Past, Part 1 is the thirty-first episode of Armada. It first aired in the United States on March 29, 2003 on Cartoon Network.
An Autobot and a Decepticon arrive from Cybertron, each with histories tied to the Autobot crew.
Surrounded by flames, Hot Shot tries to lift off a large piece of debris holding down Wheeljack's legs. Over Wheeljack's protest, Hot Shot runs to get additional assistance, leaving his friend waiting. Outside of the flames, Hot Shot's superior refuses to let Hot Shot endanger himself by entering the flames again.
On Earth, the kids mock Sideswipe's self-introduction. Sideswipe greets Blurr, but Blurr is embarrassed and denies knowing Sideswipe. After coming inside, Sideswipe stands on his own head and calls for help to jog Blurr's memory of the two's meeting.
On a sunny Cybertron, Sideswipe has been suspended upside down (possibly due to a poor attempt at a parachute landing). After a brief name exchange, Blurr blasts the rope holding Sideswipe in place.
Seeking his savior, Sideswipe followed Blurr to Earth. But Blurr has no interest in the enthusiastic wannabe and walks away. When Sideswipe tries to follow, he stumbles and disturbs Blurr's work. Blurr, Optimus, and Hot Shot meet and decide that Hot Shot is best suited to becomes Blurr's mentor. Fred and Billy play a videogame. Billy wins, but both players are scolded by Alexis. Hot Shot walks out into the rain to take Sideswipe under his wing. After the two are introduced, they go to the target range. Sideswipe manages to destroy his target, but without anything close to precision. Outside, Sideswipe displays that he can't transform very fast either. Wheeljack, stranded inside of the burning terrain, calls out for help. While Hot Shot doesn't answer, Megatron marches from the flames. By a pretty lake, Sideswipe and Hot Shot have a heart to heart. Sideswipe explains how he idolizes the dedication of Blurr, but Hot Shot instead suggests Side Swipe set more reasonable goals to find his own identity. A black car monitors the two in secret. Alexis enjoys Fred and Billy's video game. Cruising on a highway, the black car aggressively approaches the two Autobots. They attempt to ignore him (assuming he's domestic to the planet), but Wheeljack knocks away Side Swipe and shows his defaced Autobot logo to Hot Shot. Sideswipe connects with his Mini-Con and accelerates to fight back, while Hot Shot remembers: On Cybertron, years ago, Hot Shot is appointed the supervisor of an enthusiastic younger bot. In person, Wheeljack's idolization matches Side Swipe's idolization of Blurr. Wheeljack then cryptically mentions the possibility of the two being separated by battle. Use of holograms, vanishing, and aggressive driving allow Wheeljack to easily knock Sideswipe off of a cliff on one side of the road. With the younger Autobot out of the way, Hot Shot and Wheeljack are formally reintroduced. Wheeljack disregards Hot Shot's apology for the abandonment on Cybertron and explains how Megatron saved and recruited him. Now the two stand on opposite sides, and Wheeljack faces down Hot Shot with his weapon drawn... and fires.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- Major characters (in order of appearance): Hot Shot, Wheeljack, Sideswipe, Rad, Carlos, Alexis, Optimus Prime, Blurr, Billy, Fred, Megatron, Nightbeat
"Enthusiasm will get you nowhere, buddy, take a chill pill!"
- —Hypocritical (but correct) Carlos to Side Swipe
"Attention soldier! Side Swipe, as this moment, you will be working under the supervision and guidance of Hot Shot."
"Under Hot Shot?"
"That's right kid."
"Well, who's that?"
"I am! I'm Hot Shot, you idiot!"
- —Hot Shot assigns Side Swipe to himself.
"Prepare yourself, Hot Shot. You're about to get a little surprise from the past. You may have forgotten what you did to me but I never forget."
- —Wheeljack expositing as he drives toward Hot Shot and Side Swipe.
"I'm exceedingly proud to be fighting alongside you, Hot Shot. My unit has heard all about you. Even Optimus has asked you to join his troops, correct?"
"Yeah, it'd be cool if I end up goin', but it's just talk right now."
"Still, it's an honour, Hot Shot. I envy you, I wish I could be more like you. I hope that we can always be friends, even if fate, or the battle, separates us once again."
"You got it pal! We'll always be friends, Wheeljack."
- —An oddly translated conversation between Wheeljack and Hot Shot that magically foreshadows a future event
"I think you're mistaken, Hot Shot. I didn't come here for revenge. I'm no longer the Wheeljack you knew. Like I said, I've been... reborn. I've become... a Decepticon!"
"No! It's... not true!"
"Sorry, but it is. Our friendship's over. Let's forget the past and get on with our lives so we can battle as enemies, understand? There's nothing I can do to change the past."
- —Wheeljack, oddly, claiming he isn't here for revenge, when he's here for revenge.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- Connecting with his Mini-Con changes Sideswipe's appearance, but in the next overhead shot, they re-use artwork of him before he powerlinked.
- When Wheeljack first pulls his weapon out, it's colored grey. In the next shot, it's the proper color of yellow.
- Hot Shot and Wheeljack are drawn without the details that indicate having terrestrial alternate modes. But Megatron is animated in his Earth animation model, instead of the pre-scan animation model he had in "First Encounter."
- Wheeljack claims that he isn't here for revenge, when the rest of the episode clearly shows he's obsessed with the past and is here to take revenge on Hot Shot. This is perhaps due to translation errors or merely Wheeljack's own twisted perspective.
- When Wheeljack shows Hotshot his Autobot simbol, his simbol is colored purple instead of red. In next shot he is back at his real color red.
- None known.
- One of the members of Hot Shot's team on Cybertron is identical in design to Wheelie, only... much larger.
- Hot Shot's other superior on Cybertron uses an identical design to Fortress Maximus, but in different colors and much, much smaller.
- Hot Shot's superior in the flashback is voiced by Brian Dobson, but despite the dorkish behavior, it's unlikely he's Red Alert.
- It's never explained if Wheeljack is teleporting, or using light-manipulation.
- Nor is it explained where Sideswipe picked up his Mini-Con Nightbeat.
- Cybertron is shown to have clouds and an Earth-like atmosphere during daylight scenes in this episode.
- This episode ends on a cliffhanger, with the screen fading to black as Wheeljack points his weapon at Hot Shot, before a gunshot is heard.