Beast Hunters Episode 3 kicks off with Shockwave explaining to Megatron and Starscream how he was able to create a Predacon in his lab on Cybertron. The Predacons are a long-extinct Cybertronian breed, but Shockwave was able to acquire fossilized remains that he used to “grow” this enormous Predacon dragon in his lab. The dragon is scary enough to give Starscream the heebie-jeebies, but Shockwave quickly explains the dragon is entirely under his control. As a practical demonstration of the dragon’s abilities, Shockwave sends it off in pursuit of the escaped Wheeljack.
We’re properly introduced to Ultra Magnus this episode as well. Like the character in the IDW comics, this Ultra Magnus is all business and has little patience for anything that isn’t strictly by the book, as Arcee and Jack quickly learn as he joins up with with them as they search for the other Autobots. In Optimus Prime’s absence, Ultra Magnus assumes command and we learn that he had been trained by Optimus himself, so most of the Autobots agree he’s the logical choice to lead. Wheeljack seems to be the only one not on board with this plan; the two of them seem to have a history since Wheeljack’s reaction to seeing Ultra Magnus was less than enthusiastic while the other Autobots were thrilled to meet him. It’ll be interesting to learn more of Ultra Magnus’ history as the season progresses.
The bulk of the episode’s focus is the Predacon’s pursuit of Wheeljack and Bulkhead. The Predacon is impressive to watch in action and surely would have finished off Bulkhead and Wheeljack had Ultra Magnus not shown up with his ship to get them out of harm’s way just in time. Magnus is able to shake the Predacon while flying through what looked like the Grand Canyon — the Predacon was attached to the ship, so Magnus simply flew close enough to the rocks to knock the dragon off the ship — simple! This meant the dragon had to return to Shockwave and Megatron empty-handed, and Starscream certainly did not miss this chance to gloat.
The episode ends with Smokescreen still tending to a very wounded Optimus Prime. Smokescreen manages to bring the Forge of Solus, a giant hammer, to Optimus with the hopes that Optimus would be able to use it to repair himself. This is sadly not the case as he explains that the Forge must be used to repair the Omega Lock in order to maintain any hope of saving Cybertron. A Prime is needed to do this, however, and Optimus hints that Smokescreen may be the next in line to inherit the Matrix of Leadership.
This was a fun episode that served its purpose in showing off the Predacon in action and getting us acquainted with Ultra Magnus. It is finally starting to feel like this season is getting a foothold, so I’m anxious to see where they go from here. I think Shockwave has big plans in store for his Predacon experiments, so we’ll have to keep watching to find out how this is all going to play out.