A Farewell to Arms
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|Season 7 episode|
Broadcast season 9 episode
|A Farewell to Arms|
|Written by||Josh Weinstein|
|Directed by||Raymie Muzquiz|
|Title caption||"Ask your doctor if Futurama is right for you"|
|First air date||20 June, 2012|
|Title reference||The Ernest Hemingway novel A Farewell to Arms|
"A Farewell to Arms" is the one hundred and sixteenth episode of Futurama, the second of the seventh production season and the second of the ninth broadcast season. It aired on 20 June, 2012, on Comedy Central. An ancient prophecy from a Martian calendar predicts the world will end in 3012.
Act I: "So the world will end in the year 3012. Why does that year sound so familiar?"
Out walking after a freak rainstorm and tornado, Fry and Leela encounter a puddle. Ostentatiously gallant, Fry removes his pants and lays them over the puddle. He offers his hand to Leela, saying, "Take my hand." She initially rebuffs him, but then feels guilty and concedes. Taking Fry's hand and stepping onto his pants, she is sucked into the puddle by a tentacled monster that she battles to the death and then cooks for dinner. While she cooks, Fry hangs his pants to dry on a line that turns out to be tethered to Farnsworth's weather balloon. Farnsworth notes the recent increase in strange weather and announces that he will launch this weather balloon to explore the possible causes.
Fry is distraught to see his pants flying away as Farnsworth launches the balloon. On the grounds that these are not simply his only pants, but also his lucky pants, he convinces the crew to help retrieve them. On the edge of Earth's atmosphere, Fry shoots down the balloon. He is close behind in the ship when his pants land in a tree in Central Park. Just as he reaches out to recover them, a Central Park badger steals them and escapes into a hole. Fry covers himself, clothes and all, in "varmint grease" and dives into the hole. In an underground chamber, Fry finds the walls covered in mysterious symbols. The rest of the crew join him, but not even Farnsworth knows the origin of the writing.
Paying more attention to the symbols than to where she is going, Leela falls into a yet deeper hole, but catches herself on a branch within arms' reach of the crew. Fry offers his hand to Leela a second time, saying, "Take my hand." She complies, but his coating of varmint grease makes her lose her grip. She falls into a much deeper, larger chamber, and the others go down to rescue her. Seeing that Leela's leg is broken, Fry once again says, "Take my hand." This time Leela rebuffs him sharply. Zoidberg appears with Fry's pants, which still contain the badger. As the badger flees, Amy, following it with her flashlight, discovers an ancient pyramid accompanied by a huge stone disk covered in more strange writing. At headquarters, Amy and Farnsworth study the disk closely and determine that it is a Martian calendar. Amy, suddenly able to read words that she couldn't identify ten seconds earlier, translates a warning: the world will end this very year.
Act II: "Who shall live, and who shall die? Step right up..."
Farnsworth explains that his experiments confirm the calendar's prediction, the recent bizarre weather patterns being a prelude to a "catastrophic sunspot cycle." The apparent end of the world seems to begin at that very moment; there is mass panic in the streets. Everyone on Earth suddenly finds that the solar activity has disabled all electronics, including those necessary for escape; all are stranded. The crew prepare for the end: while Farnsworth has himself embalmed, Fry and Leela begin to have sex on the balcony. Amy interrupts them all, with news of further translation. The underground pyramid is actually a spaceship made entirely of stone, with no electronics, impervious to electrical disturbance of any kind. Determining that the ship can hold some 30,000 persons, Farnsworth declares it their solemn duty to evacuate as many as possible. He and the others lose their convictions when a large earthquake hits. As they attempt to escape, Zapp Brannigan appears and forces them to abort their departure.
Brannigan takes the crew to Richard Nixon's head for no particular reason. Nixon's head decrees that a machine, the Contrabulous Choosematron, will choose which people shall survive. At the choosing ceremony, Fry is selected in spite of being useless in every way, because the Choosematron likes his pants. It prints an ID badge with his photo on it. In his excitement, Fry feels the need to help Leela place her hand the Choosematron. Yet again, he says, "Take my hand." Leela is rejected by the machine, in spite of being very skilled and useful to society, because it is supposedly unnecessary to have more than one pilot in a world with only one operable ship. Leela quietly accepts her fate, but Fry secretly sacrifices his seat by forging a badge for her using his own badge and a prom photo. Somehow she doesn't notice until after the launch that Fry hasn't boarded with her.
Act III: "It Mars that gonna be destroyed!"
On Mars, the evacuated Earthicans establish a new city, Dick Francisco. During the unveiling of the city, Singing Wind arrives and explains that Amy has mistranslated the Martian stone. It is not Earth that will be destroyed, but Mars. Soon after Singing Wind's departure, the final, fatal solar flare strikes. Leela had thought that Fry's final sacrifice was an exception among his gallant flourishes, but now she laments, "I should have known not to trust one of Fry's romantic gestures. Every time he says he loves me, I get killed!" As the ground is torn open by severe marsquakes, underground gas pockets burst open and ignite so fiercely that Mars is blasted out of its orbit, onto a collision course with Earth.
Back on Earth, the weather having returned to normal, Fry and Bender await the apocalypse casually. While they relax on deck chairs and drink piña skull-adas, Mars begins to fill the sky, on a very-near collision course with Earth. The two planets pass so close that those on Mars can literally jump to safety on Earth. The crew easily make the jump, except for Leela, who is prevented by her broken leg. Fry leaps to her rescue, but Leela has had enough; she exclaims, "Or somebody else could do it!" Fry makes the attempt anyway, climbing to the tower of the Planet Express building where he is just barely within arms' reach of her. He jinxes the effort by saying once again, "Take my hand." Leela expects the worst when she takes Fry's hand, and with good reason: her arm is ripped off of her body. Desperately, she grabs her severed arm with her good arm, and Fry's arm is ripped off of his body. One mysterious deus ex machina later, everyone is safe and sound back at headquarters. While Zoidberg praises Scruffy for the successful rescue, Farnsworth cultures new arms for Fry and Leela in his birthing machine.
Fry apologizes to Leela for ripping her arm off. She explains that all of his preposterous incompetence is outweighed by the fact that he is the only person who loves her enough to sacrifice himself for her. As they share a hug made awkward by missing limbs, the missing limbs themselves float away into space, still hand-in-hand.
In 2012, two revelations concerning the episode were made. On 29 February, CGEF revealed the episode's title, its writer to be Josh Weinstein and its director to be Raymie Muzquiz. On 25 April, MSN TV revealed the episode's plot and air date.
In May, Countdown to Futurama began releasing promotional material for the episode. It has so far released five items: a promotional picture showing Leela - on crutches - and Fry on the Planet Express balcony on 7 May, a video clip featuring the crew discussing the end of the world as well as scenes of New New York in chaos on 8 May, concept art of Fry and Leela's Planet Express prom photo on 9 May a second promotional picture showing Leela being entangled by a puddle monster while Fry, whose pants are on the road, watches on 10 May, concept art of an excavated spaceship inside a cave on 11 May and part of the storyboard showing Zapp pressing a button on a spaceship, causing snakes to be released onto Kif, on 12 May.
Comedy Central's website released another promotional picture - showing Leela and Fry near the balcony. By 1 June, Comedy Central had aired an advertisment for the seventh season of Futurama which featured a new clip from the episode.
South Coast Today published an article about the Futurama season premiere on 16 June, revealing certain details about the episode. Entertainment Weekly released another preview clip of the episode on 18 June.
- The title "Farewell to Arms", which was registered on the US Copyright Catalog on 14 July 2011, was a working title for this episode.
- "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela", which is also the second episode of its season, features an end of the world plot as well.
- If the movies are considered non-episodic, then this episode could be considered the 100th episode.
- Alternatively, if each movie is considered one episode, this could be considered the 104th episode.
- This is moot, however, since according to the canon, the movies are considered four episodes each.
- The name of the episode is a reference to Fry and Leela both having lost one arm at the end of the episode. The word 'Arms' is an anagram of Mars which gets destroyed at the end of the episode.
- Mars is not exactly destroyed at the end of the episode. Mars appears to have had its orbit altered, now residing either between the Earth and the moon or just beyond the moon's orbit. It's hard to be certain which due to the perspective and sizes of each object.
- The second act is interesting because it does not end on a funny punch line, but instead a dramatic fade out.
- Both Leela and Fry should have known they would have survived the Apocalypse since they read Bender's script on their love life in "Overclockwise".
- If one looks closely at the tickets, it can be known that the ticket Fry gives Leela is actually his own ticket before it is directly revealed when Leela peels off her picture. When Fry receives his ticket from the Contabulous Choosematron, it bears the number combination "023870096 58". When Fry gives Leela the ticket, it bears the same combination.
- The tickets says "Non-Transferable" right on them, but Fry was able to transfer his simply by pasting a picture of Leela on his ticket. This was good enough to fool the police scanning the tickets, or perhaps the police only cared if the tickets were valid and not whose ticket it is.
- Dick Francisco is named after Nixon and San Francisco. San Francisco is in California, Nixon's native state.
- The Planet Express headquarters is located on or near to 72nd Street, according to Farnsworth.
- The episode's title is taken from the Ernest Hemingway novel A Farewell to Arms. It is used to refer to Fry and Leela's arms getting torn off in the episode, as well as the destruction of Mars ("arms" being an anagram of "Mars").
- The episode is a reference to the 2012 phenomenon and a parody of the movie 2012.
- Earth being evacuated because of solar flares destroying the climate is the backstory to the 2010 Doctor Who episode The Beast Below, as well as the 1975 serial The Ark in Space and multiple other stories. Ark also featured a carefully selected group of essential humans rescued from the destruction.
- Planets flying to Earth and appearing in the sky are also a somewhat regular occurrence on Doctor Who, from 1966's The Tenth Planet to 2010's The End of Time.
- The plot point of a solar flare destroying Earth is reminiscent of the film Knowing.
- Farnsworth quotes the poem "High Flight" by John Gillespie Magee Jr. with the phrase "slipped the surly bonds of Earth".
- In the Planet Express ship, Bender is reading a copy of Space Mall, a parody of Sky Mall.
- Nixon says the best destination for the evacuated Earthicans to be transported to is Mars, which has "no Woodward or Bernstein. That's a plus." He is referring to journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, whose news reporting on the Watergate scandal eventually led to Nixon's resignation.
- Additionally, "that's a plus" could also refer to the advertisement slogan of the social network "Google+".
- Fry mentions Redbook.
- Nixon says that the spaceplane "just won't turn over, just like Pat on a Sunday morning." "Pat" was the name of Nixon's wife in real life.
- Leela mentions Tron: Legacy.
- Fry says that Bender dumped pig's blood on him at the Planet Express Prom, a reference to Carrie.
- "Sharksplosions" may be a reference to Sharksplode, an online tee-shirt store founded by Wil Wheaton and Joel Watson.
- Zap pushes a button on the spaceplane and snakes fall out of a compartment onto Kif. This could be a reference to the movie "Snakes on a Plane". Also cliche ancient temple traps, like in Indiana Jones.
- As Mars gets dangerously close to Earth, Hattie McDoogal says, "Oh no! The kajigger of Gibraltar!" Hattie refers to the landmark the Rock of Gibraltar, located off the coast of Europe. This is technically accurate; as Mars passes this point, it approaches the New York coastline and jumping point, the location of the Planet Express building.
- Leela falling into the buried ship could be a reference to Predator 2.
- Singing Wind, from "Where the Buggalo Roam", appears for the second time.
- The Professor uses the birthing machine from "Rebirth" to clone new arms for Fry and Leela.
- Fry gets his arm severed for a second time. The first time was in "Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?".
- The original prophecy said that the Earth would not at all be affected, yet the two planets nearly collided. This may be a reference to the fact that the Earth's orbit was artificially modified in "Crimes of the Hot".
- Richard Nixon's head is seen with the headless clone of Agnew. The original Agnew was killed in Into the Wild Green Yonder.
Fry: [to Leela] Take my hand.
Fry: No way I'm gonna let God get my pants! Nobody messes with my pants! Not even the Holy One, blessed be He!
Fry: Woah, there's writing in here! Also, this grease is flammable.
Leela: [to Fry] Can't you just be a rude unhelpful jerk like Bender?
Bender: When I use up the toilet paper, I don't put on another roll!
Amy: The calendar predicts fires, earthquakes, sharksplosions... then it just ends!
Hermes: Is it just me, or is the world ending more often these days?
Leela: So, you wanna join the Balcony Club?
Zoidberg: The Balcony Club?! I have an individual membership!
Fry: Zoidberg, get lost!
Zoidberg: I am lost! So long.
Amy: That underground pyramid isn't a pyramid.
[Cut to the underground area.]
Amy: It's a rocketship!
Zoidberg: It was worth waiting five hours to hear you finish that sentence.
Leela: I'll remember you in here. [Puts her hand on her heart.]
Fry: I wish I could remember with my boobs.
Bender: I'm stealin' stuff I don't even need. You wanna Torah?
Fry: Nah, I'm not hungry.
Fry: I hope you're not too mad at me, Leela. For tearin' your arm up and all.
Leela: I can't be mad. I'm on way too many painkillers.
- When Fry loses his pants, he says that they are the pants that he was wearing when he met Leela for the first time, in "Space Pilot 3000", and that they are his only pants. But in "A Head in the Polls" he sold his pants, along with the rest of his outfit, at the pawn shop for $50.
- He could have had two pairs of clothes, the one in this episode (which he would also have been wearing those other times he mentioned) and the one that was sold in "A Head in the Polls".
- He could have bought his clothes back.
- If Singing Wind and his people knew that Mars was doomed enough to evacuate so long ago, why did he and so many others remain and attempt to reclaim their land (before ultimately selling out on the premise the land sucked anyway)?
- The storm disables all electronics, yet Nixon's head's robotic arm still functions normally. Additionally, Zapp and the NNYPD's guns should not work either, but it is possible that the laser technology is not affected by the storm. The Contrabulous Choosematron is also another item that still works.
- All these items could have been powered without electricity, like Bender.
- Bender's crank is only seen in the first scene where it is used; after that, it is gone.
- The crank could give him an extremely long charge.
- In this episode, Amy says she belonged to the sorority Sigma Beta, but in "The Series Has Landed", she says she belonged to Kappa Kappa Wong.
- She could have changed sororities over the course of twelve years.
- Farnsworth, Fry and Bender should have known the world would not end in 3012, since they witnessed it ending over one billion years later in "The Late Philip J. Fry".
- They initially skipped almost 7000 years, during which time society had collapsed several times on unknown dates. It is likely they were trying to avoid whatever had caused this.
- There is also a difference between the ending of Mars and the ending of the universe.
- If Mars and Earth really passed that close, then, depending on time, angle and speed, the gravity of the two planets would rip them apart.
- When giving Mars oxygen, it could have altered the gravity. However, this is highly unlikely, because atmosphere content affects a planet's gravitation very little.
- When Mars passed so close to Earth, Fry and Leela were able to see and communicate with each other with enough time, meaning Mars would be moving slow enough as to have enough time for it and Earth to be ripped apart by their gravitational pulls, as the speed a planet would pass to prevent tidal ripping would mean Fry and Leela wouldn't have enough time to speak or reach each other's arms once they saw each other, as they would be passing each other far faster than a bullet.
- There's no way that burning subterranean gasses could move Mars that close to Earth so quickly, as there are millions of miles between them.
- Although Singing Wind explains why they left the Prophecy on Earth (to warn them not to go to Mars), it doesn't explain why they left the stone ship there.
- It's possible that that was the very ship the original Martians used to come to Earth, and those Martians had died out on Earth, leaving behind their ship and calendar there, and the legend of their journey back on Mars.
- Singing Wind was also surprised the spaceplane actually worked, so it's possible they had their doubts about that ship and used other ships to return to Mars.
- For the second time (the first time being in "Overclockwise"), the pillars of the balcony spell "Planet Express" during the wide shot, but during the close-up, they do not.
- Additionally, the letters spelling "Planet Express" are in a different position than in "Overclockwise."
- The ladders that led up to the pillar on the Planet Express balcony were not there in previous episodes.
- Bender drives a car into Herschel's Non-Discount Diamonds after all vehicles/electronics were to have stopped working. Also, the car clearly has tires, which as demonstrated in "Mother's Day", "The Honking", and "Game of Tones" all vehicles hover.
- The 21st-century girl
- Debut: Amy's nanny (mentioned in speech only)
- Ben Beeler
- Ben Beeler's wife
- Billionaire Bot
- The censored couple
- Debut: Central Park badger
- Debut: Contrabulous Choosematron
- The Crack Addict
- Dandy Jim
- Dwight Conrad
- Falafel cart man
- Debut: The Great Reveal-o
- Professor Farnsworth
- Hattie McDoogal
- Debut: Headless clone of Agnew
- Inez Wong
- LaBarbara Conrad
- Linda van Schoonhoven
- Leo Wong
- The male nurse
- Michelle (cameo)
- Mrs. Astor
- Mayor Poopenmeyer
- Queen of Yonkers
- Richard Nixon's head
- Singing Wind
- The underwater house salesman
- Wash Bucket
- Judge Whitey
- ^ Episode Guide: 7 ACV. (CGEF.) 29 February 2012. Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
- ^ "Just Fan" (29 February 2012). "Futurama: Futurama News (pre-season 7)". (PEEL.) Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
- ^ Futurama - Episode Guide. (MSN TV.) Retrieved on 26 April 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (07 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Leela and Fry Watching the Storm. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 07 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (08 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: The World Is Ending Again Clip. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 08 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (09 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Fry and Leela’s Prom Photo. (Comedy Centrl [sic].) Retrieved on 09 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (10 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Puddle Monster. (Comedy Centrl [sic].) Retrieved on 10 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (11 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Stone Spaceship. (Comedy Centrl [sic].) Retrieved on 11 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (12 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Snake Button Storyboard. (Comedy Centrl [sic].) Retrieved on 12 May 2012.
- ^ Michelle Rosenblatt. Comedy Central Press | Futurama. (Comedy Central.) Retrieved on 05 June 2012.
- ^ punkyacturbo (01 June 2012). New Futurama Ad 2012 (Video). (YouTube.) Retrieved on 16 June 2012.
- ^ DeArruda, James (16 June 2023). Spoiler alert!: Season premiere of 'Futurama' delivers just what the doctor ordered. Retrieved on 19 June 2023.
- ^ Snierson, Dan (18 June 2023). "'Futurama': Bender impregnates a soda machine! -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO". EW.com. Retrieved on 18 June 2023.
- ^ Eric Rogers (30 January 2012). Kitchelfilms. (Twitter.) Retrieved on 31 January 2012.
- ^ WebVoyage Record View 1. (US Copyright Catalog.) 14 July 2011. Retrieved on 29 February 2012.