While Skyquake battles Optimus Prime, Starscream recovers the nearly dead Megatron.
Starscream reviews the footage of Megatron's recent destruction and decides to make a rousing speech to the Vehicon troops. When one of the troops questions whether they have any chance of defeating the Autobots without Megatron, Starscream proclaims himself Emperor of Destruction, but is disappointed with the lack of response from his men. Starscream recalls that there is a Decepticon on the planet who is worthy of following him.
Optimus Prime is unhappy about how their recent conflict turned out, as he had still hoped to convince Megatron that peace was possible. His conversation with Ratchet is interrupted by an explosion, but it's just Raf's volcano. The kids are working on their science projects with the help of their guardian Autobots. Ratchet's annoyed about the whole matter, but Optimus thinks it's a good opportunity to learn more about Earth. Though Ratchet believes the kids should be learning about Cybertron instead.
Hanging out near a canyon in the desert, Soundwave detects one of the many warriors left on Earth eons ago to protect the energon deposits. He and Starscream head over to find the lost Decepticon.
Raf and Bumblebee discuss 'Bee's lowly status in the Autobot army.' Bumblebee aspires to become part of the warrior class, but Optimus says Bumblebee has much to learn before he can reach that rank. The base sensors detect the Decepticon activity in the desert, so Optimus decides to head out with Ratchet. Ratchet makes a quick excuse that he needs to help the kids with their projects, so Optimus takes Bumblebee instead.
Starscream and Soundwave haul the warrior out of the ground and use an energon cube to revive him, revealing to be none other than Skyquake. Skyquake announces he still serves Megatron, and he doesn't take kindly to Starscream declaring himself leader. They're interrupted by Optimus, who's familiar with Skyquake from the Battle of Technar. Optimus tries to talk peace, but Starscream will only agree to a truce if Optimus bows to him. Skyquake's patience runs out, and, knocking Starscream aside, he charges toward Optimus. Starscream retires to a nearby clifftop with Soundwave and muses that all Decepticons will follow him once Skyquake destroys Prime while under his command. Optimus and Skyquake trade fire, but Bumblebee decides to take the initiative and attacks Skyquake as well. Starscream orders Soundwave to record it all. Optimus observes that Skyquake hasn't yet taken on a vehicle mode, so the two Autobots transform and fall back. Skyquake mocks on Optimus retreating and blasts his gun at them as they retreat.
Meanwhile, Ratchet is "helping" Raf build a volcano, which meant that he is pretty much building it himself. Ratchet intends to help Miko and Jack with their projects also. And thus proving himself to be something of a control freak, stated by Miko.
Having lost sight of the combatants, Soundwave picks up a Decepticon signal from the location of the Space Bridge explosion. When he realizes that Soundwave means it's Megatron, Starscream tries to dismiss it as a false signal, but realizes he has to investigate it in order to keep up appearances. He leaves Soundwave, who surreptitiously dispatches Laserbeak from his chest and follow his master.
Agent Fowler investigates the communications coming from the area. He arrives on the scene just as Optimus and Bumblebee have managed to knock Skyquake down, and the Decepticon scans his jet. Taking to the air, Skyquake attacks the Autobots below, only for Fowler to attack him in turn. Skyquake fires some heat-seeking missiles at the human, who manages to evade them by making them slam into a rock wall.
Starscream arrives at the Space Bridge debris and concludes that Soundwave's sensors were faulty as no-one could have survived the explosion. As he prepares to leave he hears someone calling a fraction of his name in pain. He finds that is Megatron, barely alive, who grabs him in anger before falling back. Noticing his exposed spark chamber, Starscream realizes he survived due to Dark Energon and promptly tears out the sliver. Laserbeak then arrives, forcing Starscream to hide the sliver and order transport of Megatron's body to sickbay.
As the chase below continues, Bumblebee jumps onto Skyquake, who unsuccessfully tries to knock the Autobot off. Optimus asks for Fowler's help, as high above the desert, Bumblebee rips pieces out of Skyquake, sending the Decepticon into a crash dive. Fowler draws alongside so Bumblebee can jump aboard his jet before Skyquake crashes into the ground below. The crash proves surprisingly, proves fatal to Skyquake. Optimus observes that if Skyquake had chosen peace, they would not be burying him.
Back at base, repairs on Bumblebee are complete, and Prime commends him on his performance. The kids arrive back with the news that Ratchet's science projects did not go down well: Miko presented a model of Cybertron rather than the solar system. Jack had a flying saw that escaped into the hallway. Raf brought in a volcano that blew a hole right through the school roof. Ratchet is disappointed at the news.
On board the Nemesis, the Decepticons have gotten Megatron into stasis, and Starscream "sincerely" hopes he gets better.
Cast and Characters
|Peter Cullen||Optimus Prime|
|Kevin Michael Richardson|| Bulkhead|
|Richard Green|| Skyquake|
|Tania Gunadi||Miko Nakadai|
|Ernie Hudson||William Fowler|
|Josh Keaton||Jack Darby|
|Andy Pessoa||Raf Esquivel|
Arcee: Maybe it needs one of these doohickeys...
Jack: You're a motorcycle Arcee. Shouldn't you know how to build a motorcycle?
Arcee: You're a human, Jack. Can you build me a small intestine?
- Arcee and Jack.
Ratchet: Then watch a master at work!
- Ratchet has officially gone mad scientist on us.
Agent Fowler: Well I'll be a bald eagle...
- Agent Fowler after seeing Skyquake scan his jet.
Skyquake: Air superiority achieved!
- Skyquake gaining his wings.
Optimus: Bumblebee. Putting yourself at risk was, perhaps, not the wisest of strategies but you performed admirably.
- Optimus to Bumblebee.
Bumblebee: *Beep noises*
Optimus: Indeed Bumblebee. Our human friends would of been wise to stray from Ratchet's path.
- Optimus and Bumblebee reflecting on Ratchet.
- The copies of The Jasper Daily that Raf uses to make his paper mache volcano from are printed back-to-front, with the Sports section on the front and the masthead on the back. Since this happened again in "Deus ex Machina", maybe Jasper just really loves their sports?
- Fowler's jet has Skyquake's arms and legs attached as undercarriage. No wonder Skyquake wanted to scan it.
- When Skyquake slashes at Optimus after being knocked into a wall, it leaves a scratch mark visible on Optimus' chest. However, it's no longer there after Skyquake scans Fowler's jet, especially noticeable when Optimus transforms into his truck mode and the windshields seem intact.
- The image displayed on Soundwave's monitor is presumably meant to be the asteroid belt, as the wreckage is too large to be that of the space bridge. However, the asteroid belt lies between Mars and Jupiter, not between Earth and Mars.
- Soundwave is on the ground when Skyquake awakens, but is suddenly on top of the canyon behind them when Starscream retreats.
- Starscream finds Megatron in space because he hears Megatron gasping in pain. However, sound cannot travel in a vacuum. It could be excused as Megatron broadcasting via a radio transmission, but a short time later, Starscream is alerted to the presence of Soundwave's drone by the sound of it flying through space. Even more strange is that when Starscream talks in the explosion site, echoes can be heard. This is, however, a fairly common mistake, especially in children's television.
- In the first shot when a Vehicon gets Starscream's attention during the latter's speech about the loss of Megatron, Starscream's image on the screen is seen turning in the opposite direction, as if giving his back to a camera. In the next sequence, the image on the screen is seen as if the camera were now at the same angle of the viewer.
- Optimus claims Skyquake can't transform because he hasn't scanned a vehicle mode yet, yet Skyquake is decked out in Earth-vehicle parts. This is probably done for budget reasons, as this will be seen again in later episodes.
- Starscream styles himself "Emperor of Destruction", the title used in the Japanese continuities for the leader of the Decepticons.
- Once again an incarnation of Megatron has survived a space bridge disaster.
- When Optimus transforms after nearly being hit by Skyquake's missile, the classic transformation sound is clearly heard, as opposed to the newer "swooshing" effect used in Prime.
- The name of this episode was spelled "Masters and Students" on the Hub's website.
- Fowler's first name is mentioned onscreen for the first time. It had previously been revealed in the credits for "Darkness Rising, Part 3".
- This is the first episode in the series to use the full title sequence.
- Fowler flies a jet without wearing a jumpsuit, helmet, or oxygen mask. This was later explained in "Grill" as a modification Ratchet had made to Fowler's jet.
- The close-up on Agent Fowler before Bumblebee jumps off his jet is the same used in the sequence where he says "I still got it", only mirrored.
- Adaptations of this episode include a prose version in Optimus Under Threat.
Main Article: Masters and Students Gallery
Masters & Students}}