Transformers Prime - "Convoy" Recap
“The Autobots volunteer to transport a Government-owned nuclear device. Complications arise when they face both the Decepticons and a new threat by the name of Silas.”
On paper, “Convoy” sounds enticing. The Autobots risk their lives to safely deliver a powerful nuclear device capable of radiating at a tremendous range. Other than keeping it from exploding, they must contend with both the Decepticons and the terrorist group MECH, commanded by Silas. In theory, this should open up for an exciting event where the main characters must be on constant alert; one screw up will cost the lives of millions. This is also the first time Transformers Prime brought in human baddies, adding in new content to further liven up the series. Unfortunately, the execution leaves much to be desired, mostly because this episode is boring.
It doesn’t help that the Autobots were on auto-pilot throughout the whole ordeal. They silently go from Point A to Point B without any sense of chemistry, interaction with one another, or personal reaction. They’re completely devoid of any personality, prodding through like a well-staged rehearsal. Optimus largely speaks for the group, but he’s the dullest Autobot in the episode. His monologues are often flat because he barely emotes. There’s no conflict running in his head; when the situation gets hairy, he magically has an answer until the next problem rears its ugly head. It’s hard to feel for someone who doesn’t at least struggle. The closest he gets to a conflict is when he falls off a cliff after a Decepticon smashes a tree trunk at him. However, the scene ignores him for a few minutes before he miraculously gets back on his feet to save the day. Optimus also has a bad habit of dispensing obvious statements that somehow passes for “wisdom”.
Newcomer Silas doesn’t add anything interesting to the table either. Right down to the crew cut, the scar on his face, the deep voice, and the black leather—he’s generically evil with no hint of originality. There’s no motivation behind his actions either, he wants the nuclear device because he’s the bad guy. The rest of MECH sadly follow their boss and aren’t any more impressive. None of them provide any sort of challenge to the Autobots and most of them are literally pushed off to the side with no problem. If there’s anything to expect from Silas, it’s what he plans to do now that he’s specifically interested in the giant, alien robots by the end of “Convoy”.
The Decepticons are just as underwhelming, not to mention underplayed. They only serve as temporary distraction to the Autobots, separate from the rest of the plot. They don’t even attempt to snag the nuclear device for their own means. The Decepticons were designed to pad out time and their appearance is meaningless to the overall story. They might as well not have been in this episode.
There are a couple of saving graces. The kids refuse to stand idly by, vainly attempting to help the Autobots instead. Though they failed when their plans go awry, it’s a better scenario than if they had done nothing but provide unnecessary commentary. Agent Fowler is also an amusing character. He can be seriously focused and strict, but he’s just disgruntled enough that he can belt out hilarious insults and exaggerate comically, giving us a few laughs. It’s a great balance that saves him from being a stereotypical antagonistic government agent. Neither of these elements really help in the end, though. “Convoy” is too straightforward, too dull, and too wasteful. There were a basket of good ideas that didn’t connect as well as they could have.