TFA Thrill Hunt Lockdown Optimus

"Now open and say "aww"...

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While Autobots encounter a mysterious muscle car creating havoc in Detroit, Ratchet keeps flashing back to his "tour of duty" in the Great Autobot-Decepticon Wars.

German title: "Der Kopfgeldjäger" ("The Bounty Hunter")


While debating the ethical dilemma of an auto parts store with Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, Ratchet's old war wound tingles, making him think that trouble's ahead. Just then, the lights in the city go out, and the trio is confronted by a spiked muscle car with red headlamps. Thinking it's a human out for a joyride, the Autobots go after the car. At a critical moment in the chase, Ratchet experiences a flashback to his days in the Great War...


PTSD-bait in the making.

Field tech Ratchet is in the middle of a war zone with a Decepticon barrage falling down around him. Communicating with Supreme Commander Ultra Magnus, he says he found the object of his mission, an Autobot intelligence officer named Arcee. She is badly damaged and in need of immediate repair. Ratchet uses his EMP generator to deactivate her temporarily, allowing him to replace her leg, despite Arcee's concern that the EMP could wipe her memory core.

Ratchet flashes back into the present and is nearly run over by the muscle car, but is pushed out of the way by Bumblebee. The Autobots regroup at headquarters and Optimus inquires of Ratchet's well-being, but the crusty old bot doesn't want to talk. Meanwhile, the TV news is broadcasting a live, high-speed chase between the police and the strange car, and Ratchet experiences another flashback.

Lockdown both hands

Lockdown before losing his other hand.

In the middle of the repair to Arcee, Ratchet loads her up and starts to evacuate the area, only to be caught and smacked down by a bounty hunter.

Ratchet's thoughts are snapped back into the present as the Autobots begin the chase after the muscle car anew. Ratchet finally recognizes the muscle car as an old nemesis, Lockdown. The past haunts him again...

Ratchet and Arcee are now prisoners of Lockdown, who explains his work as a bounty hunter and his lack of allegiance to either side in the war. He also says he has a fondness for taking weapons and parts from his quarry as trophies and upgrades. This time, he's taken Ratchet's EMP generator.

Flash forward to the present, and Prime finally forces Lockdown to stop. The bounty hunter incapacitates Prime with the EMP weapon, and they both disappear. In his hideout, Lockdown explains to a tied-up Optimus Prime about the bounty on his head for killing Megatron. Optimus explains that he didn't kill him, but Lock responds by saying that he doesn't care as long as he get his bounty. Then he gets to work on removing Prime’s grapplers and installing them in his own body.

The Autobots scan the city for Prime, but don't have much luck until Prowl finds that Lockdown's ship is sitting in the middle of the old downtown area, cloaked as an ordinary warehouse. Before they roll out, Ratchet refuses to join the rescue mission, though without explanation.

TFA Thrill Hunt Prowl Lockdown

Everybody was Kung Fu fighting!

Finished with his chop job on Optimus, Lockdown converses with Blitzwing, who is evidently the one who put the price on Prime's head. Lockdown requests payment first, but Blitzwing promises that he will be most satisfied with his upgrades... provided the Decepticons are satisfied with the results. The Autobots arrive at Lockdown's ship and attack. Lockdown dispatches Bulkhead and Bumblebee without much trouble. However, Prowl is a bit harder for Lockdown to handle until the bounty hunter drops him with an EMP blast. Before he can take any more trophies, Ratchet arrives and confronts Lockdown, but the medic too falls to the EMP. When Lockdown thinks he's beaten the doc-bot, Ratchet reveals he was playing dead, being immune to the effects of his own weapon, and throws Lockdown around with his magnetic powers, knocking him unconscious. Inside Lockdown’s ship, Ratchet finds Prime and frees him, but Lockdown—himself "playing possum" after Ratchet's attack—stops them from leaving. Ratchet takes him out again, and when he’s pinned down, Ratchet forcibly removes the parts Lockdown stole from Prime. The act brings on another flashback.

In order to avoid interrogation from Megatron, Arcee asks Ratchet to use his EMP generator on her to wipe her memory core, which contains critical access codes for the Autobots. When Ratchet and Lockdown struggle for the device, it overloads and goes off. Ratchet and Arcee leave Lockdown's ship just before some part of it detonates, but when Ratchet inquires of her condition, Arcee doesn't know who she is or where they are, a result of the EMP blast.

TFA Thrill Hunt Ratchet EMP Generator ship

In the present, Ratchet moves to take the generator, but quickly hits Lockdown with a magnetic blast to prevent him from attacking. He denounces Lockdown's use of a medical tool as a weapon, and zaps Lockdown's ship, in vengeance of Arcee. He escapes with Optimus as the ship crashes into a river.

Back at headquarters, Ratchet repairs Prime’s grapplers and then finally opens up to Optimus about his war experiences.


Featured characters

Numbers indicate order of appearance.

Autobots Decepticons


Ratchet: "Augh, it's primitive. It's barbaric. There ought to be a law against it!"
Optimus: "It's just an auto supply store, Ratchet."
Ratchet: "You mean they actually sell spare parts on the open market? What kind of malfunction would be crass enough to buy this stuff?"
Bumblebee: "Hey, guys, check out my new horn!"

—Evidently, Bumblebee is crass enough.

"This place has the greatest stuff! (pulls out mirror dice) Fuzzy cube thingies, (pulls out dashboard hula girl) miniature human female replicas, (pulls out pink tree-shaped air freshener) and I don't know what this thing is."

Bumblebee discovers the joy of car accessories.

Hothead Blitzwing: You have Optimus Prime?! Hand him over at once! That Autobot will pay for what he did to our leader!
Lockdown: Yeah, speaking of payment, I'm gonna need mine first.
Icy Blitzwing: Patience, my bounty-hunting friend. You will not be disappointed with your upgrades, provided I am not disappointed with your results.
Random Blitzwing: Ooh, I want to see him turn into a fire truck! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Can I? Ahahahaha!

—Icy Blitzwing and Lockdown haggle while Hothead Blitzwing rages and Random Blitzwing is as happy as a protoform in a supply shop.

"I'm impressed. It's been eons since the last time anyone got the drop on me."
"Next time will be much sooner!"

Lockdown and Prowl talk tough.

"I'm not good with names and faces, but I never forget a trophy."

Lockdown, best buddy of Kraven and Predator.

"Now, that was just sad...HAHAHAHA."

Lockdown, after supposedly taking out Ratchet with one shot

"Humans call it 'playing possum'. Don't ask me what a possum is."

Ratchet, after deceiving Lockdown. But was he playing roboto-possum?

"Time was I'd use my EMP generator to do this painlessly. Too bad I don't have it anymore."

Ratchet, right before ripping Prime's grapplers out of Lockdown's arm, forgetting children are watching

"This one's for Arcee."

Ratchet, the Angel of Vengeance.

Other notes

Continuity errors

  • During the news broadcast sequence, if the EMP is enough to shut off the lights in Lockdown's wake, how are the pursuing police vehicles not affected? Is he just projecting the EMP out to both sides?

Transformers references

  • Bumblebee's new horn plays the traditional melody of the phrase "Ro-bots in Dis-guise"!
  • Lockdown's symbol on his chest resembles a rubsign, such as those in the G1 toyline.
  • The automatic guns defending Lockdown's disguised ship are similar in design to those used by the Maximals and Predacons to guard their bases in Beast Wars.

Real-world References

  • The TV anchorman seen in this episode appears to be an Animated version of Ron Burgundy. Stay classy, Cybertron.
  • An over-sized human skull can be seen in Lockdown's trophy collection. This is possibly a reference to the Predator film series, in which another alien hunter keeps body parts (particularly skulls) as trophies of its kills. (Or it might just be a common trait of hunters in general.)
  • Ratchet's line, "Don't call me sir. I work for a living," is a common sentiment of sergeants and other non-commissioned officers in the armed forces.
  • Ratchet's other line, "I'm a medi-bot, not a field commander!" seems based on Dr. McCoy's oft-repeated line from Star Trek, "I'm a doctor not a..."

Miscellaneous trivia

  • This episode reveals how the right half of Ratchet's chevron got broken and why his left arm has a missing piece. Both were caused by Lockdown.
  • Susan Blu reprises her role of Arcee from the Generation One series.
  • This is the first episode in which we see Animated Cybertron, albeit in a flashback.
  • This episode seems to refute fans who had worried the series would be too kid-oriented, as it features a heavy atmosphere, post-traumatic shock, guilt, suggested torture, and quite obvious pain being inflicted by a good guy on a villain, pretty much for no other reason but revenge.
  • As Prime and Ratchet talk at the end, you hear the saddest rendition of "More Than Meets The Eye" ever.
  • Prowl's wheels make the same noise as Lockdown's chainsaw.
  • Blitzwing's face-swapping feature makes a different noise in this episode than in other episodes.
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