written by: Bob Forward
in a nutshell: Combining
action and desperate circumstances with multiple references and
subtle hints to the future story arcs of Beast Wars in general,
Fallen Comrades places the show and its respective characters into
perspective of what
they will promise to their viewers,
even so early in the overall tale.
Comrades begins with an outer space shot of some orbiting debris and
a few stasis pods.
One pod begins to drag away from the group and falls to the Earth.
In the Axalon,
you see that the Maximals have been tracking its descent. Primal
tells all present to be ready to retrieve it. When the pod finally
lands, the audience sees that the Predacons have also been watching
from the Darksyde.
Terrorsaur asks if Megatron intends for them to get it, but Megatron
reveals that he has a different plan in mind- to first disable
Primal because of his ability to fly.
at the Axalon,
Primal insists that he has to fly to get to the stasis pod, but
Dinobot objects, suspecting a cheap move of some sort on the part of
Megatron. He requests of Primal that he may go outside first. Primal
agrees, and Dinobot is unable to detect any Predacons in the
immediate area. He goes back up and tells Optimus so, but also asks
if he can lead a scouting patrol around the area. Primal refuses for
the sake of time, and heads out (with Dinobot on the platform in
stark refusal of leaving the situation completely out of his hands).
Soon after Optimus gets off the platform, he is hit with one of
Waspinator’s missiles, confirming Dinobot’s suspicions of
ambush. Terrorsaur finishes the job of impairing Primal, and after a
short and somewhat inconclusive battle with Dinobot, the two
a humorous moment that can not go unmentioned, Cheetor
asks Dinobot to “give him a hand” bringing Optimus back inside. Dinobot
helps Optimus to his feet by lifting him off the ground and bringing
him to eye level in a “told-you-so” manner before lowering him
back to a standing position (revealing
that Dinobot is a tall fellow).
Maximals are now left with a party of three- Cheetor, Rhinox and
Rattrap, to run for the pod. Terrorsaur and Waspinator inform
Megatron that Optimus is incapable of flying, and he sends the two
on their way to the pod. Meanwhile, he
anticipates that with a land party departing from the Axalon,
only the damaged Optimus and perhaps another Maximal would be
present. He therefore decides it is an ample opportunity to attack
the Maximal base.
their respective ways to the protoform, Terrorsaur and Waspinator
run into the Maximal runners. The Maximals attempt to bring them
down, but their flight allows them an easy get away from the
weapons’ fire. Then they turn around, and plow straight through
the two ends of an ice bridge, lying over a deep and rather long
chasm which the Maximals had intended to cross. The bridge
collapses, hopelessly delaying the ground party.
gets on his comlink and informs Dinobot that their main route has
been destroyed, and that the Predacons will almost assuredly reach
the protoform first. Dinobot tells Rattrap that he is not allowed to
make excuses, and must continue moving. Rattrap
has a lovely remark for him, but Dinobot cuts off the communication
before it can be fully heard.
manages to awaken Primal’s core consciousness (in the form of a
floating blue gorilla’s head), and informs him that the ground
party has been “forcibly delayed”. Optimus questions if there is
a way the two of them can reach the protoform themselves. After
Dinobot rules out the possibility of comlink use, Optimus suggests
they use a laser pulse to transmit information. Dinobot contests
that they would need to be able to aim for the pod in a line of
sight manner, but Optimus suggests they bounce it off of something.
Dinobot acknowledges that such a thing might be possible.
we see that Megatron has arrived. He quickly spies Dinobot on top of
the ship, establishing a laser projecting construction, and signals
Tarantulas and Scorponok to split up and get into ambushing
calls Dinobot, and Dinobot responds by transforming to battle mode.
Megatron appears flustered and claims to come only “to talk.” He
then moves on to acknowledge the fact that Dinobot is in control of
the Maximals base, and on his own, before proposing that Dinobot
should again be a Predacon and hand the base over to him (he also
mentions the fact that it would end the Beast Wars, give Predacons
the rule they desire, and that Dinobot himself could be his second
all of these ideas, Dinobot responds with a hearty refusal before
blasting Megatron with his optic lasers in defiance. At this point,
Tarantulas and Scorponok show up on top of the Axalon with
Dinobot, and Dinobot simply stares into space in frustration before
getting blasted completely off the roof. The
Predacons attempt to get him on the ground with two more missiles,
but he rolls away, and the impact of the resulting explosions pushes
him the rest of the way to the boarding platform.
commands the ship’s auto guns to activate, and both Predacons are
blasted to the ground. Megatron, in the middle of a furious auto gun
salvo, gives up and orders the Predacons to retreat. Dinobot
gets inside and informs Optimus that the laser is in position.
Optimus commands the computer to upload necessary protoform
instructions to the laser, and then the laser activates.
pod is engulfed in the laser, and soon after, a beast form scanner
appears and searches. The laser then resumes its information
transfer. This whole time, a white tiger has been watching in
Maximal ground party sees the laser, but Cheetor despairs, noting
that it has come too late, as the Predacons are soon to reach the
protoform. Meanwhile, Waspinator notices his
and Terrorsaur’s proximity to the pod with apparent glee.
having finished his time in the CR chamber, places Dinobot in one
and sets off for the pod (and he doesn’t get shot this time, I
and Waspinator struggle to open the pod (and probably have been
doing so for a while), when the Rhinox, Rattrap and Cheetor arrive
and scene and order them to get away from the pod. Megatron arrives
on scene (he’s very fast, you see), and orders the Maximals to
stand down, claiming he knows their “weaknesses”. He shoots a
snow ridge and causes two tigers to fall onto the ground in a boxed
in section of snow, then threatens to shoot them unless
the Maximals surrender. The Maximals give in and watch on as
Waspinator opens the pod.
it’s empty. Megatron asks where the Maximal is, and the new
Maximals responds “Right here.” We then see a white tiger, who
transforms into the first new arrival of the show: Tigatron.
an unbalanced fight, which Optimus himself is able to eventually
join, Megatron and the two fliers retreat. As they do, Tigatron
reveals a pair of wrist rockets, and shoots one of them off.
Megatron runs over a hill and off-screen, and the rocket follows
him, displaying an impressive power as snow gets spewed into the
air, and the “camera” shakes violently.
we never see the rockets again. Nor do we see an impressive freeze
gun of his any other time than in “The Spark”, but that is a
different, although sadly similar, story.)
welcomes Tigatron, and then admits that the Maximals were uncertain
if he would make it. Tigatron confesses that he nearly did not.
After he crash landed, he had no idea who he was supposed to
fight for, or who he was. But the Maximals’ willingness to risk
their own lives to save himself and the other tiger convinced him of
who he was meant to be with.
notes that the Maximal base is 100 clicks south, but Tigatron
objects, stating that he feels he is more tiger than he is Maximal,
and that he wishes to stay with his “kind.” Primal
finds this acceptable and Rattrap chimes in that a Northern scout
would be useful. Primal leaves saying that he suspects the Maximals
will meet Tigatron again, and in the near future.
watches the Maximals walk off, and then gives the last line of the
the trails lead where they may. I will follow.”
looks to his tiger compatriot, who is watching the sky, and then the
Northern Lights appear.
might say that in a manner better than the six episodes before it
(save, perhaps, for “Equal
Measures), “Fallen Comrades” depicts many of the patterns that
will be seen in the rest of the show.
we have our first “save the pod” episode. In “Fallen
Comrades”, the Maximals must rush to ensure Tigatron’s safe
arrival and continued existence as a Maximal. The Predacons want to
make him one of their own. And so it is a race. Many episodes
afterwards use this device to introduce new characters, although
many spend less time on the retrieval of the pod itself, and more on
the aftermath of the characters’ arrivals (as is seen in the episode “Double
Jeopardy” and “The Coming of the Fuzors”).
we have a subtle clue that the Cybertronians are indeed on Earth (if
rats and pre-historic animals weren’t enough of a hint). When
Terrorsaur is scanning the pod’s descent, you see that Tigatron
has landed on what seems to be Greenland.
while Terrorsaur and Waspinator are flying to the pod, we are given
a long shot of the Vok’s moon. Half of it is seemingly lost to
space, and in comparison to Earth’s moon, which is later shown, it
looks irregularly huge. It is interesting that writers sought to
remind the audience of the moon. It will, of course, become a major
plot point and problem for all beast warriors.
Megatron challenges Dinobot’s loyalty to the Maximals at a time
when his disloyalty would have spelt their end. He had the very fate
of Cybertron, essentially, in his clutches, and an opportunity to
have what he had once fought alongside Megatron
for. We see, however, that he completely refuses. It is hard to
imagine that even one so stubborn as Dinobot would do such a thing
just because of his anger towards Megatron, and desire to spite him,
although it is not inconceivable. It does seem, however, to be the
first signs that Dinobot is truly having a change of heart, and
desires the peace which Maximals fight for. Either way, Dinobot
remains securely loyal to the Maximals until season 2. But it
interesting to see a question that will, once again, become so
important later, brought up in this episode.
feels more tiger than Cybertronian. This introduces the feud between
Maximal circuitry and animal instinct- two concepts that Tigatron
will, eventually, become the pioneer of balancing. That fact itself
will come to save the Maximals’ lives.
many of the episodes before “Equal Measures” were focused on
specific characters (although, of course, not all were). The scope
of this episode is so large in comparison to them, not only because
of the fact that a Maximal’s entire sentience is put on the line,
but because it becomes an important thing to
every single character in the show. In
one episode, we see effective characterization for a lot of
the Beast Warriors that we are unable to see in many others. For
is a wily little jerk. Dinobot, as mentioned above, is secure in his
Maximal loyalty. Dinobot and Rattrap are always free to exchange pot
shots at each other. Rattrap doesn’t like wily little jerks, or
fliers. Primal is willing to throw caution to the wind for the sake
of saving one’s sentience. The Maximals are willing to allow a
sentient to become a Predacon, so long as he lives, to spare arguably non sentient or
even partially sentient life. Terrorsaur and Waspinator are an
effective pair. Cheetor isn’t always as foolish as he seems (he
too disagreed with Primal flying out, and then splitting up and
leaving Primal behind. On both accounts, Megatron made moves to
affirm the need for
those suspicions). Tarantulas
can be too experimental for is own good. Scorponok
can be too scared for his own good.
audience is allowed to see some great fights, interesting
estimations of enemy tactics and the proper (and improper) responses
to them, and in the mean time, care,
because a life (whether in peril of death or a life corruptly lived)
is on the line.
notch. It is entirely set at night (alleviating
any worries for the non-existence of shadows, and, in general,
adding to the grand scale and desperate nature of the story being
told) and often set in snow (which adds emphasis to explosions,
provides a bright contrast to the night and character colors, and
adds another appeal to the audience’s senses- in both a visual and
feeling-wise sense. Snow looks and feels cool).
great episode. I would rate it 10 out
of 10, but in a different manner than any other episodes I would
give a similar rating to. For example, it does not reach the tense
heights that the “Other Voices” two-parter does, nor the emotional
high that “Code of Hero” does.
it allows the audience to see all of the characters, puts something
important on the line, establishes a few points
that make the above mentioned episodes so compelling, and
provides solid entertainment.
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