Episode Review: Transformers S02 Ep12 – “The Core”

“Fool, I warned you this site was unstable.”

A mountain range with a flowing river, a waterfall, a cavern, a drill, the Constructicons! The Constructicons are hard at work in a cavern, drilling. But something goes wrong, the rock fractures and they have to seal it.

The event causes Megatron and Starscream argue over the safety of his plan: to tap into the Earth’s core to steal the rich energy from it.

Starscream is concerned that drilling into the Earth’s core will shatter the planet, destroying everything, including the Decepticons. However, Megatron reveals he has hidden a Space Bridge to Cybertron nearby, concealed by a hologram. An escape exit if the Decepticons should need it.

“I could hardly be mistaken about anything as big and wet as a river!”

Jazz, Mirage, Sunstreaker, Bluestreak and Gears are on a patrol. They come to an area where there should be a river, but it has disappeared. They investigate and find that the river has been diverted by the Constructicons. The Autobots follow them but lose them as they disappear into their base. Laserbeak, who was so crucial in the previous episode “A Prime Problem” observes the Autobots while on reconnaissance and reports back to Soundwave and Megatron.

Megatron dispatches the Constructicons, merged as the giant robot Devastator to tackle the Autobot patrol. While Devastator battles the Autobots, Mirage manages to sneak away, infiltrate the Decepticon base and learn of their drilling operations. The Autobots escape and report back to Optimus.

As Optimus Prime contemplates the issue at hand with his team, they lament that Devastator really tips the balance of the scales in Megatron’s favour. However, Chip and Wheeljack have created “dominator discs” which will overrides Devastator’s circuits and bring him under Autobot Control.

The first step is to put a disc on each of the Constructicons. As night falls, the Autobots set off to put their plan into action. They freeze the waterfall that the Constructicons are using to cool their drill. As they come out of their base to investigate, the Autobots covertly apply their dominator discs to each Constructicon. As the Autobots think they are fleeing the scene inconspicuously, they are unaware that Starscream has spotted them and has them in his sights. As he’s about to blast Megatron stops him. It seems Megatron is already aware of the Autobots’ plan and already has a counter plan in mind.

“…..the Autobots attack…..we shall be ready”.

Megatron has his troops ready for the inevitable Autobot attack. Fighting breaks out and it isn’t long before the Constructicons merge to bring Devastator into the action. Chip and Wheeljack activate the dominator discs and Optimus Prime is able to order Devastator to turn against the Decepticons! The Autobots win the day and head back to base for repairs with Devastator in tow. However, Megatron has already created a device called an electronic disruptor which will negate the Autobot control over Devastator and turn him against them when they’re least expecting it.

“There’s nothing like watching the enemy through Devastator’s eyes ‘eh Starscream?”

Megatron resumes drilling, and the ground begins to shake. Optimus Prime orders the Autobots to head off to try to stop them, but is unaware that Megatron is able to watch their activities through Devastator himself on his viewscreen at base. Knowing what the Autobots are doing, he prepares his troops for their arrival.

Devastator enters the Decepticon drilling base, followed by Prime, Wheeljack and the rest of the Autobot brigade. Just as Devastator is about to destroy the drill, Megatron activates his device and regains control. The Autobots quickly find themselves back where they started, fleeing from Devastator’s attacks!

Wheeljack attempts to get Devastator back under Autobot control, but in doing so, overloads his circuits, sending him out of control and attacking autoboot and Decepticon alike. To add to the chaos, Megatron’s drill also goes out of control, so he orders his troops to the spacebridge to escape. Berserk Devastator intercepts them though and destroys their escape plan.

“I do this only for the benefit of my Decepticons, it grieves me that you may also profit.”

Now the only hope for survival is for the Autobots and Decepticons to work together to stop Devastator, and the drill.

Chip and Wheeljack hastily work to combine the frequencies of their dominator discs with Megatron’s electronic disruptor to try to regain control of Devastator and use him to stop the drill.

Control of Devastator is regained and he destroys the drill at the last second before the point of no return. The Decepticons flee to fight another day, and as Chip laments Devastator not joining the Autobot cause, we’re left with a classic Optimus Prime quote:

“Hang on to your dreams Chip, the future is built on dreams, hang on”.

Key Scenes, Plot Points and Characters:

Devastator, and the Constructicons obviously feature prominently in this episode. We get to see both the individual talents of the Constructicons, as well as how the brute force of Devastator gives the Decepticons such a powerful advantage. It seems that Megatron is always one step ahead of the Autobots, which adds to his character development as an intelligent and cunning leader. The animation can be a bit below the standard that we’re used to in this episode, but it seems to get better towards the episode’s conclusion.

The Verdict:

If the animation had been more consistent throughout, I might have given an extra half a cube. Overall, I feel this episode is worth 7 energon cubes out of 10. for the additional insights it gives into Megatron and the Constructicons, and that awesome Optimus Prime quote at the end.

Afterthoughts:

Let’s revisit this Megatron quote from late in the episode: “I do this only for the benefit of my Decepticons, it grieves me that you may also profit.”

This almost sounds like Megatron has a sincere concern for his Decepticons. Is this the case, or is it because he knows he needs them in order to achieve his own goals? Energon for thought.

And I feel it also bears repeating: Don’t give up on your dreams, the future is built on dreams.

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About Steve Shreeve 46 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.