Because this scene is combat porn. Obviously, after that kick, the fight still continues, but it ends up with Dreadwing getting his aft kicked and it’s kinda painful for me, a Dreadwing fan, to see on a continuous loop.
Oh, and the last one is a bonus, presented to you by the crazier part of me. The words are inspired by Zack Fair~
(Episode source: Transformers Prime S2 “Hard Knocks”)
I’d actually like to talk about this fight scene for a minute here, because I find it not only to be a marvel of animation, blocking, and sound design… but also what it says about the characters and their arcs.
Consider this moment. Dreadwing plants a bomb on Bulkhead’s back, only for Bulkhead to pull the ol’switcheroo and stick the explosive on Dreadwing instead.
An admirable effort, but you’ve obviously forgotten how our last encounter ended…
No, I didn’t.
See, this is the key element. Bulkhead, for all his stubbornness, is still a person who can learn from his mistakes. Dreadwing one-upped him before in “Loose Cannons”, so Bulkhead took that as an educational experience, planned accordingly, and his intelligence pays off. Dreadwing, however, utilizes the same strategy, failing to compensate for his foe’s evolution, and suffers the consequences for his complacency. It’s a creative and visceral example of Dreadwing’s central character flaw: he cannot consider new ways of doing things; he cannot conceive that the world and people around him are changing, nor can he advance himself. In sticking to classic ideals without admitting the world, his cause, and the people around him have changed, he becomes his own worst enemy. It is this stagnation which ultimately proves to be his downfall several times over.
Dreadwing gets stuck with his own bombs, and murdered with his own gun.
What’s also interesting is who Bulkhead took into the field during this episode: Smokescreen. When Smokescreen was first introduced in “New Recruit”, Bulkhead feared being replaced by Smokey and continued to treat the kid coldly until the third act of “The Human Factor”, wherein Smokescreen saved Bulkhead, thus earning the Wrecker’s respect and friendship. Throughout “Hard Knocks”, Bulkhead both supports Smokescreen mentally by giving him advice on how to approach his new role amongst the Autobots, and backs Smokescreen up on the battlefield as well. Basically, Bulkhead initially disliked for Smokescreen for personal reasons, but eventually got over those feelings and forged a strong new relationship that has continued to pay off for both characters: Smokescreen saved Bulkhead and Bulkhead’s advice continues to influence Smokescreen’s maturity.
By contrast, Dreadwing consistently refuses Optimus Prime’s offer for friendship all throughout season 2. He continually returns to the Decepticon side, in spite of the fact that Megatron shows little to no respect for Dreadwing’s personal safety or moral values.
He sticks to his desire for revenge and faction loyalty even as evidence increasingly mounts that his efforts are wasted. In the end, Dreadwing is faced with an ultimatum: try something new, forge a new relationship, expand his skills, forgo his immediate personal issues for expansive, long-term benefits… but he just can’t do it. He cannot let go, he cannot leave his faction, no matter how hollow it has become. He cannot advance. And it costs him his life.
This all comes together in this fight scene. There’s a lot more going on here then two guys kicking each other in the guts.