Beast Wars Retrospective: 1x15 The Spark

It’s been a month yet again, so I guess it’s time to do another Retrospective. (I will get better at this, I promise!)

Episode Outline
This episode opens with one of the stasis pods in orbit being struck by a piece of space debris, which knocks it out of orbit and down to the planet below. Tarantulas is altered to this and schemes yet again to seize this opportunity to obtain the pod for himself. He is discovered by Megatron however, who duly dispatches Scorponok and Blackarachnia to retrieve the pod for his own designs.

Rhinox spots the pod whilst on a scouting mission, and decides to dash towards it. Cheetor spots the pod from his patrol too, and communicates with Tigatron first to spread the word to Optimus before heading off. Rhinox and Cheetor meet at the pod, but soon discover that it has been damaged – the activation sequence has been disabled, and if nothing is done quickly then the protoform’s spark will be extinguished.

Meanwhile, Tigatron intercepts Scorponok and easily defeats the Predacon. Blackarachnia however had used Scorponok as bait, and neutralises Tigatron with her cyber-venom. She then departs, hoping to secure the pod for herself. At the landing site Cheetor voluntarily deactivates to allow Rhinox to salvage a component from him to try and protect the protoform from energon damage. During his deactivation he has another prophetic dream, which serves to explain the nature of the spark in Transformer lore.

After reactivation, Cheetor moves out to protect the landing site and intercepts Blackarachnia. He narrowly manages to defeat her, but not before Waspinator and Terrorsaur arrive. In the melee, Terrorsaur comes out on top, and advances before the pod and the now weakened Rhinox, who is succumbing to stasis lock due to prolonged exposure to energon in his robot mode. Rhinox however had managed to restore the activation sequence just before he had to return to beast mode, and the sequence is successful at the last moment, with a bird flying overhead as Terrorsaur moves to scrap Rhinox. Airazor emerges from the stasis pod, and after a brief dogfight she easily defeats Terrosaur and joins the Maximal ranks.

My Thoughts
This was a fairly decent little episode, which served well to spotlight both Rhinox and Cheetor. For Rhinox, he is shown to be kind and compassionate, and is ready to push himself to the limits in order to try and save the life of the protoform. Cheetor is shown to have grown somewhat too, being a more capable combatant since he is able to defeat both Blackarachnia and Waspinator before Terrorsaur got the drop on him. The concept of sparks is introduced too, and nicely rounded out by Cheetor’s dream sequence. How he dreams when deactivated is beyond me, but it still was nicely done.

We also get to see Blackarachnia as the scheming spider we come to know and love, who is out for nobody but herself. The contrast between her and Scorponok is pretty good – she’s pretty damn deadly, capable of taking down Tigatron, and was unlucky not to take down Cheetor too. Her blatant disrespect of the Predacon chain of command is pretty amusing too, and helps to make it apparent that she only cares about one thing – herself. Just what she plans to do with the pod isn’t explained though, which makes understanding her intentions a bit difficult though. 

Notable Moments
- The concept of sparks is introduced to Transformer lore.
- Rhinox actually refers to the Transformer race as ‘Cybertronians’.
- Cheetor has his second prophetic dream, predicting the last line of the episode from Rhinox.