The Great Divide is the seventh episode of Season 3 and the fifty-second overall of Transformers: Robots in Disguise.
After combining into the Ultra Bee Team Combiner, the Autobots find Sideswipe has split into two individuals. Now, the two Sideswipes must overcome their differences and learn to work together as the Bee Team pursues Stunticon Drag Strip.
The Bee Team pursues Drag Strip through a forest, the Stunticon having swiped an artifact from one of Windblade's caches. Strongarm complains about Sideswipe splashing her with mud from the bog, but moments later, Sideswipe gets his comeuppance as he ends up landing face-first in the swamp. Just ahead Drag Strip finds himself literally bogged down in a particularly deep mud-puddle, and the Autobots catch up with him. Sideswipe moves in for the arrest, only for Drag Strip to ignite a methane bubble. After the resulting explosion, Drag Strip grabs the artifact, but turns tail when he observes, to his absolute shock, that his pursuers have merged into a single robot. Shortly afterwards, the Autobots recover consciousness and initial confusion gives way to panic when they realize what has happened. As they argue, a Mini-Con who had been discretely watching the entire affair takes the opportunity to spirit away Sideswipe's Decepticon Hunter.
After some effort, Bumblebee manages to coordinate his team enough to stand up, but as soon as Sideswipe tries to grab Drift (who has found himself turned into their combined form's massive sword) the combiner goes crashing into a tree, and the team separates.
As they puzzle over what happened, it quickly becomes clear that some bots are more separated than others — Sideswipe has somehow been split into two bots. The two Sideswipes, one seeming more aggressive than usual and the other unnaturally meek, start fighting, and Bumblebee contacts Fixit to get a GroundBridge home. Back in the scrapyard, they fill Fixit in on what happened. The two Sideswipes are separated to stop them fighting, while Fixit promises to work on some theories and solutions about both that problem and their impromptu combination, though Bumblebee is more worried about the stolen relic.
Drag Strip arrives at a deserted base and is met by Wildbreak and Motormaster, the latter of whom asks Drag Strip to demonstrate what he's found. Drag Strip zaps Wildbreak with it, revealing it to be a Gravitic Adjuster. As Drag Strip continues to gleefully demonstrate the device on his partner, Motormaster announces it's time to show the opposition that they mean business.
One of the Sideswipes protests at being the recipient of a permanent bear-hug from Grimlock, who will only release him on Bumblebee's say-so. The other Sideswipe insists that they're two halves of the same bot and need to work together to be effective, but his other half is unconvinced.
Drag Strip drives through the desert, looking for a suitable target that will get the attention of both Autobots and humans, and settles on a Highway Patrol barracks.
Strongarm and Drift work on tracking the relic without the use of the main command console as Fixit's busy with it, and discuss the Sideswipe situation. Fortunately, Fixit's come up with a theory: that the Autobots were altered by the radiation they encountered during their battle with Heatseeker. As they puzzle over how to trigger their combination without needing an explosion, Sideswipe realizes his Decepticon Hunter is missing, and Fixit detects a distress call from the Highway Patrol. Bumblebee initially intends to bench the Sideswipes, but they and Strongarm talk him into taking them along.
Elsewhere, the Mini-Con activates a GroundBridge portal and sends the stolen Decepticon Hunter to Soundwave, before following it through.
Drag Strip is using the Gravitic Adjuster on the trooper station - and beginning to have ideas about using it to usurp Motormaster's position as head Stunticon - when the Autobots arrive. Bumblebee sends Strongarm and Sideswipe to make sure the station is evacuated, and after some bickering, the trio head off. Drift and Grimlock are both hit by the Gravitic Adjuster, pinning them to the ground, and when Bumblebee attempts to bum rush Drag Strip, he too is zapped by it. Drag Strip continues blasting Bumblebee while fantasizing about duplicating the relic and making a fortune, until Grimlock bounces a rock off his head, causing him to drop the relic which bounces away.
Down at the trooper station, the Sideswipes are once again bickering, until one has to save the other from falling rubble. The pair finally come to an understanding, moments before Strongarm is knocked flat by more debris. The Sideswipes are trying to dig her out when Drag Strip brings more of the building down on them. As the Con moves in to finish off Strongarm, the Sideswipes come up with a plan — one of them distracts Drag Strip long enough for the other to zoom in and punch him out. Leaving the fallen Stunticon, they collect the unconscious Strongarm and return to the rest of the team, where the "aggressive" Sideswipe begs Bumblebee not to tell anyone that they won by working together.
Later, Fixit wires up both Sideswipes to a device he says will fuse them back into wholeness...although they both are sent into a panic when Drift's pointed questioning about the reliability of the process produces some decidedly less than convincing answers from the Mini-Con. Regardless of their protests, Fixit activates the device, which powers up and overloads with a surge of light...which fades to reveal Sideswipe whole, hale, and healthy once more.
Featured characters Edit
"Am I the bottom? I am, amn't I?"
- —Grimlock doesn't like being the legs.
"I don't think that's a 'Con, Sideswipe. I think there's...TWO of you!"
"Oh, no. I've had nightmares about this exact thing."
- —Bumblebee enlightens Strongarm to the horrifying truth.
"Let's see what's going on over by Denny's collection of ketchup bottles."
- —Grimlock is easily entertained, a master torturer, or both.
"Unified, Sideswipe is barely tolerable. Divided, his two sides are... maddening."
- —Drift speaks for the rest of the team.
Continuity notes Edit
- Strongarm claims that being combined with Sideswipe "isn't exactly a day at the car wash for [her] either". Strongarm's affinity for car washes was established way back in "Sideways".
- Sideswipe insists that his duplicate is a shape-shifting Decepticon, calling out when they encountered Pseudo back in "Ghosts and Impostors".
- Fixit hypothesizes that the nuclear radiation the Bee Team was exposed to in the season-opening two-parter may be what has made them capable of combining when exposed to explosions (although the presence of the Crash Combiner Heatseeker at the bottom of the pile probably didn't hurt).
- Soundwave notes that he is "more than halfway" to finishing whatever project he's working on in the Shadowzone that requires the acquisition of Decepticon Hunters, having previously received Bumblebee's from Stuntwing in "King of the Hill (Part 2)".
Prisoner manifest Edit
Transformers references Edit
- When he's assigned as part of the group to go make sure the trooper station is clear, one of the Sideswipes complains "What am I? Some kind of Rescue Bot?"
- During the last conversation with Dragstrip, the subtitles designate one of the Sideswipes as "W-SWIPE".
- The end of the episode leaves it nebulous as to whether or not Dragstrip was captured after being knocked out by the Sideswipes; it wasn't until "Disordered Personalities" that it was shown that he'd escaped.