The Autobots must journey to Cybertron to retrieve a vital piece of technology to save the life of the critically wounded Optimus Prime.
- Japanese title: "SOS! Cybertron"
- Russian Tv dub title (6th channel): "Razdelay i vlavstvui" ("Divide and Conquer")
Earth factories are busily preparing weaponry for use against the Decepticon menace. Chip Chase is inspecting one such facility, where the administrators hope he can develop new methods to improve the efficiency of weapons production. The Decepticon Seeker jets suddenly attack the factory, breaching its walls and landing inside. They begin draining the factory of its energy, but have not noticed Chip, who sends out a distress signal to the Autobots.
Optimus Prime and Spike are on a search mission, fruitlessly looking for any trace of the Decepticon Space Bridge. Prime intercepts Chip’s call for help, and orders the Autobots at the Ark to meet him at the munitions plant. Prime arrives at the scene first, and is outnumbered three-to-one. A stray shot hits one of the massive computer banks, which begins a critical meltdown and overload. Prime attempts to shield the humans from the inevitable explosion with his own body. The blast tears through Prime, and the Decepticons take advantage of his weakened state to nail him. Prime collapses under fire.
The Seekers hear the approach of the other Autobots, and following Megatron’s orders, retreat with the Energon cubes. The Autobots find Prime's badly damaged form and take it back to base. Prime’s power relays are fused. His mobility limited. His speech… slow… and labored. Part replacement… essential….
Wanting to confirm Prime’s condition, Megatron dispatches Laserbeak to the Ark to spy on Ratchet and Wheeljack’s efforts to repair Prime. Optimus’ electropulse is fading. At Megatron’s command, Laserbeak attacks the incredibly vulnerable Prime, tearing into his exposed chest cavity and causing a tremendous explosion.
It’s more smoke and sparks than fiery blast, and Prime survives the explosion, though his energy is fading fast. His very laser core is at risk of snuffing out, and Ratchet needs a cosmotron to keep his Prime's energy levels from draining. Wheeljack only knows of one in existence, but it’s in his shop back on Cybertron, which the Decepticons had placed under a computerized lock. The Autobots need to get back to their homeworld and pick this lock. Naturally, Chip Chase is the only one of them familiar enough with Cybertronian computers to make this possible.
Chip uses Teletraan I to do what Optimus could not: triangulate the likely coordinates for the Space Bridge’s next appearance. Following Chip’s detective work, the Autobots drive into the woods and discover the Space Bridge site. Starscream and Rumble oversee the transport of a shuttle module filled with Energon cubes, with a hapless Reflector-type soldier sent to pilot it across the gulf of interstellar space. With the Autobots' arrival, a fray breaks out – and so does a sudden thunderstorm.
Surprisingly, Megatron (who has been monitoring the battle) orders the Decepticons to let the Autobots win. The thunderstorm has given him an idea, but he does not elaborate. The Autobots—Bumblebee, Bluestreak, Trailbreaker and Ironhide—drive into the Space Bridge and are teleported to Shockwave’s base. They blast their way past a shocked Shockwave and into Cybertron’s streets. Megatron orders the Cybertronian Seekers to destroy the Autobot infiltrators with acid rain.
At Wheeljack’s shop, Chip works his way past the locking mechanism, and Ironhide instantly finds the cosmotron. Outside, a trio of Seekers somehow seed the clouds over the workshop so they produce incredibly debilitating acid rain.
The acid rain shorts the circuitry of the Autobots, who collapse at the touch of the deadly downpour. Chip is immune to the rain’s effects, and implores the Autobots to continue. Trailbreaker musters up the energy to project his force-field, sheltering the Autobots from the rain, giving their automatic repair systems time to kick in. Bluestreak fires some blasts into the clouds overhead, dispersing the rainmaking seekers and the toxic clouds. Rejuvenated, the Autobots return to Shockwave’s tower and ride the Space Bridge back to Earth.
On Earth, Megatron recognizes that without Prime, the conquest of the Autobots is a foregone conclusion. He leads an attack on the Ark. The Autobots recognize the hopeless battle up ahead, but Spike musters up his courage, grabs Jazz's rifle, and rallies the troops. He even manages to inspire perpetual downer Huffer to take charge.
An enormous battle breaks out in front of the Ark, just as the Autobot mission returns from Cybertron. Chip and Spike race the cosmotron to Prime. Optimus emerges in time to personally challenge Megatron and soundly beats him, forcing the Decepticon leader to yield. With Megatron down, a self-satisfied Starscream orders the Decepticons to retreat.
Original airdate: October 20, 1984
Production number: #700-03
Written by: Donald F. Glut
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Heh, I wonder if I'll ever get used to that."
- — Sparkplug witnessing the Autobots transform
"I think Laserbeak's chicken!"
- — Skywarp commenting on Laserbeak's hesitation to infiltrate Autobot headquarters
"He's doomed. I know it. I can feel it in my databank."
- — Huffer, hoping the best for a dying Prime.
"They sure don't build 'em like that anymore."
- — Sparkplug, commenting on the fact Optimus Prime is still alive after his chest explodes.
"I knew it was hopeless, I just knew..."
- — Huffer again, before Ironhide shut him up good.
"Just like Sherlock Holmes with floppy disks!"
- — Spike, hopelessly over his head when it comes to computer talk.
"Hey! Who you callin' clumsy, Gasket-Breath?"
- — Rumble protests Starscream's observation of his energon-handling skills.
"Don't split yet runt. The party's just starting! This oughta shake ya up!"
- — Rumble taunting Bumblebee while using his piledrivers.
"No one's ever really disabled as long as he has courage."
- — Chip Chase, and that’s one to grow on.
"I'm sorry, Spike. Sometimes nothing you do makes any difference."
- — Sparkplug to Spike, which, if you don’t read as the ‘royal’ you, is actually kind of mean and funny.
"We can't go down without trying! Prime would want us to go for it, no matter what the odds! Well, are you with me, or do I fight this battle alone?!?"
- — Spike gives an inspirational battle rally to the Autobots after taking Jazz's gun.
"Ravage! Bad kitty! HOWAAAAA!"
- — Spike, right as Ravage reduces him to chew toy.
"Is there anyone in the universe who will challenge the might of Megatron?"
"There is one, Megatron! I, Optimus Prime, challenge you!"
- — Megatron is scared to death by a now healthy Optimus Prime.
Megatron: (After being trashed by Optimus) "I used too much power against the Autobots, I need assistance!"
Starscream: "How unfortunate; if you cannot fight your opponent yourself, you are not fit to be our leader. I am the only suitable leader anyway!"
(Megs attacks Optimus and gets blasted right in the face with beams out of Optimus's eyes. Megs reaches for his fusion cannon but Prime cuts him off)
Optimus Prime: "Megatron! Do you yield?"
Megatron: "Yield, for now, only for now!"
Starscream: "Retreat. And take our 'leader' back for repairs."
- — Megatron soundly owned by Optimus and Screamer as protective and loyal as ever to his leader.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- Due to a mix-up in animation models, the green-uniformed human soldiers protecting the weapons factory in one shot turn into hard-hat wearing factory workers in another shot.
- A teleporting Skywarp is mistakenly colored with Starscream's colors, and then Thundercracker's colors.
- A peculiar design in one shot has Optimus Prime's cab face sport a 45-degree slope.
- The cosmotron taken out of Primes chest cavity is notably smaller than the one they get from Wheeljack's lab and put back into him.
- When Starscream reacts to Optimus Prime barreling into the factory, his voice is not electronically enhanced.
- Among the Autobots shown talking to Optimus through Teletraan I are Ratchet, Bluestreak, and Bumblebee. When the Autobots transform to head to the factory, Bluestreak and Ratchet have disappeared and Bumblebee has been replaced with Sunstreaker. Upon arriving at the factory, Bumblebee is back with the group while Sunstreaker is no where to be seen.
- Because the background art moves around to simulate a camera tilt, the foreground animation of Prime's trailer receding into the background looks instead like it is shrinking into nothingness in midair.
- Before Brawn enters the room where Optimus Prime is being worked on, he is shown standing inside.
- There's a big nasty S-shaped hair in the center of the screen as Wheeljack describes his shop on Cybertron.
- At the Space Bridge site, the camera pans across the scenery, but a painted foreground tree travels with the move, making it look like the tree is mobile.
- Four Reflectors are shown when preparing the Space Bridge (though it could be argued it is a separate Reflector-like Decepticon).
- Rumble blinks out for a few moments when the Autobots arrive at the Space Bridge.
- In the shot of him still holding the tree after Megatron tells him to let the Autobots win, and emerging from Ironhide's deep freeze, Starscream is colored like Thundercracker.
- As Shockwave and a Reflector soldier unload the Space Bridge's shipment of Energon cubes, the Energon is not filled with an illumination effect, and appears as solid black bars.
- The nitrogen pack that Ironhide uses in Shockwave's control center is labeled "NITRGEN". And Ironhide shouldn't have to use a pack anyway, since he has a built in liquid nitrogen projector.
- When the Decepticons exit their base to attack the Autobots, a fourth Decepticon jet is shown. Later, an extreme close-up of one of the jets' weapons shows a red "rainmaker".
- When the Autobot away team races back to Shockwave’s tower, Ironhide is painted with Trailbreaker's colors, making him resemble a Diaclone incarnation of his toy. Also, if you look closely, Bluestreak is in the background also painted in all black.
- After returning to Earth, Bluestreak emerges from the Space Bridge painted as Prowl, but without police lights.
- In the carnage of the battle, a prone form of Ironhide is colored with Ratchet's white and red hue (Ratchet's inside the Ark) and Sideswipe has Shockwave's colors.
- Optimus Prime's mouthplate moves when Megatron concedes defeat.
- In the final scene, the Decepticon insignia on Starscream's wing is upsidedown.
- It is unclear how Chip knows Skywarp's missile is of the heat-seeking variety before it does anything to suggest such.
- Optimus Prime somehow deflects the heat-seeking missile by hitting its warhead with his arm.
- Chip Chase's superhuman abilities shine in this episode: he knows Cybertronian technology better than Autobots, who have only had millions of years to get used to it. He knows how to find the Space Bridge better than Optimus can, since Chip thinks to use Teletraan I, a tactic that somehow escaped Prime. Chase can crack a Cybertronian lock, and he is immune to Cybertronian acid rain.
- The Space Bridge, which first appeared in "Transport to Oblivion," reappears in this episode.
- The tetrahedron seeker jets return; they first appeared in "More Than Meets The Eye, Part 1."
- A cosmotron is a real-world particle physics accelerator.
- Brawn really is a dumbass to not notice Laserbeak sitting on his shoulder.
- The Autobot Matrix of Leadership is nowhere to be found on Prime's chest when Wheeljack and Ratchet are repairing him.
- The Reflector-type Decepticon warrior that Starscream forces to pilot the Space Bridge transport has an oddly sympathetic and very human-sounding voice.
- Reflector displays an odd ability in this episode: he can absorb his fellow units into his body.
- Reflector can emit a light that shorts out optic sensors.
- Ironhide's wrists can emit liquid glop launchers that trap the Decepticons to the surface with a thick adhesive.
- Cybertron has an atmosphere breathable by humans.
- A trio of Seekers on Cybertron include a neon green one, a gunmetal bluegray one, and a lemony yellow one.
- Autobots have built-in repair systems.
- Sideswipe is capable of emitting a smokescreen from his chest ... for little effect.
- The Transformers have a personal battle code where customs dictate personal challenges be settled in personal combat.
- The chapter stops on the Rhino DVD version of this episode are Opening / Weapon Factories / Off to Cybertron / New Age of Decepticons / Fight For Optimus / Optimus Saved!
- Optimus Prime displays the unusual ability to fire energy beams out of his optics... right into Megatron's face.
- Spike fired a Cybertronain weapon. Wow.