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Episode Review:


Double Dinobot


Season 1


Reviewed by Master Solo



Of all the Beast Wars episodes, I can say that this is one that does not truly end after its allotted twenty-five minutes because the subject of cloning Dinobot recurs throughout the series, once in season 2 (Code of Hero) and several times in season 3 (TM2 DB).

The episode opens with Megatron and Scorponok brewing something inside a giant, cylindrical chamber. The whole place is dark, making the scene resemble something from Frankenstein. Scorponok warns Megatron that pressures and other statistics are reaching a critical level and that something might either explode or power down if the two do not stop the experiment, but Megatron is not one to listen, take warnings, or care about odds, so he persisted. As the Predacons create Dinobot's clone, they scheme to take care of the real Dinobot and use the clone to destroy the Maximals. Megatron looses Terrorsaur on Dinobot.

The plan is brilliant, except that Megatron does not send a particularly competent Predacon to scrap Dinobot. Perhaps Megatron kept a database of the Predacons' DNA after the crash, or perhaps he picked up a scrap of Dinobot after some battle, but either way, he picked the perfect soldier to clone. There is a bit of foreshadowing of what will come in Season 3, which I feel that I am not fit to explain.

Meanwhile, Dinobot's out on patrol, bored like any Predacon warrior would be at the lack of action. Finally, Terrorsaur arrives as scheduled and grants Dinobot's wish with an explosive bonus made of rocks and dust. In other words, the dactyl provokes Dinobot, avoids getting hit, and leads the raptor into a cave, where Terrorsaur takes out a blaster and shoots several weak points in the cave so as to bury Dinobot under a massive heap of boulders. When Terrorsaur thinks that he has terminated Dinobot, he informs Megatron of the raptor's 'demise' and signals for Megatron to release the clone.

The cloned raptor arrives in the Axalon, pretending to be the real Dinobot returning from patrol, and convinces Optimus that there was Predacon activity in a sector full of lava. He tells Optimus a half-truth about a planned assault by giving the leader the wrong location and thus diverting the Maximals' attention. Optimus sends the clone to investigate with Rattrap, much to the clone's dismay, for the clone's mission was to stay in the Maximal base and shut down sentinel. However, this clone apparently has more than Dinobot's DNA, because he improvises at least half as well and devises a way to return to the Maximal base without raising suspicion.

When the clone and Rattrap arrive at the sector the clone names, Rattrap transforms and asks 'Dinobot' to do the same in order to go scouting, but the clone, who is not capable of transforming, tells Rattrap that Optimus told them to survey, which they would do best in beast mode. Rattrap gets slightly suspicious about the out of character statement from his partner, but he brushes it off for the moment and complies. The two begin to scout the lava sector for Predacon activities and all of a sudden, the clone betrays Rattrap by kicking the bridge on which the rat stood. The clone thinks that Rattrap would be dead after he kicks the log off of its resting place, so he returns to the Axalon and pretends to be badly beaten.

Dinobot's clone tells Optimus that the Predacons beat him up badly and trapped Rattrap, so the Maximal leader leaves 'Dinobot' in charge of the base and flies after Rattrap with the rest of the Maximals. After Optimus disappears from sight, the clone tries to guess the password required to deactivate Sentinel, but is unsuccessful on each try.

The first time, his finger is zapped and the second time, the computer electrocutes the raptor by running currents through his nostrils. Perhaps the defense was set up to make sure that random animals don't walk into the Axalon and tamper with it, but it obviously exceeded its makers' intentions. I personally would wonder what hilarious episodes could result if an animal that looks like a Maximal's beast form (namely apes and falcons) wanders into the Axalon and shuts down Sentinel by chancing upon the right password. At least that seems to be the reason all of Sentinel's 'wrong password' defenses are not lethal.

Meanwhile, the real Dinobot emerges from the pile of rocks, sword and eye beams first. He snarls angrily and his pose says all that he thinks of Terrorsaur's cowardice before eventually returning to the Axalon and telling Sentinel to stand down. The clone then mistakenly thinks that he's guessed the password and cheers. However, before he could inform Megatron of his accomplishments and leave the base, the clone finds himself facing the real Dinobot, who has arrived in beast mode.

This clone must have an incredibly fast reaction time because he mimics Dinobot's moves so precisely that, for an instant, he has the real Dinobot wondering if someone installed a mirror as a prank. However, Dinobot is never fully convinced because he can see the consoles behind the clone. After some quick thinking, Dinobot throws out a final test by turning his head as far back as he could and finds out that there is another raptor in the base because the clone opens his wide. All of that might also have happened because the clone was a good fortuneteller who guessed all of Dinobot's moves correctly until he ran out of luck towards the end, but I'm more convinced that the clone was using his wits and was outsmarted. However, it doesn't matter because now Dinobot knows that he's got a battle on his claws.

Dinobot asks the clone who he was, and the clone replies with a 'what you could have been had you not left Megatron.' To Dinobot, that probably registered as an insult and as 'a senseless fool without logic circuits'.

The real Dinobot transforms and asks the clone to do the same so that they could have a robot-to-robot face-off. At this point, I always wondered what the fight would have been like if the clone was able to transform, but we all know that the clone was probably too organic. The clone does not expect Dinobot to be honorable and knows that he is dead meat, so he finally admits his weakness and confesses that he could not transform.

Much to the clone's surprise, Dinobot reverts to beast mode because the real Dinobot has a sense of honor and will only fight fair and the clone thinks that he is fortunate that he does not share Dinobot's values. The two dinosaurs fight, and the camera angles in on the clash in a way so that I lost track of which raptor is real and which one is the clone. The battle apparently ends when one of the raptors throws the other one against a console and momentarily knocks that one out. The one that remains standing says that Megatron will be pleased, making the viewer think that the clone beat the real Dinobot, but then, the raptor who got slammed into the machinery opens his eyes and looks extremely peeved.

Nobody knows what exactly happened between then and the time one dinosaur goes to meet Megatron because Beast Wars's young audience isn't supposed to watch bloody gore, but I'm assuming that the real Dinobot pounced on the clone and made the kill. To best explain the nonexistent traces of the clone's existence in the Axalon and the background in a "Code of Hero" scene, I would say that either the fight went to Dinobot's quarters or Dinobot dragged the body to his quarters and feasted there. Amazingly, the resident ex-Pred warrior finishes off a meal that is about his size in time to go out and meet Megatron. To top it all off, Dinobot does an extremely clean job and makes sure that there's no visible traces of his meal, such as blood, on the outside.

In the interim, the Maximals find Rattrap, who managed to survive the clone's treachery and climb out of the lava river. The rat tells what he knows, which is basically 'his suspicions about Dinobot being a Pred spy were confirmed', so the worried Maximals run for the Axalon. When they get there, they find themselves listening to the story of a lifetime.

Just outside the Maximal base, Dinobot goes to meet Megatron and pretends to be the clone. He then tricks Megatron and just as the T-Rex makes a run for the base, Dinobot activates Sentinel, which zaps Megatron, who then calls the raptor 'treacherous clone' and spits out several insults that refer to the real Dinobot.

As Dinobot transforms, he replies with 'correction, I am the real Dinobot' and the two start facing off with their ranged weapons. Dinobot shoots his eye-lasers when Megatron fires a purple beam from his beast head, which is also his hand. At first, Dinobot appears to be winning, but then Megatron pushes forward a little and gains the advantage. Smoke blows from the twin vats on the sides of Dinobot's helmet, showing the viewer that the ex-Predacon is really breaking a sweat. Maybe Dinobot is having trouble as a result of eating too much, because he goes far past this in "Code of Hero". Or maybe those eye-lasers require more power that melee weapons. Nevertheless, Dinobot still got voted as the most powerful Season One character in a poll.

The other Maximals decide to intervene once they learn that Dinobot was truly on their side and that a clone duped them, so they fire at Megatron until the Predacon leader is out of sight. I wonder why Megatron came alone, but it's not exactly out of his megalomaniac character to claim victory all for himself.

The Maximals go back to the base and find the interior 'trashed', to quote Cheetor. Rattrap doesn't buy into the clone story and the curious Maximals inquire of the clone's fate. Dinobot, in turn, says that the clone is unavailable and laments, commenting that it was a shame to lose such a handsome and tasty creature as his clone. Then, before any of the other Maximals could react, Dinobot, who has reverted to beast mode, picks between his teeth with a claw and flicks out a piece of meat, which lands on Optimus' face

For what may be an eternity, the other Maximals are stunned to the point of silence and don an identical, priceless expression, with Cheetor's being the most memorable of the bunch. Then Optimus tells Dinobot that he's disgusting. Sometime after this episode but before "Code of Hero", Dinobot, in his spare time, takes two of the clone's bones, a piece of the clone's skin from the neck area, and makes the clone pieces into a circular, wall ornament. Since this ornament does not appear in "Maximal, No More", I'd say that he put up the pelt sometime between then and "Code of Hero".


"You're disgusting." -Optimus

"Correction, I am the real Dinobot." -Dinobot

"What are you?" -Dinobot
"What you could have been."

Master Solo gives this episode a 10 out of 10.

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