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Author Topic: Thoughts on 7ACV24 - Murder on the Planet Express - SPOILERS  (Read 23456 times)
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PEE Poll: What would you rate this episode?
1/10   -1 (1.5%)
2/10   -0 (0%)
3/10   -0 (0%)
4/10   -0 (0%)
5/10   -2 (3.1%)
6/10   -2 (3.1%)
7/10   -5 (7.7%)
8/10   -11 (16.9%)
9/10   -22 (33.8%)
10/10   -22 (33.8%)
Total Voters: 65

Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #120 on: 08-23-2013 16:04 »

I have a few problems with the story of this episode (particularly the third act), but I have to agree with those who say it was far from predictable or lazy: this was probably the most suspenseful episode of the show ever, and a really nice take on a genre that has not been covered in the past (I mean, "The Honking" is sort of a goofy horror parody, but this episode was genuinely creepy and scary). Everything about the first two-thirds of the episode--from the escalating absurdity of its set-up (kidney surgery! Inadvertent cannibalism! Wacky transplants!), to the unexpected devouring of Dan McMasters, to the genuine trust-building between the three groups, to the reveal that the monster is a shape-shifter--is really, really solid.

The show only begins to falter in act three, specifically in the final few minutes. I think McMasters's death is a bit too dark--though I can appreciate it as a comment on the ultimate failure of his convoluted, distrust-building exercise--and I don't completely understand what the show was getting at with Fry and Leela in the closet. I know I'm reading waaay too much into this, but it seems that Leela is punished for trusting Fry so completely...which is, you know, contrary to the whole point of the freaking trust-building exercise in the first place. (I know the Fry-monster does chide Leela for being so trusting, but that's not a particularly great lesson, either, considering the ostensible aim of McMasters's program.) So was the retreat designed only to enable Fry and Bender to mend their relationship, or was the "monster" just indiscriminately eating people with no regard to the implications of its behavior? UrL is correct that questions like mine and Danny's are not indicative of plot holes, per se, but the fact that I was taken out of the action of the story to ponder its machinations is certainly a sign that the writing in this particular section of the episode was less-than airtight (because, you know, it could not sustain my suspension of disbelief).

Those relatively minor complaints aside, I thought this was a really enjoyable episode. It was consistently funny (the biggest laugh of the episode for me, for some reason, was Leela's response to having unwittingly consumed her boyfriend's kidney: "That's not an excuse, it's just an explanation of what happened"), and explored some cool character dynamics (the Hermes/Zoidberg and Amy/Leela combos in particular were well-done; I've kind of had enough of Fry and Bender to last a lifetime, though that's not to say that their interactions in this episode were unfunny or anything). I was thinking it was well on its way to being one of the season's best offerings, up until the last three or four minutes--which, as I mentioned above, kind of turned me off--but it was still a pretty delightful episode, overall. I'd say it's a solid 8/10.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
****
« Reply #121 on: 08-23-2013 16:23 »

The Fry/Leela interaction is another interesting thought, Gorky. I think it depends on exactly what the behind-the-scenes process was. Leela admitting that she trusts Fry could've possibly been a cue for the monster to go "Okay, she's passed. Time to eat her so the remaining crew have a chance to work together without her interfering."

I also took it as the monster wanting an excuse to make out with Leela. wink
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #122 on: 08-23-2013 16:35 »

The Fry/Leela interaction is another interesting thought, Gorky. I think it depends on exactly what the behind-the-scenes process was. Leela admitting that she trusts Fry could've possibly been a cue for the monster to go "Okay, she's passed. Time to eat her so the remaining crew have a chance to work together without her interfering."

That's actually a really interesting interpretation. I'm not sure I'm completely convinced, but I certainly prefer your idea to my original impression that the monster was just devouring people all willy-nilly.
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #123 on: 08-23-2013 16:42 »

I forgot to mention that I loved that they took on the horror genre. As Gorky said, it's sort of a first for them, given that episodes like The Honking were much goofier.

It's nice when the show still manages to break some fresh ground and venture into somewhat unventured territory these days.
AdrenalinDragon

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #124 on: 08-23-2013 17:06 »

I think you guys are really nitpicking this episode. Honestly, I had far bigger problems with Game of Tones than this one, simply because all the minor nitpicks people bring up here all have easy explanations or are not worth knocking down huge marks over. The only real problem I had with this one was the Facebook reference, but the dark ending of Fry and Bender murdering someone innocent actually makes sense in the context of the team-building exercise they all went through. Not to mention this episode was really funny and all three acts were actually decent for once. Sure, I saw the Professor being the shape-shifting alien coming a mile away too, but it didn't annoy me. I actually appreciated the writers going for a straightforward explanation for everything here.

After two watches, even with the flaws PEELers are mentioning here that didn't bother me the first time (The show has had much worse problems), It's still a 10/10 for me. Easily my favourite episode of Season 7 so far.
Beamer

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #125 on: 08-23-2013 17:10 »

I know I'm reading waaay too much into this, but it seems that Leela is punished for trusting Fry so completely...which is, you know, contrary to the whole point of the freaking trust-building exercise in the first place. (I know the Fry-monster does chide Leela for being so trusting, but that's not a particularly great lesson, either, considering the ostensible aim of McMasters's program.) So was the retreat designed only to enable Fry and Bender to mend their relationship, or was the "monster" just indiscriminately eating people with no regard to the implications of its behavior?

It was a twist on horror movie tropes. We all know one of them is going to be the monster, but this entire run of scenes were designed to play upon our expectations then twist them completely. I loved it even more upon rewatching - especially just how needlessly contrived the dialogue is to get you to assume one thing, only to take a left turn and throw it all out the window anyway.

As for an in-show explanation: Everyone else had already sorted out their problems, but the tension between Fry and Bender over the toothbrush was still lingering, I guess?
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #126 on: 08-23-2013 17:56 »

It was a twist on horror movie tropes. We all know one of them is going to be the monster, but this entire run of scenes were designed to play upon our expectations then twist them completely.

Oh, I got that. I guess my main complaint is the the internal logic of the episode--even if its plot is based mostly on lampooning the horror genre and playing with its well-worn tropes--falters a bit in that moment between Fry and Leela, because the retreat itself is designed to foster trust and team-building and Leela is punished for, well, her mastery of the concept of trusting one's teammates.

Don't get me wrong: I thought it was funny that Fry turned out being the monster instead of Leela the Lip-Biter--but it also annoyed me because it seemed almost like a lapse in the episode's internal, uh, logic. That said, I think UrL provides a plausible explanation for Leela being eaten by the monster, so my complaints have mostly been pacified.
sparkybarky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #127 on: 08-23-2013 18:53 »
« Last Edit on: 08-23-2013 22:14 »

That said, I think UrL provides a plausible explanation for Leela being eaten by the monster, so my complaints have mostly been pacified.

Well, that aspect of the story didn't really work for you, Gorky, if it took you out of the story and you needed another person to offer a plausible explanation to silence your doubt. It's okay, your complaints are perfectly reasonable!

Having watched The Thing several times (including last night, right after I watched this episode), I've always thought that the assimilated human being was rather clueless about its true nature. Like, it didn't seem to me that Norris knew he was one of the Things, or Palmer when he was sitting there tied up, waiting to have his blood tested. Like, while the Thing had completely overtaken his body, it had left a vestige of its "host's" consciousness so that the host still felt like himself. So it seemed to me completely plausible that Fry had no idea he was the imitation until...I dunno, I guess he was about to eat Leela.

Perhaps because The Thing is one of my favorite movies (I watched it before I went to sleep last night--it's soothing smile), it didn't bother me in the least that between Fry and Leela in the closet, Fry was the one. His deceptive naivete and earnestness seemed to be completely in keeping with that movie's spirit of cleverly playing the audience. I loved that his anxiety masked the fact that he was indeed the monster.

And now (I've posted it before), I think it's fitting to share one of my favorite scenes:

Dorsal Axe

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #128 on: 08-23-2013 22:03 »
« Last Edit on: 08-23-2013 22:06 »

Wait...  if the crew weren't actually getting killed, then how did Jackie Jr.'s skull block the fans?
Notice how Blorgulax doesn't appear at the end, but Jackie Jr. does? Clearly Blorgulax is disguised as Jackie Jr., and so that really was his skeleton we saw, and he really is dead (thus wrapping the whole story in a neat little package and explaining why we will never see him again, probably).

Oh, I got that. I guess my main complaint is the the internal logic of the episode--even if its plot is based mostly on lampooning the horror genre and playing with its well-worn tropes--falters a bit in that moment between Fry and Leela, because the retreat itself is designed to foster trust and team-building and Leela is punished for, well, her mastery of the concept of trusting one's teammates.
Well it would explain the 4% increase in productivity that McMasters is so proud about...
Tachyon

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #129 on: 08-23-2013 22:13 »


Carpenter's The Thing is one of very few movies that creeped me out.  And I loved seeing its influence in MoPE. smile

Haven't seen it for years...

DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #130 on: 08-24-2013 01:18 »

I loved this episode, but I have mixed feelings about the ending. Somehow, they've made it this late in the game without ever turning our favorite characters into active murderers (at least of human - or just non-monster - characters), but now they've crossed that line and it's not really something you can come back from. I get that they thought he was the creature, but it's still pretty disturbing to think about in light of how lovable Fry and Bender usually are....not to mention, they don't show any real remorse about it, but just seem afraid of getting caught.

.....All that said, the ending IS also really darkly hilarious and appropriate to the episode, so I don't know. I wouldn't say I dislike it, but I just have mixed feelings is all. At least the fact that it was an accident (and really, what the hell did the team building guy expect to happen?) kind of mitigates the issue and keeps Fry and Bender from suddenly being monsters (in the moral sense, not the literal sense so common on this show and in this episode).

Beyond that, it was great. It rarely missed a beat and it really captured the tone of Alien and The Thing extremely well. Some of the animation was extremely impressive, and added to the tension.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
****
« Reply #131 on: 08-24-2013 01:46 »

If I were in Fry and Bender's situation, I would've shot Dan McMasters on sight. He was actually incredibly stupid to pull a stunt like that. Shape shifting monster + sudden appearance of someone we witnessed get eaten alive = shoot.
Solid Gold Bender

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #132 on: 08-24-2013 06:02 »
« Last Edit on: 08-24-2013 22:43 »


SolidSnake

Professor
*
« Reply #133 on: 08-24-2013 06:04 »

I CALL CYBER-BULLYING ON THAT!
Anna3000

Starship Captain
****
« Reply #134 on: 08-24-2013 06:43 »

I absolutely loved this episode, and it's actually my favorite episode of Season 7 now. I am just so incredibly pleased that 7B has seemingly been getting better with each episode, so my hopes are even higher than they were before for the final two.  big grin

This episode was just firing on all cylinders in my opinion. I loved the tense, creepy atmosphere, and I found it very unpredictable. I really enjoyed that I could never guess ahead of time who was going to be eaten and that it defied my expectations throughout the whole episode. The only thing that was slightly off for me was Leela eating Fry's kidney; however, I liked her line about how it's not an excuse, just an explanation, so that made up for it.

In addition, I think this is the funniest episode of the season. I particularly loved Frender, Lamy, and Hermberg. Fry and Bender killing McMasters at the end also didn't bother me since I would have been so tense and suspicious at that point that I would have done the same thing they did.
SolidSnake

Professor
*
« Reply #135 on: 08-24-2013 06:52 »

Anna, your review made me want to watch this episode again.

I'm actually not lying, it did!
Fnord
Starship Captain
****
« Reply #136 on: 08-24-2013 08:03 »

I CALL CYBER-BULLYING ON THAT!

Scruffy: Second.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
****
« Reply #137 on: 08-24-2013 08:42 »

I CALL CYBER-BULLYING ON THAT!

Scruffy: Second.

Yeah... I don't think that was particularly necessary.

Shame on you, SGB. Shame on you.  no no
Dorsal Axe

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #138 on: 08-24-2013 11:33 »

Somehow, they've made it this late in the game without ever turning our favorite characters into active murderers (at least of human - or just non-monster - characters), but now they've crossed that line and it's not really something you can come back from.
Is it any worse than Farnsworth killing Eleanor Roosevelt?
cartoonlover27

Professor
*
« Reply #139 on: 08-24-2013 14:25 »

Somehow, they've made it this late in the game without ever turning our favorite characters into active murderers (at least of human - or just non-monster - characters), but now they've crossed that line and it's not really something you can come back from.
Is it any worse than Farnsworth killing Eleanor Roosevelt?

Exactly. I didn't mind the ending because Futurama has the occasional dark joke or gag or episode. Plus, it's not like they did it on purpose-Fry and Bender thought he had eaten people.
Beamer

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #140 on: 08-24-2013 14:35 »

Leela eating Fry's kidney was way more fucked up than Fry and Bender murdering someone when they knew a deceitful shapeshifter was on the loose.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
****
« Reply #141 on: 08-24-2013 14:43 »

It wasn't "murder"; it was "common sense".

At the stage Fry and Bender were at, I'm surprised they didn't shoot sooner.
cartoonlover27

Professor
*
« Reply #142 on: 08-24-2013 14:50 »

Leela eating Fry's kidney was way more fucked up than Fry and Bender murdering someone when they knew a deceitful shapeshifter was on the loose.

I cracked up at that part. Like, how do you not know you're eating a kidney? I bet it would've tasted gross.
UnrealLegend

Space Pope
****
« Reply #143 on: 08-24-2013 14:55 »

Leela eating Fry's kidney was way more fucked up than Fry and Bender murdering someone when they knew a deceitful shapeshifter was on the loose.

I cracked up at that part. Like, how do you not know you're eating a kidney? I bet it would've tasted gross.

Well, Fry's blood is sweet enough to taste good on pancakes according to the Professor. I think we can assume that since his kidney has spent so long inside his body, it's been gradually soaking up sugar from his blood to the point were his kidney tastes like a sweet, fluffy donut.

The infamous parasites may have also filled his organs with delicious whipped cream and jam (the good kind; not the kind you'd expect from a toilet sandwich). There's plenty of evidence to suggest that Fry's organs, do in fact taste excellent.

...what the hell did I just type?!
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #144 on: 08-24-2013 14:56 »
« Last Edit on: 08-24-2013 18:42 »



I'm flattered that you're intimidated by my opinion to this extent.

I'm 23, have a full head of hair, I'm not even remotely angry when I talk about anything - especially Futurama (I'm very laid back), one night stands are almost never as good as "overall sex" standards because they're awkward and clunky compared to when you "click" with someone after a few times and get comfortable with each other's individualities and rhythms - something I'm sure you'd be aware of if you'd actually had sex, yourself - and I don't have pictures of windmills on my walls.

5/10 by Solid Gold Bender's post standards, 2/10 by overall internet standards
cartoonlover27

Professor
*
« Reply #145 on: 08-24-2013 15:07 »

😂😂😂😂😂 Unreal Legend just made my day, it's official.
Gorky

Space Pope
****
« Reply #146 on: 08-24-2013 16:49 »

I loved this episode, but I have mixed feelings about the ending. Somehow, they've made it this late in the game without ever turning our favorite characters into active murderers (at least of human - or just non-monster - characters), but now they've crossed that line and it's not really something you can come back from.

I agree. I can appreciate the arguments to the contrary made by other posters up-thread, but to be honest it really bugs me and strikes me as a line-crossing thing that Fry and Bender killed an innocent man (even though, yes, the whole joke seems to be that McMasters's team-building exercise was flawed, and any sane, life-loving person would have killed him on the spot because the lesson of the retreat seemed to be "Don't trust anyone"). So, while I understand what the writers were going for and don't believe they meant to turn Fry and Bender into cold-hearted killers, the fact that the show plays their deeds for laughs is just...too dark. On another show, where the protagonists are really more like anti-heroes and the overall comedic sensibility errs towards the darkly comic, I would be able to accept an ending like this; however, for a show like Futurama, which is occasionally bleak but ultimately wants us to see its main characters as good guys, I think an ending like this goes too far.

I am reminded of Agnew's death in "Into the Wild Green Yonder": the feministas do kill him, yes, but it is inadvertent and Leela herself--the only person in the group who the audience really needs to sympathize with on a week-to-week basis--advises Agnew to move out of the golf cart's path. That episode goes out of its way to make Leela as innocent as possible, considering the circumstances--whereas this episode showed Fry and Bender knowingly, deliberately shooting a man until he was nothing but a pile of dust to be swept under the carpet. It was just a bit too much for me.

Leela eating Fry's kidney was way more fucked up than Fry and Bender murdering someone when they knew a deceitful shapeshifter was on the loose.

It was pretty fucked-up, yes, but it was inadvertent. Bender arranging for Fry's kidney to be removed in the first place, however, was quite messed up--but just on the border between what is acceptable behavior for Bender, and what is unacceptable behavior for him. In fact, if it had just been Bender who killed McMasters at the end of the episode, I don't think I would have had as big a problem with it; his moral character has always been, well, more or less nonexistent. It's Fry's shooting of McMasters that really bugs me, ultimately, because he is our hero and our audience avatar in the 31st century, and I have a hard time reconciling the sweet goofball Fry with the more-or-less untroubled, man-slaughtering Fry.

Again, that's probably more a problem with my own perception of this show and its characters than it is an actual flaw in the writing--but, yeah, it definitely knocked what had been up to that point a really enjoyable episode down a few notches in my estimation.
Solid Gold Bender

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #147 on: 08-24-2013 18:49 »
« Last Edit on: 08-24-2013 18:58 »

Quote
Have you even ever had sex?
Well, I just happen to be fifteen, so the answer is no.

I was actually very rewarded by the ending. I love when shows get dark, and when you blend together darkness and comedy the result can be extremely satisfying. As a matter of fact, the ending made me like this episode more than Fun on a Bun. And also because of the twisted way that it made the theme of teamwork present.
sparkybarky

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #148 on: 08-24-2013 19:08 »

SGB: Haha!

cyber_turnip: Haha!...wait, he edited his riposte. The original version was funny!

I'm flattered that you're intimidated by my opinion to this extent.

I don't think he is; I just think he's teasing.

Also, what's wrong with pictures of windmills on the wall. I have one! mad
Tachyon

DOOP Secretary
*
« Reply #149 on: 08-24-2013 19:54 »

[image]

I laughed my ass off smile 

DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #150 on: 08-24-2013 20:23 »

Somehow, they've made it this late in the game without ever turning our favorite characters into active murderers (at least of human - or just non-monster - characters), but now they've crossed that line and it's not really something you can come back from.
Is it any worse than Farnsworth killing Eleanor Roosevelt?

The Professor has fewer moral scruples, so that matters a lot less to me. Plus, he actually shows at least some mild remorse about it, even if he doesn't exactly try to fix it. I don't consider him one of the "heroes" of the show the way Fry and Bender are, so it just matters a whole lot less to me what they have him do.

I do actually LIKE the ending....it's extremely funny and darkly appropriate to the episode. I just think actually thinking about the fact that Fry and Bender are now murderers is a little bit disturbing. I don't fault them for what they did, but it's just weird to think about. Plus, again, there's the fact that they don't show any actual remorse over it (just fear of getting caught), whereas normally I would think at least Fry would show some remorse over having killed someone without realizing it.

But, I dunno, I still laughed and it was kind of fitting with the rest of the episode, so maybe it's not a big deal. It wouldn't certainly be a much bigger deal if they'd had them actively kill the guy while actually knowing he wasn't a monster.
Monster_Robot_Maniac

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #151 on: 08-24-2013 20:53 »

Well, I'm pretty sure every Planet Express member has murdered/hurt someone at some point, so that fact doesn't bother me at all. As others said, it was in complete self defense.
PeskyOwl

Crustacean
*
« Reply #152 on: 08-24-2013 21:35 »

I admit, I would've preferred if they just gave the guy a good blast, and then have the other cast members walk in and be like, "You idiots! He was telling the truth!" Although you've got to admit the entire scheme -- bringing them together by convincing them that a monster among them is killing them -- lends itself to serious and fatal accidents. Why, only a crazy person would purchase such services for their business establishment.

Also:
SCRUFFY: "...Name of the game's Candyland."
Monster_Robot_Maniac

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #153 on: 08-24-2013 21:37 »

They could've made an entire episode about Scruffy and Farnsworth playing Candyland.  It was just that cool.

Totally would've been the best episode ever.
Mongo

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #154 on: 08-24-2013 21:54 »
« Last Edit on: 08-24-2013 21:55 »

I honestly do not see what Fry and Bender did as being murder.  They saw McMasters being eaten by a shapeshifting monster, and as far as they knew, all the rest of the crew had been eaten as well.  They would have every reason to believe that anybody they saw, especially anybody who they had seen earlier being eaten, must be the monster.  The worst interpretation of what they did would be manslaughter due to mistaken identity, but no sane jury would convict them of murder (unless they were being defended by the Hyperchicken).
DotheBartman

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #155 on: 08-24-2013 22:20 »

That's true. And I will say, outside of that issue, this was a fantastic episode and one of my favorites of the Comedy Central run at the very least (and it could be in my top 30 or 40 of the series, even). And I actually just watched that ending again and was laughing, so....yeah, it's a minor issue. I'll be really curious to listen to the commentary and see if there was any internal debate over it, though.
FutureMike17

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #156 on: 08-24-2013 23:05 »

After watching this episode again, I change my grade from an 8/10 to a 9/10

I realized this episode was so funny and that I enjoyed everything before the ending so much that it made up for, what in my opinion was, a not so great ending. Even though I kinda didn't like the ending, I would still watch this episode over and over because it is just so entertaining. If it had a different ending I could see my self giving this a 10.

Favorite parts: Frender and Scruffy telling The Professor they're playing Candyland.
Destroyer334545

Bending Unit
***
« Reply #157 on: 08-25-2013 00:27 »

Dear Oracle, is there any full-frontal Nudity in this episode? flirt
Sorry, not Porn
cyber_turnip

Urban Legend
***
« Reply #158 on: 08-25-2013 02:09 »

I honestly do not see what Fry and Bender did as being murder.  They saw McMasters being eaten by a shapeshifting monster, and as far as they knew, all the rest of the crew had been eaten as well.  They would have every reason to believe that anybody they saw, especially anybody who they had seen earlier being eaten, must be the monster.  The worst interpretation of what they did would be manslaughter due to mistaken identity, but no sane jury would convict them of murder (unless they were being defended by the Hyperchicken).

They'd still have to go through a lengthy legal process that would most likely see them being convicted of manslaughter. Plus, Futurama has shown a lot of legal trials in its run and I don't think a single one of them turned out fairly - other than perhaps Bender being convicted at the end of "Free Will Hunting".
Monster_Robot_Maniac

Liquid Emperor
**
« Reply #159 on: 08-25-2013 02:32 »

Dear Oracle, is there any full-frontal Nudity in this episode? flirt
Sorry, not Porn


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