Deus Ex Machina is the fifth episode of the first season of Transformers: Prime. It is the tenth episode of the series overall.
Miko is failing to enjoy some detention time, trying to read a book. Bulkhead then hauls up outside the school, blaring loud music. Miko takes advantage of an inattentive teacher to sneak out and join her Autobot buddy, who is reluctantly obliged to act as her getaway car when a teacher approaches. They head for base while Bulkhead tries to explain to Miko that she'll never get into college if she flunks out. Unfortunately Miko doesn't care one bit about it and she tells Bulkhead that she wants to be like him. Ratchet reports he's found an energon pulse in Greece. Bulkhead excitedly claimed it was time for a field trip.
Meanwhile, Knock Out has finally arrived on the Nemesis, which took some time as he had to drive (something Starscream disdains). Knock Out assumes he's been brought to provide Megatron with a laboratory assist, when Starscream takes him to the Decepticon leader's sick bed.
Bulkhead and Miko arrive at an excavation site in Greece, but to her disappointment, he is intending her to research her history report. Bulkhead says the humans have hit an energon vein, but then he spots something Cybertronian in an ancient fresco among the ruins.
Starscream explains Megatron's condition to Knock Out. While Starscream was content to let nature take its course with Megatron, the crew of the Nemesis took a vote and decided to bring in a specialist. Knock Out says things would be easier with his assistant, but Breakdown is on the trail of some energon.
Bulkhead identifies the object in the fresco as an Energon Harvester, but as Miko snaps a picture, they're interrupted by the arrival of Breakdown, who announces his presence by insulting Bulkhead. Miko asks Bulkhead who Breakdown is. Bulkhead replies that he and Breakdown have a history. Breakdown grins and asks Bulkhead if he missed him, to which Bulkhead claimed that he missed Breakdown like he missed rust in his undercarriage. Seeing Miko and wondering if Bulkhead's new 'pet' plays fetch, Breakdown throws a pillar at Miko. Bulkhead intercepts the pillar and is tackled by Breakdown, who slams him into the fresco, shattering it. The Decepticon races off, but Miko shows Bulkhead the image she snapped of the fresco.
Back at base, Optimus Prime confirms that the depicted device is an Energon Harvester. The Autobots are relieved that the fresco was broken, as they think it means the Decepticons won't be able to find the Harvester, but Raf points out that there are photos of the thing online, as the actual Harvester is held in a museum. The Autobots try to contact Agent Fowler for help, but he's away on a training retreat. Optimus says they'll have to obtain the Harvester themselves, and Miko volunteers the kids to help.
Soundwave has found the same photo using Breakdown's description of the Harvester, and Starscream says Megatron's revival will have to wait.
The Autobots move into position around the museum before the kids move in via Ground Bridge on a motorized scissor lift. Miko deals with a security camera by taking a picture of the Harvester and balancing her phone on top of the camera. While they move towards the statue holding the Harvester, Optimus has an encounter outside with Knock Out and Breakdown, the latter of whom fires a missile at the museum. Optimus manages to catch the missile, but Knock Out shocks him with an energon staff. Breakdown barrels towards the museum entrance, with Bumblebee and Arcee failing to stop him. Bulkhead joins the fight as well, but the disturbance sets off the museum's alarms, alerting the security guard. The kids finally manage to get the Harvester onto their lift platform and head for the exit. Miko, scouting ahead on foot, is caught by the security guard, who whisks her away. Raf and Jack run toward a half-open loading ramp door, expecting Arcee, but instead it's Soundwave, who grabs the Harvester and departs. Knock Out and Breakdown spot him leaving and make their getaway as well. Meanwhile, Miko attempts to spin a yarn to the security guard about how she got locked in the museum while researching her history report.
Believing that Starscream will attempt to use the Harvester to gather energon as quickly as possible, Optimus, Bumblebee and Arcee go out attempting to intercept them. Ratchet works on a replica Harvester to return to the museum in place of the stolen one, while Bulkhead realizes that the Decepticons might be intending to go after the energon seam in Greece.
Indeed, Starscream, Knock Out and Breakdown are at the excavation site. When the other two Decepticons attempt to correct him on who's to thank for the Harvester, Starscream demonstrates the device's effectiveness on a hapless Vehicon, and the pair are suddenly a lot more submissive. While Starscream starts tapping the energon seam, Bulkhead attempts to sneak up behind the Decepticons but clumsily lets them know he's there. He manages to deal with Knock Out and Breakdown until Starscream turns the Harvester on him. Struggling to stay upright, Bulkhead reaches Starscream, smashes the 'Con in the face, and breaks the Harvester. He throws the device into the sky, where it explodes. The Decepticons are about to move in and finish the weakened Bulkhead when the rest of the Autobots arrive and chase them off.
Miko is starting to run out of Greek history to bore the museum security guard with, when Fowler turns up to collect her. The guard is surprised when Fowler points out the replica Harvester in place on the statue. Outside, Miko is reunited with Bulkhead and tells him all about how she's going to write her report on how the Autobots interacted with ancient Greece. Bulkhead, however, is not convinced that it is a good idea.
- Miko Nakadai
- Knock Out (First Appearance)
- Breakdown (First Appearance)
- Optimus Prime
- Jackson Darby
- Rafael Esquivel
- Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime
- Sumalee Montano as Arcee
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Bulkhead
- Jeffrey Combs as Ratchet
- Steve Blum as Starscream
- Daran Norris as Knock Out
- Adam Baldwin as Breakdown
- Josh Keaton as Jackson Darby
- Tania Gunadi as Miko Nakadai
- Andy Pessoa as Rafael Esquivel
- Reggie Bannister as Museum security guard
Miko: Uh oh. Here comes teacher and she doesn't look happy. STEP ON IT BULKHEAD!!
- Miko skipping detention.
Bulkhead: Miko I'm supposed to be your guardian not your get away car.
- Bulkhead laying the foot down on Miko, metaphorically that is.
Miko: I love breaking stuff! I wanna be just like you, Bulk
- Miko is inspired by Bulkhead.
Bulkhead: I'm not sure that will get you into college Miko.
- Bulkhead advising Miko.
- The newspaper that Miko's teacher is reading is the same issue Raf used to make his volcano model with in Masters and Students, even though several days or weeks have passed since then.
- The pages in Miko's schoolbook are just mirrored images of one another.
- After the museum guard catches Miko, believing her to be a thief, he doesn't bother checking on the exhibit to find out whether she's alone or if any of the displays are intact. What else, he doesn't even question how she managed to place her cell phone on top of the security camera on the ceiling. And he doesn't search for bombs or anything, in case she implanted one.
- The museum guard informs Miko that he has called the police and they are on their way. Given that he thinks she has committed a serious crime, one would think that they would be quick to arrive at the scene. Yet they never do, not even by morning.
- Knock Out is the first Prime Decepticon to debut after the pilot miniseries and survive the experience. Breakdown might be considered to share that distinction, but technically he debuted before the cartoon, as he appeared in the War for Cybertron video games and the Prime comic first.
- Knowledge of Megatron's condition appears to have been confined to the crew of the Nemesis.
- A deus ex machina, meaning "god from the machine", is a plot device in which a major conflict is instantly resolved by the uncanny, often unexpected appearance of a character, object, or other form of deliverance. Miko explains this to the museum security guard just before Fowler suddenly walks in and saves her from her predicament. While this is obviously intended to be a deus ex machina itself, there had been plenty of foreshadowing, with Optimus even declaring earlier that Fowler was Miko's best hope.
- The god depicted on the fresco is presumably Poseidon, because he bears his symbolic trident. The soldiers appear to be Spartans, as their shields bear the Lambda—which is odd, as their patron god was Ares.
- First appearance of Knock Out and Breakdown.
- If Knock Out wants to get technical, when he calls the Harvester "a gift from Breakdown and myself", it was really a "gift" from Soundwave, as he was the one who actually obtained it from the museum.
- There is a painting of Big Rocks National Park in the security guard's office, as well as a calendar set to March, which handily matches the month this episode first aired. Although on that calendar, March started on a Sunday instead of a Tuesday.
- No One Cares About Vehicons: Starscream's contempt for Knock Out choosing a non-flight alternate mode is strange, as most of the Vehicons are cars. Did they not get to choose?
- No One Cares About Vehicons, Redux: Despite reportedly being right on top of a motherlode of energon, Starscream instead uses the energon harvester to kill one of his own Vehicon troopers. Just 'cause.
- The sound of the Energon Harvester's activation is the same as that of a zat gun from Stargate SG-1.
- Initial descriptions of this episode, as well as the one on HubWorld.com's episode-viewing page, say that "Miko and Bulkhead head to Greece on a field trip to bring back an Energon Harvester." Miko and Bulkhead do indeed go on what Bulkhead calls a "field trip" to Greece, but the Harvester is in an American museum at that point. By the time Bulkhead actually does go back to Greece to get the stolen Harvester, Miko is stuck in said museum.
- Twice in promotional blurbs for the episode, it was mentioned Lugnut would be in the episode, an error repeated on HubWorld.com's episode-viewing page. At BotCon 2011, it was revealed that Lugnut was a pre-production name for Knock Out that was ultimately changed for not being "sexy" enough. The Season 1 Blu-Ray commentary claims that Breakdown's place in the show was originally intended to belong to Lugnut, since a fiercely loyal Decepticon bruiser was desired, but the show creators wanted a land-based Decepticon instead.
- Adaptations of this episode include a prose version as part of Bulkhead's Biggest Battle.
Main Gallery: Deus Ex Machina Gallery
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