Futurama: S03E10: Where The Buggalo Roam

Sorry guys, no pics yet! Can’t seem to find a good source.

At any rate, this episode is one of those great filler (read:non Leela/Fry storyline advancing) eps that’s just plain entertaining. I always love it when Bender sings and Kif happens to be one of my favorite visitors.

The sheer number of buggalo had to be boggling to the animation department and I feel they handled it well, as well as the actual “personification” of the buggalo themselves. The panoramic shots and dust storm segments were strong as well. When you forget you’re watching a cartoon, something’s working.

I think I’m the wrong person to do Futurama reviews, aside from the obvious deficiencies, as I rarely complain about much they do!

The entire office staff of Planet Express heads to Amy’s parents’ 17.9 billion acre ranch to attend a Mars Day barbeque. Mars Day commemorates the day the Wongs’ ancestor, Reginald Wong, traded the native Martians a bead for the entire western hemisphere of the planet. It will also serve as an opportunity for Amy’s boyfriend, Kif, to get to know the ‘rents.

Before Kif’s arrival, the gang is taken on a tour of the place and introduced to the star of the barbeque and the Wong’s main source of income: the buggalo. The buggalo is a large bovine-like beetle; Amy even has one named Betsy as a pet. As they’re touring the ranch, Kif is aboard the Nimbus asking Zapp Brannigan, of all people, for advice on impressing Amy’s family. Needless to say, he learns nothing useful.

Upon meeting Kif, Amy’s parents immediately dismiss him as a candidate for father of their grandchildren. I, of course, found this perplexing, as they were the ones who set Amy up with Kif way back in A Flight to Remember. Kif feels even more like a jerk after seeing the examples of manliness* that Amy grew up with on Mars. *Funny parodies of the rugged manly Marlboro Man and Joe Camel, considering Kif’s difficulty with a cancer stick. He can’t even smoke a cigarette without puking and passing out. Unfortunately, that happens at Amy’s parents’ feet and doesn’t help his case.

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Alone by the pens, Amy reassures Kif that he’s the one for her. Back at the barbeque, a sudden dust storm blows up accompanied by a strange sound, forcing all of the revelers inside. When the dust clears, they discover that all of the cattle have been rustled under the cover of the storm. The Wongs are ruined!

Kif immediately jumps at the chance to head out and recover the cattle so as to impress Amy’s parents. They’re obviously doubtful. The Professor never misses the chance to send Fry, Leela and Bender on a dangerous mission, so they’re volunteered. Amy’s parents insist she stay behind. They discover that Betsy is the only buggalo left because she was asleep in Amy’s hamper. Kif decides to take her on a cattle drive to try and lure the rustlers out of hiding. They head towards Mars tallest mountain, Olympus Mons.

Along the way, Bender sings my favorite travelling song:

We’ve got a right to pick a little fight with rustlers
Anybody wants to pick a fight with us
They better bite my ass!

They decide to make camp around nightfall, about halfway up the side of the mountain. They’re sitting around the campfire telling ghost stories, when they hear noises in the surrounding vegetation. It turns out to be Amy, who stowed away on the wagon. She and Kif steal away for some quality time and she reassures him of her love with a kiss. Suddenly, the earth moves!

Amy: What’s that?
Kif: Maybe we just made love?

Turns out, the buggalo are in a nearby crater.

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Kif hatches a plan to blow them out of the crater, and it’s successfully carried out at first light. They ready themselves to return to the ranch, but the strange sound heard at the barbecue fills the air again and up blows a dust storm. Native Martians come flying in on buggalo, previously believed to have been flightless. They claim only their spiritual connection to mother Mars allows them to ride the buggalo. They express their anger at the duping of their ancestors in the Wong land trade. When they discover that Amy is a Wong, they throw out their plan to rustle the buggalo and kidnap her for leverage instead.

The remaining adventurers successfully lead the herd back to the ranch, but Kif is forced to tell Amy’s parents that she’s been kidnapped. He vows to get her back, but they decide to call in an expert: Zapp Brannigan. A mini dust storm delivers a ransom note, demanding the return of the native Martian’s land in exchange for Amy. Zapp leads the same expedition, including Betsy (who has become attached to Kif), to the native Martian’s reservation, underground since the trade. The group enters through the nose of the great stone face of Mars. They’re immediately discovered and taken to where Amy is being held captive by the Martian leaders.

Zapp uses the usual diplomacy he displays to negotiate and angers the native Martians in short order. They use their throat singing to stir up a planet wide dust storm in an effort to bully the Wongs. When Amy is swept up, Kif rides through the storm on Betsy and rescues her. This immediately impresses the native Martians and they gain new respect for him. They attempt to smoke a peace pipe with Kif, but he screws up again and finds himself spread eagle under the massive bead used in the original land trade.

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Amy explains that the bead is actually a huge diamond and offers to take it back and give the native Martians back their land. When they realize their ancestors weren’t duped, the native Martians give up sacred mother Mars and go off in search of a better planet to sanctify with their newfound fortune.

Back at the ranch, Amy regales her parent’s with tales of Kif’s bravery. They don’t believe a word of it and heap undeserved praise on Zapp, par for the course. Kif is disheartened, but Amy explains that if her parent’s liked him, she wouldn’t. They share another kiss and the earth moves again, thanks to the buggalo.

Kif’s voiceover, “Dear Diary, I just made love for the second time.”

Interesting trivia: the noise heard before the dust storms is called throat singing and is actually performed by Billy West and John Dimaggio without electronic manipulation.

What did you think?

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Futurama reviews are © 2006 – 2019 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

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