Jungle Planet is the thirtieth episode of Energon. It first aired in the United States on October 22, 2004 on Cartoon Network.
The Decepticons attack Jungle Planet, while Inferno struggles against Megatron's reprogramming, and Autobot reinforcements arrive.
A group of Autobots led by Optimus flies into the shimmering void, to Alpha Q's puzzlement. He notes that Megatron is pursuing them. Megatron observes and laughs.
The search team observes evidence of a recent battle on Iron Planet. The pair wonders if they should report this to their new boss... but the new boss, the ancient veteran Bulkhead, has already arrived.
The Autobots approach the void, and wonder if Unicron is within.
On Jungle Planet, the Omnicons are bored, sunbathing while they wait for something to happen. Suddenly, Signal Flare spontaneously develops an energon star on his chest, apparently just by soaking up the sun's rays with his radar dish. Strongarm and Skyblast are amazed, but Kicker isn't so interested when he shows up, looking for Inferno. Ironhide arrives too, and the pair drive off into the jungle, where Signal Flare says Inferno went for a walk.
In the jungle, Inferno sits on a rock in a clearing... and suddenly his eyes light up. At the ship, Misha suddenly picks up a Decepticon signal in the jungle, and warns Kicker. Ironhide and Kicker rush to where Inferno is, even though Kicker insists there's no attack... until his hair suddenly glows.
Inferno remains motionless, seeing the world in shades of purple, flashing back to his torment at Megatron's hands. His Autobrand morphs into a Decepticon symbol again, and he hears Megatron's voice, telling him that his hatred will rise, uncontrollably. Elsewhere, Megatron senses the whereabouts of his enemies -- on a planet rich with energon.
Misha reports incoming Decepticons, as laser beams from space begin striking the planet. The Decepticons are firing from orbit.
Ironhide and Kicker head back to the Miranda II, but Inferno isn't following. He's remained in the forest to fight the fires, realizing to his horror that the Decepticons have traced his Decepticon signal.
In space, Optimus's team returns, attacking the Decepticons. Demolishor sends Scorponok to gather energon while the others hold off the Autobots, keeping the Autobots from getting to the planet. Wing Saber and Optimus powerlink and try to outflank the Decepticons, only to meet up with Megatron and Starscream in the atmosphere. Alpha Q laments that Megatron is attacking his planets again.
Kicker calls forth the Energon Saber out of nowhere, and begins chopping down trees to contain the forest fires. As Ironhide joins in the destruction, Alpha Q begs them to stop -- until Kicker explains what a firebreak is.
Suddenly Ironhide spots Inferno surrounded by Terrorcons. They run to help, but Inferno tells them to stay back, that it's his battle. Kicker doesn't care, of course, and leaps into the battle. Ironhide senses something's wrong with Inferno. Just then, Scorponok arrives with more Terrorcons.
Scorponok demands that Inferno tell him where the energon is. Inferno refuses, saying he's still an Autobot. Scorponok attacks; Ironhide defends him. When Scorponok bashes him aside, Kicker attacks Scorponok himself with the Energon Saber, though the titan simply blocks the hits.
Misha calls for help for Kicker. Prime tries to get through Megatron, but can't, so he sends Jetfire and Rodimus instead. Megatron bombards him with laser fire, gloating that Prime is wasting his time trying to protect others. Prime responds that they're stronger as a team.
In space, the Autobots pull back, then attack from three directions. Snowcat is puzzled, as there seems to be three more Autobots. Bulkhead, Cliffjumper and Downshift all arrive and attack.
In the air, Megatron continues to blast the bejeezus out of Optimus. He's not impressed with Prime's teamwork theory.
In space, various Autobots link up. Downshift grants Hot Shot super speed. The Autobots head to the surface.
Scorponok bashes Kicker aside, and tells Inferno that it's time for him to become a Decepticon. Inferno is still resisting, but his insignia morphs again. Scorponok overpowers Kicker and Ironhide.
Kicker tells Inferno that he must continue to believe in the Autobot cause, and their ethos of sticking together. Inferno shouts his defiance... and his insignia morphs back to the Autobot symbol. Bulkhead and Hot Shot's crew arrives to provide backup.
Prime gets tired of being shot by Megatron, and blows him out of the sky with one shot. Inferno and Downshift powerlink, and Inferno uses the super speed to overpower Scorponok. Scorponok retreats, telling Inferno that he is still a Decepticon. Bulkhead congratulates Inferno on his victory.
The Autobots regroup and relax after their victory. Kicker asks how Bulkhead's team got there, wondering if they'd come through the space bridge. Bulkhead confirms this; Kicker realizes that means they still have contact with Cybertron, and can return to build the energon tower. When Prime says that the planet needs more energon for itself, Kicker shares Signal Flare's discovery with the others.
Alpha Q observes the chuckling Bulkhead, and wonders if he can count on the feeble Autobots. He decides that since they try so hard and mean well, he can depend on them, just a little.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"No way, that's impossible! Transform! Wait up!"
- — Ironhide with a whole mouthful of filler dialog
"...You were saying?"
"Oh, so now I'll hear 'I toldja so!' "
"Wanna get kicked again, Ironhide?"
- — Ironhide and Kicker
"Now if you could stop with the crazy one-man-show bit, I could use a little help over here!"
- — Ironhide holds off Scorponok by himself.
"It always amazes me that you Decepticons never learn one simple principle: power comes when you work together!"
"...That's why we power link!"
- — Hot Shot and Optimus Prime each lecture a group of Decepticons.
"I AM NOT YELLING!"
- — Kicker
"It´s time to teach you a whole lesson in the power of powerlinxing, Scorponok! So why don´t you want to learn?"
- — Inferno after he powerlixed with Downshift, before he beats the shit out of Scorponok
Lost in translation
- Alpha Q's observation that Megatron is pursuing the Autobots is dub nonsense, not supported by the original dialog or the animation.
- The search team originally refers to Bulkhead as "the retired old veteran" and "that eager old guy", rather than "the new boss".
- The dialog of the Omnicons' sunbathing scene is rather disjointed in the dub. For example, Skyblast refers to Signal Flare's spontaneous energon generation as a "problem" when he was impressed and pleased by it just a moment earlier.
- The dub omits Megatron's order to level the planet so the Autobots can't hide, the reason for the assault from space.
- At the beginning of the orbital battle, Scorponok is addressed as "Megatron" by Demolishor. Worse still, Demolishor is giving him an order. Worse than that, Scorponok responds in Megatron's voice.
- Snowcat originally orders Shockblast to fire at Prime. The only conflict between the two originates because Shockblast says he's already aiming at him. The dub changes this to Snowcat telling Shockblast that the others will take care of Prime, and Shockblast responding that Snowcat isn't his boss.
- In Super Link, Megatron and Prime spend a lot of time yammering about weakness and power and the nature of two hearts joining as one and so on. The dub reduces this to a few lines from Prime about being a team. Both versions have Prime carefully point out that the Autobots can powerlink.
- Bulkhead's ceaseless chuckling is even more disturbing in Super Link.
- Dub Bulkhead tells Inferno that it's nice to see his Autobot insignia again. In Super Link, they've never met before.
- The dub omits some Japanese-centric stuff about the proper way to address Bulkhead, which wouldn't have carried over very well to the West, since nobody in the USA respects their elders.
- The ending conversation is confusing in both versions. In Super Link, Kicker asks if a Space Bridge has been established; Bulkhead says that yes, they arrived by the gate that Optimus left behind (to the viewer's knowledge, Prime did no such thing). The dub is even more vague; Bulkhead answers the same question with "we found the opening, and presto! We shot right on through."
- In Super Link, Kicker wants an energon tower sent from Cybertron to defend Jungle Planet. Dub Kicker just says something confusing about going back to Cybertron so they can "rebuild the energon tower".
- In Super Link, the show's theme tune plays over Inferno's battle with Scorponok. As you might expect, the dub omits it.
- The dub omits an ominous final scene, made with recycled footage, with Inferno continuing to struggle against Megatron's torture and reprogramming.
- "Uh?": 16
- Stock footage: 4
- Our planets: 1
- It's time to: 3
- We've gotta: 1
- Let's do it: 2
- We're a team: 3
- "No way": 1
- Come on: 1
- Totally: 1
- Aw man: 1
- That's impossible: 2
- Wait up: 1
Animation and/or technical glitches
- At the end of the episode, the smoke from the burnt forest isn't actually moving.
- Cliffjumper and Downshift continue to have their names switched.
- When Ironhide transforms and runs into the jungle, he's cel-animated. And it looks a hell of a lot better than usual.
- Scorponok's face likewise gets the cel-animation upgrade as he gloats over Kicker and Inferno.
- The Energon Saber suddenly makes an appearance here, after being absent for nearly 20 episodes. It comes flying out of the sky when Kicker calls for it, raising the question of how the hell it got through the rift.
- Kicker survives a direct hit from Scorponok. TWICE. Holy crap. The kid must be made of rubber.
- Prime just sits there and lets Megatron shoot him about a million times. Even funnier, it does nothing to him; and when Optimus finally fires back, he kick's Megatron to the curb in one shot. Maybe he was absorbing the energy and released it in the shot he fired at Megatron.