Even though Starscream and the Combaticons are banished to space, they are still a threat—a threat returning to destroy both the Decepticons and the Autobots...
- Japanese title: "The Attack of Bruticus"
- German title: "Bruticus Rache" (This Episode was only shown as G2 Version)
Stuck in a cosmic "time out" with the Combaticons, Starscream decides to book it, declaring the Combaticons incompetent. Unphased, Onslaught has developed a plan of revenge; Blast Off is towing their asteroid to Cybertron. The Combaticons' arrival on Cybertron interrupts a little target practice Shockwave is holding for the Sentinel drones. The Combaticons merge into Bruticus, decimate the Sentinels, and launch gun-mode Shockwave into deep space. Onslaught declares that Operation: Revenge has begun.
On Earth, Megatron is overseeing the Insecticon army, as they devour a city one building at a time. Optimus Prime and the Autobots arrive, but the Insecticons are moving into a nearby neighborhood that is still inhabited. Prime is unwilling to risk civilian casualties, so the Autobot leader sends in the Protectobots to evacuate the civilians.
Meanwhile, out in space, Starscream literally runs into Shockwave. Apparently unaware that Starscream has been exiled, Shockwave enlists his help to rescue Cybertron.
At Shockwave's base, Brawl is itching for a fight, Blast Off advises calm, as Onslaught is sure to have a plan. That plan involves the space bridge. Though it is far ahead of any Decepticon technology Onslaught has previously seen, he manages to rig the space bridge to move Earth into its sun, which will destroy the Decepticons and the Autobots at the same time!
On Earth, the humans have been successfully evacuated from the city, and the Autobots begin blasting the Insecticons to bits. However, Spike and Perceptor arrive, having learned of Earth's altered orbit, and inform Prime of the peril. The Autobots head for the space bridge, and Megatron orders Shrapnel to remove the space bridge's control console and evacuate.
On Cybertron, Starscream and Shockwave use a holographic projector to make the Combaticons believe that they are under attack. Shockwave discovers Onslaught's space bridge modifications, but Starscream shoots him, then sends Megatron an ultimatum: Surrender leadership of the Decepticons, or everything on Earth, including Megatron and the Decepticons, will fry. However, the Combaticons eventually figure out the ruse, and they imprison Starscream and Shockwave.
Megatron sends Dirge and Ramjet to locate the Insecticons, but they discover that the bug-bots have chewed up the console. The Autobots, who have also tracked down the Decepticons, offered to assist Megatron and the Decepticons. Perceptor repairs the console with parts from Prime and Megatron. Prime insists that the Autobots be included in the trip to Cybertron, which Megatron relents to, and the united teams head to Cybertron, leaving the Protectobots to struggle with rising temperatures and find a way to keep the human race from being wiped out.
The two teams free Starscream and Shockwave, the former loudly protesting that he was forced to threaten Megatron by the Combaticons, and the latter immediately denouncing the story as lies. Before anyone can do anything else, the Combaticons attack, merging into Bruticus when the fight turns against them. Starscream reveals that Bruticus has one weak point on his back that, if blasted, will shut him down. Prime manages to shoot the weak point, and Sideswipe reverses the space bridge, returning Earth to its proper orbit.
Prime and Megatron agree to destroy Bruticus, and Megatron allows the Autobots to leave unharmed. However, the Decepticons have faked Bruticus' destruction, and reprogrammed the real Bruticus to serve Megatron. Megatron pardons Starscream and restores him to the Decepticon ranks.
Original airdate: 01-08-86
Written by: Larry Strauss
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"I can't stand it! I can't stand it! This is a cosmic prison!"
"Shaddup!" [blasts him]
- — Starscream 's mewling is too much for Brawl to take
Shockwave: "Identify yourselves!"
Swindle: "Some refer to us as Combaticons, but..."
Bruticus: "...I am also known as Bruticus."
"Ramjet, if this Autobot quack does anything suspicious, shatter his lenses... from the inside."
- — Megatron delivers an indirect warning to Perceptor as the latter takes components from him and Optimus Prime to repair the Space Bridge.
"It was the Combaticons! They locked us in here and forced me to threaten you, Megatron, believe me!"
"He is lying!"
- — Shockwave snitches on Starscream.
"Not until you relinquish control over the Decepticons."
"Don't be a fool."
"Then let the Earth burn!"
- — Starscream tries to blackmail Megatron.
"They're gangin' up on us!"
"Well, let's gang up on them!"
"Combaticons, transform and become Bruticus!"
- — Brawl, Vortex and Onslaught as the Decepticons and Autobots surround them.
"Bruticus hates Cybertron! Bruticus hates you all!"
- — Bruticus goes emo on the Autobots and Decepticons that have come to destroy him.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- When Dirge and Thundercracker take Energon cubes to the space bridge, Thundercracker is colored with Starscream's colors.
- When Starscream demands to be leader of the Decepticons in order to stop the Earth from falling into the sun, Brawl attacks, but the next scene shows only Swindle, who retreats.
- When Starscream and Shockwave are rescued from prison, a second Megatron appears briefly beside the first.
- Ratchet's head is miscolored in one scene.
- When surrounded by the Autobots and Decepticons, it is Vortex commanding the Combaticons to merge into Bruticus, but you hear Onslaught's voice.
- At the end as the Autobots prepare to go back to Earth, Sideswipe speaks with Sunstreaker's voice.
- When Bruticus grabs Shockwave and points a gun right as his face, Shockwave's legs look a bit stubby.
- The Combaticons’ lack of energy absorbers as shown in "Starscream's Brigade" is not mentioned and seems to cause no problems for them. (Maybe they installed new ones once on Cybertron.)
- Cybertron appears to be deserted except for Shockwave and a few Sentinel robots.
- This is the Protectobots' first appearance in the series, yet there is absolutely no mention of where they came from. While this does put them in the company of most of the rest of the new season-two cast, it's the first time a combiner team wasn't given a special origin episode. Somebody from Hasbro or Takara was obviously impatient to sell the Protectobot team toys.
- Shockwave appears completely unaware that Starscream was an exile. Has Megatron never heard of memos?
- Optimus Prime insists on having the Protectobots evacuate a populated city before he even begins to battle the Insecticons. This behavior is in stark contrast to another bot named Optimus Prime.
- This episode marks the second and last appearance of the Sentinel robots.
- This episode marks the last appearance of Autobot Security Director Red Alert.(Though he was originally meant to have a death scene in The Transformers: The Movie.)
- This is the only G1 episode which ends with Decepticons having an advantage as they manage to save Bruticus from destruction and "recruit" him for their cause.
- Bruticus hates Cybertron and everyone who attacks him.
- Starscream's failsafe for Bruticus seems somewhat flawed, since ordinarily, the three spots on his back wouldn't be exposed, had the back cannons not been removed to redirect the space bridge.
- This episode marks the last appearance of Tracks.