Guilty as Charged is the eleventh episode of Season 3 and the fifty-sixth overall of Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
Strongarm worries that her Academy classmate Nightra may still harbor a grudge, but when a powerful foe comes after her old friend, Strongarm and the Bee Team put their sparks on the line to protect her.
As a kitten explores the scrapyard, it's startled by the opening of a GroundBridge, though nothing appears to come out. Fixit's alarm sounds while the rest of the team moves to check the area, but they find nothing. Fixit reports that the signal is heading for the command center, so the team hurries back to find the command center clear. Fixit's able to pinpoint the location of the signal in front of them. A bot appears out of thin air, and the team prepares to fire, but Strongarm quickly recognizes the newcomer, whom she introduces as Nightra, her best friend from the Kaon Police Academy. Nightra shows off her Light Bender which she's been using to become invisible and explains her identity signal was damaged by a Wrecker during her Academy days. Strongarm asks to take Nightra on patrol so the pair can catch up, and when Bumblebee points out she needs an Earth form, Strongarm says she can scan hers.
The two friends patrol down a forest road, unaware they're being watched by a Mini-Con. Strongarm cuts the reminiscing short to ask what Nightra's really doing there. She recalls how during their Academy days, Nightra revealed she'd cheated on a test, and tried to persuade Strongarm to cover for her. Called before the proctors, Strongarm refused to lie under questioning, resulting in Nightra being expelled from the Academy. Nightra says that after that, she turned her life around and became a bounty hunter. The Mini-Con tries to surreptitiously snatch Strongarm's Decepticon Hunter, but disturbs some birds, and Nightra flees when she hears the commotion. Strongarm manages to cut her off, and Nightra reveals she's on edge because one of her former collars, Blastwave, escaped from Trypticon Prison and is looking for her. Strongarm promises to help protect her.
The Mini-Con opens a GroundBridge portal to Soundwave, who berates him for failing to secure the Decepticon Hunter and commands him to return. The frightened Mini-Con flees, with Soundwave threatening to terminate him.
Back in the scrapyard, Bumblebee is put out that Strongarm didn't check with him first, but agrees to help her. Nightra expresses her doubt that Blastwave will even show, moments before a GroundBridge opens and Blastwave steps out. Grimlock tackles him before he can fire on Nightra, who immediately flees. While Fixit works on shutting down the GroundBridge portal, the others attempt to battle Blastwave, but he tosses them around before departing through the portal again. Fixit reports that he did manage to get a fix on Blastwave's ship in orbit. The team heads out to find Nightra.
Strongarm decides to act on a hunch, heading for Crown City as Nightra used to lose herself in a crowd when she got into trouble. They trace her signal to the Crown City Colossus and evacuate the car park. Nightra decloaks, claiming she was trying to draw Blastwave away from the scrapyard. As they try to head somewhere more private, Blastwave again appears through a portal and grabs Nightra. Strongarm is tossed aside when she tries to intervene, and Blastwave disappears with his quarry. Bumblebee contacts Fixit, who believes he can get the team onto Blastwave's ship. The team returns to the scrapyard, where Bumblebee starts breaking out the weapons from Windblade's caches, though he draws the line at Sideswipe taking an energon bazooka.
Up in orbit, Blastwave is preparing to secure Nightra when the Autobots board his ship. While they have him busy, Nightra again flees, and Strongarm goes after her. The others manage to get Blastwave trapped in a forcefield, only to quickly realize he's actually an Autobot. Blastwave uses Cybertronian sign language to give an explanation as he can't speak (much to Bumblebee's shock, then sympathy). Strongarm reaches the bridge to find Nightra sealing off the cargo bay and starting the jettison procedure. She rapidly realizes that Blastwave's the bounty hunter and Nightra's the criminal. Grabbing the control chip to disable the console, Nightra cloaks and uses her Light Bender's decoy function to get the drop on Strongarm.
In the cargo bay, the Autobots combine their weapons and manage to get the cargo bay doors open. Unfortunately just as they do, the outer airlock opens, threatening to suck Blastwave into space. The Autobots form a chain, and though Drift is almost lost in space in the process, everyone manages to hold on long enough for Grimlock to reseal the outer door. On the bridge, Strongarm remains confounded by Nightra's tricks, until she hits on the idea of knocking out the lights. Nightra's illusions disappear, allowing Strongarm to slap the cuffs on her.
The team returns to Earth, where Bumblebee congratulates Strongarm on her collar and Strongarm reflects that Nightra was no longer the friend she knew.
Characters in italic text appear only in flashbacks.
- Soundwave (Voice only)
- Russell Clay
"Aw, you guys vaporised 'em without me. I miss all the good stuff!"
"Ha! Danger is my middle name. Or it would be, if Cybertronians had middle names."
"Earth has made you really, really weird, Regs. It looks good on you."
- —Strongarm and Nightra
"DO NOT FLEE. YOU WILL BE TERMINATED AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY."
- —Soundwave believes in strict severance clauses.
"Okay, just for the record, this is crazy, and dangerous, and we should never, ever try this at home. FIRE!"
- —Bumblebee gets to shoot a Big Honkin' Space Gun.
- Nightra mentions Dropforge, previously established as one of Strongarm's teachers in "Get a Clue".
- Strongarm's recollection of their time on Cybertron shows the pair walking among the statues of the Thirteen originally seen back in "Pilot (Part 1)".
- Nightra claims Blastwave escaped from Trypticon Prison. In other Aligned media (though not explicitly in Transformers: Prime itself), Trypticon was mode-locked into the Nemesis, which was last seen still being a spaceship in "Predacons Rising", but it's possible they re-purposed it as a prison.
- Soundwave observes that Hi-Test is the first of his Mini-Con minions to return without a Decepticon Hunter; Stuntwing pinched Bumblebee's in "King of the Hill (Part 2)", while Sideswipe's was taken by Trickout in "The Great Divide".
- The Crown City Colossus has appeared onscreen before. Notably in "Battlegrounds, Part 2", the Autobots severed its arm so they could drop it on Megatronus and it looks like the arm's been restored since then. This is the first time it's been named onscreen, though its name was already revealed in the book Bumblebee Versus Scuzzard.
- Bumblebee's voicebox was crushed by Megatron before the start of Transformers: Prime, as detailed in the pseudocanonical story "Bumblebee at Tyger Pax"; he regained the ability to speak after being submerged in the Omega Lock in "Deadlock".
- Nightra claims that Blastwave escaped from Trypticon Prison. Trypticon Prison was a location from Transformers Animated — originally intended to be shown during season four of the cartoon, it was eventually canonized by The AllSpark Almanac II.
- This is the first episode of the series where a rogue Autobot is the main antagonist.
- This episode was originally scheduled to air on July 1, 2017; it first aired in the UK and Canada on July 15, airing in the United States later.
- The original description text for this episode gave the name of Strongarm's Academy friend as "Chicane." Presumably this was a preliminary name for Nightra.