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On the first of Alpha Q's new planets, Wing Saber takes on Shockblast, and a Megatron-controlled Scorponok leads an attack to capture energon.
- Japanese title: The Planets That Must Be Protected
Kicker recounts the events leading up to the current crisis. Ironhide sights Alpha Q, who rejoices that his planets are finally free, absorbing the energon and growing.
One of the planets suddenly explodes, destroyed by Megatron. The Decepticons send Terrorcons to recapture the energon. The Autobots are puzzled as a planet just explodes, and head to find Megatron. Kicker and Ironhide report in to Optimus. As Rodimus and Optimus wonder what to do with the tagalongs, Kicker senses energon on one of the planets.
On one of the worlds, Shockblast awakes, and is startled by a stone monolith erupting from the ground.
In space, the Decepticons and their Terrorcons fly toward Unicron. They find Scorponok's inert form; Megatron plans to revive him, reformatting him entirely to be loyal.
Shockblast anxiously shoots at the emerging rocks. Elsewhere on the same planet, Kicker and Ironhide are having similar troubles. Alpha Q tells Kicker that the planet is absorbing the energon, growing an energon nucleus at its core. Arcee reports a Decepticon presence on the planet; Ironhide and Kicker go hunting for it.
Prime's team arrives to hunt for Ironhide and Kicker. Prime asks Wing Saber how he's handling his new body; Wing Saber laments that if he'd had this hardware sooner, he could have saved Padlock. Inferno reports a Decepticon reading nearby.
Ironhide and Kicker find Shockblast, and demand to know where Megatron is. Prime, Jetfire, Inferno and Wing Saber arrive; Shockblast recognizes Wing Saber with shock. Surrounded, Prime has Wing Saber move in to capture him.
Demolishor reports a distress signal from Shockblast, but Megatron says to let him fend for himself... then decides to go watch the Autobots destroy him.
Wing Saber makes sure the others have his back, flashing back to Padlock's death. Shots are fired, and Ironhide winds up being held hostage by Shockblast. Wing Saber attacks, freeing Ironhide. Shockblast tries to flee, but Wing Saber pursues and smashes him to the ground. When the smoke clears, Shockblast lies embedded in the rock, defeated.
The Autobots string Shockblast up amid a rock formation. Kicker reports incoming Decepticons, and the Autobots scramble, leaving Shockblast behind. They realize that the approaching force is led by Scorponok. Alpha Q rejoices that he's alive; Ironhide runs to greet him. Kicker suspects something's wrong, however; the Autobots agree as a huge Terrorcon force lands. Scorponok doesn't respond to Ironhide's greetings, and finally bashes him aside, his Decepticon brand gleaming bright. Jetfire pulls Ironhide out.
Megatron and his troops arrive, abjectly refusing to help Shockblast. Scorponok strikes a blow to the ground to expose the energon, and the Terrorcons commence feeding. The Autobots and Decepticons square off, but Scorponok reports a successful mission, and Megatron orders a retreat, leaving Shockblast behind.
Alpha Q wonders what Scorponok was doing. Prime vows to stop Megatron at all costs. Ironhide laments to Wing Saber that, in the wake of Scorponok's apparent betrayal, he can't trust his instincts anymore.
On the other side of the rift, a pair of Autobots approach the space bridge left behind by Kicker -- a search team hunting for Optimus.
Original airdate: July 16, 2004 (Japan); October 8, 2004 (North America).
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Hysterical face: "Our precious little planets are finally free. Our treasures!"
Sinister face: "Yes, and they have finally been liberated from their prison."
Angry face: "They're no longer hostages of Unicron!"
Hysterical face: "Absorb the energon and grow, grow, grow!"
Angry face: "Grow nice and strong!"
- — planet-growing fun with Alpha Q
Snowcat: "Heh! Who put the bee in your bonnet?"
Megatron: "Stop it, Snowcone. These planets will soon be as useless and vacant as Snowcat over here, once we've collected their energon."
Mirage: "Megatron... are you still going ahead with your plan for Unicron?"
Demolishor: "Of course he's still gonna resurrect Unicron, you dimwit! I don't even know what you're still doing here!"
Megatron: "CAN IT! I worry about the plan; you follow orders. Transform!"
Mirage: "Someone's a little moody today."
- — the Decepticons exchange random sentences.
"How dare you!"
- — Megatron is outraged to be struck in the face but Optimus Prime doesn't have time for his vanity
"Well, Optimus. It looks as though you've lucked out."
"Well, it looks as though I'm going to save this little charade for another day."
- — well, Megatron and Optimus Prime
"On second thought... let's watch Wing Dagger take him apart."
"You mean Wing Saber, sir."
"Dagger, Saber, same difference, Starscream!"
- — Megatron and Starscream
"Optimus... I know I have to face Shockblast. After all he escaped on my watch. But you guys have my back, right?"
"You guys have my back, right?"
- — Wing Saber gets mocked by Shockblast
Lost in translation
Various little things, but the only significant changes in the dub all center around Wing Saber.
- The Superlink version of this episode begins with dialog between two unseen members of a search party. The dub replaces this with a recap by Kicker, and moves the search party's conversation to their actual appearance at the end of the episode.
- The dub omits the fact that Prime's team is searching for Hot Shot's group, who were sucked into the rift ahead of them.
- The dub takes the straightforward conversation among the Decepticons after Megatron destroys the planet, and transmogrifies it into an incoherent series of unrelated sentences -- see Quotes, above.
- A moment of foreshadowing is lost in the dub. In Super Link, the newly reformatted, not-yet-seen Scorponok speaks from the shadows, suggesting the team go watch Shockblast get beaten up. Energon has Megatron speak the equivalent lines, with no dialog for Scorponok at all. Since everyone is in near-total darkness in this scene, there's no other way to realize Scorponok is even present. And since everyone sounds virtually the same in both versions, it'd be hard to pick up on anyway.
- In Super Link, Prime tells Wing Saber that he is not Prime's property, and must live his own life; Wing Saber replies that his purpose now is to serve his commander. The dub replaces this with a more mundane recap of Wing Saber's regret at being unable to save Padlock.
- Further, Wing Saber originally says that he's no longer driven by vengeance, having discarded those concerns; he's only spurred to action when Shockblast threatens Ironhide. The dub replaces this with him hesitating repeatedly and making sure he's got the rest of the team behind him.
- In the dub, Shockblast recognizes his former jailer immediately. In Super Link, the realization comes near the end of their battle, when Wing Saber repeats a sentence he said during Shockblast's escape.
- The dub version ends with Ironhide telling Wing Saber he can't trust his instincts anymore. The original version has them somberly concluding that they'll have to defeat their former ally Scorponok.
- "Uh?": 11
- Stock footage: 3
- We need/they want energon: 1
- I've got to/you can do this: 3
- We're a team: 1
- Our planets: 1
- It's time to: 1
Animation and/or technical glitches
- During his opening recap, Kicker recalls his decision to follow Optimus as though it were the most profound wisdom ever spoken by man.