Episode 5 was by far, the best episode of this ongoing season and is the very model of a great Battlebot episode. All the battles were brutal, vicious, and evenly matched. There were upsets, there was fire, and there was carnage. I was wrong that there was going to be one thrilling bout in my last article, there were four. Let’s take a look at this episode and understand why it’s the probably the best Battlebots episode ever.
Episode 5 wouldn’t be the stellar episode that it was if it wasn’t for the superb buildup to this point. By now, all these robots have won at least one battle and are qualified veterans in the Battlebox. The fact that favorites were fighting favorites had me on edge for the entire episode, something that Episodes 1 through 4 haven’t fully achieved. But four bots had to win and four bots had to lose, let’s check out these glorious, and at the same time bittersweet, fights.
Stinger the Killer Bee vs. Bronco
Ah! My heart! It weeps for Stinger. The builders were great people (you can’t help but love this couple) and their robot was spunky and fierce. Nonetheless! This battle was fantastic!
First off, I love that bit before the battle began where Stinger blew fire and Bronco flipped his massive arm. That was definitely like something from a wrestlers’ match where the fighters intimidated the opponents and please the crowd. Love it.
Then these rectangular bots inched their way around each other trying to find a good spot in. But once Bronco came in, the hits started flying and the robots were just going at each other. I thought Bronco was done for when it got on the screws but man, that was funny seeing him just ride those rails! Anyway, a nice strong and showy appearance by Stinger should be worth noted but it didn’t stop Bronco who flipped him out of the area. GOD! THAT WAS NUTS! Flames were everywhere! It looked like Stinger just exploded with fire! You couldn’t even see him when he got knocked out! It looked like Hell just opened up and swallowed Stinger whole!
Both of these bots came out relatively unscathed though by the looks of it which is great for Bronco cause he’s going to need that to fight Tombstone in the next round.
Also, huge shout out to Stinger, I love you guys, you’re the best and I hope to see you again next year!
Tombstone vs. Witch Doctor
Speaking of which, let’s talk about one of the most surprisingly matches in the evening. I got to say, I did not expect that from Witch Doctor even with her minibot out of commission. True, Witch Doctor took down Overdrive handily and that should be mentioned but damn that was something else! Witch Doctor has certainly proven one thing and that’s Tombstone is only a robot and not a god.
But I LOVE THIS BATTLE. Their first contact was a direct hit between their respective spinners and they just go flying and we just keep it up with that crazy energy for the rest of the battle even when Witch Doctor’s weapon went out of commission. Rewatching it again, I notice how Witch Doctor was being the more aggressive bot throughout most of that battle. What’s more, she didn’t get flung as far compared to Tombstone who got flipped upside down even. I don’t know how Witch Doctor, which to me did not look very sturdy or strong, was able to keep it up but she did thanks to that awesome weapon and her strong battery ram. God, seeing Tombstone get flung around like that was beautiful.
Unfortunately, that was it, Tombstone could afford to get flung around, but not Witch Doctor. One bad hit and whoops! Flipped onto her back and as helpless as a turtle. But god damn that one minute and forty seconds went by quick.
Also, it’s interesting to see Tombstone’s builder finally breaking his cold, confident exterior and have that nervous, ecstatic joy that he was clearly displaying in the post-match interview. Really goes to show how intense this match was for him.
Biteforce vs. Overhaul
But that intensity just didn’t hold a candle to the Biteforce/Overhaul match. You wouldn’t think that two clamp bots could make a thrilling match but god damn you can be wrong! Several times, I kept thinking how this match was like a battle between two ferocious kaiju with their jaws wide open and their unstoppable tenacity. God, I love those head-on collusions as it was like two monsters trying their damndest to kill the other.
And that match! Jesus, I first thought Biteforce got it but then Overhaul just made that amazing comeback that had even the judges scratching their heads. So why did Biteforce win it in the end despite the strong finish by Overhaul? Well, I think it comes down to one of the four categories; damage, control, strategy, and aggression. I think three of the four categories were fairly even but it was control that probably did it. Biteforce was deciding where Overhaul was going for the majority of the match thanks to those awesome magnetic treads of his. Biteforce was pushing Overhaul everywhere and even getting a few semilifts as well. Overhaul only took control less than a minute left in the match. Even though Overhaul lifted Biteforce entirely off of the ground, something that Biteforce couldn’t achieve, Biteforce still had some great control earlier in the match. And it’s that control that gave Biteforce the ability to win.
Icewave vs. Ghost Raptor
The upset match for Episode 5 broke my heart but in return, Ghost Raptor finally earned my respect. Ghost Raptor’s previous two matches were a bit wonky but he finally earned his credentials against the favored number 2 seed Icewave. Ghost Raptor’s ingenuity and willingness to evolve out did Icewave’s standard, tried-and-true-method. I had no idea that Ghost Raptor would win this battle, especially the way ABC was setting up this match. That part where Ghost Raptor’s builders realized that their Deicer was making their bot a bit uncontrollable made me more confident that Ghost Raptor was going to lose.
So in the end, all these four battles were great and definitely made this episode fantastic. It will be very challenging for episode 6 to live up to those kind of standards, especially with the match up between Bronco vs. Tombstone and Biteforce vs. Ghost Raptor. But who knows! Maybe we’ll have a Battlebot Rumble like during the CC days. Now wouldn’t that be a surprise twist?