Recap: Transformers Prime S 1 E 1 Darkness Rising Part 1
Cliffjumper is on the open road, boasting to Arcee over the comm about how he's been messing with the humans, when he detects a large amount of Energon nearby. As he goes to investigate, a Decepticon ship appears over the crater and Decepticon troopers drop down to attack him. Arcee alerts the rest of the Autobots, who head back to base and prepare to Groundbridge to his aid. Cliffjumper fights on, destroying several of the Decepticons, but their blasts detonate the Energon, causing a huge explosion. They drag his defeated form back to the ship, where Starscream seethes angrily about the loss of the Energon. Cliffjumper is defiant, but Starscream executes him. The Autobots arrive at the crater via Ground Bridge, only to find the aftermath of the fight. Arcee finds one of Cliffjumper's horn broken off in the ground, and a signal scan by Ratchet confirms their worst fears: Cliffjumper has ben terminated.Back on the Decepticon ship, Soundwave replays a recording of Arcee's comms talk, and Starscream decides she will be their next target.Optimus reminds the other Autobots that they must continue to survive in order to honor the memory of their fallen comrade. Arcee refuses to dwell on it and drives off.In Jasper, Nevada, Jack Darby is working at the KO Burger drive-thru. Arcee finds herself being chased by a couple of Decepticons, and she ducks into the KO Burger parking lot, where Jack mistakes her for a real motorcycle and, fantasizing about one day having a motorcycle of his own, hops on.Sierra and a friend catch him apparently talking to the motorcycle, but while Jack has an awkward moment, the Decepticons spot Arcee. She takes off with a startled Jack still on board. After a short chase, she attempts to let Jack go, sending him down a side alley with a warning not to tell anyone what he's seen. As she speeds off, she spots one of the Decepticons heading after Jack and is forced to double back and pick him up. The chase moves onto the freeway, where Bumblebee arrives to help them out.In a nearby drainage canal, Rafael Esquivel is playing with a remote-controlled car when Arcee and Jack literally drop in. The Decepticons pursue, and the Autobots, . Raf draws the 'Cons' attention, which unfortunately works too well, and the two kids are forced to flee into a drain. While they make their escape, Bumblebee and Arcee stand defiant against the Decepticons and, as Bulkhead joins the fight, the two Decepticons flee.At Autobot headquarters, Optimus Prime informs the Autobots that since the Decepticons have seen the boys, the two humans may be targeted.At high school, Jack and Raf meet up again, and Bumblebee and Arcee come to take them to the Autobots' HQ. Though Raf roars off in Bumblebee, Jack walks away. Miko Nakadai, sitting outside the school, draws Arcee, but when the motorcycle disappears, she peeks around the corner and spots Arcee in robot mode arguing with Jack. After realizing that Miko has seen her, Arcee is forced to take both kids. After Arcee catches up to Bumblebee, they drive to the Autobots' HQ, concealed in a mountain, where the three kids marvel at the rest of the Autobots and Optimus Prime gives them some exposition regarding the Transformers' war. Optimus fears the imminent return of Megatron.Soundwave detects a transmission from deep space, and Starscream orders the Space Bridge activated. As it opens, Megatron emerges, announcing his return.
- Big Damn Heroes: Subverted when the other Autobots are literally seconds too late to help Cliffjumper.
- Played straight when Bulkhead arrives at Arcee and Bumblebee's aid.
- Big Guy Fatality Syndrome: Cliffjumper is the series' first official victim of this trope.
- The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Cliffjumper's horn does this when broken off by the Vehicons.
- Defiant to the End: Even weakened and held prisoner, Cliff never stops teasing and backtalking to Starscream.
- Dragon Ascendant: Starscream. But don't remind him that he is - Cliffjumper found that out the hard way.
- Energon From The Mouth: Cliffjumper, by the time he's brought before Starscream, is leaking energon badly. He's even coughing some up.
- Killed Off for Real: Poor Cliff.
- Meaningful Funeral: In addition to mourning Cliffjumper's loss, the Autobots resolve to protect the planet from the Decepticons.
- Reality Subtext: "Decepticons! I have returned!"
- Stuff Blowing Up: For those unfamiliar with Transformers, this is the part where you learn that Energon + ammo = kablooie.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Cliffjumper is quickly and unceremoniously killed off barely ten minutes into the episode.