Optimus and a handful of Autobots make a desperate bid to recover the Matrix, in the hopes that a cure for the Hate Plague can be found.
Japanese title: "The Resurrection of Convoy - Part 2"
Optimus Prime, now fully restored to life by Sky Lynx and a Quintesson survivor of the rampant Hate Plague that's infecting the universe, demands to know what has happened during his time on the other side. Sky Lynx recaps the events that had conspired to bring him back, including Jessica Morgan's valiant play to save him from total destruction, the discovery of the Hate Plague spores, and the trap laid out by Jessica's father and her partner, Gregory Swofford to infect the Autobots with the spores in revenge, which ultimately spiraled out of control. It was thought by Rodimus, before his infection, that Prime would know what it would take to stop the plague. Prime asks who is available, and learns of the injured Autobots. The Quintesson manages to reactivate them, completely rebuilding Bumblebee into Goldbug.
When Kup asks what the plan is, Prime admits that he doesn't have a plan. Without the accumulated wisdom within the Matrix of Leadership (which now resides in Rodimus), he doesn't have a clue as to where to start. That is, until Jessica comes forward with the experimental alloy that she, her father, and Gregory had worked on, which proved strong enough to block the spores. Theoretically, coating Optimus with this alloy would protect himself from the spore's infection and allow him to get close enough to Rodimus to extract the Matrix from him. However, all remaining alloy samples were stolen by the Decepticons. The Autobots decide to retrieve the metal.
Meanwhile, on Chaar, Galvatron is pinned down by his own mutinously diseased soldiers, unable to fight back against their maddening ferocity...until Optimus and his team arrive to save the day, convincing Galvatron that it would be in his best interest to join in an alliance with them. As is his way, however, the Decepticon leader is suspicious of Optimus' motives, especially when he learns they need the alloy he stole, but cannot get a reason for it out of them. He agrees to join in and leads Optimus and his gang down a series of boobytrapped tunnels, their numbers dwindling from the tunnel's natural hazards and the infected Decepticon mob behind them, until only Optimus, Galvatron, Sky Lynx, and Jessica arrive at the alloy's hiding place. Unfortunately, Jessie accidentally lets slip their plan to coat Optimus with the metal after confirming there would be enough of it to do the job, prompting Galvatron to turn on Optimus in hopes of using the process on himself, but he is soon subdued by Sky Lynx. Under coercion, Galvatron loads the alloy onto Prime's trailer, but doesn't notice that an infected Cyclonus has managed to sneak in, infecting Jessica in the process. Jessica, in turn, infects Galvatron, forcing Sky Lynx and Optimus to flee back to Earth.
Once on Earth, Optimus is coated with the alloy, and sets out to find Rodimus. He finds him, taking down infected Transformers with reckless glee, and attempts to reason with him, which fails. Unwilling to hurt his successor, Prime lures Rodimus to a nearby auto shop, attempting to peacefully subdue and talk Rodimus into helping him, but the Hate Plague is overriding any effort to do so, forcing Optimus to knock Rodimus out and take the Matrix back by force. Back at Autobot City, Optimus dives into the Matrix to question the elders of the past in reverse chronological order (of their history) to try and find out any information on the spores. The spirit of Alpha Trion warns him that if he travels too far, he risks becoming lost within the Matrix itself.
During Prime's journey, the Quintesson that revived him notices a troop of infected Transformers attempting to get in, and manages to temporarily shut them out, giving Optimus the time he needs to finally find his answer. He learns that, in a period of pre-Cybertronian history, the Plague has visited the planet before, but was contained and sealed inside the star Jessica and Gregory found it in using sheer wisdom, though even back then, no one had the wisdom to destroy the spores, and now that it has spread so much throughout the galaxy, it's doubtful that anyone has the wisdom to even contain them again. Optimus then realizes that a source of raw wisdom may be available to destroy the infection once and for all: the accumulated wisdom within the Matrix of Leadership.
The infected Transformers finally break into the base, and corner the Quintesson, who begs them to stop. Galvatron grabs a metal pole, intending to impale Prime. However, Prime's chest opens to reveal a glowing Matrix, surprising the Transformers. Asking it to "light our darkest hour", Optimus Prime releases the energy of the Matrix of Leadership, which spreads across the universe and totally eradicates the Plague. It even seems to, at least temporarily, cure Gregory and Jessica's father of their hatred for Autobots, and Galvatron of his own madness; all of them call a truce with Optimus.
It is then that Rodimus (now Hot Rod, without the Matrix within him) notes that the Matrix is now empty, its wisdom supposedly lost in order to stop the plague. Optimus, however, disagrees; they have all become a little wiser, now, and although the Matrix is indeed empty of wisdom, it is up to them from then on to fill it again with their knowledge and experience. The episode ends with Optimus, once again the Autobot leader, ordering his troops to "Transform and roll out".
Airdate: February 25, 1987
Story by: Marv Wolfman and Cherie Wilkerson
Teleplay by: Michael Charles Hill
("Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- —Optimus Prime, getting back into the swing of things.
"Fools, I am your leader! ... It's no use. You're all crazed!"
- —Galvatron fighting his infected and insane troops. The irony fairy just had a coronary.
"Have I no friends left?!"
"Well, well, what have we here?"
"Looks like something the cat dragged in."
- —Galvatron tries to reason with the infected Cyclonus and Scourge...for once
"Come on, Optimus, tell me! Why do you want this metal? How will it be used? Why is it so precious?"
"I've explained it to you."
"You told me it was important, but you didn't tell me why!"
"That's because I know you too well, Galvatron."
- —Galvatron and Optimus Prime resuming their same old song and dance
"I don't need you anymore, Optimus. So much for your resurrection!"
- —Galvatron, same song, different tune
"I don't want to hurt you, Rodimus!"
"Don't worry, Optimus, you won't! HAHAHAHAH!"
- —Optimus Prime and Rodimus Prime throw down.
"No more games, Rodimus! Innocent lives are at stake!"
"No one is innocent!"
- —Optimus Prime and Rodimus Prime throw down some more...right before Optimus clocks him.
"Now, light our darkest hour!"
- —Optimus Prime, proving that destiny and Chosen Ones mean nothing when pitted against letters from angry kids and parents.
"I can't say what I'm feeling, I'm so terribly sorry." "We had no right to do what we did with the spores. And for what we thought and believed of you, we-, I deeply apologize."
- — Jessica's father and Gregory Swofford apologizing for the trouble they caused and for how they were wrong.
"There will be no war today, Optimus. You have earned Galvatron's respect."
- —Galvatron, totally sane for the first time since...ever
"The wisdom of the ages! It's lost!"
"No, not lost. We're all a little wiser now."
"But the Matrix is empty!"
"It's up to all of us to fill it again—with the wisdom we accumulate from this moment on. Autobots, transform and roll out!"
- —Hot Rod and Optimus Prime
- The Japanese version of this episode has a slightly alternate ending. After Optimus Prime and the Autobots ride off into the sunset and "the Touch" ends, the music changes to "Dash Dash Transformer" (the 2010 Japanese theme song) and the scene shifts to a montage of all the major characters from the series.
- While the overall quality of the animation in this episode is high, the animation company who handled it was evidently extremely unfamiliar with the characters or how to draw transformations themselves. For example, Kup is shown driving backwards again, and all transformations from one mode to another that take place are at least partially hidden from the "camera".
Animation and/or technical glitches
- When Galvatron is threatening Optimus after they find the heat-resistant metal, Galvatron's cannon has a trigger on it. (Mind you, judging by the way Galvatron was moving his finger, this one was probably Intentional.)
- When escaping after Galvatron is infected, Optimus and his cab are coated in the resistant metal before it was even melted down.
- As Optimus is explaining that the Matrix must be refilled with the future wisdom, he is colored as if he still has the heat resistant metal on him.
- When leaving to retrieve the heat-resistant metal from the Decepticons, Kup leaves the building driving in reverse, AGAIN.
- In the cavern on the way to get the alloy, Jessica is wearing an exo-suit, but the suit has disappeared when they all step out onto the giant spider web. However, as soon as they are across the web, she is wearing it again.
- When Optimus says that Sky Lynx has been infected, the background shows him on the factory floor, but a moment later he's inside Sky Lynx.
- When Optimus takes the Matrix from Rodimus Prime, Rodimus' chest opens up with a pair of swing-out doors (kind of like how Optimus' chest opens). Previously Rodimus' Matrix chamber was accessed through the flame design on his chest opening vertically on a single hinge. To make matters worse, when Optimus inserts the Matrix into his own chest he puts it in kind of....sideways.
- The alloy is heat-resistant to the point of surviving a supernova in the previous episode. Yet it now can be melted down to coat Optimus Prime with it.
- The Transformers wounded by Superion included Steeljaw and Wheelie, who are briefly seen at the start. They are then replaced by Blaster.
- How did Kup know that Rodimus had been contaminated since he was deactivated by Superion before Rodimus was?
- When the Autobots, Jessica, and Galvatron are trekking through the caverns, Predaking and the other infected Decepticons start firing on the group. Just before they do so, Sky Lynx suddeny appears from out of nowhere.
- Furthermore, when fleeing from the cavern, infected Jessica was seen hanging on to Sky Lynx's tail, falling to the ground shortly after and yet Sky Lynx somehow escaped infection.
- The heat-resistant alloy is coloured gold when it is on Gregory and Jessica's ship and when the Deceptions steal it. Yet when Optimus is coated in it it mysteriously turns silver.
- Jessica was last seen in the caverns with infected Decepticons. As people started to recover from the plague, Jessica was suddenly on Earth.
- Galvatron states that "There will be no war today, Optimus Prime - you have earned Galvatron's respect." However, in the shot immediately before, he is shown walking out of the room, while Hot Rod asks Kup "Does this mean the fighting will continue?", and Kup responds "Hard to say." These two shots were obviously meant to run in the opposite order that they are seen.
- Goldbug and Blaster are shown being infected, but Kup and Blur aren't. One could assume they were on the wrong side of the blast that Glavtron made to launch a pile of rocks to give them time. However, Prime and no one else said anything as if they didn't seem to notice or care. Considering they were the only other remaining Autobots, that seems kind of strange.
- When Optimus uses the Matrix to cure the Hate Plague, it bears more than a passing resemblance to when Rodimus Prime used the Matrix to destroy Unicron in the Movie. They even have "The Touch" playing in the background.