Megatron returns from a three-year exile with a plan to exploit the life-giving properties of a mysterious substance called Dark Energon. The Autobots discovered its great corruptive power when they attempted to rescue Cliffjumper.
Starscream takes Megatron to an Energon-rich mine, but Megatron is more interested in informing Starscream that he is no longer in command. Starscream then calls to Megatron to show him the army he was supposed to gather during his time in space. Megatron says that his army will come, but he discovered Dark Energon, rumored to have the power to revive the dead. Megatron wants Starscream to be his test subject, but he instead chooses the deceased Cliffjumper which Starscream considered it "a welcome home" present to his master.
At the Autobot Base, Agent Fowler comes to discuss complaints caused by the Autobots and learned that the Decepticons are active again. Fowler wants to use military force, but Optimus insists that they could handle it without any human casualty. Fowler finishes the argument by ordering them to perform under the radar, or he will wake up the Pentagon.
Back at the Energon Deposit, Megatron successfully revived Cliffjumper into a wild beast. It attacked numerous Vehicons before Megatron sliced him in half, as he knew that the results were promising.
The Autobots discover Cliffjumper's life signal popping back online, and go to investigate via the Ground Bridge. They go to an Energon Mine, where they could tell the Decepticons have been excavating for a while. Optimus, Bumblebee, Arcee, and Bulkhead then fight the Vehicons to discover the location of Cliffjumper.
In the Autobot base, Raf asked why the Autobots use human technology, instead of Cybertronian. Ratchet explains that the base used to be a missile port, but was slightly modified for the Autobots' needs. As Ratchet was having trouble accessing data on the computers, Raf insisted he could help and fixed the computers, leaving Ratchet in awe.
Starscream informs Megatron that the Autobots are attacking, so Megatron orders The Nemesis to evacuate. When Starscream asked what they should do with the Energon, Megatron tells him to blow up the mine.
During the battle, Arcee finds what appears to be Cliffjumper and goes to meet him. When she arrived, she found half of his body. The half was falling down the ledge after a straight shot hit him. As Arcee was about to grab his hand, he roared at her and he fell to the very bottom of the mine.
Starscream suddenly appeared, and planted a bomb in the mine. The Autobots barely escape with their lives by going through a Ground Bridge.
At the base, Arcee describes to the Autobots that Cliffjumper was mutated, like in Decepticon experiments during from the war. Arcee becomes dizzy, and Ratchet discovers a sliver of Dark Energon on her hand.
On The Nemesis, Megatron injects a crystal of Dark Energon into his spark chamber, causing him extreme pain.
Ratchet cannot quickly discover what the substance on Arcee was and drop fell to the floor. The drop of Dark Energon revived a broken piece of equipment into a spider-like creature.
Cast and Characters
Starscream: Then, as your humble servant, shall I ready the Space Bridge to bring forth the Decepticon army you have surely gathered during your three years in space?
- Starscream drips with sarcasm.
Ratchet: They have no protective shell! If they get under foot, they will go "squish".
- Ratchet on human safety.
Bulkhead: Team Prime knows when to use force, and how much to use!
Ratchet: Bulkhead, I NEEDED THAT!
- Bulkhead destroys Ratchet's medical claw and starts a running gag.
Optimus Prime: Maximum overdrive!
- Optimus Prime stating one of his awesome quotes.
Megatron: Blood of Unicron, how I might fathom the depths of your mystery, become worthy of wielding your astonishing power!
- Megatron in a private moment with his prize.
Miko: Robots who get dizzy?
Rafael: Robots with emotions.
Jack: Robots who can die.
- Miko, Rafael and Jack about Cybertronians.
Jack: Well, if I don't call my mom, like, now, I'm pretty sure the cops will be out looking for me.
Optimus Prime: Have you broken a law?
- Jack and Optimus Prime
Arcee: You can watch cartoons back at base with Bumblebee.
Jack: Cartoons? I'm sixteen.
- Arcee and Jack.
- Dark Energon is a central MacGuffin for Megatron in this continuity, first being used in the War for Cybertron games, as well as in the Transformers: Exodus novel. Megatron and Starscream's introductory conversation about the substance is very expository for the benefit of viewers who haven't read the book or played the game, to the extent that it sounds like neither of them has encountered it before, and neither Arcee nor Ratchet is indicated to have any familiarity with the substance, despite having seen it first-hand back during the war. And yet, Arcee does compare Decepticon experiments during the war on Cybertron to the substance's effect on Cliffjumper, without explicitly naming the stuff (though previously it didn't make anyone crazed zombies.... On the other hand, it was never used on a dead guy before (that we know of) - in fact, it always left deceased users and sought for living ones, which is kinda weird for a substance which could merely rise the user from the dead. Sorry, Cliff, them's the breaks). It's all a bit wobbly; while the cartoon almost certainly seems to have been written as if it is the characters' first encounter with Dark Energon, the dialogue does have enough wiggle room if you're obstinate, like us!
- The purple goo shares the property of changing ordinary machines into Transformers with the AllSpark.
- The Autobots have no shadows when they walk into the main mine.
- June parks her car in the driveway and goes to bed. In the morning it is moved. It could be explained by her going to work except that Jack says that she is still sleeping.
- When Megatron revives Cliffjumper, his arm cannon is gone, reappears when he sheathes his sword, disappears again when he walks over to Cliffjumper's corpse, and reappears one final time after he kicks Cliff off the ledge.
- When the Autobots reach the energon mine and Bulkhead says, "Energon mine" whilst his blaster transforms back to his hand, part of the blaster remains floating over his hand.
- William Fowler is credited as "Agent Fowler".
- This energon mine is in Nebraska. Agent Fowler will point that out in the next episode.
- When this episode premiered on the Vortexx block, Jack's line about "robots who can die" was cut.
- Adaptations of this episode include a prose version as part of Megatron Returns, and a screen-capture-style comic as part of A Rising Darkness.
Main Article: Darkness Rising, Part 2 Gallery