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The episode you never saw.
- English title that never was: "Scorponok's Scars"
As Inferno plunges himself into the heart of Alpha Q's energon sun, burning away the Decepticon programming Megatron infected him with, the light of the sun cascades over his pursuer, Scorponok. From within the sun, Alpha Q calls out to him, and Scorponok recognizes the voice...
Inferno does not survive his immersion in the energon sun, and Optimus Prime instructs Jetfire to take his surviving spark to Primus on Cybertron. Even though the rebirth of their comrade is ensured, the Autobots are a solemn bunch in the wake of Jetfire's departure, with Ironhide especially concerned that, if Inferno had to die to escape Megatron's Decepticon programming, then his former friend Scorponok will never be able to free himself from Megatron's evil brainwashing.
After Jetfire leaves for Cybertron, the Autobots activate their new energon grid, shielding the system's planets from the Decepticons. Observing from his position in the energon sun Alpha Q is unsure what to make of the situation—although it will certainly protect his planets, the grid will also prevent Scorponok from entering the system, and Alpha Q is consumed with the desire to try and bring Scorponok back to the side of good...
Off in the dark recesses of space, Scorponok returns to Unicron's dormant body to report to Megatron his discovery that the energon sun is Unicron's head. Megatron orders the Decepticons to ready for an attack, but Snow Cat and Demolishor are not keen on meeting the same fate as Inferno, even though Megatron assures them that he would recover their sparks. Megatron then explains that he knows they will not be able to retrieve Unicron's head, and that he wants them instead to attack the tiny, half-formed planets that are outside of the energon grid's reach.
Through their telepathic connection, Alpha Q requests that Kicker have the energon grid shut down until Scorponok returns. Ironhide happens to overhear, but Kicker discards the whole notion of Scorponok returning as nonsense. This prompts Alpha Q to reveal a previously-hidden secret—Scorponok is not, in fact, a reincarnated inhabitant of Planet Q, as had previously been suggested, but, in fact, was created in that being's image using the wandering spark of a Decepticon warrior. Regardless of what Megatron did to Scorponok, he always remained loyal to Alpha Q, and Alpha Q believes that he must still be loyal even now, and only needs for Alpha Q to call to him. The "call" goes out in the form of a new planet that Alpha Q hastily creates outside of the energon grid, focusing all the power of his sun upon it to mature it as fast as possible—Planet Q, his homeworld, reborn at last. Sure enough, Scorponok soon arrives with an army of Terrorcons, and his signal is detected by the Autobots, who immediately mobilize to stop him.
Drawn by a focused beam of sunlight, Scorponok discovers that Alpha Q has even recreated his old palace, in hopes of bringing Scorponok's memories of their life there back to the surface. Scorponok stares at it for a long moment... then raises his cannons and opens fire, blasting the palace's towers to rubble. He calls to his Terrorcon followers, instructing them to enter the palace and consume the energon that will be found within.
Meanwhile, the Autobots and Decepticons arrive on the planet, but neither group is able to track down Scorponok, and as you might expect, the Decepticons decide to attack the Autobots instead. As the battle begins, Optimus Prime instructs Kicker, accompanied by Arcee, Ironhide and Cliffjumper, to find the energon site. As they make haste, Ironhide tells Kicker that he knows how Alpha Q feels, and that if Scorponok cannot be saved, then he will defeat him with his own two hands.
Soon, Kicker and company arrive at the palace and smash their way through Mirage, Snow Cat and Demolishor, only for Scorponok to burst through the desert sands and engage Ironhide in a one-on-one battle. Their combat takes them inside the palace, as Ironhide decries Scorponok for allowing Megatron's Decepticon programming to overwhelm him, unlike Inferno, who fought it to the end. Scorponok disregards Inferno's struggle as a pointless one, enraging Ironhide, but even a burning heart that must succeed earns Ironhide nothing but a backhand and a barrage of cannon fire. Scorponok throws Ironhide to the ground and declares that the universe belongs to Megatron.
As the battle rages outside, Optimus Prime radios Kicker for an update, and when the news proves less than positive he orders Hot Shot and Downshift to back Kicker up. They quickly race across the desert and join Kicker's team, at which point Kicker breaks off to aid Ironhide inside the palace. Just as Kicker arrives, however, the ceiling of the palace crumbles away, and a powerful beam of energon sunlight stabs into the darkened chamber, striking Scorponok directly. Scorponok howls in pain as Alpha Q apologizes for what he must do – the planet will live, even if Scorponok has to die. Scorponok is able to overpower the beam, but Ironhide uses the distraction to land a series of blows on his opponent.
Outside, Snow Cat and Demolishor rush into the middle of Optimus Prime and Megatron's battle to inform their leader that the Terrorcons have given up their pursuit of energon and are fleeing. Enraged, Megatron contacts Scorponok to chastise him for his failure, and orders him to pull out. The Decepticons retreat back to Unicron's body, where Megatron warns Scorponok that any further instances of him acting on his own impulses will be seriously punished.
Down on Planet Q, Optimus Prime announces that the Autobots will take shifts guarding the new world until the energon grid can be expanded to protect it. Alpha Q communicates with Kicker, telling him to let Ironhide know that he has truly proven himself to be the warrior that Scorponok once acknowledged. Kicker smiles, saying that Ironhide already knows, and watches as Ironhide stares at the ruined palace and vows to become stronger to defeat Scorponok once and for all.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Lost in translation
The whole thing.
For unknown reasons, this episode was not aired as part of the Energon series, and according to Voicebox's Heather Anne Puttock, was never even dubbed into English . Puttock's guess that the animation may not have been up to scratch seems unlikely in light of certain other episodes, but no other reason is evident—there's nothing morally questionable about the content of the episode that would result in its being withheld, nor was there a real-world event that suddenly cast the episode in a different light (a la the missing Robots in Disguise episodes). It's a genuinely odd situation, but the following episode, "Crash Course", is even redubbed to remove a reference to its events. Despite this little attempt at a patch-job, the removal of the episode leaves Energon with a couple of pronounced holes in its ongoing story—plots already in motion are expanded on, important events occur which influence future episodes, and the Energon audience didn't get to see any of it. In addition to never learning Scorponok's "secret origin", viewers missed out on the following:
- Scorponok and Ironhide's relationship undergoes a turning point that drives it through the rest of the series to literally the final episode.
- The Decepticons discover that the energon sun is Unicron's head, which plays into the remainder of this story arc.
- The opening scene of the episode is pretty much the only time anyone has a reaction to Inferno's death from the previous episode, so in Energon, it's like nobody cares.
- Alpha Q finally recreates his home planet in this episode, but since he never accomplished it in Energon, it completely removed the whole entire fricking point of everything that he was doing and the main thing that had driven the series forward to this point. AAARGH.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- The scenes with the Decepticons inside Unicron's deactivated body are underlit to the point of indecipherability. Aside from some close-ups of Megatron's face, all you can see are the green-tinted highlights of indistinct figures standing stock-still in a black field. It's absolutely ridiculous.
- Although the identity of the "lost Decepticon spark" that Alpha Q used to create Scorponok is never revealed, fans have theorized that it could be Thrust, since he was shown to die on Unicron during Armada. Delightfully, Scorponok and Thrust are both voiced by Colin Murdoch, who used the same voice for both of them (although they have different voice actors in Japan), but to believe that such a thing was intentional would be putting way too much faith in the Energon dub crew.
- Despite the fact that it didn't air as part of Energon, the existence of this episode was still acknowledged by assorted episode guides and online sources—as the episodes were being put up on Cartoon Network's website, for instance, "Farewell Inferno" was labelled episode 32, and the next episode, "Crash Course", was listed as 34, acknowledging the skipped episode, rather than actively rubbing it out of the series. Its would-be English title, "Scorponok's Scars", apparently came from an online episode listing, or something. It's sorta lost to the Interwebs at this point.