Previous Article - X-Entertainment - Next Article --- By Matt - 9.13/'02
I promise, Part II is a lot more interesting than Part I.

So, Prime's back! Yeah! He's met death, and I can safely say it's had no effect on the guy whatsoever. Same old Optimus. He handles the first meeting with the Autobots as if he just got back from a week long cruise, altogether forgetting that they might be a little curious since HE WAS FREAKIN' DEAD FOR THE PAST YEAR AND A HALF. Fortunately, the Autobots don't just roll out - they roll with the punches. Nobody lets their emotions get the better of them. Optimus is back, and that's great, but there's still work to be done.

Bumblebee was previously injured, so he gets all fixed up nice with new parts and a hot paint job. Optimus christens him 'Goldbug.' Jesus. Ten seconds out of the grave and already the guy's coming up with clever names for his troops. See? See why they went through all the trouble of bringing him back to life? Prime knows his shit.

Goldbug never really caught on with the crowd; we all still consider him Bumblebee. Partly because it has a much nicer flow, but I admit, there's an unspoken tuna fish connection there.

All of the Autobots ask Optimus what the plan is - and he has no friggin' clue what to do. Apparently, The Matrix of Leadership is where he got all those smarts. Without it sitting in his chest, he's just a big dumb robot who simply looks the part. Amazing stuff. Optimus confides that the only way he can stop the spore threat is by retrieving it, which sounds to me like a cheap excuse to get himself back into the leader role. Unfortunately, big red Rodimus is in current possession of that fine item, and since he's all infected and crazy now, it'll be tough to get it back.

Carolyn explains that there's a rare mineral which serves as a repellent against the spore dust. Problem is, it's only available on Galvatron's home planet of Char. Or was it Charr? Doesn't matter, it's off-world somewhere. So the Autobots go to Char and find Galvatron running from his deranged minions. Optimus offers a treaty so they can put a stop to the madness.

Galvatron's a bit surprised to see Optimus alive again, but he agrees to a temporary teaming because, god dammit, he hates red and wants to stay purple. The group heads into the dangerous caves of Char, searching desperately for a source of immunity against the alien spores. I suggest Aleve, that stuff does it all.

Of course, Galvatron wouldn't be Galvatron if he didn't do something to maintain his status as a huge asshole. So when he leads the Autobots into the nest of a giant mutant spider, he's not really trying to kill them - just let 'em know that hey, he's still an evil son of a bitch.

They get to Galvatron's secret lab where all of those precious minerals are stored, and upon finding out why Optimus needs 'em, he becomes a traitor to the cause. The rest of the Decepticons finally catch up to the group, and it doesn't take long for Galvatron and some more Autobots to become infected. Now it's pretty much Optimus Prime and a Quintesson against the entire universe. Not the best odds in the world, but Vegas denies no bets.

The Quintesson coats Optimus with the mineral - aside from protecting him from the spores, it makes Optimus look like an albino. Here's a fun fact: many people believe they once owned a white Optimus Prime figure, based on this episode. Actually, no one does - it never existed. Some people became confused because the main portion of the Ultra Magnus figure is simply a repainted Optimus, almost purely white. You've got no idea how many people e-mailed me asking if they really had a white Optimus. You don't. Haha. You lose.

It's Optimus versus Rodimus! The current leader is not pleased with the idea of giving up the Matrix, so Optimus has no choice but to use force. Roddy puts up a good fight, but in the end, he proves what everyone knew from the start: he's inferior. After the real Prime kicks the living crap out of him, he removes the Matrix from his lifeless chest and begs for a solution to this alien holocaust....


Then all sorts of weird stuff happens - Optimus starts walking through another dimension, Autobot creator Alpha Trion makes an appearance, and it's generally a surreal acid trip of a moment with the end result being this: the Matrix pours out all of it's internal energies to reverse the effects of the spores, and destroy them altogether. So I guess resurrecting Optimus Prime paid off, because Rodimus was too stupid to just take the damn thing out of his chest and do that himself.

Galvatron concedes that he respects Prime for his actions - so if this really was the last episode, it would've been a *perfect* ending. This wasn't the last episode, though - there were still a few more mainly seen in Japan which focused on the Autobots turning their fucking heads into miniature Transformers. As you'd expect, nobody likes to talk about those episodes. Especially the whole Daniel/Arcee love connection. It makes us feel ashamed.

The Autobots are worried because the Matrix is now empty - but Optimus reassures them that it's they're job to refill it with the conventional wisdom only found through continued adventuring. If we erase every episode between the movie and this and turn 'The Return of Optimus Prime' into a direct sequel, it actually all pulls together really well.

Overall: One of my favorite episodes ever, and one of the only ones I can distinctly remember watching as a kid. I guess when you make all the Transformers GLOW BRIGHT RED, it's memorable. I'll give this one an 'A.'

So if you ever wondered what became of Prime after the movie, there you have it.

- Matt
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