The Decepticons ally with the undersea realm of Sub-Atlantica. But they may be more treacherous than Megatron expected.
Soundwave summons Megatron to the control room, saying that Laserbeak and Buzzsaw have detected massive energy readings underwater. The Decepticons investigate and encounter the Sub-Atlanticans, a race who hope to conquer the surface world one day. Megatron negotiates a deal with Nergill, King of Sub-Atlantica, offering Decepticon military technology in exchange for access to their geothermal storehouses. Starscream distrusts the Sub-Atlanticans, who communicate with each other telepathically.
Near the Autobot base, Spike, Bumblebee, and Hound are playing a game of football with the Dinobots. Wheeljack arrives before the Dinobots accidentally kill anyone, telling them there is a massive energy reading emanating from near the Decepticon base. Optimus Prime dispatches Bumblebee, Brawn, Hound, and Wheeljack to investigate, with Spike tagging along. The Decepticons and Sub-Atlanticans attack and take Wheeljack prisoner. After raising the city from the bottom of the ocean, the Decepticons and Sub-Atlanticans prepare to attack Washington, D.C. as a sign of their new alliance. Nergill communicates with his soldiers, telling Megatron that they will imprison Wheeljack in his dungeons. However, at Starscream's orders, Soundwave unscrambles the message and learns that Wheeljack is to be taken to their laboratory.
The Autobots head for Washington, hoping to stop the Decepticons and Sub-Atlanticans. Prime has Spike and Bumblebee head for Sub-Atlantica, hoping to rescue Wheeljack, while the Autobot leader takes the others to Washington. The Sub-Atlanticans raise a force field over Washington, trapping the Autobots inside. In Sub-Atlantica, Nergill is developing a disruptor which will shut down Transformers. Starscream discovers this and is shot by Nergill, who learns that it is less effective on Decepticons. As Nergill leaves, Starscream attempts to drain power from Wheeljack, but Bumblebee and Spike stop the Air Commander.
Heading for Washington, Nergill uses the disruptor to defeat the Autobots, but holds back on the Decepticons. As the Sub-Atlanticans secure the Capitol building, his soldiers ask when to move against the Decepticons, but Nergill decides to wait a little while longer. Meanwhile, Megatron (sitting at the Lincoln Memorial) tells Thundercracker that they will deal with the Sub-Atlanticans soon enough.
Wheeljack calls in the Dinobots, who manage to penetrate the force field but come to blows with the Cons. Megatron and Grimlock fight, and Nergill tries to shoot them both, but Starscream causes Nergill to miss. Grimlock grabs the disruptor and destroys it, causing the Autobots to revive. The Decepticons and Sub-Atlanticans retreat back to their own city, with the Autobots in pursuit.
Back at Sub-Atlantica, Megatron demands an answer to Starscream's treason charge against Nergill, but Nergill informs him that the Autobots are coming. They invade the city, and the Dinobots begin smashing everything in sight.
Nergill decides to destroy the city, hoping to destroy the Transformers as well. Spike, Wheeljack, and Bumblebee follow, hoping to stop Nergill, with Rumble and Ravage in pursuit. The two Mini-Cassettes realize Nergill's intentions, and Rumble tries to bury him in rubble and Wheeljack grabs Nergill to prevent him from triggering the explosion, but it's too late. Nergill throws a device into his energy containers, which starts a chain reaction that destroys the city. The Autobots and Decepticons manage to retreat, while the Sub-Atlanticans and their home disappear under the waves. Prime tells Spike that they probably won't see Nergill again for a long time, while the latter says that he wish he could say the same about the Decepticons.
Original airdate: October 3, 1985
Production number: 700-23
Written by: Douglas Booth
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Are you sure humans do this for fun?"
- —Hound, after playing a game of football with the Dinobots
"Did I do that?"
- —Bumblebee, being suitably amazed after knocking down Starscream. Float like a butterfly- sting like a Bumblebee.
"Autobots bite off more than they can chew, then send for Dinobots! Come. Snarl, Sludge. We go!"
- -Grimlock, responding to the SOS call by Wheeljack. Apparently he does not want Slag or Swoop.
"Me Grimlock here again, Optimus Prime, to pull your diodes out of laser fire."
- —Grimlock, lecturing Optimus Prime
"Starscream, see what you've done you dribbling dirtbucket!"
- —Megatron, once again insulting Starscream -ironically enough after the latter saved him from being shot in the back by Nergill. And he wonders why Starscream is so disloyal.
"Okay, Grimlock. Time for you and the Dinobots to act prehistoric!"
- —Optimus Prime
"You don't frighten me, you mechanical throwbacks!"
"Good, Megatron! We love stupid enemies!"
- —Megatron and Grimlock
"Starscream's right! Nergill is crazy!"
- -Rumble admits Starscream was right about something. And then the universe implodes.
"Ruining Autobots is my life!"
- —Starscream finds his true calling.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- When Wheeljack is driving through Washington with Bumblebee, his Autobot insignia is upside-down.
- As the Washington Monument starts to fall, when Optimus Prime stands for a second, another Optimus Prime pops out of him.
- When the Dinobots break through the force field, Starscream is among the group fighting them off, even though he was last seen in Sub-Atlantica.
- When the Decepticons leave their base, Starscream is yellow for a second. Does suit him, being a coward and all but still an error nonetheless.
- When Megatron is thrown by Grimlock, he briefly has a red Decepticon insignia.
- Spike is obviously some sort of super human. He can survive in the "deepest part of the Atlantic ocean" wearing only a bathing suit and using a simple oxygen tank and googles. Amazing that he isn't crushed under the weight of the ocean or frozen to death. He also withstands being flung from Bumblebee at 'Bee's shoulder level or so, and with Bumblebee not having slowed down at all.
- Somehow, the rotational forces involved in the Washington Monument's partial fall do not cause the masonry structure to snap like a dry twig.
- In Transformers: The Game, Megatron also takes the Lincoln Memorial throne as his own. This is only in the Decepticon campaign, however.
- While it mostly comes off as arrogance, Grimlock has a point when he lectures Optimus Prime about the Autobots depending on the Dinobots to save them. When the Dinobots are becoming aware of the fact that they're just a deus ex machina, you know that it's time to add a little more depth to your stories. As it kept happening, the Dinobots would eventually get tired of it.
- Grimlock smashing through buildings on Sub-Atlantica bears a striking resemblance to Godzilla's rampage through Tokyo.
- Megatron refers to Laserbeak and Buzzsaw as "vultures". They're supposed to be condors. Condors are New World vultures, so Megatron is technically correct.
- Speaking of Buzzsaw, this episode marks his first appearance out of three episodes.
- Hound has a folding sunroof. That is awesome. His toy did not, even his Universe toy. That is not awesome.
- Whose bright idea was it to introduce Transformers to the world of football, using 5 godless killing machines?
- When the Decepticons capture Wheeljack. Nergill wants him for his prisoner. Megatron agrees and Nergill tells his guards something in his language. When Soundwave deciphers it becomes clear that Nergill wants to use Wheeljack to make weapons to defeat both the Autobots and their Decepticons "allies". But in the following scenes this is not referenced to. Memory glitch perhaps?
- Starscream however does remember to shadow Nergill and indeed watches him test his ray on Wheeljack. But rather than to shoot Nergill in the back like any other treacherous weasel would do- he actually asks him to hand over the weapon. Guess he really is an idiot.
- Unless he wanted to use the weapon himself in another attempt to seize power.
- The Lincoln Memorial is strangely Megatron-sized. Also, the statue part apparently just comes right off like a piece of Lego. Who knew?
- Apparently, damaged masonry structures like the Washington Monument can be melted back together. Who knew?
- Watch out for the hilarious irony of Starscream shouting "TRAITOR!" and stopping Nergill from shooting Megatron in the back.
- They have in fact seen the last of Nergill.
- Similar to the end of the episode "Enter the Nightbird", Starscream acts like a sort of anti-hero in this episode. He's the only one to suspect the duplicity of the Sub-Atlanticans (and he's right to do so, to the point where Rumble admits it) and he even saves Megatron from being shot. (Although, considering his reward is to be insulted, it's no wonder he's so disloyal.) Anyone?
- How did Grimlock get to the Washington Monument before Prime?