Posts tagged yakone
Posts tagged yakone
tarrlok face appreciation
because this bby needs more love
Capton for bottom right: “I request the highest of fives! Herpderp.”
you know know he thinks he’s so cool in the first picture
he’s just all “man. yes. i am the coolest motherfucker on the planet right noOO— OH FUCK MY WALL IS MOVING!”
glad im not the only one who saw through tarrlok and was embarrassed for him and his unfortunate facial expressions
like “check this shit out mom im so cool check it out im throwing sharp ice and cutting up a teenage girljesus”
what a fucking dork why do i like him
These photos and the commentary are great! Of course… as I look at these screens, I can only think…
See, I’m just like you daddy…
(Posting at full size since I had to resize it for a tumblr answer post)
Having Clancy Brown for a dad must be tough.
Next, he’ll be asking you capture Superman and steal 40 cakes or something…
(This question references my posting on Rock Bottom, wherein I noted that I felt Convoy was one of the worst episodes of Transformers Prime S1)
Perhaps I should start off by saying that “worst” may be a little too strong. But I do at least find it to be one of the weaker episodes overall in the first season. As a general purpose “action show” story, it’s pretty great. The car chases and set pieces around the train are excellent and well showcase TFP’s exceptional storyboarding and animation. But the overall plot of this episode, the DINGUS, the involvement of the 3 kids, MECH’s actions, and the fight with the Vehicon fliers at the end all ends up being a big write-off. I dislike how the whole plot revolves around such blatant MacGuffin. The DINGUS never does anything in of itself, it just exists to be protected by the Autobots and chased by MECH. Plus, it’s just some human experimental weapon. Not a cool Cybertronian artifact with neat powers that could be utilized during the episode like the Phase Displacer or the Apex Armour.
Nuclear weapons research is boring!
The only real thing of plot relevance to the season overall that occurs within this episode is that MECH and Silas are introduced. But, their most interesting aspects, that of being robo-butchers doesn’t explicitly come up, so they lack the impact they ought to have. Now, I really like the concept of MECH, and it’s one of the many elements of TFP I find personally very engaging along with the music, the fight sequences, and Dreadwing’s hands. A team of spooky masked agents lead by Clancy Brown chop-shopping live, giant, alien robots to make their own weapons of mass destruction and take over the world? That’s great cartoon sci-fi/action schlock.
But the episode does not showcase this aspect of MECH at all. They’re presented as simply a group of high tech criminals out the steal the DINGUS. Thieves in bright green cars aren’t nearly as dynamic as guys who can knock out a robot with a copter-mounted lightning gun. Their actions in this episode are not that representative of their true capabilities and the tension they can bring. To be fair, we do get a hint of their overall goals: cutting edge weapons and intelligence for the purpose of expanding their own powerbase, but its slight. There’s also that beat at the end where Silas examines a 3D hologram of Optimus hinting at the future construction of Nemesis Prime… that was cool I suppose.
See, what makes MECH interesting to watch as villains is when they’re ripping organs out of Cybertronians and attempting to crudely construct their own Frankenstein-esque duplicates. So, being introduced to Silas particularly as a guy just sitting in the passenger chair of a helicopter, growling “get that DINGUS!”, and watching the sequences unfold beneath him without ever becoming actively engaged, does not inspire viewer intrigue the same way.
Silas flying around in a helicopter chasing around some stupid nuclear reactor Macguffin thing? Lame.
Silas drilling out Breakdown’s eye while the dude’s still conscious? Awesome.
But most of my major issues with Convoy come from certain storytelling techniques common to the writer, Joseph Kuhr. Also writer of Crisscross, TMI, and One Shall Fall. Kuhr’s episodes tend to exhibit problems with events unfolding in a logical and/or thematically fitting way. That is to say, things just happen or characters commit actions because they need to for the sake of keeping the plot going, even if said actions or events don’t add up to what should make sense in the context of the story overall.
For example, in One Shall Fall, Raf needs to get shot by Megatron to motivate Optimus’ actions in the rest of the episode, and the rest of the series after that point. In order for this to happen, Megatron just happens to take a wild shot at Bumblebee with Raf on board while Megs is flying overhead on his way to confront Optimus. But why was Megatron traveling by flight in the first place? Why didn’t he just take the Ground Bridge? Similarly, in Crisscross, June needs to be introduced to the Autobot/Decepticon conflict and to MECH. To have this happen, she gets kidnapped by Silas via MECH locating her through Jack… But why doesn’t MECH ever use this technique again with the Darbys or the other kids? In TMI, Miko needs to run through the Ground Bridge alone to keep the dramatic tension rolling… twice. Even though she should conceivably be beyond this given the events of Rock Bottom… Etc.
This is evident in Convoy as well. As MECH’s introductory episode, they need to learn that:
But MECH is ultimately acquainted with all this information in an extremely basic way. Starscream sends down a squad of flying Vehicons to intercept the Autobots on their mission, not because Starscream is after the DINGUS, or because of Energon deposits nearby, or because he has a new weapon to test out… but just because all the Autobots are simply there and slightly distracted.
Really, this doesn’t make much sense… I’d buy it if Megatron sent the fliers out, okay. But Starscream’s actions as commander of the Decepticons were more focused on resource and intelligence gathering rather than straight up attacking the Autobots. That’s what distinguished Starscream’s leadership and tactics from Megatron; Starscream actually had tactics. Plus, a small squadron of vehicons against 4 Autobots? Yeah… not going to work, even if the Autobots have their attention divided.
Also note that the results of this skirmish and the subsequent mission failure are never delivered to Starscream; we never have any follow-up on his appearance and actions in the final act. Does he know the Autobots killed all his drones? Did he ever find out about the DINGUS or MECH’s presence? Does he care at all? If what is, at the time, the central antagonist of the show is not demonstrated to have a solid investment in his actions for the episode, then ultimately said actions are of little consequence to the investment of the viewer as well. The rationale for him sending out the squad was merely for the narrative purpose of giving the Autobots something to fight against so that MECH could see it and get exposition fed to them. Exposition the audience is already well acquainted with. So the effect is ultimately a shallow and repetitive experience for the viewer.
Now, this is not to say that I hate the episode, nor everything in it; and I don’t dislike all of Joseph Kuhr’s work on TFP either. Something he does consistently well is dialogue and demonstrating strong interpersonal relationships. For example, see the mother-son talks between June and Jack in Crisscross. In even these brief scenes, we get a good feel for how the two characters relate to one another, and their mutual love and respect. June also comes off as very interesting and likeable in spite of the fact that she plays an antagonistic role in the first act of the episode (threatening Jack’s access to Arcee). A lesser writer would have simply made her an unlikable, pushy mom. But Kuhr knows how to pace a conversation. And it’s very important that we do get invested in June, considering how her character plays out. This shows up in Convoy too between Optimus and Fowler. It’s one of the rare moments early in S1 where the audience is invited to see Optimus as more of a person and less of an icon. We get up-close and inside look on Optimus (literally and figuratively). We see some personal quirks like not wanting his wheel or horn touched, and he discusses the parallels between Cybertronian and human conflict. He and Fowler have genuinely good chemistry as they talk and become closer friends, another important relationship which continues to pay off as the series progresses.
Like I said, there are many good things within Convoy, it’s just that its main plot and purpose within S1’s narrative is rather shallow. If nothing else, the episode is great for the action and the Optimus/Fowler moments. And I’ll admit that it was nice closure to have Fowler just punch Silas’ in the teeth during S2’s Nemesis Prime. Go Fowler… punch the world… Dream big…
I will say this if nothing else… Understanding who Tarrlok really is and the scope of his motivation does make re-watching certain scenes between him and Korra a lot more interesting.
Particularly so in “When Extremes Meet”. This is the essentially the first time we see the darker side of Tarrlok, and its drawn out when Korra starts implying that he’s not protecting the city for altruistic reasons. Calling the task force a “vanity project”, dressing him down verbally several times, etc. This comes out more and more as Korra shows up his task force and points out his increasingly disturbing behavior.
After all, Tarrlok’s goal was to prove himself a different and better man than his father (or maybe subtly make up for all the harm his father did to Republic City…?) by being a big shot savior-of-the-city politician man. But Korra, the real savior of the whole world continues to halt and expose his flawed practices. I guess Aquaman really can’t compete with Superman…