Amongst Transformers fans, there is a large, vocal group that insists Beast Wars is the greatest TF series of all. I’m not sure they’re wrong, but they’re kind of obnoxious about it. So if for some reason you get into an argument with one of them, please, remind them of “The Low Road,” which features a scene so wretched it belonged in… well, one of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies.
Our story begins with Rattrap and Dinobot, who transform into a rat and velociraptor, respectively, cutting down plants in front of the Maximal HQ so that the Predacons can’t use them to hide in (in case you didn’t know or don’t remember, the Maximals and Predacons were the Transformers that landed on prehistoric Earth, after the Autobots and Decepticons had crashed there, but before they woke out of their stasis). The Predacons don’t need anything as complicated as plant cover to attack the Maximals, however; as Rattrap and Dinobot bicker, then fight, and then Dinobot straight-up tries to kill Rattrap, the Predacons begin their assault. Rattrap and Dinobot don’t stop their fight, despite the real enemies shooting at them.
With two Maximals still outside and being morons, Optimus Primal can’t deploy their defenses, so Rhinox heads out to provide cover until… Rattrap and Dinobot can be bothered to notice the enemy attack. As you can tell from this picture, they take their fucking time:
In fact, Rattrap and Dinobot only manage to get their metallic asses inside after Tarantulas fires a special missile directly into Rhinox’s mouth that attaches like a facehugger alien and then pours a massive amount of liquid down his throat. Rattrap and Dinobot drag Rhinox in, the defenses go up and the Predacons flee, which should have happened five minutes ago with zero casualties, had Rattrap and Dinobot not been assholes.
Cheetor examines Rhinox and discovers he has a virus — a virus that will make him spew his internal Energon until he dies. Since Transformers both consume and are powered by Energon, you could say that this is the equivalent of a human either vomiting and pooping all his sustenance out, unable to hold down food until he/she dies, or shooting blood out of every orifice. Happily for the censors, Rhinox’s Energon expulsions come as sneezes, hiccups and belches for the most part, although they are also deadly lasers that shoot right through the walls of the Maximal base.
Optimus takes charge, realizing that if Rhinox is going to live, he needs an antidote, and if Tarantulas made the virus, he has — or can make — said antidote. And then what does he do? He sends Rattrap and Dinobot to get the antidote. The two jackasses who put Rhinox in this situation, and who have learned nothing from it. They literally would have a higher chance of success if Optimus had only sent one of them, but for some reason Optimus has bet Rhinox’s very life on whether they can somehow start working together. If I were Rhinox I’d be pissed.
Oh, and lest you think this is some sort of secret team-building exercise where Optimus plans to force the two of them to work together because the stakes are so high, it’s not. When Cheetor asks Optimus if he’s sure it was a good idea to send them together — as they listen to one of the many times Rattrap and Dinobot completely stopp to argue with each other — Optimus replies, and I quote, “To be honest, no. But their squabbling has caused problems before. They’ll either learn to work together or they’ll destroy each other. Right now, I don’t really care which.” “YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE,” Rhinox would surely say, if the scene continued.
At some point during their interminable bickering, Rattrap and Dinobot actually spot Tarantulas wandering the prehistoric land, and manage to chase him for a minute… until they stop to fight again, this time immediately over a trap door on the ground, which drops them into the Predacons’ caves. Once at the bottom, they’re menaced by Tarantulas himself… until a giant fucking boulder that has never been seen or referenced falls though the same tunnel, crushing Tarantulus against the wall. Rattrap and Dinobot pick up his body and start dragging it through the caves, looking for Tarantulas’ lab.
Once in the caves, Dinobot and Rattrap can no longer be detected by the Maximal HQ’s scanners, and Optimus realizes maybe he has made a terrible fucking decision. He rounds up all the other Maximals to attack the Predacons head-on and get the counter-virus. Rhinox demands to come along, sick as he is; he says it’s because if he’s going to sneeze deadly laser bolts until he dies, he might as well sneeze in the Predacons’ base (although I suspect it’s also to make sure someone actually looks for the damn counter-virus).
When Rattrap and Dinobot do arrive at the lab, Megatron and Blackarachnica and the other Predacons are already there. Dinobot tries to use Tarantulas’ body as a hostage/body shield, but like pretty much every villain before him, Megatron shoots his minion. However, by this point Rattrap has snuck through a verrrrrrry conveniently placed pipe and ended up behind the villains, drawing his laser and forcing them to stand down (Rattrap didn’t tell Dinobot about this plan, lest you think they had actually worked together).
At this point, Optimus and the others show up, because why the hell not. Rattrap, displaying a stupidity that would make even the most moronic of Skeletor’s minions face-palm, walks from behind the Predacons to Maximals — getting out of position, no longer having his laser trained on any of them, and also failing to grab the goddamned counter-virus even though he walks right by Megatron who is holding it. Problem: Solved... and then immediately reinstated, thanks to Rattrap!
Shockingly, once the Predacons are no longer caught in a potential crossfire, Megatron decides not to hand the antidote over. Meanwhile, Rhinox isn’t feeling too well. He turns into his rhinocerous mode — oh, Rhinox the Transformer transforms into a rhinoceros, I probably should have mentioned that earlier, I’m sure you were just baffled — in hopes of feeling better, but it doesn’t work. Then he turns around. And then he starts aiming his ass at the Predacons.
Please note: He is not, to all appearances, consciously trying to attack the Predacons here, at least as evidenced by anything he says. He is simply randomly turning his back on his enemies, then wiggling his ass at them.
And then he farts.
This is the result.
Yes, those are shockwaves, a disappating dome of energy, and a trail of smoke visible from space.
Somehow, the Predacons all end up blown into the branches of a single tree about a mile away, which is impressive not just because of Rhinox’s grouping and accuracy but because they were in a fucking cave a second ago. Even more impressively, all the Maximals are unscathed, despite being in the same cave and the fart clearly being an area attack (although they find the smell… unpleasant).
Optimus, ashamed beyond describing, tells the Maximals to just leave. Rattrap is the one who actually remembers they should probably grab the counter-virus before they go, since that’s what they came here for and all, although this doesn’t come close to redeeming him for nearly getting his teammate killed. They go home, Rhinox takes the counter-virus, Rattrap and Dinobot continue to squabble, everything stays the same, and the smell of robot flatulence never goes away, no matter how much they — or the audience — scrubs.
What Did We Learn?
• Optimus Primal is a terrible leader.
• Rattrap and Dinobot are a horrible liability and should have been executed for the safety of all the Maximals. Or at least just Rattrap.
• Early in the episode, Dinobot bends down and the show presents a major close-up of his ass — his two, rounded buttocks, and the underside of his codpiece, which looks even more balls-like than you might have guessed. Here is that shot.
Maybe Michael Bay was inspired by an actual Transformers cartoon.
• There was a certain point in Earth's prehistory when shadows hadn't been invented yet.
• Rattrap has the power to grow or shrink, depending on how little the animators care about scale, which to all appearance is extremely little.
• Speaking of, the animators of Beast Wars did, however, seemingly spend a lot of time making sure Blackarachnica’s breasts were exceedingly reflective. It’s a little weird.
• Even robots’ farts smell bad.