Futurama: S02E12: The Deep South
This here’s the story of the crew’s adventures in the mythical sunken city of Atlanta, yes Atlanta. This episode is full of rapid-fire one-liners and visual puns, way too many for me to describe. I guess you have to watch it and see what I mean. So ready yourself for some great underwater animations and far-fetched notions of how life in the bottom of the sea really works.
Leela is sitting on the couch at Planet Express, picking fleas off Nibbler (and Bender off Fry), when Hermes arrives with Nibbler’s new pet license. Unfortunately, a bureaucratic mix-up lands them a fishing license instead. Taking advantage of the opportunity, the whole staff piles into the ship and heads for the center of the Atlantic. Bender takes steps to alleviate his boredom by taking bets on who’ll catch the biggest fish.
After a couple of hours of Leela harpooning nothing but boots, boots and more boots, Bender hasn’t caught a thing. He decides to up the ante and grabs Amy’s umbrella, bending it into a giant hook. He then attaches it to the ship’s unbreakable diamond filament, baits it with Hermes manwich (“My manwich!”) and tosses it into the briny deep. They all spend the rest of the afternoon vegging out; Fry is the only person to catch a fish. When it’s time to pack it in, Bender discovers he has something on the end of his line after all, a colossal mouth bass. It breaks the surface, jumps the ship and dives, dragging the ship 3 miles below the sea.
The fish gets away, leaving them stranded on the ocean floor with no propulsion and no provisions. Zoidberg and Bender go out to forage for food while the Professor modifies the engine, since they’re the only ones who can withstand the pressure. Fry wants to tag along, so the Professor has him try out his new pressure pill. As it turns out, it’s a black ovoid, roughly the size of an egg. Fry doubts he can swallow it and he’s correct. To quote the Prof, “Well good news then, it’s a suppository!” Ouch! The three of them wander around, gathering what they can until Zoidberg finds an unoccupied seashell and makes it his new home. When Bender goes in to help Zoidberg move a couch, a curtain of seaweed parts, revealing a mermaid to Fry. When he tells the others back on the ship, they dismiss him as a moron with ocean madness. He gets pissed and storms out of the room.
Later that night in his bunk, he’s still muttering about the ocean madness incident when the mermaid knocks at his porthole. She beckons for him and he rushes out to meet her. She introduces herself as Umbriel and gives him a device called a breather that helps him breath and speak while underwater. Umbriel then takes him on a tour of her favorite undersea haunts. They are fascinated with each others differences and quickly fall in love. Back on the ship, the Professor has completed the engine modifications necessary for them to go home. No one can find Fry on board, so the form a search party. They crest a hill and are dazzled by the sight of an undersea city, the fabled lost city of Atlanta.
The locals (who have a definite Gone with the Wind vibe going on) welcome them warmly; they are tourists after all. Umbriel’s father gives them all breathers, reunites them with Fry and shows them the chamber of commerce video tour to answer their questions about the city. It tells the story of how the people of Atlanta were tired of being landlocked, so had the city moved to sea to become an island. Over development and the weight of its pride caused the island to sink. The caffeine from the Coca-Cola bottling plant helped the locals develop into mer-folk in decades rather than millennia. The crew spends a pleasant afternoon in Atlanta but must leave. Fry refuses to leave with them because of his love for Umbriel, despite being told that he cannot return to the surface once his body acclimatizes to the pressure. They bid him a fond farewell and go back to the ship.
Fry and Umbriel are back at the manse, attempting to consummate their relationship. When he realizes their anatomical differences make nookie impossible in the traditional human sense, Fry makes a break for the ship. He arrives in time to watch them take off but manages to grab Bender’s giant hook, still attached to the ship. He’s pleased with himself until a colossal mouth bass mistakes him for bait. Later, on the docks, Bender accepts a $1000 check for the record-breaking fish they brought in. Just then, Fry falls out of the fish’s mouth. Everyone is extremely happy to see him. Even Bender gives him a warm hug until he finds Fry cost him the prize money. The hug quickly becomes a painful headlock as the episode (and probably Fry) fades to black.
Four out of five carpetbaggers agree;
this episode rates an 8.8 out of 10.
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Futurama reviews are © 2006 Chrystal Litchford.
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Images courtesy of The Leela Zone