Optimus Prime is forced to team up with his rival Sentinel Prime after Sentinel has a humiliating and potentially fatal encounter with the Headmaster.
In Sari's room at Sumdac Tower, Sari bitterly packs her things while grumbling about Porter C. Powell taking over her home and throwing her to the curb. She doesn't notice Powell enter as she badmouths him, but rather than get upset, the man smugly proves many of her points right and adds insult to injury by introducing her bedroom's new tenant, the freshly re-hired Henry Masterson. As the Headmaster makes himself at home, Sari protests, pointing out the man's lack of sanity, but Powell merely rushes her out the door. Then just as Sari's day can't get any worse, Powell claims Sparkplug and Tutor Bot as company property. Harsh.
Meanwhile, the Primes Optimus and Sentinel stand at a press conference along with the mayor and Captain Fanzone. Sentinel is his usual charming self, boasting the significance of the Elite Guard's presence, condescending the icky organics, showing complete ignorance of the planet's customs, and insulting his comrade's lowly position at every opportunity. Optimus tries his best to ignore all this and put the humans' minds at ease about the current situation, but finds it difficult to get a word in edgewise as Sentinel cuts him off, determined to do all the talking, refusing to let Optimus speak for him.
Powell and Masterson watch the press conference with intent. Powell says he expects great things from Masterson, intending to tap the lucrative military hardware market that Sumdac so foolishly ignored. Masterson is itching to get to work, but wants new robots to test his Headmaster units on. The old Autobot crew won't cut it however, he wants the new models, and eagerly eyes Sentinel Prime's image on the screen.
Masterson calls up Fanzone with a false Decepticon sighting in Old Detroit. Fanzone relays the information to the Primes and the heroes transform and roll out. Sentinel still hasn't gotten a hang of the city's traffic customs however, and spends more time driving over other cars than on the road.
Meanwhile, Sari is moving in with the Autobots at the old factory. Bulkhead and Bumblebee are eager to cheer the sullen girl up with loud TV, music, and a misguided tutoring session in which they end up throwing around theories about her mysterious origins. Predictably however, everything they try only seems to make her more miserable.
Sentinel soon arrives at the scene, prying a stop sign from his shoulder, and is quickly joined by Optimus and the police. Optimus starts making suggestions, but Sentinel shuts him up, opting to split up and search on his own. He doesn't need help from a scrub.
The search drags on into the night and Sentinel is jumping at shadows, turning the advanced weaponry of the Cybertron Elite Guard on such dire threats as stray cats. This distracts him, and Masterson gets the jump on him with the Headmaster unit. Shoftly afterwards Sentinel contacts Optimus, telling him it was a false alarm and to send the police away. He then demands Optimus come to his position alone, and promise not to laugh. Soon after, Optimus finds Sentinel's decapitated head and breaks out in laughter. Bitter and humiliated, Sentinel pleads with Optimus to help him get his body back without Ultra Magnus finding out. Optimus can guess that the reason Sentinel is trusting him with the task is that he's just not important enough for his opinion to matter, but Sentinel is careful not to say something so insulting in his position. How about that.Optimus learns of Masterson's re-hiring thanks to a conveniently timed message from Bumblebee, reporting what he heard from Sari. The next day, Optimus pays a visit to Sumdac Tower, hiding Sentinel's head under a tree trunk while he chats with Powell. The new manager makes it clear that the Autobots aren't free to waltz into his building as they please any more, but assures their leader that he doesn't know where Masterson is. However as soon as Optimus leaves, he phones the Headmaster with information on the new development, warning his employee not to jeopardize the company's image. Lucky for the Primes, Optimus thought ahead enough to intercept the phone call with his ear transceiver as soon as he was out of sight. He traces the call to a cargo ship at the docks.
It's night again when the 1.5 Primes arrive at the docks and start searching for Sentinel's body. They don't get far when a nearby crate bursts open, revealing a sinister Sparkplug and Tutorbot outfitted with miniature Headmaster Units. Sentinel isn't too worried by the puny automatons until they reveal some powerful laser-shooting upgrades. They send Optimus scrambling for cover while Sentinel's head bounces around impotently on the ground. When the ship Masterson is supposedly on starts casting off, they can't play around any longer, and Optimus rushes through the laser fire, ramps off the deck, transforms in mid-air and rides a powerful burst from his rocket axe to hook into the side of the ship's hull. Awesome. His grappling hooks probably would have worked equally well, but dude, flying rocket axe!On the ship, Optimus and Sentinel try to find Sentinel's body...until it finds them. The Headmaster pushes Optimus down with Sentinel's shield. Sentinel is surprised that it's so powerful, to which Masterson gloats he upgraded his equipment. Pulling out Sentinel's beam lance and expanding the shield into a spikier version, the Headmaster clashes with Optimus while Sentinel bounces around impotently on the ground some more.
Masterson manages to knock Optimus' axe off the ship, leaving him unarmed. After being pinned to the ground with shield spikes inches from his face, Optimus returns the favor by ripping off Sentinel's arm, shield and all. Sentinel is mortified by the dismemberment, but Optimus feels it was justified. He then uses Sentinel's axe arm as a makeshift axe and fights back the body, eventually severing the Headmaster Unit. The head quickly converts to robot and starts to run off, but this time Optimus stops him by kicking Sentinel's head into the fleeing villain like a soccer ball. Again, Sentinel is appalled. Optimus has less of an excuse this time.
Back on land, Fanzone has Masterson in cuffs and it looks like a happy ending until Powell shows up, pointing out that the ship was Sumdac Systems property, the assaulted robots don't have rights protected by the law, and the whole incident occurred over international waters between the US and Canada. Masterson is free to go, much to the chagrin of everybody else.
Meanwhile at the factory, Bumblebee and Bulkhead are about to try another zany scheme to cheer Sari up, but Prowl stops them and tells them to just listen to her instead. Trying this last resort, Sari opens up about all her worries regarding her missing father, her lost home and company, and her questioned existence. Bumblebee and Bulkhead aren't sure what to do, but they assure her they are there for her.
Finally, aboard the Elite Guard's ship the next day, Sentinel and Optimus report to Ultra Magnus, who has heard something about Sentinel "losing his head". Sentinel trembles uncomfortably in silence, but Optimus reports that they worked together to solve the crisis, effectively covering for his comrade who really doesn't deserve it. Ultra Magnus congratulates both of them and takes his leave to contact Cybertron Command on an issue of great importance (not important enough to happen on camera though). As the Primes walk down the hallway, Sentinel struggles out a "thank you" to his compatriot. Optimus notes that it must have hurt to say that, and Sentinel acknowledges the fact and reaches out his hand.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Sari (while packing her belongings): Chairman of the board? What does that even mean? They should just call him 'big jerk who thinks he's in charge of everything!'
[comes face-to-face with Powell]
Porter C. Powell: Oh I don't think I'm in charge young lady, I know it. So hurry along, I need this space for more research and development, in order to make enough new money to cover what you lost the company while you were playing at being in charge, Miss Sumdac, or can I even call you that?
Sari: Just because there's no record that I'm Isaac Sumdac's daughter, doesn't mean I'm not! He's my Dad and I don't care what you say! Yargh! Why am I even talking to you!?
- — Sari gets evicted from the Big Brother House.
Reporter-Bot: Prime! Prime!
Sentinel and Optimus: Yes?
Reporter-Bot: Optimus Prime. Is it true that all Cybertronians have no regard for human life, and view Earth as little more than a battleground for the never-ending robot wars?
Sentinel: Why, you little...!
- — Reporter-Bot's shot at the Pulitzer Prize nearly gets him crushed.
"How could they hire that nutjob body-snatcher to work for your father's company anyway?"
- —Bulkhead, saying what we're all thinking.
"Sentinel, we should scramble our comlink frequencies in case the Decepticons are listening in!"
"What you should do is stick within the scope of your programming. If I need a trash-can update or a floor mopped, I'll call on my buddy Optimus Prime. Or should I say...Maintenance Prime? Hahahaha!"
[Sentinel turns and walks away; Optimus does the same]
"'Maintenance Prime'...then I'll just call you 'Pompous Gas-Bag Prime'. Yeah...that's what I should have said."
MaintenanceOptimus Prime and Sentinel Prime match wits. Somehow, Optimus loses.
Bumblebee: Just because you don't have a tutor bot anymore doesn't mean you need to stop learning.
Bulkhead: Right. We can teach you.
Bumblebee: So, class, today's lesson is regarding...well, stuff, and how it works. Any questions?
Sari: Yeah. Why is there no record of my existence?
Bumblebee: Okay...a little bit outside the lesson plan. Professor Bulkhead, your thoughts?
Bulkhead: Maybe she came here from another planet in some kind of egg and crashed on Sumdac's doorstep.
Bumblebee: Or a portal could have opened and she fell through from another dimension.
Bulkhead: Or maybe she's a robot.
Bumblebee: Or maybe Sumdac found her in a cabbage patch.
Bulkhead: Or that stork thing.
- —Professors Bumblebee and Bulkhead have obviously been visiting the fan forums...
"Wow, I didn't know my shield was so powerful."
"Oh, you know me. I can't resist the upgrades."
- —Sentinel Prime marvels at the Headmaster's tinkering. Lockdown would love this guy...
"Yes! I am so l33t!"
"Yeah? Well, I have no idea what that means!"
- —Headmaster boasts as Optimus Prime scores a blow against over-sized egos everywhere.
Headmaster: Yo, two things, law-dog. First: I do not sound like a "ma'am". Second: if you think you're laying down the rules, maybe you'd better conversate with my boss. Him.
[Powell's limousine drives up]
Porter C. Powell: Captain Fanzone. I suggest you release my employee.
Fanzone: I don't think so, Mr Powell
Porter C. Powell: And you're holding him on what charge? Destruction of property? [waves a hand at the ship] The ship belongs to Sumdac Systems. Assault? [gestures towards Optimus and Sentinel] Since when does an alien robot have rights? Plus, didn't the alleged incident occur in international waters between the United States and Canada [points at Canada's shoreline on the horizon] —a little out of your jurisdiction, wouldn't you agree, Captain? Why don't you work it out with the Mounties and let me know?
- — Porter C Powell out-wrestles the arm of the law while the Headmaster invents a new word.
Sari: What do you guys want?
Bulkhead: We just wanted to know, if you were okay.
Sari: Okay? If I'm okay? My Dad is missing, I've lost control of his company, that Powell guy is going to destroy everything good he worked for, I've been kicked out of the only home I've ever known and I don't even know if I exist and you think I'm okay!?
[she breaks down into tears]
Bulkhead: Oh... her eyes are leaking.
Bumblebee: You let them leak as much as you need to... we're here, and you're safe. So whatever it is, you can always talk to us... we'll listen...
Sari: Thank you...
- —Tara Strong gets even the most hard-hearted of fans sympathizing with Sari. I'm telling you, Voice acting goddess!
- This episode was first broadcast in Canada on April 19, one week before its United States premiere.
- When Optimus stops Masterson's escape, he asserts the villain is going "back to prison", although the Headmaster has yet to serve time at all.
- Bumblebee mentions Sari could have come from a cabbage patch.... Wow, another toy reference?
- Powell makes passing reference to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, aka the Mounties
- Powell claims Optimus and Sentinel's clash with Masterson took place in "international waters". There are no international waters in Lake St. Clair or Lake Erie, just American and Canadian waters. (That said, the jurisdictional question would still be relevant.)
- Ratchet does not appear in this episode.
- The Mayor's Aide has gotten in more dialog than her boss... despite only having a single line.
- When Sentinel asks for Optimus to cover for him, Optimus mentions how Sentinel "covered for him" all those years ago. Maybe this is the reason that Optimus washed out of the Autobot Academy?
- Either the events of this episode span at least two days and two nights, or the sun goes down roughly every couple of hours.
- Given they presumably had very little time to prepare, the Autobots have whipped up a surprisingly comfortable room for Sari in their factory, doubly surprising given the lack of proper materials to hand. Who wouldn't want to sleep in a bed made from a giant radial tire!?
- On the other hand, their idea of proper human cuisine needs some work, since the meal they provided for Sari consisted of a bunch of acorns, a fishbone skeleton, a live rabbit, and some barrels of oil.
- Professors Bumblebee and Bulkhead seriously need their own show. Imagine the teaching aids they'd bring to a paleontology class.
- Porter C. Powell is shaping up to be a bigger villain than all the previous human bad-guys in the series combined.
- To go with his Captain America-inspired shield, Sentinel turns out to have an energy lance and a very knight-like battle mask.