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Western Animation / The Forge

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The Forge is the seventh Total Immersion Event on Toonami. The first episode premiered at the 2019 Momocon, and aired from November 9 to December 14.

TOM and SARA are discussing what to do with Georgia (the worm creature they took with them at the end of The Intruder III) as she's growing quite big and SARA feels the Vindication doesn't have the necessary environment of her home planet. Before the discussion can go further, the ship's navigation suddenly re-programs itself, locks out the crew and send them to an unknown space station. When TOM goes to confront those who brought them there, he's knocked out from behind by the ringleader and the Clydes are likewise taken out. This soon leaves SARA the only one who can save TOM from whatever the inhabitants have planned. All the while the duo try to figure out who exactly these people are.

All six episodes of The Forge have been uploaded to [adult swim]'s YouTube channel, where they have also combined them into a 22-minute short film.

The Forge has the following tropes:

  • Aliens Are Bastards: The alien race that runs The Forge considers the bots to be their "disposal labor", and wants use the Vindication as a warship to achieve universal domination.
  • An Arm and a Leg: TOM loses his left arm again during a firefight, much to his annoyance.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The first plot point is that the Vindication will not be able to support Georgia for much longer, which suggests that the story will be about finding a different home for her. However, this is instead used as a lead-in for TOM's existential angst. The end of episode six has Sara wonder if Georgia will start a family of her own.
  • Bittersweet Ending: TOM and Sara manage to beat the Forge Commander and prevent his troops from going after the Vindication, allowing the yellow TOMs to escape and be free. However to do so, the duo had to stay behind on the Forge and SARA kept the Vindication from being tracked, so the ship is off to parts unknown without them, meaning they likely won't see TOM Jr. or Georgia again for quite some time, if at all. But, with the aliens gone, the Forge is under their control, meaning they have a new HQ to broadcast from.
  • Body Backup Drive:
    • SARA uses The Forge to build a new body for TOM, after his previous body was destroyed while protecting the fleeing Vindication.
    • SARA leaves a copy of herself on the Vindication, so that she can help both those on board the ship and TOM, who stayed behind on the Forge.
  • Call-Back: In the previous TIE, Countdown, the present TOM had witnessed a corrupted SARA in the future blow up an uninhabited planet using the Vindication's weapons. Here, the Commander reveals that the Vindication was originally a warship, so its firepower makes much more sense now and likewise showcases the threat that the Commander presents if he goes through with his plans.
  • Came Back Strong: Using The Forge's technology, Sara creates a new body for TOM that contains combat features which his previous model body lacked.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: TOM does this during the discussion about Georgia, citing he doesn't really know where he comes from.
  • Failed a Spot Check: TOM manages to get the drop on one of the crewmates that boarded the Vindication, but fails to notice their leader sneaking up behind him.
  • Great Offscreen War: The Forge Commander briefly mentions that the Vindication went missing after the "Gravity Wars".
  • Hero Killer: The Commander comes pretty close to this, killing both the Clydes and outright shooting TOM 5 dead. It's only due to Sara that it doesn't stick
  • Heroic Sacrifice: TOM stays behind on The Forge, to give SARA and the other TOMs a chance to escape. It works, and TOM is killed in the process. He gets rebuilt almost immediately, however.
  • Interface Screw: The first four weeks of the event don't have any major changes to the bumpers like past ones (Week 1 only has TOM and SARA absent for story reasons, while Weeks 2-4 includes shots from the event itself). In Week 5 however, the bumpers start to glitch and don't play any of the preview footage.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: TOM Jr. after his restrictive programming is deleted.
    TOM Jr.: My fellow TOMs! Now is our chance for the freedom we have long been denied! Join me, brothers! And fight for the future of TOM!
  • Just a Machine: The alien race's attitude towards the bots. When Junior convinces the other yellow TOMs to escape the Forge for freedom, the aliens assume the bots to be malfunctioning.
  • Junior Counterpart: TOM quickly dubs the first yellow TOM he and SARA meet "TOM Jr."
  • Major Injury Underreaction: TOM loses his left arm (again) during a firefight, and is more annoyed than anything.
    TOM: Dammit! I just got this thing!
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Zig-Zagged TOM loses another body but is quickly rebuilt and downloaded into a new one. But the Vindication is given over to TOM Jr and the TOM units who use it to escape, with Georgia still on board, while TOM and Sara stay behind to fend off the Commander and his forces to keep from following them. After they succeed and boot him off, the pair are stranded on the space station with no idea if any ships will ever come across the area. So they make the best of it and turn it into the current base of operations for the Toonami broadcast.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: TOM has this reaction after his arm is destroyed again (The first time it happened was in the Intruder II).
  • Robo Speak: Those not liberated still speak a highly-synthesized monotone voice.
  • Sequel Hook: The TOM units, TOM Jr and Georgia (who was still on the ship) have escaped with the Vindication. TOM and Sara hope to see them again and wonder how they'll adapt to being free. Likewise, the Forge Commander was just knocked out and jettisoned off the space station via an escape pod, not killed. So he may return in the future as well.
  • Servant Race: The yellow TOM units are used as servants by the alien race that runs the Forge.
  • Shout-Out: In episode 6, SARA says "Omae wa mou shindeiru" right before she blows up the alien ships going after the Vindication.
  • They Just Dont Get It: The yellow TOM units (excluding TOM Jr.) canít really understand that much due to their restrictive programming.
    TOM: TOMS! Find cover!
    Yellow TOMS: (Beat)
    TOM: It means stand behind something so you don't get shot!
  • You Are Already Dead: SARA says this word for word in Japanese as a reference to the Trope Namer just before she blows up the ships that attempted to go after the Vindication.