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Equal Measures

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EqualMeasures

Despite its name, not a cooking show


Dinobot manipulates both Maximals and Predacons around a teleporter that Cheetor has unintentionally developed between both bases.

Japanese title: 時限爆弾転送作戦! (Jigen Bakudan Tensō Sakusen! "Time Bomb Transfer Operation!")

Summary

Primal watches a bolt of lightning shatter a mountain, revealing a cache of Energon. Because of the hazardous conditions, he radios to his team to abort their current operation. The storm garbles the transmission, though, preventing the other Maximals from receiving it. The mission, by the way, involves energon monitoring devices, designed by Rhinox, who has just gotten done building the last of them. Impatient to get going, Cheetor carelessly plays with one of Dinobot's projects, a time bomb, and accidentally drops it out the floor hatch...where it's caught by a returning Primal, who reiterates his order for the mission to be scrubbed. Everyone's clearly upset over the development, not believing the storm to be that severe yet, but Primal is adamant; it'll have to wait until later. Dejected, everyone returns to quarters to wait out the storm.

In Cheetor's quarters, Dinobot meets with the cat-bot and endorses the mission being continued regardless of the danger from the weather and the energon. He points out that Primal clearly treats Cheetor like a child, even though with his speed, the cat-bot could easily outrun the storm and plant the devices before it hits. This appeal to vanity works, and Cheetor sneaks out to complete the mission.

In the field, he plants survey apparatuses in quick succession, but a bolt of lightning causes the cat accidentally to plant one of the posts dangerously close to an energon vein. He tries to remove the device and correct his mistake, but in the middle of his struggle, a second lightning bolt hits, and he finds himself suddenly teleported—onto a control panel in the Predacon base!

Terrorsaur "welcomes" Cheetor and attacks the Maximal, but Cheetor grabs a hover-platform and tries to escape. After being knocked off the platform, Cheetor lunges at Terrorsaur and pushes the Predacon onto the control panel the Maximal arrived on, causing Terrorsaur to vanish. Scorponok and Waspinator arrive and chase Cheetor around the Predacon base, but lose him in the ventilation shafts.

Meanwhile, Terrorsaur finds himself in the Axalon command center, where he's given a warm reception by Dinobot. However, the former Predacon is more concerned over how the pteranodon arrived, eventually working out that a freak combination of the survey devices, the storm, and the energon created a transporter link between the two bases. Using this to his advantage, Terrorsaur seems to convince Dinobot into forming an alliance, swearing to rid themselves of both factions and rule together...until Dinobot drops the charade and unceremoniously flushes the Pred out of the Axalon through a waste disposal unit.

Back at the Predacon base, Cheetor continues to flee while avoiding fire from Waspinator. He sneaks away from the two long enough to determine that both bases sit on a common underground Energon vein, so an explosion at one base would cause a chain reaction that would obliterate both ships. Cheetor is discovered as soon as he outputs this data to a disk.

At the Maximal base, Primal confronts Dinobot on Cheetor's whereabouts. Dinobot tells him about the link and how the cat-bot has "surely" been destroyed by now, but convinces him that they could use the link to annihilate the Pred base with the bomb, a plan Primal only agrees to as long as the bomb's timer is set with enough time to allow the Preds to evacuate. Just as the bomb is sent, though, Cheetor tosses the disk with the energon vein data onto the console, transporting both items simultaneously. Cheetor is cornered just then, but by that time, the bomb has magnetically locked itself onto the Pred console, forcing the Preds to let him go so he can release it. With a few seconds left, Cheetor throws it up to Terrorsaur, who flies it out of the base (and is blown up with it), while Cheetor escapes through the link...just as he's shot at by the Preds, the errant shots destroying the console instead. Furthermore, his return trip to the Axalon shatters all of the survey posts he's planted, ensuring the link is severed for good.

Afterwards, Rhinox and Rattrap congratulate Cheetor's prevention of the Maximal base from being destroyed by their own explosive, while Dinobot is in a bad mood as usual and leaves—though Cheetor apparently didn't tell anyone that Dinobot talked him into the whole thing. Primal still commands Cheetor to take more care to obey direct orders. Cheetor says he will—except when he doesn't—and scampers off, leaving Rhinox and Rattrap (and eventually Primal) to have a jolly laugh.

Quotes

"WAS THAT SUPPOSE TO SCARE ME!" (lightning struck near him) "I guess it does."

Cheetor tempting fate.

"Cheetor: Maximi- did that already."

Cheetor forgets that he already transformed.

"Put it to BED. We're stalled."
"WHAT?"
"You're kiddin'!"
"What are you talkin' about?"
"Hey, it's just a crossed quasar circuit. I can fix it."
That storm'll hit us in about a Mega-Cycle."
"A Mega-Cycle? Not a problem, fellow beast. I can run on anything the skies can dish."
"Sorry Cheetor, it's too risky. The position of those survey posts must be thoroughly calculated to avoid contact with any underground Energon deposits."
"I'm not just some dippy cub you know. I can handle this, just try having some faith in me."
"As much as you'd like to think Cheetor, this is not about you."

Cheetor enters dare mode as he loses the battle to continue with setting up the survey posts around the environment as long as the storm is still going on.

Scorponok: He's gone into the vents! You better report this to Megatron!
Waspinator: Me?! You're second-in-command!
Scorponok: So make it an order!

Scorponok and Waspinator establish the chain of command; speaking of which, there's an episode after this one that focuses on the role of commander.


Dinobot: So by merely coming in contact with the communications consle, you initiated the teleportation?
Terrorsaur: Yep, that was it. Nothin' to it!
Dinobot: Excellent! Then I shall have no problem duplicating the proceedure... without you.
Terrorsaur: Yeah... wait, WHAT? Hey! What are you doing? We're partners!
Dinobot: In case you had not realized, Needle Nose... I am not a team player.

Terrorsaur, believing that he could form a solid alliance with a traitorcon. Tsk, tsk.

Stat

Writers: Greg Johnson
Original air date: September 23, 1996

Characters (in order of appearance): Optimus Primal, Rhinox, Rattrap, Dinobot, Cheetor, Terrorsaur, Waspinator, Scorponok, Megatron

Notes

  • Dinobot is kind of a jerk this early on.
  • And Cheetor needs obedience beat into him.
  • Despite the Maximals being afraid of the bomb exploding, they all toss it around like a baseball.

Animation and/or technical glitches

  • After Cheetor escapes from the vents, he falls to the ground and his right forehead chevron kind of "twangs" forward. In the next scene he's in, it's back to normal against his head.
  • The light on the top of the first beacon that Cheetor places flashes in and out of existence.

Continuity errors

  • A major plot point is that due to an energon vein running beneath both ships, the destruction of either Predacon or Maximal bases would destroy the other. This is never mentioned again and is frequently contradicted due to the repeated explosions at both. While most of the planet's energon was stabilised by the start of Season 2 and so wouldn't be an issue, the plot of Season 1 episode "Victory" revolves around... a massive explosion at the Predacon base (Although it's assumed that only an explosion large enough to actually DESTROY the base would set off the Energon, which what the bomb was capable of doing). The destruction of the Predacon ship in season 3 would have been enough, had it not been completely irrelevant by that point due to both the destruction of the energon during the Vok Planet Buster Other Voices, Part 2 Coming of the Fuzors, Part 2 and the destruction of the Axalon. Optimal Situation
    • It is also possible that one or both sides would later cut off said energy vein, so that this would no longer be an issue.
  • Both Maximals and Predacons are using seconds to measure time, instead of the usually used (mega)cycles.

Transformers references

  • When Cheetor appears before him, Terrorsaur greets him thus: "Welcome to the dark side!" The episode script reveals that this was simply Terrorsaur being dramatic. However, because Transformers fans can be incredibly literal, some fans speculatively latched on to the idea that Terrorsaur was welcoming Cheetor to the "Dark Side", supposedly giving the Predacon ship/base a proper name.
  • This bit of fanon was made official by the the videogame Transformers Beast Wars: Transmetals. Years later, the ship's name was further codified by the Botcon 2006 story "Dawn of Future's Past", which dodged trademark issues by giving it the intentional misspelling "Darksyde".
  • This is what happens when fans are allowed to run things. Seriously.
  • Curiously, at no point has anybody interpreted Dinobot's line as suggesting the Maximal base is meant to be called "Enemy Arms".

Notes

  • The Cybertronix on the glass of the waste disposal device, when translated, indicates that its purpose is obvious: "Trash Can".
  • Despite the fact that Cheetor promised he would never go out behind anyone's back again in the previous episode "The Web", he acts almost exactly the same way he does here when trying to prove himself, and fighting for his life against the Predacons. In fact, both episodes end with a character threatening to harm Cheetor "if he ever pulls a stunt like that again". The only major difference here is that Cheetor actually accomplished something, rather than someone having to come rescue him.

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