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Transformers Prime - "Minus One" - Episode 62 Recap

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The Autobots capture Soundwave and attempt to extract valuable information out of him.

With new Cyber-matter in hand, the Decepticons now have a means to terraform both Cybertron and Earth. Megatron decides to go with the one surefire plan to bring both planets to his knees: resurrect the Omega Lock with the newly acquired materials, but he first needs a working device as well as a completed formula of the synthetic Energon. Who’s the most qualified? Why, the good doctor Ratchet, of course!

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Out of all the Autobots, I don’t think the restoration of Cybertron hits as closely to anyone as it does Ratchet. The loss of his planet overwhelms him and when pushed to the edge, his angry outbursts are brought centerfold, often providing the most heartbreaking moments in the show. “Darkest Hour” was probably his crowning achievement and he lingered in sorrow for a while before regaining hope. The conclusion was somewhat iffy because he seemingly got over it without ever consulting Optimus and settling their disagreement, instead praising Smokescreen for reviving their leader.  I thought the episode had the right idea that’s just been executed poorly – Ratchet needed to discuss and make peace with Optimus instead of what we got then. Fortunately, the show still had plans for this subplot and “Minus One” proves its got steam. Ratchet shows disappointment when Optimus vetoes the idea of allowing the rebuilding the Omega Lock. It’s a subtle moment that speaks volumes on just how big of a blow this is for him. Inside, he still desires Cybertron’s return. This is going to be even more interesting now that Soundwave has kidnapped him. Megatron wants him to contribute to the Omega Lock’s restoration — will Ratchet deny or agree?

Other goodies include a tinier C-plot with Ultra Magnus. With limited materials, Ratchet can only build a clunky claw in replacement of his old hand. We don’t really see it in action, but Magnus’ hits all the right note with his anguished expression and eagerness to prove he’s still capable of fighting. Having Wheeljack support and cheer him on is a small, but significant moment for the both of them.

Heck, I can even accept Megatron’s rather abrupt outburst to Predaking. Since he was so paranoid last episode, it’s only logical that it’ll grow from that point on. Predaking’s ambitions are not only getting grander, but Soundwave’s gone and got himself caught. Now that’s a cause for panic.

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Soundwave has the distinction for being the only Decepticon to win 99% of the time. Despite his near perfect streak and subdued personality, Soundwave always comes across as one of the most fascinating and favored characters for me. The show never overuses him to the point that his schtick gets old, his silent nature is a breath of fresh air in a sea of ham and dramatic overtures, and his schemes are often wily and brilliant to witness.

Losing is so rare for this guy that it’s actually surprising to see him fall. Even so, this deters none of his credibility: Soundwave is still a dastardly minimalist, communicating (more like trolling) through recorded footage and sounds. His loyalty and cleverness is so absolute that he’ll willingly crash his own hard drive just so the Autobots won’t dig into his secrets. And to make it even more awesome, he boasts the only line he has ever spoken in the show. I predicted he’d pull off a “final last words” scenario at some point in the show, but I was expecting it to be his literal final words. Not the case, but the impact is still felt. Yeah, it’s his infamous “[Noun] superior, [Noun] Inferior” line that’s been milked to death for decades, but it’s still cool. Then he escapes and proceeds to curb-stomp the fight before anyone gets in a decent hit. Even when he’s captured, this guy is badass.

With just three episodes left, the countdown for the finale promises big, exciting things. If there’s one thing Transformers Prime delivers, it’s the epic moments. I’m looking forward to it.

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