Transformers Prime - "One Shall Rise - Part 2" Recap
“The Autobots must team up with an unlikely ally in order to defeat Unicron.”
The middle part of many an ongoing trilogy begrudgingly carries the position of “Nothing Really Exciting Happens Here” syndrome. Yeah, this episode is padding. If you need further proof, the first seven minutes (a good third of the episode) is nothing but action with no advancement in plot or character. They eventually get the ball rolling when the Autobots team up with Megatron and formulate a workable, but risky plan, but it was clear from the get-go that they intended to draw it out for the next fifteen minutes to hold all the “good stuff” for the last episode. Yeah, stuff happens, but much of it is composed of exposition.
The series has a very bad habit of stating the obvious and this episode abuses it. “No, not Unicron himself, but another of his manifestations.” (Obviously) “He’s not in the Earth’s Core, Jack—he is the Earth’s core.” (Well, duh) “If humankind is to be saved, I have no choice but to proceed.” (Nooo, really?) Seriously, there’s explaining situations for your target audience and then there’s beating it to the ground. It doesn’t help that a good portion of the dialogues are so cliché and hokey that it’s remarkable I haven’t died from laughter. I don’t expect a show about giant robots to be subtle, but it really shouldn’t be this blatant.
There are some decent moments. Despite the padded battle, Transformers Prime frequently features well-choreographed combat, so I can’t say the first seven minutes were boring. I also enjoyed the little moment with the human kids (except Miko, who continues to be a stubborn pest) once they meet Megatron face-to-face. Jack’s reunion had the expected reaction, but I was particularly enamored by Raf’s; the usually shy boy runs up to Megatron and nearly proceeds to verbally lay it out on him before wisely cutting himself off. It’s a bold move and a great character developer. The parallel between Optimus and Jack furthers and I liked the former’s trust on the latter. Overall, sit through it out of requirement and hope the conclusion will deliver.