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Recap / Transformers Prime S 3 E 8 Thirst

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In this The Return of the Living Dead send-up, Knock Out and Starscream's experiments with synthetic energon lead to a Zombified Cylas threatening to take over the Decepticon ship and unleashes another old enemy.

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  • Absentee Actor: Shockwave. Megatron is shown conversing with him twice, but it's one-sided and Shockwave isn't even heard.
    • No Autobot appears at all. This is the first time in the series a single Autobot hasn't appeared in new footage or via a clip.
    • Predaking, fortunately for Starscream. Knockout complains he's not in the episode and protests Predaking should go take down Breakdown. Starscream asks what will they do if Predaking gets infected.
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  • And Then John Was a Zombie: Villain variant: Airachnid.
  • An Arm and a Leg: If you look carefully at Knock Out's monitor, you will realize that Silas lost all of his limbs when he was crushed by Nemesis Prime.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When it looks like Starscream is finally about to sound the alarm, he asks a bunch of Vehicons if they have noticed unusual activity, only for them to reveal they are Terrocons, in true zombie movie fashion.
  • Back for the Dead: Silas/Cylas, though he lasts much of the episode.
  • Big "NO!": Airachnid lets one out when she gets dumped onto one of Cybertron's moons by Soundwave.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Knock Out says this twice. First when he and Starscream are running away from Terrorcon!Cylas and Starscream tells him to hold him off. And again when he and Starscream run into Megatron and Starscream promptly tells Megatron it was Knock Out's fault and Knock Out agrees, until he realizes what Starscream said.
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  • Bittersweet Ending: For the Decepticons, at least. Airachnid and Cylas are out of the picture and the plague is cured, but they've lost the Insecticons and over half of their remaining Vehicons, severely depleting their military strength. For the Autobots, this is a pretty good way for things to turn out for them, with the Decepticons' Elite Mooks and the majority of their forces wiped out.
  • Blood Lust: Or energonlust, if you want to be technical.
  • Bottle Episode: With only 5 characters who aren't part of larger identical collectives, and 99% of all scenes set aboard the Nemesis, this is the first since Airachnid's introductory episode Predatory.
  • Cassandra Truth: Megatron does not believe Starscream and Knock Out's story about Cylas until he is forced to kill an attacking Terrocon.
  • Callback: The Friendship Moment Starscream and Knockout have echoes Arcee's and Optimus Prime's moment back in"Scrapheap". Knock Out's "you know the worst part?" moment even reflects what Arcee said way back in that same episode - not that he'd know it.
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  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Silas/Cylas has clearly been on the receiving end... "for science."
  • Comically Serious: Megatron, in one the few cases where his aggravation towards his troops is Played for Laughs.
  • Continuity Nod: Knock Out explains he got a sample of Synthetic Energon way back in "Stronger and Faster". Knock Out also notes the aggression issues using the stuff causes.
    • Megatron berates Starscream for tampering with Dark Energon and trying to create a warrior with it "again". That episode also showed us the result of the last time Megatron had to punish Starscream "the only way" he understands.
    • Knock Out references "Flying Mind" when talking about how Dark Energon once affected the Nemesis. Though Starscream wasn't there at the time, he still acts like he knew about it.
  • Dirty Coward: Starscream refuses to sound the alarm for the entire Nemesis because he doesn't want Megatron to know anything about zombie Breakdown, knowing that Megatron will beat him up for the seven-millionth time. This sort of cowardice just makes the Zombie Apocalypse get worse.
  • Due to the Dead: Averted. Knock Out has no problem experimenting on what's left of Breakdown, though he feels that his old friend would agree given the circumstances.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Starscream rules out sending in the Predacon after zombie Breakdown stating it is too risky given that even though the Predacon can easily snap Breakdown in half with its jaws, it would also get infected and make the contagion exponentially worse. Even before that, Starscream retorted that Megatron should reconsider making more than one unruly, primitive beast machine like the Predaking claiming it's dangerous to create an entire legion of beasts far more powerful than their own masters.
  • Easily Forgiven: While Starscream gets another beating, Megatron lets Knock Out off pretty easily but demotes him from director of scientific research to simply Shockwave's lab material fetcher.
  • Elite Mooks: Starscream actually says that the ship has, in his own words, "highly trained Vehicon troops". Considering that the Vehicons we've seen are a Red Shirt Army, then Starscream is either blatantly lying or under some serious self-delusion.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The final scene reveals Airachnid has been infected, which she begins to spread to her Insecticons.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Airachnid and the Insecticons get stranded on one of Cybertron's moons, revealing Airachnid has been infected. She has to feed on her Insecticon mooks to survive. Even though there are many Insecticons, they're not infinite, and Airachnid will eventually exhaust them all and starve.
  • For Science!: How Knock Out justifies his experiments.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Megatron asks Shockwave to speed up Project: Predacon.
    • Starscream asks what could happen if Predaking gets infected. In "Predacons Rising" a resurrected Unicron brings a whole army of Predacons back from the dead as undead Terricons, and they are only stopped when their master is destroyed.
  • From Bad to Worse: In true zombie horror fashion.
  • Genre Blindness:
    • Starscream has faith in the Vehicon troopers. Given their record, Starscream is clearly too optimistic for his own good.
    • Starscream also thinks messing around with Dark Energon is a good idea. Knock Out points this trope out that time.
    • Airachnid thinks that she can take down Soundwave after the pummeling he gave her. And even with the higher numbers, she still doesn't remember that he can create Ground Bridges anyway.
  • Good News, Bad News: Starscream finds Cylas's corpse and Airachnid's empty pod in the same minute, and then has to give Megatron an update. When he uses this line, Megatron braces himself for exasperation.
  • Ignored Expert: Being Megatron's physician and around for "Flying Mind", Knock Out knows more about the potential danger from Dark Energon than Starscream, so he falls into this role in the beginning.
  • Ironic Echo: A dialogue from "Scrapheap" makes its way here, just slightly altered due to differing circumstances.
    Arcee: You know the worst part? After battling Cons all these years, getting smacked down, shot at, blown up, this is how our lights go out?
    Optimus Prime: Arcee, this may not be the finish that we had planned, but if this is indeed the end, if we are to become one with the Allspark...
    Arcee: It's been an honor serving with you, Optimus Prime...
    • to...
    Knockout: I find it rather ironic that after battling Autobots all these years, getting smacked down, shot at, blown up, this is how our lights go out?
    Starscream: Drained of our precious fluids... if this is indeed the end, if we are to become Terrorcon chow, it has been an honor serving Lord Megatron with you.
    Knockout: You're no Breakdown, though I must confess I've always admired your lustrous finish.
  • It Has Been an Honor: Starscream and Knock Out when they both think they're finished. The moment is lost when Megatron demands an answer for what's going on and Starscream puts the blame on Knock Out.
  • Knockout Saw It in a Movie Before: At drive-in theaters!
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Silas repeatedly performed experiments on Cybertronians to learn about them. He has been subjected to the same fate by Knock Out.
  • Men of Sherwood: When Soundwave reorganizes the troops into an extermination party, that's probably the most competent we've seen the Vehicons.
  • Mercy Kill: Unintentionally so. Airachnid kills Cylas, not knowing he's within Breakdown. He is grateful to be free of being a Terrorcon, but she doesn't care.
  • Mythology Gag: "Beast Machine super-soldiers"... again.
  • Never My Fault: Starcream and Knock Out do a downright hilarious case of this when Starscream starts saying everything is more Knock Out's fault than his, even though as Knock Out points out, meddling with Dark Engeron was Starscream's idea.
    Starscream: Allow me to handle this... IT'S KNOCKOUT'S FAULT!
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Thanks to Starscream and Knock Out, the Decepticons have lost all Insecticon legions and over half of their military forces. The Autobots have gained a huge advantage just by sitting at home!
    • This has even more horrific consequences for the Decepticons later on. Thanks to Starscream's stupidity in this episode, Megatron orders Project Predacon to be sped up. This gets scrapped when Predaking reveals his sentience, which in turn leads to Synthetic Energon and CNA combing to merge cybermatter, which leads to Megatron rebuilding the Omega Lock, Ratchet telling Predaking about Megatron's treachery, and the Autobots storming the Nemesis, killing Megatron, and restoring Cybertron. Long story short, Starscream's debacle in this episode winds up costing the Decepticons the war.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Implied, as Megatron punishes Starscream "the only way" he will understand.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Airachnid and the Insecticons suddenly come at him, Soundwave pulls back in sudden surprise.
  • Pet the Dog: The relationship between Knockout and Starscream is sorta humanizing. Knockout is willing to save Starscream from Breakdown!Silas. On the other hand, Starscream also shows concern for Knockout at the beginning of the episode, where he asks if he is alright with dissecting Breakdown. There is also his It Has Been an Honor speech (despite it is ruined by Starscream putting blame to Knockout when they have to deal with an angry Megatron). It is clear that Starscream genuinely likes Knock Out to the extent of a Decepticon.
  • Put on a Bus: Airachnid is sent to one of Cybertron's moons by Soundwave. Her newly reacquired Insecticon horde joins her there.
    • Put on a Bus to Hell: Airachnid becomes an energon-vampire and has to feed on her Insecticon troops to survive. The Insecticons are under her control, with no chance of escape. There's also the fact that she'll run out eventually...
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: This is as close to this trope as this incarnation of Megatron gets. He makes it clear to Starscream he's running out of patience with him after giving him a second chance. He doesn't buy Starscream's sudden pinning of the blame on Knock Out, and when he's shown the truth about what's going on, he listens to a full report on it from the duo. While Soundwave and the troops head off to battle, he makes sure Knock Out and Starscream deal with Cylas personally for unleashing him in the first place. When all is said and done, and despite the heavy losses, he acknowledges Knock Out was only following orders from a superior officer and only sternly reminds him he answers to Shockwave, and asks him to turn over his projects to him. Starscream, on the other hand...
  • Removing the Head or Destroying the Brain: Knockout suggests this to take out infected Terrorcons, saying he's seen it work in human horror films. But it doesn't work, leaving them panicked.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Airachnid should've known by now what special features Soundwave comes with that other Decepticons do not possess. She madly charges at Soundwave with her entire Insecticon legion, who proceeds to open a space bridge portal.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Airachnid is freed from her stasis pod, only to wind up on one of Cybertron's moons.
  • Shout-Out:
    • This episode is a homage to the zombie film The Return of the Living Dead, where 2 idiots accidentally kickstart a zombie apocalypse by tampering with some chemicals that turn both the living and dead into zombies, blame each other for it and try to control the apocalypse on their own with horrible results. Starscream and Knockout are Freddy and Frank, Megatron is Bert, Airachnid is Trash.
      • Starscream and Knockout even complain at one point that shooting a Terrorcon in the head doesn't kill it, when Knockout had seen it happen in the drive-thru movie he seen. The same "movies aren't correct" statement sprang up in above stated film.
    • "It's alive!"
    • The Terrorcon's vampiricism, coupled with their Nested Mouths and the way their jaws split seems reminiscent of the Reapers from Blade II.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Megatron is getting sick of Starscream's blundering this season. The quote below is before the situation got even worse for the Decepticons.
    "Let me just say, you have been awarded more chances for redemption than anyone in Decepticon history!"
  • Unstoppable Rage: The synthetic energon experiments cause instances of this for Cylas. At one point, he threatens to rip out Starscream's T-Cog and feed it to Knock Out.
  • Villain Ball: Megatron has a dragon at his command and he's fretting over the loss of Insecticons and Vehicon soldiers? Remember what Arcee said back in season one: "Quality, not quantity!"
    • Of course, this may be a downplayed instance; Starscream DID have a good point when informing Knockout that sending in Predaking to deal with the threat would likely get the Predacon infected, effectively rendering it a No-Sell against the Decepticon forces.
    • Knock Out for deciding to go along with Starscream's plan in the first place. While he does raise reasonable objections, he fails to realize that the two energons could cancel each other out, which they do, resulting in a Zombie Apocalypse Transformers style that costs the Decepticons dearly.
  • Villain Episode
  • Villainous Demotivator: Megatron tells Starscream and Knock Out that their "fate remains to be seen"... before sending them on the mission to clean up the mess.
    • When everything is resolved, Megatron calmly reprimands Knock Out and orders him to hand over all of his experiments to Shockwave. Knock Out takes it in stride... probably because Starscream is going to get a far more hands-on and vicious punishment.
  • Wham Episode: It seems Cylas is out for good, the Insecticons are gone, Airachnid is freed... and she's part Terrorcon.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Inverted. Starscream has no problem with Knock Out's experiments on Silas himself, but finds what's being done to Breakdown's body a bit disturbing.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Knock Out suggests decapitation as a tactic against the Terrorcons, citing human zombie filmography as his inspiration. The Terrorcon keeps coming despite the absence of a head. Had he defaulted to human vampire filmography, he would have had the right idea. Starscream gets the idea to blow away he spark instead, as that will keep the Terrorcons down permanently.
    Knock Out: Human horror films! Waste of time.
  • You Have Failed Me: Megatron to Starscream; considering that Starscream's plan cost the Decepticons over HALF of their standing army (not even G1 Starscream screwed up to that extent!), only getting a severe beating borders on Karma Houdini territory.
  • You're Insane!: How Knockout views Starscream's idea to mix Dark Energon with the already unstable synthetic energon. He calls Starscream being out of his mind to suggest such a thing considering what both energon types are capable of on their own, but gets ignored. They soon learn the hard way it was a really stupid idea.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: One part synthetic energon and one p(art dark energon equals one zombie vampire plague.
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