“The Transformers” season 3 followed on from 1986’s “The Transformers: The Movie.” The series didn’t totally leave Earth behind, but the scale grew more cosmic; many stories were set on either the Transformers’ homeworld of Cybertron or other alien planets. “Webworld” is one of the latter, with the twist of featuring the evil Decepticons as the episode’s protagonists.
Earlier in the season, the Decepticons’ leader Galvatron fell into a lava pool, causing him severe mental damage and leaving him just as inclined to attack his own troops as the Autobots. Finally, in “Webworld,” the other Decepticons give Galvatron’s devoted second-in-command Cyclonus an ultimatum: take care of their leader, or they will. So, Cyclonus tricks Galvatron into going to the planetwide asylum Torkulon. It’s called “Webworld” because the Torkuli used purple web-like material to restrain their patients.
The episode is a fish-out-of-water comedy; for once, the Decepticons have to abide by an alien culture instead of trying to conquer it. Even aside from Galvatron’s predicament (actor Frank Welker makes him sound even wilder than usual), Cyclonus has to deal with paperwork upon Galvatron’s institutionalization.
With a scant 22 minutes and a quota of action to meet, the episode resorts to a montage: Talk, art, and group therapy all fail on Galvatron in rapid succession. Ultimately, the Torkuli resort to lobotomy. Torkulon itself is a living entity, with insect-like puppets called Alya. The Alya are instructed to devour Galvatron’s diseased brain circuits and absorb them, curing him of “being Galvatron.” The treatment backfires; Galvatron’s mind leaves Torkulon itself in ruins.
“Webworld” wasn’t Wein’s last rodeo with “Transformers” — he also wrote for “Beast Wars,” “Beast Machines,” and “Robots in Disguise.” However, “Webworld” was his best, and funniest, outing. You can watch it on Hasbro’s YouTube channel.