Transformers: Robots in Disguise Episode Guide
Episode 22: Sky-Byte Saves The Day
Original U.S. air date: July 27, 2002 (Botcon 2002 special event)
Written by: Matthew V. Lewis
While Optimus Prime analyzes Megatron's recent attacks and considers he might be looking for the o-parts, Sky-Byte takes the Predacons Dark Scream, Gas Skunk and Slapper to the newly-built CGA Tower, tallest in the world. Sky-Byte decides they will destroy the tower during its grand opening that day after it fills with people (including the Autobots' friend, Koji) to bring prestige to himself and the Predacons. Once they do, Optimus sends the build team to stop them and repair the damage. Before the tower falls, Wedge assumes the people in the tower are Sky-Byte's hostages and ask for his demands. Stumbling to think of something, Sky-Byte demands to talk to Optimus and bluffs his way through the conversation until T-AI and Optimus decide he must want the Autobots' o-parts.
Optimus agrees to bring all he has and disconnects, but Sky-Byte accidentally breaks the last link holding the tower up. The build team and Predacons work together to keep the tower intact and the hostages alive, and the media covering the crisis announce Sky-Byte and the Predacons to be heroes. The hostages begin cheering for Sky-Byte, and Wedge encourages his ego by suggesting the hostages would cheer him more if he freed them. Optimus travels to the site, where Scourge and the Decepticons try to take the o-parts from him and even destroy the tower before he can deliver them to Sky-Byte. They are repelled, but the tower is damaged during the fight. The build team forms Landfill, clears away several abandoned buildings and digs a hole large enough to hold the tower, saving all the hostages. The Predacons leave as heroes, forgetting completely about the o-parts until they're completely gone, and then realizing they don't even know what they are.
The o-parts were first seen in the episode "The Ultimate Robot Warrior" and pursued again in "Volcano," both of which were analyzed by Optimus at the start of the episode. It's not for two more episodes, during "Ultra Magnus," that Sky-Byte or Megatron mention the o-parts again. However, Sky-Byte's unexpected reputation as a hero dogs him for the rest of the series, especially since Koji was an eyewitness to his "heroism." This plays a minor role in several episodes but a major one in "Koji Gets His Wish," when Koji confronts Sky-Byte directly about his father's abduction by the Predacons.
This episode marks the second appearance of Landfill and the only appearance of his "Typhoon mode" (as the Japanese toy was called), with Heavy Load (Build Typhoon) forming the arms. The Landfill toy had three possible configurations, but using Grimlock as the arms was intended as the "default" and this mode enjoyed the heaviest use in the cartoon. The third mode, with Hightower as the arms, was only seen in the final two episodes "Galvatron's Revenge" and "The Final Battle."
Why this episode was removed from broadcast following the events of September 11, 2001 is a little more clear than other cases, since destroying a tall building to get attention is exactly what the terrorist attacks were all about. Given the particular theme of this cartoon, however (giant transforming robots attacking the city on a more-or-less weekly basis), it still feels like an overreaction.