Could there be “more than meets the eye” to this episode? On the surface it seems that this episode is a Transformers story like any other. But I wonder if there could be some hidden moral messages in this story. Read on to find out…
“As general manager of this stadium, I respectfully request that you allow us to play ball!”
Could this episode have some hidden moral messages in it? Read on to find out…
What a fun opening to an episode! The Decepticons have opened their space bridge in the middle of a professional baseball game – in the stadium! Of course, they immediately set about creating carnage – which prompts the Autobots to turn up. A slew of baseball inspired fight moves and trash talk ensues. But the end result of all the fighting is that a group of Autobots and Decepticons are accidentally transported through the space bridge across space, with a load of energon cubes to an alien planet.
“Alert, alert! Assistance required”
The Autobots and Decepticons soon realise that they’re trapped in a young alien’s bedroom. The Alien and its environment are huge, making the Transformers seem the size of toys in comparison (ironically!). The young alien boy, Erin, is soon able to distinguish by their behaviour which of his new “toys” are the bad ones and good ones. Erin’s parents discover the Decepticons and confiscate them, fearing the presence of these living robots in their son’s bedroom, they contact the authorities.
Meanwhile on Earth, the Spacebridge has blown up, so the remaining Autobots head back to base to see if Teletraan-1 can analyse the situation. Chip searches for Prime and the missing Autobots, but cannot locate them.
“The authorities won’t hurt my friends will they, mom?”
The Authorities examining the Transformers want to dissect them to work out what they are. Erin snatches the Autobots to save them. As his parents and the Authorities chase after him, the Decepticons also free themselves. Perceptor comes up with an idea to use the energon cubes that transported with them and his light cannon to create a light beam through Erin’s telescope that they can use to travel home. Unfortunately the Decepticons hijack the light beam and get themselves back to Earth, leaving the Autobots stranded.
Just as it looks like the Autobots will be trapped on this alien world, Perceptor is able to modify Erin’s toy Rocket ship to one that is powerful enough to get them home.
Key Scenes, Plot Points and Characters:
Scattered throughout this episode are fights between the Autobots and Decepticons as they navigate the alien world that they’re trapped on. Even as they are sharing the same predicament, the Decepticons still have a base instinct to try to destroy the Autobots, even if it distracts them from their goal of escaping and getting home. Given that the Decepticons ultimately use Perceptors’ invention to get back to Earth, it makes you wonder what they would have done if any of their attempts to destroy the Autobots would have been successful before Perceptor had been able to invent the path home.
Certainly not the worst Transformers episode, but not a standout episode either. While not rare for the Transformers series, there are a number of animation errors in this episode too. It’s still worth a watch, and I did especially like the fun opening scene, Initially I didn’t want to score this episode more than 4 energon cubes out of 10, but on reflection, I decided to upgrade to 6 out of 10 due to the factors I mention in the afterthoughts.
While this is not a favorite episode for me, I’m left wondering if the writer wanted to get some moral messages across in the story. The instinct that the authorities have to dissect the new lifeforms that they have discovered, and the fear displayed by the Transformers when this is about to happen – is this a commentary or reflection on how humans treat other creatures? One of the battles that takes place between the Decpticons and Autobots happens in a sewer. We see a broken glass object and Bumblebee expresses how filthy the water is – does this show a message about environmental concerns?
Then there’s Erin himself. He never stops trying to help the Autobots, he stands up for them when seemingly more powerful figures want to do something he perceives as wrong, and he gives up one of his possessions to help the Autobots get home. There’s a message and example here about trying to do the right thing, stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, and just being a good person. That’s a message worth sharing to anyone of any age, and so that’s why I boosted my score for this episode.