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Episode Review:


Bad Spark


Season 2


Reviewed by Master Solo


Her rating: This episode has a perfect score.

The episode opened with Cheetor on a routine patrol. When the resident cat-boy stumbled upon the massive stasis pod of Protoform X, who will later be named Rampage, an interesting tale unfolded, adding a new side to the Maximal faction. In an attempt to replicate Starscream's indestructible spark, with an apparent improvement in the form of shatterproof body armor, the Maximal Elders authorized, if not conducted, the experiment that produced Rampage.

The purpose of the experiment was to create a godlike Maximal, but the goal backfired when Rampage proved to be an empathic rogue with an enormous taste for pain. The Maximals tried to subdue him, but he proved too powerful, so, instead, they shoved him into a stasis pod and asked Optimus to dump the 'experiment' someplace barren.

Judging by Rhinox's words, he was very likely involved in the experiment, either as a scientist, or as the only person on the Axalon crew besides Optimus on the day the Elders delivered the order for the removal of X.

Although it was not said directly in the show, I believe that X's existence was very clandestine, even though he murdered all of Omicron except for Depth Charge.

Optimus and Silverbolt joined Cheetor at X's pod, where they encountered some Predacons. All but Tarantulas and Blackarachnia were quickly taken care of. The camera shifted to Silverbolt, whom Blackarachnia had pinned against the stasis pod and tried to talk into battle.

Being the chivalrous knight that he was, Silverbolt refused. The black widow, albeit somewhat flirtatiously, tried to lure the fuzor into battle with her weapons, but he still refused. A second later, Tarantulas snuck up on Blackarachnia and locked her in his deadly grip, after which Silverbolt stepped up his gleaming chivalry by at least two notches by rescuing Blackarachnia from the grasp of the Transmetal Tarantula, despite what she did earlier.

An energon storm was triggered at the stasis pod, stranding Silverbolt and Blackarachnia with each other and sparking what was, in my opinion, the best Beast Wars romance ever by giving them a walk. Both were at least moderately damaged by the time they landed on the forest floor and Silverbolt's wing mechanism was offline.

The fuzor asked Blackarachnia if she was damaged, and she replied with the famous "just enough to make me interesting."

Sometime during the course of the romantic stroll, Silverbolt and Blackarachnia found a cliff in their path. Since the only bridge was a fallen tree, Silverbolt volunteered to cross first and from behind, Blackarachnia plotted to betray him to his death. Just as she was about to shoot, Silverbolt turned around and spotted a feline stalking the Predacon femme. He shouted 'behind you', but Blackarachnia did not believe him and the second before she pressed the trigger, the cat pounced and pinned the 'prey' to the ground.

Silverbolt, being the gentleman that he was, literally took the enemy off the lady and threw the cat out of sight. Somehow, he fell over the cliff and because his wing mechanism was offline, he was unable to fly himself away from certain death. He tried to save himself by catching a vine, but the vine soon snapped. Just as the last support broke, however, Blackarachnia returned the favor by hauling the fuzor up with her V-shaped weapon (sorry, I'm horrible with weapon names to this day).

The femme asked Silverbolt if he was hurt, using the same words that he used, but with her own 'bad city girl' tone and fashion, if there's a difference between the two. In reply, Silverbolt gave her the answer that she once gave him, stepping the romance up by at least half a level.

Because Megatron had hidden a camera in Blackarachnia's back, he and Inferno were forced to watch the first of a series of heart-wrenching SB/BA romances that would occur throughout the second half of the war.

As they walked through the forest, they chatted somewhat despite their differences as Maximal and Predacon. Then, Silverbolt gave a yelp as he spotted Tarantulas's arm and in reaction, Blackarachnia got scared. When Silverbolt realized that he needlessly scared the femme and that it was only Tarantulas' arm, the fuzor redeemed himself with "he has been disarmed", a joke at which both laughed heartily.

Things soon got serious when the couple found the rest of Tarantulas' pieces scattered on the ground and Silverbolt, who trusted Blackarachnia and had no clue that the femme was spied on, revealed all that he knew of X.

Eventually, Silverbolt and Blackarachnia met up with Optimus and Cheetor and then X. Through combined group efforts and hours of hard work, the Maximals plus Predacon threw the indestructible Rampage down a cliff. They thought they saw the last of him, but they were proven erroneous when he reemerged with little damage. In a fashion that reminded me of Luke Skywalker at the end of A New Hope, Silverbolt took literally brought Rampage down by jamming an exploding feather between the tank's wheels.

Blackarachnia fell over the cliff and because of his caring spark, he dove after her despite his non-functional wings. Just as he was about to catch the lady, his wing mechanism's repairs completed and he flew her into safety. The couple parted upon Blackarachnia's insistence and as the femme left, Silverbolt watched her with sappy optics.

The fuzor silently professed his faith in her goodness and shortly after that, Blackarachnia returned his parting glance and gave her own comment on their evolving relationship, which she tried to lie to herself about.


Protoform X

Now a fearsome TF King Crab

But being forced to serve the Preds




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