It involves a Casino theft, like that movie about the Ocean.
The Robot Mafia is escaping from a recent theft and dumps the loot into a dumpster. As the Planet Express crew plans to go to Mars Vegas casino, Amy (Lauren Tom) tells Zoidberg (Billy West) that he shouldn’t go because of his poor money management skills. He finds the loot and heads to the casino himself. He places a few bets and wins, only to lose everything by refusing to walk away. When he returns to the dumpster, however, the Robot Mafia wants the money. After using his ink defense, Zoidberg escapes inside, only to be hit with the Professor’s (West) ink remover, which makes ink invisible. Zoidberg, who is completely covered and saturated with ink, becomes undetectable by the eye. The Mafia can’t find him, which leads them to decide to take over the Wong family casino as well as all of the Wongs’ other properties. Amy devises a plan to get the money back with a heist.
Using a shrimp cart to cover Zoidberg’s smell, they get Zoidberg into the vault where he eats all of the money and a black box. Once he consumes the objects, they also become invisible. However, he becomes too sick to move, so the crew have to carry him. They try to escape to the roof, but Zoidberg causes the elevator to fall to the ground floor. They almost make it to the exit until a blind guard stops them. Amy offers him a deal, which the native Martian is skeptical of due to the Wong family’s prior actions. Amy reveals that the Wongs only bought Mars for 100 years, and that the planet is now reverting back to the native Martians. The native Martians kick out the mafia and, out of gratitude, give the Wongs back their mansion and another casino.
It has bothered me every time I watch this that Mars is back to normal. In “A Farewell to Arms,” Mars gets blown out of its orbit and the native Martians all leave the planet. While Futurama doesn’t really have a strong continuity, that was a really big thing to just undo without any kind of reference to it. We also have completely obliterated any continuity on who owns what part of Mars and how. Originally the native Martians were pissed at the Wongs for cheating them, only for it to be revealed that Wong paid a fair price for it and they left the planet. Then they were back, but were just grabbing their stuff because they knew Mars was doomed. Now they’re back again only to reveal that they work for the Wongs and live on reservations above ground? Even for a show with loose continuity, this gets a little too much.
The heist element is done pretty well, mostly because it keeps pointing out heist tropes, particularly ones that make no sense. The best line may be when Amy is asked if people will smell Zoidberg, only for her to respond: “No, and to keep you on your toes, I’ll only explain why after the heist begins.” That’s a perfect shot at so many heist movies where members of the heist are intentionally misled about what is going to happen, usually for no good reason. It’s a trope that honestly will never make any logical sense and is a sign of a weak screenplay. If you want a good movie that averts it, watch Rififi. I appreciate them taking shots at the formulaic nature of heists, even if they seem to do it with kid gloves compared to other shows (like Rick and Morty).
Overall, not a bad episode, but not the best either.
Honestly, it’s the song from the episode. The style is almost a perfect cover for the original song “Big Spender” from Sweet Charity, and the lyrics are a perfect adaptation to Zoidberg. It contains a decent amount of potential euphemism, it matches the Vegas setting, and it just works for me. Here’s a clip:
See you next week, meatbags.
PREVIOUS – Episode 113: 31st Century Fox
NEXT – Episode 115: Naturama
If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time, Collection of TV Episodes, Collection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.
If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.
2 thoughts on “Futurama Fridays – S7E12 “Viva Mars Vegas””