Bender gives hunting a shot. GET IT????
Fry (Billy West), Bender (John DiMaggio), Leela (Katey Sagal), Amy (Lauren Tom), and Zoidberg (West) get their uniforms destroyed by a giant Moth. When they complain to the Professor (West) about getting new uniforms, he rebuffs them until the moth appears and destroys his outfit as well. The crew go to a discount uniform store and buy the outfits that the Professor had failed to pay for a year ago, but Bender also buys a 20th Century fox hunting outfit and decides to take up the sport. Angered by the notion, Leela objects, but Bender invites the crew to a fox hunt. During the hunt, Leela tries to disrupt the Huntmaster (Patrick Stewart), only to be repeatedly thwarted. She stops protesting, however, when it’s revealed that the fox is a robot, and thus no animals are being harmed. This leads Bender to switch sides and revolt against the fox hunt.
Bender forms an animal robot rights group called Bender’s Animal Robot Front and starts committing minor acts of theft and vandalism. They don’t quite work out, but Bender declares victory and sets out to save the robot fox. The crew gets the fox away but Bender stays behind to mock the hunters. This, naturally, leads them to hunt him. At the same time, the fox starts to drive the crew insane with its destructive behavior. The fox ends up running back to the hunting grounds and, together with the fox, Bender turns the tables on the Huntmaster and traps him. The Huntmaster tries to kill him, but the fox attacks the Huntmaster and reveals him to be a robot. Ultimately, everyone decides that the irony was so heavy that they just kill and mount the Huntmaster.
I never think about this episode when I look back on Futurama and that’s probably not a great sign. Honestly, if it weren’t for Patrick Stewart voicing the antagonist, I would probably have forgotten it altogether. There are a few fun lines in it, but it mostly just kind of chugs along until it finally resolves with a weird conclusion that everything that just happened was stupid. I mean, it doesn’t have a real B-plot, and the A-plot’s big payoff is that everyone is a hypocrite and that no one can really tell what is or is not a robot, but that’s not really explored in a satisfying way. It’s not that you can’t just have a simple episode, but it’s also just not that funny. It’s like they figured they would insert the jokes later and then forgot.
It’s interesting that this was the first episode where they swapped the order in this season, moving it to air later so that they could advertise the voice cameo of Patrick Stewart for the finale. Then, apparently, they just didn’t do that. Maybe the marketing people watched it and said “let’s not call too much attention to this episode.” I don’t want to say that it’s bad, but it’s pretty low on my list of Futurama. Aside from the favorite joke, I will call attention to the fashion montage at the uniform place. We get a stillsuit from Dune (modified to be kosher), a Star Trek uniform, Stormtrooper armor, the outfit from Barbarella, and the space plane uniform from 2001: A Space Odyssey, culminating in Farnsworth in the famous outfit from Zardoz. It’s pretty funny.
Overall, though, just not a mind-blowing episode.
In the episode, in an attempt to confuse the robot hunting dogs that are chasing him, Bender pulls out a bag of Newmar’s Own Catnip. This is a reference both to Newman’s Own, the brand owned by actor Paul Newman, and to Julie Newmar, the actress who played Catwoman on the Adam West/Burt Ward Batman series. However, when Bender uses it, it instead causes a huge number of cats to jump on him. It’s made even funnier because Bender uses it after saying “I know what’ll confuse these dogs! Catnip!” Just a solid joke.
See you next week, meatbags.
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