Imprisoned Inferno is the twenty-ninth episode of Energon. It first aired in the United States on November 02, 2004 on Cartoon Network.
Ambushed and alone, Inferno is taken to his limits and beyond by Megatron.
On Iron Planet, Shockblast, chained up and guarded by the stoic and silent Inferno, is bored. He entertains himself by verbally harassing his guard. His taunts fall on deaf ears; finally Inferno stands, walks off, and nails a distant peak with one shot from his weapon, to Shockblast's puzzlement.
Alpha Q delights over one of his new planets, and laments Scorponok's fall. On the temperate surface of the planet, Ironhide, Kicker and Misha land the Miranda II in a lake. The planet's atmosphere is identical to Earth, to Misha's relief. She wonders if it's inhabited.
Inferno calls in a report to Optimus's team on the Miranda II, though he has little to tell them; he expects Rodimus to be along soon. Suddenly, Megatron radios Shockblast, taunting him for his betrayal.
Megatron expects Shockblast will come crawling back soon enough - and indeed, he radios a moment later, begging to be freed and promising loyalty. Megatron agrees. Inferno doesn't seem to notice.
Rodimus observes space debris from Unicron flying into the void. Elsewhere, on a planet, the two search team Autobots drive around and conclude that it's deserted. Downshift isn't happy about searching planet after planet, but Cliffjumper reminds him that that's what their orders are. Suddenly, they see a flash of light. Somewhere in space, Rodimus speaks to all Autobot warriors, telling them to use his flag as a beacon-guide if they've lost their way.
On Iron Planet, Inferno comes under heavy attack from Megatron's squad.
Misha observes a giant dragon fly, which freaks out Kicker. Kicker explains to Ironhide that the planet's so nutrient-rich that it's driving the eco-system to extremes. Jetfire reports that Inferno is under attack, and the Autobots prepare to move out. Ironhide is depressed, wondering if Scorponok will be there.
Inferno has retreated into a crevasse, defending himself from there. Megatron approaches the chained Shockblast; Mirage advises not releasing him, advice that Megatron agrees with. He threatens to "rewire" Shockblast. Desperate, Shockblast pleads for release, saying he'll capture an Autobot as proof of his loyalty. Inferno is still in the crevasse, waiting.
In space, Landmine, Prowl and Hot Shot fight their way through the debris-filled void. Through the void, they see Rodimus's glowing Autobot insignia-beacon, a sign of hope.
Shockblast is free; Mirage thinks it's a mistake. Inferno comes under attack from the sky, as Shockblast dives on him, firing. Starscream joins him.
Shockblast tries to flush out Inferno, but the Autobot just waits patiently, gun aimed. But Starscream gets behind him before he can fire.
Scorponok flies through the void with a horde of Insecticons, as Rodimus observes.
The Autobots arrive and locate Inferno. Below, Megatron chews out Shockblast and sends him to join the others above in battling the Autobots, before interrogating his captive. Above, the Decepticons hold the Autobots at a standstill.
Megatron tortures Inferno, demanding to know where the energon is. When Inferno refuses, he stabs him with his sword and threatens to turn him into a Decepticon. Scorponok and his Terrorcons arrive; Ironhide holds him off while Prime goes after Inferno, only to run into Mirage. Megatron forces an energy ball into Inferno's wound, saying that soon he'll be a Decepticon.
Ironhide confronts Scorponok over his changed allegiance. Scorponok simply states that his only master is Megatron.
Under torture, Inferno flashes back to the beauty of Earth, and refuses to yield. Hot Shot and Rodimus arrive and finally make it into the crevasse. Surrounded, Megatron retreats. Inferno lies damaged and inert. The Decepticons transform and fly/drive off into the sky. Ironhide is still angry over Scorponok's betrayal.
The Autobots fly Inferno away. Weak, Inferno asks about Kicker's status - and, unseen by all, his Autobot symbol morphs into a Decepticon one.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"I'm bored out of my mainframe here. What's wrong? Your batteries go dead? You're a regular riot, soldier boy! HEY! Mr. Happy! Would ya lighten up a little? Teh! You can guard me without being a jerk, y'know."
- —The captive Shockblast taunts Inferno.
"Shockblast! Exactly what part of that order don't you understand? Starscream, Demolishor, Snowcat and Mirage rank above you. And I expect you to follow their orders, soldier!"
- —Megatron lets Shockblast know exactly where he stands.
"Hey! You're Shockblast!"
"That's right... boss."
"That's right. At least, that's what Megatron tells me."
"Oh. In that case, I want you to destroy Optimus!"
"Huh—uh—I mean, if—that's okay with you."
- —Demolishor and Shockblast
Lost in translation
The only changes in the dub are a few trivial items—which is quite surprising considering that there's a typo in the title. Again. The title is later corrected on the DVD release.
- Kicker kicks Ironhide after they land the Miranda II on the first planet. In Super Link, it's because Ironhide had said the air was great and refreshing, and Kicker says he couldn't possibly know that. The dub changes it to Kicker staking his claim that he was the one to tell Misha that the air was safe.
- Kicker's original claim about the ecosystem is more about the planet's instinct to support life, rather than its nutrient-rich ecosystem.
- Megatron originally threatens to reformat Shockblast (rather than "rewire" him), a bit more serious-sounding considering what's happened to Demolishor, Starscream and Scorponok.
- In the dub, Inferno asks for an update on Kicker as he's carried away from Iron Planet. In Super Link, he asks if they're going to where Kicker is, so he can heal on a peaceful planet.
- Absurdly triumphant background music plays over this same scene in the dub; Super Link has silence instead, more befitting the somber mood as the gravely damaged Inferno is carried off.
- "Uh?": 17
- Stock footage: 3
- Let's do it: 2
- You got it: 1
Animation and/or technical glitches
- What the hell, Voicebox?
- No, seriously, what the hell?
- The red energon sun somehow casts normal yellow/white light onto Iron Planet. The next episode would show that the planet has a yellow-tinted atmosphere. That still doesn't work with a red light source - but points for trying!
- Cliffjumper and Downshift have their names reversed. It won't be the last time. (They're not named in Super Link.)
- Rodimus's magic beacon-projecting flag flaps in the vacuum of space.
- The rift—referred to here as "the void"—is so badly animated and edited that it's impossible to tell what or where it is. No establishing shots make clear where it sits in relationship to anything else in the show, and it's shown differently than in previous episodes. A casual viewer would have no clue where Hot Shot's team is or what they're doing.
- Likewise, the idea is that Rodimus shines his beacon at the rift's exit, giving both Hot Shot's team (who are lost in the rift) and the search party (who are on the other side of the rift, still in normal space) a sign post to follow. The animation makes this a bit difficult to figure out, the editing makes it worse,and the dialog in both versions doesn't help much.
- So, Rodimus and Optimus entered the rift after Hot Shot, Prowl and Landmine were sucked in, as happened in "Ripped Up Space". They made it all the way through, had a whole series of adventures and battles on Iron Planet, and meanwhile, Hot Shot's team still hasn't gotten through the rift? What've they been doing in there?
- During the torture scene, Megatron and Inferno's faces are both animated in traditional cell format, allowing them to emote beyond the level of "mouth open/mouth closed".
- Unicron is apparently missing in action—there's no trace of him—but the dialog only vaguely hints at this mystery, when Rodimus says something vague about debris from Unicron.