A Tale of Two Heros is the eighteenth episode of Energon. It first aired in the United States on July 03, 2004 on Cartoon Network.
Ironhide follows Rodimus, determined to find out more about the mysterious Alpha Q.
Aboard the Miranda II, the Autobots have tracked the tracer signal to a Decepticon warp point.
Alpha Q freaks out in light of the recent energon theft. Scorponok offers to get more, using his position in Megatron's ranks... and Rodimus.
Kicker is worried about a Decepticon attack, and "that Unicron thing". Suddenly, they see an approaching ship, flying a flag (literally) with the AutoBrand -- Rodimus's ship!
Rodimus opens a channel, asking permission to come aboard. Hot Shot, naturally, isn't too happy about this, but can't offer any proof to the others that anything's amiss.
Rodimus lays it out: he wants Prime not to destroy Unicron, and focus on defeating Megatron instead. He tells Optimus that Unicron can create new life, such as the Terrorcons created by Alpha Q, and that it's only dangerous in the wrong hands. Prime isn't buying it, but Rodimus tells him that Unicron consumed Alpha Q's planet.
Kicker asks Inferno how Rodimus and Optimus know each other. Inferno tells him a story that doesn't answer the question.
Rodimus says that the consumed planets can be re-created. Prime still thinks it's too dangerous. Rodimus leaves... and as he does, Ironhide overhears him and Prowl discussing what they're going to tell Alpha Q.
Kicker finds Ironhide watching Rodimus's ship depart, and deduces that he plans to track him back to Alpha Q's location. The Miranda II powers up. Ironhide doubts if he should go by himself, since he's spent his whole life following others, but a pep talk from Kicker gets him going; Kicker lends him the Energon Saber. Optimus solemnly watches Rodimus's ship depart.
Rodimus is well aware of his stowaway, but decides to let him be for now.
The Autobots get their first look at Unicron. Hot Shot notices Ironhide's absence and figures out that he's gone to do something foolhardy. Kicker confirms it, and notes that Hot Shot must surely understand, given his past. Hot Shot does understand... and immediately reports it to Optimus. Prime isn't worried.
Rodimus's ship approaches Unicron's head and enters, as Ironhide grows more and more worried.
Within Unicron, Megatron is delighted to hear a report from Starscream that a ship has been sighted, and orders Starscream to do nothing. When the titan is activated, Optimus will be its first victim!
The Decepticons immediately attack the Miranda II. As Prime goes to counter-attack, Kicker tells Misha to release all the energon, to help Ironhide. Or a small chunk.
Within Unicron, Ironhide comes to his senses and begins tracking Rodimus. Alpha Q observes him and frets, but Rodimus tells him not to worry. Alpha Q sends Scorponok to bring in the stowaway. Ironhide follows an opening door, and finds himself in a warehouse full of Terrorcon eggs. They hatch, of course, unleashing a swarm of Cruellock drones on him.
Misha sends out a chunk of energon, which Kicker tosses into space. As the Terrorcons swarm toward it, Inferno blows it up, annihilating them.
The drones steal Ironhide's energon star, but he fights his way free... and finds himself facing Scorponok. He demands to know where Alpha Q is, and peppers Scorponok with questions. They struggle. Ironhide punches him, and somehow knocks himself out. Scorponok agrees to take him there. He brings the unconscious Autobot into Alpha Q's chamber, to Rodimus's horror.
The Autobots have driven off their attackers, and vow to be ready next time. Megatron gloats that they don't have a clue what they're in store for...
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"You're being stubborn. PROWL! Let's go."
- — Rodimus throws a sort of low-key tantrum.
- "Uh?": 10
- Stock footage: 1
- We need/they want energon: 2
- "Gimme a break": 1
- "You can't be serious": 1
- "I know what you mean": 1
Lost in translation
Nothing major or devastating, but this episode is rife with examples of the dub team just not paying attention:
- It starts almost immediately, as Optimus advises that they've tracked the Decepticons' "warp signal", and warns the others that the Decepticons have probably set up a defensive line to defend Unicron and a battle will happen as soon as they emerge from warp. The dub mangles this into the Autobots detecting a Decepticon warp point, in clear contradiction to the animation, which shows that they're already in warp space. The dub also omits the important point that they're heading for Unicron, instead having Prime just say "we don't want to walk into a trap".
- In Superlink, Scorponok doesn't propose to use Rodimus for the mundane task of retrieving more energon, but for re-taking Unicron's body, since it's apparently going to be finished soon.
- Kicker's question is originally about the relationship between Optimus and Rodimus. The dub transmangulates this into "how do they know each other"; this turns Inferno's answer, correctly translated, into a nonsequitur.
- In Superlink, Inferno further elaborates that the two leaders don't see eye-to-eye, and that their ways of living are not compatible; Misha describes them as two heroes who walk different paths. The dub dumbs this down to Misha saying "they really are heroes, aren't they", somewhat at odds with the dramatic background music.
- The dub replaces Megatron's implied intention to attack ("we should go ahead and start the fun") with him telling Starscream not to attack. This makes it very odd when the very next scene is... the Decepticons attacking the Autobots.
- The purpose of Scorponok and the Terrorcons attacking Ironhide is to test his strength (thus showing if he can be of some use to Alpha Q), not to "see if he can be trusted" per the dub.
- Megatron's final lines are a dub addition; Superlink just has him laughing ominously.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- The dub budget was so cheap, they couldn't afford an "e" for the title card. (Not again.)
- Kicker says "It's hard to tell what his intentions are!" without moving his mouth. (Despite appearances, the dialog is not a dub addition; the error repeats in Superlink.)
- Prowl is tiny compared to Rodimus, as they prepare to leave the Miranda II. They should be nearly the same height.
- Some odd editing, as Prime reacts to something off-screen, then immediately goes into his combination sequence, without the viewer ever learning what he was reacting to.
- Kicker urges Ironhide to hurry and transform as Rodimus leaves. But they're in space. Ironhide remains in robot mode the rest of the episode.
- A second later, Kicker produces the Energon Saber out of nowhere.
- It's not a terrible leap of logic to figure out that Ironhide's gone to follow Rodimus, but how does Hot Shot figure out that he's heading for Unicron? The mention of Unicron is another dub artifact.
- In an obvious Star Wars homage, Jetfire looks at Unicron and comments "Look at the size of that thing!" It'd be a bit less nonsequitur if it was his first reaction, but by that time he's already made several other comments.
- Kicker references the time that Hot Shot single-handedly "stormed that Decepticon base", which could be a nod to the events of the Armada episode "Credulous" or "Dash".
- Ironhide complains that he's been walking for what seems like hours. Guess he forgot that he turns into an automobile.
- The final battle is... not really there. The Decepticons swoop in once, then are never seen again. Optimus combines and takes off, then is not seen again till the battle is over. Inferno blows up some Terrorcons, who weren't shown until it was time for them to die. All the while, Kicker floats around outside the ship, not doing much of anything.