Transformers: Robots in Disguise Episode Guide

Episode 37: Surprise Attack!
Original U.S. air date: March 9, 2002
Written by: Tom Wyner

Galvatron uses his own spark energy to re-program the Decepticons, making them obedient and loyal to him again following Scourge's recent treachery -- something he apparently couldn't have done when he was still Megatron. When finished, Galvatron assigns Sky-Byte leadership of the Decepticons until they've re-proven their loyalty, and then sends him to follow Koji and locate Cerebros, who was taken to the Autobots' hidden base. At the same time, the Autobots are questioning Cerebros and are finally told the secret of controlling him and Fortress Maximus: Cerebros will obey any Autobot whose commands are motivated by protecting Earth, and Maximus will obey any human whose intentions are good and non-selfish.

Sky-Byte soon determines that a city parking garage conceals the secret entrance, although he can't find the entrance itself, so the Decepticons launch an attack to drive the Autobots out. The Autobots, it turns out, have been prepared for such a discovery, and act immediately. Optimus Prime takes Cerebros with him and sends out a fake SOS to the other Autobots. Side Burn and his brothers take Koji to safety, and then continue to Optimus' rendezvous point. The Decepticons and Predacons, except for Galvatron, follow him there and demand Cerebros be handed over. All the other Autobots are waiting there in hiding to protect Cerebros, but when Galvatron arrives, he surprises them by bringing in his command center and launching an all-out attack.

The Autobots (including the late-arriving Ultra Magnus) try to fight the command center's firepower, but fail. However, Wedge's determination triggers Cerebros to bring Fortress Maximus above ground and activate his robot mode. Galvatron, in turn, transforms to hand mode and attaches to an extension of his command center, becoming the fist of a legless floating robot nearly as large as Maximus. However, Maximus' firepower proves stronger, and while the Autobots clean up the Decepticons and the Predacons hide for safety, the command center is destroyed. Galvatron falls to the ground, apparently defeated.

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This series has contained several winks to longtime Transformers fans. This episode contains three: Galvatron's hand transformation is called "Gigaclaw mode", a direct translation from the Japanese series where the character's name was Gigatron; that same character claims he was sent to find Fortress Maximus by the "Predacon Council," a nod to the Tripredacus Council from Beast Wars; and Cerebros' activation of his "Headmaster protocol," a name used nowhere else in the series but borrowed directly from the G1 Transformers series. Whether this means RiD is tied directly to those other series will probably always be a matter of dispute, but it's probably just another one of those annoying consequences of having two different writers working on sequential episodes.

This being the "big battle" episode, it's also the first one to bring every character to the screen, from the all-but-forgotten Slapper, Gas Skunk and Dark Scream to the single-episode Skid-Z (he even gets a line). Combine that with all four gestalt teams combining, plus Fortress Maximus, and you've got a guaranteed favorite. It's just too bad that at least half the episode is spent having Autobots and Decepticons talking at each other instead of actually fighting.

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