"Fires of the Past"
The Maximals have a second run-in with the Vehicon generals, and sense the presence of a familiar Spark.
- Japanese title: Higan No Henshin (悲願 の 変身 The Transformation Of A Fervent Wish)
Megatron rebukes his Vehicon generals for failing to destroy the Maximals, refusing to accept failure; he sends them forth with promises of rewards to whichever one captures them first. The generals continue on in the same direction before splitting up. Thrust continues the drive until Jetstorm enters the scene. Jetstorm, the following action the start of a 'nice time together', tricks Thrust before sending the Cycle drone commander on his way(!) Thrust recovers from the 'trip offered' by Jetstorm, accelerats into the Aero drone commander and both crash, their 'happy time' left with no pause.
Elsewhere, Optimus Primal contemplates the images of Rhinox and Silverbolt and vows to find them. His meditation is interrupted when he senses the presence of a Spark; the team goes out to find it. During the search, Rattrap beaks into a secure laboratory and discovers the transformation inhibitor virus which Megatron used... and a counter-virus as well: a transformation enhancer. Rattrap swipes the enhancer while Cheetor's back is turned... and uses the enhancer while no-one is watching...
While Thrust and Jetstorm squabble, Tankor has no luck in trying to find a single sign of our heroes until Rattrap shows up, able to Transform at last thanks to the enhancer...
"Maximal Signature: Detected"
During the ensuring chase scene, Rattrap finds he's unable to control his transformations, as he continues simultaneous changes between his Robot and Beast Modes, including some odd intermediate forms as well.
Our heroes continue their attempts to avoid Tankor but a certain Maximal, who does not know it, foils their every one until they decide that they cannot use stealth anymore as long as rattrap keeps on transforming into strange formats and that fighting has become an option. The others "I am transformed" to robot mode and engage Tankor. Rattrap: "Hey, wait for me. I am transforming." Falls down face first. His friends have simultaneous cracks at Tankor. His weakness: close range attacks.
Tankor manages to trap the Maximals under a metal dome. Thrust and Jetstorm arrive and fight Tankor for the right to bring in the captive Maximals; the distraction allows the Maximals escape from the dome, but an explosion knocks out all the Transformers present, leaving only the durable Tankor standing.
At the Citade, Megatron gloats to the captured Maximals, while Tankor demands his reward: "freedom" via the removal of his spark. Rattrap's continual transformations strain his bonds to the breaking point, freeing him; he quickly releases the others. During the ensuing fight, Megatron loses control and breaks free of his control harness; Primal talks directly to Tankor's Spark, compelling him to do what is right. After a moment of confusion, Tankor blasts open the door so the Maximals can escape, and leaves with them.
Restored to his harness, Megatron interfaces directly with Tankor's CPU, deleting the last 20 cycles of his memory. Thus Tankor suddenly attacks the Maximals again as they travel underground; Megatron blocks Primals attempts to speak to Tankor's Spark again. The Maximals trip up Tankor as he's preparing to fire; the cannon backblast sends him flying upwards through Cybertron's sublevels, only to crash back down to the surface atop a startled and screaming Thrust and Jetstorm.
Primal explains to the other Maximals that he sensed something familiar about Tankor's Spark... but then it was gone.
Cheetor: Use me for target practice?! THAT'S IT!! I Am Trans...
Optimus Primal: Negative. These storage bins may contain explosives.
Blackarachnia: (scoffs) Aren't you being just a little overcautious?
(Tankor blows up a explosive-housing storage bin, triggering the explosion of others also housing explosives in the vicinity)
Optimus Primal: Next question? This calls for stealth.
- —Optimus, Cheetor & Blackarachnia try to escape Tankor
Blackarachnia: Rattrap, what are you doing?
Rattrap: The hokey-pokey! What's it look like?
Cheetor: That transformation enhancer... Tell me you didn't...
Rattrap: Can we... (Robot Mode head appears, and both heads speak in synch) ...discuss this... later?
- —Rattrap wants to do something first, ask later
Optimus: So much for stealth... I Am Transformed.
Blackarachnia: Music to my ears! I Am Trans...
Cheetor: ...Am Transformed!
- —So much for stealth... Guess it's time for plan B...
"Maximal Signature: Detected. Maximal Signature: Detected."
Thrust: Party time! Thrust: Overdrive!
Jetstorm: Not if I get there first, slow poke. Jetstorm: Afterburn!
- —Jetstorm & Thrust continue their rivalry on the move as they target Rattrap
- Rattrap's Technorganic Robot Mode is seen for the first time, but it is achieved artificially and he's still unable to control it by will. As such, this instance does not count as Rattrap's first transformation to Robot Mode, as he needs to do it properly, like everyone else.
- This episode reveals what the Vehicon generals get in return for their service: "Freedom" via the removal of their Sparks, which they have, presumably, been programed to desire.
- Rattrap racing across the bridge to aid Tankor when he accidentally gains wheels in beast mode as a result of the virus is a reference to his Transmetal vehicle mode in the Beast Wars.
- As Rattrap finds the transformation enhancer, he exclaims "Bye-bye fur coat; hello full metal jacket!" A full metal jacket is a copper bullet casing commonly used by infantrymen, as well as the title of a Stanley Kubrick film.
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