Portals is the thirty-sixth episode and tenth episode of Transformers: Robots in Disguise season 2.
Fixit's repairs to the GroundBridge go wrong, summoning two of the most dangerous Decepticons on the planet and banishing Bumblebee to the shadowzone.
Strongarm and Grimlock work on getting a defense turret set up, however a misunderstanding about which way is left results in the turret starting to overload with Strongarm trapped underneath. Luckily, Bumblebee arrives and is able to shut the turret down before it takes out most of the scrapyard, and reflects that he'll always be there to help the team.
Meanwhile, over on the crashed spaceship being used as a Decepticon base, Thunderhoof complains about being under Steeljaw's leadership until Steeljaw himself arrives. Steeljaw reveals that the Decepticons in the group are divided over whether to leave Earth as the current leadership is intending to do, or conquer Earth, and he believes they can take advantage of the division. Saberhorn and Glowstrike arrive to have a word with Steeljaw.
As the other Autobots arrive in the main area of the scrapyard, Fixit reveals that they're just in time for the test of the repaired GroundBridge. When he fires it up, a second portal appears and aligns with the first, creating a vortex that threatens to suck everyone in and to Bumblebee's shock, moments later Soundwave flies out. The Decepticon bashes Strongarm and Grimlock together, and Bumblebee sends the smaller team members to hide before trying to tackle Soundwave himself. After he's knocked down by Laserbeak, Strongarm and Grimlock take another crack, only to be knocked out by Soundwave's electrically-charged tentacles. Soundwave throws Bumblebee into the vortex, and the Autobot finds himself in the Shadowzone, unable to interact with anything. Strongarm is about to meet the same fate when the GroundBridge abruptly shuts down. Soundwave, watched helplessly by Bumblebee, sets up the GroundBridge so he can activate it remotely, and starts gathering parts. Recalling the last time this happened, Bumblebee uses his radio to contact Fixit.
Meeting the others in their hiding place, Bumblebee fills the others in on the situation and speculates that Soundwave is building a transmitter to contact Megatron, an action likely to bring every Decepticon in range to Earth. Though Bumblebee wants Fixit, Denny and Russell to stay put while he comes up with a plan, the trio realize they can use the salvaged Alchemor turrets to take the Decepticon out.
Glowstrike and Saberhorn reveal that they've been monitoring Steeljaw's activities. Though he initially thinks they're onto his betrayal and prepares to strike, it turns out they're impressed with his work and want to offer him a command position.
Though Bumblebee advises the others against their attack on Soundwave, they go ahead. Denny attempts to shoot the communications array Soundwave is building but misses, and Soundwave sends Laserbeak after them. Russell and Fixit attempt to act as distractions to let Denny take another shot, and while the two Decepticons are occupied, Strongarm and Grimlock recover consciousness. The pair try to attack Soundwave, only for the Decepticon to start opening GroundBridge portals in an attempt to trap them, and the pair eventually disappear through one with Laserbeak. Fixit and the two humans retreat.
Grimlock and Strongarm arrive in the quarry along with Laserbeak, who shoots the Dinobot and relieves the cadet of her crossbow. Grimlock's able to catch the Mini-Con in his jaws and use it to free Strongarm's Decepticon Hunter from where it's become lodged in the rock face. The pair render Laserbeak out cold and head back to base with him. There, Bumblebee has come up with a plan after observing that Soundwave is rusty at opening GroundBridge portals. Glowstrike and Saberhorn ask for a "show of good faith" from Steeljaw, pointing him to a Sharkticon group member who has been plotting against the leadership. Steeljaw is only too happy to attack the traitor.
Soundwave is about to fit the last component to his device when he's interrupted by Denny. While Denny shelters in the crane from Soundwave, Russell swipes the component, resulting in Soundwave opening a bunch of portals to try and trap him. Fixit uses the GroundBridge controls to open another portal, creating an opening into the Shadowzone and allowing Bumblebee to emerge into the physical universe where he immediately destroys Soundwave's transmitter. Though an enraged Soundwave knocks Bumblebee to the ground and prepares to shoot him, Denny uses the crane to knock the Decepticon through the Shadowzone portal. Grimlock and Strongarm arrive to throw Laserbeak through moments before the portal closes. Though Bumblebee is impressed that the rest of his team pulled it off without him, they remind him that it was his plan they were following. Meanwhile, Glowstrike and Saberhorn show Steeljaw a locked compartment housing two Decepticon Hunters, which they're hoping he'll be able to get them access to.
"Heck, we're more like a family!"
"Every family has a crazy cousin."
- —Bumblebee and Strongarm
"Don't run off so quick, I haven't given you the tour of my fists yet!"
- —Grimlock shows Soundwave what a good host he can be.
"Let's rev up and roll out! I've been wanting to say that."
- —Fixit gets his turn to say Bee's catchphrase.
"Oh yeah! Go team Grimarm! ... Team Stronglock?"
- The GroundBridge has been busted since the events of "Overloaded, Part 1" in which it exploded after Optimus Prime walked through.
- Guess who's back? Soundwave and Laserbeak last appeared in "Deadlock". They were last seen when Jack, Miko, and Raf managed to trap them in the Shadowzone. Fixit exposits this information to the humans (and presumably for the benefit of viewers who haven't watched Transformers: Prime), even noting that his defeat took place aboard the Nemesis; the episode even takes a moment to explain why Soundwave was on Shadowzone-Earth, noting that he followed Megatron's body when it fell down from orbit, but was then stuck with no way to get off the planet.
- Both Soundwave's and Laserbeak's models are reused from Prime.
- Bumblebee name-drops all three of the main humans who appeared in Prime: Jack, Raf, and Miko, and remembers the time that they were also trapped in the Shadowzone, which happened in the eponymous episode.
- Fixit mentions that Megatron is "light-years away", suggesting that the former Decepticon leader is still in his self-imposed exile after the events of Predacons Rising.
- More of the Fixit-style Mini-Cons we saw in "Deep Trouble" are working in the Decepticon base.
- In stasis: Hammerstrike, Chop Shop, Terrashock, Filch, Minitron, Ped, "that one with all the eyes", Malodor and the Skunkticons, Nightstrike, Vertebreak, Octopunch, Headlock, Scowl, Scratch, Zizza, Pseudo, Fracture, Airazor, Divebomb, Underbite, Backtrack, Ransack, Polarclaw, Razorpaw, Swelter, Glacius, Torpor, Axiom, Theorem, Scorponok, Crazybolt, Slicedice, Bludgeon, Clout, Bisk, Hammer, Anvil, Silverhound, Quillfire, Back, Forth
- Known at large: Steeljaw, Saberhorn, Glowstrike, Thunderhoof, Groundpounder, Overload, Clampdown, Springload, Kickback several unnamed Glowstrike/Scorponok associates,
- Released: Grimlock
- Unknown status: Simacore escapes some time between "Brainpower" and "Decepticon Island (Part 2)".
- Countless others all missing, presumed at large
- The Nemesis is referred to by name for the first time in five years (since, incidentally, "Shadowzone"), when Prime seemed dead-set on referring to it only as "the Decepticon warship".
- Another Sharkticon appears, this one sporting a color scheme (and eyes) more in line with the species' Generation 1 counterparts.
- Soundwave's arm cannon looks identical to the Resonance Blaster. It could very well be the Resonance Blaster, as it was the only relic to go MIA after the end of Prime, though it fires standard laser blasts instead of sonic bursts.
- Soundwave still has the ability to open GroundBridge portals, just as he did in Prime. However, as Bumblebee notes, he's become slightly less refined in doing so (previously he teleported Arcee mere inches from his face, and closed the portal just as Orion Pax was about to turn the corner, among other instances) due to being in the Shadowzone for a while. He's also much more reliant on Laserbeak and his tentacles to fight, presumably because he's a tad out of practice.
- This is only the second time Grimlock uses his beast mode's jaws on a Decepticon, the first time being with Scowl.