Rob's Pile of Transformers: Manic Ramblings

Manic Ramblings and Delirious Rantings
Re: "Endgame Part 2: When Legends Fall"

I got my email screen name and password from University of Wisconsin yesterday. I'll still be "repowers"! Hooray! After 6 years, it'd be painful to have to change it. :]

Sorry this is a day late, BTW. I forgot to start the download Thursday morning, which meant I didn't watch the ep till 11 PM last night.













Very succinct yet informative recap of last episode. Interestingly, they place Cheetor's line about "we're going down - HARD" *after* mention of Rattrap's shield-breaching mishap... where it almost seems like it should have been in the first place.

Drones and Generals surround the Big Fragged Head (thanks, SSJ SuperSonic. :] "Think any survived?" Thrust asks the others. "From that? Doubtful," Strika answers. But Megatron "can sense Primal's wretched Spark. My enemies yet live." Simple orders: capture the Sparks, destroy the Maximals. Megs, meanwhile, confers with *another* Diagnostic Drone on the status of his new body: "The end is near, Optimus Primal... yesssss."

The Vehicons "initiate field repairs on all drones". "Why not just blast 'em now with what we got?" Thrust asks, a question which goes unanswered. The repairs, as Primal notes, buys the Maximals time. Rattrap: "To do what? The big head's energon cells are dry! We are totally one hundred percent powerless!" "Not for long!" Botanica says, unmelting out of the floor: She's found a power conduit they can tap into. "Botanica! Boy am I glad to see -- you... brought.. us this new power supply!" RT says, momentarilly forgetting himself. They both glance away shyly. Silverbolt states that they get only one shot; they'll be cut off as soon as the power is detected. As the Vehicons move in, the Maximals prepare their final defenses. BA and Silverbolt share a quiet moment: "I lost you once... I won't lose you again." SB hugs her gently against him: "No matter what happens, we will be together... forever."

Rattrap and Botanica are also having a (relative) fuel pump-to-fuel pump: "Rattrap... I want to thank you for saving my life." "Eh... de nada. I'd, uh, like to think you'd have done the same for me." With that, the two awkwardly return to work.

Primal pays a visit to the Spark chamber: "Oracle of Cybertron.... I call upon you one final time. Grant me the wisdom to overcome Megatron, and establish true balance on Cybertron." A Spark-filled vision overtakes him, and the Oracle speaks: "You already have the wisdom, along with the strength of your convictions." And the Sparks speak as one: "Optimus Primal - let us add our strength to yours!" "Then for the sake of the Matrix, I will not fail," Primal vows. When he returns to where Cheetor is working, he has a Spark-colored glow about him.. "We are no longer fighting alone, Maximals," he announces. "Feel the might of a united Cybertron!" The others recieve a similar Spark-boost. "Very swank. But what can they *do*?" Blackarachnia asks. Op: "Provide us with the key to victory."

The group steps outside. Op speaks: "The fate of Cybertron rests with us. Here, today. Some of you have fought beside me since the beginning of the Beast Wars. Some of you I've just come to know. I can't think of anyone I'd rather stand beside now." A holographic Megatron-head presents itself to them just then: "Greetings, Maximals. You cannot win. But there is no need for you to suffer. Surrender your Sparks, and the nightmare will end." "You want our Sparks, Megatron? Come and get 'em!" Op shouts back. "So be it," Megs says, disappearing as the Vehicons move in.

The Maximals wait a moment, then activate the shield, causing the first wave of drones to crash and explode. When the Generals try their harmonics trick again, they discover that "The harmonics are changing in a randomized configuration. We cannot match frequencies." The Vehicons resort to a kamakazi strategie, drones ramming the shield to deplete it. It doesn't take long for the shield to go down, and the battle is joined.

No words, no sounds, just ominous music as the Maximals deploy everything they've got... "Fall back to the entry port. We dare not let a single drone inside!" Primal orders finally.

With that, we take a break from the scene to far below the surface, where a group of mole miners suddenly burst into the orchard chamber, and procede to decimate it. On the surface, it doesn't take Botanica long to notice this: she reels in pain. "The trees! I have to help them!" "They're vital to our mission. Go! Take Nightscream." Rattrap insists he's going too... Primal doesn't argue. Botanica hauls them both underground using her plant mode vine-feet-whatevers.

Three tank drones, carried in by helidrones, manage to get through the Maximals; Primal goes after them. Botanica's group finishes a harrowing decent -- "I think my stomach's lodged in my neck somewhere," RT notes as they touch down -- and immediately finds themselves under mole miner attack. They dispose of them, Rattrap commandeering one and using it to total another: "Ooooo, sleek exterior! Niiiiiice handling!" Nightscream goes after another mole that's heading for the fossile chamber, destroying it, only to have another pop up in its place. Above, another mole unleashes a napalm-style attack on the orchard. "They're not just destroying the trees... they're wiping out the DNA!" Botanica observes.

"Your new body is complete," Diagnostic Drone Mark II informs Megatron dryly, elsewhere, and he prepares for "Spark transfer"...

Primal chases the tank drones through the BFH. He blows up one... and when he rounds a corner to find the others waiting for him, the Sparks within him begin to glow... and surround him... and then vaporize the tanks. The other Maximals find the same happening to them, and drones are vaped left and right, both above and below the surface.

We then pan over a prone body with a familiar chest-mounted cockpit, lying in the darkness. "They think they can defeat me? Not while part of the Oracle is mine!" Megatron snaps. We then see Megs (in his Season 1 control harness getup) surrounded by swirling Sparks... which he disperses with a wave of his hands, laughing. And the Maximals' glowing friends disappear, leaving them high and dry.

Thrust, meanwhile, singles out Silverbolt for attack: "Let me show you how we deal with traitors, Jetstorm." "My... name... is... SILVERBOLT!" Thrust drops SB and blasts a radio tower down on him. "You lose, Jeeeeetstorm," he drawls nastily. BA is watching from nearby: "Big mistake -- VERY big mist--uhh!" as Obsidian drops her from behind. Inside, Primal finds himself Sparkless: "Fine. We'll just do this the old-fashioned way!" Outside, a battle-worn Cheetor confronts all three Generals solo: "Three, or three hundred. You're NOT getting in." "You never disappoint," Thrust says, as the three open fire. When the smoke clears, only a hole in the ground is left. The Generals move in, blasting into the BFH. "Here, kitty kitty kitty," Thrust calls out. Suddenly, massive machinery activates: "He's bringing the anti-gravity generators on-line," Obsidian explains. "What purpose can that serve?" But they're soon to find out: Cheetor rises from the shadows, as a roof hatch opens above them. "Can't we all just... lighten up?" Thrust has presence of mind to scoot... as Obsidian and Strika are blasted up, up, up, and away -- all the way to orbital space.

"Now it's just you and me," Cheets says, confronting Thrust. Thrust pulls out a Spark extractor... and derisively tosses it aside. "Works for me, kid."

Megatron trys out his new body in a shadow-filled, nasty room: "I'm alive... alive! Yes...."

Primal and two tank drones have battled all the way to the Spark chamber -- but as he prepares to fight them, they suddenly conk out and keel over. Elsewhere, Cheets and Thrust are going at it. Thrust: "It's over, puddy cat. Why don't you just give it up!" "As long as my Spark burns, I'll fight for the freedom of every Transformer. Even you!" Cheets gets tossed aside, then grapple-hooked. "Nex time worry about yourself!" But as Cheets is dragged along, he passes -- and grabs -- Thrust's discarded Spark extractor... and turns it on Thrust. "This is for Cybertron!" Thrust's body fall and his lights switch out. Victorious, Cheetor looks up and sees a shadow: "Big Bot?" he asks, confused. But it's Megatron, who zaps him.

Optimus soon finds himself confronting the new Megatron, who blasts him with a glowing light from one extended hand. As he steps out of the shadows to stand over his enemy, we finally get a clear look at the new Megatron: it is, of course, the Optimal Optimus form, right down to the paint job, with only a slightly-altered facial area. "My day is just beginning, Optimus. Where the era of the Maximal has reached its end."

Elsewhere, drones begin hauling out Spark extractors, and de-sparking the various downed Maximals. Megs speaks: "And now, Optimus Primal.... it's your turn." Fade out.


Once again: at last, a cliffhanger ending that FEELS like a cliffhanger!

What this episode did best was provide a sense of things *ending*. Silverbolt and Blackarachnia's drama seems nicely wrapped up. Rattrap and Botanica have gone as far as they're going to, under the circumstances at least (after the war's over? Different story.) Obsidian and Strika seem permanently disposed of, for the duration of the war at least. Thrust's lights-fading scene was too... final, I guess, to be anything less than curtains for him. And the battle itself, really would seem to be just about over: all the Maximals except Optimus are down. As the last cliffhanger, we're left with a dark, dark scene where things can't get much worse.

The overall battle had a nice sense of progression, from the Maximal's preparations, to the Vehicons vs. the shield, to their gradual infiltration of the head as the team splits up. The orchard attack was a nice curve ball by Megatron, forcing the group to further split their numbers. And then, when the Maximals finally achieve some advantages -- first the Spark enhancement, then disposal of the Generals -- Megatron quickly negates them.

The biggest glaring plot hole and/or device: why did the Maximals suddenly all go down at the same time? "Coming of the Fuzors" syndrome all over the place here! Botanica, RT, and NS shouldn't have much trouble disposing of a few mole drones; they never have in the past. Yet suddenly they're all three exhausted, defeated, and some unseen drones that *weren't there a moment before* is reaching in and de-Sparking them (until that scene, we'd observed nothing but the non-humanoid mole drones in the sub-surface battle.) SB, BA, and Cheetor, at least, were defeated on-screen, as was Optimus, apparently.

And how about Cheetor! Wow! He took down *all three Generals* single-handedly! My respect for him definately just went up a notch or three. Of course, one wonders why Thrust made the very very stupid move of leaving a Spark extractor lying nearby. Better to crush it or something than just leave it sitting there for Cheets to use. As for the other two Generals -- ha! That's the coolest thing that's happened to anybody in this series so far. They got launched into orbit! Ha ha!! In my bookk that ranks right up there with Darth Maul getting himself chopped in two (by far the coolest thing *he* ever did.) I half-expected the planetary defenses to blast them both to bits...

The initial battle scene, with only the background music playing (some of the nicest BM has given us, BTW), was dramatic -- but it raised the question of how *this* battle was soooooo much harder than any of about fifty zillion other, similar battles the Maximals have fought and won. Hell, in her debut episode, Botanica took down more drones in ONE SHOT than all the Maximals put together here. I may be guilty of the old "Code of Hero" syndrome -- claiming that because we didn't see more drones battling on-screen, there WERE no other drones -- but aside from the scary music, the battle scenes didn't really seem so horribly difficult for the Maximals.

Granted, after that, it's down to only BA, SB, and Cheets defending the Head, so it makes a bit more sense, especially given Cheetor's line hoping Primal is having better luck then them. But again... you're telling me that Primal couldn't take down three pokey tank drones in just about zero seconds? Come ON. Doesn't he have a nice chest-laser thing he can just zap 'em with? (Or does he have to be shot at first and collect the energy for it? I've never quite figured that one out.)

Well, *someone* seems to have watched BW's "Aftermath". Thrust's next-to-last line to Cheetor is a near carbon-copy of a scene where the newly-Transmetaled Cheetor has Waspinator tackled and on the ropes. Heh heh. Nice touch.

Alas, poor Thrust! He's been very good this season, and I'll miss him. Kudos to Mr. Jim Byrnes for doing a nice job with the character over the course of two seasons. I especially liked his ominous "Here, kitty kitty" bit as the Generals entered the BFH. Still, having him go down at the hands of Cheetor seems kind of random. Wouldn't it be more poetic if Silverbolt took him out? Maybe that's the point. At any rate, the stage seems set for the return of Waspinator. Maybe he will once again get the final scene of the series -- THAT would be poetic. :]

Megs is apparently through with smart-ass Diagnostic Drones. This new drone's one line gave about zero indications of any personality. Too bad. I miss the British Butler drone from Season 1.

What happened to the Sparks? Did they... *merge* with the Maximals? Or just travel around with them for a bit? And what happened when Megatron dispersed them again? Did they just return to the holding tank, or cease to exist? Fuzzy logic here, but I guess it doesn't matter too much: the point is, the Sparks helped the Maximals till Megatron stopped it. Any explanation is just pseudo-science and technobabble, really.

Nice shots: a very short tracking shot of a couple of helidrones flying at the shield as it goes up. Something about it seemed very fluid and realistic... Cheetor, on his knees, apparently worn out from the battle (have we EVER seen the Maximals get tired or low on energy before this episode? Maybe they've had no chance to refuel since taking the BFH)... Megs' new body lying in the shadows... Megs' shadowy Frankenstein bit as he rises up in his new form (THIS is how the beginning of "Feral Scream" shoulda been handled, IMO, to get it down to the one-parter it should have been.)

Ugly things: Megatron's new body. His face looks very, very, extremely, quite, muy mucho SILLY poking out of OpOp's helmet. Why not at LEAST redo the paint job and plug the forthcoming OpOp repaint toy? I think it'd be really cool for the original Optimus Prime to end up in this body of Megatron's... assuming he's still around somewhere. But! I give about zero chances of that happening.

At least Megatron's *actions* seem threatening. He now commands some kind of glowy Sparky Oracley energy that can take down Maximals in a single god-like blast. Kewl, d00d.

"I have to help the trees!" sez Botanica. Oh GODS. Save the rain forests! Yarrrrrrg. Worst line of the episode.

Odd use of the Generals' theme music (that bass "dom whomp" sound) as the Maximals get their magical SparkAid. Strange. Something more mystical might have fit better, IMO.

So, how's it gonna end?? Will Megatron survive or be destroyed? Will Primal have to make some kind of ultimate sacrifice for victory (maybe this time he will be ready to join the Matrix?) I'd wager the other Maximals have a good chance of surviving whatever comes... they've come too far for it to be otherwise. They deserve a happy ending (and it's about time to turn the reigns over to a new cast, as well, and let this group live in peace.) But Op and Megs? Mutual assured destruction, anyone? At any rate, the question of the Sparks MUST be resolved in this episode. But... now that I think about it, we probably WON'T see the actual resolution. The episode will probably end right after the battle does, and the rest will be left for our own speculation (just as the post-Beast Wars cleanup was.) Can't have tons of expensive CGI non-toy robots running around eating up Mainframe's rendering time!

So, my bets: Next episode begins with a vision, same as "Fallout". Megatron gets it -- final justice. Primal: I give 50/50 odds he'll live. The other Maximals: survive, one and all. The Generals: curtains already. Waspinator: one final scene. The planet: magically given its techno-organic transformation by the Oracle, perhaps with the unwitting help of Megatron. The Sparks: not yet restored to their bodies by episode's end.

Overall: Pretty obligatory stuff for a final cliffhanger ep: tied up some loose ends, and gave the heroes some relative victories, which were taken away at the last minute to leave us with a "all seems lost" ending. Bonus points for dark atmosphere. Not too much else that really stands out, though like the previous ep, it's adequate.

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