Chase is the twenty-fourth episode of Armada. It first aired in the United States on January 27, 2003 on Cartoon Network.
The kids and their transforming partners are sucked into a digital world of Sideways' creation, where they meet a truly frightening harbinger of Chaos.
Carlos complains about being bored with hanging out in the Autobot base all the time. Alexis tells him that being in the Autobot base is serious business. Rad does his best to calm down Alexis and Carlos references the Autobots' sound defense system, but Alexis refuses to chill and assertively walks off with Sureshock. Elsewhere, the Autobots fight the Decepticons. Alexis panics because she can't locate anything on the Autobots' radar, as the Autobots' monitors are all solid black. When Alexis's own laptop freezes Rad speculates that the technical problems could be attributed to an internet virus or a hacker. Alexis confirms Rad's suspicions and takes counter measures, but it's too late. The kids watch as the virus devours their system. Desperate, Alexis tries to hard reboot, then disconnects by removing her computer's network wire. The Mini-Cons try to deactivate the rest of the Autobot computers, but physics take a back seat as the digital disruption spreads off the monitors and forms a spatial anomaly inside the room, solidifying into the shape of Sideways. With Alexis's best efforts at a technical solution rendered useless, Rad tries to disengage Sideways by literally smashing the Autobots' computer consoles. Alexis and Carlos join in the destruction, which causes Sideways to disintegrate and be sucked into a vortex on one of the Autobot monitors. In Sideways's place, a colorful show of light shines on the kids and their Mini-Cons, sucking the "spirits" out of their bodies and sending the kids into the same vortex that swallowed Sideways. At the battle, Prime notices Laserbeak fall (and Megatron steps on it). Hot Shot knows this means something has happened to the kids. Billy and Fred arrive in the Autobots' control room, and find the bodies of their friends unresponsive to any stimuli, and glowing in eerie inverted colors. The Mini-Cons are also affected, and Fred concludes that their friends have been turned into zombies. The three kids and the Street Action Team (who are not zombies) find themselves in an area with no ground, only a few abstract shapes floating in the air. Soon as Rad and Carlos begin to have fun swimming around this reality, Sideways drives up and introduces the kids to Cyberspace. He claims there's no way out of Cyberspace, and tries to take one of their Mini-Cons. The kids speed away from the Decepticon. Eventually the kids fall into an area that looks like outer space, with the six of them floating towards what appears to be Cybertron. Passed by two flashes of light, the kids see a strange glowing purple shape, followed by a dark blue shape with yellow bursts behind it. Passing right through Cybertron (instead of crashing), Sideways reappears (holding Sureshock) and reveals that everything the kids see in Cyberspace is an illusion. Alexis considers this, and openly speculates that if Sideways was in control of the illusion, he could just seize all the Mini-Cons and wouldn't need to make demands. Sideways gets angry, confirming her theory. In reality, the Autobots have returned from battle and are confused by the comatose kids and smashed machinery. Fred suggests using Alexis's laptop as a starting point for figuring out what's going on. In Cyberspace, Sideways grows frustrated with the kids, who have figured out that they can't really be harmed. Grindor escapes Sideways' non-existent clutches and floats back to his friends. Seriously angered, Sideways opens fire on the kids, but the kids are entirely unharmed. When a roaring is heard, Sideways suddenly apologizes to the kids and asks them to keep the entire encounter a secret. Alexis gets a strong feeling of some overwhelming evil, and Rad thinks that's a sign the kids should go, now. Possibly thanks to Red Alert's programming, a white square becomes visible in Cyberspace. The kids head for the light, and just barely escape consumption by a large circular singularity. At the Autobot base, Rad wakes up and finds the other two kids and the Mini-Cons made it out of Cyberspace alive. Even Laserbeak survived being stepped on. Everybody has a big laugh, and Rad closes by wondering about what that ominous evil force was.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Holy Guacamole! It's Sideways!"
- -- Carlos, not being a horrible ethnic stereotype at all
"I guess this means I'm gonna miss lunch. My blood sugar is getting dangerously low, Billy!"
- -- Fred
"Oh yay. I'm surrounded by morons."
- -- Alexis, in exasperated female anime cliché mode
Animation and/or technical glitches
- In the Autobot group scene where Red Alert reports that his scans indicate the work of Sideways, Optimus Prime's waist is huge.
- One of the brightly coloured objects that the kids pass before they go through Cybertron is Jetfire in his Cybertronic form, drawn as Generation One Jetfire's VF-1S fighter mode.
- The other brightly colored object, outlined in purple, is Tidal Wave's Cybertronian form. It actually somewhat resembles G1 Shockwave in his laser cannon mode. Perhaps not coincidentally, Tidal Wave was known as Shockwave in Japan.
- Sideways also apologizes to an unseen entity, presumed to be Unicron. However, the fact that Sideways is actively speaking to him seems to contradict his statement in "Mortal Combat" that Sideways is an extension of Unicron himself.
- The showdown between Sideways and the kids is reminiscent of the fight at the end of the classic Star Trek episode "Spectre of the Gun", where the Enterprise crew is thrust into a similar illusory world and comes to a similar conclusion regarding reality. If the whole thing is an illusion then the gunfire (or laserfire) will have no effect.