The tension of this trilogy increases dramatically in the final act leading up to a fantastic conclusion. Several plot elements come together in the last few minutes that really show why Transformers is such a great series. Any other program would have a character like Optimus Prime be the hero and take down the Decepticons at the last moment. Instead, he gets blasted out of the sky and we see a moment of hopelessness and anger from Optimus that shows he is no God, but "human' like the rest of us. Starscream's treachery and Mirage's ingenuity save the day for the Autobots, and show the balance of character importance in the series. There are some bad elements to this episode such as the plot to use ravage and Autobots trying to disguise themselves as humans at a rocket base, but the ending more than makes up for that, making this one of the better episodes of the first season.
As in almost every episode, Soundwave is always the cornerstone of the Decepticons. He designs and flies their space cruiser, produces all of the energon cubes, performs all of the espionage for the Decepticons along with two of his underlings: Laserbeak and Ravage (Reflector does also but he sux), has the coolest voice next to Prime's, isn't a traitorous fool like Starscream, and he's the only other Decepticon that Megatron has any respect for. Sorry...just had to plug Soundwave's coolness real quick.