Breathing Room is the eighteenth episode of Season 3 and the sixty-third overall of Transformers: Robots in Disguise .
Bumblebee, Sideswipe, and Strongarm are captured by Steeljaw's Decepticons; Fixit works to keep Steeljaw and the 'Cons at bay while the captured Autobots attempt to escape.
The Autobots are settling into the cavern they've adopted as a home since the Decepticons destroyed the scrapyard, though Strongarm and Sideswipe have become wedged while attempting to both get through the same crevice. They free themselves, but in the process knock the box Grimlock is carrying out of his hands. Fixit arrives to check for damage and a four-way argument breaks out. After an attempt to defuse the situation fails, Bumblebee opts to go find a more suitable base and takes Fixit with him, ordering the others to stay in the cave. The pair drive down a road, unaware that they're being spied on by a remote drone controlled by Quillfire. They first check out a quarry, but Bumblebee doesn't think it's suitable and suggests an abandoned factory instead.
Back in the cave, Sideswipe's stir crazy and opts to go out "on patrol", and Strongarm follows him because he's disobeying orders. Denny and Russell watch Grimlock carefully tiptoe around Fixit's imaginary equipment.
Bumblebee and Fixit arrive at the abandoned factory and split up to scout it. Fixit's tech detector bleeps, but his warning comes too late as Quillfire gets the jump on 'Bee, paralyzing him with a quill. Quillfire triumphantly carves his insignia in a nearby wall.
Strongarm, sirens blaring, pursues Sideswipe through Crown City to the garbage dump, observed by another remote drone. As their bickering rages, Clampdown renders a nearby cargo container invisible using a light bender, and the two Autobots' fighting results in them falling in, trapping them. After reporting via the drone, Clampdown hauls the container away to Crown City's subway system where he joins Quillfire, who has brought Bumblebee as well. Alarmed at this turn, Sideswipe and Strongarm attempt to think of a way out of their cargo container, which mainly leads to another argument. Steeljaw arrives and starts interrogating Bumblebee, but 'Bee won't give up the location of the rest of the Autobots. Fixit, who followed Quillfire, is spotted by the 'Cons and unconvincingly claims to be a subway maintenance bot. The three Decepticons give chase. Bumblebee, now starting to recover from the quills, tells Sideswipe and Strongarm to get their container closer, and they successfully topple it over.
Fixit splits the Decepticons up and brings the roof down on Clampdown and Quillfire. He then successfully gets past Steeljaw by burning a false Quillfire insignia into a wall. Clampdown and Quillfire manage to free themselves. Steeljaw returns to Bumblebee to find the cargo container toppled over. When he goes to examine it, Bumblebee jams his tail against the electrified subway rail, knocking out the 'Con. Fixit returns as well, only to be grabbed by Clampdown. An oncoming subway train results in the 'Cons standing back, and the train hits the container. Steeljaw resumes torturing Bumblebee.
Strongarm and Sideswipe realize the cargo container is now damaged, and manage to get enough leverage to bust out. The pair start beating on Clampdown and Quillfire, while Bumblebee stands and faces off against Steeljaw. 'Bee has enough strength back to send Steeljaw flying, and as the 'Cons realize the Autobots have gained the upper hand, another passing subway train allows them to escape. Bumblebee is angry at failing to capture the Decepticons, but notes that Strongarm and Sideswipe displayed some surprising teamwork.
The group returns to the cave system to find Grimlock has been enlarging it in their absence. Sideswipe and Strongarm immediately call dibs on the same bit of cave, and the Clays realize they're going to need to make the cavern a little larger.
"Should we check in the cavern to make sure our team-mates haven't torn each other to scrap?" "Nah, I'm sure they're over that silly argument. They're not that childish."
- —Fixit and Bumblebee, with the latter tempting fate
"Attention common and poorly-painted average vehicle. Pull over in the name of the law."
- —Strongarm knows how to hurt Sideswipe.
"Is that you, Mini-Con? Squeal once for yes, twice for no."
- —Steeljaw closes in on Fixit.
"One for each eye, I think."
- —Steeljaw has Bumblebee at his mercy and forgets what kind of cartoon he's in
- The red-eyed glare Fixit gives Sideswipe obviously triggered memories of when Fixit was accidentally reset to guard mode in "The Trouble with Fixit".
- The quarry Bumblebee and Fixit check out appears to be the same one Underbite fell into in "Pilot (Part 2)".
- The factory Chop Shop used is from "More than Meets the Eye".
- The garbage dump was previously seen in "Sideways".
- Bumblebee learned about the third rail way back in the Prime episode "Tunnel Vision".
- Strongarm claims Clampdown is violating the Kaon Convention.
- Hitting the cargo container should really have derailed the subway train.
- The third rail, which was powerful enough to kill an Insecticon back in "Tunnel Vision", doesn't display nearly as much killing power when Bumblebee shoves Steeljaw's tail into it.