Bulkhead is the thirty-first episode of Energon. It first aired in the United States on October 29, 2004 on Cartoon Network.
The energon-deprived Iron Planet is destroyed, and the Autobots must fend off the Decepticons to make sure Jungle Planet doesn't share the same fate.
Alpha Q frets to Kicker that Jungle Planet remains a vulnerable target until the energon tower is completed. Kicker tells him to sit tight, and that the energon tower will be sent from Cybertron by his father.
The Autobots watch a shuttle launch from the Miranda II, crewed by Hot Shot and headed for Cybertron. Prime divides his team to defend both Jungle Planet and Iron Planet, but Alpha Q tells them they're too late -- the traitorous Scorponok is already there, stealing the planet's energon, despite Alpha Q's pleas. As the Terrorcons flee, Iron Planet disintegrates, while Alpha Q declares that Scorponok is now their enemy. Prime resolves to defend Jungle Planet.
Megatron decides to attack the planet where Prime is, once the Autobots have mined all the energon. He sends Starscream to perform recon.
The Autobots and Omnicons are hard at work digging foundations for the energon tower and pulling down... some kind of huge dirt tree. Signal Flare is still soaking up energon sunshine. Inferno says he's feeling better. Kicker and Ironhide go searching for more energon.
A space bridge opens in the sky. In space over the planet, Hot Shot's team prepares to take the warp gate to Cybertron to get the energon tower, but come under attack from a fleet of Terrorcons.
Rodimus, Bulkhead and Cliffjumper hold them off while Hot Shot and Downshift enter the warp gate, but some of the Terrorcons follow them. They fight them in transit; defeating them all, they transform and drive off through space, heading for the Cybertron warp gate.
Megatron berates Starscream for letting the Autobots get away.
As they drive across Jungle Planet, Ironhide tells Kicker that he's changed, having grown up and learned to care about others.
Hot Shot and Downshift arrive on Cybertron. Rad reports to Dr. Jones and family that everyone's safe. Dr. Jones very bizarrely reacts to Prime's request for an energon tower.
Kicker senses the enemy approaching. Aboard their ship, Rodimus's team is being pursued by the Terrorcons, now joined by Demolishor and Snow Cat. Another contingent, led by Scorponok, surrounds them. The Autobots head out from Jungle Planet to help.
Megatron sends Shockblast to destroy the Autobots' ship. There is a fight.
Scoroponok and the Terrorcons head to the surface, landing right where the Miranda II is. There is a fight.
Scorponok attempts to attack the Miranda II; Ironhide and Prowl (the former armed with the Energon Saber) take him on.
Hot Shot reports the approach of the energon tower; the Autobots split to guide it in. On the surface, the Terrorcons have found the energon and are chowing down. The Autobots on the surface clear out of the landing sight. The tower's defenses hold off the Decepticons, and the tower lands, sending Scorponok and the Terrorcons running. A shock attack devastates the Terrorcons and sends the Decepticons running.
Alpha Q is pleased -- the planet is safe, and only a small amount of energon has been lost. Misha and Kicker relax, confident that the Autobots will protect the planet.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Man! There's way too many of them! It's time to powerlink!"
- — Hot Shot makes the observation that they need less guns.
"I'm just glad he doesn't think I'm some sort of Mad Scientist. Bwahahahaha!"
- — Dr. Brian Jones, concerned about what others think, yet still laughing maniacally
Lost in translation
- The dub changes Scorponok giving an order to his Terrorcons on Iron Planet into him communicating with Alpha Q.
- Dub Megatron sends Starscream out on recon, which is odd since Starscream never goes anywhere. In Super Link, he has Starscream send out a recon team, and later is just surprised when this force is destroyed, rather than berating Starscream for a failure he had little to do with.
- Dub Inferno says he's fine; in Super Link, he says there's been no change for good or bad.
- Super Link Hot Shot and Downshift are puzzled by Dr. Jones' mention of a "Big Present" that he's got ready. This initially seems a bit odd, considering they came to Cybertron for the sole purpose of obtaining an energon tower. The dub replaces their seemingly nonsensical reaction with Downshift taking a crack at Dr. Jones' sanity, then covering it up.
- However, the "big present" is actually an armed city attached to the tower, which Ironhide comments on in Super Link, retroactively changing Hot Shot and Downshift's reactions from nonsensical to forced. The dub omits this bit of information.
- In the original, Kicker counters Ironhide's claim that he used to be selfish, saying that he's always thought of others, and that Ironhide was just too thickheaded to realize it.
- Facing a team of Autobots, Megatron tells Scorponok "Go on, get them! Then get me all their energon." Scorponok responds by flying away to get the energon, the first part of the order apparently forgotten -- because it's dub nonsense, of course.
- In keeping with the gag that he's an old, ancient warrior, when Bulkhead transforms, he gets the original Generation One transforming sound effect. All well and good, except someone on the American end didn't get the memo: his transformation to brute mode gets the Energon transforming sound layered over it as well.
- Dub Hot Shot makes the odd observation that "they've spotted us", in reference to Megatron's approach, even though Megatron was the first to see the tower. In Super Link, he merely notes Megatron's approach.
- As usual, the ending conversation with Kicker and Misha is rendered into meaningless mush by the dub.
Two different sequences of Autobots shooting are accompanied by a whole lot of "Huh! Huh! Uh! Huah!" There's also a lot of "YAHHHHHHHHHH!!!" during other such scenes.
- "Uh?": 9
- Stock footage: 7. Jeez!
- Our planets: 2
- It's time to: 1
- We've gotta: 1
- Let's do it: 4
- You can say that again: 1
- Come on: 2
- Take it easy: 1
- Your opponent is me: 1
Animation and/or technical glitches
- As usual, the Decepticons in Unicron's interior are plunged into near-total darkness. Who colored this series, Dreamwave?
- The Omnicons' initial "digging" scene uses ridiculous looped animation which has them just bouncing some rocks around over and over.
- Even as Arcee warns Prowl and Landmine to get out of the way, there's clearly a huge contingent of Omnicons about to be crushed by the giant tree they're working to topple.
- This episode is a typical example of the bizarre stock footage used over and over for Demolishor's overhead gun rack, where the shots kind of slide out sideways instead of actually appearing to come from the gun ports that are supposed to be firing them.
- The Terrorcons are shown "eating" the energon out of the ground while the Miranda II lifts off, but their heads aren't even touching the ground.
- Downshift and Cliffjumper's names are still reversed.
- What happened to the Omnicons' steadfast lack of interest in fighting? They're all merrily blasting away at the Decepticons now.
- The shuttle used by Hot Shot and company appeared without explanation last episode.
- So, basically, the entire episode is a complete retread of "Energon Tower", but with a lot less plot.
- Despite being the titular character of the episode, Bulkhead doesn't do much of anything noteworthy, besides stand there and shake disturbingly as his hip guns fire.
- Despite the ungodly amounts of firepower being traded, hardly anyone who isn't a Terrorcon gets hit, and nobody gets hurt. Granted, this is not entirely unprecedented.
- This episode's animation makes heavy use of its CGI nature. Numerous shots feature multiple characters jiggering, shaking, rocking, jolting, and so forth as they shoot their guns or run about.