Transformers Prime - "Tunnel Vision" Episode 38 Recap
Arcee and Bumblebee travel to Manhattan to locate the next Cybertronian relic.
Have I mentioned how much I adore Knockout? When it comes to character development, he’s always been an exception to the rule. I don’t really care if he grows. The thing about Knockout is that he’s a very shallow person with very shallow goals (drag racing and good looks) and his inner self reflects his outer personality. There is no depth to this guy because he doesn’t necessarily it; he’s memorable through his witty banter and dazzling charisma. As much as I wanted the show to emphasize his supposed friendship with Breakdown, his flippant attitude about his partner’s death (literally summed up in just two sentences) is perfectly in-character – grieving would probably mess up his paint job. I admit to being contradictory after this episode, because now I kind of want a character arc for him. After an extensive battle with the Autobots, Knockout undergoes severe facial damage that could potentially be permanent. The series proves simply rebuilding Transformers anatomy isn’t so easy; Breakdown wore a patch to replace his missing eye and Bumblebee had to temporarily suffer without a Transformation Cog. What if Knockout can’t get his beauty back? He’d go nuts! It wouldn’t necessary bother me if he remained unchanged for the duration of the show, but it would be amusingly ironic if superficiality contributed to a complex Knockout.
Newcomer construction worker Vogel has enough going for him (he believes in aliens) to last the plot, but he is so thoroughly inconsequential that he doesn’t need to return for future episodes. Nobody will miss him; he’s largely forgettable. This is Miko’s story anyway, and she’s surprisingly effective here. She’s been the most intolerable of the kids; what with her habit of rushing into danger without a second thought. “Tunnel Vision” has her thinking rationally as she dishes out clever decisions, ultimately proving her usefulness. Miko is driven by jealously because Jack’s the Special One. Ever the constant attention-seeker, Miko’s self-esteem nosedives when she presumes her own insignificance. It makes sense that she takes charge – she wants to be relevant.
After a temporarily lapse in strength, the Insecticons return to their former powerhouse glory. Arcee’s standard weapons can’t do anything about it. Destroying the beast by tediously shooting it down would be cheap; I like that she used her surroundings (electricity in the subway tracks) to kill it instead. It exercises creativity and it’s a much cooler death scene.
There’s no way the Autobots are going to rely on the Phase Shifter. It’s a device that allows one to pass through solid matter – much too easy! I hope that that contraption will be put to good use should Project Iacon eventually come to fruition though. Maybe it’s part of something bigger.
While “Tunnel Vision” advances the Project Iacon arc, there’s no stunning revelation or unexpected twist that makes it stand out. It’s the cast that keeps it entertaining and, to a certain extent, memorable.