This episode seems to be somewhat divisive, but for me, 7B keeps on delivering the good stuff.Story
The Futurama writers really seem to be finding their groove with stories that are interesting but not overly-ambitious for a 21-minute episode. They are also writing episodes with consistently good pacing. The problem that plagued the stories for much of Seasons 6A, 6B, and 7A is finally being rectified -- just in time for the show to not exist anymore!
At least they are setting themselves up to finish on a high note.
I found this episode to explore a novel idea: I would have never thought to write an episode about Leela mutating, especially since the sewer swamp only mutates non-mutants. As such, I did not see any details of this episode coming.
I always enjoy episodes that take us to exciting new places and introduce us to interesting new characters. This episode gave us both but the gifts didn't stop there. I'm not sure the last time we saw a fantasy/fairy tale setting. Anthology of Interest II? Plus, we even got a couple of fun cameos/crossovers/references.Plot
In Leela and the Genestalk, we start off with a flimsy pre-text to go to the "redneck bar." Within a couple minutes, the direction of the episode had changed completely. It reminded me of all those old (and maybe new too? I wouldn't know) Simpsons episodes where the first two minutes of the show had nothing to do with the rest of the episode.
Some plot issues, such as Munda's tentacles and Mom's motives, have been discussed thoroughly in this thread and I do not have any issue with the logic behind these instances. What does confuse me, however, is Stan the Giant. Did his gigantism make him angry? He was obviously irate and violent when we first saw him, but in the end of the episode he seemed to be a very chill person after his cure.
The only problem for the plot of this episode was that there was not enough time to fully explore every aspect. This lead to us jumping directly to specific plot points, with little-to-no build-up to them. Explanations of circumstances were often very implicit, leaving a lot to be desired. In a more perfect world, we might have seen this plot as a movie (and not one of those four related episodes movies, but a more traditional movie). Still, I think the writers made this episode about as good as it could be under the circumstances.Funny
All in all, I'd say this was a consistently humorous episode. There were plenty of great one-liners from a variety of characters. There were a few apparent jokes that didn't elicit any laughter from me ("Still, someone should eat the hat."; "Fry, you big dummy?"), but that's not to say that I disliked these lines. Regardless of these few lines, my hilarity unit was most certainly activated during this episode.
I enjoyed both sets of cameos were got in this episode. The Adam West and Burt Ward cameo seemed a little pointless to me at first, though that's only because I'm not awesome enough to have fully understood the gag reference. Still, I thought it was nice to finally see Adam West make his way to the year three thousand (thirteen). I really loved the Adventure Time cameo, though. I found it especially funny since John DiMaggio was telling John DiMaggio to shut up.
Personally, I love the cartoon crossovers that have been happening lately.
My favorite line from this episode: "I keep telling you, we didn't grow up together!" So perfect in so many ways.Characters
I actually enjoyed the shipping in this episode, and that is something that I almost never say. I usually find it contrived and unnecessary, but it was pretty touching to see Fry support Leela unconditionally. They also managed to incorporate some humor and visual prowess, a lá Fry kissing Leela's neck tentacle, the resulting popping sound, and Fry's reactionary facial expression, as well as Leela's tentacle swing.
All of the characters seemed in-character to me. I was a little thrown at first by Mom's willingness and desire to cure Leela, but she easily had personal motives here. Squid DNA, Quid Pro Quo, and more Quid in her bank.
I love Leela's not-so-above-it-afterall mentality at the end. Other than the obvious social commentary, I think it really fits Leela's character to take the high road until she see how it could affect her. She is very opinionated but still she doesn't want to suffer from squidification.Classic
I think this episode was a good mix between "new" and "classic." New elements include the zany adventure, lack of strong science fiction elements (not saying this is good or bad, just more characteristic of the new run than the old), and really fun visuals. Classic elements include focus on the main trio, Zoidberg showing affection for the repulsive, intelligent dialogue (puns versus wordplay), and Fry's stoopidity.That's why I called to ask you!
/ Well you didn't!
is a classic dumb Fry line, a lá:Don't listen to them, Leela. People said I was dumb, but I proved them!
(The Day the Earth Stood Stupid)And, Fry, you've got that brain thing!
/ I already did!
(The Cyber House Rules)I heard alcohol makes you stupid.
/ No, I'm... doesn't.
(The Route of All Evil)Visuals
As always, this episode was rife with visual treats. The Momsanto cloud complex was both beautiful and creative and there were many new crazy creatures at which to caw. We also got a fair amount of action in this episode. Fry and Bender's rocketboard ride was thrilling and the chase scene with the giant was genuinely fun to watch. My favorite visual gags were the Professor gliding down like a piece of paper after flying off of the mechanical buggalo and the digital zoom on Dr. Zoidberg's magnifying glass.Gripes
I don't like how the Beanstalk (less traveled) and Fry and Bender's rocketboard ride both happen to lead straight to Mom's overgound lair. Too convenient.
I find it a little weird how Mom uses a castle in the sky for her experiments rather than going into space (MomCorp does have at least one major spaceship [Bender's Big Score, I think]) and that it somehow remains a secret when there are spaceships flying all over, but I'll forgive this lapse in logic because it allows us to explore this story and location as it is.
Is there a resolution for Bessie? Will we see her again? (Of course we will, but will there be an explanation for it?)Highlights
It's fun because there's no touching and lots of rules.
Uuugghh! You sack of bags of buckets of idiots!
It's some kind of deluxe apartment in the sky!
I think it fell from the sky, but I'm not sure. *clunk* Now I'm sure.
(Robotically) Instead I went to bed because I'm tired now.
Well, look what the giant cat dragged in. Memo to self: breed giant cat -- to drag things in.
And remember: don't report them missing until after we max out their credit cards.
The redneck bar had good
country music, not the insufferable twangy kind.
The Futurama crew is doing a great job including little hints of past episodes:
- Calling the PE Ship Bessie. (2-D Blacktop)
- Leela's blurnsball uniform and chicken hat in her locker. (A Leela of Her Own and Fun on a Bun, respectively)
- Bender acknowledging that "[he] was there" during Fry's bathtime. (Calculon 2.0)
Leela stealing office supplies as she leaves. Heh heh heh...
Fry falling down the manhole into the sewers because Leela didn't bother covering it back up. I'm glad there are consequences for some character oversights in this cartoon.
The giant's giant room, complete with a giant can of Slurm.Overall
Though a little pressed for time, this episode was very fun and adventurous and made me laugh quite a bit.9/10What time is it?Time for you to shut up!