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Transformers Prime – “Operation Bumblebee: Part 2” Episode 31 Recap

by on March 19, 2012

An antsy Bumblebee confronts Starscream and MECH. Meanwhile Ratchet deals with his guilty past.

After an incredible triggering point in part 1, the second half of “Operation Bumblebee” concludes cleanly. Ratchet’s story is paramount to the other subplots. It’s not as emotionally charged as it was last episode, but the medic’s lingering guilt weighs heavily on his heart. He quickly volunteers to donate his Transformation Cog to Bumblebee, rationalizing that he hardly uses it. The gesture is motivated by his need to somehow make up for the loss of Bumblebee’s voice box long ago, which is driven by his delusional belief that his lack of skill as a doctor was to blame. Bumblebee’s Transformation Cog is eventually recovered and fixed in an
almost convenient manner, but this serves to boost Ratchet’s confidence.
His enthusiastic joy is nothing short of infectious.

Much of how I feel about Bumblebee is largely the same as Part One: we understand his frustration when he feels useless without his wheels and weapons. He’s just youthful and headstrong enough to break Optimus’ house arrest, locate MECH, and impulsively risk himself to take back his T-Cog. On the Deception side Knockout effectively provides further amusement with his bombastic attitude, but I can’t help but wonder if the creators are ever going to do anything with Breakdown. He has a potential backstory waiting to be explored, but he trudges along as the Decepticons’ muscle and little else.

Starscream’s involvement here was an anathema to his personality and current journey. Starscream was never meant to have a lucky life. He is sneaky, prideful, and cowardlysnakes like him deserves bad karma. His recent self-expulsion from the Decepticons started a fascinating story of lonely travels, as he struggles to survive and endure.  Last episode, he joins MECH through clever manipulation and an arrogant backbone. Here, he’s Silas’ verbal punching bag for no other reason than to emphasize how evil the latter is. Where is the Starscream who wouldn’t take this kind of backslap? He’s cowardly, not pathetic. I get it, the writers are pointing out how far Starscream has fallen. He should never have to abandon his pride for a situation he can easily handle though. This episode denigrates him and his character already lacked dignity to begin with.

Not to sound like a broken record, but here Transformers Prime falls into familiar traps again: it offers many promising ideas but counters with a few duds. There’s a silver lining in there somewhere, but it’s faint. “Operation Bumblee” does manage a satisfying conclusion though, thanks to how it resolves the troubles of Ratchet and Bumblebee.

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