by Amy K. Bredemeyer
This was a strange episode. Creepy, even. Between Leela and Fry eating chips and salsa with their toes in the beginning and later staring at things that resemble the other, I thought that this episode was almost excessively gross. And useless. While I enjoy a themed episode as much as the next person, I didn't particularly care for what they did with Oktoberfest. I've never personally been, and as someone who doesn't drink beer, I can't even fully appreciate the "excitement" surrounding festivals such as the one depicted in this episode. Then again, I don't know what could have helped an episode that sickeningly reminded us that the one-eyed mutant and the anti-maturity man-from-the-past are still together. Were you a fan? What would you have done differently to make this episode better?
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The Professor decides that everyone should spend more time socially, so they make plans to go to Oktoberfest three months in the future. Next thing you know, they're there, and it's much more sophisticated than Fry expected. [I guess that's how you want a show that airs in summer to have a fall episode?] Even Bender believes in keeping things classy, hanging out in the sausage tent and wanting to compete against others who have fancy meats, like hummingbird. So, when he hears that there are wooly mammoths under the nearby ice, Bender wants to go find one for its meat. Fry goes along, having just been dumped by Leela for acting like a drunken Neanderthal. [I was SO DISGUSTED by the idea that Fry would drink from others' spittoons!!] They find the right are, thanks to the fact that the ship apparently has an elephant finder. [mmhmm...] They use the "mammal mulcher" to ground it up, and Bender gets third place in the competition. Back home, they have a funeral for Fry, thinking he got sucked into the machine and ground into the sausage. [freaky, eh?] Leela is, understandably, horribly upset, and even has the synapses connecting her Fry memories destroyed.
Meanwhile, Fry wakes up around Neanderthals - he had gotten out of the grinder but fell into a hole in the ice and was frozen for a week. In fact, the hole he fell in (that is from digging out the mammoth) is the first time the Neanderthals have had a chance to escape their world! So, they ride mammoths out of the underground arctic and start destroying things around the festival (where the gang has returned because of that final round of competition). [sloth jokes stopped being funny years ago, guys.] As all hell is breaking loose, Bender steals the sash of the second-place winner, and then the first-place winner. [you shouldn't be surprised.] Leela and Fry wind up in head-to-head combat but when they notice the color of one another's hair, they stop fighting and kiss...which starts all of the Neanderthals trying to get with modern-day humans. Leela's synapses grow back and she remembers Fry, and all is back to the status quo. [loved the throwback to The Flintstones!]