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The Immobilizer

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Specifics: Title card screengrab
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"See? We can shoot him right in the nads!"
"Television doesn't work that way, you fool!"


The Decepticons steal Wheeljack's latest invention, which immobilizes stuff, and Ironhide attempts to retrieve it.


Japanese title: "Immobilizer"


Detailed synopsis

At Autobot headquarters, Wheeljack gathers everyone around for a demonstration of his newest invention, the Immobilizer. Walking in late, Ironhide sees Hound’s hologram of Laserbeak and, thinking it’s real, fires wildly at it, scattering the Autobots and nearly bringing down the roof. As Ironhide apologizes, Wheeljack reveals that the Immobilizer was damaged and needs a replacement polarizer. Bumblebee and Spike volunteer to go into town to retrieve it.

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Before DDR, there was...Robot Resource.

While on their mission, ‘Bee and Spike stop for a few rounds of “Robot Resource” at the local arcade. A young woman named Carly introduces herself to the pair and admits her fondness for the “cute Autobot.” A somewhat jealous and awkward Spike reminds Bumblebee that they need to leave, and the pair take off, only to be stopped a few moments later by a sarcastic policeman. As they are being busted for speeding, Ravage attacks Bumblebee and secretly plants a miniature video camera on the Autobot. Spike electrocutes Ravage with jumper cables, and the Decepticon retreats. The officer lets the pair go with a warning.

With the Immobilizer repaired, Wheeljack starts the demonstration again, unaware his every word is being caught by the microbug camera on Bumblebee and relayed to Starscream and Megatron. The Decepticons aren’t too keen on the idea of being permanently immobilized by the invention, and Megatron promises to steal it.

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It will be a great day when our Autobots get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.

Optimus Prime decides to move the test outdoors for safety. As the Autobots approach the location, Prime directs Ironhide to guard the perimeter. The rest proceed toward a fast-moving river, which Wheeljack immobilizes with the device. In the commotion caused by the success of the test, Spike messes with the Immobilizer and is almost zapped, but Wheeljack throws him out of the way, takes the blast himself, and winds up stiff as a board.

Still patrolling the perimeter, Ironhide catches a glimpse of a shadowy figure and fires his weapon. He discovers that the figure was Carly, whom he scolds for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The distant sound of gunfire cuts their conversation short, and Ironhide rushes off. He reaches the clearing to find the Decepticons have the Autobots at gunpoint, and blames the ambush on himself.

Megatron demands that Prime hand over the Immobilizer, and a battle ensues. The device gets knocked about and winds up in Megatron’s hands, but just as he starts issuing another threat, the river, on which he and the Decepticons are now standing, re-mobilizes and sweeps them downstream.

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Ratchet puts the finishing touches on his resin-cast Wheeljack model.

While undergoing repairs back at headquarters, Ironhide criticizes his performance in the field. Concluding that he’s too old to be of use, he resigns from active service, and Prime, curiously, makes no attempt to talk him out of it and lets him go. Carly blames herself for Ironhide’s attitude and tries to convince him not to quit. Ironhide, curiously, gives her a tour of the base, and she pockets a grenade when they visit the armory.

Some time later, Wheeljack unfreezes, and Spike notices that Carly is missing. Suspecting she’s emotional and going to do something rash (‘cuz she is a girl), Spike and Bumblebee set out to look for her. Turns out he’s right. Carly has driven a boat out into the ocean and, using SCUBA gear, swims down to Decepticon headquarters to plant the stolen grenade on their outer wall. However, she’s detected by Soundwave, kidnapped by Laserbeak, and brought into the base to face Megatron’s judgment.

Luckily for Carly, her abduction was caught by the Sky Spy. Ironhide rushes off to find Spike and Bumblebee and start a rescue mission.

Back under the ocean, the grenade Carly planted earlier goes off, and seawater starts rushing into Decepticon headquarters. They manage to fix the damage and contain the water, except in the cell where Carly is being held. With disturbing glee, Megatron and the others watch Carly struggle as water fills the cell to the ceiling. Assuming she’s dead, they leave the cell unguarded. This lets Ironhide blast an evil bigger hole in the wall, grab the girl and bring her back to the surface.

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You hit me! Kong never hit me!

After thanking Ironhide for the rescue, Carly rides off with Spike and Bumblebee, but when Ironhide doesn’t follow, they realize that he’s been immobilized. The Decepticons and Autobots square off, with Rumble in control of the Immobilizer and freezing most of the Autobot forces. Following a plan of Carly’s design, Brawn tunnels under the ground with her so they come up near the Immobilizer’s position. As Jazz distracts the Decepticons, Carly crosses some wires in the device and the duo escapes. When Rumble tries to immobilize Optimus Prime, the device starts to re-mobilize the frozen Autobots instead. Ironhide grabs the Immobilizer from Laserbeak, and when all the Autobots are unfrozen, he smashes the device. With his toy in pieces, Megatron swears to return, and the Decepticons retreat.

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This early version of Thelma and Louise never took off.

Back at headquarters, Ironhide asks to return to active duty, and Optimus heartily welcomes him back. Carly explains how she switched around the wires in the Immobilizer, since she does have a science scholarship at MIT. Confronted by both brains and beauty, Spike has no choice but to ask Carly on a date. Sparkplug watches them drive off and smiles in approval, despite the fact that his son is going out with a college student while he's too young to have a driver’s license.

Stats

Original airdate: September 24, 1985

Written by: Earl Kress


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Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Autobots Decepticons Humans Others
Regulars

Guests

Notable quotes

"Give me the device now, Optimus Prime."
"Try and take it, Mega-turkey!"

Megatron and the oh-so-witty Trailbreaker


"My telemeter has—ugh!—been damaged. Aah! I can’t steer!"

Starscream bumps into trees as he tries to gain control of himself


"You’re losing your warriors, Megatron.”
"Warriors are expendable. The most important thing is that I get what I deserve, and I always do."

Optimus Prime gets Megatron to set up the ironic line for this episode.


"You deserve that, all right, Mega-jerk. Rust in peace!"

—More wit from Trailbreaker as the Decepticons are swept downriver


"Someone should pacify those Decepticons...and their underwater headquarters."

Carly, a girl after Ironhide’s own heart


"The show’s over. Back to work."

—A leering Megatron takes glee in Carly’s apparent drowning.


"We should vaporize those Autobot fools and fuse their carcasses into slag!"

Starscream sets the term of slag.

Notes

Animation and/or technical glitches

  • When Carly runs off after talking to Ironhide, Spike and Bumblebee go out to find her. They drive off, but then it cuts to Optimus Prime saying the usual obvious "What we need to do speech" with the Autobots around him listening. This includes Bumblebee, even though he left the base like 15 seconds ago.
    • The "Bumblebee" gathered with the other Autobots while Optimus gives his speech is probably supposed to be Cliffjumper, wrongly-colored yellow instead of red. Because once Optimus orders the Autobots to "Transform and roll out!", Cliffjumper is seen transforming with them even though he isn't seen during Optimus' speech, or at least not seen in his proper red color.
  • Wheeljack's hand clips through the rods of the polarizer several times while he's screwing it into place.
  • When Skywarp fires his missile during the battle in the forest, he speaks with Starscream's voice.

Continuity errors

Transformers references

  • This episode is Carly's introduction to the series.

Real-world references

  • References

Notes

  • If this episode's dialogue is taken seriously, it would mean that Spike is at least 13-15 years old (depending on the particular state). This raises disturbing questions about why Sparkplug allows his son to date a woman who's either finished with or still in college. Then again, Sparkplug had Spike working on a remote oil platform in the middle of the ocean, so family dynamics within the Witwickys are certainly... unconventional.
  • How exactly is a hologram of Laserbeak useful in demonstrating the immobilizer? Since it's made of light, it wouldn't have any molecules for Wheeljack's device to freeze.
  • Carly knows exactly what the location is for Megatron's base. While the Autobots would know where the the base is, Carly gets there without any help. Either the Decepticons are doing a poor job of being stealthy, Carly is a stalker, or Megatron tried to hire a replacement for Starscream and held auditions in his base. Carly also knows the where the Autobots would be while testing the immobilizer. Creepy.

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External links


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Thanks for helping me... pull myself together.

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