Futurama: S01E10: A Flight to Remember
Bender shows us he actually has a heart in that chest cavity as he falls in love, or maybe not. Watch and see. Leela and Fry begin their looong on and off flirtation with romance in this episode as well. Romance abounds, even Amy finds herself a steady man. Zapp Brannigan makes an appearance and we learn a bit more about our favorite intrepid delivery crew.
Fry, Bender and Leela drag ass off the ship after a particularly rough mission complaining all the way about the overabundance of crappy missions they’ve had lately. They’re ready to quit at the prospect of another mission, but the professor tells them they’re going on a company vacation as a reward for not reporting his numerous employment violations. They are obviously thrilled. He tells them they’ll be going on the maiden voyage of the “Titanic”. Cue the ominous music, but the crew is clueless. Of course, this is your first clue that the whole episode is a play on the blockbuster, TITANIC. No new territory covered with the parody, but it is more interesting with an animated sci-fi twist.
The entire staff arrives at the dock and watches the christening of the ship by Zapp Brannigan. He makes his usual speech full of its usual inanities and uses Leonardo DiCaprio’s head in a jar to christen the ship. In the DVD commentaries, the producers said that was a little revenge since Leo couldn’t lend his voice to the episode. They begin to board and Zapp accosts Leela at the top of the gangplank. She’s desperate for a way to keep him off her back for the entire cruise, so she claims Fry as her fiancé. They all head off to the professors posh cabin in first class. Bender flirts with a high tone fembot in the hallway, but loses sight if her, literally, when his eye bulbs fall out. Hermes, and his lovely wife LaBarbara are in an adjoining cabin as is Dr. Zoidberg. Amy, Fry, Bender and Leela make their way to the Fiesta deck (read: Sub SUB basement) to find their digs. They all share a tiny tin can of a room.
Bender heads for the casino first thing and Amy heads for the buffet. Alone together, Fry puts his arm around his new “fiancee”, but Leela rebuffs him until Zapp shows up for a surprise visit. Bender’s cheating unit malfunctions at craps, so he heads off to the bar to drown his sorrows. iZac the robot bartender (Love Boat flashback, anyone?) listens to his troubles until Bender catches a glimpse of the fembot he saw earlier. He goes over to introduce himself and learns her name is the Countess de la Roca. She mistakes him for another first class passenger, and he declines to disabuse her of this notion.
Cut to Zapp on the bridge, telling Kif they will be changing course through an asteroid field to spice up the voyage. Meanwhile, Amy runs into her parents at the buffet. Like Leela, she’s desperate to avoid their constant matchmaking and nagging for the entire cruise. So, she tells them she has a boyfriend along. Fry and Leela have moved up on deck to check out the view, and Fry makes a remark about how romantic it is. Leela is about to call off the whole fake engagement deal when Zapp shows up again and she plants one on Fry. She takes pains to remind him that the whole charade is for Zapp’s benefit. Just then, Amy brings her parents up and introduces Fry as HER boyfriend, planting another one on him. Leela appears to be a tad jealous. Poor Fry, he has to make kissy-face with two hot cartoon babes in heavy rotation. What a hassle!
Fry spends some quality time with Amy and her parents, putting on a good face. When he joins Leela at pool side, she petulantly tells him he should have told her about Amy. He tells her the whole situation is a put-up job and calls her on her jealousy. She denies it; he informs her that their fake relationship is more meaningful than his and Amy’s fake relationship. Bender and the Countess are in her stateroom getting ready to go out. She goes to freshen up and Bender pounces on the opportunity to steal her large diamond bracelet.
Unable to steal the bracelet, he acknowledges his confusion to iZac later at the bar. iZac breaks it to him that he’s in love. Bender has doubts that the relationship can work out since they’re from two different worlds. He leaves without paying, forcing iZac to call security. The Countess witnesses him being roughed up and learns Bender’s secret.
The rest of the crew is still up on the deck either participating in or watching a limbo contest. LaBarbara encourages Hermes to compete, causing him to flashback to a tragedy from his Olympic days. Hermes hasn’t done the limbo since, and can’t bring himself to enter.
Bender and the Countess have gone out on deck where he tells her the whole truth about his station in life. She doesn’t care, she loves him for who he is. They embark on a magical TITANIC montage including the nude sketch scene, the magic moment on the bow of the ship and the steamy lovemaking in the car below decks. The scene cuts back to the limbo contest, where Zapp declares Leela the winner despite the fact she didn’t compete. He awards her dinner at the captain’s table with her new fiance.
That evening at dinner, Zapp warns Fry that he will pounce on Leela if Fry so much as looks at another woman. On cue, Amy and her parents arrive to complete the party. Zapp proposes a toast to the happy couple and requests they kiss. Fry’s between a rock and a hard body, but Kif shows up to call Zapp away on an emergency. With the way clear, Fry kisses Amy while Leela stews.
On the bridge, Kif tells Zapp that his course change is too dangerous. Zapp steers them into a clear section of space, right toward a black hole! Fry goes out on deck to find Leela, asking why she ran off. She says she had plenty of time to eat . . . while he was kissing Amy! He tells her he has no feelings for Amy even though they seem perfect for one another. They look up at a nearby nebula and are bewitched by its beauty. Their faces inch closer, closer, closer still . . . BOOM! The ship lurches precipitously and their kiss is ruined. Leela sees their certain doom in the looming black hole.
When it’s obvious the ship is lost, Zapp appoints Kif captain and bolts in an escape pod, leaving Kif to go down with the ship. Leela herds the crew across the ship toward the escape pods. Bender stays behind to find the Countess, using looting as an excuse. He finds her trapped in a flaming lower cabin, having fallen through the deck. He grabs a fire hose and uses it to rappel himself into the cabin and douse the flames. They warmly embrace as the room fills with water. The rest of the crew is rushing through the ship when an emergency door drops down, blocking their escape. Hermes notices the door didn’t quite close and recovers his nerve enough to hotdog under the door and hit the release. They finally reach a pod and wait for Bender to show. Amy’s parents show up with Kif and he sweeps Amy off her feet, it’s love at first sight.
Bender reminds the Countess that she’s a yacht, and they rise through the water and race to the pods. The ship is really breaking up and they can wait no longer. They take off as Bender and the Countess burst out. Bender grabs the pod as it takes off. The passengers notice Bender and his lady, but their weight is too much for the pod. They slide inexorably toward the black hole. The Countess begins to slip, only her bracelet links her to Bender. She tells him she loves him as a link on the bracelet snaps and she falls into the black hole. Somehow, Bender gets into the pod without depressurizing it. He takes comfort in the fact he has the bracelet to remember her by. He asks Hermes how much it’s worth. Upon discovering it’s fake, we see how heartbroken he really is.
Delightful to see Bender hasn’t lost his edge. It was an action packed, if predictable, episode. Some of the animation was beautiful, but the Countess’ yacht animation and her dance with Bender seemed a little stiff and flat. I don’t know if they did that because they’re robots or if they just hurried it. Seeing Zapp again was enjoyable, if brief. Still, who else would you pick to be stupid enough to send a space cruise ship into a black hole? And Kif finally gets ahead, and a kiss.
I’d give this an action-packed, highly romantic 8.8 out of 10. What did you think?
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Futurama reviews are © 2006 Chrystal Litchford.
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