This is the final installment of the Netflix Transformers trilogy. You can see what I thought about the first two, War for Cybertron and Earthrise. The final six episodes chronicle what happens after the Autobots and Decepticons land on Earth in their search for the All Spark and introduces us to some of the characters from the Beast Wars version of the Transformers universe.
In these final six episodes the Autobots and Decepticons have landed on Earth and are looking for the Allspark to take back to Cybertron and revitalize it. They are met by their respective future counterparts, the Maximals and Predacons, who explain why they are there and what must be done during that time to prevent the proverbial dystopian future that awaits them should things continue on their present course. And then all the mayhem and hijinks ensue.
They got right to the point, and kept moving towards the goal at a good pace. In Earthrise, there were scenes and some entire episodes that moved at a snail’s pace and didn’t seem to add much of anything. Not the case here. Within minutes we met the Maximals and Predacons, knew their intentions, and were off to the races. The mysterious callbacks to the 1987 film from Earthrise were explained along the way without taking too much time, too.
The character list was a plus as well. They knew that if you were going to gear the story towards people from 35 up to my age then you need to stick to the characters we know best. The extended roster that exists in the comics is totally foreign to us and would have cost valuable time to introduce here, so best to leave them out. The Beast Wars characters were enough new additions and they were introduced well.
This installment spent a lot of time on Starscream, and in a good way. In many ways it was his story, and we got some real vision into his motivations and everything. The previous chapters did that for Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Megatron and a few others so it was good for him to get a turn.
One of the positives from Earthrise was that they continued to follow what was happening on Cybertron after Optimus Prime and his crew left. Here, Cybertron was almost completely left out until the last episode. Bumblebee’s story was also just about totally left out until late in the run, which was not good.
To give Bumblebee such a new and different characterization than what we’re used to and to spend the first two chapters developing it, just to relegate him to the background for so much of this section felt kind of hollow. Yes, business did pick up for him later but I think there was a big missed opportunity there. The same goes for Ratchet, whose reluctance to join the team was a staple of the first six episodes and totally left in the wind here.
There’s also the issue of Nemesis Prime, the evil Darth Vader-esque figure that Optimus becomes in the future. We’re told that it happens, and we do see him, but we only get a little background on as to why it happens. We don’t need a Star Wars prequel style series for it but some more than ‘yeah this happens and it’s bad’ would help.
Man, these six episodes were far out there, like they were written while under the influence of some hallucinogens. Megatron being a haze along with several others having visions and seeing ghosts is just kinda crazy at times. And he wasn’t the only one seeing ghosts, either. There were stretches where you might feel like you’ve taken some hallucinogens along with the writers.
It was a bit open ended at the conclusion, leaving space to come back for another round if this one does well enough, so how you feel about that kind of thing will factor in to how you take it. Unicron being teased throughout but left in the background as a shadowy final boss kinda sucks if this is indeed the end of this series. I thought that part was fine, not great, but fine.
Final Verdict: 7/10
Overall quality: 4/6 (good), Enjoyability: 3/4
It was significantly better than Earthrise, but not as good as the first chapter. The big finish could have used a better lead up explanation, but I’d rather stick with what we got than a whole lot of exposition. The action was good, and we did get some good character work even if they did leave some out that could have delved into more. The final conclusion was….fine. It left room for more should they choose to go there.
As for the entire series, I give it a 7. I applaud the effort to make a serious long-form Transformers story and what we got was infinitely better storytelling than in any of the live action movies. Earthrise being such a drag in the middle brings it down, though. All that being said if you’re a Transformers fan then I recommend it.