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The Cybertron Elite Guard arrives on Earth to retrieve the All Spark and relieve Prime and his crew of their post, but they prove less than adept at blending in with the human world.
- German title: "Die Elitegarde" ("The Elite Guard")
- Polish title: "Gwardia Elitarna" ("The Elite Guard")
On the extensive highway system of Detroit, the Autobots are aiding in the repair efforts after their titanic battle with the Decepticons. Unfortunately the residents of the city don't seem to understand that the road system was blown to rubble by the battle, and are upset that the Autobots are holding up traffic. Optimus Prime heads over to address their concerns, and they flee in fear. Bulkhead comments that he liked it better when they were heroes, to which Optimus retorts that they still are. All of them wonder what the heck has happened that Bumblebee isn't there helping them.
There's no reason for them to be jealous though, as the little yellow bot has been pressed into service as Sari's secretary at Sumdac Tower. The little girl realizes that there's a lot of pressure in running a business, and feels sorry for her father's having had to deal with this. Porter C. Powell is less patient, and expresses a fairly cold attitude towards her "wasting" company funds on locating the genius who designs all the company's myriad robotic technologies. Sari yells at him that as long as the company's name is Sumdac she's in charge, cuts him off, and tells Bumblebee to hold her calls. Bumblebee tells the "Boss Lady" sure, but points to the TV, showing an unidentified flying object headed for Detroit, saying she might want to look at that.
Spotting it, the Autobots speed to the scene, only to be met with some justified resentment by Captain Fanzone. However they are allowed to pass once the ship is revealed to be crewed by Autobots. Sentinel Prime, Jazz, and Ultra Magnus step out of the ship, while Optimus Prime and company walk up the gangplank, giving Magnus a salute. The Supreme Commander orders a force field thrown up to quarantine the entire area from organics. Jazz is interested in interacting with the locals, but quickly loses his interest when Sentinel Prime warns that they'll spit slime that will melt him down.
Sentinel is assigned to decontaminate the long-lost Autobot crew, a task he takes to with relish until he is interrupted by Jazz for overdoing it. Released, the Autobots are informed that the Elite Guard have come to retrieve the AllSpark. Optimus explains that it was dispersed in the battle with the Decepticons, a fact that Sentinel accuses him of lying about, saying there is no evidence of the Decepticons being on the planet. Ratchet says that Optimus is a hero for keeping the AllSpark out of Megatron's hands, while Bulkhead nearly comes to blows with Sentinel after the out-of-line guardsman says that Optimus is anything but a hero. Ultra Magnus orders the Autobots to calm down and tells Optimus to take him and Sentinel to where the AllSpark was dispersed, though he insists that Optimus Prime's crew remain with Jazz until they return. The two Elite Guardsmen have some very unsubtle alternate modes, chosen by Sentinel (Magnus is a military transport and Sentinel is a monster truck with a snow plow), and damage some cars near the ship as they roll out. Optimus tries to instruct them on the finer points of traffic laws, but Sentinel rams him aside without any regards for driver safety. He pays for this by driving off a damaged bridge and crashing into the ground below.
Elsewhere, the Decepticons have holed themselves up in an underground mine with carbon deposits to hide them from the Autobots' sensors. Lugnut wants to go topside and fight, but his arm falls off mid-rant. Besides, Megatron has other priorities: the conquest of Cybertron. Although Blitzwing thinks that the three of them conquering Cybertron is crazy, Megatron has a plan. He says that the reason they lost the Great Wars were due to the AllSpark and the Autobots' space bridge, but Megatron was able to download a partial schematic from the Autobot ship before his defeat. A completed space bridge would allow the Decepticons to teleport into Cybertron and conquer the planet from the inside. The rest of the space bridge's schematics, however, would have to be reverse-engineered by Isaac Sumdac, who is still the Decepticons' prisoner. Sumdac says that he doesn't know anything about teleportation, but a malfunctioning service drone gets him to shut up. Megatron blasts the drone and discovers that a piece of the AllSpark is embedded in its circuitry. This gives Megatron hope that the AllSpark was not entirely destroyed and could still be salvaged...
At a Sumdac Systems manufacturing plant, an assembly line building police drones has been embedded with a piece of the AllSpark, and the drones begin to go haywire. Powell tells Sari what is happening, but refuses to do anything about it. Sari decides to free the Autobots, using the Key to move through the shield and get onto the ship. Tripping an alarm, Sari is soon confronted by Jazz, who tries to coax her off the ship without provoking her. Realizing Jazz is afraid of her, Sari scares the slag out of the poor bot. Optimus's crew arrive and explain that Sari is harmless. Sari tells them what's going on at the plant, but Jazz says they need to stay with him. Bumblebee says that Magnus didn't specify where, and Jazz, wanting to try out his stylish alternate mode, goes with them to the plant.
On Dinobot Island, Optimus warns Sentinel and Magnus about the Dinobots, who take that moment to jump out, but Sentinel is unworried. Grimlock's transformation and flaming sword are a little more impressive, especially as they manage to force back Sentinel Prime, even through his shield. Ultra Magnus uses his hammer to call down lightning and scare away the Dinobots, while Sentinel appears to have learned nothing.
Arriving at the plant, the police drones attack the Autobots. Jazz shows off his Metallikato skills, and Bulkhead smashes and smashes, but there is just no end to the drones. Magnus and the Primes arrive to provide backup, but Sentinel thinks that they should abort rather than risk organic contamination. Optimus, Prowl, and Jazz force their way into the plant and get Sari to a control console, into which she places the Key, shutting down the assembly line, and Magnus uses his hammer to destroy the rest of the drones. Unfortunately, the Key is stuck. Sentinel Prime says that he'll see Optimus tried for insubordination and high treason for destroying the AllSpark, but Optimus finally tells Sentinel to shove it in his hard drive, reminding him they are of equal rank. Using his axe, Prime destroys the console and discovers that the Key was attached to a piece of the AllSpark. Examining it, Ultra Magnus accepts Optimus Prime's story. Sentinel still tries to badmouth Optimus, saying he's a liar, but Ultra Magnus finally puts Sentinel in his place, saying Optimus has demonstrated strategic thinking, determination, and loyalty towards his comrades—all qualities that Sentinel Prime could use.
Heading home, Sari and Bumblebee find that she has been locked out of her office. Powell says that he's been elected CEO and Chairman of the Board, and is now head of Sumdac Systems. Sari still insists that it's her family's company, but Powell reveals that there is no will or adoption papers from Isaac Sumdac, nor does Sari have a birth certificate or social security number. As Sari realizes that she has no way to prove that she is Sumdac's daughter, Powell puts it even more bluntly—there's no evidence to prove that she legally exists...
- Written by: Rich Fogel
- Directed by: Matt Youngberg, Irineo Maramba, & Yutaka Kagawa
- Original airdate: April 12, 2008
- Animation company: Mook
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Optimus: This is completely unnecessary, Sentinel!
Sentinel: Can't risk an infestation, "old buddy". Take it like a real bot.
[Jazz shuts down the decontamination system]
Jazz: Cool it, Sentinel. Whatever went down between you and Optimus, you don't need to hassle his crew.
- — Sentinel Prime is a jerk. Jazz sets the bar for coolness.
Random Blitzwing: Ooh! Zat sounds crazy! Even to me!
Icy Blitzwing: Intruiging. If you reverse-engineering technology, ve can construct our own space bridge.
Hothead Blitzwing: Zen beam ourselves to Cybertron and conquer ze planet from vithin!
Professor Sumdac: You cannot trick me into helping you this time, Megatron. The Autobots will come for me.
Megatron: And yet, thus far, they have not. Why do you think that is? Could it have something to do with the fact that you resurrected their worst enemy?! Right now the only thing keeping you alive is your usefulness to me.
Sentinel Prime: I'll give you points for creativity on your bogus story, Optimus. But where's your proof? Show me one shred of evidence that the AllSpark wasn't completely destroyed on your watch.
Optimus Prime: You have my word.
Sentinel Prime: We all know what that's worth, don't we?
Bulkhead: Come on, Boss Bot, why don't you stand up for yourself?
Sentinel: Because he knows his place.
Bulkhead: HOW ABOUT I PUT YOU IN YOUR PLACE?!
[Bulkhead charges Sentinel, who responds in kind, but are restrained by Optimus Prime's crew and Jazz, respectively]
Prowl: Bulkhead, no!
Bumblebee: Whoa, easy, big guy!
Ratchet: This cyber clown isn't worth it!
- —Bulkhead is prevented from giving Sentinel Prime the beating he deserves.
"There is a fragment of the AllSpark imbedded in these circuits. The AllSpark may not have been completely destroyed. There may still be pockets of its energy scattered all over this city. All over this planet. Each one capable of instilling its life force to the most basic cybernetic construction."
- —Megatron sets up the plot of Season 2, having read InuYasha.
Optimus:"Commander, uh... here on Earth we drive on the right side of the street."
Sentinel:"Ultra Magnus is not interested in the opinions of a scrub!"
- —Sentinel just never sees the karma coming, does he?
Jazz: Contamination located.
Sari: Who are you calling a contamination?
Jazz: Stay cool and roll back off the ship nice and easy like. And don't even think of spewing any of your slime at me.
Sari: Slime? What are you... Oh, you're afraid of me aren't you? Boogah, boogah, boogah.
[Jazz jumps up afraid]
Jazz: Stay back! You don't wanna be slimed.
Bulkhead: Relax. That's just Sari. She's perfectly safe. Jazz: But Sentinel...
Bumblebee: Is a glitch-head... All due respect.
Jazz: I got orders from Ultra Magnus to stick with you.
Bumblebee: Yeah, but he didn't say where!
Jazz: Well, I have been itching to give my new wheels a spin... (changes to sports car mode) Besides, any species that can come up with a sweet ride like this can't be all bad!
"Man, that was some funky blinkin' colored light show! What'd you call those things again?"
"Traffic lights. Solid."
- —Jazz discovers the wonderful world of commuting with the help of Bulkhead.
"What kind of screwloose planet IS this?!"
- —Between broken bridges and now Dinobots, Sentinel Prime isn't having a good day. To be fair, most of it is his own fault.
Bulkhead: It's no good! These things are rolling off the assembly line faster than I can smash 'em!
Jazz: Is it always like this on this crazy planet?
Prowl: Pretty much.
- — Jazz learns that Prime's crew has anything but a quiet life.
Sentinel: I think you've done enough, Optimus! I'll make sure you're tried for high treason for destroying the Allspark! Now come with me!
[Shoves Sentinel aside]
Sentinel: That wasn't a request. That's a DIRECT ORDER, Optimus!
Optimus: It's Optimus PRIME. I may be an Elite Guard washout and a glitched detail flunky, but the last time I checked, you and I still had equal rank. SO, Sentinel PRIME, take your order AND your condescending attitude and STICK IT IN YOUR HARD DRIVE! You're on MY TURF now!
- — Optimus is officially sick of Sentinel Prime's crud.
"Definitely appears to be a fragment of the AllSpark. Apparently, your story about dispersing it may not be so far-fetched after all."
"But sir, you can't honestly believe that. He's a lying, insubordinate crankshaft."
"He may be a little rough around the edges, but in the heat of battle, Optimus Prime exhibited the qualities of a true leader: strategic thinking, determination, and above all, loyalty. Something you could stand to learn a thing or two about, Sentinel Prime."
- — Ultra Magnus lets Sentinel Prime know how much of an Auto-Jerk he is.
"Hey, why is my office locked?"
"Miss Sumdac, I regret to inform you that your services will no longer be required. The board has unanimously elected me to take over as CEO of Sumdac Systems."
"You can't do that! It's still my family's company!"
"Is it? I took the liberty of doing some research into your claim. It might interest you to know that there is no will, no birth certificate, no adoption papers, social security number, or any kind of record whatsoever for a 'Sari Sumdac'."
"Are you saying I can't prove I'm Isaac Sumdac's daughter?"
"I'm saying you can't even prove you exist."
- —Sari and Porter C. Powell create a drastic change in plot.
- In the Japanese version, it was aired as the sixteenth episode.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- When Sentinel Prime is asking for proof that the Allspark was not completely destroyed, in the next shot, Bumblebee is seen missing the plate on top of his head. It comes back in the next scene.
- When Optimus is walking down the ramp reassuring the humans that the other Autobots are friendly, Sentinel Prime can be seen in vehicle mode coming down behind him. Yet in the next shot after Optimus has transformed, Ultra Magnus is the first to follow suit.
- After Bumblebee was seen being a secretary for Sari in Sumdac towers, it shows Bumblebee and Sari regrouping with the Autobots toward Sumdac tower. It would make more sense if they were running from behind the Autobots.
- Captain Fanzone is still driving the car that was crushed! He must know one hell of a mechanic. Or he's obsessive enough to buy an identical car.
- Jazz says he has orders to "stick with you" [Optimus's crew], to which Bumblebee is delighted to inform him about the loophole. But really, the order was to stay "here" [on the ship]. So either Jazz forgot his orders, or cared more about his vehicle mode.
- This episode reveals that both Jazz and Prowl are practitioners of the Cybertronian martial art of Metallikato, originally used by the Generation One character Bludgeon.
- In voicing Ultra Magnus, Jeff Bennett is doing a rather good impression of Robert Stack, who originally voiced the character in the 1986 movie, as well as a bit of a take on Alec Guinness' portrayal of Obi-Wan Kenobi from the original Star Wars trilogy. Very cool.
- The giant ship in which the Elite Guard arrives on Earth bears a strong resemblance to the shuttles used by the Autobots in the 1986 movie, only in blue, and a whole lot bigger.
- Captain Fanzone homages the Indiana Jones line, "Snakes, why did it have to be snakes?" replacing "snakes" with "robots".
- When the Dinobots spring out of the bushes, a few Jurassic Park dinosaur cries can be heard, most notably those of the T-Rex and the Velociraptors.
- The Autobots have trouble proving to the Guard that there is Decepticon activity on Earth. There were dozens of human witnesses to the recent battle. Even if the Guard does not trust organic testimony, did none of the humans have cameras?
- Come to think of it, what happened to the news footage of Starscream Megatron watched when he reactivated?
- Megatron is evidently fully repaired now, while his subordinates are having trouble keeping their arms from falling off. Guy's got priorities, certainly.
- When they're being "decontaminated", Bulkhead remarks that Sentinel doesn't remember them, to which Bumblebee replies that he wants it that way. The meaning of this exchange is revealed in "Autoboot Camp".
- In the Animated universe, "Prime" seems to be a military rank, as Optimus forcefully reminds Sentinel.
- Grimlock totally beat out Sentinel. Wicked Awesome.
- It remained unclear until much later if either part of Ultra Magnus's name is a rank, particularly since he's commonly addressed as "Commander". Recently, however, Sentinel has taken over as acting Magnus.
- So, what is the deal with Sari, anyway?