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After having his logic circuits damaged in battle, Red Alert feels rejected by the Autobots and allies himself with Starscream.
Japanese title: "Capture the Negavator!"
After the Autobots successfully test a new super-weapon called the Negavator, they are attacked by Soundwave and four of his cassettes, Rumble, Frenzy, Ravage, and Buzzsaw, who attempt to steal it for the Decepticons. While most of the Autobots exit the bunker to fight, Red Alert stays behind to guard the facility and operate the Negavator. At first, Inferno stays to protect Red Alert, but he is eventually lured away by the call of battle, despite Red's protestations. Defeated, the Decepticons retreat, but not before Rumble fires a rocket into the control room, which causes the console Red Alert was operating to explode. The Autobots return to assist him, but the odder-than-normal Red Alert brushes off their help, accusing Inferno of betraying him. However, Red Alert's injuries go deeper than the surface. His logic chips have been affected, and he begins to go insane and feel as though everyone is against him.
As the Autobots escort the Negavator back to Autobot Headquarters, the Decepticons launch a sneak attack in a ravine that Red Alert does not detect due to his insecurities and his damaged state of mind. Optimus Prime and Ironhide are buried under the rubble caused by Rumble's landslide while the Decepticon jets attempt to take on the remaining Autobots, only to be thwarted when Smokescreen sprays a dark cloud of exhaust over them, obscuring their sensors and causing them to crash. With the Decepticons defeated a second time, Megatron retreats, leaving Starscream behind. When Optimus Prime questions Red Alert about his lack of a warning on the attack, Red instead accuses the Autobots of wanting to do away with him and runs off at the suggestion that they repair his logic circuits. Starscream, observing this turn of events, follows Red into the city.
As the other Autobots try to find Red in the city, Starscream successfully gains the trust of the paranoid Autobot by sharing his similar situation, and together they form a partnership to steal the Negavator and bring both Optimus Prime and Megatron to account for their respective betrayals. Meanwhile, the Autobots have brought the Negavator back to the bunker and secured it in the lowest level while they recharge. Hoist and Inferno are concerned that Red Alert's logic circuits will explode if they do not find him soon. Red leads Starscream to a secret entrance into the bunker, but they are unaware they are being observed by Ravage and, in turn, Megatron, who seems to be content to let the pair of traitors do the dirty work for him.
Inside the bunker, Red Alert and Starscream narrowly avoid death at the hands of the tunnel drone, but manage to set off the alarms in the process, alerting the Autobots. Commandeering the Negavator, they blast their way out of the holding chamber and use the elevator to arrive on the top level. Awaiting them are the other Autobots, who mistakenly believe Red Alert is some kind of hostage to Starscream until he tells them their intentions. At this point, Megatron and Decepticons enter, causing a sputtering Starscream to agree with Megatron that he was merely delivering the weapon to his leader. When Red Alert realizes Starscream's duplicity, he attempts to fire the Negavator, only to be pulled out of the cockpit and blasted with the Decepticon's null ray. Unbeknownst to the Decepticons, the null ray blast serves to stabilize Red's logic circuits, and they seemingly force him to use the Negavator on the Autobots. Unfortunately for Megatron, Red Alert instead sets the self-destruct mechanism on the superweapon, causing the Decepticons to flee.
The Autobots run as the Negavator explodes. Discovering that Red Alert is still inside, Ironhide, then Optimus Prime attempt to enter the blaze to save their friend, but Inferno insists on doing it himself, perhaps as penance for his earlier desertion of Red. Inferno saves Red Alert from being crushed even as the remorseful Red tells the gun-slinging fire truck to leave him behind. Outside, the other Autobots cheer as Inferno carries the injured Red Alert out of the flames. Red attempts to apologize for all the trouble he has caused them, but Optimus Prime is the one who accepts the blame, for it was his insistence on testing the Negavator that started their problems. Prime declares they are glad to have Red Alert back, and commends both him and Inferno for their bravery. Red replies that with friends like the Autobots, it's easy to be brave.
Original Airdate: 16 October 1985
Written by: Antoni Zalewski
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
†-Soundwave calls for Buzzsaw,
"Someday I want to build something that doesn't get trashed!"
- —Grapple, digging out the ruins of his bunker.
"I'm fine! It's just an electroglitch that comes and goes. Comes and goes."
- —Red Alert demonstrates that he's definitely not fine.
"Why can't anyone see it?! Inferno wants my job!"
- —Red Alert spirals down into paranoia...
Inferno: "You need immediate repairs!"
Red Alert: "Don't give me any of that. You just want to disassemble me for spare parts! Never! I won't let you!"
- — ...and hits bottom...
Hoist: "Let me fix you!"
Red Alert: "Stay back. I know just how you want to fix me!"
- — ...and then grabs a shovel.
Megatron: You're too late Prime! Next stop, oblivion! (Ramjet rams Megatron out of the Negavator using jet form)
Megatron: I've got morons on my team!
- —Uh, wrong Seeker, Megatron.
Ramjet: "Hey! My circuits electric blew just out!"
Skywarp: "Too mine! I'm blind flying!
Starscream: "Away move, before collide we!"
- —Seekers the, by Smokescreen scrambled.
Fire chief: "Hey! That's my car! Put it back where ya found it!!"
Ironhide: "Oh, uh, sorry, chief; it looked like a friend of mine!"
[Transforms and drives off]
Fire chief: "No two ways about it -- I gotta take that vacation!"
- —Ironhide mistakes a real car for Red Alert
Animation and/or Technical Glitches
- When Soundwave is ejecting his tapes, Frenzy sort of comes out twice, but his colors are replaced with Ravage's half-way out.
- When Buzzsaw is flying around he has the color scheme of Lazerbeak.
- While Red Alert is talking to Prime after being damaged, the background switches from the grey of the bunker to orange like the Ark and back again.
- As the seekers walk into the Decepticon control room, Starscream's helm is white.
- In one scene, on Red Alert's door it says "F D D", as opposed to "F ⌂ D" (where ⌂ is a Fire Dept. badge).
- At one point, the "F" and "D" on Red Alert's door are switched around... and the "F" is an "E".
- Thrust's colors are off at one point; he is red and black like his comic counterpart instead of the normal red and white.
- When the tunnel drone passes over the hole Starscream and Red Alert jumped down, its tentacles are missing.
- As the elevator doors open, a flash of blue light that should presumably be over Red Alert's horns appears next to the negavator.
- As the Decepticons retreat for the second time in the show, Ramjet mispronounces Starscream's name as "Starscweam".
- Grapple's head colors change in this episode from completely white, as in all his previous appearances, to gray and white. This latter color scheme is the one used from this episode on.
- When Ironhide walks past Optimus Prime with the intention of rescuing Red Alert from the fire of the Negavator's destruction, his right arm clips right through Prime's left arm.
- After having spoken the final line of the episode, Red Alert's mouth keeps moving during the fadeout.
- When Thrust threatens to weld Starscream to the wall, he says," Just give the order! Megatron and I will weld that traitor to the wall.". Guess Megatron shifted his leadership to Thrust.
- When Soundwave is ejecting his tapes and calling their names, he calls for Buzzsaw, but Laserbeak is ejected instead and seen throughout the episode.
- It is unclear why the fire chief is merely angry at Ironhide for manhandling his car, but is surprised when he sees Ironhide transform, commenting that he needs to take a vacation. Are giant robots common in this city, but transforming giant robots aren't?
- Megatron became fairly well acquainted with Grapple in "The Master Builders", how does he not recognize him hiding amongst his troops in the final battle for the Negavator?
- Megatron's line about "morons" is a verbatim quote from the 1970s classic Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
- Red Alert cops the tagline of Clint Eastwood's character Dirty Harry: "Go ahead, Soundwave... make my day."
- As Optimus Prime and the other Autobots stagger out of the fire and smoke, Optimus Prime's eyes are closed (apparently to shield them against the smoke), much like a human's.
- Frenzy actually tackles Optimus Prime. Strong little guy....
- Optimus Prime's gun apparently works like a machine gun.
- This is one of the few times, possibly the only time, when Megatron criticizes Soundwave. Must come as a shock to Soundwave who usually only hears praises.
- Optimus Prime's energy meter looks a little like the Triforce.
- When Soundwave is ejecting Rumble, Frenzy, Ravage and Buzzsaw in the first battle, he says "Eject: Rumble, Frenzy, Ravage, Buzzsaw. Destroy Autobots". Normally, he would add "Operation:" before "Destroy Autobots".
- After Smokescreen's... smokescreen affects the Seekers, he blasts them with a beam that fries their radar and logic circuits, causing them to display mental retardation and the inability to form complete sentences or coherent thought.
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