|Airdate||October 4, 1985|
|Story by||Jeff Segal and Kelly Ward|
|Teleplay by||Doug Booth|
|Animation studio||Wang Film Productions|
The Guardians and Renegades must work together to defend themselves against metal-eating alien spiders.
Out in space, the Renegades attempt to spy on the Guardians in their Command Center, but find their efforts blocked by the test run of UNECOM's new Enigma Device signal-scrambler. Determined to obtain the device for himself, Cy-Kill Astrobeams Pincher in, and he and the Monster GoBot proceed to launch an attack on the Command Center, tearing their way inside, pummelling the surprised Guardians, and speeding back to Thruster with the captured Enigma Device. To keep their acquisition of the device a secret, the Renegades then turn all their firepower on the Command Center to destroy the Guardians, who try to take cover within a meteor shower. The meteor impacts badly damage both the Command Center and Thruster, and the two vessels crash-land on a nearby jungle planet, tearing through a colossal spiderweb on the way down.
While Scooter tries to repair the damaged Command Center, the Guardians begin searching the area for the Renegades to recover the Enigma Device, and quickly discover that the planet's powerful magnetic field keeps them from flying. Turbo finds the Enigma Device, thrown from Thruster in the crash, but Crasher intercepts him, snatches the device, and speeds off. When Turbo gives chase, both he and Crasher stumble into another of the huge spiderwebs and find themselves staring into the jaws of the creatures that wove them: colossal, metal-eating, mechanical spiders! Discovering that the web saps their laser power, Turbo radios the other Guardians for help, only to find that the spiders have attacked the crash site as well! Unable to move, Turbo calls out to Crasher to change form and use her blazing hot exhaust to burn through the web... but once she has freed herself, she simply sits back to watch him meet his end. Fortunately, back at the crash site, after Leader-1 saves Cy-Kill from the spiders, the two sides agree to a truce until they can get off the planet. Cy-Kill and Leader-1 join forces to come to Turbo's rescue, and Cy-Kill takes the Enigma Device from Crasher and returns it to the Guardians, as agreed... but as Crasher grumbles, he takes her aside and assures her he has a plan...
Meanwhile, the spiders web up Thruster and start dragging it off. Leaving Scooter, Nick, and A.J. in the safety of the Command Center, protected by a forcefield, Matt takes Dozer, Cop-Tur, and Pincher to enact a plan of his own. Fighting their way through the spiders, they make it to a nearby waterfall, where Dozer uses his prodigious strength to shatter the cliff wall, bringing the entire natural reservoir above crashing down in a torrential flood. All the spiders are washed away, buying the uneasy allies some time to figure out what to do next. Scooter's sensors detect a magnetic-free zone nearby from which they may be able to take off, so he, Nick, and Pincher head off to investigate; Pincher covertly radios Cy-Kill to inform him of the discovery, and receives orders to eliminate the Guardian and the human. On the way, the trio nearly fall prey to another herd of spiders, but Scooter uses his holograms to disguise the three of them as one giant spider. Using the illusion, they hide among the spiders and follow them back to the mountain cave that is their nest, which turns out to be the magnetic-free zone. The two GoBots quickly harvest some of the crystalline stalactites that generate the magnetic inversion effect, but when one of the spiders spots them, Pincher flees with the crystals and collapses the cave entrance, trapping Nick and Scooter inside.
Receiving word that Pincher has accomplished his mission, Cy-Kill drops all pretense and attacks Turbo, stealing back the Enigma Device. Cy-Kill and Crasher burn rubber back to Thruster, where Pincher joins them, but just as the Monster GoBot hands over a clutch of crystals, another spider appears and ensnares him in a stream of web. With the crystals installed inside Thruster, the ship successfully takes off and Cy-Kill elects to abandon Pincher to his fate. Fortunately, the Guardians are not so callous; Dozer saves Pincher, then takes him captive and uses the last of his crystals to get the Command Center airborne. Leader-1, meanwhile, speeds to Nick and Scooter's rescue, saving them just before they become dinner for the baby spiders in the nest, after which the Command Center blasts the mountain open so they can easily escape. Leader-1 orders the Command Center to go to hyperdrive to pursue the Renegades, but an alarmed Pincher explains that during the repairs, Cop-Tur sabotaged it to explode upon activation. In his panicking flailing, Pincher throws the hyperdrive switch, but quickly finds he will be spared an explosive demise when the Astrobeam reverses and he teleports out. As it turns out, though, no Guardians will be exploding today: Turbo already found Cop-Tur's bomb and swapped it out for the Enigma Device! As such, when the Renegades try to activate what they believe to be the Enigma Device aboard Thruster, it blows up in their faces! Shamed and defeated, the villains limp away under cover of their stealth device, and the Guardians return home with the Enigma Device safe in their hands.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Hit the deck!"
"I'd rather hit a Renegade!"
- —Scooter and Turbo
"Good work, Cy-Kill!"
"Good work? Don't ever accuse a Renegade of doing good work!"
- —Leader-1 and Crasher
- Before the Enigma Device blocks them, the Renegades gloat about how they have secretly gained access to the Guardians' communications frequency. It's likely just a happy coincidence, plot-wise, but Crasher did crack UNECOM's frequency in "Time Wars." Production codes put "Time Wars" directly before this episode, but there's no internal continuity to GoBots production numbers, so don't read too much into it.
- Dozer gets his turn in the spotlight this episode, following cameo appearances in "The Final Conflict" and "It's the Thought that Counts." Peter Cullen performed Dozer's sole previous speaking line in the latter, but he does not reprise the role for this or any future adventures.
- Gadgets and Powers:
- Scooter's sensors are sensitive enough to pick up the Thruster when it's cloaked, at least partially.
- Scooter creates a hologram disguising himself as a giant spider...with a Scooter head.
Animation and technical errors
- There are no "impact" sound effects when Thruster is struck by asteroids. We'd say something about this being correct because there's no sound in space, but this show's not that savvy.
- The opening shot of the episode's second act features only Turbo, but the audio track features only Crasher grunting.
- As the spiders drag Cy-Kill toward them, his black "domino mask" is the same tan color as the rest of his face.
- In the panning shot of the spiders attacking the forcefield-protected Command Center, there are a pair of huge spider-legs in the foreground that must be attached to a colossal beastie we never see. The error, though, is that the claws and webs of the spider on the right of this shot are overlapping these giant legs, instead of going behind them.
- When Leader-1 radios the Guardians to tell them to co-operate with the Renegades, his chest cockpit disappears and is replaced with the "radio glow" effect, instead of the glow being superimposed over it.
- Leader-1 tells Cy-Kill "good work" after they rescue Turbo, but all Cy-Kill did was drive past. The idea was probably that he was supposed to distract the spider, but the animation doesn't show the creature reacting to his presence.
- When Cy-Kill opens Crasher's chest compartment to reclaim the Enigma Device from her, there's no actual compartment visible—he just lowers the black cone on her chest and pulls the device out of the flat plane of her chest. Also, in the same shot, her lipstick is the same color as the rest of her face.
- After Leader-1 opens the Enigma Device to examine it, his arm overlaps the hinged lid of the device, instead of going behind it.
- When the spiders fall out of the trees over Pincher, Cop-Tur, Matt, and Dozer, they fail to move in time with the background. The second one even lands right on top of Pincher and Cop-Tur due to bad animation timing.
- As he reaches the top of the cliff and sarcastically refers to Leader-1 as "ally," Cy-Kill's black "cheekbones" are grey.
- Scooter's got orange bags under his eyes while in scooter mode, just before the spiders attack again.
- When Pincher says "there's more of them," he's got a top row of shiny white teeth, which isn't how his mouth is supposed to work.
- The fifth fingertip beam Scooter uses to cut the crystal stalactites isn't lined up with his finger.
- Cy-Kill overlaps Leader-1 when he transforms just before revealing his treachery.
Continuity and plotting errors
- You could drive a Zod through the plot hole at the climax of this episode. How could Turbo have swapped the Enigma Device for Cop-Tur's bomb? He left the Command Center before Cop-Tur planted the bomb, and Cy-Kill stole the Enigma Device from him before either of them returned! They were literally never in the same place at the same time to make the switch!
- The Enigma Device is named for the real-life enigma machine, used in the First and Second World Wars to encrypt communications to prevent them from being read by enemy forces.
- In another of the occasional examples of the show having to cheat its way around Scooter's toy-inaccurate transformation (see "Cy-Kill's Cataclysmic Trap"), when he changes modes inside the spider's nest you can see his head dislocated from between his shoulders and sliiiide all the way up to between his handlebars. It's shot in profile, so it's not particularly weird-looking this time!
Home video releases
1988 — Challenge of the GoBots — Volume V: "Forced Alliance" and "Nova Beam" (Children's Video Library)
2014 — Challenge of the GoBots — The Series, Volume One (Warner Archive Collection)