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Con Job is the third episode of the first season of Transformers: Prime. It is the eighth episode of the series overall.


Wheeljack, a best friend of Bulkhead, is visiting Earth during his travels across the galaxy.


With their chores finished, Miko is looking forward to doing some "dune bashing" with Bulkhead, but he'd rather check out the monster truck rally in town. Their plans are interrupted when Ratchet receives a signal from a starship headed for Earth. Arcee wonders if it might be a Decepticon trap, but Bulkhead identifies the incoming Autobot as his old friend and Wrecker pal: Wheeljack. Optimus sends landing coordinates for Wheeljack's landing on the next day, and Bulkhead is excited to see his old friend.

On the Nemesis, Soundwave has monitored the conversation and it gives Starscream the chance he needs. He orders a Shifter called "Makeshift", a Decepticon with the ability to take on the appearance and voice of any Cybertronian he picks, to prepare for a mission.

Con Job screenshot Optimus and humans

The kids are excited to be getting to meet a new Autobot. Ratchet has problems getting the Ground Bridge working, due to the damage sustained during the Scraplet infestation. Their instruments pick up Decepticon signals closing on the Jackhammer. Indeed, the Vehicons manage to shoot down the ship, but Wheeljack emerges from the wreckage and starts smashing the tar out of them. Ratchet finally gets the Ground Bridge operational, and Bulkhead, Arcee and Bumblebee storm through to find Wheeljack knocks down the last of the 'cons wo was standing. Bulkhead greets his old friend with a massive bear hug, and the four Autobots return to base. Wheeljack hits it off with Miko right away, and checks in with Optimus. Ratchet's not as enthusiastic as the others with Bulkhead's friend, as he senses impending destruction.

Starscream discusses their success in getting a spy into the Autobot base as he and Soundwave pay a visit to their prisoner — the real Wheeljack. Now he's inside the Autobot base, Makeshift will be able to activate the Ground Bridge and reveal the base's location so Starscream can send the troops in. Wheeljack mocks Starscream, who's prevented from killing the prisoner by Soundwave since Wheeljack may yet be of use.

The Autobots and kids celebrate Wheeljack's arrival, Miko by breaking out her electric guitar and Bulkhead and "Wheeljack" by engaging in some Lobbing. After some encouragement by Miko, Raf busts some dance moves by doing The Robot, and Bumblebee joins in. "Wheeljack" takes some time to fish for info on the Ground Bridge from Ratchet, who says it's in the middle of defragging and can't be used for a few hours.

Starscream wonders why Makeshift is taking so long to get the Ground Bridge activated, since he won't be able to keep the Autobots fooled for long.

Bulkhead tells the kids about a battle he and Wheeljack took part in, and Makeshift barely covers for his lack of knowledge. Bulkhead observes that his old friend seems different, but Makeshift writes this off as jet lag, and asks Miko to show him around the base. However Bulkhead's suspicions have been raised, and Arcee's suggestions don't alleviate them.

On the Decepticon ship, Wheeljack manages to kill his guard and get free from his bonds.

Miko wanders the base with "Wheeljack", and the 'bot manages to get the location of the Autobot base out of her. Miko promises to show him the way out, and they return to the control center, where Bulkhead asks his "friend" to tell the story of the Battle of Darkmount Pass. "Makeshift" tells the story, but manages to get one little and crucial detail wrong — Bulkhead wasn't there, meaning he was not a part of the battle. Realizing that his cover is blown, Makeshift takes Miko hostage.

Destroy him!!!

Starscream and Soundwave hang out on top of the Decepticon ship with a bunch of Vehicons, waiting for Makeshift to open the Ground Bridge. They're confronted by Wheeljack, who fights his way through a bunch of Vehicons and pounces on Starscream. As more 'cons rush towards Wheeljack, the Ground Bridge activates, courtesy of Makeshift. Makeshift was ready to enter the Ground Bridge on the Autobot end, when Wheeljack comes flying through it and lands on him. Ratchet shuts down the Ground Bridge before any Decepticons come through. The two Wheeljacks draw their swords and fight at length while the Autobots fail to keep track of who's who. Wheeljack, of course, triumphs.

Starscream is pleased when the Ground Bridge opens again and orders the Vehicons through, however it's only been reopened so Bulkhead can throw Makeshift through. The 'con lands on Starscream, who asks if Makeshift has obtained the location of the Autobot base. Makeshift was in the process of telling him when Starscream realizes that the grenade Makeshift is wearing has been primed and is about to explode, and he and Soundwave retreat, leaving Makeshift and a number of Vehicons to die in the ensuing explosion.

The Autobots have another party, to Ratchet's dismay. Bulkhead suggests they pick out a vehicle mode for Wheeljack, but Wheeljack says he's not staying now that his ship's fixed. The next morning, he offers to take Bulkhead with him, but Bulkhead's too attached to Earth and Miko to leave. Miko snaps a picture of the two Autobots with her cell phone before Wheeljack leaves.

Cast and Characters[]

Actor Character
Peter Cullen Optimus Prime
Frank Welker Trooper
Steve Blum Starscream
Jeffrey Combs Ratchet
Sumalee Montano Arcee
Kevin Michael Richardson Bulkhead
Tania Gunadi Miko Nakadai
James Horan Wheeljack
Josh Keaton Jack Darby
Andy Pessoa Raf Esquivel
Non-speaking roles


Bulkhead: I taught him that!

- Bulkhead on his friend.

Wheeljack: Tell Megatron he's fragged in the head if Bulkhead thinks can't sniff out an impostor!

- Wheeljack (the real one) to Starscream.

Ratchet: Oh joy.

- Ratchet being a party popper before the party.

Optimus Prime: Wheeljack. Know that you always have a haven here.

- Optimus Prime to Wheeljack (the real Wheeljack).

Wheeljack: If anything happens to my favorite Wrecker, I'm coming after you.

- Wheeljack to Miko.

Miko: I'll take care of him. Now say cheese.

- Miko to Bulkhead and Wheeljack.


  • When the camera angle moves to show Optimus saying that he knows Wheeljack by reputation only, the shadow of Miko's heel looks lightly separated from it, as if her leg were hovering over Bulkhead's armour plate.
  • Apparently, huge, alien robots can leave their tracks in the snow (see Bumblebee and Bulkhead at the beginning of the previous episode), but it looks like they cannot leave any in the sand.
  • Part of Wheeljack's right arm goes through his chest as he was preparing for battle on top of the Nemesis.
  • When the alarm goes off, the monitor shows five bogies (Vehicons) approaching Wheeljack's ship. But in the next scene, when Wheeljack's ship is being attacked, there are six Vehicons.


Continuity notes[]

  • The Autobots refer to their base as "Autobot Outpost Omega One", the first time the base is named on-screen.
  • Ratchet mentions that the equipment's been kind of buggy since the infestation, which happened on "Scrapheap".

Transformers references[]

  • Wheeljack and Bulkhead are former members of the Wreckers. This is the team's first mention in a TV series.
  • Wheeljack had fought in Darkmount near the smelting pits.

Real-world references[]

  • Wheeljack's ship crashlands near a trio of pyramids, which is most likely in Egypt.
  • Raf and Bumblebee perform a dance called "The Robot", a street dance style popularized by the Jackson Five.
  • Bumblebee can briefly be seen dancing like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever.


  • This is a unique case of an episode having Frank Welker, but not as Megatron.
  • This is the first episode to introduce a new Autobot and Decepticon at the same time.
  • First appearance of Wheeljack.
  • Wheeljack is the first Cybertronian who is not part of the main cast to survive his own debut episode..
  • Just like with Skyquake, Wheeljack's robot mode clearly has Earth vehicle kibble, even though it's stated that he doesn't yet have a local alternate mode.
  • Starscream once again attempts to kill a prisoner (Wheeljack) the moment they insinuate he isn't in charge. Only this time, he is stopped by Soundwave.
  • Bulkhead mentions that Wheeljack has a public service record. Presumably, this is true for all Autobots in the military.
  • While Skyquake was the first character shown with a hand-held gun, Wheeljack is the first one shown with a pair of hand-held melee weapons (in this case, two swords).
  • Adaptations of this episode include a storybook for younger readers titled Decepticon in Disguise.
  • Bulkhead is good at telling a difference between the original and the copy of a Cybertronian.


Main Article: Con Job/Gallery


File:Transformers Prime Ep 8 Promo- Con Job

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