Writing Credits: David Wise
First Aired: First aired in the US on October 20, 1989.
Title reference: The title refers to Tom the robotic cat and is a play on the black-humor/dystopian movie and television series, Robocop.
Episode Number: 30
Production Number: 27
The Rescue Rangers are rummaging in the junk pile of a human inventor. Dale is playing a video game console which glitches during play. Gadget fixes the console on the fly and Dale continues playing. Chip complains that they are not doing anything important. The inventor, Ignatz Stanislavsky, now puts the finishing touches on a robotic cat, made most notably from a toaster and an electric lamp. The inventor says proudly that he will give the robot, Tom, a fur coat "just like a real cat" if he catches mice. Stanislavsky activates Tom, who finds and chases the Rangers. The Rangers fight Tom off and he eventually trips and falls because of the clutter in the room. Stanislavsky angrily throws Tom outside for failing. Gadget is sympathetically outraged as this treatment and argues with Monty that she could rehabilitate Tom with Dale's game cartridge. Over Chip's misgivings, they take Tom's deactivated body home to be hacked.
Gadget inserts the game cartridge into Tom's toaster body and reactivates him; sure enough, he turns out to be sweet and gentle, even appearing to gain Monty's trust. Chip insults him and calls him a tin can who won't be petted. Tom admits that he won't be "real" until he has fur. The Rescue Rangers go out to search for something for him.
Meanwhile, Fat Cat's henchmen are trying to dissuade him from entering a rich man's house to steal Luna, the world's rarest, most valuable tropical fish. The henchmen failed to capture her during delivery, so Fat Cat heads the operation himself. Inside, the rich man and his son are arguing about getting a pet cat. The son, Freddy, desperately wants something cuddly, which their guard dog Butch is not. Freddy's father says that a cat would shed and eat his fish, and besides, he's allergic to them. While saying this, he sneezes, dislodging his toupee, and directs Butch to find the cat in the house that is responsible. Butch chases the henchmen off and flings Fat Cat off of Luna's fishtank. Freddy's dad saves Luna from falling, kisses her and puts her back, and reiterates that this is why they can't have a cat. Freddy is crestfallen.
The Rescue Rangers are now dumpster-diving for a fur coat. Tom expresses his thanks, but sees Fat Cat and his henchmen and is taken with Fat Cat's fur. He wanders away and talks to Fat Cat, who tells Tom to come with him. At Happy Tom, Fat Cat shuts Tom off and discovers the personality cartridge. He orders his gang to get another game, "a really violent one." This done, Fat Cat installs the new game, turns Tom on, and breaks his power switch off. Tom's eyes glow an evil red, scaring even Fat Cat for a moment, but Tom asks Fat Cat for orders. The Rescue Rangers have missed Tom by now, and are searching for him on foot.
Tom goes to the target house, kicks the door down, disarms Butch and tries to grab Luna. He begins to short as he reaches into her tank; he is not water-resistant. Tom grabs a rubber glove to protect himself and kidnaps Luna. Freddy's father sends a scared Butch after Tom. Butch wanders the streets muttering about what a crazy day he's had, then sees the Ranger Plane and barks at it. The Rangers question him about Tom, and Butch angrily recaps what Tom has done and says that another cat also made an attempt on Luna. The Rangers tell Butch to bring his owner to the cannery, and they fly there themselves.
Fat Cat's minions are preparing dinner for him, with Luna as the main course. They start to marinate her alive. Fat Cat orders Tom to guard the roof. Tom sees the Plane approach and jumps at it. Chip is not surprised, but Gadget is convinced something is wrong. She and Dale drop down to try to switch Tom off. Dale distracts Tom, but Gadget finds that the switch is gone. Tom bats Gadget off of himself and is about to strike Dale when Monty hits Tom with a plunger reel on the Plane. Tom starts reeling the Plane in and tries to bite it. Gadget and Dale eject the new cartridge and Tom shuts down. Gadget discovers that Tom's personality has been replaced and says that he can't be blamed for what Fat Cat did to him; Chip says they need to save Luna before fixing Tom.
The Rangers enter Fat Cat's office, pour Luna down a drain, and give Fat Cat and his gang a pie in the face. They leave to save Luna. Dale finds his old game and wants to fix Tom. Chip tells him not to, but Dale disobeys him and puts the correct game back in. Tom comes to and is so eager to help that the Ranger Plane cannot keep up with him. The Rangers meet up with Butch and lead him to a sewer drain, which Tom and the Plane enter. Butch barks and points, trying to show his dense master where Luna is. Eventually Freddy's father understands, but can't fit into the drain. Freddy goes down, ignoring his father's protests. Tom, carrying Dale, sees Freddy running along a pipe. The pipe breaks and Freddy is left hanging. Tom holds up the pipe and lets Freddy climb down him, but the pipe breaks and sends Tom into the water. Chip grabs Luna from the water at the last moment. Freddy sadly pulls Tom's body from the water.
Freddy is moping on his bed when Tom enters with dark brown fur wrapped around his body. Freddy asks where Tom got it. His father enters, less his toupee, and praises Tom. Chip admits that Gadget was right about Tom, and Gadget says that every cat should have a home. That includes Fat Cat, says Monty, and Chip suggests the state penitentiary.
The Rescue Rangers
The Ranger Plane
"What a night! Robot cats, fishnappers, and me, beaten in a fight. Heh, nothing would surprise me at this point. Hm, a squirrel-powered zeppelin. -a squirrel-powered zeppelin?"
In contradiction to the canon of other episodes, where humans are shown as incapable of understanding animal speech, Butch corrects his master by saying in plain human English that Tom is saving Freddy, not attacking him. Freddy's father agrees, but wonders who said it. Butch whistles nervously.
Chip insists that Tom is an instinctive killer, but his personality is completely controlled by whatever software is installed on him. Dale exploits Chip's stubbornness to praise Gadget himself, especially when Chip is proved wrong.
Ignatz Stanislavsky's character design was recycled and used for the toy store owner in The S.S. DrainPipe.
This episode serves as a proof that the Rescue Rangers' hometown is New York City. The World Trade Center is visible in the background in one scene.