Wolf in the Fold
|"Wolf in the Fold"|
|Airdate||October 30, 1985|
|Story by||Michael Reaves, Jeff Segal, and Kelly Ward|
|Teleplay by||Michael Reaves|
|Animation studio||Wang Film Productions|
Repeated security leaks lead the Guardians to believe that one of their own is a Renegade spy.
Sent to repair the Quantico Radar Telescope, Turbo is ambushed by Crasher. The Renegade destroys the telescope dish and gets away, leaving Turbo to wonder how she knew he would be there. A similar scenario plays out for Leader-1 as Cop-Tur attacks the demonstration of the Guardians' new sonic drill in Devil's Desert and destroys the facility. With two different top-secret missions having been ruined by the Renegades, Leader-1 concludes the Guardians have a security leak. Unable to take any chances with their next mission, the transport of a new nucleonic power pack, Leader-1 institutes a shell game: the Guardians are split into two groups, each carrying a power pack, with neither aware of which is carrying the real one.
Despite not knowing whether he has the real power pack or not, Scooter is very puffed-up about being entrusted with such an important mission—but he's also a little jumpy, as proven when he is startled by a passing farmer's truck and disguises himself, Nick, and A.J. with a cartoonishly random hologram. Just as it looks like they are going to reach their destination unobstructed, the trio are attacked by Crasher and Cop-Tur, and in a rare move, the swaggering Scooter actually tries to take them both on. Sadly, he's no match for the pair; Cop-Tur seizes him, steals the power pack, then air-drops him into a pit of liquid industrial waste in a nearby construction yard. Nick uses the yard's electromagnet crane to pull Scooter to safety, but the Renegades escape with the power pack—which regrettably turns out to have been the genuine article.
Now certain that their is a spy in their midst, in-fighting among the Guardians begins, with Heat Seeker suspecting Scooter may have staged his fight with the Renegades. Leader-1 orders that no Guardian is to take further action until the situation is resolved, but Turbo, eager to see it resolved quickly, disobeys the command and covertly leaves the Command Center to go spying on the Renegades. Narrowly avoiding a roasting by the flaming exhaust of Thruster, Turbo sneaks aboard the vessel and eavesdrops as Cy-Kill explains to his minions that he intends to use the nucleonic power pack to power his polarity invertor, with which he will invert the Earth's magnetic field to devastating effect. As he talks, Cy-Kill spots the Renegades' uninvited Guardian guest, but does not let on; then, as Turbo attempts to sneak up on them, Cy-Kill gets the drop on him, knocks him out, and has him thrown in a cell.
Back on the Command Center, Heat Seeker casts suspicion on Turbo when his absence is discovered. Affronted at the allegation, Scooter leaves to find his friend and prove him innocent, figuring he will have gone to spy on the Renegades. Stumbling across Thruster, Scooter is sucked inside the ship through one of its intake vents, then taps into its computers to locate and free Turbo. Crasher catches the two in the act, but they are able to escape her wrath when Turbo rips a hole in the hull of the ship with his bare hands. The two Guardians return to the Command Center, where Turbo shares what he has learned of Cy-Kill's plan, but Heat Seeker remains unconvinced, suspecting Turbo may be deliberately misleading them. Leader-1 declares that the Guardians must all return to GoBotron so the traitor can be identified by the mind-reading Brainstormer, but before they can depart, the Guardian commander discovers that their Astro-Beam has been sabotaged. When the other Guardians walk in on him inspecting the wreckage, Heat Seeker immediately accuses Leader-1 himself of being the spy and destroying the beam. Though nobody believes it, the evidence is enough that Leader-1 is locked up pending a trial to prove his innocence.
While the Guardians are transporting Leader-1 to UNECOM headquarters for his trial, Heat Seeker spots Cy-Kill in the distance and flies ahead to meet him. The Renegade leader informs him there has been a "change in plan"... so "Heat Seeker" deactivates his image simulator circuit and reveals himself to be the Renegade spy, Bad Boy! But it turns out "Cy-Kill" is just as much of a phony—it's just Scooter disguising himself with one of his holograms, and the whole thing turns out to have been a plan by Leader-1 to get Bad Boy to expose himself! Bad Boy tries to flee but is grounded by the Guardians; Leader-1 removes his image simulator circuit, but then the Astro-Beam used to transport Bad Boy to Earth wears off, and he fades away with a cackle.
Though the spy has been exposed, the Guardians still have to stop Cy-Kill's plan and quickly speed to the South Magnetic Pole, where the Renegades have set up the polarity invertor. Crasher and Turbo skid around on the ice until Turbo is able to bury his opponent under a snow drift; Road Ranger dodges blasts from Cop-Tur and causes the Renegade to crash when he swerves to avoid an icy peak; and Leader-1 exchanges fire with Cy-Kill until the invertor activates, triggering massive geological upheaval all around them. Fortunately, Scooter has snuck aboard Thruster, where he deactivates the force field protecting the intertor, allowing Leader-1 to blow it up before it can do any lasting damage. The Renegades escape, and the Guardians return home victorious... but worried what will happen should the Renegades use the image simulator circuit again!
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Looks like you need snow-chains, Guardian!"
"The only chain you're gonna need, Crasher, has an iron ball attached!"
- —Crasher and Turbo battle on the ice
- Following single silent appearances in "It's the Thought that Counts" and "Scooter Enhanced," respectively, Road Ranger and Bad Boy have their first speaking roles in this episode. Road Ranger doesn't really do anything; he just appears to have been included so there'd be more than one viable suspect that the audience could think was the spy ('cause it was never going to be one of the Big Three!) but it's so obviously Heat Seeker from the moment he starts accusing others.
- The nucleonic power pack (right) is noted by Leader-1 to have been invented by "the professor"—that'd be Professor Von Joy, who does not otherwise appear in the episode. This is the first broadcast appearance of "power packs" in the cartoon, which "Cy-Kill's Escape" will later establish that GoBots use to power their own systems.
- The country bumpkin who is startled by Scooter's odd hologram is the same farmer Doctor Braxis had a run-in with back in "Nova Beam." It was probably just a re-use of an existing model by the animators rather than a scripted continuity point (he's got a different voice actor), but it's neat all the same!
- Cop-Tur employs two back-to-back uses of his "Sorr-ryyyy" catchphrase, its first use since its "introduction" in "Renegade Alliance."
- This is the first named reference to the mind-reading Brainstormer in the series proper, following its introduction in the pilot mini-series (Doctor Braxis used a mind-reading device in "Genius and Son" that wasn't referred to by name). In the pilot, the Brainstormer was a Renegade-only tool, with the Guardians using the gentler "mind probe," but—starting with "Wolf in the Fold"—the series conflates the two concepts and has the Guardians use Brainstormers of their own.
- Don't worry, the Renegades never use the image simulator circuit again. This is an 80's cartoon, for gosh sakes.
- Gadgets and Powers:
- Turbo can focus his blaster power through a single finger like a welding torch.
- Scooter creates a hologram to disguise him, Nick, and A.J. as a camel, punk rocker, and ballerina, respectively (right).
- Cy-Kill defends himself against Turbo's attack with his own force field. Not a power he's used before, and one that comes out of nowhere; it might be intended to be related to the force field used to protect the invertor in the final act of the episode, which would mean it was being projected by Thruster, rather than Cy-Kill himself, though the episode draws no direct connection.
- Scooter can hack into the Thruster's systems using his chest wires, and shut down the energy bars to Turbo's cell with eye beams. His chest socket is back to being on-model after a run of episodes that drew it however they felt.
- This episode's title originates in a quote from Virgil's Eclogues, that laments: "A sad thing is a wolf in the fold," with "fold" meaning a flock of sheep. It was famously used as the title of a 1967 Star Trek episode about the possibility that a killer lurks among the Enterprise crew, which was likely the primary inspiration for its use on this episode. Transformers would get in on the act years later when the phrase was used for the title of a Beast Machines episode.
- There's no radio telescope in the real-life Quantico, Virginia, but it is the site of a major United States military base that houses many important agencies, including the NCIS and the training academies for the DEA and FBI. So yeah, in the GoBots world, that's somewhere you'd put something important like a space-radio.
Continuity and plotting errors
- How did Turbo know where to find the Renegades? How did Scooter find them later? It seems like if the Guardians really wanted to find Thruster, it's always right outside the Command Center.
- Even if he hadn't been found out by the Guardians, "Heat Seeker" would have Astro-Beamed out in a few moments anyway, thus exposing his ruse.
- Leader-1 acts like he's making a brilliant deduction when he says Cy-Kill must be at the South Pole, but Turbo already overheard Cy-Kill's plan to go to there.
Animation and technical errors
- Writer Michael Reaves's name is misspelled "Reeves" in the title card.
- Everyone seems to be pronouncing Cop-Tur's name as "Cop-Tor" this episode.
- Cy-Kill's teeth are white instead of yellow/orange when he tells Cop-Tur to dump Scooter.
- The whites of Scooters eyes are orange when he is pulled out of the tar by the crane.
- The shading on Turbo's neck blinks in and out as Leader-1 instructs the Guardians to take no further actions.
- Just before transforming to go off on his own, Turbo suddenly increases in size from one animation cel to the next.
- Cy-Kill peeks around a corner to catch Turbo in the Thruster. In the next shot, however, he's no longer standing behind the corner, but his body is still cut off as if he were.
- Both the pulsing sound effect of the energy bars on Turbo's cell and the throbbing noise of Scooter's lock-picking beam continue to play after they've been shut off. This may be less an audio error than an animation/pacing one; the bars and beam don't shut down on-screen, deactivating between shots.
- Cy-Kill's black cheekbones are uncolored grey as Bad Boy reports that he's been found out.
- The scrolling background painting clumsily loops as the Command Center arrives at the South Pole.
- Leader-1's mouth doesn't move when he says "You failed again, Cy-Kill!"
Home video releases
2015 — Challenge of the GoBots — The Series, Volume One (Warner Archive Collection)