Tunnel Vision is the twelfth episode of Transformers: Prime and the thirty-eighth episode of the series overall. It was aired on May 5th, 2012.
Team Prime, having obtained the same coordinates for four Iacon relics as the Decepticons, plan their next course of action. Optimus suggests a dispersal so they can obtain all the relics simultaneously. Despite initial resistance from Arcee, the New York site and the relic contained beneath its streets are selected for Arcee and Bumblebee to scout. Miko volunteers her knowledge of subways and Jack his ability to cover for the mission; all four prepare to roll out.
Having moved away from Manhattan, Megatron assigns Knock Out the discrete task of obtaining the relic there. At a disadvantage without Breakdown, Knock Out is unwillingly appointed an Insecticon partner, along with a small detachment of Vehicon miners. Beyond frustrated with Knock Out's lack of concern beyond his paint job, Megatron sends them off.
In a New York alley, Arcee, Bumblebee, Jack and Miko bridge in. They quickly locate a construction site where they can enter the vast subway network. As they walk, Bumblebee nearly steps on a third rail, but Jack warns him of the danger just in time. A familiar sound echoes through the tunnels—a Decepticon drill, which Miko pinpoints the direction of. She tears off through an access tunnel, Jack in tow. On the other side, they are confronted by Vogel, a sweeper train operator, and Miko constructs a hasty lie that saves their tail. He offers to take them for a ride.
Vogel's personality soon becomes clear as he recounts tales of monsters that creep through the subways—including the mole men, who he believes are amassing their armies. Miko and Jack make an escape jumping off the back of the train, Vogel totally oblivious. Arcee and Bumblebee find Knock Out and the miners, but don't see the Insecticon creeping up behind them. It attacks the duo, alerting Knock Out to their presence. Arcee and Knock Out exchange blows while Bumblebee occupies the Insecticon; Arcee makes a grab for the relic, but is knocked out by an electron prod to the back. Bumblebee is also quickly floored by the Insecticon. Satisfied, Knock Out cracks the relic's packaging and prepares to field-test the device on his new subjects.
Jack and Miko bicker in the tunnel about Jack's sojourn to Cybertron, but are stopped in their tracks by the sound of footsteps. It's Vogel, none too happy about being ditched. Miko, capitalizing on the man's conspiratorial bent, gets Jack to tell him the truth. Vogel is enthralled and they all board his train to find their friends.
Knock Out's field test is interrupted by the arriving sweeper. The Insecticon sidesteps it, but Knock Out is hit and dragged a distance between the wall and train, suffering serious cosmetic damage. Arcee and Bumblebee, now conscious, start fighting back as Knock Out peels out with the relic. Arcee goes after the train with the Insecticon following while Bumblebee chases after the fleeing medic.
On the train, Vogel reveals that the brake line went out and that their course is for a dead end. Arcee is able to catch up with the train and jump onto the back of it. Informed of the approaching wall, she drives ahead for the turn switch. Trying to change the tracks, she snaps the lever, forcing her to change the track alignment physically. She succeeds just in time and with the train safe, she faces her foe. Recalling Bumblebee's previous encounter, Arcee lures the Insecticon into touching the third rail, which instantly kills it.
Knock Out faces off against the Autobot scout in a chase. Bumblebee accidentally activates the relic during a tussle which clamps onto his wrist. The train barrels in and heads straight for an oblivious Bumblebee, whom it passes right through without a scratch. It instead strikes Knock Out, grinding his face and body on the rails for a good distance before the train comes to a stop. Horrified at his total cosmetic disfigurement, he flees, minus a wheel.
The relic is revealed to be a Phase Shifter, which allows the user to pass through solid objects. The problem turns to Vogel, who knows about the Cybertronians. A hasty call forces Fowler, who's now awake back at base, to deputize the worker as a "Deputy of Interstellar Relations". Vogel is ecstatic about his new position even when he is told to maintain complete radio silence until he is called upon. As Vogel watches the Autobots and the kids leave, he ponders the idea of robots disguised as vehicles while looking at his sweeper train.
- This is the first episode that we see Knock Out mention his partner's death.
- There is a surprising lack of trains in the tunnels of New York. Not to mention humans on New York's streets.
- Insecticons are revealed to have blasters in their robot modes. Unlike most transforming guns seen so far, their blasters emerge from their forearms.
- In the first episode, the Autobots take on the burden of watching over and protecting the human children because they witnessed them in robot-mode or got caught in the crossfire of a Decepticon battle. Vogel, despite having the same "qualifications", is dispatched with a hasty cover story and left to fend for himself without Autobot protection.
- Vogel's name is most likely a reference to The Hub's Mike Vogel.
Main Article: Tunnel Vision Gallery
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