After months in hiding, the Decepticons return and have a new method for moving Energon cubes to Cybertron.
- Japanese title: "Operation: Space Bridge"
- Russian Tv dub title (6th channel): "Pute v nikuda" ("The way to nowhere")
The Decepticons have not been seen in months and are presumed dead by the Autobots. That doesn't stop a twitchy Cliffjumper from blasting a rock that vaguely resembles a Decepticon. Optimus Prime is also not completely convinced of the Decepticons' demise. Unknown to the Autobots, the Decepticons are in fact still alive and have constructed an undersea fortress out of their crashed ship under the ocean.
Meanwhile, on Cybertron, an energy-depleted Shockwave attempts to make contact with Megatron. Shockwave succeeds in his attempt and informs Megatron that the Energon reserves on Cybertron are almost depleted. He also tells him of the newly-constructed Space Bridge.
While cruising the city, Jazz and Spike Witwicky encounter a traffic jam—the cause of which is a city-wide blackout. Both decide they need to head back to base to check in. Teletraan 1 shows that the blackout has spread across the city. Optimus has Teletraan survey the surrounding power stations. At the solar plant, Optimus sees Megatron.
Optimus puts together a small strike team consisting of Ironhide, Ratchet, Prowl, Cliffjumper, Gears, and Bumblebee to take care of the Decepticon raid (the rest of the force are out on patrol). The Autobots arrive and drive off the Decepticons, but not before they manage to steal a large amount of energy. During the battle, Ironhide is injured while saving Optimus from an attack.
Back at base, Ironhide is worked on by Ratchet and Sparkplug Witwicky, but his pride is more wounded then his chassis. Wanting to know how they plan to get the Energon to Cybertron, Optimus sends Bumblebee out on recon to search for signs of the Decepticons in the surrounding area; Spike offers to go with him.
The two stumble upon the location of the Space Bridge and witness the Decepticons' first failed attempt to transport a small vehicle across space. Bumblebee and Spike attempt to leave, but are captured before they can report back. Megatron decides to use his two captives as pilots for the shuttle to help keep it on its course to Cybertron.
Bumblebee and Spike are placed in the second test vehicle and sent toward the Space Bridge portal, but the Decepticons run out of time and the alignment between Cybertron and Earth passes. The Bridge can't be reactivated for 3,000 astro-seconds. While the Decepticons grouse about the delay, Bumblebee transforms into his car mode and smashes free of the transport vehicle. Spike is recaptured immediately. Bumblebee manages to evade them for a short time but is also recaptured. Megatron alters Bumblebee's memory chips so he can lead the Autobots into a trap.
Bumblebee returns to the Ark and tells the gathered Autobots that Spike has been captured. They head for the Space Bridge, but Bumblebee has given them an incorrect location. The false location leads them to a cave where the Decepticons, tipped off by Laserbeak, have been waiting in ambush.
The battle is cut short as the dimensional alignment between Cybertron and Earth recurs, allowing for Space Bridge transport. The Decepticons leave, but not before Megatron blasts the cave, sealing the Autobots within. During the battle, Bumblebee is injured and Ratchet discovers that a bank of Bumblebee's memory chips have been altered. The Autobots soon learn the true location of the Space Bridge and once free of the cave, roll out.
The Autobots engage the Decepticons once more at the true location of the Space Bridge, managing to rescue Spike and destroy the shipment of Energon. As the battle nears its conclusion, Megatron is knocked into the active Space Bridge and is presumed destroyed. Starscream assumes command and orders a retreat. But within the Decepticon base on Cybertron, Megatron emerges intact from the Space Bridge, and swears vengeance on his enemies.
Original airdate: October 6, 1984
Production number: 700-01
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"You're late again."
- — Gears to Bumblebee during assembly.
Cliffjumper: "Don't worry, Megatron. I'll get them after I've taken care of YOU!" (Cliffjumper punches Megs downstairs, this has no effect and he is brushed aside like a rag-doll)
Megatron: "WHO will take care of me?"
Optimus Prime: "I will, Megatron."
- — Megatron, put in his place for picking on the short one.
Skywarp: "Starscream! Behind you!"
(Starscream turns to see Cliffjumper and Gears running towards him)
Cliffjumper: "Too late, Starscream!"
Starscream: "It's never 'too late', Autobot."
(calmly raises his left arm and fires)
- — Starscream takes on the mini-bots.
"No more backtalk, or I'll short your mouth circuit."
- — Ratchet's bedside-manner to Ironhide.
"I didn't know human teeth had skin!"
- — Bumblebee, reacting to Spike's comment about escaping by the skin of their teeth.
"The Autobots have robbed me of my victory, but they have not seen the last of Megatron. I shall be avenged!"
- — Megatron, for the zillionth time.
- As this episode preceded the introduction of the Insecticons, it is Megatron who has the ability to tamper with Bumblebee's memories and use him as a sort of puppet to in a scheme to lead the Autobots to their doom.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- In the establishing shot meant to convey the transition of an Earth-bound scene to one set on Cybertron, Saturn is inexplicably near the planet Earth.
- The animated glow behind Shockwave when he is communicating to Megatron is mis-aligned with his body.
- Ed, a solar power plant worker, has his skin change color from one shot to the next. He's first seen as an African-American, and in the next shot, he's white, and the following shot, he's black again. We experts at Teletraan I suspect he was suffering from Michael Jackson Disorder
- As the Decepticons start filling Energon cubes, the background cubes filled by Skywarp are mistakenly in front of the foreground cubes filled by Starscream.
- Teletraan's readout screen have a number of lost-in-translation typographical errors. It reads: SOLOR POWE STATION #001; CAPACITY: 80 %; PURRENT PRODUCTION: 0%.
- As Megatron gloats over Optimus Prime's defeat and prepares to transform into gun mode, he says "Soundwave — Prime is target, Soundwave! FIRE!", an awkward-sounding line that appears to have been hastily-edited to remove some dialog. Additionally, Megatron orders Soundwave to fire him before he even finishes transforming.
- After Ironhide is shot protecting Optimus Prime, Prowl's gun is black.
- When Shockwave says, "Test run number two aborted." the animation is of Megatron speaking.
- In several shots involving the Space Bridge, particularly those showing the entrance closing, the outlines and edges of the Bridge ring do not line up correctly, resulting in impossible shapes.
- When the Autobots jump through the skylight, Cliffjumper is colored like Bumblebee.
- In the scene after Megatron alters Bumblebee's memory chips, the Autobots are shown waiting for Bumblebee and Spike's return home. In the shot in which Sparkplug comments that they must have been captured, Cliffjumper is colored as Bumblebee.
- Additionally, in the same scene, Bumblebee says,"Pike was taken by the Decepticons!"
- When the Autobots first arrive at the space bridge, Megatron's face is shown to be completely black. In the next scene, his eyes are Autobot-blue.
- As the Decepticons prepare to retreat from the space bridge, Skywarp is shown in Starscream's color scheme, resulting in two Starscreams appearing on screen at once.
- When Megatron tells Starscream to get out of the way, he appears to have a bit of detail in his mouth. Making it look like he has teeth but in a gray style.
- At the end of the previous episode, the Ark was being refueled and repaired in preparation for the imminent return of the Autobots to Cybertron. At the beginning of this episode, their journey home seems to have been all but forgotten. Apparently they left the lights on and the battery died, and there wasn't another interstellar spaceship available for a jump start.
- In the initial script for Transport to Oblivion, Optimus and Ironhide's first lines (prior to Clifjumper shooting at the rock formation) mention their ship being ready to launch the following day, but even if that line were kept in the script, Optimus would likely have postponed their trip anyway, until they finally got rid of the Earthbound Decepticons.
- This is the only time the Ark is ever depicted as being near a cliff side overlooking the ocean.
- When the Decepticons are leaving the power station, Skywarp is seen flying away twice.
- Brawn, Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, and Trailbreaker—who are never shown heading to the cave—are present once the battle erupts inside.
- After the unmanned space bridge test proves unsuccessful, Megatron concludes that inanimate objects like energon cubes can only travel across the space bridge if they are "guided" by a driver. Megatron also tells Spike and Bumblebee to "focus on the beam of light" during their space bridge journey or they will hurtle off into oblivion. This differs dramatically from how the space bridge will operate in all subsequent episodes. Plenty of characters who weren't present for this test, from Reflector to the Dinobots to Optimus Prime, will travel across the space bridge without any special instructions; furthermore, inanimate objects (like the Cybertonium in "Desertion of the Dinobots") will travel successfully across the bridge without being "attached" to a guide.
- Given that Starscream is a highly sophisticated living machine, it seems unlikely that he would have to look at his wrist to accurately count down five seconds, never mind the fact that Transformers (especially Decepticons) probably wouldn't use Earth units of time.
- Jazz is somehow able to use a stalagmite as a bat to knock back a null ray blast at Starscream.
- When Cliffjumper appears at the start of the episode, he is carrying Jazz's gun.
- The signage in the city includes odd phrases that look suspiciously like Engrish: Par, Led Bulue, SpuRashu, Fee, Mascot, IOU, April, AGF, Bell.
- When Optimus Prime is using Teletraan 1 to survey nearby power stations, the map on the screen is labeled "EVE ISLAND."
- A number of Transformers are depicted with unique built-in weapons and features, such as Megatron's chest-mounted hose-like memory scrambler, Ratchet's wrist-based net launcher, and Megatron's gauntlet-launched saw blade and wrist laser.
- Optimus Prime's laser rifle has a variable focus barrel that allows him to shoot a needle-beam blast.
- Bumblebee is confused when conversing with Spike about "human teeth" having skin, despite very few G1 Transformers sporting teeth.