New Recruit is the forty-fourth episode of Transformers: Prime.
Raf and Jack cruise the Internet for pictures of Bumblebee to replace with tap-dancing monkey pictures, while Miko forces Bulkhead to exercise so his legs don't atrophy. Jack notices a picture which Raf identifies as a Cybertronian escape pod. Arcee suggests bringing in Wheeljack as Bulkhead still isn't combat-ready, which Ratchet promptly shoots down due to recent events. Optimus orders Ratchet to come along with them instead, as there might be an injured Autobot in the pod. They Ground-bridge into the crash site to find it's a Decepticon pod, and they're immediately under attack from their foe. The Vehicons, augmented by Insecticons, turn out to be a challenge, but then a new figure appears running through the trees. The newcomer's fire accidentally hits the energon leaking from the pod, and the Autobots take cover as it explodes, taking out the Decepticons. The over-enthusiastic newcomer happens to be Smokescreen, an Autobot rookie who becomes in awe when he meets Optimus Prime.
The Autobots are initially suspicious, remembering the last time a new Autobot turned up, but Smokescreen's tales of Alpha Trion and guarding the Hall of Records convinces Prime that he is legitimate.
Back at base, Miko's excited to meet the new Autobot. Smokescreen relates the story of the last days of Iacon and how he was captured by Decepticons during the siege, before escaping from a Decepticon transport ship in an escape pod. Smokescreen thinks with him there they'll have the war ended in no time, and Bulkhead drags himself in to show the newcomer how the war is going. Miko volunteers Jack to show Smokescreen around.
In the Harbinger, Starscream searches the Internet for interesting stuff and happens on an image of Red Energon at a construction site.
Jack shows Smokescreen around where the Cybertronian relics and Airachnid are stored. Bulkhead is upset that the others have brought in a replacement for him, but as they point out, Smokescreen is a newbie and needs a lot of training. Raf finds the same Red Energon photo that Starscream did. Smokescreen's keen to go out on the mission, but the others point out his need for training and an alternative mode.
Starscream arrives at the construction site, only to find it deserted and the Red Energon gone.
Smokescreen and Jack scope out vehicles driving near Jasper, and the Autobot is disappointed in the available vehicle forms. Meanwhile, Prime, Arcee and Bumblebee arrive at the dock where the Red Energon's been moved, and discover Starscream is already there. The Decepticon activates the Apex Armor and Optimus sends Arcee and Bumblebee to get the energon while he takes on Starscream. He reports back to base what's happening, and Smokescreen wants to go help, but is overruled by Ratchet.
Having dealt with Optimus, Starscream climbs up the crane after Arcee and Bumblebee. At base, Bulkhead urges Ratchet to let him go help, but Ratchet ignores him until they realize Smokescreen is missing. Ratchet finds him in the storeroom looking at the Phase Shifter. Meanwhile, Starscream reaches Arcee, only for Optimus to punch him right off the crane. Starscream tries to grab some of the Red Energon on the way down, breaking off a chunk. As Optimus starts hauling up the basket with the energon in it, Starscream grabs the bottom of the crane and tips it. He's interrupted by the arrival of Smokescreen through the Ground Bridge. Using the phase shifter, the new Autobot kicks Starscream right out of the Apex Armor. While Smokescreen stands triumphant, Starscream fires off a missile at the crane, the ensuing explosion destroying the Red Energon meteor. Though the Autobots atop it survive, Starscream gets away with a chunk of Red Energon he broke off.
After they return to base, Smokescreen returns the phase shifter and the Apex Armor, after which Optimus officially welcomes him to Team Prime. Bulkhead looks on sadly, and though Miko tries to give him some encouraging words, he turns and limps back down the corridor.
- Ratchet: Optimus, is something wrong?
- Smokescreen: Send me in, Doc!
- Ratchet: Optimus will requires back up he will ask for it.
- Ratchet: Optimus, what is your status?
- Bulkhead: Ratchet, they need me. I can do this.
- Ratchet: Arcee? Bumblebee?
- Bulkhead: Do you hear what I said?
- Ratchet: I heard! And I'm ignoring you.
- Ratchet: Where is Smokescreen?
- Starscream: Any last words, Smokescreen?
- Smokescreen: Just four—kiss your armor goodbye!
- Starscream finds Earth humor funny, even though he previously said he didn't. Guess Ratchet isn't the only one.
- As usual, the vehicle mode Smokescreen chooses completely matches his body. However, this is the first time a Transformer changes his paint job after getting a new vehicle mode; Smokescreen's Elite Guard logos are exchanged for his number "38" and checker racer decal.
- Smokescreen is also the first character to refer to a vehicle mode as a "v. mode" in Transformers fiction.
- A new kind of Energon has been introduced alongside the regular, Dark, Synthetic, and Toxic forms. Time will tell if using Red Energon has any negative effects...
- Smokescreen refers to Starscream as having "stiletto" heels, despite Starscream's feet more closely resembling French/spool heels. Clearly, Smokescreen knows very little about the finer details of women's footwear.
- Smokescreen references Constructicons, Halogen, Alpha Trion, the Elite Guard, and the High Council.
- The Insecticons seem to die very easily in this episode. Arcee and Bumblebee take out one in a few seconds when last time it took them an entire episode. Things will not get any better for them in future episodes.
Main Article: New Recruit Gallery