“Not Snowman Spike, Snowbot!”
The Autobots encounter snow for the first time! An amusing opening sees the Autobots having their first snowball fight with Spike! The fun is soon replaced with suspicion though, when we see snow falling off cactuses in the desert! Prime, using Teletraan-1 hypothesises that the heat energy from the earth’s core is being drained away. Naturally Gears suspects that the Decepticons have something to do with it.
“With his size and probable strength, he will make an excellent Decepticon!”
We cut away to an icy location, where the Decepticons are filling energon cubes by draining heat energy from crystals in the earth’s core. Rumble, digging a tunnel reveals something in the ice. The Decepticons investigate further and reveal a large robot. Meanwhile, the Autobots are continuing their investigations into the Earth’s heat loss. They discover that the Decepticons are running their operation from the Arctic Circle and Prime takes a team to intervene.
“…..I knew him once, a long time ago on Cybertron…..”
The Decepticons have now fully unearthed the large robot they found trapped in the ice and are working on reviving him. Megatron enquires as to why Starscream seems to be showing particular concern for this robot. Starscream reveals that he knew the robot, whose name is Skyfire. He and Skyfire were once explorers on Cybertron. They were once exploring Earth, at a time when there was no intelligent life on the planet. Skyfire was separated from Starscream when they were both caught up in a polar windstorm and Starscream was unable to locate him.
Upon reviving Skyfire, Megatron explains the Decepticons mission to gather energy to conquer the universe, and that the Autobots are their enemies. Skyfire is adorned with a Decepticon emblem, and he asks Starscream about his happiness with being a warrior compared to when he was a scientist.
“It seems the time has come for me to make the change from science to war.”
Skyfire seems uneasy with vowing to destroy the Autobots, but upon being posted on guard duty, he comes across them and proceeds to act upon his vow. He sets his firepower on the Autobots immediately, which causes Spike and Sparkplug to become endangered. Hearing their cries, Skyfire goes to their rescue. Skyfire cannot understand why Spike and Sparkplug seem fearful of him after he has saved them. They explain to him that the Autobots are good and the Decepticons are Evil, but Skyfire takes them to Megatron to show them that they have nothing to fear. The Autobots withdraw to figure out a plan to rescue Spike and Sparkplug safely.
“Who are you to offer safety to our enemies Skyfire?”
It doesn’t take long before Skyfire sees the real Decepticon ways. Megatron and Starscream reveal their attitude towards the humans and Starscream shoots Skyfire for showing concern for their safety. Skyfire starts to deliberate on what he has seen here as he is more concerned with furthering science than destroying innocent life.
The Autobots are on their way to rescue Spike and Sparkplug, but get separated into two groups due to an ice cave-in. Optimus, Bumblebee, Jazz and Cliffjumper find Spike and Sparkplug and free them. Hound, Gears, Ratchet and Ironhide find the Decepticon operation to drain the energy from the core crystals. They are spotted by Megatron who orders them seized and disposed of, qnd Soundwave ejects Ravage to search for any other Autobots that may be nearby. Ravage does find the remaining Autobots, but they are able to trap him in the ice and get away.
“But, I’m a scientist, not an executioner.”
Starscream gives Skyfire the order to terminate the captured Autobots as a test of his loyalty. Skyfire refuses, citing the fact that the Autobots have done nothing wrong. Starscream shoots him for his disobedience and then blasts the Autobots, who seem to be destroyed.
After Starscream leaves the scene, the Autobots reveal themselves, seemingly unharmed. They explain that it was one of Hound’s holograms that created the illusion that they were destroyed. Skyfire has been badly injured by the shot from Starscream, so Ratchet sets about treating his injuries, all the time unaware that Laserbeak is spying on them and reporting back to Megatron.
“Autobots below….fire at will!”
Upon learning that Starscream failed to terminate the Autobots, he orders an all out attack on them. An explosive battle breaks out, which sees both sides strike blows. Prime and Megatron engage in a one-on-one fight and Megatron seems to be defeated, when he sees Skyfire approach from behind Prime. He orders Skyfire to destroy Optimus, but Skyfire reveals that he is now an Autobot and sets about fighting back against the Decepticons-beginning with Megatron. He then engages in an aerial fight with Starscream. They collide mid-air, which disables Starscream, and also sends Skyfire heading into the ice. On his way down, he destroys the Decepticon energy operation, which stops the heat drain and allows the Earth to warm up again. It seems Skyfire is lost forever in the Ice and the Autobots vow to remember him.
Key Scenes, Plot Points and Characters:
Seeing Starscream’s history with Skyfire is a nice example of the depth that the Transformers writers went to, and perhaps one of the reasons that make the series so good to watch. More than just mere robots, these characters have a deep history which makes them intriguing and compelling. Learning that Starscream was once an explorer/scientist creates a very big contrast to who he is now.
Lots of characters appear in this episode and we see the continued demonstration of their skills, abilities, and personalities. Ratchet for example showing his compassion and dedication to his medical duties, when he refuses to leave Skyfire after treating his injuries, and Soundwave showing his many abilities when the Decepticons revive him in the first place.
A very good episode, which combines the usual action we have become accustomed to with excellent story-telling and continued character development. I score this episode 10 energon cubes out of 10.
This is definitely a stand-out episode from season one. Although the scene where we delve into Starscream’s history in Cybertron is a short one, it’s often those episodes that link back to the Transformers past that are among the best. The contrast in values between the Autobots and Decepticons is also well portrayed here, and I was impressed by many of the animation sequences, particularly one Optimus Price transformation that was very well done.