Marrissa Faireborn and the Technobots are drawn into a Quintesson deal when they meet Dirk Manus.
Japanese title: "Black Money"
Out by the Moon, the trader ship Lazy Sue is under attack by Hun-Gurrr, who is very hungry. The ship's pilot, Dirk Manus, calls for help. The EDC sends Marissa Faireborn out to assist, with Scattershot and Strafe backing her up. Unfortunately, Strafe gets confused and shoots down the Lazy Sue, while Scattershot is grabbed by Hun-Gurrr (good choice of backup there, Marissa). Faireborn calls Autobot City, and Nosecone, Afterburner, and Lightspeed head out to help their comrades. The other three Technobots manage to drive off Hun-Gurrr.
Manus, unseen, buries something near his ship. He introduces himself, hitting on Faireborn, who is a little flustered. Manus claims that Hun-Gurrr may have attacked due to his discovery of a Quintesson base near Saturn. He offers a deal: pay his fee, he gives up the Quints. The Technobots form Computron, who concludes that they should repair the ship and pay the fee. However, Faireborn decides to keep Manus nearby, which Manus uses as an excuse to take Faireborn out dancing.
Later that night, Manus heads out to what he buried, and contacts his clients—the Quintessons. Apparently, the Quints sent Hun-Gurrr to ambush Manus, who now demands triple his original payment, or they don't get the Recreator. The Quintessons are concerned about the Technobots, but Manus decides to lead them into an ambush. Unfortunately, Faireborn overheard everything, and points her blaster at Manus. Unfortunately, Manus has a microblaster of his own, which he uses to disarm her, then ties her up.
The next morning, Scattershot, Lightspeed, and Strafe fly off with Manus, who is calculating his profits. Heading towards Saturn, the Technobots are attacked by Abominus. The three Technobots are shot down by the Decepticon combiner, who then goes for the Lazy Sue. However, coming over the Quintesson base, Abominus separates into the Terrorcons. Rippersnapper and Cutthroat are upset by this; the Quintessons installed an automatic timer which forced them to separate. Manus shows the Recreator to the Quintessons, who decide to test it on Blot. The Recreator dematerializes Blot, then reforms him. Manus explains that the device also cured Blot of any injuries he may have received. Impressed, the Quintessons agree to pay Manus. However, Manus places a small device on the Recreator before leaving.
As it turns out, that was a wise move, for the Quintessons gave him mimic dust instead of real gold. Manus activates the device he implanted on the Recreator, a micro-nuke, only to discover that the Quintessons have placed a bomb on his ship, which goes off... while the Quintessons flick Manus's mini-bomb away from the Recreator. A triple cross!
Manus survives the crash, only to discover that the Technobots did as well, and they're quite angry. As he protests his innocence, Manus shouts to look behind them. Lightspeed says that old trick won't work—and is the first to be shot by the Sharkticons. The Technobots bring a set of thorny vines down on the Sharkticons, but their escape is cut short when they reach the edge of a cliff. Fortunately, Nosecone and Afterburner arrive and drive off the Sharkticons. Marrissa's ship arrives, and she jumps out, uppercutting Manus. Marrissa advocates leaving him to rot, but Manus warns them about the Recreator. Even though their injuries prevent them from becoming Computron, the Technobots decide they have no choice but to trust him. After a little trudging through the forest, Marrissa is grabbed by a vine. Manus jumps to her rescue, getting a reward when he steals a kiss—and her weapon. Now with a hostage, the Technobots are forced to surrender to Manus.
At the Quintesson base, Manus attempts to renegotiate his contract. Marrissa is disgusted, then horrified when Manus uses the Recreator to vaporize the Technobots. Just as the Terrorcons decide that she'd make a good lunch, Manus reforms the Technobots, the Recreator having healed their injuries. They promptly transform into Computron. As Computron and Abominus duke it out, Manus reveals to Marrissa that he brought the Technobots there so that they could be healed. He just didn't tell them because he wanted their reactions to be real. Computron detects the timer placed on Abominus, and fires a blast, causing Abominus to separate. Now facing a pissed Autobot combiner, the Terrorcons fly off, while the Quintessons retreat.
On Earth, the EDC decides to let Manus leave with the Lazy Sue, without any reward. Marrissa is seeing Manus, but Lightspeed arrives, saying that the currency the EDC confiscated has been stolen. As Marrissa assumes it's Manus, he takes another kiss, then takes off. Marrissa, however, says they shouldn't bother pursuing him. On his ship, Manus discovers that the money he stole is mimic dust. But instead of being upset, he merely laughs, impressed that Marrissa outsmarted him.
Original airdate: Nov, 17 1986
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Sorry, Faireborn, if you weren't who you are, and if I weren't who I am, maybe we could have had something special. But—we'll never know, will we?"
- —Dirk Manus. What a gentleman.
"Saturn's rings...I can't believe I'm finally out here."
"Say something, Lightspeed?"
"Daydreaming, Strafe. Or maybe I should say 'stardreaming'."
- —Lightspeed's hopes and dreams aren't very interesting to Strafe.
"Mmmbleah! Blot feel sick."
- —Blot doesn't take well to being germ-free.
"Slimy worm-fingered creep."
"Unlikeable dry skin biped."
- —Dirk Manus and Quintesson, rating each other as business partners, respectively.
"A triple cross! While I was planting a bomb on the Recreator, they planted one on Lazy Sue! This stinks!"
- —Dirk Manus understates his situation.
"What was that for?"
"Want a LIST?!"
- —Dirk Manus gets slugged by Marissa Faireborn.
"Hun-gurrr hungry. Growr!"
"Growr?! Rip metal. Eat food!"
- —Hun-gurrr and Sinnertwin, masters of witty riposte.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- When Marissa is talking to Dirk about Computron after the Technobots first combine, Computron's lips are moving to what Marissa is saying.
- Not long after that, Computron is shown with his left hand next to his hip but not attached to Strafe, the left arm.
- The Terrorcons were last seen under Galvatron's command. Does he rent them out?
- With hundreds of Autobots on the roster, why would half the Technobots stay behind on Earth? Wouldn't it be tremendously inconvenient if they were attacked by Decepticons and couldn't unite? What, Tailgate and Wheelie weren't available?
- Strafe turns into a spaceship, and yet when he's flying, he's in robot mode. Surely it would be faster to transform and do that?
- When Marissa confesses her love for Dirk, she literally holds her hand in the air, as if waiting to be grabbed by something awful.
- Scattershot mentions that they're "still new here". The Technobots were created just an episode or two earlier, a few weeks in the show's time frame.
- Marissa Fairborne states that the Quintessons et al. are hiding out on Titan, Saturn's largest moon (and the second largest moon of any planet in our solar system).
- Given how effective he is in this episode, one wonders why the heck Lightspeed isn't the one leading the Technobots.
- The Dirk Manus/Marissa Fairborne romance is very similar to the Han Solo/Princess Leia dynamic of Star Wars.
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