Fry and Leela take a vacation… with sexy results.
Fry and Leela (Billy West and Katey Sagal) have been secretly trying to rekindle their relationship, but they keep getting interrupted by various things and people, whether it’s Bender (John DiMaggio) mugging them or Zoidberg (West) being their incompetent busboy. Even at Leela’s apartment, they can’t avoid Nibbler (Frank Welker). Leela gets a targeted advertisement for a resort that boasts total isolation and Leela gets a discount because she took a trip there before with her ex-boyfriend Sean (to Fry’s annoyance) (David Herman). When they arrive, they find that the previous people are still there, and that one of them is actually Sean, who interrupts them trying to be intimate. Leela tries to catch up with Sean, angering Fry, but it becomes clear she finds Sean uninteresting now. Fry picks a fight with Sean until Sean’s wife, Darlene (Tress MacNeille), pulls them apart and leaves with Sean.
Meanwhile, Amy (Lauren Tom), Zoidberg, and Bender are sent to Simian 7, the planet of the apes, where humans are outlawed (Amy wears marmoset pajamas to pass). When they arrive, they run into Guenter (MacNeille) from Mars University, who takes them on a tour of the city. They eventually end up at the local Zoo where they discover that Fry and Leela’s resort is actually a zoo exhibit of humans. They visit the zoo director, revealed to be the Creationist professor Doctor Banjo (David Herman). He explains that the resort is how they keep humans on display without cruelty, driving his point home by showing them video of Fry and Leela mocking their coworkers. Banjo also sounds the alarm on Amy, who he recognizes, and the crew flee to try and save Fry and Leela before being eaten by a moon worm. A week later, they pass through the worm’s intestines, just in time to see Fry and Leela leave. When they arrive home, they plan on not telling Fry and Leela that they’d been a display until Fry and Leela start to mock them, leading Bender to tell them they were in a zoo.
This episode has one of my favorite endings, where Amy says “let ‘er rip” and the screen cuts to black, only to cut back to Bender shouting “YOU WERE IN A ZOO!” It’s a great fake-out that you’re not going to see the actual revelation and pretty much unique in the series. As to the actual plot, this is the start of what I feel like is the final push to wrap up the plotlines of the show, so it’s all about getting Fry and Leela back to the place where they could get a happy ending. It also finally shows us that Leela actually is over her oft-mentioned ex-boyfriend Sean, meaning that she really is ready to become serious with Fry and after he finally starts to get over his jealousy and immaturity, that Fry is ready to become serious with her.
The planet of the apes in this episode is a great gag. I like the reference to the movie, but the concept of a planet populated by the abused test monkeys that scientists have experimented on is what really sells it. Given how many times the Professor alone has alluded to killing or mutating monkeys (to the point that he can no longer notice the smell of burning rhesus monkey), this seems like a planet that was inevitable. It is interesting that some monkeys and apes appear to have naturally evolved to be sentient and capable of talking and that others were artificially enhanced (like Guenter). I appreciate that, regardless of how it happened, the planet actually has a more considerate zoo than Earth.
Overall, solid episode, and it’s a good set-up for the finale.
I hate everything about myself for what I am about to say, but it’s the advertisement on Simian 7 that says “BLUE ASS GROUP.” I love how many shots that this show has taken towards the Blue Man Group, but this parody is probably my favorite reference. It’s a group of Mandrills, meaning that they could easily have called it “BLUE MANDRILL GROUP” for the same joke, but they just ignored the pun and went straight for a big old picture of ape butts. Beautiful.
See you next week, meatbags.
PREVIOUS – Episode 118: T.: The Terrestrial
NEXT – Episode 120: The Inhuman Torch
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.