“Now, you are being programmed with my personality, my instincts……..”
The episode starts by introducing us to Quantum Laboratories; “well-guarded home of America’s most secret scientific inventions”. Not well guarded enough to prevent Soundwave, Laserbeak and Megatron infiltrating it, however. They quickly find their objective, TORQ 3, the most powerful computer on earth, and reprogram it to serve only Megatron.
Megatron fits machines at Quantum with circuit linkers which allow TORQ 3 to control them, creating an army to defend against enemy retaliation. We later learn that TORQ 3 has the ability to create more machines himself.
As two of Quantum’s top scientists debate the morality of TORQ 3, and what would happen if it were to fall into the wrong hands, they soon find that TORQ has turned against them. They manage to get a message out to the Autobots to ask for help.
“My olfactory sensors detect a rat named Megatron…..”
Meanwhile, Megatron attaches circuit linkers to oil tankers, allowing TORQ to control them and send them to Decepticon HQ. This activity is picked up by the Autobots via Teletraan-1, just prior to them receiving a message from Doctor Gates and quantum. Doctor Gates tells Prime that TORQ has taken control of all the machines at Quantum.
Prime sends Skyfire, Spike and Hound to see what’s happening with the oil tankers, while the rest of the team head to Quantum to try to stop TORQ 3.
“Good grief, more bad news…”
At Quantum labs, the Autobots are immediately set upon by TORQ controlled armoured vehicles. They are quickly outnumbered by the machines, so call in the Dinobots for an assist. Grimlock and co quickly use their brute force to overcome the remote vehicles, enabling Prime to rescue Doctor Gates and his colleague from the office that TORQ had trapped them in. Sparkplug and Wheeljack find the circuit linkers on the tanks that the Dinobots had smashed, which connects the dots on how TORQ had managed to control them and the oil tankers.
“I’m getting some serious inspiration, Skyfire, take us down”
Prime and the team try to gain access to TORQ 3, and are confronted by his next wave of remote-control machines. The scene shifts to the ocean, where Skyfire, Hound and Spike have discovered a pumping station, protected by a force field. The Decepticons are using the station to pump the oil directly to their base. Hound comes up with an idea to hide on one of the oil tankers so they can infiltrate the pumping station and surprise the Decepticons. The surprise initially pays off and it looks like Hound and Skyfire are disrupting the Decepticons’ plans. Laserbeak captures Spike though, and so Megatron is able to force hound and Skyfire to surrender. Spike, hound and Skyfire are put under lock and key, and have their weapons and ammo taken, but use the time they have in the cell to hatch a plan to escape.
At the lab, Optimus Prime, Ironhide, Sideswipe and Prowl battle valiantly against TORQ’s army of machines until it seems like they have defeated the last of them. They go into the lab and are presented with a maze, and TORQ taunting them. Optimus Prime decides to go in alone to avoid risk to the others. He battles his way through the maze, fighting shifting layouts and more machines, but TORQ manages to get one of his machines to plant a circuit linker on him and gain control of the Autobot leader….or so it seems!
Prime reveals he placed a dead circuit linker into the machine’s hand! When TORQ realises he’s been tricked, he sends another flurry of machines to attack Optimus, but he quickly dodges them and shuts down TORQ.
“That prototype hydrofoil is the fastest thing in the water…good hunting!”
Megatron learns that the Autobots must have gotten to TORQ because the oil tankers are no longer under the computer’s control. Fortunately, he has a portable remote-control device that he can still use to guide the tankers-you have to admire the guy’s preparation.
Doctor gates provides the Autobots with a prototype hydrofoil to speed their way to the Decepticons. On the Pumping station, Spike finds an electromagnet in the junk in their cell. He uses it to magnetise Rumble and Ravage, who are guarding the cell, to its outer walls. Hound and Skyfire smash down the cell door, and they proceed to take down the pumping station’s forcefield. Optimus Prime and his team arrive in their hydrofoil and commence their attack.
“To the hydrofoil!”
Prime manages to destroy Megatron’s remote control device, and the Decepticons flee, but not before Megatron sets off the autodestruct on the station in an attempt to blow up the Autobots! As the station starts to go up, prime rescues Spike, Hound and Skyfire, who flies them to safety.
Key Scenes, Plot Points and Characters:
Prime shows a mixture of bravery and intelligence as he takes on TORQ 3’s maze and takes him down all by himself. Megatron also shows the depth of his intelligence in that he’s already prepared and has a back up plan for when the Autobots take down TORQ’s control of the oil tankers. The way that the Decepticons infiltrate the lab in the opening scene really embodies the “robots in disguise” theme!
A good episode, showcasing lots of characters and explosive scenes. I score this one 7 energon cubes out of 10.
This episode does a good job of getting lots of characters screen time, including the Dinobots and Soundwave’s cassette minions. I love the way that the Decepticons infiltrated the lab in the opening scenes, and I’m impressed by how the story manages to keep flowing despite a good amount of time being devoted to showing the Auotobots battling TORQ’s machines. Perhaps another episode that I’ve underestimated in the past, I’ll be watching this one again soon!