Futurama: S03E05: The Luck of the Fryish
Fry’s sports-oriented mom and conspiracy-theorist dad are awaiting his arrival into the world in various states of lucidity. After the big moment, they introduce little Philip J Fry to his older brother, Yancy. Yancy is jealous from the word go, of everything from Fry’s “normal” name to his toys.
In the “present” day, Fry and the rest of the office staff are at Flushing Downs making bets on the ponies and losing wads of cash. Fry spends most of his time lamenting the fact that he is the unluckiest person in the world. After an afternoon of losing (with a little help from Bender), Fry is left with a single dollar. Said dollar is ripped from his hand by the wind to take poetic flight across the track, finally landing on a nearby power line. Fry goes up after it, using a rake as a helping hand, and takes some volts. He breathes a sigh of relief at his minor singing until he’s struck by lightening and falls head first into a trash can, triggering a flashback.
The past: Fry and Yancy are playing a game of one on one and Fry misses a basket with his patented “space-hook.” Yancy uses his space-hook to make his basket and they argue over who came up with the move in the first place. Fry goes after the ball and finds a seven-leaf clover. With that on board, he makes an amazing basket and wins the game, ending the flashback.
Back at the office, Fry is still smoking and still griping about his bad luck. He tells the office about the fabulous clover and the betterment it brought to his life. He also reveals that he hid the clover in a secret place, untold until that moment. Zoidberg suggests the clover might still be there, which strikes Fry as a good possibility. He heads down into the ruins of Old New York to reclaim his clover, with Bender and Leela along to keep his dumb *ss out of trouble.
Once in the ruins, Fry cavorts through Manhattan doing all the things he always wanted to do, culminating in a hit and run by a giant lizard. Cue another flashback to Fry’s preteen years, standing on the corner with his posse trying to find some moves to win the big break-dance battle. Fry lets loose with some moves that impress everyone. Yancy won’t be outdone and rips off Fry’s routine. Fry accuses Yancy of stealing everything from him and wants him to find and live his own life. He then pulls out the clover and masters a septuple head spin. Yancy is furious at being shown up and chases Fry home, trying to get the clover.
Using Bender as a car, Fry and Leela travel the subway line in search of Fry’s old neighborhood. once there, Fry gives them a tour of all his old haunts before reaching his house. We see another flashback of Yancy chasing Fry into the house after his clover. Fry runs into the basement/bomb shelter and hides the clover inside the Breakfast Club Soundtrack album sleeve and locks that in his Ronco record vault (“He’ll never get his hands on you in here or my money back!”). Flash forward to Fry, Leela and Bender walking down those same stairs to find the clover. Bender vibrates the record vault open, but the clover is gone. Fry immediately suspects Yancy of the theft.
The three wander the neighborhood, Fry wondering aloud why Yancy hated him. Leela comforts him, telling him it’s only natural that brothers fight and she’s sure that Yancy loved Fry but never got the chance to tell him before he was frozen. Fry wants that to be true but is brought up short when they come to a backlit statue. It’s a likeness of Yancy with the seven-leaf clover in his lapel. Leela points out that the inscription reads Philip J Fry and Bender further points out that it also identifies him as the first person on Mars. Fry is livid that Yancy stole his name, his clover and his life.
Somehow they manage to drag the statue up to the office and Fry brings rest of the staff up to speed. They find some information on the internet about the Philip J Fry that first landed on Mars. He was an extremely lucky and very successful man, who led a long full life and was given a hero’s burial with the clover on the Orbiting Meadows cemetery asteroid. Fry decides right then to exhume his brother and reclaim his clover with Leela and Bender tagging along again.
The scene flashes back again to Yancy’s wedding day, a little while after Fry’s disappearance. He’s all decked out in his dad’s camo tux and decides to look in Fry’s record vault for some tunes to play at the reception. He takes a picture Fry drew of his dream of space exploration and blows the lock on the record vault (with Play-doh no less). He finds the clover while searching for tunes to clear out everyone at the end of the reception.
Fry, Leela and Bender make the short trip to the burial park and easily find the grave in the world heroes section and start digging. Fry’s shovel nicks the headstone and removes some moss. He stops to read the newly uncovered inscription and the scene flashes back one last time to Yancy and his wife rocking their infant son. We see Fry’s artwork hanging on the nursery wall. Yancy decides to name his son after his brother and gives him the clover to carry on for his uncle.
Fry reads the inscription aloud, “Here lies Philip J Fry, named for his uncle to carry on his spirit,” just as Bender comes up with the clover. Fry tearfully takes the clover as Leela and Bender leave him to himself.
This one gets 8 out of 10
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Futurama reviews are © 2006 Chrystal Litchford.
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