Trust Exercises is the third episode of Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
The Autobot team must learn to work together as they face two Decepticon fugitives.
Strongarm falls down after Sideswipe failed to catch her in a little trust exercise test, which results in Strongarm having a broken comm unit. Sideswipe stated if Strongarm had caught him when it was his turn, she should not of let him fall three times in a row. Strongarm stated that he was not falling correctly and the pair begin to fight by hitting each other around until Bumblebee stopped them when Grimlock was carrying him. The pair resume fighting until Fixit calls all four of them back to the scrapyard. As they head off, Steeljaw comes out and watches them leave.
Fixit reports he has detected some nearby fugitive signals and possibly intact stasis pods. They also receive a distress call from the oil tanker Windward near the coast, which is being attacked by a metal shark. Fixit notes that the Alchemor had a Sharkticon on board, and it's probably him. Bumblebee takes Grimlock and a boat to investigate the tanker, while Sideswipe and Strongarm head off to check out the fugitive signals.
Bumblebee and Grimlock find the oil tanker deserted and climb on board. The tanker's soon struck by something which looks like a submarine. Meanwhile, Sideswipe and Strongarm, still squabbling, split up and with Strongarm's comms down, she's unable to keep in touch with Sideswipe.
Grimlock jumps off the oil tanker and attacks the submarine—in reality a Decepticon. The Decepticon manages to shake Grimlock off and boards the oil tanker, quickly crushing Bumblebee's capture device. Strongarm finds the stasis pods, and the Decepticon Steeljaw. Steeljaw tries to bluff her, claiming that he's a guard who was aboard the Alchemor, however when she points out he has a Decepticon insignia, he instead renders her unconscious.
When Sideswipe returns to the scrapyard alone, Russell and Fixit tell him they got a garbled message from Strongarm indicating she's in trouble and Sideswipe realizes he has to go deal with it or get in trouble. Back on the boat, Hammerstrike and Bumblebee fight. Grimlock, now stuck at the bottom of the sea, is unable to lend a fist, but Bumblebee is able to get Hammerstrike down solo. The arrival of the coast guard distracts Bumblebee long enough for Hammerstrike to turn the tables and escape.
Bumblebee and Grimlock arrive back at the scrapyard to find everyone but Fixit gone. Fixit looks up information on Sharkticons, and Bumblebee reasons that Hammerstrike is trying to recreate his home environment by flooding the sea with oil. Bumblebee and Grimlock head to a nearby automated oil refinery on the assumption that that's where Hammerstrike will head next. Meanwhile, Russell and Sideswipe find an old ranger station with signs a Decepticon has been there recently. Sideswipe complains that Strongarm will continue treating him badly, and Russell suggests if he treats people with respect, he'll get respect. They find Steeljaw still trying to convince a chained-up Strongarm that he's changed and wants to live in peace. Russell quickly comes up with an idea.
At the oil refinery, Bumblebee and Grimlock break in and track down Hammerstrike, however the tricky Decepticon breaks a pipe, flooding the ground with oil and making it slippery, an environment that he is suited for. Steeljaw almost gets Strongarm to tell him where the Autobots are based when Sideswipe reappears, disguised as the Decepticon "Grimbee".
Sideswipe engages Steeljaw in conversation unconvincingly, while Russell attempts to free Strongarm. Bumblebee and Grimlock are still skidding around in the oil refinery while Hammerstrike runs rings around them. The pair resort to teamwork, and manage to trap the Decepticon in an empty oil barrel.
Meanwhile, Steeljaw spots Russell and realizes Sideswipe's an Autobot. After a brief pursuit, the Decepticon is kicked in the head by Strongarm, however she's forced to save Russell from a falling tree and Steeljaw escapes. The two Autobots return to the scrapyard, where they tell the others about Steeljaw and Bumblebee makes Steeljaw the #1 wanted Decepticon. Strongarm catches Sideswipe when he slips in some mud, and Russell observes that perhaps the pair will be able to work together.
- Will Friedle as Bumblebee
- Constance Zimmer as Strongarm
- Darren Criss as Sideswipe
- Mitchell Whitfield as Fixit
Sideswipe: Oh sorry, maybe when it was my turn you shouldn't have let me fall three times in a row.
Strongarm: That's because you weren't falling correctly!
- Sideswipe and Strongarm failing to catch each other in their trust exercises.
Grimlock: Don't feel bad, it's not easy to be a model teammate like me.
- Grimlock being a good team player.
Bumblebee: Kinda wish I was a bigger bot.
- Bumblebee after encountering Hammerstrike.
Strongarm: Fixit never said anything about a guard being on the Alchemor...
Steeljaw: Fixit, yes...well, he wouldn't have known. I was in stasis also, my pod programmed to wake in case of a riot.
Strongarm: Then why would you have a Decepticon logo?
Steeljaw: Ahehehe, you're very well trained, asking excellent questions. The logo is meant to confuse the otherGWARRR.
- Strongarm and Steeljaw having a little red riding hood meets bad wolf moment.
Hammerstrike: You have forced me to walk on two legs like some foul land dweller. HOW DARE YOU!
- Hammerstrike before attacking Bumblebee.
Sideswipe: I don't trust him. He's too cool.
- Sideswipe stating his thoughts on Steeljaw.
Steeljaw: Greetings brother, I'm Steeljaw. And you are?
Sideswipe: Oh I'm, I'm...Grim..Bee.
- Steeljaw and Sideswipe.
Sideswipe: Fine you're never gonna... *Sideswipe slips but Strongarm catches him from the back*
Strongarm: Thanks and don't get cocky.
- Sideswipe and Strongarm having a successful trust exercise, hopefully it lasts.
In stasis: Underbite, Hammerstrike
On probation: Grimlock
Known at large: Steeljaw
Countless others all missing, presumed at large.
- First appearance of Steeljaw.
- First and only appearance of Hammerstrike.
- Sideswipe's now carrying around the sword which Fixit brought to the scrapyard in "Pilot (Part 2)".
- Grimlock is finally named onscreen.
- Stasis pods revert to their traditional name after being called "stasis cells" in the two-part pilot.
- Bumblebee is still trying to use the capture device he got off Fixit in "Pilot (Part 2)", at least until it gets pretty conclusively destroyed by Hammerstrike.
- The name, "GrimBee", that Sideswipe called himself in order to trick Steeljaw is a combination of both Grimlock and Bumblebee.
- The "trust falls" which the team are practicing at the start of the episode are a common trust-building game.
- When asked how he was captured, "Grimbee" starts his story off "It was a dark and stormy night," a now cliché phrase often mocked, notably by Charles Schulz in his comic Peanuts in which Snoopy repeatedly used it when writing.
- Bumblebee makes a reference to the movie Jaws. When Hammerstrike first transforms and lands on the deck of the oil tanker, Bumblebee says "I wish I was a bigger bot." It is a reference to when Brody says "We're going to need a bigger boat." when he first sees the shark.
- The first thirteen episodes of the series, this included, first premiered in Mandarin on Chinese streaming video site M1905.