Railroad Rage is the fourteenth episode of Season 3 and the fifty-nine overall of Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
A runaway train's fusion engine is up for grabs and the Stunticons are in pursuit, so the Bee Team must do all it can to prevent them from getting the cargo. An additional threat arises as the train could potentially crash into Crown City Train Station.
Jetstorm and Slipstream are cleaning Drift's swords. Sideswipe acts suspiciously nearby and when they question him, he tells them to return to their "lame grunt work". Drift objects to this descriptor and observes that Sideswipe is a slacker who doesn't bother to maintain his weapons. When Sideswipe protests, the Mini-Cons fail to back him up, and Drift goes off to meditate. After he's gone, his katana suddenly shatters in Slipstream's hands — the Mini-Con has accidentally used hydrofluoric acid on it. Slipstream laments he's in for punishment when Drift finds out, but Sideswipe "solves" the problem by turning the katana into a Nerf sword. Sideswipe slips the two swords into Drift's sheaths while the latter is meditating, as the Mini-Cons resolve to repair the actual sword using the time Sideswipe has bought them.
Elsewhere, Motormaster smashes some cars aside on a freeway. The other Stunticons join him, and he demands to know why they've failed to use their superior speed to take over the planet's roads. A maglev train streaks past them and, annoyed that there's something faster than him, Motormaster demands they retrieve its power source.
The Autobots scramble to the command center as an alarm sounds. Slipstream tells Sideswipe he hasn't been able to repair the katana yet, and Sideswipe promises to help cover for him. Fixit reports that he's picked up Decepticon signals heading for the maglev train's rail yard. Furthermore, the train's fusion engine is unstable and could pose a threat if the Decepticons are after it. The team heads through the GroundBridge to the train yard, but are immediately confronted with the four Stunticon cars who attack, Wildbreak's earthquake ability dropping a crane on them. The Autobots pick themselves up and give chase, with Strongarm arranging for the train yard to be evacuated.
Drift deploys his Mini-Cons and prepares to draw his swords, but the quick-thinking Mini-Cons and Sideswipe talk him out of using them on "unworthy opponents". Bumblebee and Strongarm find themselves tangling with Slashmark and Heatseeker, who knock the pair flat before speeding off. While Strongarm is down, a yellow Mini-Con takes the opportunity to swipe her Decepticon Hunter. As Bumblebee recovers, Drift and Grimlock head past to pursue the Stunticons. The Stunticons find the maglev train, but Drift and Grimlock catch up with them before they can get at the fusion engine. Grimlock charges but misses the Decepticons and hits a pillar instead, damaging the train's automatic control systems; the train powers up and leaves the station with Drift and the four Stunticons atop. The train heads for Crown City, and Bumblebee, Strongarm and Grimlock head to intercept, only to realize Sideswipe is also on the train. The trio nearly catch up with the train before its superior speed allows it to pull handily away, so Bumblebee contacts Fixit to arrange a GroundBridge; his initial request for a 'Bridge directly atop the train draws vehement protest from Fixit, so he accepts a location in the train's path instead.
The battle rages atop the train, and Slipstream reveals he still hasn't told Drift about the katana. He and Sideswipe attack Slashmark to prevent Drift from drawing his swords. Slipstream goes to tell Drift about the issue, but at the last moment loses his nerve and instead tells him the swords could cause a spark that could cause the train to explode. The other Autobots arrive on an overpass ahead of the train, but when they fail to make the jump onto the moving vehicle, Bumblebee orders Fixit to GroundBridge them directly onto the train, overriding the Mini-Con's continued worries about the procedure. Once everyone is on the train, Drift draws his katana to access the train's engine and shut it down, only to discover the "repair" Sideswipe made and immediately assume it's a prank. The Autobots swiftly overwhelm the Stunticons and shove them overboard. Wildbreak and Drag Strip worrying about what Motormaster will do to them for their failure.
After preventing Drift from doing something nasty to Sideswipe, the Autobots work on trying to get at the engine. Strongarm calls ahead to have the station evacuated, then realizes her Decepticon Hunter is missing. Seeing that everyone's mad at Sideswipe, Slipstream confesses to being the one who damaged Drift's sword. Grimlock manages to make a hole in the train, and Slipstream, resolving to redeem himself, jumps in. Everyone else bar Drift and Sideswipe jumps off the train. The two remaining Autobots are forced to duck as the train heads towards a tunnel, but fortunately Slipstream manages to shut down the engine. The trio slow the train further, and it stops just short of catastrophe. The rest of the team catches up, and after a moment to reflect on the near-miss they all head back to the scrapyard, even as the Stunticons meet with a very unhappy Motormaster, who has some ideas regarding how they can redeem themselves.
Strongarm is unsuccessful in finding her Decepticon Hunter, and they conclude that the evidence can only indicate that someone has been gradually stealing the weapons. Slipstream apologizes to Drift, who in turn admits Sideswipe is a valued teammate who shouldn't be judged on his past pranks... before going to find supplies to repair his sword, and immediately falling victim to another of Sideswipe's pranks.
Featured characters Edit
"[Sideswipe] prefers to spend his time on childish pranks."
"You mean I like to have fun sometimes? Guilty!"
- —Drift and Sideswipe are truly best buds.
"Wow, that is beautiful!"
"You can say that again!"
"Wow, that is-" *punched* "Ow!"
- —Wildbreak and Dragstrip admire a bullet train.
"Hey, Dragstrip, do you think Motormaster will be mad when we show up without that engine?"
"Do you think? AT ALL?!"
- —Wildbreak and Dragstrip are also best buds.
"It is not fair to define someone because of one mistake. Or a few mistakes."
*turns to Sideswipe*
Continuity notes Edit
- This is not the first time Autobots have GroundBridged onto a moving train. Ratchet wasn't any happier about it than Fixit is here, either.
- Strongarm finally has her Decepticon Hunter stolen for Soundwave's mysterious project in the Shadowzone, after Hi-Test failed to do so in "Guilty as Charged". Stuntwing swiped Bumblebee's Hunter in "King of the Hill (Part 2)" and Trickout pilfered Sideswipe's in "The Great Divide".
Prisoner manifest Edit
- In stasis: Crustacion, Ragebyte, Zorillor, Springload, Boostwing, Jacknab, Pilfer, Shadow Raker, Flamesnort, Simacore
Transformers references Edit
- Jetstorm is seen riding on Grimlock, which is similar to Optimus Prime riding on Grimlock in Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Real-world references Edit
- Heatseeker refers to the Autobots as "toasters", a reference to the Cylon from Battlestar Galctica.
- Hydrofluoric acid is a real thing (and why are the 'bots keeping a bottle around Denny's scrapyard for?!), but, see "Errors" below.
- When the Autobots enter the GroundBridge to deploy, the Mini-Cons hang back with Sideswipe for a lengthy moment, but when they exit, they're considerably ahead of Drift.
- Sideswipe clearly states that the bottle of chemicals that Slipstream accidentally used on Drift's sword is "hydrofluoric acid". While undiluted hydrofluoric acid is a nasty poison and is indeed corrosive to flesh, it's only moderately reactive towards metal. Hydrochloric acid, on the other hand, is notorious for its metal-dissolving properties, and would be the much more likely acid to produce the observed effect. (And either way, if it was so concentrated that it shattered the sword in seconds why wasn't it eating up the polishing pad and Slipstream's hand?)
- While one might have expected the remaining Activator Mini-Con from the toyline, Great Byte, to appear working for Soundwave's little project, instead a previously-unknown yellowish-orange Activator is on the job. According to showrunner Adam Beechen, this is because the script actually called for Hi-Test to appear - when after his failure in "Guilty as Charged", he ran off the job. This was caught in time for Goldgear to be created to appear in the episode.