Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Ark Addendum - Traitor

Welcome back, to another edition of The Ark Addendum.  This week, the classic G1 Season Two episode Traitor!

Traitor is quite a fun episode.  Mirage's anti-war sentiments were explored a bit in More than Meets the Eye, so it's fun to see the ultra gung-ho Cliffjumper confront him.  The episode had enough resonance to be echoed decades later in All Hail Megatron, so that's something.  There are some really neat Floro Dery designs, too.  I love the Insecticon lair.  Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Mirage was one of those characters who didn't have as much screen time in the series, so it was good to see them take his Tech-Spec bio to heart even for only an episode.

I think if the Transformers world had an equivalent to 'trolls', they would have to be the Insecticons, and this episode is a great example.

Love the hyper-detailing for the Insecticon lair. I have to wonder if Floro uses rulers or compass when he works, seems like he would.

Roadstripe said...

I think the big problem the other Autobots had with Mirage was not so much his anti-war feelings – especially since most Autobots were pretty much anti-war anyway – but that he was the Autobots' spymaster.

Sure Bumblebee did plenty of espionage work, but his was pretty much straightforward, more like a field agent than the one pulling the strings. Mirage lied, cheated, sabotaged, pulled dirty tricks, snuck around instead of straight-out fighting, all things a good spymaster has to do, Autobot or not. Yet it must have veered disturbingly close to stereotypical Decepticon behavior to the more warrior-like Autobots. Episodes like this one and "More Than Meets the Eye Part 3" were reminders that the Autobot army needed 'bots like Mirage just as much as it needed warriors like Cliffjumper.

On a more addendum-related topic, I like the shot of the Insecticons' lair. It manages to look a bit grungy and Cybertronian, appropriate for the Insecticons. As for the electro-cell lab, I wonder how much of that was Earth technology and how much came from the Autobots.

Anonymous said...

Hey Roadstripe, interesting observations. I don't really remember anytime that Mirage has ever lied or cheated in the TV show (but I could be mistaken, so correct me please if that is the case). He certainly did play fast and loose and underhandedly sabotaged the Insecticons, leaving the insignia where it could be found. Not behavior I would ever condone by the way, but I let him off the hook because cartoon morality is black and white.

If I were to assume Mirage had those qualities and habits that your saying I could certainly understand trepidation from the other characters. Though it's all speculation since this is fiction and only implied by his tech-specs.

I love these Captcha's. "Prove you're not a robot" 1741 Dynabow. Sounds like the name of rock band.

Roadstripe said...

Actually, you're right. I exaggerated when describing Mirage's job. Also, I should point out that I never saw Mirage's tech spec until I found the internet. Until then, I only knew of the trading cards, which had a different function for Mirage.

In short, I think of Mirage less as "Spy" and more as "Counterintelligence".

When I said "lie" and "cheated", I meant towards the Decepticons since he actually played things square with his fellow Autobots. Bumblebee was primarily an information-gatherer, but Mirage also did sabotage, screwed up the Decepticons' own intelligence-gathering efforts, and basically less aboveboard and dirty stuff than the straightforward warriors would (and were comfortable with). I'd give him a pass on his behavior in the cartoon because that's what he's supposed to be doing anyway.

Even so, I have to admit the other Autobots would probably be mostly okay with his behavior despite their discomfort at how closely it seems to stereotypical Decepticon behavior were it not for his doubts about the Autobot cause. Think about how devastating it would be for the Autobots if someone who knew so much about the inner workings of Autobot intelligence were to suddenly switch sides. Think of the damage he could do if he were really a double agent.... Fortunately, he seems to disagree with the Decepticons a heck of a lot more than he does the Autobots.

And I'm blathering on and on about the job description of a nearly-30-year-old toy character. :p Sorry about that.

Anonymous said...

No apology necessary, I find these characters as interesting to talk about as you do.

There is much room for interpretation when it comes to unknown elements. While I try not to jump to conclusions, your not going to see or be aware of everything. So much can be and has been assumed by many fans of the show about many different aspects of continuity, character, cannon, etc. In fact it's a huge part of the fandom, filling in the blanks or reinterpreting conventional thought.

The discussion is part of what makes the lore all the more interesting, seeing more then one viewpoint I think is good. Even though he's supposed to be a good-guy, Mirage DOES do things that are shady. Of course he states he'd never harm a fellow Autobot, but I can see where that might be difficult to completely believe if I were suspicious. In defense of Cliffjumper, in the end he was partly right about Mirage, just not for the reasons he thought.

Felicity Walker said...

This episode is frustrating because Cliffjumper is completely wrong about Mirage (the electro-cells weren’t in that location yet when Mirage patrolled it; and later, Mirage was tricking the Insecticons when Cliffjumper saw him in the area), yet Cliffjumper forgives him because he assumes Mirage was the victim of a cerebro-shell the entire time. In actuality, Mirage was implanted with a cerebro-shell long after Cliffjumper started having suspicions, but this gets swept under the rug. I hope eventually, off-camera, Mirage was able to explain the whole to Cliffjumper properly.