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Futurama – The Late Philip J Fry

Since Futurama has been back, the relationship between Fry and Leela has been the one oddity of the show. It is apparent that the writers do not know how to treat it. On one hand, we believe that Fry has earned it and we have waited for years; while on the other hand the “will they or wont they” back and forth, is one of the driving character elements of the show. In The Late Philip J. Fry we see the two as a couple but one taking it slow. The interactions between Fry and Leela may be the backbone of the narrative, but it is only half of the story.

Fry cannot seem to be on time for anything and the first bit of the show, involving Bender and a hookerbot, is funny but a bit too long. Fry’s tardiness is effecting his relationship with Leela and getting him in trouble with the professor. Fry is given one last chance and before he can succeed the other story starts. Futurama has proven over and over again, that they are the masters of the time travel paradox story and half of the episode is both good and bad. The time machine can only go forward in time, the professor's hope is that this will eliminate the paradoxes, which is an obviously contrived plot device but we can go with it.

Bender, Fry, and Farnsworth offer a lot of comedy. These three make up the majority of all laughs on the show, ok this may be arguable, but they usually have the best lines. We get to see the future…. far into the future and it is presented creatively and is thought provoking. There are many jokes at the expense of the future and we see many different ‘worlds’. Without spoiling anything, we see a world that Bender and Arnold Shwarzennegger will be happy about and a world where Fry, the Professor, and any man will love.

Meanwhile back in 3010 the three characters are missing and the others assume them dead. We get to see the lives of our characters played out over the next fifty years. Leela and Hermes have turned Planet Express into a hugely successful business and fired Zoidberg, apparently immediately. Leela starts a relationship with a character no one would have ever predicted, but it is pretty obvious why. Then the two story lines start to converge and the more emotional parts of the episode surface.


The way they handle the connections between the two timelines is good and you cant help but feel sorry for Leela and Fry. In the future storyline, we are shown something pretty impressive which, if you really think about it, is rather deep and philosophical. In the end it all turns out ok, in a way that, while forced, feels fine. The last image of the episode pretty much shows what Futurama is overall. In this episode the writers basically are saying that they are not going to drop the relationship, but that they are taking it slow until something organic presents itself.    



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