So it’s come to this: An episode about Bender’s backside.
Farnsworth (Billy West) sends the crew on a weapons delivery to the gang planet Peoples α. Fry (West) and Leela (Katey Segal) sabotage the guns, surviving a gang war between the Blips and the Cruds, only to find that thieves have stolen Bender’s (John DiMaggio) body while they were gone. Now he’s just eyes and a mouth. Bender’s tracking system takes them to a chop shop, who provides a list of all of the people who bought Bender’s body parts. The crew proceeds to work on tracking them down, including finding a card shark cheating at poker with Bender’s arms and that Hedonismbot used Bender’s antenna for unspeakable acts that don’t really seem to bother Bender all that much. The only part they can’t find is Bender’s ass plate.
It turns out Bender’s backside was on a spaceship that crashed against an asteroid in the Sargaseous Sea (which is actually a nebula). The cloud is so dense that ships usually can’t navigate it. Leela manages to find the nebula’s failing lighthouse, whose keeper, Tarquin (David Herman), assists the crew in recovering the ass plate. They soon discover that Bender’s ass is so shiny that it’s the only thing that can illuminate the nebula. Pointing out that it’ll save countless lives, Bender leaves his butt behind. While Bender starts to move on, the plate, which has a hindbrain, decides to return to Bender. The two are happily brought back together.
This is literally an episode about finding Bender’s shiny metal ass. I admit that some of the gags, mostly about finding Bender’s other body parts, are pretty funny, but overall I think it was going to be hard to make a good episode that seems to be entirely built around a title pun. It really hit home when, as the ass is (somehow) flying through space, it saves little Timmy (actually Johnny) who is caught in a gravity well, leading someone to actually say “thank you, Assie.” It hurt me on the inside parts.
This episode probably came about because this seemed like the time that the show was really going to end, so they wanted to do an episode about each of the characters. Since Bender has been the focus of so many episodes prior to this, they likely didn’t have anything else they really wanted to explore, so they were stuck doing an episode based on “bite my shiny metal ass,” revealing that Bender’s ass is the shiniest thing in the universe. Of course, this stands in direct contrast to the literal first response to that phrase “it doesn’t seem that shiny,” as well as a number of other episodes, but whatever.
Overall, I think this was my least favorite of the episodes remaining, so it’s all good now.
Here are three, only because I don’t like any of them enough to make them the winner:
3) Hedonismbot is a Senator
When they recover Bender’s antenna, Leela addresses Hedonismbot as Senator, revealing that a robot who lives to engage in debauchery is electable. Of course, reality told us this already.
2) Bender is a monster
When recovering his legs, Bender discovers that they’ve been given to Tinny Tim, the orphan robot, to replace his missing ones. Bender then not only steals his legs back, but also steals the skateboard that Tim used to get around.
1) I think of robot eels
The name of Tarquin’s boat is “Flotsam and Jetson,” a combination of the terms “Flotsam and Jetsam” (debris that was lost accidentally and debris that was intentionally thrown overboard) and the Jetsons. However, Flotsam and Jetsam were the names of the eels used by Ursula in The Little Mermaid, so this pun always makes me think of robot eels, which would indeed be electric eels.
See you next week, meatbags.
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