Convinced there are no Decepticons left on Earth, the Elite Guard prepares to take Optimus Prime and his crew back to Cybertron, unaware of the increasing Decepticon activity taking place under their very noses.
- German title: "Mission erfüllt" ("Mission Fulfilled")
- Japanese title: "Explosively Complete!" (爆鎮完了! Bakuchin Kanryō!)
- Polish title: "Misja wykonana" ("Mission Comlited")
The Autobot Ironhide sends a message to the Earth-based Autobots, revealing he is under attack from Decepticons and has already lost one space bridge. He requests backup, but the transmission is cut off. Ultra Magnus explains this is but one of many reports of rising Decepticon activity. Jazz thinks it is due to the rumours of Megatron's survival, and Sentinel can't resist an opportunity to make a snide comment about the source of those rumours: Optimus Prime. Magnus therefore decides that all Earth-bound Autobots will make preparations to leave the planet. When Optimus protests due to the presence of Decepticons on Earth, Ultra Magnus brushes him off, whilst Sentinel butts in with another tirade about putting Prime up for an inquiry (or a court-martial, as Optimus perceives it). Ultra Magnus tries to make his position clear; that in the long run, everyone is better off believing Megatron is dead. Putting forward the idea of the Decepticon leader surviving and the AllSpark being destroyed would cause panic among the Autobots and strengthen the resolve of the Decepticons. An outraged Optimus is forced into compliance.
Back at the factory, Sari is heartbroken by the idea of her friends being forced to leave Earth. The situation is made worse when Sentinel shows up. With his usual grace and tact, he tells Sari to belt up and officially inducts Optimus's team into the war effort. In the middle of insulting the "repair grunts", he makes a gesture of sorts to Optimus: Do as Ultra Magnus says, admit he's been lying, and Sentinel will use his connections to get Optimus's military career back on track, as thanks for the recent Headmaster incident. When Optimus tells him what to do with his offer, Sentinel places him under formal arrest.
On a garbage scow moving along the river, Starscream suddenly reactivates. Disorientated, he panics when he realises that not only can he not pick up any Decepticon energy signatures, he can't even pick up his own! After a moment of shock, he recovers and gets his bearings: he's alive and still on Earth. Furious at Megatron's attempt on his life, he transforms and blasts off into the sky.
At the Decepticon base, Blitzwing and Lugnut successfully test out Professor Sumdac's new Decepticon signal dampener. Mildly impressed, Megatron quickly moves on, demanding the creation of a subspace communicator so he can contact his forces in space to call off the aimless skirmishes until he can build his own space bridge. When Sumdac comments that Earth technology is too primitive to create a tachyon transmitter, Megatron smugly informs him that they will simply steal the required tech from the Elite Guard's ship. Meanwhile, the Autobots are trying to figure out what to do with Sari, so they take her to the most together human they know, Captain Fanzone—although they do point out that most of the humans they know are criminally insane, such as Meltdown and Nanosec.
While they handle that, Optimus is on the Elite Guard's ship, with Sentinel still trying to convince him to play ball. Optimus refuses to lie, while Sentinel says that confirming there are no Decepticons on Earth would merely confirm what their sensors are saying. While they argue, Lugnut and Blitzwing tunnel under the ship's shield and steal a tachyon transmitter. As they make their escape, they fail to notice Starscream tailing them back to base.
As Lugnut presents his prize to Megatron, Starscream makes his presence known. What follows is a quick but decisive victory for Megatron, who simply slashes Starscream before blasting him point-blank. Lugnut checks to see if Starscream is still online, and finding no spark, helps Blitzwing toss his corpse into the river. After floating downstream, Starscream suddenly reactivates again. He realises he lacks a spark and discovers he is being kept alive by a fragment of the AllSpark buried in his head, effectively making him immortal. Delighted, he declares the end of Megatron's era. As Megatron sends his message out to the Decepticons, Starscream attacks...and is promptly killed again. After a couple more fruitless attempts, he starts to wonder if he needs a new strategy. His fragment allows him to locate a second shard wedged into the side of a nearby abandoned dump truck, and a plan begins to formulate...
At the Elite Guard ship, Magnus presses Optimus Prime to cooperate, when Jazz reveals that he's discovered a sudden surge in AllSpark energy. Concluding that it's another shard, Magnus and Jazz go to retrieve it, while Sentinel is to remain and watch Optimus. As Sentinel moans, Optimus realizes that they had only found AllSpark shards before due to the Key. Doing a thermal scan, he discovers Starscream. Optimus tries to warn Ultra Magnus, but Sentinel threatens to put him in stasis cuffs if he tries to leave. Optimus is able to take down Sentinel (who squeals like a girl) and place him in the cuffs, then rolls out.
Meanwhile, the Autobots are watching Sari "interview" Captain Fanzone, who is not very fond of children. Optimus contacts the Autobots and tells them to meet him en route to the train.
As Starscream gloats about his plan to draw out Megatron and kill him in a massive explosion, Ultra Magnus and Jazz arrive, as do Megatron and Blitzwing. Megatron realizes that it's a trap set by Starscream, while Magnus and Jazz have trouble extracting the shard. An energy surge throws the Elite Guard off the train. Further ahead along the tracks, Optimus orders Prowl to sever the passenger cars from the main car, while Bumblebee takes Sari to use the Key to remove the shard. They succeed, but the train still nearly crashes, only stopped because Ratchet uses his magnets from ahead while Bulkhead, anchored by Optimus Prime, grabs the rear of the train. High in the air, as Starscream fumes about the lost opportunity, Megatron appears, ready to beat him senseless.
On the ground, Ultra Magnus reprimands Optimus Prime, while Sentinel Prime arrives and accuses him of assault. Though Optimus defends his position, both Elite Guardsmen point out that there is no evidence of Decepticons—only for Starscream to crash into the ground mere meters away, causing Sentinel Prime to freak out at the sight of an actual Decepticon. Quickly coming back online, Starscream takes advantage of Magnus's momentary inattention to blast the Autobot leader into unconsciousness from point-blank range, taking the shard with him. The Autobots' attempts to take down Starscream fail, until Optimus comes up with a plan—although an intervention from Jazz is required to make Sentinel go along with it. Having Sentinel draw Starscream's attention, Optimus uses the stasis cuffs on the Decepticon, who is then taken to the Elite Guard ship—with his mouth riveted shut.
Ultra Magnus admits that Optimus Prime was right about there being Decepticons on Earth, and though Sentinel Prime brings up the assault and insubordination charges, Magnus still supports Optimus's actions. Magnus decides that Optimus Prime's crew will remain on Earth to locate the remaining AllSpark shards and capture the Decepticons, while the Elite Guard returns to Cybertron for Magnus to conduct the war effort. Sari is overjoyed that the Autobots are staying, but promises Captain Fanzone that they can still hang out.
Meanwhile, Megatron tells his minions to inform their double agent on Cybertron that the Decepticons have repledged their allegiance to Megatron and that their attacks will draw Autobot forces away from the Transformers' home world. Once the space bridge technology is fully developed, Megatron's group will return to Cybertron and conquer the planet from within...
- Written by: Marsha Griffin
- Directed by: Irineo Maramba & Yoshio Chatani
- Original airdate: April 26, 2008
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"You dare strike ME, Megatron? After all my loyal stellar cycles of—wh-wu-wait, where is everybody? How did I get here? I'm not picking up any Decepticon energy signatures... not even my own. I'm too young be offline!"
- —On coming back from the dead, Starscream's speech-making tendencies outweigh his observational skills.
Icy Blitzwing: Fascinating. You're standing right in front of me, yet I cannot pick up your energy signature.
Lugnut: Now we can move about freely in vehicle mode, and those accursed Autobots won't even know we're there.
Icy Blitzwing: Impressive vork, Professor Sumdac.
[Captain Fanzone is asked to take care of Sari]
Fanzone: Absolutely not!
Bumblebee: C'mon Captain, she's a good kid.
Bulkhead: You won't even know she's around.
Fanzone: Why me?
Bumblebee: You're tops on the list of all the humans we know personally.
Bulkhead: Although, it is kind of a short list.
Prowl: And it does include Prometheus Black and Nanosec.
Bumblebee: But still, you're number one!
- —The Autobots try to get Captain Fanzone to adopt Sari. They need to work on their sales pitch.
Starscream: Ah, if it isn't my old pal Megatron. And by "old pal," I mean "the piece of scum who tried to incinerate me into oblivion!"
Megatron: Starscream... you're alive.
Starscream: What's the matter? You look like you've seen a ghost. Maybe you have!
"Is that the best you could do, Starscream? And to think you actually believed you could take over as leader of the Decepticons. You couldn't lead a parade."
- —Megatron gives Starscream a hint.
Lugnut: The tachyon transmitter.
Hothead Blitzwing: You zink I don't know vhat a tachyon transmitter looks like?!
Lugnut: Just go!
Random Blitzwing: Last one in is a rotten engine block.
"Fellow Decepticons, take heed. Your leader, Megatron, still lives! Though we remain dispersed throughout the far reaches of the galaxy, exiled from our true home, we are all still Decepticons, united by a common purpose. The time has come for us to put aside our differences and act as one under my undisputed leadership. Only then can we cast off the shackles of Autobot oppression. Working together, we can raise up our glorious empire once more and crush all who stand in our way!"
- —Megatron has a good speechwriter.
"When are you going to get it through your thick processor? There are no Decepticons on this planet! So keep your audio unit shut or I'll do it for you." [brandishes stasis cuffs]
[beat] "I'd like to see you try, you worthless crankshaft!"
"THAT'S IT!" [ten seconds later] "You put me in stasis lock?!"
- —Sentinel Prime, owned by Optimus Prime yet again.
[Megatron and Blitzwing fly to the train]
Megatron: The spike of allspark energy appears to be enamating from that train.
Icy Blitzwing: It's fortunate zat ve picked up zat signal so easily.
Megatron: Perhaps a bit too fortunate.
[Ultra Magnus and Jazz arrive]
Icy Blitzwing: A trap? Laid by ze Autobots?
Megatron: Or by another Decepticon. An extremely persistent Decepticon who refuses to stay offline.
[after his trap failed] "Ugh! This day couldn't possibly get any worse! [Megatron and Blitzwing appear] I stand corrected" [turns tailpipe and flies away]
[Megatron and Blitzwing chase Starscream]
"Sorry, you must have me confused with some other harrier jet."
- —Starscream and Megatron. We don't think he bought it, Screamer.
Sentinel: Optimus Prime, you are under arrest for assaulting an Elite Guard officer. Add that to the other list of charges against you, and you can kiss your career goodbye. Do you have anything to say for yourself?
[Starscream crashes from high altitude into the ground.]
Sentinel: WHAT IS THAT THING?!
Optimus: Oh, that's right, you've never seen one up close. It's called...a Decepticon."
- —Starscream crashes to Earth, freaks out Sentinel Prime, and gives Optimus Prime the proof he needs.
"Yeesh, Optimus, think you could have drawn that one out any longer?"
"You're welcome, Sentinel."
- —Sentinel Prime and Optimus Prime, same old song and dance.
- This episode was first broadcast in Canada on April 26, one week before its United States premiere, and during the American premiere of the episode "The Return of the Headmaster".
- In the Japanese version, it was aired as the eighteenth episode.
- While dropping into Megatron's mountain base for the first time, the "glow" effect on Starscream's jet exhaust is misaligned for several seconds until he 'catches up' to it.
- Just before Prime activates the thermal scan of the cloud bank supposedly concealing Starscream, Starscream is already plainly visible on the viewscreen. If Starscream wasn't meant to be concealed, then it's a continuity error, as Prime wouldn't need a thermal scan to detect him, just a magnified visual. Though maybe Optimus thought it was a human jet. Who knows?
- Not really an animation error per se, but when the Autobots stop the train, Sari is somehow not hurled forward off its roof by her own momentum, even though she is not restrained in any fashion. Unless...she's a witch!
- After Starscream's many failed tries to destroy Megatron again and gets through down into the river bank for the last time, the Decepticon insignia on his wings are missing.
- Megatron and the other Decepticons don't seem to wonder why it is that Starscream keeps coming back, despite the fact that they note that his spark compartment is empty. (Unless Megatron did find the allspark fragment, and decided it'd be fun to keep him around as a target for violence.)
- Megatron shatters Starscream's yellow cockpit the first and fourth times he "kills" him in the episode, leaving his empty spark chamber visible. When Starscream pulls a Captain Jack, it is still missing. After he sees his reflection in the water the first time, and simply when they cut to a different angle on the fourth time, it is suddenly present and intact once more. (It's possible that's because of the miraculous powers of the AllSpark shard; if it can keep Starscream online, it surely can regenerate any damage he has taken.)
- The AllSpark shard Starscream recovers changes size constantly, from barely fitting into Starscream's hand, to small enough to fit into Optimus's palm with his hand closed.
- How did Sentinel get the stasis cuffs off? Though, given that he could move his lips, it might have been possible to chew through them...
- Captain Fanzone's wife is mentioned in "Total Meltdown", but she's neither seen nor mentioned here. A possible divorce, perhaps?
- When Optimus Prime puts the newly acquired fragment of the AllSpark into its housing, there are four shards total, even though thus far, only two have been recovered by the Autobots on-screen (three if they ripped the one out of Starscream's brainpan, but seeing as he's still online, that's not likely). Optimus does note in the episode that, in the past, the Key had been the primary tool used to locate fragments of the AllSpark. As this has only happened in the episode "The Elite Guard" so far (as well as this episode), it is conceivable that the Autobots managed to locate two other "SmallSparks" off-screen.
- As Lugnut and Blitzwing tunnel under the force shield to the Elite Guard's ship, they leave a gigantic hole, which no one notices. And later on, the hole has mysteriously disappeared.
- Just wondering, when Lugnut kicks Blitzwing as they steal the tachyon transmitter, like the picture above, how does Lugnut manage to keep that weird 'kicking' angle without falling over?
- Much like his Generation One counterpart, Starscream is now immortal, only this time they actually explain why and leave him with a body.
- Megatron believes Starscream "couldn't even lead a parade", just as his G1 namesake said in "Starscream's Brigade".
- Starscream refers to his disguise as a Harrier Jet. Pity his model won't turn up for another hundred years or so.
- Bumblebee strikes the Sonic pose, complete with wink and thumbs-up.
- The Japanese title references the Tomica Hero: Rescue Force genre of live action shows that predates Transformers Animated. Furthermore, the ascetics of Rescue Fire care similarity to the show.
- Unlike all other AllSpark fragments, the one found by Starscream in the side of the dumptruck didn't cause the truck to come to life. It just sat there embedded in the side of the back. It might be possible that the fragment has to be near or touching circuitry to bring the device to life.
- It's not clear how Starscream ended up in the garbage scow. If the Autobots threw him there, wouldn't they have retrieved him (as proof of Decepticon activity) in "The Elite Guard"? If it was humans, why didn't they keep his body in order to study alien technology? Or, one of the Decepticons may have thrown him into the scow, as a gesture of contempt or to hide their presence on Earth...but we don't know for sure.
- In the first interior shot of the Decepticons' hideout, we see the markings on the top of their computer station resemble the upper half of the Decepticon sigil, complete with glowing eyes.
- Said interior is also the same mining cave that featured in the episode "Nature Calls" from season one.
- In his speech, Megatron goes on about how the Decepticons are united by a common purpose and need to put aside their differences, yet Megatron himself is beating the slag out of a fellow Decepticon for the duration of the speech. How ironic.
- Starscream is not just beaten up, but killed by Megatron five times in a single episode. Must be a new record.
- The Elite Guard does not come off very well in this episode: Ultra Magnus and Jazz fail to notice a large hole the size of a B2 bomber when leaving their ship, a tachyon transmitter gets ripped off their ship without them even noticing, Sentinel Prime freaks out at the mere sight of a Decepticon, and Ultra Magnus gets defeated by Starscream after only one shot (to be fair, it was at point-blank range, right in the face.)
- Megatron mentions having a double agent on Cybertron. Who could it be?
- With this episode, all five of the Autobots from the live-action movie have appeared in Transformers: Animated.
- When Sentinel is trying to bribe Optimus, he says he could get Optimus re-instated in the Elite Guard, so apparently Optimus used to be in the Elite Guard.
- Optimus Prime's crew has already proven to be smaller and less powerful than the Decepticons yet these Autobots are all that the great Autobot Supreme Commander could think to leave to fight and capture the really powerful MEGATRON!? That plan is worse than movie Optimus Prime's. The stasis cuffs are a great boon, though. (Not even requesting backup).