As Dinobot struggles to atone for his past actions, Megatron embarks on a plan to change the future itself.
- Ask a Stupid Question...: Rhinox asked Optimus if he remembers the explosion in "Other Voices, Part 2". Considering Optimus was temporarily killed by it and it was Rhinox who brought him back, this earns Rhinox a Death Glare and Rhinox concedes he slipped up in asking.
- The Atoner: Dinobot hopes to mitigate giving Megatron the Golden Disk.
- Batman Gambit: Dinobot lures Tarantulas out into the open by making it appear the spider caught something tasty in his web.
- Be All My Sins Remembered: Dinobot's last words"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."
- Big "NO!": Waspinator's one line in the entire episode.
- Bittersweet Ending: Dinobot dies, but his sacrifice saves humanity and preserves the future.
- Bookends: The episode opens with a snake picking off one of the early humans. It returns in the final scene, but it makes the mistake of attacking the one with the hammer.
- The Cavalry Arrives Late: The other Maximals arrive after Dinobot has been mortally injured and defeated all the Predacons, though Cheetor puts out the fire and Optimus drives Megatron off, so they did something.
- Death Glare: Optimus glares at Rhinox for asking if he remembers the explosion in "Other Voices, Part 2" that temporarily killed him after Rhinox himself resurrected him.
- Due to the Dead: Optimus and Rattrap speak well of Dinobot's sacrifice. The team also holds a funeral and cremates his body. What makes this extra heartwarming and respectful is that, as Maximals, they wouldn't normally cremate, or "recycle", his body; that's a Predacon custom, and it's a practice they don't agree with. The fact that they DO cremate his body shows how much they respect and want to respect their fallen comrade, by honoring his heritage. Also, Optimus, Silverbolt, and Cheetor, who are all air-capable at the time, fly in a missing man formation over the pyre.
- Eureka Moment: The early human in the final scene has one of these when he realizes he can use the hammer defensively.
- Famous Last Words: "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."
- Foreshadowing: The transwarp wave moving into the future.
- When Dinobot contemplates committing seppuku, he stops when he sees three birds flying in "missing man" formation. At his funeral, Optimus, Cheetor, and Silverbolt fly over the base in the "missing man formation".
- Friend to All Living Things: Dinobot briefly holds back when Megatron takes an early human prisoner.
- Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress: Waspinator shoots Dinobot out of the air. Too bad for him that Dinobot lands on top of him.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Dinobot.
- I Regret Nothing: Played for Drama. Dinobot accomplishes his mission and redeems his honor, at the cost of his life.Optimus Primal: Well fought, my friend. You saved the valley. You saved the lives of those who live here, and of those who are still to come.
Dinobot: Then, there is nothing to regret...
- Improbable Weapon User: It figures into the climax, but there's also the amusing sight of Dinobot stopping Rampage's cannon by lodging Waspinator in the barrel.
- Ironic Echo: At the beginning of the episode, Rattrap chews out Dinobot for his past betrayal, saying the line "You know, I used to figure I had you pegged. 'Oh, yeah, he's a slag-spoutin' saurian, but at least you know where he stands.' Guess we live and learn, huh?" During Dinobot's death he calls back to the line in a nicer way: "It's like I said, you're just a slag-spoutin' saurian... but it's nice to know where you stand."
- Irony: As noted by Dinobot, the knowledge that the future can be changed, and that any choices he makes are of his own will rather than something that "already" happened ironically makes him feel as though he has no choice in what to do next.
- Killed Off for Real: Dinobot.
- MacGyvering: Dinobot hits Megatron with a stick, but that's of little consequence. Add in a nearby stone, however, and he's got a makeshift hammer.
- Mandatory Line: Averted. Silverbolt appears without dialogue since Scott McNeil had a very full plate already. Inferno and Blackarachnia also go without dialogue, though they recycle some grunt noises.
- Off with His Head!: To ensure Inferno stays out of the picture, Dinobot shoots his head clean off.
- Oh, Crap!: Megatron's eyes widen in alarm when Dinobot charges him with the hammer.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Megatron's plan is to exterminate humanity's earliest ancestors so their descendants can't help the Autobots during the Great War.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Tarantulas is no longer affiliated with Megatron's team, but after realizing his plan, he shoots Dinobot in the back.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Due to a combination of promoting the toys and the cost of CGI animation, the writers knew that adding a new character meant space would need to be cleared. They deliberately crafted Dinobot's arc this season knowing it would lead to his death.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: After Dinobot stands down rather than risk harm to an early human.Megatron: My ears are burning. 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 remaining obstacle in my path to unimaginable glory...is yourself. Exhausted. Damaged beyond recovery. Defeated.
Dinobot: Not just yet!
Megatron: Ah-ah-ah. [reveals he's taken an early human prisoner] One more step, and it's raining bits of early anthropoid, yessss. [Dinobot remains still] Oh, dear, how positively Maximal of you. You were weakened before you started, Dinobot. Weakened by compassion.
- Redemption Equals Death: How Dinobot sees it.
- Shout-Out: When jumping into the valley, Rampage lands on a butterfly.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!:
- By the time he faces Quickstrike, Dinobot has taken heavy damage and no longer has his weapons.Quickstrike: What's a warrior without weapons, eh?
Dinobot: A warrior still.
- During the climax, Megatron ridicules Dinobot for using a stick against him and still trying to fight.Megatron: Oh, please. Face it, Dinobot: you're old technology, obsolete. What can you possibly do?
- By the time he faces Quickstrike, Dinobot has taken heavy damage and no longer has his weapons.
- Spanner in the Works: Megatron is certain that the Decepticons would've beaten the Autobots if not for humans getting involved in the Great War.
- Villain Respect: Subverted.Megatron: One lonely turncoat battling on against impossible odds. I'm almost touched. Fortunately, such moments pass quickly.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Deconstructed. Rattrap and Dinobot always argue, but this time, the rat's insults are pretty harsh and motivate Dinobot to reevaluate what he's done. Rattrap is also sincerely saddened by Dinobot's death.
- Warts and All: Dinobot doesn't want his teammates sugarcoating his life story.
- Wham Episode: Dinobot dies and the future can be changed.
- What the Hell, Hero?:Rattrap: Funny, you know not much changes around here... except maybe the occasional allegiance.
[Dinobot freezes, turns back to face Rattrap]
Rattrap: Find any Golden Disks lately, hmm? Pass them on to any Predacons?
Dinobot: I don't need to explain my actions to you, mouse!
Rattrap: Yeah, that's right you don't! 'Cause they pretty much speak for themselves.
Dinobot: Go ahead, rodent. Push it one more inch.
[Rattrap shoves him, which surprises Dinobot]
Rattrap: You know, I used to figure I had you pegged. "Oh, yeah, he's a slag-spoutin' saurian, but at least you know where he stands." Guess we live and learn, huh?
- What You Are in the Dark: The entire episode, really. Dinobot risks himself to atone for giving Megatron the Golden Disk."The question that once haunted my being's been answered. The future is not fixed; my choices are my own. And yet, how ironic, for I now find I have no choice at all. I am a warrior. Let the battle be joined."
- You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Rattrap drops the nicknames and refers to Dinobot by his name when he's really worried his friend won't last against Megatron's entire band.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Subverted in general, as it's shown that the future can be changed. Double subverted for Dinobot, who says that specifically because the future can be changed, he ironically feels as though has no choice but to fight in order to prevent it from being changed.