Sideways is the fourteenth episode of Transformers: Robots in Disguise season 1.
Bee and his team encounter a new Decepticon who inadvertently leads them to discover Steeljaw's gang.
A couple of street racers speed along a drainage canal in Crown City, however a glimpse of a scuttling shape causes the lead driver to brake heavily. As they emerge from their cars, a massive claw snatches one of the vehicles and drags into a nearby drain. The two drivers rapidly exit the scene in the remaining car. The decepticon probably scans the car as his vehicle mode.
The next day, Strongarm returns to the scrapyard by sneaking in over the wall, only to be caught by Sideswipe. Sideswipe seizes the opportunity to engage in a bit of blackmail in return for his silence. Bumblebee paces at the command center, only to be startled by Denny and Fixit, and admits he's on edge due to the lack of Decepticon activity. As the other Autobots arrive Denny and Fixit explain they've made two duplicate Decepticon Hunters. The alarm sounds as they pick up a Decepticon signal in the flood drains under Crown City and the team head out, though not before Bumblebee embarrasses himself with another attempt at a rallying cry.
The Autobots head into the storm drains and split up to search. Sideswipe exercises his blackmail over Strongarm by getting her to go down the worst of the tunnels, however Bee soon locates tracks. He finds a crab-like Decepticon hiding in a pile of refuse, and the Autobots arrive to help, however the Decepticon attempts to make a deal as there's another bot he's more afraid of. As they attempt to cuff him, the Decepticon scurries away, and they're forced to chase him through the storm drains. After Sideswipe manages to cut him off, they trap him at the end of a tunnel, however he breaks some pipes and unleashes a torrent of water at them. The four Autobots are washed out of a storm drain into the river. The Decepticon climbs out through a manhole where he encounters Steeljaw. The Autobots recover from their impromptu bath, and Fixit is able to identify the Decepticon as the snitch and blackmailer Clampdown.
Steeljaw and Clampdown arrive at the Decepticon hideout where Fracture and Underbite are waiting. Thunderhoof arrives during introductions and recognizes Clampdown as the Con who got him arrested and put in prison. Thunderhoof tries to get Clampdown and attack him but Steeljaw prevented him from doing so. Though Steeljaw makes it clear that's all in the past, Thunderhoof is still enraged as he tried to attack Clampdown, which Clampdown flees as a result. Strongarm later spots Clampdown climbing onto a garbage barge and the Autobots are able to reach the garbage tip and ambush Clampdown when he reaches it. He tries to use his knowledge of Steeljaw's activities to cut a deal, but the other Decepticons arrive as well. The Decepticons attack and Sideswipe tries to stop Thunderhoof from chasing Clampdown, but is waylaid by Fracture. Steeljaw manages to get the better of Bee, and tosses the Autobot in a garbage compactor, however Sideswipe manages to stop it closing. Grimlock takes out Underbite by feeding him some plastic and then cannonballing him, Sideswipe succeeds in taking out Fracture, and Strongarm cuffs Divebomb and Airazor. Thunderhoof pins Clampdown in a crater, but they accidentally headbutt each other and are knocked out. Bumblebee also defeats Steeljaw, and the group of Decepticons are soon all secured.
While Bumblebee announces he's feeling more relaxed now, Steeljaw manages to slip his cuffs and runs off. The Autobots give chase, but as Steeljaw runs along the dock, he smashes the moorings of a garbage barge. The ship starts drifting into the path of a tour boat, and Bumblebee orders the rest of his team to help prevent a collision. They all grab the mooring ropes and manage to pull the barge back out of the way, with the tour boat passing safely by.
Back at their hideout, Steeljaw slashes Clampdown's insignia, severing the tracking signal. Though the other Cons are still dubious of Clampdown's loyalty, Steeljaw assures everyone that the newcomer won't turn on them... or else.
Driving back to the scrapyard, Sideswipe attempts to again blackmail Strongarm into doing his patrol for him, but Strongarm refuses. Bumblebee revels he already knows that Strongarm's been sneaking off base and punishes Sideswipe for blackmail by giving him double shifts. At Bee's prompting, Strongarm reveals that she's been sneaking off to a car wash in order to maintain a proper appearance... and that it's pretty relaxing, as Bumblebee declares from under the spinning brushes.
Denny: Eureka! Sorry Bee, did we startle you?
Bumblebee: Maybe a little. With no Decepticon activity lately I've been kinda jumpy because I, I mean I know something's coming, I just don't know when. So all I can do is obsess about it and I guess I just don't know how-
Fixit: Big news!
Bumblebee: GAH!...to relax.
- —In which Bumblebee needs therapy
"What is it? Oh uhh... let's speed and succeed!... Well come on, I mean w-we...y-you put me on the spot!"
- —Bumblebee is forced to try out a new battle cry.
Clampdown: Just don't hurt me, alright? It makes me so-
(The whole team cracks up)
Clampdown: That's hilarious. Never heard that one before.
- —Clampdown is a bit of a softshell.
"Who moves like that? It's just weird!"
- —Grimlock on Clampdown's method of motion
"Don't underestimate any Con. Clampdown may be capable of things we haven't seen yet, He might shoot lasers out of his eyes or blow flames from his tailpipes, it's always something."
- —Bumblebee has developed Starscream pessimistic disorder by cause of stress. There's probably no cure.
"How do we know he won't turn on us the first time things get... tricky?"
"Clampdown realizes that after all we've done for him, if he sided against us, I wouldn't rest until I've made him eat his own claws."
- —Fracture asks if his antlered friend has the right idea about the Mr. Crabs , and Steeljaw makes a threat that will give him nightmares.
"A carwash? That's your big secret? Wooow, even your secrets are boring."
- —Sideswipe on Strongarm's secret.
Continuity notes Edit
- Fixit and Denny finish working on two additional Decepticon Hunters, a project they started in "Rumble in the Jungle".
- Fracture has taken on an Earth mode since he turned up in "Hunting Season". His Decepticon symbol has also been slashed, despite him not having been a prisoner aboard the Alchemor.
Prisoner manifest Edit
- In stasis: Hammerstrike, Bisk, 4/5ths of Chop Shop, Terrashock, Filch, Minitron, Springload, Ped, Quillfire, "that one with all the eyes", Malodor and the Skunkticons
- Known at large: Steeljaw, 1/5th of Chop Shop (possibly unknown to Bee), Thunderhoof, Underbite, Clampdown
- Released: Grimlock
- Countless others all missing, presumed at large
Real-world references Edit
- Sideswipe calls Clampdown "Crusty", since Clampdown is a crab, this could be a reference to the "Krusty Krab" dining establishment from the series SpongeBob SquarePants.
- On its original screening in Australia and New Zealand, this episode was mistakenly played instead of "Out of Focus," leading to confusion among fans when the synopsis didn't match the episode content, and the title had nothing to do with it either. Other countries also made this mistake. The Japanese broadcast also aired this episode as the thirteenth rather than the fourteenth.
- The first thirteen episodes of the series first premiered in Mandarin on Chinese video streaming site "M1905", however this episode was screened instead of "Out of Focus" there, too.
- Sideswipe is a real jerk in this episode.