Our episode begins with the world's most rubbery raven looking at two cavemen, doing cavemen stuff, as a snake slithers up to them, and strikes. From the cry we assume one of them is getting eaten. The ravens fly away.
In the Axalon, Dinobot is on his knees, gazing at his sword. He looks out the window, seeing the ravens flying over the sun (In the missing man formation), which resembles the golden disk. He turns his sword towards himself, and then after an hesitation decides to not commit suicide, tossing his sword away, which lands alone on the floor in the light.
Some people like to talk about cartoons taking risks or showing brutal imagery? We just witness a character consider suicide.
Optimus returns to the ship and talks to Rhinox, who tells him the Quantum wave is travelling through time and space and it will eventually reach Cybertron. Cybertron will know where they are. Optimus wonders if Megatron made the same calculations. Rattrap betss that he did. Optimus says they should look into increasing the base defenses. I have nit picks about this scene, but I'll save them for a later episode.
Dinobot leaves his quarters, crossing Rattrap. The two trade their usual insults, but Rattrap then taunts him about the events of Maximal, No More. Dinobot has gotten it from everyone since that episode (And I credit the writers for not letting it slide or go forgiven), but it is Rattrap who delivers the most stinging criticism:
Rattrap: Funny, y'know, not much changes around here. Except maybe the occasional allegiance.
Dinobot freezes in his steps, then turns around and walks towards Rattrap
Rattrap: Found any golden disks lately? Passed them on to any Predacons?
Dinobot: I don't need to explain my actions to you, Mouse!
Rattrap: It's right. You don't. Coz they pretty much speak for themselves.
Dinobot: Go ahead, rodent. Push it one more inch.
Rattrap:(Rattrap shoves Dinobot away) Ya know, I used to figure I had you pegged: eh, he's a slag-spouting saurian, but at least you know where he stands. Guess we live and learn.
Rattrap walks away, but Dinobot admits to himself that Rattrap's words are the truth. He says destiny gives everyone a great test, and he wonders if his test passed already and he failed it. He knows he can't undo what he already did, but he can yet mitigate it. Dinobot leaves the base with one pistol.
Cheetor flies over a valley, spotting Megatron and Rampage, who fire at him. Dinobot answers his call, telling him to return to base for repair, he'll figure out what Megatron is up to. While having this discussion, Dinobot's been tracking Tarantulas, and spotting a gazelle, gets and idea.
Tarantulas comes out of his lair, approaching the gazelle stuck in his web. He looks around, cautious, but sees no one. Mid way to his prey a sound makes him freeze. And we see Dinobot's hand out of the dirt, pointing the gun at the spider bot's gut. Dinobot picks up and after the coercing, interrogates his prey, freeing the gazelle too. Tarantulas tells him he does not know the contents of the Golden Disk. Megatron keeps it on him at all times and will not risk making another backup. Dinobot then shall go to Megatron. And it just happens that Tarantulas will make a fine means of transportation.
Cavemens in the valley cry in terror as Megatron flies over head, re-joining Rampage. After torturing Rampage's spark into compliance of course. He admits he expects Cybertron forces to arrive soon, and, to Rampage's glee, that his demise is a likely option, but only if reality remains as it is. Megatron looks at a distinctive mountain, and gets the Golden Disk out, turning his claw into a reader-hologram projector. The hologram is an image of the same mountain, taken in the future. Megatron then orders Rampage to blow up at mountain, and after deliberating between shooting Megatron and the mountain, the crab agrees. The mountain explodes, and the hologram shorts out for a bit, before showing the image of the mountain's broken peak in the future. Megatron cheers. And Dinobot sees the whole scene. The future can be changed. History is not fixed. Hilariously, Megatron should be able to see and HEAR Dinobot, but he doesn't. Not even when Tarantulas fires on Dinobot as he is distracted, and Dinobot crushes the spider with a rock (again) is Megatron even clued by the weapon detonations.
Megatron explains that, according to the golden disk, this valley is where the Human race will emerge. The Human race will prove a valuable ally to the Autobots, helping them triumph over the Decepticons and establish the pecking order between Maximals and Predacons. Megatron, looking as the rest of his troops are joining him, orders them to wipe out all life in the valley. The Human race shall never exist.
Having just crushed Tarantulas, a damaged Dinobot radios to base, telling them what is going on. Optimus tells him to retreat and wait for them, but as Dinobot looks over the burning valley, cavemen trying to help their wounded, he refuses that order.
"The question that once haunted my being has been answered. The future is not fixed, and my choices are my own. And yet, how ironic... for I now find that I have no choice at all! I am a warrior... let the battle be joined."
While I often hear that Dinobot's decision is the proof Maximal values rubbed off on him, I think that while it plays a part, it's not just all of it. As I said in Maximal, No More, Dinobot's made many hard choices in his life, and as he said in that episode, he has honor, Predacon Honor, yes, but honor nonetheless. Even as a Predacon, Dinobot never accepted striking down a defenseless enemy. He saved Optimus in Beast Wars Part 2 for that very reason. He fought his clone in beast mode because of it. Even as a Predacon, Dinobot would not allow his kind's final victory to come from a slaughter of innocent, helpless cavemen. This isn't the victory Dinobot signed in for. There's no glory in that. Furthermore, Dinobot now having proof that he is the master of his own fate, can't follow up on that revelation to escape responsibility. To just follow orders and back off would be doing just that: not taking responsibility for something he and he alone can do. Dinobot sees that the test destiny was giving him is here, now, and he'll not let any pretense keep him away from that.
The Maximals ride out, and it is Rattrap who voices concerns: Megatron against six Predacons (How does he know Tarantulas was taken out?) there will not be enough left of Dinobot to build a toaster. I must ask: WHY ARE YOU TRAVELLING AS A GROUP? Cheetor alone could make it there first. Optimus and Rattrap shortly after. Why travel at Rhinox' max speed? Sure, you'd be outnumbered, but it's less suicidal odds than Dinobot alone.
Blender Butt is cleaved by Dinobot's blade, and used a shield from Blackarachnia, who is shot using Inferno's own gun, which Dinobot then turn on Inferno's own head. Said head flies out of the valley past Megatron, who is admiring the slaughter, and the Predacon Commander notices that someone's taking out his troops. Using his spinning blade thing as an Helicopter, Dinobot attacks Rampage and Waspinator. The later shoots his blades, but Dinobot lands on Waspinator, stuffing him head first into Rampage's cannon as he turns to tank mode (having been disarmed by Inferno's gun), crippling Protoform X. Dinobot stands back up, having sustained damage from pretty much all the Predacons. He looks up at Megatron up the valley, who looks back, sending Quickstrike in, and then spots two cornered cavemen.
"One lonely turncoat, battling on against impossible odds." (Wipes fake tear) "I'm almost touched! ...Fortunately, such moments pass quickly. Quickstrike, scrap him! ... And just to tilt the odds even further..."
Dinobot is shot by Quickstrike. He tries to fire his eye lasers, but to almost no effect. Dinobot's internal computer warns him his systems are failing. But the warrior needs no weapons, and suplexes Quickstrike to unconsciousness. Dinobot's internal computer again warns him: His power reserves are 96% depleted. He should enter stasis mode. But Dinobot overrides his own systems, despite the warning that any more power loss will result in the loss of his spark.
Megatron soon arrives in beast mode, taunting his former second-in-command.
Megatron: Hmm, my ears are burning! Yesss! Why, Dinobot, what a delightful surprise! Let's see, where are we now? I have the Golden Disk, I have the power to change the future, and the only obstacle in my path to unimaginable glory... is yourself. Exhausted. Damaged beyond recovery. (Megatron transforms) Defeated.
Dinobot: Not just yet!
Megstron: Ah-ah-ah! (Megatron reveals a bound caveman) One more step, and it's raining bits of early anthropoid, yesss. Oh dear, how positively Maximal of you. You were weakened before you started, Dinobot. Weakened by compassion.
Dinobot, Improvising on Megatron's ass.
Dinobot however grabs a stick and charges at Megatron when he stops pointing his gun at the caveman, but to no effect.
Megatron: A stick? Against a transmetal?
Dinobot's Internal Computer: Final Warning: Power failing. Jeopardy Extreme. Repeat: Extreme''
Megatron: Of Please, Face it, Dinobot! You're old technology, obsolete. What could you possibly do?
Dinobot smashes his stick on a pointy rock, forming a sledgehammer. He charges at Megatron with the hammer and hits him so hard, he drops the Golden Disk, and the bounds holding the caveman turn offline. With the remaining power he has, Dinobot shatters the disk with his eye beams. He then falls. Megatron stands, but the arrival of the Maximals and gunfire from Optimus, makes him retreat, lamenting how close he was.
As Cheetor puts out the fire, the Maximals gather around their fallen comrade, Rattrap horrified at Dinobot's current state. Rhinox laments that Dinobot is too far gone, even for stasis lock. (I'd figure that since Dinobot is simply running out of power, they could wire him to one of them by booster cables. Then again what do I know.) Rattrap holds the hand of his comrade as he lives his last moments.
Optimus Primal: Well fought, my friend. You saved the valley. (Dinobot sighs in relief) You saved the lives of those who live here... and of those who are still to come.
Dinobot: Then... there is nothing to regret.
Rattrap: Like I said, you're just a blasted, slag-spouting saurian, but... it's nice to know where you stand.
Dinobot: Upwind of you, for preference, vermin. ...Tell my tale to those who ask. Tell it truly, the ill deeds along with the good, and let me be judged accordingly. The rest... is silence.
With those words, Dinobot expires. His spark rising out of his body. Following Rattrap's lead, the Maximals salute their fallen comrade as his spark soars into the stars, to join the Matrix.
Optimus: He lived a warrior... and died a hero. Let his spark join the Matrix, the greatest of Cybertron.
Outside the Axalon, the Maximal fliers fly in the Missing Man formation as Rattrap and Rhinox incinerate Dinobot's body. It would be touching. EXCEPT THAT RATTRAP IS IN HIS PRE-TRANSMETAL FORM!!! I don't usually note animation goofs except when they would have plot relevance, but come ON. The one of the most touching, emotional moment of the series, and you put the wrong character model in? WTF.
Sometimes one can have a wonderful and unintended legacy.
Back in the valley, the caveman that Dinobot saved finds the hammer he made. He looks at it, curious, then uses it smash a coconut open. Amazed at what this piece of technology can do, he almost doesn't notice the same snake from the opening sneaking up behind him till the last second, where he turns and smashes the snake with the hammer, seemingly killing it. Victoriously he shouts, raising the hammer to the sky. In the stars above, one star twinkles.
Code of Hero, is in my opinion the best episode of Beast Wars, and considering the great competition it has for the post, it still manages to be leaps and bounds above them. Heck, I can say that in my opinion, Code of Hero is the best piece of Transformer fiction. The episode is brilliantly shot. Most of the scenes having something iconic or filmed from a specific angle to make them stand out more. The final scene with the caveman and the hammer is an example of unneeded fluff added to make the episode better: It serves next to no plot use, but reminds you what Dinobot fought for, and adds a bit of hope to show that even in his death, Dinobot did not just save lives, but changed them for the better. Code Of Hero does stand in comparison to Other Visits. If you need to kill a character or remove them from the show, THAT'S how you do it.
With Dinobot's death and the arrival of Rampage last episode, the Maximals are at a notable power disadvantage, which will factor in their taking a more defensive stance for the season finale.
Scott McNeil once said that Dinobot knew he was going to die 5 episodes before he (Scott) realized he was going to die. It's not till he recorded the episode's last lines that he realized Dinobot was going to be dead-dead not carton-dead like Waspinator.
Bob Forward, who directed the episode, could not believe that after viewing Dinobot's death scene and funeral a hundred time to make sure it was perfect, the whole production team missed the Rattrap goof yet every fans saw it on their first viewing.
Dinobot's last words quote Hamlet: "The Rest Is Silence."
This episode is the only one directed by the series writer. It is also the only episode to be given storyboards prior to animation, rather than being animated on the fly by Mainframe Entertainment. The story boards were later auctioned for charity at Botcon. Dinobot's death helped even more people that way!
Taken from the Transformers Wiki: During the recording of this episode, Scott McNeil was attempting to deliver Dinobot's last words, but was continually interrupted by the recording crew's laughter. He is reputed to have said while still in character, "Do you mind?! I'm trying to die here!"
The episode came packaged with Dinobot's toy for the ''Beast Wars 10th Anniversary" release.
The Caveman with the hammer would become a minor recurring character. He's thus probably a Witwicky.
The cavemen are voiced by Gary Chalk, who voices Optimus.
Dinobot did indeed join the "Greatest of Cybertron", as Optimus wished: Dinobot was the first fan-chosen inductee to Hasbro's Transformer Hall of Fame in 2010. At the time, the only Transformers inductee were Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron and Starscream. Dinobot beat out Jazz, Grimlock, Soundwave and Shockwave.
28th Feb '12 1:52:02 PM flag for mods
The greatest moment of the entire franchise, hands down. There's a reason it's the number one listing for the Western Animation section of Dying Moment Of Awesome.
28th Feb 12
It only goes uphill from here. Hope you're doing alright, and hope to see another entry soon.
6th Mar 12
Been a busy week, next update is either tonight or tomorow, with the season finale done by sunday.
7th Mar 12
Okay, I know Megatron has to deal with a lot of treachery with his own units, but it's supposed to be Dinobot vs 6 Predacons :p.