Prowl goes off on his own to capture the fugitive Starscream, but finds some competition in the form of a Decepticon bounty hunter.
- German title: "Der doppelte Starscream" ("The double Starscream")
On Dinobot Island, Prowl and Bulkhead are on the lookout for their feral friends in response to reports of some rampaging going on. Prowl has been sent along with Ratchet's EMP generator and some stasis cuffs, but doubts he will need them since the Dinobots are such gentle spirits when left alone and he has always been able to reason with them. Grimlock soon contradicts Prowl's perspective by charging into the clearing like an angry rhino. Prowl is still determined to take it easy on the big guy until Grimlock's jaws get dangerously close to a nest filled with adorable little baby birdies. Using an EMP blast, Prowl quickly incapacitates Grimlock.
Prowl and Bulkhead are both surprised that it came to that, but Prowl rationalizes that he did what he had to do to save the little birds. At this point, he notices a thorn stuck in Grimlock's paw as the likely source of the Dinobot's extra aggression. With some advice from Ratchet over the comm, Prowl uses controlled bursts from the EMP to stabilize the affected area, and Bulkhead yanks out the spike. Grimlock sighs in relief, and everything is all better.
Before they can head home, however, Ultra Magnus contacts the Autobot base with a message that Starscream has escaped and was last seen headed back to Earth. They would have sent that message sooner, but it seems their tachyon transmitter has gone missing. Megatron, who has been intercepting the message, takes a look at his own tachyon transmitter and sarcastically wonders where the Autobots' could have gone. He then wastes no time putting out a bounty on the escaped Decepticon traitor.
Back on the island, Prowl is feeling pretty tough after taking down the big, bad Grimlock all by himself and is already contemplating a similar hunt for Starscream. At the very least, while they're in the neighborhood, he and Bulkhead use Teletran-1's sensitive scanners to locate Starscream's AllSpark fragment...on the Moon. Prowl believes they have everything they need to go after him right away, but Bulkhead reminds him that Starscream is a little out of their league if it's just the two of them. Prowl agrees, but as soon as Bulkhead is off the ship and his back is turned, Prowl takes off in the ship's emergency shuttle by himself and heads for the Moon.
Prowl tracks the AllSpark fragment to the remains of the Decepticon warship. Optimus and Ratchet try to warn him how crazy his plan is and order him to return, but Prowl disregards them with some unconvincing fake static and heads inside the ship. He believes the mission of apprehending Starscream is best suited to a single bot built for stealth. Then, as he's sneaking around, his target finds him first. Way to use that stealth.
Before Starscream can fire his null ray, a well-placed shuriken disables it. The fight begins, and thanks to the EMP, Prowl manages to hold his own. Starscream eventually gets in a direct hit, but on a hologram. The real Prowl gets into position, and an EMP blast knocks out the Decepticon. As soon as the fugitive is stasis-cuffed, a newcomer walks up and offers to take the bounty off his hands. It's Lockdown...wearing a poncho? He and Prowl start to fight over the prize while Starscream comes to and heckles them from the sidelines. Neither combatant appreciates Starscream's comments, and both yell at him to shut up. He does, but as he's silent for about two seconds, they look back to notice it's because he escaped. Outside, Starscream (who is strangely brown-coloured) blasts Prowl's shuttle and flies off toward Earth. Lockdown decloaks his own ship and takes pursuit, with Prowl hitching a ride on the hull.
Lockdown is finding it difficult to locate Starscream's Decepticon signal when Prowl ambushes him, deflecting a counter-attack with a shield mod borrowed from Lockdown's own display case. Once they're at a standstill, Prowl points out that he knows how to track Starscream's AllSpark fragment, but he'll need Lockdown's sensors to do it. Thus a partnership is created, and Lockdown offers his new friend a few more upgrades to make sure they get the job done right.
Lockdown's ship touches down in Detroit and disguises itself as a building again. Lockdown and Prowl transform and roll out, with Prowl enjoying the feel of his new samurai armor/sidecar. They track the signal to a highway where Starscream is cowering beneath a bridge. When they confront him, they notice he's acting considerably more cowardly than usual, and is painted considerably more purple. Prowl shows off his upgrades, flying circles around the fleeing Decepticon and eventually taking him down with an EMP blast. Lockdown is impressed. With the bounty secured, he contacts Megatron and sets up a meeting at an abandoned warehouse. Prowl is shocked to learn the two-faced bounty hunter he'd partnered with had been working for someone evil and attempts to cross him. However, Lockdown double-crosses Prowl, tying him up with a bola, and drives off with his bounty in tow.
The other Autobots show up to untie their errant companion and chew him out, but Prowl is more interested in continuing pursuit of Starscream. The rest of the team follow, but point out that Prowl is starting to sound too much like Lockdown, as the mods are going to his head.
They almost catch up with Lockdown and the purple Starscream when they're stopped on the road by the arrival of another Starscream. This one sports a brown and off-white color scheme and a sneaky, manipulative personality. He attempts to negotiate a pact with the Autobots to work together and destroy Megatron, but Prowl turns down the offer and attacks. Using his new arsenal, he leads, disarms, and disables the brown Screamer. It's a cool but messy victory. Ratchet scolds Prowl for not just taking him out with a single EMP blast. Prowl attests that his way was more fun, but Ratchet points out all the collateral damage he caused, including a knocked down bird's nest with its eggs broken all over the sidewalk. Prowl feels awful upon realizing what he has done, but puts it aside. Chasing Lockdown is still more important.
The Autobots crash the Decepticons' warehouse meeting, and a Cybertronian standoff occurs. Then, when Megatron notices there are two Starscreams, he demands an explanation. The clones open their cockpits to reveal a pair of ticking time bombs. The real Starscream's voice announces that it was all part of his plan to take his enemies all out at once. Megatron isn't about to sit around and be blown up, though, so he shoots the skylight and calls for the Decepticons to transform and rise up. The bad guys escape, but the good guys can't let the bombs just explode or the blast would take out half the city. Prowl gets an idea and uses his mods to weld the Starscreams together and jam their jets on so they rocket straight up into the atmosphere. The explosion doesn't harm the city (besides setting off a lot of car alarms) but does do a number on the fleeing Decepticons.
While Lockdown is escaping from the planet again, he contacts Prowl and offers a permanent partnership, since they're so much alike. Prowl turns down the offer, claiming it was fun while it lasted, but the super-charged bounty hunter life just wasn't his style. With all his upgrades shorted out or gone, Prowl detaches the one mod that got out without a scratch, Ratchet's EMP generator, and returns it to its rightful owner.
Later, Starscream sits within his new base aboard the wreckage of the Decepticon warship and watches an announcement from Megatron stating that the bounty on the fugitive has been increased, but whoever captures him had better make sure it's the real deal. Starscream himself is furious that his trap failed, but it doesn't matter, as he has plenty more decoys where that came from...
- Written by: Andrew Robinson
- Directed by: Irineo Maramba, Matt Youngberg, & Makoto Fuchigami
- Original airdate:
- Animation company: Mook
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
[Ratchet and Prime are communicating with Prowl and Bulkhead over the radio]
Ratchet: "Prowl, any sign of the Dinobots?"
Prowl: "Negative, Ratchet. I'm starting to think those reports of rampages were nothing but exaggeration."
Optimus: "We're not taking any chances, Prowl. That's why I had Ratchet lend you his EMP generator and those stasis cuffs."
Prowl: "Still, I hardly think they're necessary. The Dinobots are territorial, but if left alone, they're perfectly happy."
[Grimlock roars, then runs out of the forest, charging the Autobots]
Bulkhead: "He doesn't look too happy to me!"
- —The Autobots are Dinobot hunting...and things are not going well.
"Me Grimlock... better."
- —Grimlock after Bulkhead removes the spike, but before he passes out.
"I'm afraid Sari and Bumblebee left on an important fact-finding mission this morning. To someplace called... 'Five Banners Roller Coaster Kingdom'."
- —Optimus Prime gets duped.
"Personally, I've always found Bumblebee's fake static to be a lot more convincing."
- —Ratchet doesn't get duped.
Starscream: You call this a fight? I'll rust before someone wins! And I'm in a vacuum.
Prowl and Lockdown: Will you keep quiet?!
- —Prowl and Lockdown tell Starscream where to stick it.
"No! No, please! Leave me alone!"
"Maybe it's me, but that doesn't sound like the Starscream I know..."
- —His reaction to Coward Starscream's plea for mercy leaves one wondering if Lockdown has ever met the real Screamer...
Sycophant Starscream: "Well, if it isn't my favorite band of plucky little Autobots."
Optimus: "Autobots, prepare for battle!"
Sycophant Starscream: "Wait, you misunderstand. Noble Optimus Prime, wise Ratchet, stealthy Prowl and mighty...eh..."
Sycophant Starscream: "Ooh, that's too bad."
- — Starscream pulls a Bumblebee
"Did you really think I would offer so little a challenge? I allowed you to capture these clones to fulfill my plan to eliminate you all! Especially you, MegaFOOL! Mwa-hah-ha-ha-ha! In moments you will be blown to bits, and I will become the Supreme Leader of ALL DECEPTICONS!"
- — Speaking through his clones, the real Starscream's speech-making tendencies are undimmed, even if he now prefers to do it from a safe distance.
- The large spike stuck in Grimlock's foot is nowhere to be seen in the full-body shots previous to Prowl discovering it.
- The dialogue suggests that the spike is jammed through Grimlock's foot, but the animation shows it merely stuck between his toes.
- When Lockdown first appears, his head is missing the design across his forehead.
- Just after mud-coloured Starscream tells the Autobots of his plan for joining forces, his mouth disappears. That's one animation error the Autobots could live with.
- Ratchet's war wound disappears when he's telling Prowl to get rid of his mods, just after his showy (and destructive) capture of the red Starscream clone.
- When Lockdown is talking to Megs, via hologram, you can see a black Autobot insignia on his chest.
- Starscream tells Lockdown and Prowl he'll rust—in a vacuum. Telling them that is impossible in itself, as vacua generally do not carry sound (much less oxygen to rust metal). Of course, cartoon outer space does carry sound, so maybe rusting in space is possible too. Then again, perhaps they were communicating via radio and Starscream was merely using a figure of speech.
- No one seemed to notice that the clones were different colors to the original Starsream.
- The Starscream clones are, of course, a reference to the Seekers of Generation 1, most notable for being hordes of disposable Decepticons in "More Than Meets The Eye" (and then kinda vanishing save for rare appearances later).
- Given Lockdown's penchant for taking "trophies", the armor could also be reference to Bludgeon.
- This episode contains numerous references to A Fistful of Dollars, including the title, Lockdown wearing a poncho in his first appearance, and the Mexican standoff scene in the warehouse.
- A Fistful of Dollars is, in turn, a Western adaptation of Yojimbo, which also accounts for Prowl's samurai armor.
- Grimlock's foot problem recalls "The Lion and the Mouse", an Aesop's fable about a mouse who befriends a lion by pulling a thorn out of his paw. Or the tale of the Christian Saint Jerome, whose life was saved by the lion he'd helped when he later encountered it in a Roman circus. Or the story of Androcles and the Lion. It's been done a lot.
- Five Banners Roller Coaster Kingdom is a reference to the Six Flags chain of amusement parks and possibly Magic Kingdom as well.
- This episode was first aired in Dubai.
- Bumblebee and Sari are absent from this episode, with Optimus saying that they're on an "important fact-finding mission" (an amusement park). Therefore, we don't get to see if Sari's hair grew back since last episode.
- It seems that since the events of the last episode Bulkhead has grown an even higher taste for oil, as he can be seen drinking it when he and Prowl are first on Dinobot Island.
- Lugnut and Blitzwing, on the other hand, appear but say nothing, as do Jazz and even Sentinel Prime. Result!
- The clones seem to embody elements of Starscream's personality, the purple Starscream representing Starscream's cowardice and the reddish-brown Starscream representing Starscream's sycophantic, flattering nature.
- Both altered-color clones use Starscream's original colors as a base, but the sycophantic one runs towards "hotter" colors playing up the red and white (a little devilish, perhaps?), while the cowardly one has colors more on the "cold" end, leaning into purple and stony grey.
- So Prowl finds a sidecar in Lockdown's ship that's in his color scheme and is capable of becoming samurai-esque armour, and wears it for the majority of the episode. Wonder why that is.
- The other Autobots, and eventually Prowl as well, treat his upgrades as a bad thing. In the story, this makes sense because Lockdown acquires his trophies by hacking them off other Transformers, a practice the other characters had previously shown to find extremely distasteful (at best). Oddly, this goes against everything Hasbro wants us to believe.
- So where did Starscream get the clones from? Ultra Magnus' comment suggests Starscream's escape actually happened some time ago (depending on how long a deca-cycle is in Animated). Then again, Starscream did have 50 years of spare time on his hands.
- While Ratchet seems to be the moral compass of this episode, the day is only saved by Prowl's use of his upgrades.
- Apparently Starscream put a few extra zeros in when programming the timer on the clones. His plot might have worked if he hadn't given Megatron three minutes to run away.
- How come both the Autobots and the Decepticons failed to tell the differences between the clone Starscreams and the real deal? Are there already Seekers we haven't seen yet that they encountered before?
- It's not the first time in Animated that an Autobot sacrifices a new upgrade to launch a bomb that could destroy Detroit into upper atmosphere.
- Exactly WHY does Lockdown wear a poncho?
- ↑ Yes, it's true. Blitzwing went the entire episode without switching personalities.