Megatron suspects Scorponok of lingering loyalty to Alpha Q, and Rodimus returns with a shocking secret.
- Japanese title: 敵か? 味方か? ロディマスコンボイ (Teki ka? Mikata ka? Rodimus Convoy, "Enemy? Ally? Rodimus Convoy")
Cyclonus exuberantly "skis" through a field of space debris in his new form, leaving it ice-covered in his wake. Within Unicron, Megatron yawns. Cyclonus kicks some debris at Earth's energon grid, but the grid vaporizes it, before firing at him. Demolishor voices his concerns to Megatron that Cyclonus will get hurt, and that something is wrong with his head after his recent reformatting. Megatron agrees, but tells Demolishor never to question his orders. Oh, and Cyclonus is "Snowcat" now.
Megatron says they're changing plans; instead of wasting time attacking Earth, they'll find energon elsewhere. Alpha Q suspects this means attacking him, so that he can get the energon that is within Unicron's head.
The Autobots enjoy the show from the surface as debris detonates against the grid. Prime worries that Megatron will have a new scheme, and calls his troops together to plan their next move. Inferno asks Ironhide to take his place at the meeting, but this is one of many situations where Ironhide loses his confidence; Hot Shot says he'll cover for Ironhide, who reminds him of his own youthful self, aspiring to be just like his hero, Rodimus.
Megatron is tired of Alpha Q's interference, and orders him destroyed, even though his troops have no idea where he is. Starscream captures a spying Terrorcon, and Megatron realizes that Alpha Q has been watching him the whole time.
Prime tells the troops that they still have to destroy Unicron to stop Megatron. Soon they'll take the battle into space, thanks to Ironhide's tracking devices. Kicker doesn't look too happy about this.
Hot Shot is trying to communicate with Carlos, when an emergency communication comes in from Rodimus, who wants to speak to him in person.
Ironhide finds Kicker and tells him Misha's worried about him, but is met with angry rebuke. Ironhide guesses that Kicker is scared of space. Further shouting is put aside when Kicker's hair glows, alerting him to a problem. The two run outside in time to see Hot Shot drive off onto the space bridge and vanish.
In space, Megatron is blowing up Terrorcons. Starscream tries to stop him, prompting Megatron to question his loyalty. When Starscream readily professes fealty, Megatron suspects Scorponok, and calls to him. On Mars, Scorponok's Terrorcons are feeding, when he hears Megatron's call and prepares to depart.
Hot Shot arrives at the ruins of Mars City. He is surprised to find a mine shaft; the presence of which is soon explained by the arrival of Scorponok and the Terrorcons. The two have words, then Hot Shot starts destroying Terrorcons. Rodimus arrives just then... and stops him from doing further damage. Scorponok grumbles that Rodimus took his time arriving, implying both he and Rodimus must have some sort of partnership going on between them. He says he must continue obeying Megatron for now, and leaves the scene. Hot Shot is incensed that Rodimus let him go, as the energon will be used to rebuild Unicron. Yet, to Hot Shot's shock, Rodimus says that Unicron must be rebuilt!
Ironhide, Kicker and a Skyblast all arrive on Mars, looking for Hot Shot.
Rodimus explains that Unicron is being controlled by Alpha Q, who created the Terrorcons. Rodimus wants Hot Shot to hold off on attacking Unicron. Hot Shot says it's too much to ask, and if Rodimus tries to stop Optimus's team, he will become the enemy. Hot Shot raises his blaster, as the shocked Kicker and Ironhide watch on with pure discretion.
Rodimus says they'd make a great team. He angrily orders Hot Shot to fire, but when he can't, Rodimus, raising his weapon to Hot Shot, denounces him as weak and does the work for him.
Ironhide and Kicker charge in; Skyblast revives Hot Shot. At Kicker's urging, Ironhide attacks Rodimus, who transforms and drives off. Ironhide and Kicker pursue; Rodimus notes the presence of Kicker and comments that it's "perfect".
Suddenly another shady Autobot appears over the horizon: Prowl, readying his gun. Energon laser lassoes snare Ironhide and put him down in a powerful swing from Prowl. Skyblast supplies Kicker with a Megatron Sword, which he uses to free Ironhide. Rodimus returns and declares that it is time to Powerlinx. Confident in his power, he invites Kicker to come with him, as Alpha Q has become interested in him.
Ironhide arrives then, defending Kicker with the Energon Saber, but Rodimus easily knocks him away with a burst of energy, followed by a laser assault; Ironhide shields Kicker. The odds are made worse by the arrival of a third dodgy Autobot: Landmine. Rodimus says to leave them, dismissing Optimus's team as amateurs. The three drive off, with Rodimus informing Kicker they'll meet again.
Ironhide is shocked to realize he's pulled a weapon on a superior officer. Hot Shot arrives and tells Ironhide he did the right thing, standing up for his teammates. Kicker tells him he'll be proud to go into space with Ironhide. In the Martian sky, a ship leaves for space.
Scorponok arrives back at Unicron with the Terrorcons, and is met by Tidal Wave and Starscream, who are there to ensure the energon goes where it's supposed to. Megatron questions Scorponok, who denies any loyalty to Alpha Q, or knowledge of his whereabouts. The watching Alpha Q wonders why Scorponok has betrayed him.
A while later, Megatron wonders if Alpha Q will come to rescue Scorponok, who is strapped to another artificial "comet", headed directly for Earth. Alpha Q watches, but says he can't risk his own safety for Scorponok's. The comet impacts the grid; Scorponok screams in agony as it explodes, begging Alpha Q to help him...
Original airdate: 16 April 2004 (Japan); 2 July 2004 (North America)
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"I'm really glad... we have Optimus on our side."
- — Kicker loved it. It was much better than "Cats". He's going to see it again, and again.
"I can't let those Terrorcons steal any more energon. So don't even attempt to revive Unicron. That's our new mission. And that's why I'm gonna have to ask you to leave."
- — Hot Shot stating what the autobots do just about every energon episode for some reason.
Rodimus: "Prowl, shoot 'em!"
Prowl: "Yessir! Hey rookie! Check out my laser blaster!"
- — Prowl does what any police officer would do: follow orders from their superior, even if that superior and Prowl are both dodgy when it comes to fighting against their own kind.
Lost in translation
- The dub has Cyclonus firing standard glowing pink lasers to freeze the ice. Superlink's animation has a blue-white beam instead.
- The dub changes a rather mundane report from Demolishor to Megatron, and Megatron's calm reply, into an angry rebuke by Megatron.
- In Superlink, Inferno doesn't order Ironhide to take his place; he tells him to stay and stand watch. Hot Shot's offer to relieve him therefore makes a lot more sense.
- Megatron's conversation in space with Starscream is a little bit jumbled in the dub, but the gist still comes across.
- Likewise for Hot Shot's little speech to Scorponok, quoted above.
- Kicker's "that was further than I thought", re: the space bridge trip, is originally a comment from Ironhide about the fall from the portal to the surface -- one of the few acknowledgments of the bizarre physics of the whole arrangement.
- Rodimus's dismissive snubbing of Optimus's troops is purely a dub addition.
- Likewise for Hot Shot's "What Would Optimus Do" bit, though the gist of the conversation is similar.
As usual, the numbers are inversely proportional to the general quality of the episode, which means the count here is pretty low:
- "Uh?": 10
- Stock footage: 2
- It's time to: 1
Animation and/or technical glitches
- At the end of the battle, Powerlinx Rodimus is missing his chest plate right before he and Prowl link off and make their leave.
- Some pretty peppy background music in this one, especially during Snowcat's freeze beam sequence.
- More spiffy generics appear during Optimus's briefing, but most don't get any large-scale screen time.
- Misha has glasses in this episode. Hubba hubba!
- Hot Shot's face gets the cel upgrade as he yells at Rodimus.