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Episode Review:

Feral Scream- Part One

Season 3


Reviewed by Lord Skyfire


"When Megatron uses an alien transmetal driver in an attempt to shift the balance of power, Cheetor is forever altered and is forced to deal with the changes."

“The cat was tough… he went out fighting.”- Depthcharge, Feral Scream Part One


When the episode begins we are greeted with Megatron and his aid Waspinator slipping through the air with a stasis pod in tow. The first thing I think is “Ahh… another newcomer episode!” But boy was I wrong. Over the course of the Beast Wars we have had episodes that take advantage of the orbiting stasis pods crashing down upon the battlefield and bringing another player in the war. After sometime, though, this repetition of the introduction of a new character can become unspectacular. Yet, not this time. The episode Feral Scream and its second part are an intriguing story that takes a new spin on an overused concept.

After the first initial scene, we see our beloved commander of the Axalon, Optimus Primal and Cheetor searching the area for the transponder signal of a fallen stasis pod. As they begin to question whether what they detected was in fact a stasis pod or just a sensor glitch, Megatron and Waspinator arrive with the before mentioned stasis pod in tow. Of course, Optimus and Cheetor begin opening fire on the Predacons in an attempt to retrieve their fellow Maximal. Soon enough a battle erupts between the pair of Maximals and Predacons. As always, we are given an intricate battle with visual graphics that is more than satisfying to this fan! This show’s animation is just pure eye candy, but with some great plots and characters to back it up! Anyway, back on topic! Eventually, the pod is dropped and Cheetor races towards it. Unfortunately, Waspinator fires on the sky cat and takes him out. The Predacon insect retrieves the pod and quickly buzzes away. Recovering from the hit, Cheetor then whips out a huge honking gun and fires upon Waspinator. Unfortunately, Cheetor’s aim is off and he hits the cliff which Optimus was standing upon doing battle with Megatron. In effect, Optimus is sent plunging to the ground below and the Predacons are allowed to escape with the pod!

Megatron and Waspinator eventually end up on a mountain top, it would appear, which holds a large machine which extends far into the sky. The atmosphere of this location is all around spooky and ominous. Thunder crackles about them with the occasional lightning strike to add even more effect. Megatron stands before the tower-like machine and gloats, to who knows who, about what he has in plan. He soon orders Waspinator to place a small spherical device into the machine. Waspinator then responds in a strange Egor-like voice. This scene is a cliché. It goes back to the Frankenstein movie with Doc Frankenstein, Megatron, performing his life bringing experiment with the aid of Igor, or in this case Waspinator.

As Doctor “Meganstein” continues his little experiment, Cheetor tries to dig out his leader from a pile of boulders from the crumbling cliff he fell from. Without any notice, a pair of glowing “power pizzas” slams into the debris and frees Optimus from his stone cage. Depthcharge, who fired the pizzas, inquires if they’ve seen Rampage in the area and when Optimus answers with the obvious no, the fish flies off after the signal of Rampage’s spark. After he recovers, Optimus yells at Cheetor for endangering the life of the protoform within the stasis pod by aiming such a powerful weapon at it. This discussion between Optimus and Cheetor is quite interesting. Cheetor argues that even if Megatron could power up the protoform, that it’d just be a Predacon, so why let Megatron get a hold of another soldier? Optimus then argues that the protoform is innocent and its life should be protected no matter what it could become in the future. The question is asked, is it ok to take the life of someone innocent who will eventually become an enemy that will attempt to take your life without question? Optimus obviously answers no as the protoform is innocent still. Was this a mistake on Primal’s part, letting Megatron get a hold of a potential threat to the Maximals? Anyway, Optimus heads off to get repaired and Cheetor goes after the Predacons.

At the tower-like machine, Megatron and Waspinator continue to proceed with whatever they are doing. Megatron reveals Rampage’s half spark and gives it to the protoform. After a few switches and buttons, and a flash of bright light, out comes a familiar, yet altered, face. Megatron welcomes the newcomer, revealing to us that it is Transmetal Dinobot 2! Another clone of our honorable warrior enters the Beast wars, yet this time with an even larger twist. Dinobot 2 is impressive and fierce looking. When Depthcharge arrives, we get a peak into the ferociousness of the clone. We see that this Dinobot and the one who we came to love and cherish are not at all the same. As the new Pred tears into Depthcharge, Cheetor comes and begins opening fire on Megatron, Waspinator, and eventually Dinobot. Dinobot, after dealing with Cheetor, transforms and tests out his newly improved optic laser. The newly formed Predacon fires his weapon which hits his finger and blasts it off. What’s surprising is that he doesn’t even flinch from the action! This moment only shows us how powerful he is and that he truly shares the special qualities that Rampage possess. After a bit, Cheetor hops onto the little hover platform which Waspinator used and grabs the alien driver, passing it to Depthcharge. Megatron, infuriated at the cat, fires at him, causing Cheetor to fall into the energy beam that was created by the driver. Cheetor begins to become electrocuted and the cloning machine shows signs of overloading. After the energy builds, an explosion is caused and both Depthcharge and the Predacons are sent flying from the area. After the explosion, Depthcharge finds a torn piece of Cheetor’s armor plating. Finally, we are shown a brief bit of emotion from Depthcharge. The scene where he sees the torn piece of Cheetor lets us see and along with him feel the shock of the previous events. This episode so far has taken a far darker turn than any previous episodes, aside from Bad Spark and possibly Transmutate.

Back at Maximal HQ, Optimus is repairing himself with the aid of Rhinox. (Why not use C.R. Chamber?) Then Depthcharge arrives and he shows them the torn piece of Cheetor’s armor and tells them “The cat was tough… he went out fighting.” He leaves Rhinox and Optimus to deal with their feelings and goes down to the lower portions of the base. He puts the driver in a scanner and finds out it is of the aliens and that it has been enhanced by Megatron. Depthcharge decides it best to destroy it and tosses it down a crack to land in lava. Little did he know, that Blackarachnia was snooping about, furthering that she is indeed still a Predacon at heart. The black widow grabs the driver, before it was destroyed by the lava, for her own purposes. Obviously this episode is being used to introduce a new character, a new due for Cheetor, and to set us up for the episode Proving Grounds.

Back to Optimus and Rhinox… Optimus blames himself for the loss of Cheetor. Optimus claims that Cheetor tried to prove himself after he had been rough on him. Rhinox offers a subtle hope by saying he’s going to get the scanners on to search for Cheetor, offering hope that Cheetor is still out there.

Off somewhere unknown, an extremely damaged Cheetor limps onward towards home, but stops in an overwhelming surge of pain. His leg begins to glow a green hue and he again screams in serious pain. Poor Cheetor!

Back at the Pred base, we learn that Dinobot is able to inflict the same spark-cringing pain on Rampage as Megatron was, simply by squeezing his own spark. Why doesn’t this hurt Dinobot? Anyway, we also learn that Megatron has a great knowledge of Cybertronian physiology due to the fact that he claims that a fusion between two sparks would require only the knowledge he has. Anyway, Megatron orders the new Dinobot to find Depthcharge and get that alien driver back.

When we come back to the Maximal base, Depthcharge comes from the C.R. Chamber and gets a report from his scanners that Rampage’s spark is detected. He runs outside, but finds Dinobot. Meanwhile, Optimus Primal searches grid by grid fro Cheetor and also the new Dinobot, but with little luck. After reporting in, he hears an ominous screech and heads off in its direction. Somehow, Dinobot 2 over took Depthcharge and bound him and took the maximal to some unknown location for interrogation. Megatron, Rampage, and Quickstrike are there as well and soon become the victim of a shadowy creature. The creature tears Quickstrike apart and unleashes damage on all but Depthcharge. When the Predacons are dealt with by the creature, it circles Depthcharge. The detail in this scene only increases the suspense and spookiness. I like the heavy breathing from Depthcharge for some reason! Anyway, Optimus lands and the creature races off, but not before making eye contact with the Maximal commander.

Back at the base, Rhinox sends a warning to the others about the creature. Optimus talks with Rhinox and hints that he thinks he knows what or rather who this creature is. Just as Optimus finished, though, Cheetor, heavily damaged and almost lifeless, stumbles up to the base and falls unconscious at the front door.


To be continued… Don’t ya love two parters! No? Well I do, but only when I can pop in the next tap and see what happens right away! lol

What’s good-

Well it’s a great newcomer story. It effectively introduces the newest addition to the Beast Wars, the second clone of Dinobot. Yet, that is not what the story is really about. This episode primarily deals with Cheetor’s growth as a character. Cheetor has been the kid of the Beast Wars. He’s the young immature bot who sometimes causes some trouble. This episode shows him mature into a more adult-like character, yet still with his usual characteristics, but this episode develops his character more. I mean… no matter how much we love that old Cheetor… he can’t stay a kid forever. It only made sense that he would grow up some during this war.

I also loved the prominent use of Depthcharge in this episode. I like him and love seeing him in action! Another favorite is the moment when all the Predacons actually tremble in fear! You don’t get to see that often!

What’s not so good-

Well in the beginning when Optimus and Megatron are exchanging fire, Optimus’ massive cannons rapidly fire towards the hovering Predacon, managing to miss every single time. This just isn’t totally believable. Out of all those shots fired, that none had hit Megatron. Is our Predacon commander that agile in the air to evade such a heavy amount of fire? This often happens in Beast Wars where reality is compromised for the plot.

Again, in the beginning during the opening battle, Cheetor, in an attempt to get back the stasis pod from Waspinator, whips out a huge honking gun. Where and when did he get this weapon? Why has he never used it before? Did he just happen to back a huge weapon for no apparent reason? I suppose the question of how did he carry the weapon without it being seen before hand can be sort of explained away by the ‘subspace pocket’ idea. Oh well… it was just necessary to give Cheetor a weapon powerful enough to destroy a cliff edge and effectively damage Optimus.

When we are just introduced to Dinobot 2 and Cheetor and Depthcharge are there fighting the Predacons, how does Depthcharge know of the original Dinobot? It doesn’t seem to me that Depthcharge has become a close member of the team yet and that this info would be shared, but oh well… just a little thing that caught my attention.

Another small thing is the cartoony way they had Megatron spinning on his tail gun when the transmetal Cheetor attacks him. It was way too kiddish for an episode like this one. Throughout Beast Wars it has grown and become more serious, with only the best of stories, but here and there the occasional cartoony thing plops in. Oh well… stupid people at Hasbro!

Anyway, I think overall this episode is great! It’s only enhanced by its second half. It effectively introduces a new character, gives Cheetor a new look, and sets things up for the episode Proving Grounds. It has action, mystery, and emotion which pushes it to one of my favorite Beast Wars episodes!

I give Feral Scream: Part One 3 ½ out of 4 stars!



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