Desperate for answers, Rodimus Prime takes a journey through the Matrix to learn the truth about the Quintessons - and the origins of the Transformers.
Japanese title: "The Secret of the Matrix"
On Goo, the Decepticons are firing on the Autobots and missing spectacularly. Judge Deliberata cheers them on, until Grimlock slams him into the goo. As they get closer, Galvatron arrives, intending to punish the Decepticons for their "disloyalty". Upon seeing (and being shot by) their long-lost leader, the Decepticons repledge their loyalty to Galvatron and tell him that they were bribed into following the Quintessons for energon. Galvatron is not happy and decides to punish the Quintessons for their usurpation. On Goo, the Autobots find the control center, and Rodimus Prime and Ultra Magnus find out that the planet is a garbage collection system for the Junkions. Contacting Wreck-Gar, they request assistance after managing to "talk Teevee".
On Io, Blurr and Wheelie are under attack by the lipoles, who have the (questionably useful) alt mode of missiles. Wheelie is overtaken, but tells Blurr to leave him and take Metroplex's transformation cog. Instead of leaving his comrade to die, Blurr heads right into the thick of the swarm. Marissa Faireborn arrives and manages to drive off the lipoles, but they destroy her ship. The three begin a search for the computer, hoping that the communications are still working.
To start off his introduction, Galvatron fires on the Quintesson ship. Realizing that Galvatron must be handled differently, the Quintessons offer an alliance with the Decepticons against the Autobots, but Galvatron says he never asked for their help. They offer Galvatron the Decepticon Matrix of Leadership, but Galvatron simply demands it in exchange for letting them live. The Quintessons say that their lives are not enough, and that the Autobots must be destroyed. Heading for the kill, Galvatron attacks, but the Junkions arrive and suck the Autobots through the goo, shooting Judge Deliberata back, which delays Galvatron enough to let the Junkions and the Autobots to escape. This makes Galvatron all kinds of angry, and he destroys Goo, just because he can. Heading back to the ship, Galvatron rants at the Quintessons, who counter that they would be powerful allies. Galvatron demands to know why the Quintessons haven't destroyed the Autobots themselves. They explain that the Autobots have been made unpredictable by their interactions with the humans. Sneering at the Quintessons' fear of the flesh creatures, Galvatron agrees to an alliance. The Decepticons cry "Hail Galvatron!" to affirm their support of their leader, and even the Quintessons give out a shout.
On the Planet of Junk, Wreck-Gar restores Springer to life. However, Rodimus is not as cheered up as expected. He has questions about the Quintessons—about their hostility towards the Autobots, how they know so much about them, and about their intentions. Rodimus has become convinced that the answers behind the Quintessons lie in the Matrix, but he still doesn't know how to consult the wisdom of the ages. Springer makes a sarcastic suggestion, saying that he should just come close to death again. Although Arcee says not to do that, Springer assures her that Rodimus is not as stupid as he looks. Wandering off, the Autobot commander short-circuits himself and falls unconscious.
Rodimus enters the Matrix, where he is greeted by the spirits of the Ancient Autobots, who show him the face of the creators of the Transformers - the Quintessons! Eons ago, the Quintessons used Cybertron as a factory to build two lines of robots: consumer goods and military hardware, who evolved into the Autobots and the Decepticons, respectively. Millennia of torturous abuse led the Autobots to rebel and drive the Quintessons off Cybertron. Afterwards, the Cybertronians warred with each other for control, which was ended when the Autobots developed the art of transformation. A Golden Age followed, which was ended when the Decepticons mastered transformation and created a new leader: Megatron. He killed the Matrix-bearer, who passed the Matrix to Alpha Trion, one of the oldest among them. However, Alpha Trion did not take the Matrix for himself, but gave it another who would challenge Megatron. This was Optimus Prime, who became the Autobot leader for the Third Cybertronian War, which has raged for nine million years and continues to rage even now.
Rodimus reactivates to find Springer and Arcee seriously freaked out. Dismissing their concerns, he tells them that they need to get to Cybertron as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, Blaster sends help to the Autobots and Faireborn in the form of Sky Lynx, who is en route. Near Cybertron, Galvatron and the Quintessons plot their strategy. They will attack on two fronts: Autobot City and Cybertron. On Earth, the Constructicons are making changes to a human city. At dawn, they activate a transformation sequence, and the city begins to change. As the humans flee, the dust settles to the ground. In the place of the city now stands Trypticon!
On Cybertron, an Earth Defense Command ship requests emergency landing clearance. Perceptor warns that it might be a trick, but Kup refuses to take the risk, giving them clearance to land. Out of the ship, Galvatron leads the Decepticons in an attack. At their base, the Quintessons are pleased, for soon the Autobots will be destroyed, and then they will deal with the Decepticons.
Original airdate: September 18, 1986
Production number: 700-89
Written by: Flint Dille
("Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Yes! Yes! Even if it means my life is forfeit, destroy them! Destroy th—ooh!"
"Me Grimlock say shut your faces!"
- —Judge Deliberata annoys Grimlock.
Galvatron: "Now, Decepticons, learn the price of your disloyalty! Attack!"
Cyclonus: "Attack whom?"
[Galvatron shoots Cyclonus]
- —Galvatron's not too good at giving Cyclonus specifics.
Wreck-Gar: "Bulletin: You are in danger of being canceled or losing your time slot."
Ultra Magnus: "What's he talking about?"
Rodimus Prime: "We're gonna get killed."
- —Rodimus shows the value of knowing a second language.
"He ran right back into the danger! My digital watch is smarter than that!"
- —Marissa Faireborn isn't impressed with Blurr's tactics.
"Trypticon lives! Then Autobot City dies!"
- -Galvatron witnessing Trypticon's birth.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- When Judge Deliberata is celebrating the impending destruction of the Autobots, Slag is walking with them. You can tell it's an error because he's in robot mode, and the Dinobots seem to suffer from mode attachment during Season 3.
- When Dead End and Blast Off are discussing how easy it is to destroy the Autobots, Motormaster is colored like Kup, Octane is colored like Grimlock, and Snarl shows up as a Decepticon colored like Rodimus Prime. Also there is an early version of Breakdown's character model with Cyclonus' color scheme right behind Kup-colored Motormaster. What's more, standing near the miscoloured Snarl is a Decepticon coloured like Wheelie. Yikes.
- When the Decepticons pledge their allegiance to Galvatron, Skydive is shown amongst them.
- Later on, two Shockwaves are shown colored like Constructicons, alongside a Seeker colored like Onslaught.
- When Arcee and the repaired Springer speak with Rodimus, the latter is drawn in his Hot Rod form.
- Two Constructicons are used as generic construction vehicles during a shot showing the Transformers' freedom from the Quintessons (prior to inventing transformation). Or maybe all construction vehicles are green and purple on Cybertron.
- When the Decepticons assemble Trypticon, Vortex is colored like Octane and Long Haul is colored like U-Haul Robot.
- When the Constructicons celebrate Trypticon's awakening, they're all colored rather randomly.
- Really makes you wonder how AKOM actually gets work, doesn't it?
- The Constructicons build Megatron. Who later made them evil. And who later built them.
- Galvatron destroys the whole planet Goo, even though Transformers can generally survive his cannon mode, albeit hurt a lot, except for one.
- The Lipole shown at the end of last episode was a gargantuan, acid-slobbering monster. Here, it's been replaced by a swarm of much smaller and decidedly less ferocious-looking creatures.
- The Constructicons build (or rebuild, depending on whether you're watching 2010) Trypticon out of a human city overnight. And no one notices.
- Apart from Optimus Prime and Alpha Trion, the ancient (pre-)Autobots that Rodimus meets in the Matrix are identified in the shooting script as:
- The entire Decepticon army fails to hit a single Autobot when they are all grouped together on Goo. My, how energon depletion affects the optics.
- When first meeting with the Quintessons, Galvatron's "Have I asked for your help?" line is spoken in his original Megatron voice. Maybe his old self is still buried down somewhere - or he just like to use his old voice, who knows?
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