12 Apr 2015

Transformers RID (2015) Season 1 Episode 11 Review

I'm back, after a week of sorting a lot of things out (you don't really want me to list everything, do you?) and with more content. Yeah, I know, I didn't manage to get the other reviews up last week, but I'll get 'em done. This blog is, more than anything, practice for me to stop procrastinating and actually work on stuff for once.

I've been preparing to cover more than just Transformers Robots in Disguise, and in doing so, I actually haven't done much more than planning, but I'm already starting work on more projects, so hopefully that'll mean more than just the same old content very soon.
I don't like the angle used for this image of Strongarm from Robots in Disguise. Oh well.

For now, though, it's about time these reviews were put to rest. The show is still relatively new overseas (i.e. America, Canada and Japan), so I figure the delay isn't as big of a deal as I personally think. Still, if you're here, you're here to read my spoiler-filled review of Adventures in Bumblebee-sitting! What're you waiting for? Read on for the review!

I didn't really like this episode. In the grand scheme of things, it's probably one of the weaker ones so far. Still, considering there are only thirteen episodes, and they're all pretty good, it's hard to say number eleven is actually bad.
Adventures in Bumblebee-sitting! is a mouthful. In fact, the joke is pretty weak - it's meant to be a pun on "baby-sitting", but it doesn't really work, especially since Grimlock literally sits on Bumblebee in this episode (which was the not-weak part of the joke).
Maybe they were trying to contrast this with Strongarm's confusion over the term "baby-sitting", where she thought one actually sits on babies. It's an age-old joke, but it's still a tad funny. The titular pun, however, is not.

So in case you haven't watched the episode, our Decepticon of the week is Quillfire (voiced by Andy Milder) - a Decepticon with a rather large tinfoil hat (figuratively speaking, of course) with a tendency to leave his mark (literally) at the scene of the crime.
Oh, he also fires quills. You know, the spiky thins on his back. They're full of poison of... some description, which can affect Transformers in different ways.
I suppose we're playing with more techno-organic stuff here once more in the franchise.
Bumblebee gets hit with one of the quills, which affects his brain chemistry and therefore his maturity. They um... tried to explain it. I'll give them that.
The rest of the team attempts to keep Bumblebee under control whilst also trying to catch Quillfire, who is eventually thwarted by Bumblebee... by accident.

The whole premise of this episode is just a little silly to me, honestly. I'm used to watching sci-fi, so when I say that the explanation we get for Bumblebee's condition is half-assed, I really mean it.
Don't get me wrong - it's a children's television show, so I don't really expect any more, but I find it interesting that they've made such a big deal out of this sort of Transformers science in the past (well, sometimes), and yet, they barely touch on it here.
It's clear they just wanted to tell this little story and be done with it, which is kind of a shame, because delving into more of what a Cybertronian is comprised of could be very interesting. Still, the kids don't really care.

Sideswipe's first on the list today. Still a great character as ever, putting Sideswipe in a situation that he didn't like, despite normally finding it amusing, was a fantastic idea on behalf of the writers.
The pranks that Bumblebee pulls are the sort of things that Sideswipe loves. However, when Sideswipe ends up on the receiving end, he doesn't like it so much any more. There's no great lesson learnt for Sideswipe, as far as I'm concerned, but I hope it has the tiniest of influences on him going forward, so that he can be a little more mature.
Watching him leak lubricant, though, was a little disturbing. Surely I can't be the only one who felt this way. We're used to seeing clear/blue liquid coming out of someone's eyes, but brown liquid? That's just weird (especially when you're having breakfast whilst watching the show).

Poor Grimlock. He might like punching anything and everything, but he's also a big softy. Everyone treats him like he has a small brain, though, but... well, he's a t-rex, so I suppose he probably does have a small brain. Case in point: Strongarm's comment about being alone even when Grimlock is with her. 'Twas very amusing, however.
Grimlock doesn't do a lot this episode, other than wrestling stuff, and propping a vehicle up on the quills that Quillfire impaled it with.
That reminds me - what happened to "robots in disguise"? They're running through a mall carpark (or "parking lot" for you Americans), transforming here and there, but most importantly, with a robotic t-rex in tow... and no one noticed? That's some live-action-movie-tier disbelief. Okay, I apologise - Robots in Disguise is a thousand times better than any of the live-action movies (and I actually enjoyed Age of Extinction).

Bumblebee was, apparently, similar to Sideswipe when he was younger. That actually makes sense, because it would explain why Bumblebee was so ready to trust Sideswipe, and why he understood him when others, such as Strongarm, just wanted to lock him up or treat him like an idiot (or both). This also would explain the "bro" relationship that Bumblebee and Sideswipe have - it's clear that Bumblebee understands how Sideswipe feels and why he's like the way he is.

Finally, Strongarm - the wannabe leader of the rag-tag Autobot team on Earth. At least, she wanted to have that sort of responsibility. Not so much now, though. See, Strongarm is still developing as a character - she's still growing and she's still learning. She's not ready to be a leader, but she wants to prove herself.
Strongarm shone in this episode because the writers decided to show what would happen if she got all the responsibility that she'd been craving. The answer: Strongarm couldn't handle it.
Here's the really clever part, though: Strongarm didn't do a bad job, nor did she get looked down upon by other characters (well, alright, Grimlock and Sideswipe were upset that she was in command, but that was it). She decided by herself that she wasn't ready to lead - that she still had more to learn - and that's why Strongarm was so... ahem, strong in this episode.

Alright, wrapping up, here are some quick notes that I wanted to throw out there:
  • Will Friedle has some very dynamic and frankly fantastic voice-acting this episode. He really brings life to Bumblebee.
  • How did Bumblebee transform while being sat on by Grimlock? I'm not really sure, but... ouch.
  • I know circuses have some pretty strong equipment, especially the bouncy mat things, but it seems a bit of a stretch for it to not pop under the weight of two giant, alien robots.
  • Andy Milder, Quillfire's voice actor, was actually in the first live-action movie as "R&D Leader". Among (many) other things, he was also in Star Trek. This pleases me.
  • Quillfire has the same vehicle mode as Prime's Bulkhead. I saw this mentioned on the TFWiki, and went back to double-check. Sure enough, it's the same vehicle. I guess Polygon Pictures decided to make the model now and test it out before season two. Or they were lazy. Or some other reason. Because really, there are a million possibilities as to "why". Bulkhead-Quillfire repaint when?
  • Fixit's vocal tic doesn't make an appearance (or, uh, "isn't heard") in this episode. He has a moment of stuttering before being slapped. Much better. Don't worry - it'll be back. Dammit...
  • Fixit "transforms" into a tool thing that feels like a nod to fan modes. It most likely isn't. I just wanted an excuse to type this line of text.
Overall, the episode was average. I didn't dislike it. It just wasn't very exciting, and didn't captivate me the same way as some other episodes have (such as the preceding episode number ten). It's by no means a bad episode, but if you're looking for action and story that you wouldn't find elsewhere, you're going to have to tune into episodes twelve and thirteen, because this one is a bit of a filler.

Aaaaand we're done for another episode! With the start of a new week just around the corner, there will definitely be more to come over the next week (for real this time), so please check back later for more reviews of Transformers Robots in Disguise, as well as more content to come (I promise I'm working on it).
Thanks for reading along once again, and as usual, if you enjoyed (or hated) this review, please share it with your friends (or enemies). Until next time, I'm going to roll up and... no, no I'm not going there.

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