The Return of Demolishor is the seventeenth episode of Energon. It first aired in the United States on July 3, 2004 on Cartoon Network.
Following Kicker's energon instinct, the Autobots land on a frozen planet, and soon become stranded - a predicament for which Kicker blames himself.
As recapped by Kicker, the Miranda II leaves Earth's solar system (and maybe its galaxy?) in search of Unicron. Arriving in orbit over an unknown planet, Kicker is surprised to sense energon. Prime orders an immediate investigation, even though it means a distraction from the hunt for Unicron.
Megatron has put Demolishor's spark in a new, "invincible" body; Demolishor yells and beats his chest. Megatron wonders what's become of Scorponok; Starscream hasn't seen him since his rescue by Alpha Q. Tidal Wave relays a message from Snowcat, that Optimus has found energon in "a distant galaxy". Megatron prepares to follow.
On a blizzard-swept planet, the Miranda II approaches the energon point. As Kicker yells and complains a lot, Inferno attempts to steer the ship through the rapidly-growing ice peaks ("glaciers"), but the ship winds up wedged between two of them. The hull creaks ominously as the ice begins to crush it.
Snowcat approaches the ship from the outside. With the ship's escape hatches frozen shut, Prime orders the ship's reverse thrusters fired, in an attempt to melt the ice. The team deploys out the back hatch. Inferno and Prime work to free the ship; Kicker, Ironhide and Jetfire go after the energon. Prime orders Jetfire to look out for Kicker, sensing that something's not right.
Within Unicron's head, Alpha Q suspects the Autobots are up to something. Scorponok, hooked to tubes as he recovers, offers to investigate, but Alpha Q proposes releasing the new Terrorcons, gestating inside hundreds of egg-things.
Cyclonus is having the time of his life careening around in the snow. Demolishor, in his new body, catches up with him and re-introduces himself, while smashing some ice.
Kicker has located the energon in a cave; the Omnicons get to work. Kicker is nervous. Sure enough, the two Decepticons arrive and attack. The cave floor gives out below the Autobots, sending them tumbling.
Elsewhere, Megatron and Tidal Wave attack the ship. Inferno rushes to finish freeing the ship. Kicker calls in to report trouble; Jetfire is damaged and can't fly.
Demolishor and Cyclonus finish knocking aside the Omnicons, and the Terrorcons move in and chow down on the energon.
Megatron moves in, but the ship rises up, freed. The Autobots start to withdraw. Suddenly, a rain of blue spheres comes from the sky,
Jetfire lectures Kicker, telling him not to blame himself for their predicament. He powerlinks with Ironhide to try and fly out of the crevasse.
The Terrorcons are nearly done feasting, when an ice wall breaks behind Snowcat and Demolishor. Alpha Q's new Terrorcons burst through and begin tearing apart Megatron's Terrorcons. A squad of them confront Megatron as well.
Jetfire et al. make it to the surface, only to find themselves facing the new Terrorcons. Kicker prepare to defend his teammates with one of Jetfire's energon weapons, when the Miranda II arrives over head. Its energon shield makes quick work of the Terrorcons. Prime retrieves Jetfire's group; the Autobots retreat, leaving the energon to Megatron so they can continue on towards Unicron.
Megatron finishes off the Terrorcons; the energon is his.
Optimus watches footage of the new Terrorcons, and concludes that they are Alpha Q's minions. He also decides that Unicron is already split in two. Kicker suspects one half is Alpha Q, and flashes back to Rodimus and Hot Shot's confrontation on Mars.
As Jetfire heals, Ironhide laments not stopping Megatron this time, but Kicker yells that it's in the past, and they'll get another chance. Ironhide realizes that he's a soldier, so everything is okay.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"We warped into another galaxy on the outer reaches of the solar system."
- — no wonder Kicker is afraid of space. He doesn't know a damn thing about it.
"You're now invincible. And with your new armor, you will be virtually unstoppable."
- — Megatron doesn't seem to realize that "unstoppable" is a subset of "invincible", or that "armor" does not mean "body".
"Man! I sometimes hate having this sixth sense!"
"Yeah, right. You love all the attention."
"Thanks a lot. Do you really think I enjoy being stuck out here in the middle of nowhere looking for stupid energon?!"
"Aw, you're just a big baby!"
"Hey. Bug off, Misha!"
- —Kicker complains; Misha calls him on it. Just another day on the farm.
Kicker: "What's going on?!"
Inferno: "The glacier. It's moving, Kicker!"
Misha: "I think I know why, Inferno. It's kind of like the glaciers around the North Pole, Kicker, they're constantly moving and shifting!"
Inferno: "Trying to steer a starship through a whiteout is like trying to thread a needle!"
- — EVERYONE CONFUSED
"What is it, Kicker?"
"Optimus...is there anything that I can do?"
"Good question. I'm not sure yet. But let's get going."
- — Optimus and Kicker work hard to advance the plot.
"This place is swarming with a new kind of Terrorcon!"
"They look like raptors."
"Whoah. Dinobots! I thought they were extinct!"
- — Jetfire and Kicker give us Energon 's very confused, weak brand of fan service.
"I could annihilate the Decepticons by deploying the energon grid. But then I run the risk of destroying the entire universe, because it's loaded with raw energon!"
- —Science with Optimus Prime
Optimus Prime: "Wait. Are those bots Alpha Q's minions?!"
Inferno: "Well if they are, then that means Alpha Q is after the energon too, sir!"
Optimus Prime: "And I believe Unicron is already split in two."
Inferno: "If that's the case, then that would explain why we received two separate signals back on Earth!"
Misha: "Very interesting. An entire planet splitting in two. I've heard of it before when I was taught the Earth split from the Moon back in science class."
Hot Shot: "You're saying it's possible, Misha?"
Misha: "Well, I'd need evidence to prove it happened to Unicron."
- — EVERYONE VERY, VERY CONFUSED
"I sense a disturbance in the flow of energon."
- —Alpha Q, Jedi Master.
- "Uh?": 4
- Stock footage: 3
- It's time to: 3
- We're a team: 5
- Our mission is: 1
- "Gimme a break": 1
- Aw man: 1
Lost in translation
The dub is essentially asleep at the wheel. Even things that are translated correctly just don't flow well or make a lot of sense.
- The dub makes less explicit the fact that Scorponok has ceased communicating with the Decepticons. Megatron's conclusion that he's abandoned them shouldn't have an "if" attached to it.
- Two counts of solar system/galaxy confusion in this episode, both of which are dub artifacts: Kicker's absurd narration, and Tidal Wave's claim that Optimus Prime's find is in "a distant galaxy".
- The dub adds a lot of Autobot yammering as the Miranda II cruises through the glaciers. Superlink has only silence.
- The dub portrays Kicker as whining and yelling a lot about all the trouble his power has caused. In Superlink, he's just quietly regretful.
- In Superlink, Misha's explanation about the glaciers is that the whole planet's icy surface is constantly moving, in coordination with changes in the atmosphere. This is already a rather dumb explanation; the dub dumbs it down further to have her randomly comparing it to the North Pole instead of mentioning the atmosphere.
- Inferno's mangled "needle" line, and the status report after the ship crashes, are both dub additions.
- The scene where Kicker briefly speaks to Prime is originally him apologizing for causing them to land on the planet, to which Prime replies that he is not responsible. A massively stupid dub mangulation replaces this with Kicker just asking "what can I do to help", as quoted above. Kicker's self-recrimination is the theme of the whole episode, which is significantly reduced by this omission.
- Prime's aside to Jetfire is originally a bit more subtle, telling him to help Kicker deal with his anxieties since he's so far from home.
- Most of Cyclonus and Demolishor's reunion yammering is a dub addition. The Superlink version has them briefly noting that there's no energon tower or armed city in this place to stop them.
- Jetfire's blase attitude toward Kicker and Ironhide's worries is originally closer to dismissal for what Jetfire perceives as their somewhat cowardly attitude.
- After Demolishor and Snowcat launch their attack, they have a somewhat disjointed conversation. The point of it is supposed to be that Demolishor no longer cares about the Autobots and their human friends; Snowcat concludes that Megatron erased his memory. Demolishor doesn't know what he's talking about, and carries on. The dub removes the mention of Demolishor's concern for the others, and instead has him just saying that "this reminds me of the old days!" When Cyclonus replies that "You remember the old days? I thought Megatron erased your memory!", Demolishor very randomly replies "I thought [Megatron] erased your memory!"
- Cyclonus's observation that Demolishor is a lot more hot-headed now is likewise lost in the dub.
- Megatron's observation that there's no annoying energon grid here: lost in the dub.
- Kicker's report to Misha that the attack is his fault: lost in the dub.
- In the dub, Jetfire seems to fluctuate between trying to get out of the crevasse and ordering the others to leave him, then randomly starts ranting about being a soldier. In Superlink, his lecture stems from Kicker's continued self-blame (mostly excised from the dub); he says that they are all soldiers, that they followed Kicker's instincts of their own free will, and that Kicker's constant self-blame is becoming an impediment.
- The animation of the two versions are identical...mostly. As Prime evacuates Kicker and Jetfire, Superlink intercuts a couple of still shots, showing Rodimus, Prowl and Landmine watching, which are completely missing from Energon. Considering they don't do anything, it's not a terrible loss.
- Prime doesn't fear destroying the entire universe (as quoted above), just the planet that they're on. Also, Kicker is the one who proposes using the energon grid to wipe out the Decepticons, rather than Prime just randomly bringing it up only to dismiss it out of hand. Also also, the dub omits Prime telling Kicker that planets are the source of life, and therefore precious; instead, he basically repeats what he'd already said about valuing the lives of his men.
- The conversation on the bridge (quoted above) is correct in essence, but flows badly in the dub and is full of little errors. For example, in Superlink, Inferno says that Alpha Q is apparently going after the energon again; the dub omits the "again", making it seem like Inferno hasn't been paying attention for the last dozen episodes. The dub replaces Misha's example of Pluto and Charon as a planet that split in two with "I was taught that in my SCIENCE CLASS! Science is HARD! Tee hee!"
- In the dub, Ironhide and Kicker's closing conversation loses some points where Ironhide has doubts about "blindly rushing forward" as they have been. It also loses some points about Ironhide not wanting to blindly follow, which will come into play in the next episode.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- Not an error per se, but the animation of the growing ice and glaciers is incredibly cheap -- the new ice just appears out of nowhere in large chunks.
- The dialogue in this episode is SO FREAKING AWFUL.
- And so, Demolishor's character arc comes to its brilliant conclusion: he's been mind-wiped by Megatron, and remembers nothing of his past relationships with Kicker, Ironhide and the others. You might think this is leading up to something, but nope, Demolishor will spend the rest of his days running around beating his chest and smashing things. Good thing they spent all that time building him up as a complex, conflicted individual.
- This episode basically confirms the writers were elementary-school dropouts, considering they have no idea what galaxies and solar systems are.