Episode Review: Transformers S02 Ep31 – “The Gambler”

“I can’t even beat my own machine anymore, and I had it fixed so I could cheat!”

This episode links to the ending of Episode 28, “Child’s Play”

It picks up with the Autobots steaming home on Erin’s rocket. As the Rocket’s drive runs out of energy, it’s captured by a much larger ship and the Autobots are taken to a laboratory and are greeted by the ship’s captain, Bosh. Bosh traps the Autobots, in chambers which deactivate their weapons, ability to transform and remove their free will.

Fortunately, Smokescreen’s chamber malfunctions, and he escapes. He’s quickly relieved of his weapon and is temporarily paralised though. He notices Bosh using a gambling machine, which he frustratingly loses on and spots an opportunity. Smokescreen is able to rig the machine so that it results in a win, which impresses Bosh, who wants to gamble to win the energon to fuel his ship and technology.

Smokescreen agrees to join Bosh on a gambling expedition to win back enough energon for Bosh’s desires, plus enough to free his Autobot companions. The Autobots from the chambers are shrunk so that they can be transported easily and used as collateral for the gambling.

“The name is Smokescreen and I never walk when I can drive”

Smokescreen’s alt mode comes in handy as he transports Bosh around their destination looking for the ideal gambling partner, which they find in Lord Gyconi’s Pit Of Destruction! Gyconi’s pit is like an old fashioned gladiatorial arena. Gyconi offers Bosh a stack of energon chips in exchange for the Autobots, so that Bosh can start his gambling activities.

Smokescreen’s abilities to rig the gambling machines seem to be working out, until he’s found out and looses everything! The Autobots therefore become property of Gyconi, who plans to use them in his gladiatorial pit.

“It’s always the same thing, I fly them to points unknown, exhaust all my fuel, and they get to have all the fun”

Inevitably, the Decipticons show up! Astrotrain transports Ramjet and Dirge to the gambling location. Unbeknownst to them, they’re being monitored and followed by a bounty hunter, who wears the Autobot symbol.

Meanwhile Smokescreen is lamenting his inability to stop gambling before he lost everything. He notices the bounty hunter, who calls himself Devcon. Smokescreen connects with Devcon and asks him to join him and Bosh. He quickly learns that Devcon I there following Astrotrain, Ramjet and Dirge, and estimates that he knows where they are…

… In Lord Gyconi’s Pit Of Destruction, Ramjet and Dirge are questioning Gyconi on behalf of Megatron. They quickly learn about Gyconi’s next show-Autobots vs Animalians, and decide to stick around!

Using unstable energon to briefly power the Autobots for the fight, the games begin, and bets come in in favour of Optimus as the punters see his strength. However, the battle starts to turn as the unstable energy starts to run out.

Wanting to intervene, Smokescreen uses his special ability to douse the arena in smoke, causing everyone to flee. Immediately suspecting what has gone on, the Decepticons go in pursuit of Smokescreen. It looks like they’ve gotten the better of him, but Devcon intervenes and fights them off.

Smokescreen and Devcon learn that Gyconi are trying to leave with the Autobots in tow. Quickly intervening, a battle breaks out and thanks to Smokescreen’s special abilities, the decepticons are forced to flee without the Autobots.

Devcon heads off in pursuit and Bosh revives the Autobots, and agrees to take them back to earth.

Key Scenes, Plot Points and Characters:

Smokescreen is the key focus character for this episode and gets lots of screentime. He uses his special abilities multiple times in the episode to good effect. It’s actually quite refreshing to have an episode where Optimus Prime and Megatron aren’t the focus of the episode, yet Prime is still present and the threat of Megatron looms as his troops interrogate Gyconi.

The Verdict:

An entertaining episode, 8 energon cubes out of 10.


This isn’t one of those iconic episodes that everyone talks about, but it’s really good and there are some great sub-characters in this episode. It’s well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.

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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.