Futurama: S02E19: The Cryonic Woman
Another attempt to give us some insight into Fry’s past life falters at the gate. It takes us out of the “Fry attempts to woo Leela” storyline and generally breaks the rhythm of pretty decent season. This is one instance I’m glad Fox interfered and didn’t make this the season two ending. I mean, as guest star Pauly Shore would say, it didn’t make me blow chunks or anything, but it wasn’t up to par with the previous episodes. Still, I chant my endless mantra, “It’s still better than most stuff on TV today.”
Leela leaves the keys in the space ship one day and Fry and Bender take it for a joyride, unwittingly taking the whole building courtesy of the diamond tether. When they finally land, the Professor fires the three of them, unable to tolerate their ineptitude any longer. Leela still has their old career chips, so they are chipped and report to the cryogenics lab. Unfortunately, Leela mixed up the chips, leaving her to deliver pizza while Fry becomes a cryogenics counselor with Bender as a sidekick.
Both take glee in tormenting the newly thawed with post-apocalyptic scenarios. Fry even gets to thaw Pauly Shore out a few days early, just to meet him. All is status quo until Fry thaws a familiar face, his ex-girlfriend Michelle. She froze herself to start over in the future after a disastrous marriage when she realized the happiest time in her life was with Fry. They quickly re-unite and he introduces her to all of his friends and former co-workers. Michelle lacks Fry’s ability to adapt (read: stupidity) and has a hard time with the world of tomorrow. She convinces Fry to re-freeze them both and set the timer to 1000 years in the future, hoping things will be better then.
Call it poetic justice for all Fry and Bender’s pranks, but he and Michelle awaken in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, barren as far as the eye can see. She starts in with her criticisms and demands and he resents her for convincing him to leave where he fit in. They spend the night in a hastily dug hole only to be awakened by a group of tweens bearing poking sticks. They are taken prisoner and eventually ask to join the kids’ society. Fry is content, but Michelle wants him to challenge the leader’s (Butch) authority.
So Fry ends up on a skateboard hanging onto a rag for dear life in a futuristic game of chicken. Despite his low-tech gear, compared to the leader’s hovering “death-board”, Fry manages to keep up through bumps, jumps and freeway warfare between SUV’s.
He wins the leadership position’ Unfortunately, the little pipsqueaks are packing laser pistols and he has to concede victory to Butch at gunpoint. Butch’s mom interrupts to take the kids to Hebrew school, saving Fry and Michelle’s bacon. Needless to say, Michelle spends some time telling Fry what a loser he is. He leaves her and tries to find his way to some kind of civilization.
After crossing a lonely fog-shrouded desert, Fry stumbles upon footprints set in cement. He looks up, confused, to see the Planet Express ship land. The rest of the crew tumble out, glad to find Fry alive. They tell him he’s still in the year 3000 in California, the tube was only set for 3 days instead of a century. After stowing away in Pauly Shore’s tube, set to be delivered to L.A. for the anniversary screening of Jury Duty 2, he and Michelle tumbled off the delivery vehicle. Michelle takes up with Pauly Shore and rides off into the sunset, leaving Fry a happier, though no smarter, man.
This one rates an ice cold 3.5 out of 10.
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Futurama reviews are © 2006 Chrystal Litchford.
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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