Episode Review: Transformers S01 Ep14 – “Countdown to Extinction”

“Yo Gears, get with it!”

This episode begins with the Autobots trying to rebuild the damage done to the Earth during the events of “The Ultimate Doom”. Similarly, the Decepticons are trying to repair the damage done to their base, but they are disordered and squabbling amongst themselves with no true leader to guide them. Then, despite being presumed destroyed, Megatron arrives at Decepticon base to the surprise of his warriors. Stating his intention to resolve some unfinished business with Doctor Arkeville, Megatron expresses his dislike of hearing that has gone to his secret laboratory with Starcream-who named himself leader of the Decepticons when it was thought Megatron was no more.

Back at Autobot headquarters, Wheeljack gets Teletraan-1 online just in time to see that Megatron is operational and leading his team to find Arkeville and Starscream.

“I Doctor Arkeville, genius of science say-open sesame!”

Starscream arrives at Arkevilles lab and goes inside to see the powerful generator that the Doctor has created. While this is happening, the Autobots and Decepticons, on their way to the lab converge at the same place and the Decepticons proceed to attack the Autobots.

Inside the lab Starscream reveals that he has modified Arkeville’s generator with a timing mechanism that will cause the generator to produce so much energy that it will explode and blow up the Earth in eight hours. Starscream plans to collect the released energy from the explosion from Cybertron and use it to conquer the universe.

“Before long, I shall be Lord Starscream……”

Starscream takes off for Cybertron with Arkeville on board, who is pleading with Starscream not to destroy the Earth. Starscream, as expected shows no compassion. Meanwhile, on Earth, the Autobots and Decepticons are continuing their fight. The Autobots get the better of Megatron and co, but follow them as they retreat.

On Cybertron, Starscream finds Shockwave desperately trying to re-establish contact with Megatron. Shockwave refuses to believe the Megatron has been destroyed, but Starscream orders him to cease his efforts. While Arkeville could not stop Starscream in his plan to destroy Earth, he tries to stop him being able to collect the energy and is injured in his efforts.

On Earth, Megatron-aware that the Autobots are tracking the Decepticons-leads Prime and his team into a quicksand trap. He leaves Laserbeak at the site of the trap to ensure the Autobots are finished, while he and the rest of his team fly off to continue their mission. Despite being trapped in the sand, Mirage has enough firepower to take down Laserbeak, and Ironhide uses his super cool nitrogen to freeze the quicksand, allowing the Autobots to escape. Jazz then makes use of the fact that Laserbeak is stuck in cassette mode to play back his recordings and discover the Decepticons plans. Upon learning that Megatron was heading to Arkeville’s lab, Prime orders his team to head off in pursuit.

“Your destiny is to serve me, my potent beauty!”

At the lab, Megatron arrives and discovers the generator, but is not yet aware that it’s rigged to blow. The Autobots arrive and the Decepticons head outside to confront them, a sloppy battle commences, with Megatron doing more damage to his own troops than to any Autobots!

On Cybertron, Starscream has been tending to Arkeville’s injuries, resulting in him becoming more machine than man.

“I always hit what I aim for Prime!”

The fight on earth has moved from outside the lab to inside. Optimus Prime has discovered the unstable condition of the generator. As Megatron is preparing to blast Optimus, Shockwave-who has disobeyed Starscream’s orders-contacts Megatron to warn him about the timing device on the generator. Megatron disarms the timing device and vows to do serious damage to Starscream.

When Starscream learns that the timing device has not gone off, he heads to earth with Arkeville to investigate. While he’s on his way, Megatron has been modifying the generator for his own use. We see how dangerous it is when it melts Megatron’s outer-housing.

Optimus tries to get the device out of Megatron’s hands, but it becomes too unstable, so Megatron is forced to load it into himself in his gun mode and get Optimus to fire it into space. As the generator enters space it detonates nearby Starscream, who is on his way back to Earth. He comes crashing down, landing at the feet of Megatron, who takes him off to do…..things that aren’t gentle to him!

Key Scenes, Plot Points and Characters:

The biggest thing that stands out in this episode is Shockwave’s loyalty and dedication to Megatron. He refuses to believe that anything can destroy Megatron, and it is this faith that makes him sneak off and disobey Starscream’s orders. Doing this, saves Megatron, Prime, and the whole planet Earth from Starscream’s plan.

The Verdict:

This episode serves the purpose of tying up a few loose ends from “The Ultimate Doom”, and I like the fact that they chose to show the after-effects of what has happened, rather than glossing over it and starting afresh in the next story. However, the episode isn’t particularly exciting and there are no standout moments. A solid episode, but nothing to write home about, I score this episode 7 energon cubes out of 10.


This isn’t a bad episode, but it lacks a bit of oomph. If I was doing a Transformers binge-watch, I wouldn’t want to skip it, but if I was going to watch an isolated episode, I would be very unlikely to pick this one. Despite this, there’s not really anything specific that I can say that’s bad about it. There’s just so many more episodes that are so much better, because they have a great moment, or delve into a bit of history, or focus on a specific character. This episode just doesn’t really have any standout moments, and that’s ok, it just serves to highlight just how good some of the other episodes really are.

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About Steve Shreeve 68 Articles
When he isn't writing about Transformers, Steve runs Shreeve Health and Fitness, using his online training service to train people in any location. Steve loves Transformers and Star Trek, retro toys and cartoons, sharks, and nature.