Futurama: S01E09: Hell Is Other Robots
Bender as a holy roller, will wonders never cease?! The Beastie Boys guest appearance was inspired; they were used well. There’s some enjoyable animation in the chase scene in robot hell as well. I really don’t have much to say about this episode, I just watch it. You try and see what you think.
Fry, Leela and Bender are all kickin’ it at a Beastie Boys concert at Madison Cube Garden. They’re having a great time when Bender runs into an old school chum, Fender. He works with the band and invites them all back for a meet and greet. While Fry and Leela are talking to the band, Fender asks Bender to ditch the humans and party.
Bender readily agrees and they head to a room backstage. There are robots sitting around an electricity bong “jacking on”. Bender hesitates but gives in and goes on a psychedelic trip. Fender warns him against getting hooked, but Bender sucks up the juice without restraint. Soon after, he’s getting stoned before, during and after work. Hermes notices the electricity usage has spiked and Leela feels that Bender’s erratic behavior may mean he’s abusing electricity. They accept Bender’s denials and go off on their next mission.
On their way back, Bender needs a fix. When he hears they have to avoid an electrical disturbance, he climbs out, repositions the rudder and sucks all the juice mother nature will give him. Having melted to the hull, Amy must jack-hammer him free when they return.
The whole crew is angry at him because of his behavior and has an intervention. Bender is repentant but heads right back to Sparky’s Den for a fix. He sees the church of Robotology across the street and tries to suck the juice from their sign. Realizing what he’s doing, Bender peers into the skylight to watch the sermon.
When the preacher-bot asks for those willing to be saved, Bender takes a well-timed trip through the roof and stands up for salvation.
The new and improved Bender shows up at work the next day, well adjusted and full of goodwill. He convinces the skeptical crew of his change and invites them to his baptism. At the ceremony, he accepts the principles of Robotology upon pain of eternal damnation in robot hell. He is welded with a symbol of his faith and takes them all out to eat at Elzar’s afterward. He quickly begins to get on their nerves with his never-ending prayers and clingy declarations of love. He continues on the path to self-righteousness at work and the crew decides the old Bender needs to return.
They take him on a fake mission and lead him into temptation, to which he quickly yields. He removes the symbol from his chest and tosses it away, where it begins to flash ominously. That evening, while in the hot tub with some bimbo-bots, Bender is roused to answer the door and is dragged away by an unseen hand wielding a pitchfork. Guess who?!
The following morning, Fry and Leela go to his room and find the evidence of his forceful removal. Nibbler picks up a scent and they follow it to an abandoned amusement park in New Jersey. To quote Leela, “Who would have thought that hell would really exist? And that it would be in New Jersey?” Underneath the park, the robot devil (gleefully evil voicework by Dan Castellaneta of Homer Simpson fame) regales Bender with a list if his sins and punishments through song, featuring another cameo from the Beastie Boys. Leela and Fry find the entrance then fall through a trapdoor onto a slide. As they go deeper underground, they join the robot devil’s song. Fry sings about being afraid and having splinters in his ass from the slide (that cracked me up) while Leela sings about their guilt for getting Bender into this. There aren’t as many musical interludes in this series as there are in The Simpsons, so don’t worry, your eardrums are safe. As the song ends, Fry and Leela drop in, literally, and end up in a fiddling contest with the robot devil. The prize is the golden fiddle they use for the contest plus Bender’s freedom.
The penalty? Bender stays. Oh, and Fry dies too! Great! The robot devil has the skill, but Leela has the brawn. She beats the hell out of him with the golden fiddle. They make a break for it with scores of robot demons chasing them. Bender rips the wings from one of their pursuers and uses them to fly them all to safety.
He needed a spot weld for his Robotology symbol, but manages to install wings on his own? You tell me, it’s the logic of cartoons. They have a tad bit of difficulty since Leela won’t let go of the fiddle. She drops it, giving the robot devil a parting shot on the head. Bender vows he’ll never be too good or too evil again, just himself. Leela wishes aloud that he would be a little less evil and he threatens to drop her. Fry is pleased that good old Bender is back.
A decent episode with some wacky wild stuff!
I think I’ll give it a hot 7.2 out of 10.
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Futurama reviews are © 2006, 2007 Chrystal Litchford.
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