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Crossing the Rubicon

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Crossing the Rubicon title shot

Man, female characters just can't catch a break.

After she experiments with the Transmetal Driver, Blackarachnia's core consciousness begins to crash.


Some distance from Mount St. Hilary, Blackarachnia is setting up some equipment that will convert her into a Transmetal 2. However, Silverbolt detects Blackarachnia's energy signature, and, not understanding, pulls her from the machine. As Blackarachnia berates Silverbolt, she short ciruits. Heading to the Maximal base, Rhinox concludes that the shell program is starting to degrade, and will erase her core conciousness if not treated soon. He can remove the shell, but it's never been done before.

Wandering off to think, Blackarachnia is followed by Silverbolt. She maintains that she's still a Predacon, and that becoming a Maximal scares her. Silverbolt points out that she's only a Predacon due to Tarantulas, and deep down, she is one of the good guys. The touching moment is ruined when Blackarachnia short circuits again.

In the lab, Blackarachnia has decided to go through with the procedure. Before she does, there is one last thing to do: transfer the access codes to the Ark to Optimus Primal, thinking that he'd have the best chance to keep them from Megatron. They begin the shell removal, but it has safe guards that will destroy Blackarachnia's core conciousness. Rhinox is able to destroy the first one. At his lair, Tarantulas discovers the removal process. He contacts Megatron, informing him of the situation. Megatron notes that such an act risks destroying Teletron 1's access codes, and concludes that she gave them to Primal. Tarantulas informs Megatron of his safeguards, but the Predacon leader decides to cause a little more trouble.

Inferno, Rampage, and Quickstrike are sent under Tarantulas to attack the Maximals. Optimus leads Cheetor and Rattrap in the defense of the base. Rhinox is almost finished, but two more power surges head for her core conciousness. Rhinox blasts one, but Tarantulas fires a rocket which causes Rhinox to miss the other surge, which hits Blackarachnia's core conciousness and extinguishes her spark. Rhinox leaves to inform Optimus and allow Silverbolt to be alone. Upon leaving, Silverbolt snarls out "Tarantulas..."

Detecting that his creation is dead, Tarantulas orders the Predacons to break off, as Rhinox tells the others. Gathering around Blackarachnia, they express their regrets over not giving her their full trust, if only for Silverbolt's sake. As Rattrap notices that the Fuzor is absent, Primal realizes what he's planning to do, and the Maximals head to stop him. Unseen, the Transmetal Driver begins to glow. Tracking down Tarantulas, Silverbolt easily defeats him, but Rampage defeats Silverbolt. Preparing to strike the killing blow, Rampage is stopped—by Blackarachnia, now a Transmetal 2. Blackarachnia quickly defeats Rampage, and takes Silverbolt back to base.

In the control room, Blackarachnia explains to the Maximals that she saw only darkness, then a light, and thought Silverbolt was in danger. Primal points out that her actions weren't very Maximal, but Silverbolt express their gratitude at her return. Blackarachnia warns Silverbolt to stop rushing after her, but to show no hard feelings, kisses him...sending a power surge through him and disorienting him.


"Ahh, the avenging hero!"

Tarantulas on Silverbolt's attack

Rampage: "This will hardly be any fun at all..."
Blackarachnia: "Yeah... For you, creepizoid! Blackarachnia: MAXIMIZE!!"
Solverbolt: (Gulp!)

Blackarachnia returns, and has a spot on the Cybertronian catwalk with her Transmetal 2 form

"Love the new look... Goodbye!"

Rampage shows sarcasm for Blackarachnia's new wardrobe

"Missed. And you're ugly!"

Blackarachnia evades Rampage's shot.

"Some crabs never learn when to let it go..."

Blackarachnia, refering to Rampage, has a moment to think to herself while taking care of Rampage

"Not a very Maximal approach."
"Even when I'm good, I'm still bad."

Optimus Primal and Blackarachnia; the latter reveales she's still bad to the internal servos


Writers: D.C. Fontana
Original Air Date: February 22, 1999

Major Characters (in order of appearance): Characters
Minor Characters (in order of appearance): Characters


Animation and/or technical glitches

  • Just as in "Proving Grounds", when Blackarachnia sits up in the scanning machine, the spider legs on her arms are missing.

Continuity errors

  • Not only in this episode, but apparently throughout season 3, Blackarachnia (non-Transmetal) appears to have battle damage (grey areas) which disappears when she's in the base. It also seems that the damage is inconsistent, but in the same areas. Did she get into a fight between getting checked into the base & talking with Silverbolt outside? Or does the bright light of the base conceal her damaged body?

Transformers references

  • Megatron's "bath time rubber duckie" is seen again in this episode, but it has undergone a slight makeover. It now has metallic rings around it and an antenna on its head, probably a reference to the Transformers' Transmetal changes.
  • Megatron states that Blackarachnia passing the access codes for the Ark to Optimus will work out nicely for the plan they have in store for him, foreshadowing of the events in the next episode.

Real-world references

  • The Rubicon is a river in Italy. During the Roman Empire era, it was illegal for a Roman general to have his army cross it, thus protecting Rome from a military threat. Julius Caeser crossed it and started a civil war which would eventually lead to Rome switching from a republic to an empire. During this, he uttered, "Alea iacta est" ("the die is cast"). Today, "Crossing The Rubicon" is an idiom that means to go beyond the point of no return.
  • It should also be noted that "Rubicon" is quite similar to "rub-icon," giving the title a dual-meaning. It is not, however, similar to the other sort of Rubicon.
  • When Rattrap disables Rampage in his tank mode during the attack, he sings a tune similar to "Pop Goes The Weasel".

Miscellaneous trivia

  • Blackarachnia reuses the stasis pod she originally modified to be a flying vessel as part of her Transmetal Unit.

External Links

  • Link

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