Recap: Transformers Prime S 1 E 22 Stronger Faster

You know what your problem is, Optimus? For such a big, strong 'bot, you're soft. You didn't pound Megatron into scrap when you had the chance—MANY chances, in fact!
Ratchet
The truth hurts, even among the closest of friends.
Following on from the last episode, Ratchet is analyzing a sample of synthetic Energon he's whipped up from the incomplete formula, amicably allowing Raf to watch. The synthetic Energon fuels an inanimate machine, but Ratchet declares that further tests are in order. He laments to Raf that the recent resurgence in the war has drained the Autobots of their Energon supplies, while Megatron has more Energon than he could ever need by mining the planet's deposits. Sure enough, Energon in transit pops up on the base's radar, and the Autobots prepare to roll out. Ratchet warns Optimus of their depleted Energon reserves, and Optimus somberly acknowledges their dire straits, and he and the team depart. Ratchet bemoans his desire to be able to do more, unsatisfied with his work in the med bay, and decides to speed up the synthetic Energon testing: by testing it on himself, and passes out from a dose of the stuff.

Raf soon wakes up Ratchet, who's surprised to feel great and find that his systems are running great after the synthetic Energon injection. In the field, the Autobots are chasing Knock Out and Breakdown, who are hauling a few cubes of Energon, but are in no hurry to bridge out, since the chase will further drain the 'bots Energon. A squad of aerial Vehicons arrives and places a large obstacle separating the 'bots from the 'cons, but Arcee charges ahead, desperate for Energon. On the other side of the obstacle, she's soon incapacitated by a lucky Vehicon's shot. Just before she can be set upon by the Vehicon hordes, Ratchet bridges onto the scene... and absolutely demolishes the Decepticons with almost superhuman speed and strength, to everyone's shock. While Ratchet wipes out the Vehicons, Knock Out and Breakdown are impressed, believing Ratchet to be a newly arrived Autobot reinforcement, but bridge out before the rest of the Autobots arrive.

Back at base, Ratchet proudly presents the synthetic Energon that has given him such a power boost - now dubbed "Synth En". The group is impressed, but Optimus condemns Ratchet's use of himself as a test subject, ordering him to focus more on fighting in the medical field than in the battle field, much to Ratchet's dismay. Later, Ratchet begins rubbing the gang the wrong way, goading Bulkhead into a fight (which has the poor big guy lobbed through a wall), challenging Bumblebee, and even obnoxiously flirting with Arcee. Ratchet decides to give himself a second dose, which only further boosts his newfound arrogance when another Energon spike is detected. Ratchet volunteers himself for the mission, demoting Bumblebee to bridge duty.

In the field, the Autobots are exasperated by Ratchet's sheer energy and aggressiveness, and he quickly lays into the miner-class Vehicons before the Autobots can even form a battle plan. He chases one down and pins it down, demanding Megatron's location. When the Vehicon refuses to cooperate, Ratchet begins to melt his face with his welder. The Vehicon eventually relents under such torture, and Ratchet prepares to kill him anyway, but is stopped by Optimus, who condemns his attack on the miner class Decepticon (instead of the typical warrior class they do kill indiscriminately). Optimus accuses Ratchet of acting like a Decepticon, which has Ratchet angered by the coming of another "lecture". Ratchet snarls that Optimus is only trying to stop him because of his status as the medic, and reveals he knows Megatron's current location. Bulkhead tries to defuse the escalating argument, but Ratchet refuses to back down. The Autobots are squandering their limited resources chasing after what little scraps of Energon Megatron doesn't have, when they should be mounting direct attacks on more critical spots for the Decepticon cause. Optimus refuses, stating such an attack would result in the loss of innocent human lives. Ratchet counters that Optimus has no qualms when it comes to needlessly endangering Autobot lives, and mentions Cliffjumper as a prime example. Arcee has to be restrained after this low blow, and Ratchet finally comes to the point of his rant: for all his strength, status, and speeches, Optimus is soft, and has let Megatron escape countless opportunities when he could've killed him. Having finally had enough, Optimus decides to confine Ratchet to base. Ratchet seems to cooperate, but soon backtracks and throws Bulkhead at Optimus before running off to confront Megatron.

At the base, the gang learns that Ratchet's Synth En usage has rendered him invisible to their base's scanners, but the medic has already reached the mine where Megatron is. Breakdown's chat about his crush on Airachnid is interrupted when Ratchet comes and beats him into unconsciousness. Meanwhile, Megatron berates Knock Out for slow progress finding new Energon sources, and Knock Out blames the new Autobot on the scene. It's at that moment Ratchet arrives, with a defeated Breakdown in one hand and a Megaton Punch in the other, which sends Megatron flying into the wall and causing him to bleed from the mouth. Having initially been amused by the idea of Ratchet posing a threat to him, Megatron smiles and quietly accepts the challenge, and quickly beats and guts Ratchet. Knock Out correctly attributes his more "spirited" nature to a chemical enhancement, which is currently gushing out of Ratchet's innards from Megatron's savage wound. Megatron orders a sample of the Synth En collected to be used to enhance his troops' performance. Thankfully, the spilling of Energon has brought him back onto the base's scanners, and the gang rolls out to save their friend.

Having collected the majority of the spilled Synth En, Knock Out prepares to kill Ratchet, but the doctor fights back, wounded as he is, and the duel ends in a stalemate. Ratchet destroys the sample and all of the Synth En with it, to Knock Out's rage. The Autobots arrive just as Ratchet collapses from loss of Energon. Back at base, Ratchet wakes some time later, and apologizes to Optimus and the team, blaming his desire to help. Optimus accepts, since not only have they recovered a healthy stock of Energon from the abandoned mine, but they've saved something more important - his old, best friend Ratchet.

Though Ratchet and Optimus believe the Synth En destroyed, Knock Out recovers a single drop of the substance, ready to begin his work on it...


Tropes:

  • Berserk Button: Ratchet triggers Arcee's when he brings up Cliffjumper. She has to be restrained by Bulkhead.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Ratchet saving Arcee from 11 Vehicons.
  • Blood Upgrade: Ratchet makes Megatron "bleed" some energon - and immediately pays for it.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Ratchet beats the slag out of 11 Vehicons.
    Bulkhead: I only saw the gorey aftermath, but I hear the doc was a one-bot wrecking machine.
  • Dirty Old Man: Ratchet actually hits on Arcee and winks at her.
  • G-Rated Drug: The synthetic energon is a clear stand-in for steroids.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: During his rant, Ratchet points out that Megatron is obviously up to something big, but the Autobots are "chasing after his crumbs" instead of being more proactive, and also points out that Optimus has more or less refused to kill Megatron up to this point, only for the warlord to rebound and do worse each time he escapes death.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: After Megatron's laughing off Ratchet is met with a Megaton Punch:
    Megatron: Alright, then.
  • Mythology Gag: Knock Out's taunting of Ratchet regarding the Synthetic Energon ("What are you going to do, drink it?") is a nod to the G1 episode "Microbots", where the Decepticons drank copious amounts of Energon, becoming drunk in the process.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: In the third act, Megatron guts Ratchet, causing the latter's Synthetic Energon within him to leak out. The medic is then rendered visible to the sensors in the Autobot base, allowing them to attack the mine, rescue him and recover a new supply of Energon from the mine.
  • Offhand Backhand: How Synthetic Energon-ed Ratchet deals with a Vehicon trying to sneak up on him.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Ratchet's beat-down on Breakdown.
  • Professor Guinea Pig: Ratchet was so eager to help...
  • Prop Recycling: Ratchet's test engine in the Cold Open was also Jack's science project back in Masters and Students.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The last scene sees Knock Out find one last drop of synthetic energon.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ratchet really lets Optimus have it—blaming him for the Autobots "squandering their resources," what happened to Cliffjumper and not being proactive enough against the Decepticons. The last part probably stings him the most:
    Ratchet: "You know your problem, Optimus? For such a big, strong bot, you're soft. You didn't pound Megatron into scrap when you had the chance! Many chances, in fact!"
  • This Means War!: Megatron laughs off the new Ratchet, which gets him a nasty punch in the face.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Ratchet, but...
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The synthetic energon improves Ratchet's physical abilities, but also "impairs his judgment" - making him increasingly obnoxious and aggressive towards his own team.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Optimus to Ratchet after finding the latter tortured a Decepticon miner for information and then tried to kill him once he got it.
    • Ratchet gives one back to Optimus for not destroying Megatron when he had many chances to.