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Thread: TF:Animated #9 Along came a Spider (spoilers)

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  1. #1
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    Default TF:Animated #9 Along came a Spider (spoilers)

    Well what can I say, it was a great episode, flashback heavy and really fleshed out the characters of the two Primes.

    Black Arachnia is vastly different from the Beast Wars incarnation.

    Doubt I can say more without being very spoilery, I'll wait till more of you have caught the episode.
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  2. #2
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    DL'ing now.

    FASTER! *whips modem*

  3. #3
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    I thought it was an interesting spin on her previous character.

    I didn't really like her origin story tho - I was hoping for something more Beast Wars orientated.

    One of the better episodes so far tho.

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    *Spoiler heavy*

    I just watched it. Yes, it was better than some of the other episodes but it was still lacking in my view due to several elements that made it somewhat rehashed and silly.

    About a quarter of the episode is mainly about Sari explaining to the autobots about Halloween and going out Trick or Treating. Bumblebee dressed up as a vampire while Bulkhead tried to dress up as a ghost with a "giant bed sheet" (i kid you not!)

    Fortunately the tediousness of the above was broken up a bit through some flash backs triggered throughout the first half of the episode by Prime coming accross Spider themed halloween decorations. The flash backs told a story in which Sentinel Prime, Optimus and Elita-1 went in an unauthorized excursion to try to recover Energon from a crashed Decepticon Warship. The strange thing about this flashback story was that the motivation for recovering the Energon was mainly for financial reasons and nothing else. It would have been much more acceptable if the reason for them being there was to help Cybertron with depleted energon reserves or some other more noble reason rather than financial gain, but that's what they did. It was Sentinel's idea but Elita-1 and Optimus (reluctangly) tagged along for some reason. It is also interesting to note that visiting 'Organic' planets is forbidden under Animated Cybertronian law for yet to be explained reasons. As they ventured within the planet to find the Decepticon ship, they were confronted with Giant organic spiders which had made a nest within the ship. During the battle we got introduced to Elita's power of being able to absorve other Autobot's abilities very much like Rogue from X-men. Eventually they were becoming overwhelmed and tried to climb away from the ship but Elita's power gave out in the last minute and fell back into the nest. Optimus saw no other recourse but to leave and abandon Elita as he thought her to be "offline". Sentinel blamed Optimus for the whole incident.

    As soon as I saw Elita-1 and the Spiders, I had the whole episode figured out so what happened afterwards was hardly a surprise and took away much from the episode in my view. However since this cartoon is very strictly aimed at very young children (the whole Halloween subplot for example) i decided to look past it as kids may not be able to work it out so quickly although I seriously doubt that.

    Now back in the present, we have Bulkhead and Bumblebee trick or treating with all the other kids in the neighborhood (they were sure aiming at a wider audience with this! ) when suddenly Bumblebee sees a Giant Spider and contacts Optimus who arrives on the scene quickly. The battles were fairly lame as all thet Blackarachnia had to do to subdue Bulkhead was seduce him and the knock him out by absorving his power with her spider fangs. I found this to be cliche and lame. Bumblebee tried to put up a fight but at the end he was just touched by the fangs and fainted.

    Blackarachnia then kidnaps Sari and takes her to a building top where Optimus confronts her and then she reveals to him that she is indeed Elita-1 (surprise, surprise). She tells the story on how when she fell back in the Spider nest, she attempted to absorve the organic energy of the Spiders but instead that caused her to mutate into a very Beast Machines type (in concept) Technorganic Spider. BA felt that she would be treated like an outcast among the Autobots due to her new form so she decided to join the Decepticons who are apparently more accepting.

    Blackarachnia and Optimus then go for another borring but brief fight and then BA grabs Sari's key and inserts it into her chest in an attempt to purge the organic part of her. Unfortunately for her she instead amplifies her power considerably and begins to absorve the energy of all organic life in the surrounding area, including Sari's. The key is then removed, BA knocks Optimus down and runs away.

    At the end she is just seen crying while watching the horizon which I thought was a bit too melodramatic for Transformers. To me, it seems that the writers of this show often forget that they are dealing with sentient robots here, not super powered humans. It was very annoying and unsettling to watch BA cry like that.

    Now the inevitable comparison between Animated and the original Beast Wars Blackarachnia:

    In my view, the original one was much better. The original was very spicy, scheming and kept stereotype 'girly' emotional behaviour in check. You never saw her crying or anything of the sort. In fact she was often seen trying to best her Predacon comrades and when she finally joined the Maximal side, she did it rather reluctantly and mainly motivated by self preservation and her 'friendship' with Silverbolt. No emo stuff.

    Animated Blackarachnia personality wise is very much the contrary of the above. She is more of a traumatized female and behaves as such with lots of emotional outbursts and seduction attempts and the like. Blackaracnia in Beast Wars did use seduction to a degree but it was infinitely more subtle and really open to interpretation and for comical ends, she wasn't emo or overly 'sexy'.

    I can't say that I like this Blackarachnia very much and she seems as yet another Super Hero rehash. I kept thinking of X-men characters such as Rogue, Scarlet Witch and even Lady Deathstrike as I was watching her behave and express emotions.

    Her looks: Blackarachnia has been given an almost exact (but stylized) body to her TransMetal 2 design down to the detailing and colors. This is not surprising however as that is an Aaron Archer design and its the one he would have chosen for a new incarnation of Blackarachnia. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but TM2s were not exactly the best toys and it is commonly seen as a prelude to an unfortunate period of Transformers history (Beast Machines) in which the 'robots' stopped being robots and more Technorganic creatures.

    Overall this episode wasn't too bad but it wasn't good either. Its another 'ok' episode in my book which would have worked much better if they had kept the kiddy concepts down and the Transformers actually behaved as such and not overly like human characters. The writers have to remember that despite their past history, this show isn't Teen Titans.
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    Last edited by kup; 22nd March 2011 at 02:27 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tober View Post
    I thought it was an interesting spin on her previous character.
    No pun intended, right?!

    Yeah, I actually really liked this episode. I kinda like the 'villain of the week' thing they're doing... as long as it's a Decepticon and not a human (looking forward to Blitzwing). I actually thought there was a lot of chemistry between Optimus Prime and Blackarachnia. It reminded me a bit of the relationship between Batman and Catwoman in B:TAS.

    I also love some of the voice actors they're getting on this series... first Lance Henriksen and now Cree Summer (ah, yes the original voice of Penny from Inspector Gadget!)

  6. #6
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    Spoilery also:

    I Liked the Episode. It fleshed out Prime really well, he is a very "by the book" style leader, and was even moreso when he was a younger bot, and it cost him a team member and friend.
    Sentinel behaved more or less like I expected him too. And he is Captain America in fighting style.

    It was fairly obvious as to what was going to happen from the moment you see the Giant Spider, since they made no effort to change the look of Arachnia and Elita in their robot forms, and since Elita didnt ever transform.

    Elita's power is rather stupid though (yes I know it was for a plot device), mimicking other robots skills is great and all, but them only lasting 5 seconds is a tad silly, and not really worth the effort.

    The thing that really dragged the episode down was the lack of Prowl and Ratchet back in the present, those two would've been great to bounce some one liners and whatnot off. Instead the annoying Duo (Bumblebee and Sarri) plus Bulkhead (another "my bad" to boot) mainly teased Prime and were general annoyances. Prime should've slapped them back into line.

    Black Arachnia crying at the end seemed a bit too much, it's fairly obvious she will return to being an Autobot, all they managed to do was fall into stereotypes "no matter how strong the female warrior is, she will always cry and be emotional". She is a far cry from Beast Wars Black Arachnia.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_amtrunks View Post
    The thing that really dragged the episode down was the lack of Prowl and Ratchet back in the present, those two would've been great to bounce some one liners and whatnot off. Instead the annoying Duo (Bumblebee and Sarri) plus Bulkhead (another "my bad" to boot) mainly teased Prime and were general annoyances.
    But to be fair to the writers, could you really see either Prowl or Ratchet going trick-or-treating? Or dressing up?

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