Transformers Prime - "Nemesis Prime" Episode 34 Recap
“Nemesis Prime” could stand to be better. It opens up excellently at first; Fowler is driving by when he’s suddenly ambushed by a familiar semi-truck sporting an equally familiar Autobot logo. His near death under Optimus’ hands causes paranoia and fear among the other Autobots and the human kids. It’s impossible to imagine wise, kind, and noble Optimus turning the other tail. Right away, the episode possesses good tension and mystery behind its puzzling development. An especially telling moment occurs shortly after Fowler’s warning, as Optimus had been at an unknown location at the same time his evil half struck out. So when he arrives on base, the Autobots react with guns cocked when it looks like he’s about to shoot, but he merely fishes out an Energon piece he found. The conflict is engaging; there’s immediate strife amongst the crew and I thought the rest of “Nemesis Prime” would involve them questioning their superior. I thought it would deal with the subject of loyalty while they figure out Optimus’ true allegiance.
Seven minutes later though, the riddle is solved. The fake Optimus is a man-made robot created by MECH, the result of months spent studying Transformers technology. While this wraps up the project they’d been undertaking in prior episodes, the end result is palpably lame and everything that happens after this revelation is generic action. There are a few incidents where Nemesis Prime fools the Autobots only to soundly thrash them, but the encounters are short with little conflict. The same is true for the Optimus vs. Nemesis fight. For one brief moment, Silas successfully wounds Optimus and that sense of tension returns, but ultimately everything is neatly solved and there’s no depth to keep me engrossed. A character like Optimus Prime doesn’t necessary need to be complicated, but this episode really missed the chance to deliver something more for the cast when it downplayed the intensity and enigma surrounding this conundrum.
I’m a bit miffed on how quickly the Autobots take to Fowler’s words. Though they’re hesitant to accept Optimus is one bad egg, they quickly jump to conclusions without remotely wondering if the Decepticons could be involved. The subject of MECH doesn’t even come up until after Optimus’ innocence is proven. It makes them look questionably disloyal, despite how tight-knit the team is. This is why the Nemesis Prime enigma should have lasted throughout the episode. If they had witnessed their “leader” continuously causing destruction, the Autobots’ suspicion would have been better justified.
Breakdown’s death left a bad taste in my mouth, but MECH’s plan to use his corpse to save the dying Silas has potential. I’m curious on how he’ll be transported. Will they somehow download his mind into Breakdown, or will Silas’ body inhabit him in the hope that his mechanical form will provide life
support? How will the Decepticons behave when one of their late soldiers returns from the dead with a completely different personality? Will Airachid react just as bewildered should the two cross path given she ended his life? Either way, I’m curious on the outcome of a possible Robot
Silas. So far, it’s a good setup.
Fowler’s an admirable man and he grew on me over time. Very few can stand up to giant alien robots on a daily basis, or have the nerve to criticize them. Sadly, half his time involves him standing around and complaining. He’s hardly useless; Fowler’s the Autobot’s government liaison and provides flexibility and access when the bots cannot. Episodes like “Masters and Students” also showed he can bite as much as he barks, such as when he spun circles around a Decepticon. Here his onscreen appearance is largely hit-or-miss, although things slide to the former when he distracts Silas with a beatdown that culminates in the Autobots’ victory.
The kids are an issue. With two exceptions (when Jack restored Optimus Prime’s memories and how Raf comforted Bumblebee when he couldn’t transform), the trio are nothing but bystanders to the main events. Season one was meant to integrate their involvement with the bots, so they had an active role. With that particular storyline finished though, there’s been precious little for the children to do except add commentary. The last two episodes executed their storylines and ideas while nixing the kids because they weren’t necessary; I think this should be the approach for the remainder of the series. Don’t bring in the kids unless they are needed, otherwise the characters end up going to waste.
“Nemesis Prime” is dull. If it had preserved the mystery and jacked up the tension, this would have kept me interested. As it is, the only thing this episode’s got going is the setup to Silas’ new form.