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The Test is the eighteenth episode of Robots in Disguise. It first aired in the United States on September 26, 2001 on Fox Kids.
Scourge trades his Sword of Fury in for a broom. Haw!
On Megatron's orders, Sky-Byte heads out to destroy a drilling platform in the ocean; seeing this, T-AI alerts Optimus Prime. As the platform goes up in flames, the celebratory shark is already composing a victory haiku, until Scourge shows up...and attacks Sky-Byte, much to the latter's outrage. When Optimus shows up as well, Sky-Byte opts for the better part of valor and flees. Optimus takes the opportunity to plead with Scourge to reject Megatron's programming, but Scourge transforms and rolls away without a word. Still, Optimus is heartened, feeling that the attack on Sky-Byte is a sign that Scourge's Autobot nature is returning. At the Predacon base, Megatron demands to know why Sky-Byte didn't complete his assignment. Sky-Byte wastes no time detailing Scourge's betrayal, but Megatron flatly refuses to consider that Scourge might be disloyal to him. Sky-Byte is convinced that something is seriously wrong. Things aren't going much more harmoniously at Autobot headquarters; Optimus is convinced that Scourge's good side is beginning to win out, but the Autobot Brothers are...skeptical, to put it politely. T-AI interrupts the discussion to say they're receiving a clandestine transmission; it turns out to be Mega-Octane requesting a one-on-one meeting with Optimus. The other Autobots are sure it's a trap, but Optimus thinks it's a cry for help and insists on going alone. At the meeting, Mega-Octane explains that he and the other Decepticons, including Scourge, want to defect to the Autobots. Optimus is pleased and Sky-Byte, who is eavesdropping, feels vindicated. Alas for both of them, it's a scam. (Decepticons? Deceitful? Who knew?) Mega-Octane reports to Megatron that their plan is working perfectly: Optimus believes they're sincere, and if they can keep it up, eventually the Autobots will trust them enough to reveal the location of their secret base...at which point the Decepticons can blow it off the map. Scourge grumbles that lies and betrayal are beneath a true warrior, but Mega-Octane assures him it's worth it--with the Autobots' monitoring equipment gone, the Decepticons can raid Earth at will. The Autobots (wisely) continue to argue with Optimus that the Decepticons can't be trusted. Optimus agrees that they should remain alert, but insists on giving the 'Cons a chance. Side Burn has an idea: make them prove their sincerity by subjecting them to a "foolproof" test. Specifically, set them to work at public service jobs, starting with cleaning up a random forest (with...brooms?) because protecting the environment is an important part of being an Autobot. After some initial protests, the Decepticons grit their teeth and set to work with the best fake enthusiasm they can muster, even after Side Burn himself gets distracted and abandons the job for a red sports car (before being pointedly recalled by Optimus). Surprised by their willingness, Side Burn turns up the heat, setting the 'Cons to directing traffic, working construction, and cleaning waterways. After enduring a full day of this, Mega-Octane is just barely keeping Scourge from exploding, but the Autobots are impressed (although Prowl is still skeptical), and go back on patrol, leaving the Decepticons with Optimus. Optimus agrees that they've proven their worth, and is about to take them back to the base... ...at which point Sky-Byte, who's been watching the whole time, decides to attack, hoping to demonstrate his value to Megatron by destroying the "traitors". The Decepticons take him on with a will, figuring that proving their loyalty to Optimus by blowing up the annoying shark is a win-win situation. It's a short fight, but unfortunately Kelly, with her usual luck, gets in the middle and only Optimus's intervention keeps her from getting sliced in two by Scourge as he goes for Sky-Byte. Mega-Octane tries desperately to explain this away, but Scourge has now lost his temper completely and refuses to be shut up, announcing that the "farce" is over. He sneers at Optimus for allowing his compassion to make him weak and gullible; furious, Optimus attacks the Decepticons single-handedly. Alerted by T-AI, Prowl, X-Brawn and Side Burn race to his rescue, but discover that Optimus at full power is a match for the entire Decepticon group, forcing them to retreat empty-handed. Later, Optimus apologizes to the Autobots for allowing his hopes to override his better judgment. They tell him it was an understandable mistake, and assure him they're still with him.
In the episode
English dub changes
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Written by: Tom Wyner
"My enemies have found me
They surround me and confound me
And with inbound missiles hound me
As they pound the ground around me
But with one astounding bound, I shall escape
- —Sky-Byte makes a hasty yet poetic exit.
"There's something fishy here, and it's not me."
Rollbar: "This is fun. I'm not gonna miss one leaf."
Ro-Tor: "Yeah, I could do this all day long!"
Movor: "I just love being outdoors."
Armorhide: "Especially in this beautiful forest."
Mega-Octane: "When we're through this place will be as clean as a whistle."
- —The Decepticons lay it on thick.
"Ro-Tor, stop that driver!"
(Ro-Tor fires in front of the car) "That's far enough, human!"
"You mustn't ignore the traffic laws. You might get hurt."
- —Scourge and Ro-Tor direct traffic in their own special way.
"Battle Mode! Let's see if you can fight as well as you lie!"
- —Optimus loses his temper.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- Sky-Byte is humming the Jaws theme as he heads toward the drilling platform.