EPISODE 43: FAREWELL! LIO CONVOY (飛び出せ! 惑星ガイア) This is how it ends. Not with a bang, but with an anguished scream of my fracturing mental state. Spoiler It was a tall order for the series to end on as down a note as episode 42, and thankfully like so many other things, Beast Wars II managed to fall short of that goal. But honestly it mostly did because like in so many other instances, Scuba saves the day. He has been a delight and an absolute rock in the crap storm that has been this series' descent into frustrating awfulness since about its halfway point. So rejoice that it doesn't end on an F as it instead just scrapes its way into D territory. Because that's about the only thing to celebrate with this junk finale. The confusing, out-of-nowhere nonsense that is the green lion informs almost everything that happens with its magical stupid nonsense. And in doing so he (they?) neuter Galvatron to the point of being frustrating worthlessness, steal whatever meager spotlight the other Maximals and Predacons might've had in favor of shining it on themselves, use all of this build for more baffling shilling of the greatness of Lio Junior, and generally ensuring that this show goes out on an awful, awful nonsense. And to just give us a final kick in the teeth we get a weird and out-of-place 4th-wall-breaking bit right at the end as it leads into a bizarre sequel hook non ending that I'm pretty sure from reading ahead has almost no real, tangible impact on what's going to happen in Beast Wars Neo save for some glorified cameos. So what was the point? What was the point of any of this? The powers from nowhere? the sabotaged characters? The ass-pulls? the fact that we don't even know the ultimate fate of most of the Predacons? This episode sets out to give us closure and accomplishes basically nothing satisfactorily. Thank Primus Scuba was here or I might've been tempted to give it a worse grade than it got. Because I don't think I've ever had a Transformers show that showed intriguing promise early on only to fizzle out into something so profoundly dumb that it almost makes me hate the entire series retroactively. What a disappointment... Spoiler -Before we dive into the abyss of madness, you wanna know something fun? Pretty much every other episode of the series so far has been slavishly accurate to a particular runtime of 23:05. The first two episodes ran about 10 seconds short and episode 30 (Gigastorm's Betrayal) was one second shorter, but otherwise they've all been 23:05 right on the nose. But not the finale. What should be the most important episode of the series is also the shortest by far at 22:40. they've cut like 25 seconds out of the episode. Now 20 of that could come from removing the "next episode" preview since there isn't a next episode. But you'd think for this being such an important piece of the series they would redirect that time and budget towards a satisfying conclusion. Nope! Not only that but they've seemingly shaved 5 other seconds of the runtime without sacrificing the 1:30 opening sequence or the 1:10 closing credits. I get the feeling that speaks to the level of commitment this series had from its production staff. Very much a "who cares, it's just dumb filler for a silly baby show that nobody who matters actually could like." -As is normal, I always watch the title sequence again during the final episode to see if my thoughts on it have changed since it debuted. I don't think they have. The song is catchy as long as I don't look at the translated lyrics, which make absolutely no sense at all. Also there's far too much Lio Junior. But at least there is a brief cool shot of the Tako Tank rising from the waves to face down a foe. The kind of shot we should've gotten in a better series all about Scuba. -The narrator reminds us that "Artemis and Moon's good work" moved the moon to block the Angolmois. They didn't work. They just prayed and a literal miracle happened out of nowhere. -Also we get reminded for Lio Junior and his noble efforts to save Lio Convoy that caused the weird mystery green lion to appear. Sorry, the "legendary" green lion. From a legend that only came into spoken existence about 15 seconds after the lion appeared. -then we replay the entire Gigastorm "fight". not that it was a fight. -And title card. For the last time. -Galvatron goes to the side of the fallen Gigastorm, who cries and apologizes to his brother. And Galvatron tells him he fought well and praises him (according to Gigastorm, for the first time). And then Gigastorm dies. Don't cry for the show's dignity. It's already dead. It's actually really touching. Oh, psych. He's not dead. Galvatron tells us he just "ran out of energy" so he's unconscious. that's actually kind of cruel. not to Gigastorm (though it is), but to the audience. I know it's a comedy show and we should expect this sort of gag (and I wasn't put off when the same gag happened in Beast Wars with Silverbolt & Blackarachnia, or when it'll happen in Animated with Optimus' 30-seconds death) but something here didn't make me laugh, I just furrowed my brow and said "really?" -Galvatron stares down the mystery lion and asks "are you a ghost of Lio Convoy?" What happens when you try and fail to rip off Dragon Ball Z -More needlessly named attacks (Galvatron charges in tank mode using his "drill destroyer" and the green lion runs with a point energy aura called the "Matrix Lion Arrow" I've complained a lot about named attacks lately and the thing is I like them, but not when they're overdone. If they kept it so that they were just finishing moves or just for big situations, that'd be one thing. But especially in the last while we've gotten fights that are nothing but the sides trading named attacks back and forth for the whole duration. And made worse when everyone has such a deep well of named attacks that every fight randomly busts out a brand new one we've never seen before. -From the collision Galvatron senses that the power comes from the Energon Matrix and it means Lio Convoy must have survived. On cue the green lion separates into Convoy and Junior. I guess nobody told them that the fusion dance only lasts for 30 minutes. -It says something that Lio Junior's transformation sequence is like 3x as long as Convoy's. Something like "LOOK AT ME AND HOW IMPORTANT I AM! LOVE ME AND SHOW YOUR LOVE BY BUYING MY TOY!" -And only after they transform do the rest of the Maximals rejoice that their comrades are alive. Especially Apache, who sounds like he's going to break into tears. -Convoy doesn't say anything though. He only nods stoically in acknowledgement. -And then Junior ruins it by suggesting that the two of them should take out the Predacons "all at once". That... seems like a stupid plan. You barely end up hanging on even ground with Galvatron. What makes you think you can take him and the other four functional Preds all at once? Even if Dirgegun and Thrustor are jokes. -But Convoy stops him. Phew, it might've taken until the final episode but he's going to show sense and stand up to Junior, telling him the error of his ways, tactically. -Or not. Because he stopped him not out of tactical caution, but because "fighting is not the only way to solve problems." So I guess he's cool with being a hypocrite when nobody's watching, but has to put on a good show when impressionable dumb minds are there to witness his behavior. -Galvatron congratulates Convoy for having such an impressive power held in reserve for this battle and Convoy... outright admits that he has no idea what it is or how it works. Brilliant tactical decision, chief. Just... spectacular. -Then he says he doesn't intend to settle this fight through violence and asks Galvatron why he wants power so much. Clearly he wasn't paying attention last episode when Galvatron went into explicit detail as to why he felt he needed power (to subjugate the universe and enforce peace on it, because you can't trust a free universe to act peacefully). -Really, what a waste this whole sequence is. -And then Junior has to but in and say "that's not true!" referring to Galvatron's assertion that you need power to bring order to the universe. What do you know, twerp? You're like 6 weeks old. -And then it's Junior's turn to lecture, talking about how beings can achieve unity through understanding like how he and Convoy did to form the green lion. Ugh. stop. -And of course since we need Galvatron to be the inarguable bad guy he doesn't have a cogent response. Just grumbling about how the Maximals don't get it and they're going to have to fight. -but suddenly the ground shakes and up through the rock in a flood of angolmois lava stuff emerges the one true hero of this series: SCUBA! Sadly not the hero of this story. Even though he should be. That's how you make an entrance. -And then he pops out with "Scuba has returned" with some extra emphasis when he says his name. This show doesn't deserve you, you glorious paragon of coolness. Damn, he's so cool. -Scuba says he didn't destroy the core of THE ARTIFICIAL PLANET NEMESIS™ because he figured out that blowing up the ship would've destroyed Gaia as well. At least someone in this mess is thinking. Honestly, I'd be OK with the entire solar system being engulfed in a supernova of Angolmois energy. Because Scuba, Navi, and the Tako Tank would probably survive and that's all that matters. -Also where the heck is Navi in all of this? -But never mind that. Scuba continues his explanation of why he didn't just blow up the ship by displaying charts that outline his plan. Scuba: Kicking ass with science more than Wheeljack ever did. This series doesn't deserve Scuba. -Then (I think) all the other Maximals make some vague cheering noises. Odd -So Convoy tells Galvatron that he should probably evacuate his troops before the ship blows up. Because we're not solving our problems with violence. Just a violent explosion that was caused relatively non-violently. -And then Thrustor says it'd be wonderful to be blown to bits with THE ARTIFICIAL PLANET NEMESIS™ "like a rose falling to rosey bits" what? I get it, he and Dirgegun are idiots. But this is dumb even for them. -And Hellscream agrees. -Galvatron decries the rest of the Predacons for taking the threat seriously, saying that they'll defend their base to the bitter end. So he transforms to dragon mode and... flies away. -Convoy says he's going to give chase and so Junior says he's coming too. They share some apparently meaningful looks and then fly off together. -Santon wants to follow, but Skywarp stops him saying they don't need to be his guardians anymore now that "he's been accepted as a full-fledged warrior by Lio Convoy" 1) He really hasn't. He's going with Convoy because he's like a walking superpower generator for the pair of them. Kinda like what Skywarp and Santon are for Junior 2) He also hasn't matured at all. He's the same whiny, angry, selfish jerk he's always been 3) Stop just telling us this stuff, show. If you think he's earned this praise, show him earning it. -Meanwhile the rest of the Maximals want to evacuate as ordered but they can't because Lio Junior took off and with him went the ability to form Magnaboss. -So the Predacons attack, not intending to give up. Also they can all fly so they're not trapped on the planet the way the Maximals are. -GIANT NAMED ATTACK SUPER MONTAGE! Except Kid and Santon, who don't have named attacks. -Meanwhile we check in with Moon and Artemis, who are glowing for some reason while Artemis serenely says she's sure that Lio Convoy and Lio Junior will destroy THE ARTIFICIAL PLANET NEMESIS™ before it endangers them. Um, excuse me Artemis. It's Scuba that's done all the heavy lifting. -Apparently the moon being subject to the barrage of Angolmois is also killing Artemis and Moon? Ehhh... stuff happens in war. -The Lios follow after Galvatron, who leads them into... a cave. -And then Galvatron says to "observe his true power" as he absorbs a crapload of Angolmois energy into his body and grows to enormous size. -Our final commercial bumpers are the Lio Convoy and Lio Junior ones. Barf. -Seriously, Lio Junior's voice is nails on a chalkboard at this point. -What an idiot. Galvatron, powered by Angolmois energy, attacks with his Angolmois energy move. And it does nothing. Because of course it does. -Convoy then, out of nowhere, that they can/must prevent the massive explosion of Angolmois by creating a bunch of shields out of their energon matrices. Only... wasn't the shield each of them made a personal one that only surrounded their bodies individually? So... what the hell is this? -Ugh. Lio Junior says that they have to try to protect the peace of the universe because that's why Maximals exist. And Convoy says "I never imagined that you would teach me that." Even less than 10 minutes from the conclusion of the series we're gonna keep on shilling Junior as hard as we possibly can. -And then he calls Junior "his son". and they merge into the Green Lion. And create a gigantic cyclone of little shield bubbles that all fly right into Galvatron and create a green aura to do... something. What the hell is even going on. -Meanwhile the fight goes on outside but we don't really see any of it. At least until Scuba shows up having stolen the Predacon ship because Scuba is the most awesome character in this or several other series. -Hellscream questions the "heroes" stealing others' stuff. He's not wrong. But Scuba has a great comeback, suggesting that if he's not allowed to take it then he might as well just destroy it. -Thrustor and Dirgegun want to escape, but Hellscream of all bots says not to run until Galvatron returns. Then he starts talking like he had a change of heart towards the idea of being loyal to Galvatron, only its interrupted by the unconscious Gigastorm being burned by an encroaching flow of boiling hot Angolmois lava. Just in case you had any hopes that they might pull out a serious finale in the closing minutes. -Then Gigastorm looks at everyone and it's implied that his being "out of energy" was a ploy and he's been faking being unconscious this whole time. -Scuba then suddenly realizes they've drifted extremely close to the moon. -Back at the leader fight, the narrator helpfully explains to us that the nonsense tactic the green lion is using is to divide up the Angolmois energy in Galvatron's body into "small capsules" to negate its effects and prevent it from exploding. This would probably have been fine if it wasn't something they just made up in the last 5 minutes. -And right then the planet starts exploding, but convoy says they won't give up and leave until the job is done. -Galvatron screams and suddenly a ton of little angolmois packets burst up out of the ground and fly past the Maximals while THE ARTIFICIAL PLANET NEMESIS™ begins to explode around them. -And when it's all over Galvatron is small again and the green lion is in robot mode, making him look like a green Convoy. That's boring. his lion form is slightly different from Convoy's lion mode, so why not make his robot mode a little different too? It's never too late to sell a repaint. -Sensing he's beaten, Galvatron activates the last bit of Angolmois in his body in that crystal thing in his chest, saying that if he can't beat hte Maximals he'll at least take them with him. -Green Convoy manifests a couple of energy swords from.. somewhere and *gasp* Galvatron actually opens his mouth to talk and gloat! Well, ok, his mouth is always open. But he stops talking through gritted teeth. -Ok, I'm going to give it to the show for some crafty fighting: The two sides clash, but Green Convoy separates into his two component bots and in the surprise Lio Convoy uses his claw weapon to shatter the crystal orb in Galvatron's chest. The literal embodiment of all of our hearts breaking over this show's fall from grace. -Glavatron commends Convoy's creativity and then collapses... I guess dead? the screen turns red, a strong indicator that he's probably just croaked. -But there's no time to ask what happened as THE ARTIFICIAL PLANET NEMESIS crashes into the moon and explodes. So Artemis and Moon are dead too? -Or not. The narrator tells us that somehow Nemesis and the moon fused together into one celestial body that now orbits Gaia. What? How? Why? That's nonsense! -And apparently Artemis and Moon are fine, though they're now in a weird crystal-like room that neither of them recognize. Though they know they're safe. -And Artemis doesn't remember any of it. Because of course she doesn't. -And then out in space there's a weird void. And then a flash of the Maximal symbol and all the Maximals are floating in it. Because I guess the Predacon ship was destroyed in the explosion? The hell? "We don't know how we're ending this one, so here you go!" -Suddenly Convoy and Junior appear and Junior explains that convoy used the last of his energy to save everyone and shove them into this wormhole created by the explosion, which will take them wherever the Maximals are next needed. -And then Convoy faces the camera and I think addresses the audience saying that they're leaving the normal dimension but will meet everyone again in the future. Umm, ok? This is a weird ending. -But Lio Junior gets a close up because he's soooo cool. -Then on a long shot of Gaia and the moon we hear the Maximals bid us farewell while Gigastorm shouts "I'm still out here!" and a message pops up to say "thank you for cheering us on until now. Joke's on you, show. I wasn't cheering by the end.And that was Beast Wars II. Roll credits. Pros +SCUBA! Cons -Deus Ex Liona ending -Galvatron loses his cool factor -The Maximals and Predacons that aren't Galvatron, Lio Convoy, or Lio Junior are entirely superfluous (except Scuba) -More blatant Lio Junior shilling -Nonsense powers out of nowhere -Weird fourth-wall breaking non-ending -Disappointing that this is how a show that used to be interesting ends. -Sets up something of a sequel hook, but it mostly doesn't come to pass. -So how many of the Predacons besides Gigastorm died?