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Chain of Command

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Chain of Command
Season 3, Episode 6
Wreckers 3
Air date May 24th, 2013
Written by Mairghread Scott
Directed by Vinton Heuck
Main Character: Ultra Magnus
Miko Nakadai
Wheeljack
Bulkhead
Predaking
Starscream
Episode Guide
Previous
Project Predacon
Next
Plus One
{{{discussion}}} Chain of Command Gallery
Chain of Command is the sixth episode of Season 3. Fifty-eighth episode overall of Transformers: Prime. Aired on May 24, 2013.

Premise

Tension builds within the Autobot team as they face the return of the Predacon.

Synopsis

Somewhere in the Arctic, Predaking remains frozen solid in ice as the sun rises. Power cells in his body activate, causing the ice to start melting and then crack, until the beast is able to break free completely. The Predacon roars and flies away to an unknown location.

Aboard the Nemesis, Starscream questions the wisdom of allowing Shockwave to create his cloned Predacon army in such confined quarters. Shockwave reveals that an off-site laboratory has been constructed for this purpose. The warship is rocked by a sudden impact, which turns out to be Predaking landing on the upper hull. Shockwave notes that Predacons have precise homing instincts, but Megatron is more impressed by the beast's resilience. He orders Starscream to assume command of it, leaving his terrified first officer alone with the Predacon and out on the hull.

In Scotland, Ultra Magnus' ship lands on a bluff atop a suspected Decepticon excavation site. The Wreckers emerge, and Wheeljack immediately bolts forward and starts climbing down the cliff to investigate, much to Magnus' chagrin. Bulkhead tries to advise caution, but Wheeljack pays no heed. They spot a lone Vehicon emerging from a cave below, who Wheeljack dispatches with little difficulty. He looks back up to give Ultra Magnus a mocking salute, when an entire squad of Vehicons emerge from the cave and attack. The three Autobots make short work of the Decepticons. After the battle, Wheeljack hears a knocking sound coming from inside his chest. Suddenly remembering he has a passenger, he lets Miko out, who begins gasping for air.

Back at the Nemesis, Starscream tries unsuccessfully to get Predaking into a cage. He prompts the beast with an Energon prod, and an irritated Predaking responds with a blast of flame from his mouth that singes Starscream's crest.

Ultra Magnus demands to know why a human was brought on the mission. Wheeljack cites Miko's accomplishments and states that she's an official Wrecker as far as he's concerned. Bulkhead tries to diffuse the situation by turning Magnus' attention to the now-unguarded cave entrance.

Now having donned the indestructible Apex Armor, Starscream tries again to make Predaking heed his commands. Predaking roars trying to intimidate him, but Starscream arrogantly dares the Predacon to do his worst due to the Apex Armor being indestructible. Predaking grasps Starscream's arm in his jaws and shakes him around like a rag doll for a bit before flinging him the length of the room. The "training" is interrupted by Megatron, who orders Starscream to take the Predacon and see why one of the excavation teams has failed to report in.

While the Wreckers explore the cave, Miko grabbed a small rock and asked Ultra Magnus if it was the Predacon bone that they were seeking. Ultra Magnus told her it wasn't and it was just a rock. During this time, Bulkhead tries to keep everyone's spirits up. But Wheeljack, chafing under Ultra Magnus's leadership, isn't having a good time. He tells Bulkhead he was smart to leave the Wreckers when he did, "before the rust set in". Confused, Miko says she thought Wheeljack was the one who left the Wreckers. Bulkhead says he left first, to join up with Optimus Prime, but that Wheeljack had practically deserted once the Wreckers fell under Ultra Magnus's command and thinks a part of Wheeljack resents him for it. Miko says that you never want to be the one who breaks up the band.

The rock walls suddenly starts to shake as Predaking bursts in, prompting the Autobots to transform and drive deeper into the cave. The Predacon pursues, firing blasts of flame from his mouth, until he encounters a passage too narrow to get through. The Autobots are now trapped in a small enclosure and unable to get a comm link signal so far underground. Bulkhead notices a small opening in the rock above them and tells Miko to climb up the cave wall to freedom. She's reluctant to leave them until Ultra Magnus tasks her with the mission of reaching his ship and contacting Optimus Prime. The Autobots draw their weapons and prepare for Predaking to inevitably break through to their location.

Miko makes it to surface and rushes over to Magnus's ship, only to find that Starscream and a couple of Vehicons have gotten there first. Starscream brags to his soldiers about how he tamed the Predacon, which is stifled by one of the Vehicons rhetorically asking if he was still wearing the Apex Armor to protect himself from it. Attempting to save face, Starscream retracts the armor and lays the condensed relic on a rock.

Predaking finally makes it through to the Wreckers' location and attacks. Ultra Magnus lands a few powerful hits with the the depowered Forge of Solus Prime, but Predaking takes him and Bulkhead out with a wave of his tail. Wheeljack waits for Predaking to attempt another flame blast and tosses a grenade at the beast's open mouth, but the Predacon bats it away with his tail. The explosive device hits the ground and rolls to a rest mere feet from Bulkhead and Ultra Magnus.

Topside, Starscream and the Vehicons are startled by the explosion, which rips a hole in the ground in front of them. While they investigate, Miko makes a run for Magnus's ship, but does not escape Starscream's notice.

In the cave, Predaking bursts free from the rubble caused by the explosion, none the worse for wear. He notices a Predacon fossil lying on the ground, and seeing it brings back a memory of another time and place...

Starscream swipes at Miko, but she's able to avoid him long enough to reach the Apex Armor. Landing on the relic triggers it, and a smaller version of the armor envelops Miko. But before she can put it to use, Predaking appears, dropping the fossil at Starscream's feet. Miko attempts to flee, but Predaking pounces on her.

The Autobots emerge from the rubble below, and Ultra Magnus takes Wheeljack to task for deploying a grenade in an enclosed space. Bulkhead, more concerned with Miko's safety than continuing to play peacemaker, rushes out of the cave to find her.

Starscream watches with amusement as Predaking playfully hammers Miko and the armor with blasts of flame. Megatron contacts Starscream, who gleefully provides a status report. Megatron orders the immediate return of the beast and the Predacon fossil and tells Starscream he can stay behind to finish the Autobots. Starscream briefly wonders how he'll get the Predacon to follow this order, but Predaking answers the question by knocking him down, grabbing the fossil in his teeth, and flying away. Indignant, Starscream walks over to the scorched crater where Miko lies to retrieve his armor. But Miko springs to life and tosses Starscream away with ease. Miko continues pounding the Decepticons as the Autobots rush onto the scene. Ultra Magnus admits that Wheeljack may have been right about her. Seeing the odds are only getting worse, Starscream orders the Vehicons to retreat, and the three of them transform and fly away. Wheeljack commends Miko and says he wants to remember the Wreckers just as they are right now, "before the rust sets in" once again. With that, he transforms and drives away. Bulkhead sadly notes that Wheeljack just broke up the band.

Trivia

  • The Predacon fossil uncovered by Predaking is far more mechanical than the bone-like pieces found in prior episodes, appearing to be an intact optical sensor.
  • The Apex Armour adjusts its size to fit whoever activates it, including humans.
  • While he has bragged about it several times throughout the series, after this episode, Starscream never again mentions having killed Cliffjumper once Miko counters that she killed Hardshell.
  • Skystalker made a cameo in Predaking's memory. 
  • This sets off the subplot of Predaking becoming more sentient.
  • It is unknown if the title was an intentional refrence to Optimus saying the Wreckers didn't operate in the normal chain of command in "Loose Cannons".
  • The scene of Predaking breaking out of the ice is similar to how the movie version of Megatron escaped the Hoover Dam in the 2007 Transformers live action movie.
  • When dealing with a predator its never a good idea to turn and run as they will chase you.

Errors

  • Miko lands on the front side of the Apex Armor, which then forms a shell around her, but it's somehow managed to flip itself into the proper position during Starscream's reaction shot.
  • Since time is of the essence in retrieving Predacon bone fragments, Ultra Magnus taking his ship instead of using the GroundBridge seems like a rather significant tactical error for someone so insistent on proper protocol and preparation.

Gallery

Main Article: Chain of Command Gallery

This page uses content from Transformers Wiki. The original article was at Chain of Command (Prime).

The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Transformer: Prime Wiki, the text of Transformers Wiki is available under the Creative Commons License.

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