Strongarm's Big Score is the second episode of Season 2 1/2 and the fortieth-one overall of Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
An attempt to impress Fixit turns dangerous when Strongarm encounters another Scavenger.
Sideswipe and Strongarm battle a training drone masquerading as Thunderhoof in the scrapyard, as Denny, Russell and Fixitwatch. Denny is horrified when the Con throws a vintage refrigerator around, but things get worse moments later when the simulator control panel is smashed, and the training drone goes wild. It almost stomps Strongarm before Sideswipe manages to kick its head off. The rest of the team arrives back on high alert until they're filled in on what's just happened. Fixit announces he now has enough data for his PASERQAT, providing a score for everyone's skill and efficiency. As he doles out the scores, Strongarm warns the others not to get too hung up over her high score, only to discover that she has the lowest score of the team. Drift reminds everyone that they have to find Paralon, however Fixit's scans have drawn a blank, so Bumblebee decides they'll need to scout all sites of previous Cybertronian conflicts. There are so many that the Autobots have to split up, and Strongarm suggests she take Fixit so she can improve her score. Bee reluctantly lets Denny and Russell cover Fixit's tasks at base.
Strongarm and Fixit arrive at Mount St. Hilary, site of the first Autobot base on Earth, but as they're discussing the unlikelihood of humans being in a remote area, Strongarm almost runs into construction equipment left in the road. The pair soon find out why - there's a newly-developed subdivision named "Star Visitor Estates" near the base of the mountain, and a realtor is currently showing a young couple around. Scouting further, they find a boarded up door in the side of the mountain, and head in, though Strongarm is growing increasingly perturbed by Fixit making notes every time she does something. Within the cave, they find newly-dug tunnels and Cybertronian hand tools, shortly before they're ambushed by Scatterspike and Sawtooth. After knocking the two Autobots out, Scatterspike and her Mini-Con go to check on their drill.
At base, Denny and Russell are out of their depth with the control panel. They fail to send Fixit's test protocols to Drift (he's not happy about his score either), and accidentally hang up on Grimlock.
Strongarm and Fixit recover and start following Scatterspike's trail. Strongarm's concerns about her score are put aside when Fixit detects a temperature rise and believes they're close to a magma pocket. They're again ambushed by their quarry, and during the fight, Strongarm finds herself temporarily controlled by Sawtooth. She sends Fixit to go stop the drill and while Sawtooth heads after Fixit, the two larger Bots continue to battle. Fixit finds the drill about to hit the magma pocket and shuts it down, however his attempt to arrest Sawtooth is less successful. Strongarm manages to get the better of Scatterspike, only for the Decepticon to hit her with spikes which turn her into a giant magnet. Unfortunately this also results in Scatterspike being pulled towards her, and the pair go flying out of the mountain and end up right in the subdivision below. The pair manage to hide right before the realtor and her clients emerge from a nearby house.
Sawtooth pleads with Fixit to let Scatterspike have what she wants so the Mini-Cons can leave Earth, but Fixit throws him off, accidentally triggering the drill in the process. Unfortunately the controls are broken, however Sawtooth manages to stop the drill by using his spear mode to jam himself into the drill head, breaking the mechanism, but it's too late, the pressure is building and the volcano will soon blow its top. Fixit manages to contact the scrapyard and requests the rest of the team, but Denny only succeeds in GroundBridging everyone to the scrapyard.
Strongarm finally gets loose from Scatterspike, who runs off straight past the realtor and her clients. Strongarm tells the startled humans that the Decepticon is a construction exoskeleton.
Trapped in the rapidly-collapsing cave, Fixit is able to contact Strongarm for help. Strongarm manages to tackle and cuff Scatterspike, before following Fixit's instructions to successfully relieve the pressure on the volcano. She soon has Fixit rescued, though Sawtooth is suddenly nowhere to be found, and when they return to where Strongarm left Scatterspike, the Decepticon is gone too. Strongarm is despondent about the fact her score is going to drop even further, but Fixit reminds her that she managed to stop a volcano exploding.
Scatterspike and Sawtooth report back to Clawtrap in the Scavengers' hidden base, and Scatterspike tries to blame her failure to find anything on her Mini-Con; Clawtrap reassures her that there are even greater treasures waiting to be found. Sawtooth is taken aside by another Mini-Con, Aerobolt, who asks for a personal report. Sawtooth believes Fixit's group may help them, but Aerobolt doesn't believe they can be trusted, and isn't comforted when Sawtooth points out they'll eventually have to trust someone.
Bumblebee contacts Optimus Prime, who's still on Cybertron, and fills him in on recent events. Optimus agrees to return to Earth. Denny apologizes for the mess-up with the GroundBridge, and Fixit raises Strongarm's score by a point and a half... which Strongarm takes in stride. She then announces she's prepared a PASERQAT score for Fixit, but won't tell him what it is... leaving a worried and flummoxed Fixit calling after her.
"Thanks, that could have been ugly."
"Don't mention it. I mean, I will. Probably twice a day for the next couple of weeks..."
- —Strongarm rediscovers that Sideswipe will always rub it in.
Fixit: Sideswipe at 95-
Sideswipe: That's like ninety four points higher than I've gotten on any test, ever!
Fixit: Grimlock received a 93.
Grimlock: Oh! That's like two hundred and fifty seven points higher than I've gotten on any test ever!
"But why would anyone want to live on the side of a dormant volcano?"
- —You'd be surprised, Strongarm.
"Did someone get the license plate of that multi-axle cargo transport?"
- —Strongarm wonders where the birdies circling her head came from.
"Well, that was a brilliant defensive move on your part."
"Each quill does something different, ya galloot! How could I know you'd turn magnetic?!"
- —Strongarm and Scatterspike discuss their magnetic personalities.
"Did Mount St. Whoever always look just like the scrapyard?"
- —Sideswipe is not impressed with the Clays' skills with Cybertronian tech.
"Thanks, Sideswipe, but I'm over it. Numbers don't matter, only results."
"That is a very mature attitude... for someone I still beat by four and a half points! Woo!"
- —Strongarm gives Sideswipe the opportunity to rub it in again.
- The encounter with Paralon and Buzzstrike which Bumblebee mentions took place in the previous episode.
- The existence of a base earlier than Autobot Outpost Omega One alludes to the undefined period of time that the Autobots spent on Earth prior to the events of Transformers: Prime. This part of their story has been left completely untold in all "Aligned" media (even the comprehensive history in The Covenant of Primus), but the 'bots were established at the beginning of Prime to have been on Earth for at least three years. Bumblebee notes that his workout video in the previous episode was "in style" at the time of its recording, implying that the Autobots were on Earth in the 1980s.
- Strongarm's temporary magnetism, including her becoming stuck to Scatterspike, is exceptionally similar to what happened with Arcee and Bulkhead when they were affected by the polarity gauntlet in "Metal Attraction".
- The training simulator, minus the Thunderhoof hologram, bears a more-than-uncanny resemblance to the auto-combatant from The Transformers: The Movie.
- Mount St. Hilary being the location of the first Autobot base on Earth is, of course, a cross-continuity allusion to the volcano being the location of the Autobots' base of operations in the original Generation 1 Marvel comic and cartoon (though it was only named in the former). Though it's located in Oregon in the Generation 1 comic, the only US location marked on Fixit's map is in south Georgia, which presents its own issues (see below).
- The title might refer to the 1972 movie sequel Shaft's Big Score.
- If Fixit's map is showing where most of this episode takes place... southern Georgia hasn't got any mountains. Quite the opposite. Only the very northwestern tip of Georgia extends into the Appalachian Mountain range.
- The team's PASERQAT scores are, ranking from highest to lowest:
- Bumblebee: 106
- Drift: 100
- Sideswipe: 95
- Grimlock: 93
- Strongarm: 89, later 90.5
- If Mount St. Hilary is within driving distance of the scrapyard, that would place Crown City as within Oregon.