Stronger, Faster is the eighteenth episode of the first season of Transformers: Prime. It is the twenty-second episode of the series overall.
Ratchet checks out a sample of synthetic energon he's created, watched by Raf. Approving the stability of the energon, Ratchet tries it on a test engine, and it works fine. Raf's keen to try it on Bumblebee, but Ratchet says it'll require more testing first. Meanwhile, the base sensors pick up energon movement, but before Optimus Prime gives the order to roll out, Ratchet warns him about the depleted state of their energon reserves. Once Prime's team departs, Ratchet has the idea to try the synthetic energon on himself. The injection causes him to lose consciousness, and Raf rouses him from lying on the floor shortly afterward. The synthetic energon appears to be a success, giving him more fuel efficiency and better motor functions.
Meanwhile Prime's team chases Knock Out and Breakdown through an icy canyon. The Decepticons aren't in any hurry to bridge out, as they're trying to "help" the Autobots run out of energon. Some Vehicons flying overhead blast the sheer sides of canyon, causing a rock fall that blocks off the Autobots' path. Arcee manages to drive over it in her motorcycle mode, despite Prime's warnings, and races after the two Decepticons, only to be hit by missiles from the Vehicons. She is swiftly surrounded by Decepticons, and things look grim until Ratchet comes flying through the GroundBridge and begins laying into them with gusto. Knock Out and Breakdown assume that Ratchet's a new Autobot, but are forced to retreat as Optimus, Bulkhead and Bumblebee come into view, firing at them. Ratchet finishes off the last of the Vehicons, to stunned looks from his teammates.
Back at base, Ratchet reveals his secret to the other Autobots, but Optimus doesn't think it's a good idea to test the synthetic energon on Autobots, and he underlines the importance of Ratchet's job as medic. Some time later, Ratchet's retelling his fight to Bulkhead, and in demonstrating a move, manages to throw his fellow Autobot through a nearby wall. The other Autobots became startled at Ratchets' new personality, as Ratchet called Bumblebee a wimp for not fighting him and flirting a little with Arcee. Ratchet goes and injects more of the synthetic energon into himself. When the sensors light up once more, Prime prepares to roll out again, but Ratchet volunteers to go along.
As they head through a mountainous area, Ratchet moves ninja-style at the front of the team. They soon find some Vehicons and a miner drilling into a rock face, and Ratchet immediately moves in. When the miner makes a run for it, Ratchet gives chase and knocks him down with a well-thrown rock. The other Autobots find Ratchet forcibly interrogating the miner with his blowtorch. Optimus stops him from finishing off the prisoner and begins to lecture him on doing harm where none is necessary, but Ratchet is agitated, believing they should be more proactive. As the argument heats up, Ratchet even manages to antagonize Arcee by bringing up Cliffjumper, and calls Prime out for his many missed opportunities to kill Megatron. Prime decides to confine Ratchet to base. Though Ratchet appears to go calmly through the GroundBridge, moments later, he charges back out, flattening Bulkhead and racing off. Prime's team returns to base, but is unable to get a fix on Ratchet's signal.
In a Decepticon energon mine, Breakdown is chatting with a miner when Ratchet walks into the cavern. Elsewhere, Megatron shouts at Knock Out for not finding a new energon source, but they're interrupted by Ratchet dropping Breakdown on the floor. Megatron scoffs at the newcomer, until a punch from Ratchet sends him flying. However, Megatron is made of sterner stuff, and he gives Ratchet a savage injury, telling Knock Out to take a sample of the resultant leaking fluids so they can find out how Ratchet got so amped up.
On the bright side, as the synthetic energon drains out, Ratchet is rendered visible to the sensors in the Autobot base, and Optimus, Arcee and Bulkhead use the GroundBridge to attack the mine.
Knock Out completes taking his sample and moves in to finish Ratchet off with his circular saw. When the sound of approaching fighting distracts the Decepticon, Ratchet takes the opportunity to fight back, resulting in Knock Out's saw getting stuck in the wall. Ratchet promptly grabs the synthetic energon sample and smashes it. Knock Out is outraged, but once more has to retreat as the other Autobots arrive.
Ratchet is hooked up to a drip back at base, and he apologizes for his behavior. Optimus points out the new supply of energon they got from the mine, and Ratchet promises to do more testing on the synthetic stuff before using it on Autobots again. Optimus is just thankful that he destroyed Knock Out's sample, unaware of the fact that back at the mine, Knock Out has found a single drop of synthetic energon.
- Peter Cullen as Optimus Prime
- Frank Welker as Megatron
- Sumalee Montano as Arcee
- Kevin Michael Richardson as Bulkhead/Miner
- Jeffrey Combs as Ratchet
- Daran Norris as Knock Out/Trooper
- Adam Baldwin as Breakdown
- Andy Pessoa as Rafael Esquivel
Optimus Prime: Arcee! Fall back! You're outnumbered!
Optimus Prime: Ratchet, lock on to Arcee's coordinates and prepare an emergency groundbridge.
Ratchet: I'm locked on. Arcee, decelerate and prepare return to base.
Arcee: Save it, Ratchet. I'm too close.
Ratchet: Don't be a fool!
Arcee: All right, what's your secret?
Ratchet: No secret.
Ratchet: (clicks at Arcee as he's walking past her) How's it humming?
Arcee: ...Did he just?
Bulkhead: Stronger, faster, studlier.
Ratchet: It's all right! I'm an emergency vehicle!
- Ratchet, engaging the Decepticons.
Ratchet: Melted? Now there's a concept. I won't ask you for a second time. Where is Megatron?
Optimus Prime: A direct assault on the Decepticons would only provoke retaliation...and lead to incalculable losses. I will not endanger innocent human lives.
Ratchet: Yet you seem to have no problem endangering ours! Just ask Cliffjumper! Oh, I forgot! He couldn't be here today!
Arcee: That's it!
- Ratchet objects to Optimus' principles, and pisses off Arcee while making his point.
Breakdown: Yeah, she's kinda domineering and the extra arms are weird, but... I find myself intrigued by her.
- Breakdown chats to a miner about his thoughts on Airachnid.
(to Knock Out) Megatron: That is your fearsome new adversary? (Chuckles) He's Optimus Prime's medic!
(to Megatron) Ratchet: Oh no, Megatron, I am your doctor of doom!
- Ratchet boasts to Megatron.
- After Arcee continues to chase down Knock Out and Breakdown, air support arrives. However, when they shoot Arcee, Knock Out and Breakdown have vanished from in front of her. Furthermore, when the other Autobots finally climb over the rock pile to help Arcee, she is only a few yards from the pile, whereas she should be several miles away.
- When Arcee is hurt, she obviously couldn't move her leg, but when she walks through the GroundBridge she is magically healed.
- When Ratchet first injects himself, he drops the glass cylinder and it shatters on the ground. Later, when Knock Out collects a sample of the synthetic energon in a nearly identical cylinder, and Ratchet kicks it out of his hands, the cylinder flies across the entire room and lands without breaking. Then Ratchet throws it against a rock wall in the same room and it breaks instantly.
- Ratchet jumps onto and leaps off of a tree branch which seems totally capable of supporting all the weight of an SUV landing on top of it with all that force, then leaping off. Not so much as a wood chip or crack to be seen - though it does creak audibly.
- During his first fight with the Vehicons, Ratchet slices the arm off one and throws it to the ground, where it stays. When Ratchet moves on to his next opponent, the arm simply blinks out of existence.
- Bumblebee is shown returning with the other Autobots despite staying at base to operate the GroundBridge.
- The sample of synthetic energon Knock Out was holding was only about half full, but when Ratchet picked it up, it was completely full.
- Just before destroying the cylinder of synthetic energon, Ratchet's wound is not shown to be leaking. Mere moments after he's hit the ground, another puddle of energon has formed beneath him.
- Breakdown is knocked out by Ratchet just before he engages Megatron. When the Autobots show up at the end, however, Breakdown has vanished and he isn't shown fleeing with Knock Out.
- During Ratchet's first fight with the Vehicons, his shoulder pads clip into him several times.
- Even though Optimus said they don't harm servant class, upon entering the Decepticon mines, it would appear that he knocks the total mess out of a miner. It may have also been because the miners attacked them first.
- The episode was first broadcast on Canada's Teletoon channel. It later first aired in the United States on September 17, 2011.
- When Ratchet transforms to attack the Decepticon miners, his license plate reads "449·EPQ".
- According to Mairghread Scott, during the first draft of this episode there was a line, during the scene where Ratchet berates Optimus for his perceived inaction against Megatron, which implied Elita One had died during the war and he was blaming Optimus for it, leading Prime to punch Ratchet. The line and punch were cut as the story editor didn't want Optimus to lose his cool during the scene.
- This was the last stand-alone episode until "Loose Cannons" in Season 2. It was followed by a seven-part story arc, a two-parter, and massive delays between episode airings.
Main Article: Stronger, Faster Gallery
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