“The Search For Alpha Trion” is a very strong episode in terms of establishing the Transformers “mythology.” It’s a fast-paced, action-filled story which focuses on Elita One, leader of a rbel group of Transformers still on Cybertron. What makes Elita One and her followers unique is the fact that they are all female. And the attempt to establish a bit of gender equality in the series – however short-lived it may be – must be applauded. It helps that the episode is particularly well-written and executed.
We begin by watching three female Transforers (Moonracer, Firestar, and Chromia) break into Shockwave’s base, and steal energon right out from under his security systems. The opening scene establishes a number of things: not only do female Transformers exist, the females are just as capable as their male counterparts in terms of daring, cunning, bravery, and even humility. After Moonracer greedily attempts to steal more energon than is needed, she later is able to take responsibility for her actions when she faces her leader, Elita One. It’s a trait that many of the male Transformers sometimes seem unable to duplicate.
At any rate, while the raid was a success, it allowed Shockwave to track the female Autobots to their headquarters. Megatron decides to capture Elita One and use her as bait to capture Optimus Prime – Elita One and Optimus Prime had been something of an “item” just prior to the mission to Earth. Elita is indeed captured – but not until after a blistering firefight with Starscream and a few other Decepticons.
Predictably, Optimus Prime rushes off to save Elita One and, in the process, is captured. The whole situation is a setup to force Elita One to use her “special power” – a weapon which essentially freezes time, but also drains her of her life force. She manages to save Optimus, but only at the cost of her own life. The one robot who might be able to save her is Alpha Trion – so Optimus Prime rushes off to find him. Alpha Trion is indeed able to save her – but only with knowledge that the maker of Elita One and Optimus Prime could have. As such, we learn that Alpha Trion is, in a way, the father of both Optimus Prime and Elita One (which, in a way, makes them brother and sister … which makes their “relationship” … oh, never mind …).
Along the way, we also get a pitched battle between Ironhide, Powerglide, and Inferno against the Decepticons. When all hope seems lost, the female Autobots arrive and the forces pair up to fight the Decepticons. And when they all appear defeated – Optimus Prime and Elita One arrive to officially save the day.
“The Search For Alpha Trion” is a very good episode for its exploration of the history of Cybertron, and the additional knowledge of Optimus Prime’s origins is likewise interesting. The episode also gets some credit for its explicit attempt to expand the ranks of the Autobots to include females. Unfortunately, this isn’t carried forward equitably. But at least for one episode there was the attempt at equality.