Rock Bottom is the fourteenth episode of the first season of Transformers: Prime. It is the nineteenth episode of the series overall.
Waiting outside a mine opening, Miko complains loudly to Jack that she'd rather be at the Slash Monkey metal concert she's been looking forward to. Arcee and Bulkhead emerge from the entrance, confused that the mine seems to be stripped, yet there's an energon signal coming from inside. While they're still discussing the conundrum, Miko runs into the mine to take a look, resulting in Bulkhead chasing her in and Jack persuading Arcee to let him go in as well. Moments after they step inside, Megatron and Starscream land at the mine entrance. Starscream is confused as to why have they come to an exhausted mine, but Megatron leads the way inside.
Bulkhead finds Miko testing the acoustics in a cavern. While she's whooping and yelling, Bulkhead's detector bleeps, and he attempts to contact Arcee. The comms, however, are useless due to interference from the rock surrounding them. Bulkhead decides to get a sample for Ratchet and begins breaking pieces off the rock he's found.
Megatron and Starscream find Decepticon mining equipment. Starscream tries to blame its presence on an error by Soundwave, but Megatron plucks a chunk of energon from the wall and explains that he's been keeping up with Starscream's many plottings, thanks to Soundwave's spying. He's let Starscream continue until now for his own amusement, but enough's enough. Starscream pleads for his life...and it's this scene that Jack and Arcee stumble on. Megatron begins firing on the two newcomers and Starscream sees his chance to try to escape. Enraged, Megatron fires after him. Arcee takes advantage of Megatron's distraction and fires, causing him to discharge his fusion cannon into the ceiling, which gives way. Massive rocks fall on Megatron, causing the floor to start caving in as well, and both Arcee and Jack fall into a swiftly widening hole.
In the cavern, Bulkhead protects Miko from the falling rocks.
Starscream, speeding through the mine in his jet mode, is hit by rocks and can only cry out as the tunnel to the mine entrance collapses.
In the aftermath, Jack struggles up to find himself alone in the cave and goes searching for the others.
Miko likewise picks herself up to find Bulkhead holding up a huge chunk of the ceiling from caving in on them. They have no idea as to what caused the cave-in, but Miko starts trying to clear the rocks away so they can get out.
Starscream pulls himself free of the mine and into the open air. He experiences a brief moment of triumph before realizing that Megatron has survived worse and if he doesn't make some attempt to rescue his leader, the other Decepticons surely will, which will mean problems for Starscream in the long run. Besides, he can take the credit if he succeeds.
Still searching, Jack stumbles upon one of the Decepticon mining drills.
As night falls outside, Miko is tiring from her work. Bulkhead points out there's limited oxygen, and she's using it faster by exerting herself. Despite Miko saying she has to get Bulkhead out, he says he's fine, though his creaking servos tell a different story.
Jack gets the mining drill working and begins guiding it to find the others.
Bulkhead and Miko hear drilling. Miko yells out weakly, and Bulkhead tells her to hit his foot with a rock to make a noise.
Elsewhere, Jack uses the drill to clear a path only to uncover Megatron's face, the rest of him still pinned by the fallen rock. Megatron suggests that Jack uses the drill to finish him, but Jack doesn't believe Optimus Prime would want Megatron finished that way and drills off in another direction.
Miko continues banging Bulkhead's foot, but a noise stops her and Bulkhead has to admit that his arms are starting to fail. She hits him a couple more times before someone starts to break through the wall. Unfortunately, their joy is short-lived as it turns out to be Starscream. Bulkhead asks him to let Miko go, but Miko refuses to leave Bulkhead. Starscream menaces her until Bulkhead gives him a solid kick. Starscream recovers from that, only to be knocked down by Jack's drill as it comes through the wall. Miko is quickly persuaded to hop aboard the drill, which she does tearfully, and the two humans back out, leaving Bulkhead and Starscream alone. Jack and Miko start trying to dig their way out, but Jack suddenly stops the drill dead as a large foot comes down in front of them.
Starscream is pleased. Now not only will he be able to rescue Megatron, but he'll have Bulkhead as a gift. Unfortunately for him, Arcee appears with a gun pointed at his head and tells him to raise his hands.
The Autobots exit the mine with the kids and briefly discuss finishing off the Decepticons. When they decide that Optimus wouldn't do it, they go home instead.
Starscream strains to hold up the rock that Bulkhead had been supporting when he spots Megatron leaning through the nearby opening. Starscream is reduced to begging for mercy once more and the Decepticon leader responds with a menacing look.
- Frank Welker as Megatron
- Sumalee Montano as Arcee
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Bulkhead
- Steve Blum as Starscream
- Josh Keaton as Jackson Darby
- Tania Gunadi as Miko Nakadai
Miko: Do you have any idea how long I've been waiting to see Slash Monkey?
Miko: Forever! And it's their only U.S. date!
Jack: Well, there's a shock. I mean, who doesn't love obscure Bulgarian shriek metal?
- Miko and Jack
Arcee: She went in. Unbelievable.
Jack: Really? Have you...met her?
- Arcee and Jack watch Miko run into the cave.
Megatron: Do not take me for a fool, Starscream! I have been wise to your transgressions from the beginning. Not only did you pluck the Dark Energon from my chest in a failed attempt to snuff my spark, but you tried to raise your own undead warrior with it. It's no secret that you lost an arm in the process, which you've since had replaced.
Starscream: You know about that?!
Megatron: Soundwave is quite competent at surveillance, I can assure you. The fact is Starscream, despite your treachery, I've allowed you to carry on this long because I took a certain delight in following your string of failures. But you've finally become tiresome, predictable...you've hit rock bottom.
- Megatron and Starscream
Jack: Roll out.
- Jack pulling an Optimus move.
Megatron: Well, what are you waiting for? Think of the glory—seize the day! Optimus would.
Jack: No, he wouldn't. Not like this.
Megatron: I will be sure to share the details of our little conversation with Optimus — the day I rip out his spark!
- Jack refusing to kill Megatron where he is trapped.
Starscream: Master! You're alive! Thank the Allspark. I... I did not abandon you, master! I returned! To save you!
Megatron: Save me?
Starscream: Look into my spark, Lord Megatron! My intentions were true! Please! Have mercy!!
- Starscream begs Megatron for mercy.
- When the cave-in begins, Bulkhead gets down on his hands and knees to shield Miko from the collapsing ceiling. In the next scene, however, he's standing upright and holding up a far larger piece of rock than he had been previously covered with.
- During Megatron's first rant at the beginning of the episode his optics are momentarily off-center. It appears as if he's gone wall-eyed.
- Bulkhead has Miko hit him with a rock to signal Jack. Either he's devoting all his energon to holding up the rock, or he's forgotten about his sound system.
- Not so much an error as a curiosity, but based on the day/night cycle shown outside the cave, at least 12 hours passed during the episode. In all that time, the other Autobots made no apparent effort to look for their lost comrades. Considering Miko's concert was supposed to happen two hours after the start of the episode, they should have noticed something was amiss when no one came back.
- Even though the sounds of robots stomping around and yelling should echo throughout the cave, Megatron and Starscream go completely unnoticed until Arcee and Jack stumble upon them by accident. Furthermore, Megatron and Starscream enter the cave mere minutes after Arcee and Jack, yet somehow manage to get ahead of them in the tunnels undetected.
- Bulkhead says that Autobots don't need to breathe, but when Starscream gets out of the cave, he coughs and gasps for air.
- How does Jack, a human, know how to use a Cybertronian energon drill?
- Bulkhead's "Did I do that?" line is almost certainly a reference to Steve Urkel's catchphrase from Family Matters.
- Starscream says "Rust in peace!" as in "Rest in peace".
- Megatron seems awfully surprised that Starscream would run at the first opportunity.
- Ratchet probably never got that rock sample.
- Miko exercises her right to charge into situations that almost get her killed, again.
- This is one of the few episodes storyboarded by the artist Adam Van Wyk.
Main Article: Rock Bottom Gallery