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by cuad

Face the facts, Arcee ♥'s Starscream. It is inevitable.

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Old 03-31-2012, 09:13 AM   #1
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Face the facts, Arcee ♥'s Starscream. It is inevitable.

I was compelled by a few posts in the convention thread to put this together. I've completely rewritten the original post (4-1-2012). It is now more organized, follows a clearer structure and gives a better interpretation of show based material. This might contain spoilers.

I swear I'm not a fangirl.

Romance has permeated many iterations of the Transformers, starting in G1 with Optimus Prime and Elita-1, their pre-selves: Orion Pax and Arial, Powerglide and the girl who loved him. Blackarachnia and Silverbolt took over Beast Wars and became annoying in Beast Machines. Rattrap and Botanica scarred many of us. Optimus Prime and Blackarachnia drew mixed reviews in Transformers Animated. Why should romance not appear in Transformers Prime? Being the first show to feature a lead female since Beast Machines, it better. As it turns out, through thirty-three episodes, the stage has been set and the wheels have been put into motion for the potential greatest 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 later by Airachnid. They meet in classic romantic fashion: by mere coincidence and through rescue. Best of all, they have the greatest source of dramatic tension in transformers history between them.

From its inception, Transformers Prime suffocated us with Arcee and Jack. In episode 18, "Metal Attraction", they play around with an Arcee/Bulkhead pairing, but from the beginning, before even meeting Jack, two seeds were planted for Arcee and Starscream. First, Starscream kills Arcee's partner: Cliffjumper. To open their series, this is the storylet that the writers choose to tell. Let its significance not be underestimated. The second seed is how Arcee and Starscream's given personalities contrast. They are polar opposites--Arcee a pitcher and Starscream the catcher. Such is established in their first two interactions 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. Episode 20 builds on that by showing Starscream chained and on his knees while Arcee stands over him. These are the roles that they play in all of their relationships from the beginning of the series, so one can be assured that pitcher and catcher are truly their personalities. Therefore, the Arcee and Starscream pairing is as conceivable as night and day, north and south or positive and negative.

Airachnid appears halfway through season one and quickly establishes herself as an enemy to Arcee and soon enough as an enemy to Starscream. Her introductory episode, "Predatory" (12) conveys the distress Airachnid has caused Arcee and, translationally, the hate Arcee has for her. By episode 20, "Partners," Starscream senses that Airachnid has out-ranked him, even though she had only just joined the Decepticons. Megatron entrusts Airachnid with the task of retrieving the immobilizer and demotes Starscream to guide duty. Then Starscream learns that Airachnid has "need-to-know" information that he does not. It is striking that he does not know this information, given that at the end of the episode Megatron fears that "all Decepticon intelligence could be at the finger tips of the Autobots" when Starscream does not return to base.

Enough episodes have passed for Arcee and Starscream's mutual hatred for Airachnid to bond them. In episode 20, "Partners," Arcee comes to his defense upon learning that Starcream, then captured, 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, giving 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 transitions 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) "well, she terminated my partner," as if it were not true when she said, earlier, that she would never trust him and as if there was no way it could backfire. In episode 33, "Crossfire," Starscream rescues Arcee from death at the hands of Airachnid.

Arcee defends Starscream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f01bVACMxow
Starscream spits game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLwP2hm_DTw
Starscream saves Arcee http://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. The scene is not the traditional heroic rescue, but even so, all of the important elements can be identified. Megatron is set up to execute Starscream who has no escape and seemingly no hope for rescue, but purely by chance, along comes Arcee who 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 had not caused the cave to collapse onto Megatron, Starscream would have never had 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. Most significant about this rescue is that it is their first meaningful interaction. For the greater part of season one, while they are on the same battle field a few times, they never meet. So, yes, their relationship starts off exactly as relationships do in many love stories.

Arcee saves Starscream - YouTube

All good love stories contain a source of dramatic tension--something that makes an audience ask "will they or won't they?". In Beast Wars, coming from different factions provides the dramatic tension between Blackarachnia and Silverbolt. In Transformers Prime, Cliffjumper's murder provides the greatest source of "will they or won't they?" speculation in Transformers history. One might argue that Cliffjumpers death does not allow for the "will they?" part of dramatic tension. However, that need not be debated, because Arcee is already flip-flopping between will and won't states. Following her attitude from episode to episode brings this to light. Her pre-Cliffjumper bonding with Starscream over their mutual hatred for Airachnid starts Arcee off in the will state. Her attitude is one of the focuses in "Partners," where she draws the following criticism and concern from Optimus Prime: "Revenge will not bring back those we have lost." after she recklessly chases after Airachnid, "Your desire to avenge tailgate will only continue to cloud your judgement." as he demotes her to guard duty and "It is the external wounds which heal the quickest." noting that Arcee might only be so resilient physically. Don't forget Bumblebee's memorable wide-eyed expression towards the end of the episode. It is evident that Arcee's current mindset is that of revenge. When Starscream admits that he killed Cliffjumper, her mindset indeed prevents her and Starscream from pairing. The audience now perceives her as in the won't state and she tries to kill him. But precisely because of this fight, she retires the want for revenge at the end of "Partners". "I thought settling scores would allow me to move on." she laments thus she returns to the will state. Knowing 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?

The very topic of forgiveness is brought up in episode 20, "Partners." Optimus Prime states 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, at least to some degree and for some length of time.

***For the fangirls: our does not exclude her, thus Starcream is not only their hope, but also her hope.

***I misinterpreted the events of "One Shall Fall," in my original post. I correct it here. Feel free to skip this paragraph. 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's new attitude prevails 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.

Arcee's role, and consequently, spoken dialogue becomes reduced in the next ~ten episodes. Nonetheless, the writers don't neglect to allow Starscream to redeem himself to her during parts one and two of the Orion Pax arc. Arcee becomes heavily distressed by the loss of Optimus Prime. This is supported by a couple scenes. She recklessly speeds through a Decepticon ground bridge into their warship. (Understandably, one might not see a difference between this and her aforementioned wreckless chasing of Airachnid in "Partners," thus one could argue that Arcee's attitude remains the same. While true that both actions were wreckless, boarding the decepticon warship was not an act of revenge, but an irrational attempt to locate Optimus Prime, and as in "One Shall Fall," under different circumstances. For now it still holds that she does not want revenge. In fact, the bit of irrationality that she retains is a possible catalyst for the Arcee and Starscream pairing.) She lets out a scream after Soundwave bridges her to the arctic and 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. It underscores the significance of the events from "Orion Pax, Part II" where, while the Autobots raid the Decepticon space bridge, she realizes that it was Starscream who had given them the opportunity to save Optimus Prime by revealing the space bridge's location and joyfully states "thank you Starscream" to the befuddlement of Bulkhead. Consider this being in the will state.

Arcee thanks Starscream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojBe-fWZ0bQ

***Completely trivial. Feel free to skip. 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. It stands to reason that she would be the least likely to remember such a detail, had she no interest, of course.

After many episodes of hardly any 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 the desire for revenge against both Airachnid and Starscream has returned. 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 after her. Thus while she may have given up on revenge at the end of "Partners", her resolve did not last, and she is now back in the won't state. However, the writers give us reason hold out hope. Her pursuit of Airachnid is fruitless and she becomes captured. Airachnid intends to kill her, but is chased away by Starscream. Through this action, Starscream continues the atonement process. It's uncertain whether this will cause Arcee to one-eighty once again, but the writers leave us something to chew on. After Starscream lets her live, Optimus Prime radios Arcee asking for her status. "Alive" she says "and so is Airachnid." She leaves out Starscream. This is noteworthy because Arcee had made it clear at the beginning of the episode that she held equal animosity towards Starscream. It hints that she may or already has flip-flopped to the will state yet again.

Arcee leaves Starscream out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEESKL_eWJc

It should be clear by now that dramatic tension has formed between them. The process will undoubtedly continue in the upcoming episodes. Airachnid remains alive, so they can continue to bond over their hatred for her. Starscream is still on his own, and so he will have many opportunities to keep redeeming himself to Arcee by offering information to the Autobots. And again, their pairing is as conceivable as light and dark, lost and found or life and death. 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.
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Last edited by cuad; 04-02-2012 at 05:35 AM..
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:19 AM   #2
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TL ; DR


But seriously though, GOD NO!!
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:20 AM   #3
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Uhhhh ok? Uhh thats real nice why dont you goto the nearest corner and think this over

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Old 03-31-2012, 09:20 AM   #4
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:21 AM   #5
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I thought it'd be another GENOZAUR thread.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:22 AM   #6
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Bumblebee and Arcee would make a better couple than this.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:27 AM   #7
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:31 AM   #8
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TL;DR, but despite that, cuad

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Old 03-31-2012, 09:32 AM   #9
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I've hopefully shown that there is a legitimate foundation already set up in the show, which the writers could abuse at anytime if they choose.
Ain't gonna happen, mate. The DeviantArt and Fanfiction.net crowd will undoubtedly abuse the hell out of it, though, and perhaps you ought to derive satisfaction from that.

Also, did you really start this thread, not knowing the ridicule it would inevitably provoke?
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:34 AM   #10
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Should a research about "How gay is KnockOut" be expected?
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