The return of the Decepticons is enough to send the Autobots in a panicked frenzy as they prepare themselves for their biggest fight yet!
One criticism coming from Transformers Animated detractors is the lack of Decepticons throughout season one. Not since episode three has there been one onscreen except for Megatron, who is handicapped and acting from the shadows rather than doing anything directly. This was an intended strategy on the part of the creators. The idea is that by building up the Autobots’ skills by pitting them against weaker human villains, the show would be grander for it when the Cons did return. It was a risky move to temporarily downplay a key faction in the Transformers franchise and this was understandably enough to drive away some longtime fans, but ultimately patient viewers were rewarded. Eight episodes later the Decepticons are back, and they are unstoppable.
Two Decepticons may seem like a paltry sum for such an epic arrival, but rest assured that it’s enough to get that message across. They completely turn the tide and ruin any comfort the Autobots have built on Earth. Fitting with the show’s lighthearted tone, Lugnut and Blitzwing are as much of a comic duo as they are a pair of proverbial wrecking balls. Lugnut is utterly devoted to Megatron and the Decepticon cause. He’s the ultimate case of a “one-track mind”; he refuses to believe even for a second that his Lord has perished. When Megatron secretly contacts him, his servitude is further emphasized. Blitzwing is an even more interesting basket case. He suffers a split personality and constantly switches between a stoic, a hot-tempered warrior and my personal favorite, a crazed maniac. This is playfully depicted by him literally changing heads. Their comedic value brings a whimsical element to what would otherwise be a darker episode, which is kind of a cop out considering that episodes like “Thrill of the Hunt” and “Along Came a Spider” didn’t shy away from bleak themes and tone. But they’re certainly not pushovers; when the situation gets serious, they’re brutal and “Lost and Found” promptly demonstrates why they’re forces to be reckoned with. They constantly leave a path of destruction in their wake, easily outmaneuvering the Autobots through sheer physical strength and firepower. The Autobots can barely scratch them. They desperately revive their ship as a last resort to ward them off, but that is small comfort at best.
While the action doesn’t hit the high notes of the previous Starscream battle, it remains fast-paced and intense. It’s well animated enough that it’s disheartening to point out a couple of scenes that made me raise an eyebrow. The underwater fight scene would have been fine, except everybody moves like they’re still on land. Nobody is responding to basic pressure or buoyancy at all. And am I also to assume that Lugnut and Blitzwing’s blatantly different colored paint jobs is enough to fool Fanzone?
Sari started off as a mixed bag. On cue, she abuses her key again (though with considerably less harmful results this time around) and obnoxiously parades around the plot. This reaches its breaking point when the Autobots plan to depart Earth for its own safety. In response, she flips out and attempts to sabotage the Autobot ship so they can stay and keep her company. It’s not implausible behavior for an eight-year-old, but her constant bellyaching ultimately became grating. This is probably the closest she’s ever gotten to being intolerable.
Fortunately, the last act more than makes up for it. Throughout “Lost and Found”, Sari and Ratchet remain at odds. Characterized by childish impulse and cranky stubbornness respectfully, the two are commanded to fix the ship ASAP. Sari’s scheme fails when the Allspark Key rebels against her, which installs a little humility in her. She desperately apologizes to Ratchet and confesses why she’s been acting so nasty. What follows is a significant and poignant moment between the two when Ratchet opens up to Sari in return. He’s extremely distressed and scared of losing her and everyone he holds dear. None of this would have worked had we not known Sari’s loneliness before the Autobots entered her life. As painfully irritating as she was here, her reasons are understandable. Likewise, Ratchet’s sorrow wouldn’t have the meaning it does if “Thrill of the Hunt” had not aired beforehand to reveal his vulnerability and past failures that Ratchet does not want to repeat. Both are acting upon their deepest fears and their bond ultimately deepens because of that. This is especially a good moment for Ratchet. While “Thrill of the Hunt” revealed his compassion and sentimentality, “Lost and Found” takes it a step further to really emphasize how broken he is and why he wants to fix that.
It’s that single moment that cemented “Lost and Found” for me. The Decepticons are a bonus, but the weighted issue of their arrival is slightly tainted by the way the two argue like a married couple. Their coming is still a successful wake-up call and Starscream’s return promises new thrills, but it’s the emotional core of this episode that won me over.