19 Mar 2015

Transformers RID (2015) Season 1 Episode 8 Review

Yeah, okay, this one is a bit late, too, but I decided I didn't want to post them in rapid succession, because it's detrimental (I get one view instead of two)... and so I also put off writing the review, which wasn't a good idea.
Also, my internet connection has been unstable and rubbish. Not an excuse - I've got plenty of other ways to type this, but I thought you might like to know.
That is, if you're considering moving to New Zealand, first of all, don't, but second of all, be aware that our internet is rubbish, unless you live in an area that can get fibre optics and you pay a lot of money for it. It's still rubbish, though, but the ignorant drones in this country buy into the nonsense that ISPs and, especially, the government spew. Their loss.

Grimlock from Transformers Robots in Disguise (2015)
Image by Hasbro Studios via Transformers.com

But in all seriousness, you're here to read my review of True Colors (or you stumbled across this disaster of a blog by accident, and are now trying to get away, but your mouse and keyboard both ran out of batteries at the same time so you're stuck with me).
Well, you're in luck (or not) - continue reading after the break for my episode eight review of Transformers Robots in Disguise (and try not to scream about the pain).

True Colors may have a spelling mistake in the title, but the episode itself is still fantastic and easily one of my favourites so far. This episode is focused on the Decepticon named Minitron, although you wouldn't know it, since he spends most of his time attached to Grimlock. Strongarm thinks Grimlock has gone bad (or was always bad), Sideswipe actually guesses correctly as to what is wrong, and Bumblebee just thinks Grimlock needs an attitude adjustment (F you, too, John Cena).
Summarising this episode is a little difficult, although that's probably because "summary" isn't in my vocabulary. I suppose it helps that the actual episode synopsis straight-out lies. No, Grimlock doesn't turn bad, but then again, you probably guessed that if you read the episode synopsis - it's intentionally misleading.
So Grimlock beats everyone up, as I start to notice Sideswipe's weird brown "ears" more and more (seriously, what are those things?) then storms off with Underbite.

The episode's premise and overall story is pretty simple, but I want to talk more about the execution because I think it was very clever.
We start with Sideswipe complaining about Grimlock in an almost insulting manner, at which point, Grimlock clobbers him. This shocks everyone in a most amusing way - their facial expressions are wide-eyed in intense overreaction, which serves to show how much they expected Grimlock to do that (i.e. they didn't expect it at all).
What I find so clever about this is the fact that Sideswipe had given Grimlock enough of a reason to hit him, so to have such a reaction shows that they either don't pay enough attention to Grimlock's true nature, or trust him so much to the point that they assume he is the friendliest and kindest in the team. Personally, I believe it is a bit of both, but primarily the latter.
Grimlock wants to be the biggest badass, but at the same time, he's more harmless than Winnie the Pooh (it has to be Pooh, because a real bear would probably just eat your face. Also, Eeyore is Optimus Prime, so bleh). With Grimlock going on a rampage, it serves to question all of this.
My absolute favourite part, however, is who sticks up for him. Sideswipe, of all people. Here's what is so brilliant about the writer(s) picking Sideswipe - he's a young bot who is easy influenced, and has a higher chance of getting in with the wrong crowd. Despite this, Sideswipe is also more free-spirited and ready to trust (except Strongarm). He respects Grimlock and bares no ill will for him.
Strongarm is too quick to make assumptions and doubt people because she's a cadet, and Bumblebee has to keep himself at arms length whilst not jumping to conclusions because he's the leader. All of this makes Sideswipe the perfect choice for the role of "Grimlock sympathiser".

The title, True Colors, intrigues me. The meaning struck me when Grimlock refrained from hitting Denny - Grimlock had no problem punching the 'bots. Sure, Minitron was controlling him and no, he wouldn't normally do it, but we know Grimlock likes to punch stuff, and since he didn't get to punch any Decepticons that day, he needed some exercise so-to-speak.
Basically, what I'm saying is that Grimlock doesn't mind playing rough. Look at the end of the episode, when he hugs Denny and Sideswipe. He almost crushes them to death, but it's all because he cares for them. The sheer irony is the brilliance that is Grimlock. He's over-enthusiastic, which will be his downfall, but it's also his greatest strength.

Shifting gears, let's touch on a few other things, namely Decepticons and Strongarm. Yes, Strongarm will be popping up a lot in the future, I imagine, but I honestly don't have much to say about her for this episode.
Alright, admittedly, Strongarm comes across as untrusting and bossy in this episode, but think about what I said before: she's a police cadet. That means she is trained to doubt people (or 'bots), especially those that are big and imposing like Grimlock, and/or have dubious history. Even when Bumblebee says that he's seen Grimlock's record and it's just property damage, Strongarm doesn't think it adds up - and to be fair, it doesn't, so I'm sure we'll hear more about Grimlock's past... in the future.
Strongarm is also young, like Sideswipe, but wants to abide by the rules, so if someone does something like, oh I don't know, beating up a bunch of people, she sees them as a threat that needs to be dealt with, and that makes sense. So no, I don't have a problem with Strongarm in True Colors, because when you sit to think for a minute, you'll realise that it's in her very nature to be this way, and that's fine.

The last talking point for this episode is, of course, the Decepticons. I find it odd that the trap set for the Autobots used a "cryo-inducer" from the stasis pod. What stasis pod? The one Grimlock took that had Underbite in it? The one he shows to Steeljaw just moments later, with Underbite still frozen inside? From what we've seen, as soon as the pods are opened, stasis wears off, so I'm not quite sure how one of the "cryo-inducers" was removed. Perhaps it was from the empty pod at the beginning of the episode, or from another pod that Steeljaw already had. It's hard to say.
Anyway, what I find amusing about the Autobots crashing the Decepticon's party is that Steeljaw drops (most of) his sweet-talking persona, and proceeds with an all-out assault. I guess he was caught red-handed, so that basically sums that up, but it still seems unlike him. Yet, Steeljaw continues to be an excellent character, even though we get to see relatively little of him this time around. Getting to watch Steeljaw and Bumblebee fight was nice, and there were a few cheesy moments that were at least enjoyable to watch, including the scrambling between the Autobots when Minitron emerges.
There's not much to say about Minitron. He/she/it made some noises that sounded like a voice actor did them, but no one was credited for Minitron. Minatory was beaten relatively easy, too, and ends up in a tiny stasis pod. Did they happen to have a bunch of small ones, or was that specifically Minitron's stasis pod? Was that specific one undamaged? I'm probably thinking too hard about a children's TV show. Still, it's hard not to when they put so much thought into other things. Clearly, a lot of the characters have had a lot of thought put into them.

The biggest triumph of True Colors, arguably, is that by the end of the episode, Grimlock proves himself as an unwavering, loyal team member, and Bumblebee officially acknowledges him as an Autobot, mentioning that they'll change his insignia(s) or uh.... "logos". Before anyone (i.e. no one) asks, yes, he has Autobot insignias in the next episode, so that's nice. I guess they're hot-swappable or something? Maybe they're just paint. Who knows? More importantly, who really cares?

At this point, we're eight (okay, technically nine) episodes down, and Underbite is now loose again (HELL YES). Hasbro Studios' website lists the show as having a whopping 78 episodes over three years, so we've got plenty to go, but right now, the show is pretty darn good.
That being said, the Robots in Disguise review is going to be a little delayed. Why? Because I'm lazy. No, but seriously, the next review is going to be a pain in my ass to write. There's some controversy around it. I found it slightly annoying, but admittedly, it's hard for me to concentrate when I watch it for the first time on TV, so I always watch it a second time before I write a review (although I'd watch it twice regardless of reviews). Anyway, I want to write a review that's concise and fair, and hopefully one that people will read so that we can put to rest some of the actually disgusting "debates" for once and for all.

Until then, thanks for reading, and if you enjoyed this review or any of my other articles, please share them around! For now, I'm chugging on out of here.

1 comment :

  1. I think Sideswipe's ears are meant to be the little ear-spikes things Ratchet had in Prime, they have similar placement and shape.


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