I don’t about you, but (I’m feeling 22) I love Futurama. I wasn’t heavy into it when it was originally airing because – thinking back – it feels like they changed the time slot on it almost every week. I became a bigger fan after it was released on DVD and cancelled, but then it was brought back from the dead and got a pretty lengthy second life.
I feel like it’s criminally underrated in the annals since it was created by Matt Groening and couldn’t possibly become the mega-hit have the impact on pop culture as The Simpsons did, but nonetheless, our friends from Planet Express were quite memorable and entertaining in their own right.
So, just like I did with She-Ra, I selected a completely at-random episode and choose to tell you the tale of the tale. Enjoy.
Futurama S.7, E.12: “The Mutants Are Revolting”
Originally Aired: September 2, 2010
Apparently this is the 100th episode of the show as we’re greeted with a graphic during the opening of Bender being proud of having fashioned a “100” out of steel beams. Good for him.
We open at Planet Express Headquarters where Professor Farnsworth exclaims the good news of being hired for their 100th delivery. Hermes comments that that’s almost 10 deliveries per year. Tremendous.
The crew is hired to deliver a souffle from Elzar’s that is extremely combustible, so they load it into Bender for safe-keeping. The crew arrives at the home of the wealthy Mrs. Astor safely despite the predictable wild ride through a meteor shower and are able to deliver the souffle without incident. The rich, old lady puts a fork to it as the crew hides from the imminent explosion they’re expecting, but when she eats the forkful without incident, her butler explains, “One does not explode in Mrs. Astor’s face.” Hi-yoooooooooooo!
Mrs. Astor strikes up a conversation with the Professor and upon learning him and Fry are Farnsworths, invites them to her charity gala since all the important families will be there to which Fry slams his fist into his open hand and exclaims, “We can take ’em!”
Mrs. Astor takes to the podium at the fundraiser and tells the story of the maiden voyage of the Land Titanic which was the largest land vessel every built at the time. During its travels in New New York, it struck a mailbox and sunk beneath the street. Over 2,000 souls were lost including her husband, Mr. Astor. In his honor she created this endowment which this year would be supporting the United Mutant Scholarship Fund.
A video is played which shows the underground mutants going to a school called Brown University which basically teaches them to be able to maintain the pipes and sewage system under New New York, but as Mrs. Astor also explains to Leela, keeps them busy so they don’t start complaining about equal rights and such.
Well. This just got topical.
Fry spills the beans and makes it known that Leela’s a mutant and Mrs. Astor immediately has her arrested. The penalty for being a mutant in public apparently, is permanent deportation. She’s then dropped into an open manhole never to be seen or heard from again.
This just got really topical.
Leela is back in the sewers in which she grew up and ends up at her parents’ house where she openly opines about having to spend her remaining days in “this hellhole”. The Planet Express team tries to get the mayor to allow Leela back, but instead, they all get sentenced to two weeks in the sewers for harboring a mutant. All, except Bender, however, who’s back at headquarters hosting the big party to celebrate the 100th delivery.
While touring the sewers, the crew comes across the remains the remains of the Land Titanic. The explore the remnants and Zoidberg suggests they shake the skeletons off the bunks and get some sleep. The Professor admonishes him for desecrating the remains of these people until Amy is heard shouting that she found a safe which leads to a quick cut of Farnsworth trying to get it open by slamming a skull against the handle.
This show is wonderful.
They crack open the safe and discover the original passenger manifest as well as an enormous green diamond looking ring that apparently has Green Lantern powers and is inscribed to Mrs. Astor from her late husband.
Back to the party, Bender becomes sentimental after seeing a banner of the whole crew posing after making their historic delivery and immediately cancels the party the same way my Mom canceled Christmas in 96 after I put on a Rancid CD instead of her religious holiday music.
Fry, in an attempt to both apologize to Leela and understand the plight of mutants, jumps into a toxic pond despite Leela’s protests. Leela rushes to pull him out, but when she does, he has morphed into a type of sludge monster with octopus tentacles. She’s not exactly thrilled with this and pukes over the side of her rowboat.
Leela hopes that her and Fry can now team-up to inspire mutants into fighting for equality and brings out the 80s one-hit wonder, Devo who proclaim that they’ll do whatever they can to help. When one mutant yells out to play “Whip It”, the lead singer gives a flat “No” and tells the band to “play the other one”. This is quality.
The mutants are now causing an uprising and the surface-dwellers are none too happy about it. They mutants big plan is to bend the underground West Side Pipeline to really disrupt surface life, but who can they get to possibly bend such a large pipe?
Sludge Monster Fry gets his buddy Bender.
Bender does his job and the streets of New New York are now flooded with sludge as the mutants plan to storm City Hall in the Million Mutant March. Fry is asked to lead the charge, but says he’ll catch up as he has to check something out.
The mutants arrive to the surface and begin protesting, but Mrs. Astor demands they be put back in the sewers since she’s a big donor in the political game and doesn’t like them. Her butler unleashes some kind of mutant seeking missile which misfires and blows up Madison Cube Garden where they were storing all the toxic sewage that had built up. It causes a tsunami, but Fry arrives in the nick of time to part the sewage sea with the power of that massive Green Lantern gem attached to a plunger.
Fry brings out Leela’s grandmother who tells a story of being a child working on the Land Titanic and how she would have perished if not for Mr. Astor’s generosity in giving up his seat in a life car to her and her mother. Mrs. Astor convinces the Mayor to give the mutants their freedom and after Leela kisses Fry for making this happen, normal Fry is regurgitated by the Sludge Monster who was encapsulating him that turns out to be Mr. Astor who never died, but has been living in solitude in the toxic pond until Fry happened to dive in his mouth. Mrs. Astor is thrilled to see her beloved even if he is horribly disfigured and Zoidberg exclaims, “Hooray! A happy ending for the rich people!”
We finish back at Planet Express where the crew asks Bender about the party and he tries covering up how lonely he was without them by saying they could have another party if it would make everybody feel better. We hit the music and get a big group dance scene as we hit the credits. Happy 100th, Futurama.
This episode was terrific. This show is terrific. It’s smart, sensible and not overbearing and the characters and wonderfully scripted.
I don’t know how the jokes I wrote about will come across, but trust me, they were funny and I laughed. This episode was such a fun and quick 22 minutes. If you’ve never watched this before, you should. It’s on Netflix so it’s readily available.
If you were like me and kind of watched it back in the day, but then fell off and never got back to it, well, get back to it. I genuinely think you’ll love it.
Knowing the background of who these characters are, I was able to select a random episode like this and watch with no problems, but this is a show that – if you were to start from the beginning – you would get hooked on very easily and have no problem binging. So, be like me. Watch this show.