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Author Topic: Best Finale (So Far...)  (Read 7536 times)
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PEE Poll: Which was the best last episode "ever"?
The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings   -10 (26.3%)
Into the Wild Green Yonder   -3 (7.9%)
Overclockwise   -0 (0%)
Meanwhile   -21 (55.3%)
They were all great!   -2 (5.3%)
They all sucked!   -1 (2.6%)
I can't decide!   -1 (2.6%)
Total Voters: 38


Space Pope
« Reply #40 on: 09-06-2013 03:00 »

I am going to do a grossly unpopular thing and say that "Into the Wild Green Yonder" is the best finale of the four Futurama has given us over the years. I say this despite thinking that "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings" is a better overall episode than the other three options (for all the reasons Boxy Robot stated up-thread; it is just a beautiful, heartwarming, delightful little 22 minutes), and despite believing that both "Overclockwise" and "Meanwhile" are among the best episodes of the new run.

Allow me to explain: Despite its flaws--the major one being wonky plotting in the first "episode," what with the Bender/Fanny story--I think Wild Green Yonder does greater justice to the entire PE crew than do the other finales ("Meanwhile," in particular, is really heavy on Fry/Leela stuff without providing much closure for any other characters). By virtue of it being ninety minutes long, there are a bunch of subplots that utilize not only secondary characters (chiefly Amy) but also some of our beloved tertiary characters (LaBarbara, Linda, Leo); the Fry/Leela story provides an emotional core, but it does not overwhelm the movie to the detriment of the other characters and their respective stories.

Moreover, the ending of Wild Green Yonder strikes the perfect balance between ambiguity and emotional closure. As much as I adore the ending of Devil's Hands, it is similar to a lot of easily-reset season four endings ("The Why of Fry" being the best example: Leela kisses Fry, for god's sake, and nothing really comes of this in future episodes); it is sweet, but ultimately does not "prove" that Fry and Leela will wind up together. "Overclockwise" follows the Devil's Hands example of giving some indication that Fry and Leela will be together forever (but it is still rather ambiguous, because we do not see what the things are that provoke Fry and Leela's smiles and sobs and slaps), and "Meanwhile" provides too much closure, almost, by showing us decades upon decades of their married life and assuring us that they will do it all over again when the Professor resets time.

Wild Green Yonder, though, manages to leave us guessing about what will become of the characters in a practical sense (will they end up in some new part of the universe?), but not an emotional one (Fry and Leela exchange their "I love you"s and kiss and it is just a really touching, somewhat understated moment that indicates they will be happy together no matter where the wormhole leads; also, Hermes and Amy reconcile with their own significant others). Most tellingly, the movie ends on a shot of the entire PE crew, emphasizing how Futurama is not, in fact, The Fry and Leela Lovey-Dovey Variety Hour; the other three finales are a bit too Fry/Leela-centric, but Wild Green Yonder gives every major character a nice send-off.

So, while I wouldn't say it is a better episode than Devil's Hands (I do probably prefer it to "Overclockwise" and "Meanwhile"), "Into the Wild Green Yonder" certainly makes for a more satisfying finale.

« Reply #41 on: 09-06-2013 03:19 »

I do love all the finales so far. Let me say that before all this critical judgement I'm putting out there.

Futurama is a smart show. Therefore, it has smart writers. Which also means Futurama has smart episodes. IMO, Meanwhile was one of the smartest creative directions Ken Keeler has made in all of his years of writing for Futurama. IMO, it was a risk. And the risk payed off. I don't think anybody who watched Space Pilot in 1999 would've ever truly believed Fry and Leela would get married. I think even though Fry's proposal was a little impulsive, it made sense and that's what matters. If Leela's life had never been put in danger and Fry proposed anyway, it wouldn't have been the right time. It would've been too soon. That said, the entire episode after their wedding moves by very quickly, which is why I don't understand people saying how this episode didnt work because Fry and Leela didn't have problems or arguments. All couples have them, but we probably just didnt see Fry and Leela's because the montage was only about a minute or a minute and a half long and that's covering 30-50 years. Emotionally, this episode was beautiful and tragic, but left me confused. How far back in time will they go? For Fry and Leela, it's gonna blow either way because they won't remember their marriage, and depending on how far back they go, their relationship or each other. I like the tragic, cliffhanger ending. This episode just works 100% for me.

Overclockwise was good the first few times I watched it. And then I took a closer look at the Fry/ Leela dialouge. God, it was terrible. Forced dialogue never, ever works. Ever. The way Fry said "So I'm sure I'll enjoy talking about it with you." was ridiculously fake sounding, which saddens me because it doesn't do justice for Fry as a character. That said, I can stand their dialouge at the end, because it's emotional and believable. The Bender/Cubert/Professor plot was a genius idea, and even though I liked it, it could've went a little further. It could have done a little more.

Into The Wild Green Yonder was great IMO. We don't only get to see this really sweet and beautiful connection between Fry and Leela, but between quite a few couples (ie, Kif and Amy, Hermes and LeBarbara.) We see Leela's trust in Fry shine through out this movie, which is nice, because, even though she had every viabale reason to believe in Fry in the original run, she didn't, and this shows how fond she has grown of his companionship and possibly, romantic advances, which is not confirmed until the final moments. ITWGY also has some great humor, particularly the scenes with Bender, and the scenes with Amy's parents.

The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings was a perfect ending to the original run, which is why I find it so hard to compare the episode with Meanwhile, which is the perfect end to the Comedy Central run. The episode, for me, moves a little fast in the beginning, up until Hedonism Bot comes to the Planet Express building. From there on is a musical romance and humor fear stuffed with perfection. The music and singing completes the episode for me, and the ending wasnt overdone like I expected. It was touching, ambiguous, and just plain wonderful for me.

But, if I had to choose, It'd go like this:

1.) Meanwhile
2.) The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings
3.) Into The Wild Green Yonder
4.) Overclockwise

DOOP Secretary
« Reply #42 on: 09-06-2013 18:26 »

I voted for Into the Wild Green Yonder (again).

Liquid Emperor
« Reply #43 on: 09-07-2013 04:02 »
« Last Edit on: 09-08-2013 23:10 »

I think they go like this, with Best at #1 and worst at #4.

1)The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings

Urban Legend
« Reply #44 on: 09-07-2013 04:48 »

Judged purely as episodes:
4. Into the Wild Green Yonder
3. Overclockwise
2. Meanwhile
1. The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings

How well they serve as finales:
4. The Devil's Hands are Idle Playthings
3. Overclockwise
2. Into the Wild Green Yonder
1. Meanwhile

salutatory committee member
DOOP Secretary
« Reply #45 on: 09-07-2013 07:41 »

Well I finally was able to watch this last one. I voted Devil's Hands, because that finale was touching, involved several subplots with other characters, and wasn't overly done.

My issues with Meanwhile (which, now that I've come out, will be getting a lot of heat for)...first off, why, why, why again with the gory character mutilations, and the self-inflicted suicide, which most people probably thought romantic but I found...eesh disturbing.

The episode was too cliche perfect, it was obvious it was a finale because of this. They got to have their cake and eat it too which ehh...it's heartwarming, but life doesn't work that way. I would have actually preferred them to end with them growing old together.

I don't recall Overclockwise or ITWGY being THAT memorable either. But as a series finale...I dunno, it was kinda disappointing.
* futurefreak waits for the torches and pitchforks

Space Pope
« Reply #46 on: 09-07-2013 07:50 »
« Last Edit on: 09-07-2013 07:51 »

I agree that the suicide was completely unnecessary and it just makes Fry look like an impulsive, whiny kid. It was stupid in Overclockwise, it was stupid in TBWABB, and it was especially stupid here.

However, I found the excessive gore to be quite hilarious because of the sheer number of times it was repeated. It served the plot (unlike a certain "romantic" incident involving arms being torn off) and it suited the themes of the episode.

I've already expressed my thoughts on how it didn't quite fully utilise the likes of Bender and the rest of the crew, which is my main reason for finding it slightly disappointing as a finale. As an episode though, I consider it to be rather smashing.
Professor Zoidy

Urban Legend
« Reply #47 on: 09-07-2013 09:32 »

I agree that the suicide was completely unnecessary and it just makes Fry look like an impulsive, whiny kid. It was stupid in Overclockwise, it was stupid in TBWABB, and it was especially stupid here.

However, I found the excessive gore to be quite hilarious because of the sheer number of times it was repeated. It served the plot (unlike a certain "romantic" incident involving arms being torn off) and it suited the themes of the episode.

I've already expressed my thoughts on how it didn't quite fully utilise the likes of Bender and the rest of the crew, which is my main reason for finding it slightly disappointing as a finale. As an episode though, I consider it to be rather smashing.
I see what you did there.
* Professor Zoidy narrows her eyes

I think Devil's Hands gets top marks for me partly because of nostalgia but because it left things so open-ended and open to interpretation. While I agree with Unreal on the suicide thing, I liked howMeanwhile gave us what we wanted and still left it, well, open! I had a bit of a rage quit moment when it ended because of how it was written and... that's good!
Inquisitor Hein
Liquid Emperor
« Reply #48 on: 09-07-2013 09:44 »

Yep. Early run had a rather emotionally stable* Fry, while Leela was the overemotional one. (E.g. X-Mas story: Fry just looked about grumpy about having lost his family, while Leela still burst in tears after 25 years of getting accustomed to not knowing her parents).

The early emotional theme evolving around Fry were usually not built around an oversensitivity on his part. Those were usually things that would have gotten EVERYONE down. Imposing them on a rather emotionally stable Fry showed how grave those events were. While a constantly whiny, self-pitying Fry deprives these plots partly of their meaning. (Sadness about his potential life as seen in TLOTF has a far less emotional impact shoud it come from a character who also bursts into tears for losing a nickle)

*(Sometimes because he could handle things, sometimes because he did not understand them wink )

« Reply #49 on: 09-07-2013 15:08 »

IH, you keep posting things about Fry being whiny in this run. There's been two episodes in the new run where he was really, really whiny. And hasn't he always been? I really don't understand why you keep persisting on and on about it. And when has Fry ever cried about losing a nickle?

Space Pope
« Reply #50 on: 09-07-2013 17:09 »

Though I think Hein may be overstating his case just a smidge, I do agree with him that in the new run there was a trend of Fry being overly-emotional (particularly about things concerning Leela), whereas in the old run he took even the biggest personal setbacks with a kind of stoicism (I'm thinking specifically of the end of TKOS, but Fry likewise chooses to persevere rather than mope at the end of "Parasites Lost" and "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings"). The offhanded way in which he decides to kill himself in both "Overclockwise" and "Meanwhile" really bugs me (and, as Randi suggests, the fact that Leela herself finds it romantic that Fry would hurl himself off a building for her is just stupid), particularly because both the aforementioned Devil's Hands and "Into the Wild Green Yonder" have Fry experience difficulties in his relationship with Leela that he works through (and I think that's part of the reason why I prefer those two, as both episodes and finales, to the endings of 6B and 7B).

In fact, I think Fry's characterization in "Into the Wild Green Yonder" is particularly great: He isn't a complete moron (he's lovably stupid, but competent enough to insinuate himself into Leo Wong's life and act as a double-agent for the feministas), he isn't trying to "make" Leela love him (rather, he is acting on her behalf out of his own love for her, not expecting anything in return), and though he does get a little teary-eyed at the very end of the movie whilst confessing for the 88th time his love for Leela, it is a genuinely emotional moment and not an instance of him being a little baby bitch.

But I digress. I do not mean to suggest that Fry was unerringly whiny in seasons six and seven (hell, in "The Late Philip J. Fry" he is forced to face the possibility of never seeing Leela again--a pretty difficult situation--and instead of just giving up entirely he tries desperately to get back to the present), simply that I too noticed a sort of...wussy-fying of his character in a handful of new run episodes involving high emotional stakes and Leela rejecting him. Also, I got a little burned-out on the Fry-sacrifices-himself-for-Leela nonsense, but that's almost the opposite complaint of "Fry is a pansy-boy," so whatever.
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