Hunting Season is the twelfth episode of Transformers: Robots in Disguise season 1.
When two rival bounty hunters land on Earth, Bumblebee discovers that there's a price on his head.
Denny shows off some of his disguises, impressing Grimlock. Russell tries to join in, but Denny breaks the news that he wants to not involve Russell in future missions, as he's suddenly realized it counts as child endangerment. Russell is disappointed, but before they can discuss it further, the alarm sounds and Fixit reports that he's detected two Cybertronian spacecraft landing at a nearby hunting lodge. Bumblebee tells Grimlock to stay put, as a giant metal dinosaur would be hard to explain to humans, however when he, Strongarm, Sideswipe and Denny reach the lodge, it turns out to be deserted. Denny heads for cover just in time, as Fracture appears out of the woods, followed moments later by Drift. The two newcomers launch their respective Mini-Cons, and as the two groups square off, Fracture announces his intent to claim a bounty. As the Decepticon gets the upper hand, Bumblebee suddenly recognizes Drift. With the other three Autobots reinforcing Drift, Fracture and his partners retreat. Drift reveals that the council has placed a bounty on Bumblebee's head, but Drift now owes him a life debt and will protect him from Fracture. Denny emerges from hiding, and Drift mistakes him for a pet.
In Fracture's spaceship, the three Decepticons use their camera micro-drones to spy on the Autobots and Fracture promises to get rid of Drift. The Autobots reach the scrapyard, and Drift is appalled at its lack of defenses and the inexperience of Bumblebee's team. While the larger Autobots organize things, Russell shows Jetstorm and Slipstream the command center. The two Mini-Cons express how they wish Drift to show his approval of them more, and Russell shows off a video game. The other Autobots start barricading the entrance, however Fixit detects a Cybertronian lifeform already inside the scrapyard. The Autobots go to check it out, but can't find anything, and Fixit detects a second signal on the other side of the yard. As Grimlock and Strongarm go to investigate, the power promptly goes out, forcing Denny and Sideswipe to go get the backup generator working. Spotting the micro-drone buzzing around, Drift spears it with his sword, and Fixit reports the life signal has disappeared. Grimlock spots a moving bush and moves in to stomp on it, however it turns out to be a trap, and he and Strongarm are incapacitated. Denny is still struggling to get the generator working when Fracture steps out of a GroundBridge nearby. He tazes Sideswipe before ordering his Mini-Cons to grab Denny. Russell arrives in time to see the Decepticons disappearing through the GroundBridge with their prizes. Bumblebee, Drift and Russell rendezvous at the command center, where Bumblebee announces his intent to rescue everyone, however Drift believes they should stay put, determined to fulfill his life debt to protect Bee. Fracture arrives by GroundBridge and offers to return the prisoners so long as Bumblebee turns himself in. Bumblebee refuses and charges at Fracture, only to be blinded by flashes of light. Fracture and Drift again clash, with Drift ordering his Mini-Cons to protect Bumblebee.
As they battle, Airazor menaces Russell and Fixit. Torn between obeying orders or protecting the pair, Jetstorm chooses to help Russell and Fixit. When the Mini-Con addresses him as "commander", Russell remembers the video game. The battle turns against Drift, as Fracture stealthily plants an explosive on his back, and as the Autobot goes down, Russell fires up the video game and tries to bluff Fracture that it's a real alien battle fleet he's called in as backup. Unfortunately an untimely "game over" gives the game away, and Fracture's Mini-Cons seize Russell and Fixit. Fracture is about to strike the final blow on Drift when his own spaceship appears overhead, having been hijacked by Drift's Mini-Cons. With the ship's guns trained on him and three freed Autobots freshly arrived through the GroundBridge, Fracture threatens to blow up his own ship unless they let him go. Bumblebee settles the matter by punching Fracture, who proceeds to blind everyone with flashes of light before fleeing with his Mini-Con partners. Jetstorm and Slipstream crash the ship in the scrapyard, much to Denny's distress.
Drift announces the life debt is repaid, but he's realized that Bumblebee is honorable and won't collect the bounty on him after all, and Russell manages to get Drift to complement Jetstorm and Slipstream before the trio blast off in their ship. Fixit reports that though Fracture's ship won't fly again, it still has a working GroundBridge. Denny says he's changed his mind and Russell can take part in future missions.
"Oh yeah aye, I'm from the park service. Sorry but this trail is closed don'tcha know."
"Woooow, it's like one minute you're that guy, and then boom, suddenly you're somebody else!"
"The secret, is to really get inside a character's head."
- —Denny and Grimlock
"Hi, Denny Clay." [tries to shake Drift's hand]
"Your pet has poor manners."
- —Denny and Drift
"Your inexperienced law officer, juvenile delinquent, oafish Dinobot, damaged Mini-Con, and human pets are no match for an enemy as devious as Fracture."
[Everyone together] "HEY!"
"Strongarm is not oafish!"
- —Drift does not have much faith in Team Bee and Sideswipe defends Strongarm.
"Hey, do I tell you how to do... whatever you do?"
"Nope, that's Strongarm's job."
- —Denny and Sideswipe
"It can be this simple Drift. I collect this bounty, you collect the next. Perhaps."
"This is no longer about a bounty."
"It's always about a bounty!"
- —Fracture and Drift
"I saved you, you saved me. I hereby release you from your life debt, with my deepest thanks."
"That is not how you conclude a life debt."
- —Bumblebee and Drift
- Grimlock recalls his fights against Hammerstrike, Terrashock, and "that one with all the eyes", which may be a reference to Chop Shop.
- The bounty on Bumblebee's head was placed by the new High Council in response to his actions in "Pilot (Part 1)".
- In stasis: Hammerstrike, Bisk, 4/5ths of Chop Shop, Terrashock, Filch, Minitron, Springload, Ped, Quillfire, "that one with all the eyes"
- Known at large: Steeljaw, 1/5th of Chop Shop (possibly unknown to Bee), Thunderhoof, Underbite
- Released: Grimlock
- Countless others all missing, presumed at large
- When joining in on the disguise fun in the episode's opening scene, Russell dubs the new identity he has created "Duke of Earl," after the song of the same name.
- The first thirteen episodes of the series, this included, first premiered in Mandarin on Chinese streaming video site M1905.
- When Fixit offers to call up the list of captured Decepticons, there are some conspicuous silhouettes shown in the prisoner manifest we hadn't seen before, offering some sneak peeks at future characters. Clampdown appears here, but he didn't properly appear until episode 14. Nightstrike also appears, but he did not make his first proper appearance until episode 15.