Futurama: S02E17: War is the H Word

There’s nothing particularly special about the episode, unless you count the sly testicular humor. No great animation or spectacular storyline to hold your interest. Not that it’s a bad way to kill a half an hour. It’s still better than a half hour of most live action shows these days.

Fry and Bender hatch a plan to join the army just to get a 5% military discount on gum. After making sure they can quit when they have their gum, they join up. Unfortunately the only thing that will keep them from quitting happens; war is declared. They can’t get out now, so find themselves unwitting and unwilling soldiers under Zapp Brannigan’s command. The poor bastards. Leela tries to join to keep them safe, as usual, but they no longer allow women in the military since they are a distracting influence (mainly to Zapp).

As Fry bumbles his way through basic training, a new recruit shows up and blows everyone away with “his” physical prowess. Even Zapp feels a stirring of “affection” for “Lee Lemon” (uh-huh), confusing and arousing him simultaneously. After being summoned to meet with Earth president Nixon and Zapp, the whole division is unexpectedly dropped onto the battlefield, not even aware of the enemy’s nature. They don’t have to wait long to find out, as with a rumbling of the ground, several pink balls come rolling onto the battlefield. They bounce most of the soldiers into submission, except for Fry, who’s turned coward and hidden himself in a hole. When the balls roll a bomb into the middle of their ranks, Bender, in an uncharacteristically brave and selfless move, uses his chest cavity to muffle the explosion.

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Back in camp, Zoidberg and a surgeon-bot play out a M*A*S*H parody with Zoidberg playing the part of Frank Burns (who else?) while treating the wounded. Zapp is about to have Bender scrapped when Earth-president Nixon pulls him aside and hatches a devious plan to use Bender to end the war. Bender is fixed up and Fry is busted down to Kip’s assistant as punishment for his cowardice. Bender is assigned to go with Henry Kissinger’s head to negotiate with the brain balls, the leaders of the enemy camp. Supposedly, this is a reward for Bender’s bravery. While performing his demeaning duties for Kif, Fry overhears Nixon reveal that Bender has been assigned to accompany Kissinger because he was fitted with a bomb that will destroy the planet if he says the word ASS! Nixon then orders a complete evacuation.

Knowing he doesn’t have much time before Bender blows himself and the planet to smithereens, Fry plots to ambush the guards, steal a chopper and warn Bender. Meanwhile, Bender and Kissinger are meeting with the brain balls. Things aren’t progressing too well, since all the brain balls talk about is bouncing. Bender uses every word in his lexicon, managing to avoid his favorite phrase. Fry is back at camp, ready to execute his plan, when “Lee” does it for him. He joins “him” in the helicopter as Zapp tries to stop them. Leela reveals herself (Not that way you pervert!) and beats Zapp’s ass once again, leaving them free to fly away. Zapp’s glad to take his lumps, simply because he no longer thinks he’s gay. They arrive and tell Bender the score, just before he finishes saying, “Bite my shiny metal…” He uses the bomb to leverage an immediate surrender of the brain balls.

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Back at home, the Professor is unable to remove the bomb, so he sets the trigger word as one Bender never uses. The episode closes with Bender trying to guess the word. Needless to say, an explosion is imminent.

This episode only rated as Average – 5 out of 10

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Futurama reviews are © 2006 Chrystal Litchford.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

Futurama names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.

Images courtesy of ‘The Leela Zone’ & Robot Hell

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