Episode Review: Transformers S02 Ep01 – “Autobot Spike”

“Another Autobot? Even if it works, who needs it?”

The first episode of season two starts off at Autobot headquarters. Sparkplug is conducting an experiment. He’s created a robot named Autobot-X from Autobot spare parts. After powering Autobot-X up, he quickly goes haywire, and sets about trashing the Ark!

Sparkplug is unable to control his invention, so the Autobots have to use more forceful methods to stop him. After bringing him down, Wheeljack declares that he’d like to work on a way to transfer mental impulses to Autobot-X, so if an Autobot needs repair, his mind could be transferred to Autobot-X while his body is worked on.

The scene is quickly disrupted by a Decepticon alert. Teletraan-1 has picked up Decepticon activity at a rocket base, so Optimus Prime takes a team of Autobots to intercept them.

“Yes… attend to your diminutive friends while we depart…”

Megatron sets about taking over the rocket base, with intent to steal all the energy from the base. The Autobots arrive just in time and immediately get to work on stopping the Decepticons. The battle does not go well, several Autobots sustain injuries from aggressive Decepticon attacks, and the rockets at the base are quickly obliterated by weapons blasts from the fighting Transformers.

As Bumblebee, with Spike on board arrive on scene having decided to leave base to help the others, Soundwave explains to Megatron that the battle has inadvertently destroyed the energy supply that they had come for. The Decepticons decide to leave, but not before providing a distraction so that the Autobots won’t be able to follow them. Megatron transforms and Soundwave uses him to blast Bumblebee, sending him sprawling on to his side. Bumblebee, is damaged but Ratchet believes he will be able to fix him up. Spike however is more seriously injured and is rushed to hospital.

“If only there were a way of separating Spike’s mind from his body while we work…..”

Spike’s condition in hospital doesn’t look good, the Doctor expresses his wish for a way to separate Spike’s mind from his body, and of course Sparkplug believes that he might know a way. As it turns out, Wheeljack has developed his way to transfer mental impulses into Autobot-X. He uses his cybernetic attachments to transfer Spike’s mind into Autobot-X to allow the doctors the time they need to operate on Spike’s body.

Spike immediately has trouble adjusting to his situation, and his robot body. He goes into a rage and starts damaging Autobot HQ. The Autobots have to use violent methods to gain control of Spike, but they use low power to avoid damaging Autobot-X’s body.

A low power blast from Optimus Prime calms Spike down enough for Sparkplug to explain the situation to Spike. One of the side effects of the mind transfer is that Spike feels as though he’s being told to do bad things. Unfortunately, Decepticon spy Laserbeak has been observing this conversation and goes to report it all to Megatron, as Prime and some of the other Autobots have to head off to the rocket base to aid in it’s repair.

“A monster… that’s what you’ve turned me into… a robot monster”

Learning that the state of Spike’s mind is questionable, Megatron decides to try to use this as a way to use him to destroy the other Autobots. Meanwhile Spike, has decided to watch a movie about Frankenstein’s monster-perhaps not the best viewing choice considering his own situation! Naturally Spike has a bad reaction to what he’s watching. He becomes violent, and as the Autobots try to restrain him, he blasts off and escapes. Spike’s escape is captured on camera by the Decepticon Reflector, and Bumblebee heads off in pursuit of Spike. Bumblebee, is unaware however that Ratchet hasn’t yet had chance to repair his radio transmitter-something that’s bound to be needed once he finds Spike.

Reflector maintains surveillance on Spike, who is trying to make sense of what to do about his current situation. As he’s struggling with the moral implications of having power to help but seeing himself as a monster, Bumblebee arrives and tries to explain how the side effect of the experiment is making it hard for Spike to think. Spike reacts badly to Bumblebee’s presence, knocking him on to the very edge of a cliff. Before he has chance to continue his assault, Megatron and the Decepticons fly in and confront Spike. After a brief exchange of firepower, Megatron calls a ceasefire and puts in motion his plan to turn Spike against the Autobots. Bumblebee flees the scene to report what has happened to Optimus Prime.

“Impressive… for primitive rocket technology!”

At the Rocket base, Optimus and the Autobots have repaired all the damage and watch as the humans are able to successfully launch their rockets. Bumblebee speeds on to the scene and reports to Prime how Megatron is manipulating Spike. The Autobots quickly set off to find Spike, and find him wandering in the rocky wilderness.

Prime immediately tries to calm Spike, explaining that it won’t be long before they can transfer his mind back to his soon to be repaired human body. Spike does not react well to this, and blasts Optimus square in the chest. Prime absorbs the blow and continues to try to pacify Spike. Spike however reveals that he’s been carrying Megatron in his alt-mode, and uses Megatron to fire another blast at Optimus. The rest of the Decepticons reveal themselves and a battle inevitably breaks out.

In a last-ditch effort to try to bring Spike to his senses, Wheeljack brings Sparkplug to try to talk Spike down. However Spike reflexively fires at his father. Panicked at the sight of his father falling from the cliff he’s just blasted him from, Spike uses his robot powers to save him. This seems to give Spike a moment of clarity, and realising he still has Megatron’s vast power in his hand, he uses Megatron to blast away at the Decepticon troops! This turns the tide of the battle, and Megatron calls for his warriors to make a retreat.

“Ok Wheeljack… zap me back home!”

The hospital staff report that they have given Spike’s body the best possible care. It’s now up to the Autobots to do their part by transferring Spike’s mind back to his human body. At first, It seems as though the device might be overloading, but the transfer is a success and Spike finds himself back where he belongs!

Key Scenes, Plot Points and Characters:

The plot in this episode is fairly straight forward. However the scene that stands out the most for me is seeing Optimus Prime get first blasted by Autobot Spike, and then by Megatron’s alt mode. Optimus takes the full force of both of these blasts, but never waivers from his determination to stop Spike without harming him. This scene is a powerful demonstration of just how strong of mind and body Optimus Prime is. Despite being in what seems like an impossible situation, he is willing to take the hits, and not sacrifice his values, or Spike’s safety in finding a way to resolve the situation.

Bumblebee also shows his bravery and dedication to Spike. He always seems to be there to try to help Spike, he’s the first one to go after him when he flees Autobot base, even though he’s not been fully repaired yet.

I also wouldn’t be doing season two justice if I didn’t mention how cool the new intro music and accompanying animated scenes are. Big upgrade on season 1’s intro!

The Verdict:

This isn’t a bad episode. It’s entertaining, and an enjoyable watch, but it doesn’t particularly stand out amongst some of the better and more iconic episodes. I score this episode 6 energon cubes out of 10!

Afterthoughts:

I found this episode really hard to score. It’s really not a bad episode, it’s just that there are so many more that are much better. So the score is more reflective of taking into account other episodes that deserve to score higher rather than marking this episode down. Indeed, season one ended on a real high note with Heavy Metal War, and this episode feels like a step down in intensity and excitement from that episode-which has you locked into it from beginning to end. The fact that this episode only scored 6 out of 10 energon cubes despite still being a good one, is more reflective of just how high the standard is of other Transformers episodes, rather than being a knock on this one.

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About Steve Shreeve 37 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.