|The Transformers > Season 3 > Episode 23|
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When several Autobots interfere with his "business", a powerful crime lord has their minds placed into synthoid bodies, with the help of the strangely familiar "Old Snake".
Japanese title: "Human Transformer"
Tired of the Autobots interfering with his operations, crime lord Victor Drath contacts the mysterious Old Snake who apparently ran some kind of terrorist organization in the past. Drath purchases Old Snake’s assistance and technology and after trapping the Autobots Rodimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Arcee and Springer, he transfers their minds to newly created synthoid human bodies. He has the human Autobots taken away to be disposed at the junk yard, while the Autobots’ former robot bodies are adapted so that Drath’s men can operate them. However, the human Autobots escape the crusher in time and hide.
After realizing what has happened to them, the four Autobots split up to try to regain their robot forms while avoiding Drath’s men. Rodimus, spotted and nearly killed, takes refuge with Drath’s girlfriend Michelle who seems to show sympathy for him at first but later turns him in to Drath at his house. Arcee makes it to Autobot City, but security doesn’t believe her story and instead places her in detention. Springer and Ultra Magnus manage to snag Springer’s old body from Drath’s troops but are unable to regain the other three. Drath hurries and sends Rodimus, Ultra Magnus and Arcee’s former bodies to drive into Metroplex and detonate explosives to kill the rest of the Autobots. Luckily, Rodimus breaks free of his captors and apprehends Drath. Old Snake gets away, though.
Springer and Ultra Magnus fly Springer’s robot form to catch up with the other three Autobots en route to Metroplex. Knowing that the Autobots in the city won’t realize three Trojan horses are coming until it’s too late, Ultra Magnus tells Springer to attack the city himself. Firing on Metroplex before they arrive, Blaster has time to activate the city’s defenses and waylay the oncoming Autobots.
Later, after the Autobots have put together the pieces, Perceptor rigs the equipment at Drath’s former hideout and transfers Rodimus Prime and the other’s minds back to their rightful place. When asked about their adventure, Rodimus gives extra consideration to Michelle as she’s led away along with Drath’s other men. Meanwhile, safely away, Old Snake muses to himself how they just don’t make terrorists like they used to. He also tries to yell out the rallying cry of his former organization but breaks down into coughing, so it’s absolutely impossible to tell what group he used to run.
Original airdate: ???
Written by: Susan K. Williams
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Yer "trash" got up an' took a hike before I could squash 'em!"
- — junkyard goon
"Rodimus put that down it's New Tronium highly explo-"
- — -Ultra Magnus right before one of Draft's goons shoots the container of New Tronium
"The Path to True Humanity! Only $4.95, tax deductible!"
[Springer shoves him aside]
"Sorry, pal, I'm a robot at heart. ...Terrific. I already need a shave."
- — street proselytizer and humanized Springer
Springer: "Need a hand? I, uh... operate heavy equipment."
Goon #1: "Uh... yeah."
Goon #2: "But dere's only room for two in here!"
[#1 boots #2 out the hatch]
Goon #1: "Yeah! Yer right!"
- — Springer gets a lift from his own body.
"Don't think for a moment that I haven't the nerve to use this -- I have!"
- — even humanized, Ultra Magnus is a badass.
"It's called breakfast, dummy."
"Mph. Smells better than it tastes."
- — humanized Rodimus discovers coffee, courtesy of Michelle
"Snake pointed out to me a problem with eliminating only the four of you... namely, an entire city of Autobots who might be tempted to vengeance. I believe in solutions, not problems. You can watch the destruction of Metroplex before you die."
- — Victor Drath rubs Rodimus's nose in it.
"Well, did you enjoy your sojourn, Rodimus?"
"Maybe a little too much, Perceptor."
- — Perceptor innocently asks a very loaded question of Rodimus, as the camera pointedly zooms in on Michelle.
"Poor Mr. Drath. Not quite smart enough, were you? They simply don't make terrorists like they used to! COOOOOBRA-ha-*hackcoughcoughcough*"
- — "Old Snake" gets away scott-free.
Arcee: (Looks at herself in the mirror) "What in the name of Prime!"
(Turns around and sees her team mates)
"Oh no, all of us! Rodimus? Springer? Ultra Magnus? What happen to us?"
- — Arcee is quiet surprised about her human appearance, what would Ratchet say if he saw her as a human?
In general, this episode is really rushed, story-wise. Scenes are raced through at a pretty break-neck pace, and on the whole, there's a tremendous sense of the episode having to hold back from actually doing anything with the potential-laden concept of the Autobots becoming human. Many of the ideas in the episode only seem half-developed, and what few subtleties do manage to break through the constant hurtle towards the final scene are often blunted by the complete lack of even just a reflective second or two to let them sink in. The episode really cries out to be a two-parter, which is a real shame, since the annotations for the episode included amongst the original documentation featured on Metrodome's DVDs suggest that the production staff were really excited and enthusiastic about it.
- While not an error, since the reason for it is clear enough, it is a fun coincidence that once human, our four heroes find overalls to wear that perfectly match their former bodies' color schemes. It was also convenient for the new synthoid bodies to form complete with tee shirts and pants. This is a children’s show, you know.
- Michelle’s motivation is a little murky. She seems genuinely upset when the Autobots are supposedly killed by Drath, and later she saves Rodimus from his pursuers -- yet later, she happily turns him over to Drath. Was she actually attracted to Rodimus and changed her mind, or was she just luring him into a trap all along? If she was working for Drath from the get-go, why didn’t she just let his men capture him when they asked for him earlier? It couldn’t have been cause she wanted to snuggle with Rodimus that night, could it? This is a children’s show, you know.
- Also, the Autobots adapt to being human REALLY easily. Other than Springer needing a shave, there’s very little attention paid to the new problems with suddenly being biological. Shouldn’t the Autobots have problems understanding such concepts as going to the bathroom, and breathing? Then again, that stuff veers into uncomfortable territory. This is a children’s show after all.
- In hindsight, just what was Victor Drath’s plan with the Autobots? He obviously has no trouble capturing the Autobots on his own, but purchased the synthoid equipment and went trough all the trouble to set it up anyway to transfer the Autobots' minds into human bodies which he would simply dispose of. He also is going to take their former robot bodies and also simply dispose of them. It’s Ol’ Snake that gives him the idea to actually use the robot bodies. Why couldn’t he just capture the Autobots and simply dispose of them intact? Then again, maybe that’s over thinking it. This is a children’s show after all.
- This is the first and only crossover episode in the entire series.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- Outdated animation models end up being used frequently in this episode. Most notable is Arcee's, especially since her shoulder-thingies changed orientation and her head changes shape several times. (The sub-par animation makes her look even worse.)
- As the humanized Autobots plan their first move, Magnus' voice comes out of Rodimus' mouth.
- At one point Arcee's alt mode has Springer's color scheme.
- There are a few instances when the backgrounds switch from day to night to day again.
- Despite being human, there are occasions when the Autobots' voices are still synthesized to sound robotic.
- As Springer and Magnus escape, Springer's body converts from car to helicopter without the transforming sound, or even any visible transformation sequence.
- When Blaster sees the first three Autobots approaching Autobot City, Springer is shown instead of Arcee.
- As Blaster observes Springer opening fire on Autobot City, the laser beams are coming right out of the screen.
- As the city transforms, the sky randomly switches from day to night and back.
- Perceptor vanishes from the scene as the Autobots leave Drath's house, replaced by Magnus and Springer.
- As the vehicle modes of Springer and Rodimus pull up to Drath's warehouse, Rodimus' alt-mode changes from his post-Matrix form in one scene to his pre-Matrix form as it parks, but then is back to post-Matrix form when he attacks Springer. Speaking of which, where is the Matrix during all this body switching anyway?
- This episode, along with "Forever Is a Long Time Coming" and "Madman's Paradise", is one of the few episodes to not feature Decepticons. In fact, this episode marks the only time in the G1 cartoon where all of the antagonists are human (or humanoid).
- Rodimus totally gets some in this episode. Wow.
- This one of the few episodes to not feature any Decepticons in it. The logo's only used by the human villains.
- This episode uses a number of common cartoon sound effects for helicopter rotors and laser beams that had not been heard on Transformers before - but which were very common on its contemporary competitor, Challenge of the Go-Bots.
- Artwork for the episode featured in TV Magazine showed "Snake" ominously leading a number of Cobra Rattlers and other Cobra vehicles, implying some sort of massive Autobot vs. Cobra action. This, obviously, never happened, leaving one to wonder what the Japanese were thinking by breaking our hearts like that.
- This episode was lampooned at BotCon 2005's MSTF presentation, as part of a "theme show" where all of the Transformers episodes featured had (sometimes really tenuous) ties to G.I. Joe. Because this was the first year of Fun Publications' take on BotCon, and they run the Joe convention, you see.
- Autobots becoming human, eh? How unique!