the golden disks, History is his to change. Dinobot sees the glorious victory Megatron seems poised to achieve at the same time as his reasons for joining the Maximals are rendered moot. That leaves him questioning his choices, especially when it just looks like they were wrong.
Optimus interrupts Dinobot's musing by telling him he wants him to lead a mission in Predacon territory. We get some banter with Rattrap. Silverbolt is part of the mission too. Soon however they run afoul Blender Butt and Quickstrike. Quickstrike is rapidly dispatched by Rattrap, and when Inferno runs out of ammo, Dinobot moves in for the kill. Sadly, Silverbolt gets shot by Waspinator, and crashes atop Dinobot, knocking them both out.
Waspinator: Waspinator not serve. Waspinator RULES! Eheheheheheh!
Oh shit. Waspinator single handedly won a battle. I do not know what to think!!! Inferno takes Dinobot back to the Darksyde, and orders Waspinator to take Silverbolt. Waspinator asks Quickstrike for help since he can't lift the Fuzor, but Quickstrike much rather go and look for Rattrap. When he's gone, Rattrap tosses a knock out gas (yes, they have some that works on robot. Don't think too hard about this) grenade to Waspinator, and mimicking Quickstrike's voice, goads Waspinator into activating it, which he does (Ah, the universe is back in balance, Waspinator got his ass kicked). He then goes to Silverbolt who is waking up, and tells him to go get the cavalry, while he tries to find Dinobot.
At the base, Megatron does not want to miss a chance to talk to his former second in command. He orders him awoken (via welding torch), but Dinobot was playing possum. He knocks the Predacons aside, and is about to stab Megatron, when he stops. They banter, and Dinobot reveals he plans to re-join them, changing his activation code and giving his sword to Megatron. Tarantulas is unconvinced, suggesting to verify Dinobot's loyalty by means of brain surgery, but Megatron's not sure Dinobot would agree - nor would he. Blackarachnia suggests a fighting match against Quickstrike. Hrmm... How's that supposed to prove anything? By that logic, Optimus must be a Predacon several times over by the number of time he's shot Predacons.
A short but impressive fight later, Dinobot defeats Quickstrike. He deflects the order to finish him off by suggesting to Megatron he might make Quickstrike competent by training him. Fat chance. Megatron then demands Dinobot return the Golden Disks. Dinobot says he gave the Alien disk to Rhinox, the Golden Disk however is stashed, hidden from both sides. He offers to retrieve it... tomorow. But Megatron insist. He's not the waiting kind. Oh, and we get this exchange:
Megatron: Inferno, aid Quickstrike.
Inferno: Yes, my Queen.
Dinobot: I was not aware you had given yourself a new title.
Megatron: The ant has some faulty programming.
Rattrap spies Dinobot being carried by Megatron and follows. The two Predacons land where Dinobot stashed the disk, and he retrieves it. Megatron is about to attack him from behind once he has the disk, but Rattrap arrives and shoots Megatron. Dinobot shoots Rattrap, and Megatron, realizing Dinobot might just be on the level, tells him to finish off Rattrap. Dinobot moves, about to do it, but at the last minute he relents, and blocks a blow from Megatron. He tells Megatron his ambitions are insane, and will destroy Maximals and Predacons as well as those who came before. With Silverbolt and Optimus arriving, Megatron retreats.
Dinobot tells of his betrayal to Optimus and Silverbolt. Explaining his honor is Predacon honor. But he intends to fight Megatron, alone if he cannot re-join them. Silverbolt, king of missing the point, mentions that he was a Predacon once, and Optimus gave him a chance. Yeah. So was Dinobot. Idiot. And you've yet to change sides AGAIN. On top of that, you were tricked.
Optimus asks Rattrap for his opinion, who is annoyed and explains all the ways he dislikes Dinobot, but finally agrees Dinobot should return. Dinobot tells Optimus he's got things to tell him (presumably the golden disk business), but Optimus says it can wait till they are back to base. Rattrap offers Dinobot a lift, and the two seem to have made up and returned to their usual habits.
This episode is kinda weird in that you need to really see the rest of the season to fully appreciate it. On its own, it is rather average (and remains average even when you watch the rest of the season). That said, I wish they had given more scene for Dinobot and Megatron together, to perhaps give Dinobot more of a chance to why Megatron's ambition is dangerous. Otherwise it seems that Dinobot's return to the Maximal feels kind of cliche and lame. The old "oh but I can't kill my former comrades" bit.
- Though Rattrap seems to have made up with Dinobot, future episode will show there is resentment, especially over the whole Golden Disk business.
- It's not clear if Dinobot DID give the alien disk to Rhinox, or if he's lying. Future episodes will show Rhinox has it, but it might be Dinobot gave it after confessing the whole disk business in the first place.
- The golden disk has "The Sounds of Earth" written on the back.
- Dinobot seems aware of what is Megatron's ultimate last resort plan (dooming "those who came before") and is afraid Megatron may enact it straight away, unaware Megatron has other plans before resorting to it.
- Dinobot's clone's skin is on Dinobot's wall.
- Despite making a bit case out of Dinobot changing his activation code, he never does say "Terrorize" this episode.
You know, I always did like the story arcs involving Dinobot, even in the third season. The concept of fate versus free will is always an intriguing one for a children's show to handle, if done properly, and I'm still glad that Beast Wars managed just fine.