hilarious Arcee-related comic coming soon! in the mean time read this instead Why you should ship Arcee and Starscream (June-02-2012) Romance appears in most Transformers shows, so it could appear in Transformers Prime. In fact, after thirty-five episodes, the stage is set and the wagon is rolling toward what could become the most exciting romance-epic in transformers history between Arcee and Starscream. They are intimately connected to each other from the start by the death of Cliffjumper, by their personalities, and by Airachnid, and their story arcs from Rock Bottom onward match up with typical on-screen love story elements (a rescue to start it off and tension between them). Transformers Prime suffocated us with Arcee and Jack, but before Jack Darby even made his first appearance, the writers planted two seeds for Arcee and Starscream. The first seed: Starscream kills Arcee's partner, Cliffjumper. They open their show with this short story. Let its significance not be underestimated. The second seed: how Arcee and Starscream's personalities contrast. They are polar opposites. Arcee pitches and Starscream catches. Such is established in two interactions between them from the episodes Rock Bottom and Partners (19 & 20). Arcee puts a gun in front of Starscream's face in episode 19 and he submits. In episode 20, Starscream is chained and on his knees while Arcee stands over him. They play these roles in all of their relationships from the beginning of the series, so one can be assured that pitcher and catcher are their real personalities. Because their personalities are opposites, pairing them is as sensible as pairing night and day or north and south. Airachnid appears halfway through season one, establishes herself as an enemy to Arcee, and becomes an enemy to Starscream. Her introductory episode, Predatory (12), deals with the hate Arcee has for Airachnid, who is responsible for killing an old partner and who wants to kill Jack. In episode 20, Partners, Starscream senses that Airachnid out-ranks him even though she only recently joined the Decepticons. Megatron entrusts Airachnid with the task of finding a macguffin and demotes Starscream to guide duty. Then Starscream learns that Airachnid has "need-to-know" information that he does not, which is striking because when he does not return to the Decepticons at the end of the episode, Megatron fears that "all Decepticon intelligence could be at the finger tips of the Autobots". In episode 33, Crossfire, Airachnid tells her insecticon to kill Starscream. These events make Starscream hate Airachnid, and he makes this clear while the Autobots hold a trial against him, while chatting with Arcee, and while he shoots Airachnid, saying "how right you were, Airachnid. Payback is sweet." Arcee and Starscream bond over their mutual hatred of Airachnid. In episode 20, Arcee comes to Starscream's defense when she learns that he hates Airachnid. She argues that "this might be the one time our objectives align." Optimus agrees to bring Starscream along and assigns Acree to guard him, which gives them another chance to talk. Airachnid proves to be a major catalyst for their relationship. Within thirty seconds of Starscream mentioning Airachnid, Arcee's manner changes from complete disinterest in Starscream's small talk, "tell it to someone who cares", to smiling and then even confiding in him. She tells him (about Airachnid) "she terminated my partner" as if it was not true when she said that she would never trust him and as if it could not backfire. In episode 33, Crossfire, Starscream rescues Arcee from death at the hands of Airachnid. Arcee defends Starscream: www.youtube.com/watch?v=f01bVACMxow Starscream spits game: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLwP2hm_DTw Starscream saves Arcee: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz30mxEOzRY Starscream's rescue of Arcee is not the only rescue of their relationship. In episode 19, Rock Bottom, Arcee saves Starscream's life. While it's not a traditional heroic rescue, the necessary elements are there. Megatron is about to execute Starscream, who has no escape and no hope for rescue until Arcee comes along. She draws Megatron's fire long enough for Starscream to get away. Look at it this way: if Arcee had not been there, Starscream would have been killed. Furthermore, if Arcee doesn't cause the cave to collapse onto Megatron, Starscream doesn't have the opportunity to redeem himself to Megatron by returning to look for him. It suffices to say that she is responsible for Starscream being alive, thus she rescues him. This is noteworthy because rescues like these are common at the start of love stories. Arcee saves Starscream: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiMKRXrcqb0 Love stories also usually have a source of tension between the pair--something that makes an audience ask "will they or won't they?". In Beast Wars, being from different factions provides the tension between Blackarachnia and Silverbolt. In Transformers Prime, Cliffjumper's death provides the most exciting source of tension in Transformers history. One could argue that Cliffjumper's death makes asking "will they?" unreasonable, but there's no need to debate that because Arcee already flip-flops between attitudes that suggest she will and attitudes that suggest she won't (hereby referred to as being in the will or being in the won't state). Following her actions from episode to episode brings this to light. Arcee starts off in the-will-state because of her anti-Airachnid, pre-Cliffjumper bonding with Starscream. In episode 20, her attitude draws the following criticism from Optimus Prime: "revenge will not bring back those we have lost," after she chases Airachnid, "your desire to avenge tailgate will only continue to cloud your judgement," after he demotes her to guard duty and "it is the external wounds which heal the quickest," after she recovers from her fight with Starscream, by which he means that Arcee might not be as tough mentally as she is physically. Evidently, Arcee's current goal is to get revenge, so when she learns that Starscream killed Cliffjumper, she switches to the-won't-state and tries to kill him. Because of this fight, Arcee loses the want for revenge. "I thought settling scores would allow me to move on" she laments. If it is true that Arcee no longer supports "settling scores," one is left to wonder what could allow her to move on. Why not revenge's opposite: forgiveness? Optimus Prime talks about forgiveness in episode 20. He tells the Autobots that "every sentient being deserves an opportunity for redemption". Arcee challenges this, asking "even bot-killers?" Optimus Prime tells her "without that hope, we may never achieve lasting peace." Recall an earlier quote from episode 20: "I thought settling scores would allow me to move on." Here is the full quote: "I thought settling scores would allow me to move on. Instead, I chased away our hope of winning this war anytime soon." It does not have to be pure coincidence that she echoes Optimus Prime's use of the word hope. One could take it to mean that she adopts the point of view that even bot-killers deserve an opportunity for redemption. It also means that she returns to the-will-state. Starscream makes the best of this opportunity during the Orion Pax arc. In Orion Pax Part I, (episode 27), Arcee becomes very upset over the loss of Optimus Prime. At least three scenes support this, one where she recklessly speeds through a Decepticon ground bridge into their warship, one where she screams in frustration after Soundwave bridges her to the arctic and one where she exhibits self-loathing upon returning to base. "If any of us needed rescuing, Optimus would have found a way. I didn't. Simple as that" she whines. Where she fails, Starscream does not. In Orion Pax Part II, he gives the Autobots a chance to save Optimus Prime by telling Ratchet and Bulkhead the location of the Decepticon space bridge. Arcee figures this out later and lets out a joyful "thank you Starscream", meaning that Starscream takes a step towards redemption with this action. Given how upset Arcee was over losing Optimus Prime, one might say that he takes a giant leap towards it. Arcee thanks Starscream: www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4SP2yYl3ds After many episodes of few lines for either Arcee or Starscream, the writers revisit them in the episode "Crossfire" (33). Arcee learns that Ratchet and Bulkhead helped Starscream in return for information and she flips out. "Hold on, you just fixed him up and sent him on his way?" she objects, "Not that I wouldn't jump at any chance to put Airachnid down, but she isn't the only one who's robbed me of a partner." And so, she articulates that she wants revenge against Starscream and Airachnid again. In addition to expressing it, Arcee demonstrates it against Airachnid. Within seconds of spotting her, Arcee declares "Airachnid is mine," ignores a direct order from Optimus Prime and chases her. Therefore while she may have given up on revenge at the end of "Partners", those feelings didn't last, and she is now back in the won't state. However, the writers give us reason to believe that her attitude flips at the end of the episode again. Her pursuit of Airachnid is fruitless and she becomes captured. Airachnid intends to kill her, but is chased away by Starscream who continues taking steps towards atonement. Optimus Prime radios Arcee after Starscream saves her and asks for her status. She tells him that she is alive and so is Airachnid, but oddly leaves out Starscream despite making it clear at the beginning of the episode that she held equal animosity towards him. Arcee leaves Starscream out: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEESKL_eWJc It should be clear by now that Arcee and Starscream are becoming more involved with each other. Starscream's redemption process will undoubtedly continue while Arcee flip flops between will and won't states in the upcoming episodes. Airachnid remains alive, so they can continue to bond over their hatred for her. Keep in mind that their pairing is as conceivable as light and dark, lost and found or life and death. Remember that they take turns saving each other's life. There is just no reason to believe that nothing substantial is developing in Transformers Prime between Arcee and Starscream. Notes and Thoughts *** I spent a lot of time talking about Arcee. What about Starscream? He's leading her on. Starscream doesn't care about righting his wrongs, so while he does things that make up for killing Cliffjumper, he's not doing them out of guilt or anything. His motivation for doing things has been survival ever since Airachnid webbed him up and "left him for scrap". I rewatched his trial scene (Arcee defends Starscream) with that in mind. Starscream makes an over-the-top head nod towards Arcee when he first mentions Airachnid. I started entertaining the idea that he was trying to sucker Arcee into sympathizing with him. The idea only works if Starscream knows beforehand that Arcee hates Airachnid. A short scene just moments before he makes his head nod suddenly becomes very telling. www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WUHd487O8A I first saw this scene when I was looking for Arcee/Starscream material. I watched it expecting Arcee to notice Starscream webbed up on the floor and I would have argued that their bonding over Airachnid started there, but Arcee's eyes never left Airachnid. Obviously, the scene bothered me a lot because I couldn't figure out why the writers wasted that opportunity. But now I know they didn't. And now it's not just a coincidence that he keeps bringing up Airachnid. Starscream screws up his act, decides that he's lost Arcee and tries to kill her while she's weak (because that's his style and because she's going to come after him anyway). Arcee won't kill him and I'm guessing that convinces him that he can still gain Arcee's sympathy because later he makes sure to shoot Airachnid before she kills Arcee. (Not a new thing for Starscream. He went to rescue Breakdown in Operation Breakdown with the same goal in mind.) Let's agree that Starscream is trying to gain Arcee's favor but only because it's part of his evil, selfish plan. *** About the events of "One Shall Fall": In "One Shall Fall" (Episode 23), Optimus Prime entrusts Arcee to attend to Bumblebee in light of Raf becoming injured. She doesn't let him down, telling Bumblebee that "revenge won't help Raf right now." While this supports the idea that Arcee no longer supports revenge at first glance, it does not stand under further scrutiny. First, the situation is different; Raf is not dead. Arcee makes this distinction clear while reasoning with Bumblebee: "You think I don't know how it feels to watch a partner..." she pauses to acknowledge the difference, "...harmed?" Revenge is not advocated here because Raf is still alive. It would be of no use. Moreover, her line about revenge contains the conspicuous phrase, "right now," further implying that revenge is useless while one's partner is still alive. *** In the almost Arcee-less episode "Loose Cannons" (32), she fact drops that Starscream tried to raise Skyquake from the dead in "Shadowzone" (episode 15). I won't imply that she couldn't have known that it was Starscream, because he is within her view for a few seconds at the very end of the episode in the canyon, but the episode begins with all the Autobots suspecting Megatron. She stays at the base to operate the ground bridge, therefore she never sees Starscream before the autobots' attention wholly shifts to finding the missing kids. She would be the least likely to remember such a detail, had she no interest, of course. *** I think it's likely that Arcee installs Starscream's t-cog if he ever gets a replacement. See video: Will Arcee nurse Starscream back to health? www.youtube.com/watch?v=aebPuj0pz78 *** No need to worry about ArceexJack. Their relationship is more like Jack and his mom's, so it doesn't prevent Starcee. *** Airachnid looks exactly like Maleficent from the Sleeping Beauty. I wonder if Arcee is like the Princess and if Starscream is like the prince, but at this moment there isn't enough glop to support either. Here's the glop that exists so far: Arcee is blue, which is the color of the dress that the sleeping beauty wore. The faries actually fought over whether the sleeping beauty's dress should be pink or blue, which mirrors the TFW arguments over Arcee's coloring. Starscream is second-in-command to Megatron. He's next in line to be leader, like a prince. Also, he's got princely shoulder pads. *** Starscream's relationship with Bulkhead and Ratchet is interesting. In scenes where Starscream trades information to Ratchet and Bulkhead, you can mute the scene and easily imagine that Bulkhead and Ratchet are Arcee's big brothers making sure that Starscream doesn't try anything funny on the first date.