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Changing of the Guard

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Changing of the Guard title shot

Some days you just wish you hadn't gotten out of bed.


While trying to salvage the Sentinel module from the ruins of the Axalon, Rattrap finds himself caught between Depth Charge and Rampage.


SummaryEdit

Rhinox is in the process of engineering a way to use Teletraan-1's forcefield to protect the base. But mixing Autobot and Maximal tech is difficult, and the machinery fails. With that trick failed, Primal puts together a plan to salvage the Maximals' old force field module, Sentinel, from the wreckage of the Axalon. Depth Charge refuses to respond to any contacts. So instead the Maximals will use a subaquatic stealth vessel -- a single-occupant submarine developed by Blackararachnia. Rattrap is assigned to pilot the submersible, over his usual handful of whines and complaints.

Silverbolt delivers the submarine to the Axalon's resting site. Under the lake, Rattrap is surprised to find himself having a good time exploring the water and passing by schools of fish to the sound of a jolly tune. The tune changes as Rattrap finds the fallen corpse of what used to be the Maximal's home. He slowly enters, looking through the darkened hallways. He finds Sentinel, and carefully begins to extract it - and is suddenly frightened by an eel who was hiding in the machinery. As he calms down, his radar detects something else approaching, and he realizes it's time to panic for real. Rattrap frantically tries to escape the Axalon, but a massive claw emerges from the darkness and seizes the submarine -- Rampage has found him.

Rampage squeezes the entire ship, threatening to crush it completely. Luckily, Depth Charge, still hunting Protoform X, shows up and blasts him away, freeing Rattrap. Depth Charge agrees to keep Rampage busy while Rattrap continues his mission. He escapes the Axalon just as shockwaves from the battle cause the ship to fall over a ledge and plunge deeper into the lake. Rattrap surfaces and finds a worried Silverbolt, who starts to carry the submarine home. But Waspinator arrives, causing doggybot to drop his passenger and cargo.

While Rampage and Depth Charge continue their match underwater, on the beach, Quickstrike sends Waspinator to take Sentinel back to the Predacon base while the Fuzor takes care of the two Maximals. But Quickstrike ends up crushed by Rampage, tossed out of the water by Depth Charge. Silverbolt tries to convince Depth Charge to help recover Sentinel, but as usual, Depth Charge has no interest, wanting only to execute Protoform X, who has snuck away during the few seconds of conversation.

Together, using some incredible aerial acrobatics, Rattrap and Silverbolt steal back Sentinel from Waspinator. But Inferno pushes a tree into Silverbolt's path. Silverbolt passes Sentinel to Rattrap, who races away with it. Depth Charge hears explosions in the distance and decides to go help.

Unrelenting, Inferno blows up a bridge in Rattrap's path, causing the rat to plunge - back into Silverbolt's arms. But the two Maximals crash into the incoming Depth Charge, and drop Sentinel into Inferno's hands. Thanks to Depth Charge's ill-timed arrival, the Maximals have lost.

At the Maximal base, Rattrap and Primal chew out Depth Charge for getting in their way and handing another major strategic advantage to the Predacons - but he did save Rattrap's life (which Rattrap initially left out, and was very begrudging to admit). Primal offers Depth Charge a place with the Maximals so mistakes like this can be avoided in the future, and Depth Charge agrees to consider it.

Meanwhile, in the Predacon base, Megatron activates Sentinel, encasing his base in a protective force field.

QuotesEdit

Rattrap: What are you grinnin' about, litter-butt?
Cheetor: I was just thinking; with you inside, this'd make a swell cat toy.

Cheetor will always remain a kid at heart.


Silverbolt: We're approaching the target area. How you faring in there, Rattrap?
Rattrap: I'm hot, I'm cramped, I'm airsick. Eh, the next time that big ape asks me to do something for him, man I am gonna shove my blaster so far up his a..."
Silverbolt: Target dead ahead. Prepare for drop.

—DAMN IT SILVERBOLT!!! Why'd you have to cut Rattrap off?!


"Looks like that Pred friend of yours finally did something right!"
"Yes, my beloved has...many skills."

Rattrap and Silverbolt, who isn't about to let us know what those "other" skills might be.

"Megatron will reward Waspinator for victory over Maximals. Maybe give Waspinator vacation!"

Waspinator dreams on, as that's all he can get.

"Waspinator having good day! Not get shot once."
*BLAM!*

Waspinator, not having such a good day after all


Optimus: If you weren't damaged, I'd scramble your circuits!
Depth Charge: Don't let that stop you, Primal.

Depth Charge egging Optimus Primal and Rattrap on.


Depth Charge: I knew saving your hide was a mistake.
Optimus: Rattrap?
Rattrap: Oh, well, yeah, technically, he did kinda do that.... Um eh, thanks.

Rattrap gives credit where credit is due, but only because he has to.

StatsEdit

Writers: Evan Somers
Original Air Date: November 8, 1998

Characters (in order of appearance): Rattrap, Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Cheetor, Silverbolt, Blackarachnia, Rampage, Depth Charge, Megatron, Inferno, Waspinator, Quickstrike


NotesEdit

  • The Sentinel control module has been given a handle in this episode, when in its previous appearance, such as in "A Better Mousetrap", it had none. This is likely due to the convenience of it posing for everyone to carry it.
  • When Megatron contacts his henchmen, Inferno can been seen spending his free time playing cards with Waspinator and Quickstrike.
  • In Cheetor's dream about playing with the submarine, he's in his pre-Transmetal beast form.
  • Music begins to play when Rattrap gets the hang of the submarine. At first, the audience is led to believe that this is just the score for the scene, until Silverbolt is seen hearing the music over his walkie talkie, with a raised eyebrow, to boot.
  • After Rattrap leaves, Depth Charge pulls out an Energon dagger (exactly like the one Megatron used to remove half of Rampage's spark) to finish off Rampage only to see he has fled. Why exactly it "had to be finished on dry land" is a mystery as well. That makes Depth Charge look like that he isn't really serious about killing off Rampage.
  • This is the only episode where Rampage says his transformation code.
  • It's not exactly clear why Megatron needs the Sentinel program, as his ship has fully functional autoguns and a shield generator, as seen in the episode "The Agenda (Part 2)".
    • Likely, it's because, MORE advantages never hurt.

Animation ErrorsEdit

  • Inexplicably, the communicator that Silverbolt holds has a green button in the first scene, then later it's red, then it turns green again afterwards.
  • After Rampage yanks Depth Charge's tail out from under the wreckage, Depth Charge's legs seem to have been transplanted onto Rampage's body for one shot.

Real-world referencesEdit

  • The "Changing of the Guard", traditionally refers to a formal ceremony in Merry Ol' England wherein the sentries providing ceremonial guard duties at important institutions are relieved by a new batch of sentries. The ceremonies are often elaborate and precisely choreographed.
  • Rattrap's submarine bounces like a pinball after being dropped by Silverbolt; after it comes to a halt, the word "TILT" flashes in Rattrap's eyes.
  • The chase scene where Silverbolt and Rattrap try to escape the Predacons is similar to a stereotypical chase scene from Scooby-Doo.

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