Transformers Prime - "The Human Factor" Episode 45 Recap
Merged into Breakdown’s corpse, Silas uses his newfound rejuvenation to join the Decepticons.
I’ve always had a problem with Silas’ blandness. He’s just evil for the sake of being evil, while any motivation he might have is nonexistent. Right from the get-go, his team fuses his body with Breakdown’s corpse and the first thing he does is declare his allegiance to the Decepticons for some reason. Silas has shown obsession towards the Bots and their technology, so it’s not out of character for him to take an immediate liking to his new metallic form. His sudden loyalty to the Decepticons, however, completely comes out of left field. He had no desire to team up with any of the robots, so where did this come from? It’s a moot point anyway because he bites it in the end, and I can’t say I’ll miss him. Silas is an amazingly creepy antagonist, but he’s always been a boring character.
His untimely demise does give Megatron major villain credentials. It also raises the question on why Megatron keeps his other subordinates around despite their numerous defeats, but I propose that it isn’t just Silas’ failure that did him in. Silas is a human in a robot body. His uniqueness means he has no place among anyone, let alone the Cons. Megatron even states he’s an abomination, so why should he be obligated to keep this freakshow? I do think there could have been more to do with the idea of a human among Decepticon ranks, but I never cared for Silas and Breakdown’s time in the spotlight has been wasted, so I’m not sad to see either of them go for good.
I’m mixed on Knock Out’s reactions. He’s never shown any significant reason to care about Breakdown, but the moment he sees his corpse he’s angry and vengeful. I don’t buy it. Previously, Knock Out delivered a belated eulogy to Breakdown that lasted two measly sentences, now he’s suddenly upset a human is wearing his dead partner? I will say the final scene is much more of an appropriate reaction from him. Knock Out’s crazed expression and desire to dissect Silas is something I can see him doing. It adds to the overall callousness of the Decepticons and adds a bit of depth to Knock Out’s character. I still think his concern for Breakdown is clumsy, but the idea of him playing science experiment with Silas is fitting.
I’m not too big on the secondary plot with Bulkhead, but for all intents and purposes it gets the job done. He wants to fight because Breakdown is his rival. He wants to prove something because he feels insecure and resentful towards Smokescreen for “taking” his spot. Bulkhead changes his mind about him once they team up and while I wished they had a heart-to-heart chat, their bonding makes sense. Bulkhead is a spirited warrior, of course fighting is going to make him happy and fighting alongside Smokescreen sealed the deal. After several episodes moping about his condition, this is a natural progression.
I find Smokescreen’s enthusiasm to be endearing. He’s endlessly trying to encourage Bulkhead with kind words and friendly suggestion. Despite Bulkhead’s utter disdain of him, Smokescreen is nothing but supportive. I have to give the kid brownie points for that and I think much better of him as a result.
I do have a couple of nitpicks. Was there any reason for Raf to be grounded? He could have easily hacked the Decepticon computer right in the Autobot base. Jack and his friend have to sneak into his room to give him the file needed to save the day while avoiding Raf’s strict mother, but the entire event honestly feels arbitrarily. It is nice to see Raf in the limelight though, he sorely needed one. Also, how was Silas able to get into an army base by just spouting his name? He’s a former soldier gone rogue, the government should knows he’s a pariah. Agent Fowler does and I’m sure as sugar he would have reported this!
“The Human Factor” has a lot of good things going for it. Every character is worth investing into, including the ones I didn’t care about. All the plots work favorably and balance each other out perfectly.