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Soldier is the fifth episode of Armada. It first aired in the United States on September 27, 2002 on Cartoon Network.
The Autobots and Decepticons battle over another Mini-Con, and we learn about why nobody talks crap about Red Alert.
At the Autobot base, Red Alert does some important technical work while Hot Shot plays tag with the kids and their Mini-Cons. They manage to outrun him, until Hot Shot requests some aid from Jolt, who quickly apprehends Carlos. Carlos, upset at losing, calls Jolt an eggbeater. The noise grabs the attention of Red Alert, who chews out Hot Shot for playing around while he should be working. When Optimus investigates the commotion, both Red Alert and Hot Shot dismiss their conflict. Alexis feels the tension in the air and has a bad feeling. Hot Shot apologizes to the kids for making them watch himself and Red Alert bicker. Optimus then explains to Hot Shot and the kids how Red Alert's dedication to preparation was integral to winning many battles on Cybertron. Hot Shot understands that Red Alert is great, but doesn't see why Red Alert won't let himself have a personality. Suddenly the alarms go off, signifying that another Mini-Con panel has activated. The Autobots and their human friend quickly warp to the location of the panel: Antarctica. In the ruins of the Mini-Con ship on the Moon, Megatron also detects the Mini-Con panel. Noticing Starscream's absence, Cyclonus speculates that Starscream has already left for Earth to rectify his lack of personal Mini-Con and Demolishor calls Starscream dumb. As Megatron tells his goons to be silent, Starscream holds a blade close beside Demolishor's head, revealing himself. Megatron sends the three Decepticon minions to Earth. At the antarctic, penguins! Lots of them! Also, Autobots and Decepticons. The Autobots stop due to a drive system failure, and Optimus Prime's trailer converts into its command center mode in front of the astonished humans. Red Alert fixes Optimus's systems while Hot Shot is impatient. And jerky. After Prime is finished, Hot Shot and Carlos leave together (with a bit of assistance from Jolt). Starscream searches for the Mini-Con by chopping icebergs to no avail, so he flies to search in a different area. Megatron, seeing Starscream from a distance, instructs his henchmen to follow. Eventually Starscream is the first to find the Mini-Con, embedded in the wall of an ice shelf. But before retrieving the Mini-Con he notices Hot Shot nearby and attacks, forcing the Autobot into a massive ice-crevice. Hot Shot is saved from certain death by his Mini-Con, Jolt, and together they ascend the ice wall to return to the battle, noticing the Mini-Con on the way up. The other Decepticons notice the Mini-Con panel glowing and transform to retrieve it. Further away, the rest of the Autobots also notice the Mini-Con and Optimus heads over. At the showdown between Starscream and Hot Shot, Hot Shot has the idea to jump his car mode directly into Starscream, air-bludgeoning the Decepticon. The other Decepticons attack Hot Shot, and verbally attack Starscream. Hot Shot drives away with the Decepticons after him. From within Red Alert, Rad sees Hot Shot under fire and is concerned, but Red Alert tells Rad to relax. Right then, Carlos is tossed out of Hot Shot into the abyss, but Jolt, like during the earlier game of tag, grabs onto Carlos and lifts him to safety. Cyclonus fires his "laser pulse attack" at Hot Shot. Hot Shot and Jolt return fire at the Decepticons. Megatron returns fire at Hot Shot. Red Alert drops off the kids and tells them to find a safe area, and the two instead decide to find Carlos. When Cyclonus is about to finish-off Hot Shot at close ranger, but Hot Shot is saved when Red Alert uses his cable to violent pull Cyclonus backwards. Megatron takes Hot Shot hostage. Red Alert works his way out of the awkward situation by uses his disc launcher, bouncing the flying disc off of Demolishor and into the back of Megatron. Optimus finally arrives, making the sides even. The three Decepticons retreat. Starscream, using his sword to climb the ice wall to where the Mini-Con is, begins to punch the wall. This makes things difficult for Carlos, who can barely hang on to stop from plunging to his death. A punch from Starscream disrupts the terrain enough to send all three kids plunging to their demise, but Red Alert's colorful flying disc catches them. Starscream grabs the Mini-Con panel, but Red Alert swipes it away. Unwisely, Starscream opens fire, but as a result, plunges into the depth of the ice-canyon. Back at the Autobot base, the Mini-Con is shown to be Runway, who doesn't activate. Red Alert and Hot Shot make amends with each other, and Red Alert reveals that beneath his robocop-esque demeanor, he too, appreciates Hot Shot's abilities.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Original airdate: September 27th, 2002 (North America) Written by: Shoji Tonoike (外池省ニ, Tonoike Shoji) Directed by: ??? (栗井重紀, ) Hungarian title: Hideg nyom ("Cold Tracks")
"I think I've pinpointed the glitch, sir."
"Good work, Red Alert. What was the problem with the CPU?"
"It seems the cold on this continent has caused a glitch."
- —Red Alert, who needs a thesaurus, and Optimus Prime, who has bad microprocessor thermal protection.
"Ahh nuts, I knew I should've brought along snow tires!"
- —Always on the ball Hot Shot, struggling to drive in snow and ice in the Antarctic.
"Oh, and hey Hot Shot? Do you mind cranking up the heat in here a touch? It's cold."
- —The ever-observant Carlos.
- —Cyclonus, as he prepares to execute Hot Shot.
"Red Alert! Thanks, pal!"
"Doing my job, and nothing more."
- —Hot Shot in G1 Brawn mode butt-kisser mode, and Red Alert after the latter saves the former's life.
"I hope you like pain!"
- —Demolishor, reacting to the rescue as everybody else just stands around.
"Hahahaha... Go ahead, boys, give me a reason..."
- —Demolishor, as the two Autobots are cornered.
"Uhh... yes... soon I'll have my very own pet..."
- —Starscream, whom we assume is talking about a Mini-Con.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- During Optimus Prime's flashback lecture, we see Red Alert in his Cybertronic body. However, Optimus Prime himself is in a modified version of his Earth body, with no wheels attached to his legs.
- When Starscream holds his sword at Demolishor, he is seen with both wings on. This is irregular as Starscream's left wing becomes his sword. This is continued for the rest of the episode.
- Demolishor at least twice has Autobot logos drawn instead of Decepticon.
- Even Megatron Suffers from this. He has an Autobot symbol in a handful of shots, mostly in the second part of the episode.
- When Carlos tells Hot Shot "It's pedal to the metal time!", the snow kicked up by Hot Shot's tires is miscoloured black and grey, making it appear that the jerkface Autobot is polluting the area.
- When Starscream tells Hot Shot and Carlos to look behind, Carlos calls the Autobot 'Hot Rod', Hot Shot's Japanese name.
- After Hot Shot's collision with him, Starscream lies on some ice. His forearm is miscoloured red when the rest of the Decepticons turn up.
- As he rescues Carlos, Jolt is seen carrying the human by the barrels of his gun. But in the next shot he is drawn as a completely different design of helicopter, rescuing Carlos with landing gear that Jolt does not have.
- After Starscream slices an iceberg in half and then leaves upon detecting the Mini-Con signal, both Demolishor and Cyclonus react saying they've found him. Did Starscream disappear since the last time we saw the Decepticons?
- As the Decepticons chase after Hot Shot, we see Rad, Alexis and Red Alert come to the edge of the cliff on the other side of the ice canyon. Didn't Optimus Prime tell the trio to stay back so that he could investigate in an earlier scene?
- Where did Optimus disappear to when he (apparently) wandered off to investigate? He doesn't turn up until Hot Shot and Red Alert are cornered by the Decepticons.
- After Red Alert scoops the Mini-Con panel out of Starscream's hands, Starscream fires at Red Alert's cliff edge, only to have the ice hit him and send the Decepticon to the bottom of the canyon. In the next shot Red Alert is suddenly standing next to Optimus Prime, a fair distance away from the cliff edge.
- When the Autobots transform before going into the warp gate, the animation sequences are the same ones from the climax of episode 2, played in reverse.
- There is a nice touch when the Decepticons warp the the south pole - as soon as Megatron materialises, the iceberg they are all standing upon suddenly sinks in their direction due to the weight.
- This episode marks the first time we see Optimus Prime's container trailer transform into its base mode.
- This episode reveals that Starscream's engines are stored in his kneecaps.
- As Hot Shot slides toward the ice canyon during the Decepticon attack, he actually ejects Carlos into the canyon so he can transform! Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on the viewer's perspective), Carlos is rescued by Jolt.