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The Low Road

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Bw-s01e22-titlecard-The Low Road


Summary: Rhinox is infected with a strange energon discharge virus courtesy of Tarantulas, and if a cure isn't found soon, he'll destroy the Axalon as he literally sneezes himself to death. Rattrap & Dinobot must learn to work together as they are sent to find it, but that's not going to be easy after an argument earlier in this episode sparks their feud.

Plot

The Maximals use their tools to garden, trimming the wild bean vines that have grown around the Maximal base and, as Dinobot explains, could be exploited by the Predacons. The scene quickly turns into a fight when Rattrap golfs a fore in Dinobot's rear, sending him falling over and incensing him into beating him up for that. Inside, Rhinox detects Predacons coming to attack, but can't activate the Sentinel shields because of the pair outside. He comes down the elevator with his Chainguns of Doom ablaze and commands the two to get inside, but they are too busy arguing to obey. Trying to cover his teammates' withdrawal, he is hit by a strange weapon from Tarantulas, who Dinobot blasts several times, ala a skipping stone, far, far away, and with the crucial shot fired, the Predacons retreat.

Inside, the Axalon's computer reports on the strange effect the device had on Rhinox, giving him a disease that causes him to "spontaneously discharge energy." Rhinox demonstrates this by hiccuping energy beams around the base, causing much collateral damage, after he sneezes, which is demonstrated by powerfully sneezing the CR Chanber to pieces. It's decided a counter-virus must be found and fast.

Rattrap and Dinobot attempt to trail the injured Tarantulas. The two get into an argument about who is to blame for Rhinox's contamination with the virus, which quickly degenerates into name-calling. Aboard the Axalon, as Cheetor listens in the duo's verbal beast war amongst themselves, Optimus reveals to Cheetor that he paired Dinobot and Rattrap together so they could either learn to work together or destroy each other, right now having no care which happens first. Rhinox is meanwhile kept on a life support system which drains energy from the rest of the (now heavily damaged) Maximal base.


Eventually forgetting why they started the argument, the two follow Tarantulas's scent. Giving chase after a glimpse of him, after he legs it from his hiding place upon being found, they fall though a hole and onto a long slide—with a heavy boulder close behind them. But after they land at the bottom of the slide, the boulder actually hits the devilish spider himself, knocking him out silly. Rattrap and Dinobot continue the bickering session as they search through the underground caverns for his lab, dragging him with them in hopes he might give them an answer when he wakes up.


Back at the Predacon base, Megatron sends his own forces to reclaim Tarantulas so more of the virus can be developed to use on the rest of the Maximals. They head to his laboratory to see if they can locate the missing arachnid there. On Tarantulas's security sensors, Blackarachnia notices the two wandering Maximals making their way through the caverns towards the hideout.

Primal rallies his available soldiers for action against the Predacons to seize the antidote to Rhinox's ailment forcibly. Rhinox attempts to come along with the others, but Primal orders his friend to stay behind and consume some food to help stabilize his systems; naturally, the first visual option on Rhinox's menu happens to be the wild beans conveniently surrounding the Axalon. After all, since they need to be cleared out, why not kill two birds with one stone.

Back in Tarantulas's lair, Blackarachnia discovers where Tarantulas stored the counter-virus. When Scorponok detects the Maximal duo getting closer, the Preds open fire, wildly hoping to hit something, but instead just ruin any chance they have of ambushing their targets. Dinobot tries to use Tarantulas as a hostage, but this tactic doesn't work on Megatron, who has no reservations about abusing his own soldiers. However, the distraction has bought Rattrap (who was supposed to be covering Dinobot) the time to sneak through some tubes to arrive behind the Predacons, leaving him close enough to disarm them quickly.

A nasal energon-expulsion from Rhinox provides a hole for the other Maximals to enter the chamber once they finish posing heroically. Megatron mentions that he alone has the counter-virus that could save Rhinox. However, Megs is not going to come quitely as he orders the Maximals to Transform and surrender if he is going to give the virus.

But then Rhinox fires off an incredible energon fart (visible from space; Megatron, on a side note, happens to be the perfect target that Rhinox will aim for) that blows the Predacons far away, giving the Maximals the chance to grab the counter-virus and cure Rhinox. Rattrap and Dinobot still bicker like kids, though; it's obvious that this is how they would work together, as a comedy duo.

We then see the aftermath of the no. 2: the Predacons lying dizzy and scattered around and on a tree, most of them are gassed out. Megatron lies there; "This is certainly the most humiliating defeat of my entire career... Yeeeeesssssss..."

Stats

Original Air Date: February 10, 1997

Written by: Bob Forward

Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

Maximals Predacons Others

Quotes

(Dinobot's rear is exposed, which gives a certain rat the opportunity)
Rattrap: FORE!
(Rattrap makes his swing, sending one bean flying as it strikes Dinobot on the rear and sends him falling with the wallop)
Rattrap: Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh! I got ya! Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh!

Rattrap makes the one fatal blow that begins the conflict between him and Dinobot


Dinobot: Excuse me. Are you implying that the current situation is somehow....my responsibility?!
Rattrap: Well, you did start it....gearhead!!
Dinobot: I BEG to differ.... cheese lips!!
(The trades are being heard on the Axalon's listening communicator)
Rattrap: Pre-evolved birdbrain!!
Dinobot: Eater of garbage!!

—The first part in a series of Rattrap and Dinobot insults...

Cheetor: Sheesh, and they call me the immature one.

—...And this is Cheetor's response to above argument

Cheetor: (Cont'd.) Hey, Optimus, uh you sure it was a good idea sending those two out together?
Optimus Primal: To be honest, no. But their squabbling has caused problems before. They'll either learn to work together or destroy each other.
Rhinox: (In the background) ACHOOOO!!!
(debris rains down on Optimus...)
Optimus Primal: Right now, I don't really care which.
(...Folowwed by, you guessed it, MORE debris)

Cheetor's question has been answered in an unsure way, which cues more sneezy sneezies.


Dinobot: Wait! I detect a scent! Vile corruption... a whiff of festering putification!
Rattrap: So I ate a limburger sandwich for lunch! Heh, I'm a rat, gimme a break!
Dinobot: I have been... uncomfortably aware of your stench for the past hour, vermin. This is something else... something over... THERE!
(Tarantulas suddenly springs out of his hiding rock and legs it!)
Rattrap: Heheh, yeah! He's mine!!
Dinobot: Leave battle to the warriors, Mouse!!!

—Part 2


Rattrap: Hey, uh... where'd he go?
(The trap door to Taratulas' lair opens beneath Rattrap and Dinobot's feet as they are suspended for a second...)
Rattrap: Oh no...
(Both scream)

—A game of where's the spider turns into a trip for his lair for the duo.



Tarantulas: Playground's closed, Minimals! (Laughs)
Rattrap: (To Dinobot) Well, this is the Pit.
(A boulder rolls towards Tarantulas, and collides into him, taking him with it as it rolls into a wall; Tarantulas is knocked out silly)
Rattrap: That's... gotta hurt.

Tarantulas gets his first lights-out stasis lock session of the episode



(Tarantulas is being dragged by Rattrap and Dinobot as they search for his lab)
Rattrap: Man! This day just keeps gettin' better and better.
Dinobot: Yes. There is little I enjoy more than hauling an unconscious arachnid through underground tunnels. OH, this is absurd!
Rattrap: Hey! We need spider-boy there to get the counter-virus, Hardhead! And you know this cavern's gotta lead to his lab.
(Tarantulas suddenly comes back online with discretion as the duo begin another argument)
Dinobot: I know nothing of the sort! Unlike you, I do not spend my time scurrying through sewers!
Rattrap: Yeah? Well, a sewer smells better than your breath, bronto-brain!
Dinobot: Nnngrrh! You'll get used to it WHEN I BITE YOUR USELESS HEAD OFF!!!
(Tarantulas approaches them and readies his weapon)
Tarantulas: DIIIIE, MAXIMALS!
(The duo look at him and then ready their fists, aiming for his face...)
Dinobot/Rattrap: SHUT UP!!
(BLAM!)

—Part 3. Stasis lock AGAIN for poor Tarantulas, as he learns the hard way of what happens when you happen to be in the middle.


Rattrap: So, uh, you got a better plan?
Dinobot: No, but I still dislike the idea of expiring underground. It lacks... a warrior's nobility.
Rattrap: Oh, hey-hey, no sweat, heh heh. 'Cause I ain't lettin' nobody waste you down here! That's a pleasure I'm reserving for myself!
Dinobot: Oooh, I appreciate your concern, but let me assure you, being shot in the back by a malodorous mouse would not exactly earn me a seat in Silicon Valhalla!
Rattrap: Awwww, poor baby(!)

—Part 4, the finale


"A bargaining chip should remain in play until the game is over, yesss..."
"Why do you always talk to yourself?"
"Ah, I simply have a penchant for...intelligent conversation."

Megatron ripostes rather well to Blackarachnia.


(Dinobot enters, holding Tarantulas)
"Do not fire, Megatron! I have a HOSTAGE!"
"Why, so you do..."
(Megatron shoots the "hostage")

—Hostage negotiations with Dinobot, Megatron-style

(Rhinox, in Beast Mode with the other Maximals, groans as he is having trouble...)
Optimus: "What's wrong?"
Rhinox: "Wild bean vines... hard to digest..."
(Rhinox begins to turn around)
Megatron: DO NOT turn your back on me, Maximal scum!
(Rhinox continues to turn around, until his rear faces a certain Predacon commander...)
Megatron: Oh no! Not that!
(Get ready...)
Megatron: AAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!
(Rhinox lets out that)

— -Megatron happens to be on the receiving end of you-know-what...

"This is certainly the most humiliating defeat of my entire career... Yeeesssss......"

Megatron, after Rhinox defeats the Predacons single...erm, fartedly

Notes

Animation and/or technical glitches

  • When Rhinox has his first hiccup fit, he covers his mouth to block the energon blast out of his mouth; it instead shoots out of his ears (which Rhinox doesn't have in robot form). However this can be simply dismissed as a comical element of the scene.
  • As Optimus is explaining that Dinobot and Rattrap will either learn to work together or destroy each other, Rhinox fires off another energon discharge and debris of their control room style chairs is seen falling from the ceiling. Huh? What are chairs doing up there?
  • When Rattrap and Dinobot fall through the trapdoor leading to the underground tunnels, Rattrap's gun is left spinning in mid-air. The next shot is upwards from underground, as they fall, and the gun is not visible. Indeed, when Rattrap lands on Dinobot, the gun doesn't fall on top of them. Later, as they approach Tarantulas' lab, Rattrap has his gun back.

Continuity errors

  • As the Maximals are about to storm Tarantulas' lair (which they somehow know exactly where it is located), Rhinox is advised to stay at the base and eat to keep his energy up. In the next scene, Rhinox is with the maximals and sneezes an energon discharge to blow down the wall.

Real-world references

  • Alien reference: Facehugger.
  • Rolling boulder down tunnel, check. Everybody knows it: Indiana Jones.
  • Dinobot refers to a Silicon Valhalla as some kind of afterlife, which is in turn a reference to ancient Norse mythology and Silicon Valley. It could also be a reference to Silicon Heaven.
  • During one of their squabbles, Rattrap refers to Dinobot as a 'pre-evolved birdbrain'. This is a reference to the recent scientific theory that birds evolved from Dromaeosaurid dinosaurs ("raptors") like Dinobot.

Transformers references

  • The wild bean vine growth outside of the Axalon could have been caused by the severe rain the area received during the storm in the previous episode.
  • When the rhino-fart shakes the globe, the epicenter is clearly in Africa, providing more evidence for the show being set there. In fact, it appears to be in the middle of the Sahara, which would have been less arid in the prehistoric time of the Beast Wars than it is today.

Other Notes

  • When the Maximals burst into Tarantulas's lab, Airazor is kneeling at Optimus's feet, with one hand affectionately placed on his leg. Instead of, y'know, pointing a gun at the bad guys. The shot is a parody of the stereotypical heroic entrance/posturing scene, such as found on the theatrical poster for the original Star Wars film. Once Rattrap undermines the moment, as evidenced by the musical score, Airazor can be seen standing normally with the other Maximals. All part of the fun, folks.
  • The virus which infected Rhinox and which Megatron intended to use to infect the rest of the Maximals was never mentioned again. Can you blame him for washing his hands of the entire affair?
  • Rhinox dons a beer-hat style contraption from which to sip his treatment.
  • Rhinox sneezes and sniffs for a comical element of all scenes where he releases a discharge before 'that' scene near the end of the episode.
  • Regarding Dinobot's 'Eater of garbage' insult, Rattrap actually does eat garbage.
  • The blade Rattrap uses to clear away bean vines is very similar to the pair that Optimus Primal wields in his robot mode.
  • Tarantulas has a picture of Megatron's beast mode pinned to the wall which he uses to play darts with; it's possible Megatron is a rival of the spider.
    • Tarantulas also has Waspinator's arm. In season 3 Rattrap makes a reference to his "Pred parts collection" and states that he has a large collection of Waspinator parts. It seems they are quite a collector's item. Though they probably do not come MISB or WASP (Waspinator Assembled with Super-duper Perfection).
  • In this episode Blackarachnia mentions that Tarantulas encrypted all the information on his computers, foreshadowing that he has something to hide.
  • Rattrap wears a Hardhat for doing repairs.
  • Farts are funny. Hence, this episode is very funny if you like farts. And who doesn't?
  • Beans. Farts. Hur hur? Brings the question of how much organic components, or machine-y replications thereof, they contain.
  • Episode writer Bob Forward summed up the reaction to the episode thusly: "[...] After 15 Years And A Couple Of Hundred Scripts, [I] Will Be Remembered Forever For A Rhinocerous [sic] Fart." [1]
  • Some of the slapstick, particularly temporarily defying gravity, Rattrap's gun being momentarily left in the air when they do fall, and the bickering pair knocking Tarantulas out, is reminiscent of classic Warner Brothers cartoons, such as Road Runner.
  • This may be the first time in Transformer history that an Anus is visible. Not that anyone wanted to see a Rhinox's clearly quivering before the big bang, and if you did please leave the internet for good.
  • Why exactly Optimus thought it was a good idea to send out both Dinobot and Rattrap on a lifesaving mission is beyond anyone's guess. He even says later "They'll either learn to work together, or destroy each other. Right now I don't really care which." He apparently holds Rhinox's safety in very little regard.
  • This episode shows that Dinbot is clearly a Viking. Given his reference to Valhalla and his desire to have a glorious end to enter said afterlife.
    • To delve this in further depth, he appears to have studied more than Cybertronian war histories. He uses the German word "gesundheit". Guess where the Norse mythologies come from? Ancient Germanic peoples. Very rich war history there, including prominent participation in a world war. On that note, people speak of him simply reminiscent of the historic samurai, but he does also remind one of a berserker warrior... When will these Germanic references end??
  • Wow, just wow! Tarantulas does not seem to be having a good day! First he is blasted far far away into the distance, then it's getting squished by a boulder for him, after that he is knocked out by two punches together to the face, gets slagged by Megatron and is then blown away by Rhinox's huge fart. Boy, he must have been suffering from a dose of Friday the 13th!

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