Transformers Prime – “Orion Pax: Part 2” Episode 28 Recap
With the Key to Vector Sigma in hand, Jack is the only one who can restore Optimus to normal. To do so, he has to get to the Vector Sigma supercomputer located on Cybertron itself, so the Autobots are forced to find a way to obtain a space bridge. Meanwhile, Orion Pax starts to question his friend when Starscream informs him that Megatron is more than who he seems.
I mentioned back in my “One Shall Rise: Part Two” recap that the middle of a trilogy tends to be the most boring part, as it’s usually padded to set things up for the exciting conclusion. For “Orion Pax: Part Two”, it’s largely the same. They wait until the last seven minutes to get Jack to Cybertron, after which things are stretched further so that nothing happens until the very end. Thankfully, this episode is a lot more entertaining than the middle part of “One Shall Rise”. The plot itself isn’t anything to sing about, but it carries a great deal of charm from its core cast. In the end, that’s what I count on. A story can be epic, but if I don’t care about the characters it means nothing to me in the long run.
Part Two neatly progresses from the previous episode. Megatron keeps Optimus fooled, but an accidental slip-up from Starscream causes “Orion” to rethink who he is. Most importantly, he starts asking himself whether his “old friend” is lying to him. It’s a good, organic reaction. Meanwhile, the other Autobots are working hard to create a space bridge to get to Cybertron, but they fail miserably. I liked that the writers weren’t so cheap as to have Ratchet manage to build one easily. Ultimately, they have to raid a Decepticon space bridge since they’re the ones with the technology and the means to get to another planet.
Like last time the action is very light here, making room for better characterization. Arcee mourns over her dead planet, Ratchet slowly improves as a leader, June gets weepy-eyed but reluctantly accepts that her son has to go and save Optimus (though would it kill the animators for them to hug?). At one point, Fowler comically pretends to be a Vehicon to keep the suspicious Decepticons at bay when the Autobots infiltrate their base. They’re all little moments, but they add a whole lot to the characters’ personalities. For the entirety of Season One, the show routinely portrayed bland characters with little growth beyond their standard trope. They interacted about as well as dry paint, creating an awful awkwardness that was exacerbated through bad dialogue. Here, conversations flows and everybody interacts fluently. By jove, Transformers Prime finally got it.