Out of Focus is the thirteenth episode of Transformers: Robots in Disguise season 1.
While Bee and his Team try to bring in a gang of Decepticon thieves, Optimus readies himself for a coming evil that will threaten both Earth and Cybertron.
As his team once again descends into petty bickering, Bumblebee tries to focus himself, however fortunately for Bumblebee's stress levels, Fixit reports he's detected four Decepticon signals and the team meeting is adjourned. The Autobots head out to investigate, though Sideswipe and Strongarm continue their petty feud as they drive. The team soon comes upon a collection of stasis pods, which Strongarm observes have been broken open from the inside.
In a formless other plane of existence which is the Realm of the Primes, Optimus Prime stands ready to face whatever challenge Micronus has for him. Micronus warns Optimus's greatest test will be when he returns to Earth, but produces a hill which he says Optimus must climb. As Optimus observes things can't be that simple, Micronus reveals a small group of humans, and a robot foe approaches.
Bumblebee has Fixit check the Alchemor prisoner manifest for four Bot teams, and Fixit comes up with Malodor's team of Skunkticons. There are tracks leading north towards the automated dam, but though Bee thinks they should head back to the scrapyard and get protective gear for the Skunkticons' toxin, Grimlock immediately heads for the dam with the rest of the team following.
Optimus places himself between the humans and the incoming foe, which launches four balls at him. Optimus is knocked down, and the balls transform into Mini-Cons which begin menacing the humans. As the Mini-Cons fire, Optimus does his level best to protect the humans, losing his Prime Decepticon Hunter in the process.
Bee's team enters the dam to find it apparently empty. Fixit says the ambient electricity may be masking the Decepticon signals, and as Sideswipe fools around, the Skunkticons amble into the dam. The four Decepticons unleash their toxin, and Grimlock heroically throws himself in front of the others, taking the full brunt of it. As Grimlock is disorientated, the other Autobots get hit as well and with them all incapacitated, Malodor decides to take Grimlock hostage. The Skunkticons bundle Grimlock into the cargo lift and head up.
Optimus continues to battle the robotic foes he's been pitted again, body slamming a Mini-Con and knocking the others about with his truck mode. Retrieving the Prime Decepticon Hunter, He pleads with Micronus to tell him how to use the weapon to its full potential, but Micronus remains cryptic. Two of the Mini-Cons restrain Optimus so the larger foe can hit him, while the remaining Mini-Con goes after the humans. Optimus manages to break free and throws the hunter at the Mini-Con, though it manages to zap one of the humans before being impaled.
Bumblebee, Strongarm and Sideswipe recover from the toxin, and Bee has to stop the other two Autobots bickering. They find the trail left by Grimlock's tail and follow it to the cargo lift, which the Decepticons have wrecked. The trio climb onto the roof of the lift and start manually pulling it up. On the upper control level, Strongarm and Sideswipe resume their infighting until the Skunkticons arrive with Grimlock, whom Malodor threatens to shoot unless the Autobots back off. On hearing Bumblebee's voice, Grimlock immediately gets up, inadvertently knocking down the Decepticons, and Bumblebee and his team spring into action. As the battle resumes, Grimlock blunders around blindly, damaging the dam controls and initiating an emergency flood release. Malodor throws Bumblebee while he's distracted by the alarm, then the Skunkticons dose Strongarm and Sideswipe with toxin and flee.
In the Realm of the Primes, Optimus continues to try to protect the humans while pleading with an impassive Micronus to help. He's unable to prevent the Mini-Cons from blasting all but one of the humans, and is himself knocked back by the Mini-Cons lasers. The larger robot and two remaining Mini-Cons surround the last human.
Faced with bedlam, Bumblebee finds his focus and nudges the other Autobots away from the edge of the dam, which they've strayed perilously close to in their blind panic. With Fixit's help, he then shuts down the dam's emergency locks so that the water isn't released. The rest of the team recovers from the Skunkticon toxins, and they head down one of the maintenance tunnels to find the four Decepticons.
Micronus reminds Optimus that he's been so focused on what he's doing that he's forgotten what the original challenge was. Optimus bounds up the hill, at the top of which he finds a stone carving of a sword. This allows him to power up the Prime Decepticon Hunter and unleash an arc of electricity that takes out the three remaining robot foes. The last human disappears in a flash of light, and Optimus realizes that the humans were never real, just a part of the test. Micronus warns him of the trials to come.
Team Bee reach a section of tunnel and crash through into the neighboring tunnel, cutting off the Skunkticons. Though one of them manages to spray Grimlock with toxin, the four Decepticons are soon incapacitated.
Featured characters Edit
"Looks like the team meeting'll have to wait. Too bad, so sad. Ok, Autobots! Let's hit the trail!"
"Cause Bee wants to bail."
"Hey! I do the rallying cries!"
- —Bumblebee and Sideswipe bond over their hatred of meetings
"Bee, do I look like a go-back-for-protective-gear-wearer, or a punch-happy dino-demolisher?"
- —Grimlock reminds the audience of his story arc role
"The center of the storm is always still, and it's easiest to find a solution from there."
- —Optimus Prime gives us spiritual wisdom
"I don't like small, dark places. You don't think they have any of those Earth cats in here, do you?"
- —Grimlock admits his ailurophobia (fear of cats)
Continuity notes Edit
- Optimus was previously revealed to be training with the Primes in "W.W.O.D.?".
- Bumblebee and his team found Steeljaw and company using the dam as a base in "True Colors".
- Micronus was first named in Transformers: The Covenant of Primus.
- The illusory Decepticon Optimus fought in the Realm of the Primes was later used as a base for Overload. Considering that "Overloaded, Part 1" alluded to a significant battle between Optimus and Overload, this might be seen as a deliberate move on Micronus's part.
Prisoner manifest Edit
- In stasis: Hammerstrike, Bisk, 4/5ths of Chop Shop, Terrashock, Filch, Minitron, Springload, Ped, Quillfire, "that one with all the eyes", Malodor and the Skunkticons
- Known at large: Steeljaw, 1/5th of Chop Shop (possibly unknown to Bee), Thunderhoof, Underbite, Clampdown
- Released: Grimlock
- Countless others all missing, presumed at large
Real-world references Edit
- The alarm which sounds as the dam prepares to release water is the red alert siren from the original series of Star Trek.
- The next episode "Sideways" was erroneously screened in Australia and New Zealand in place of this one, though it was still listed as this one, leading to confusion when Optimus Prime didn't appear. This mixup happened in a lot of countries, starting with China including "Sideways" instead of this one when the first thirteen episodes were made available on a Chinese video streaming site "M1905". Japan continued the mistake, airing "Sideways" as the thirteenth episode.