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On the trail of an escaped Autobot traitor, Bumblebee flashes back to a previous encounter with the traitor when he first met Bulkhead in Autobot Boot Camp.
- German title: "Der Spion-Bot" ("The Spy Bot")
- Japanese title: "Double Agent" (ダブルエージェント)
Somewhere in space, an Autobot shuttle streaks through the solar night and crash-lands on an asteroid, where its lone occupant races off across the barren ground in vehicle mode. Hot on his trail is Sentinel Prime, who chases him to a space bridge node on the asteroid. The green-armoured escapee triggers the space bridge with a blast from a familiar pair of stingers, and Sentinel loses his quarry (Screaming like a girl again) as the portal explodes with light.
On Earth, Ultra Magnus reports the news of the escapee to the Autobots. Bumblebee immediately recognizes the criminal in question as Wasp, a 'bot sharing his bodyform whom he met when during his Elite Guard training days.
In the Decepticons' underground lair, Megatron contacts his double-agent on Cybertron and congratulates him on orchestrating Wasp's breakout. The double-agent is concerned that they are speaking so freely on the subject, but Megatron assures him that nobody will be able to listen in on the broadcast. Professor Sumdac has other plans, though, as he secretly taps into the communication frequency and bounces it to the Autobots' base. Bumblebee and Bulkhead are on monitor duty at the time, and the message comes through exceedingly scrambled, but they are at least able to comprehend the existence of a double-agent. Naturally, Bumblebee immediately assumes it to be Wasp, and he decides to settle his old score, with Bulkhead tagging along. Bumblebee remembers how it all went down...
Stellar cycles ago, on Cybertron, Bumblebee meets Bulkhead for the first time when they both attend boot camp to train under Sentinel Minor, alongside Wasp, super-durable Ironhide and telescopic-limbed Longarm. The two B's immediately earn Sentinel's ire—Bumblebee for his impetuous bungling, and Bulkhead for his attempted "specialty showcase" that flattens the sarge (Which Bulkhead may have possibly done on purpose) —and the pair gets saddled with oil cleanup, with Bulkhead's enthusiasm contrasting with the chagrin of his little buddy. Of course, Bumblebee begins goofing off, which results in a stack of oil drums collapsing on Sentinel, which results in another set of transform-ups, which later lead to Bumblebee being made to stand in the middle of the courtyard in the dead of night, holding up oil drums and repeatedly declaring himself a “worthless oil stain.”
After a while, though, Bumblebee calls it quits, but as he is walking by a warehouse, he spots a shadowy figure speaking into a communicator, with the voice of Megatron responding! After a moment's hesitation, Bumblebee pops his stingers and commands the spy-bot to show himself...but the figure has vanished. When Bumblebee turns to leave, however, he spots Wasp walking out of the warehouse.
Unsure of how to proceed, Bumblebee confides in Longarm, who encourages him to gather some evidence and present it to Sentinel. Bumblebee tries setting up a trap, planting a box with the Elite Guard symbol on it in the open, hoping Wasp will grab it...except Sentinel is the first to come upon it, and it explodes, covering him in paint. Next, Bumblebee tries a listening device, but accidentally winds up broadcasting Sentinel over the camp's loudspeakers as he jokes about Ultra Magnus being too old to hack the commander role. In traditional boot camp manner, Sentinel makes the whole team suffer for Bumblebee's mistakes, and Wasp and Ironhide take it out on the little 'bot by disconnecting his legs and stuffing him in a locker. Longarm comes to Bumblebee's rescue, but the bullying doesn't stop, as Wasp hits Bumblebee with a burst of “friendly fire” in a simulated combat training exercise. Of course, it's just a paint grenade, but when Bulkhead offers to help Bumblebee up, Bumblebee snaps and insults Bulkhead's lack of ambition before storming off. Turning a corner, Bumblebee yelps as he finds several auto-cannons pointed in his face, but then laughs as he remembers that they're only loaded with paint rounds for the simulated combat. Or rather, they were, as the shadowy figure from the warehouse slinks by the cannons and switches them to active ammunition. As the cannons open fire on Bumblebee, Bulkhead speeds to his rescue and takes out the cannons by dropping a building on them with his wrecking ball...only for Sentinel to get squashed under it as well. Bumblebee encourages Bulkhead to scarper, rather than risk his career by owning up.
Tracking the message Sumdac broadcast to them, Bumblebee and Bulkhead wander through the wilderness, reminiscing about the old days. When Bumblebee stumbles into a patch of quicksand, Bulkhead plucks him out, but the conflict between the pair from their boot camp days starts bubbling back to the surface, and Bulkhead leaves Bumblebee to the mission himself. Angrily stomping up a mountain, Bumblebee loses his footing and falls off a cliff, becoming buried in an avalanche.
Longarm informs Bumblebee that Sentinel is about to conduct a surprise locker examination, meaning that it's his last chance to find evidence on Wasp before Sentinel can take credit for it himself. Using his extensible limbs to trip up Wasp, Longarm allows Bumblebee to "help him up" and finger his locker key in the process. As Bumblebee quickly opens Wasp's locker, Sentinel appears behind him, demanding to know what he's doing, only to be quickly silenced when Bumblebee presents him with a Decepticon communicator. Impressed with Bumblebee's work, Sentinel plans to recommend him for an Elite Guard position. After Wasp is carted off, screaming his innocence all the way, Sentinel brings up the matter of the building being dropped on him. Since nobody has owned up, he decides to kick out whoever he feels like—and he feels like Bulkhead. Before he can give Bulkster the boot, however, Bumblebee steps forward and claims responsibility, sheepishly asking if it will affect his Elite Guard position.
Some time later, Bumblebee and Bulkhead are on an asteroid, working on a space bridge node, as Bulkhead cheerfully announces "I have arrived!"
Buried under the rockslide, Bumblebee reflects on his friendship with Bulkhead out loud, and about how he saved Bulkhead's career, even if his friend never dreamed big. But Bulkhead did dream big; as the bulky bot appears above Bumblebee and hauls him out from beneath the boulders, he announces that he dreamed of being Bumblebee's friend. Bumblebee thanks his big buddy, and the pair drive off...having only been mere feet from the secret entrance to the Decepticon base.
Out in space, it turns out that Wasp didn't escape to Earth at all, and that he is still on the asteroid, huddled up in a ball. His mind clearly broken, the insectoid 'bot buzzes and twitters to himself about how he will find Bumblebee and make him pay for ruining his life.
Back at the Autobot base, our heroes contact Cybertron to alert the Autobots there about Megatron's double-agent. As it turns out, Bumblebee's old boot camp buddy Longarm is now Longarm Prime, head of Cybertronian Intelligence, and he promises to root out the traitor no matter what.
In the Decepticon base, Megatron communicates once again with his double-agent... Longarm Prime! But the deception is a dual-layered one, for Longarm is, in fact, the shape-shifting Shockwave!
- Written by: Michael Ryan
- Directed by: Ben Jones, Christopher Berkeley, & Shunji Oga
- Original airdate: 3rd June 2008 (UK)
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Monitor duty. Is there anything worse than monitor duty?!"
"Scraping space barnacles? Washing out Sari's old socks? Uh, getting a wheel alignment from Ratchet?"
"That was a rhetorical question, all right?"
- —Bumblebee gets
reminded how horrible his life ishis spirits broken, courtesy of Bulkhead.
Sentinel Minor: Wipe that smile off your face, dullspark!
Bulkhead: Uh, I'm not smiling, sir! My jaw is just tempered that way, sir!
Bumblebee: Forget Mudflap's jaw, check out the asteroid-sized chin on Sarge!
Sentinel Minor: YOU GOT A COMMENT, FUNNY-BOT?!
Bumblebee: No, sir!
- —The future Sentinel Prime is a little sensitive about his chin. Maybe it's why he's such a jerk. But it is Sentinel Prime
Sentinel Minor: Now here's a bot who knows his place. You should try to be more like your friend here.
Bumblebee: He's not my friend, sir!
Sentinel Minor: WE'RE ALL FRIENDS HERE!
- — Mr. Personality does it again.
"You are nothing but a BUMBLER! From now on, your name is...BUMBLEBEE!"
- —And lo, a legend was born, thanks to Sentinel Minor
Bumblebee:Oooh, look at me, I'm a mudflap working on space bridges.
Bumblebee mocks Bulkhead's private dream.
[stands in the middle of an empty yard, holding up oil drums, reciting...]
"I am a worthless oil stain. I am a worthless oil stain. I am a worthless oil stain...why am I even doing this?"
- —Sentinel Minor's punishment of Bumblebee could be considered "cruel and unusual".
"You would not believe the glitches the Commander's saddled me with this time. I'm starting to think that Ultra Magnus is a few circuits shy of a full processor, know what I mean? Oh, sure, he was The Bot back in the day, but now? Ultra Magnus is just a rusted-out, obsolete model sorely in need of an upgrade."
"Huh...? Oh, slag."
- —Sentinel Minor forgoes his usual "eloquence" on seeing a ton of building heading for his head
"But I'm innocent, I tell you! You're making a big mistake, all of you!"
"Mute it, traitor!"
[Sentinel strips Wasp of his Autobot insignia]
"I'll get you, Bumblebee, if it's the last thing I do!
- —Wasp proclaims his innocence as he's wheeled away in restraints, while Sentinel Minor acts much as ever.
"I couldn't leave you all alone out here like that. I should've, but I didn't."
- —Bulkhead is loyal, but not stupid.
"Bumblebot not hide from Wasp. Wasp swears he find Bumblebot. Wasp make Bumblebot pay for RUINING WASP'S LIFE!"
- —There lies a broken Wasp...
"Our long stellar cycles of planning will now come to fruition. I knew your size-altering power would allow you to blend in perfectly with the Autobots. Well done, my loyal servant...Shockwave."
- —Megatron really knows how to introduce a major
- In the Japanese version, it was aired as the twenty-third episode.
Continuity and other errors
- Bumblebee's stingers are shown to be powerful enough to knock down a building; yet in prior episodes they were only useful for zapping debris and bouncing uselessly off Decepticon armor. Either Bumblebee's power level has changed a lot throughout his life, or the Autobots were building their towers out of sawdust.
- If Professor Sumdac can reroute a Decepticon message between Earth and Cybertron to the Autobots on Earth, why can't he call for help too?
- If Cybertronians live on a planet with no organic life-forms, how does Sentinel know that wasps and bumblebees exist? Maybe he saw some on his trip to an organic planet that was off limits.
- In the scene after Sentinel Prime rips off Wasp's insignia you can see him still wearing it.
- Sentinel's speech about his troops being "cogs in a machine" is very similar to Optimus's comment at the beginning of "Transform and Roll Out!" (although Optimus gets the message across without the attitude); it may be a standard message from the Autobot Academy.
- Clearly, when Bumblebee and Bulkhead noted that Sentinel Prime didn't remember them back in "The Elite Guard", they were referring to their boot camp days.
- It was explained back in "The Elite Guard" that "Prime" was a rank, and this episode reveals that before attaining the rank, Sentinel was known as "Sentinel Minor". Sounds a little familiar.
- In two scenes this episode, an unnamed robot who is essentially a red Bumblebee appears, a clear reference to Cliffjumper and his physical similarity to his era's Bumblebee. Derrick J. Wyatt would later confirm that he is, officially, named Cliffjumper.
- It would seem that through being falsely accused of being a Decepticon spy and subsequently imprisoned, Wasp is fulfilling the legacy of his alternate universe counterpart in that ten different types of slag always seem to happen to him. Unlike him though, Wasp deserves bad things to happen to him for being such a big jerk.
- In the final moments of the episode, the addled Wasp (who has spoken perfectly normally throughout the flashbacks) begins speaking in the buzzing, third-person style of Beast Wars Waspinator.
- This isn't the first time a Bumblebee has lost his legs.
- Nor is it the first time a Longarm has assisted him.
- Bumblebee's nickname of Yellowjacket comes from another term for hornet.
- Sentinel Minor's mannerisms are similar to those of real military drill-sergeants. The themes of collective punishment against the entire unit and other unit members "hazing" the screw-up responsible for their discomfort were made most famous in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket.
- Since departing Earth, the Elite Guard (or Sentinel Prime, at least) have switched back to their Cybertronian vehicle modes. Also, as of this episode, we've seen all the Cybertronian modes for the main Bots, bar Prowl.
- This episode certainly explains a lot about Bumblebee's independent streak. His very first "team" effort was basically people being colossal jerks to him for no reason (well, except for Sentinel, really...drill sergeants are supposed to be like that) except for the big goofy country-bot...and standing up for said bot basically led to his dreams being crushed.
- Optimus Prime, Ratchet and Prowl appear in this episode, and are even spoken to, but don't say a word. This is the first episode where Prime does not speak in any way.
- Usually, it's the red one who sees spies everywhere.
- On the other hand, if names get assigned by drill sergeants, you have to wonder exactly to what levels Optimus and Elita-1 stooped in order to get those names...
- Lugnut is not shown, but is briefly heard saying "Megatron will speak to you now," when Megatron is contacted by Shockwave in the flashback, ten minutes into the episode.
- Shockwave's power is referred to as size altering. This might be the reason why his Longarm alias has his power, although it has yet to be revealed whether or not he is able to control where the size is changed, or whether it is merely a power integrated into his Longarm robot mode, akin to Punch/Counterpunch.
- In this episode, when Sentinel gives Bumblebee his name, Bumblebee reacts as if he doesn't like it. However, in "Transform and Roll Out", when Bumblebee tells Sari his name and she responds, "I'm Sari," Bumblebee then says, "Oh, don't be. I like my name." Maybe he got over it?
- Bulkhead used to have a "hick" accent while in boot camp that he lost sometime after starting work on space bridges with Bumblebee and the others.
- Really, there wasn't any need for Shockwave to set autoguns on the live ammo setting since Bumblebee was sure Wasp was the double agent. Then again, Decepticons love explosions.
- Why would the Autobots even have a live ammunition setting on the guns used for practice anyways?
- What, exactly, was the point of Sentinel Minor keeping one arm in a bandage and sling? And for that matter, why do robots have slings?
- When commenting on Sentinel's chin, Bumblebee looks directly at the "camera", so to speak, making this one of the few occasions where animated Transformers media break the fourth wall.
- This episode marks the debut appearance of Longarm as a cartoon Autobot character.