Law and Oracle

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Season 6 episode
Broadcast season 8 episode
Law and Oracle
Law and Oracle infobox.png
Fry enters the Planet Express conference room in his police uniform.
No.104
Production number6ACV16
Written byJosh Weinstein
Directed byStephen Sandoval
Title captionFOR THE SOPHISTICATED SHUT-IN
First air date7 July, 2011
Broadcast numberS08E04
Title referenceThe NBC television series Law & Order or the phrase "law and order"
Additional
Commentary
(Transcript)
Transcript
Storyboard

Pictures

Season 6
  1. Rebirth
  2. In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela
  3. Attack of the Killer App
  4. Proposition Infinity
  5. The Duh-Vinci Code
  6. Lethal Inspection
  7. The Late Philip J. Fry
  8. That Darn Katz!
  9. A Clockwork Origin
  10. The Prisoner of Benda
  11. Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences
  12. The Mutants Are Revolting
  13. The Futurama Holiday Spectacular
  14. The Silence of the Clamps
  15. Möbius Dick
  16. Law and Oracle
  17. Benderama
  18. The Tip of the Zoidberg
  19. Ghost in the Machines
  20. Neutopia
  21. Yo Leela Leela
  22. Fry Am the Egg Man
  23. All the Presidents' Heads
  24. Cold Warriors
  25. Overclockwise
  26. Reincarnation
← Season 5Season 7 →

"Law and Oracle" is the one hundred and fourth episode of Futurama, the sixteenth of the sixth production season and the fourth of the eighth broadcast season. It aired on 7 July, 2011, on Comedy Central. Fry quits his job and becomes a police officer assigned to the Future Crimes Division.

Plot[edit]

Act I: "I'd like to enroll in Police Academy."[edit]

After being sent on yet another prank delivery, Fry becomes disillusioned with his job as a delivery boy. At Planet Express, the crew witness officers Smitty and URL subdue Roberto, and Fry decides that joining the police force would be a more fulfilling role. He resigns at Planet Express, and applies at the Police Academy, from which he graduates.

Act II: "Ever heard of the Future Crimes Division?"[edit]

Upon joining the force, Fry is paired with URL. The pair soon make a major arrest, and are rewarded with a promotion to the Future Crimes Division. The division works to prevent crimes from occurring, by using an "oracle" named Pickles to calculate the future and predict crimes in advance.

Meanwhile, at Planet Express, the crew struggle with the loss of Fry. Leela and Bender are sent on a delivery to Pandora, the "3-D planet" (meaning that it's depicted as an anaglyph image). Without Fry accompanying them, the two find it difficult to be in each other's company. Professor Farnsworth, Amy, Hermes and Doctor Zoidberg find working at Planet Express to be boring without Fry's antics. At the precinct, Fry receives a vision of a future larceny, and discovers that the culprit is Bender.

Act III: "Are you the calloused working man I ordered?"[edit]

Hedonism Bot lets the thieving Bender in his house.

Fry questions Bender about the details of the crime, hoping to prevent him from committing it. Instead, Fry inadvertently informs Bender about the target of the crime; a priceless bottle of strong malt liquor stored in Hedonism Bot's wine cellar. Upon examining the vision in closer detail, Fry sees that he will fatally shoot Bender to prevent him from stealing the bottle. He decides that he will deliberately not shoot Bender, which causes a vision of an alternate future to be created, in which Bender escapes. The alternate vision shows that Bender will share the stolen liquor with the crew at Planet Express, poisoning and killing all of them.

Bender arrives at Hedonism Bot's mansion, and proceeds to the cellar. Bender obtains the bottle, but is stopped by an armed Fry. Bender declares that he will not steal anything, and Fry exclaims that the oracle was wrong. Suddenly, Pickles appears, aiming a gun at both Bender and Fry. Pickles reveals that both visions were a set-up to allow him to steal the liquor, and frame Fry and Bender for the robbery. Pickles states that he wants the liquor to destroy his human brain cells, as he finds his precognition to be an unbearable burden. Fry attempts to shoot Pickles, but the bullet strikes Bender, knocking him down. Pickles shoots Fry down, and proceeds to drink the liquor, successfully damaging his brain and precognitive abilities. The Chief and URL choose this moment to appear, and Fry and Bender stand up and expose their bulletproof armor. They reveal that they became aware that Pickles was intending to commit a crime, because Bender would never share anything with anyone, thus realising the vision Pickles had shared was an attempt to deceive them.

Fry receives his investigator's shield for stopping Bender, but is also fired for tipping off Bender in the first place. The Professor welcomes Fry back to Planet Express, promoting him to "executive delivery boy". Hermes notes that the "executive" title is simply a psychological trick to make Fry feel good about himself (and immediately after, the end credits show the Executive Producers).

Production[edit]

During May and June 2011, Countdown to Futurama released three items of promotional material for the episode: concept art of the police station's future crimes division on 20 May, part of the storyboard showing Fry be pranked by Ipgee, Terry and Lou on 21 May, and a video clip showing Fry and URL in a light cycle chase in Circuit City on 16 June.

Image gallery[edit]

Reception[edit]

In its original U.S. broadcast on 7 July, 2011, "Law and Oracle" scored a 0.7 share among adults 18-49 and 1.548 million viewers,[1] down about 400,000 viewers since "Ghost in the Machines", making it the second lowest rated episode of season 6 after "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular".

Additional Info[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • The high scores on the Delivery Command video game are:
    • BBR:65535
    • NIB:40565
    • HJF:00254
      • 65535 the upper limit of an unsigned integer, consequently the maximum score in many games. The joke being that Bender had reached the highest score.
  • In the cryogenic lab the silhouette of one person in a cryogenic pod has a cigarette.
  • A couple listed as being 'wanted' at the police station is also seen walking in front of the police station obliviously.
  • After Fry says he got fired for tipping off Bender, Bender's middle finger is clearly raised unblurred.
  • The gloves used in the future crimes division are Nintendo Power Gloves.
  • If Fry hadn't taken several steps to the left (and away from Pickles), he would've been able to shoot Pickles without the bullet ricocheting off the safe.

Allusions[edit]

Click here to see cultural mentions made in this episode.
  • The title of the episode is a parody of the long-running NBC legal drama television franchise Law & Order.
  • Above the stage on which Chief O'Mannahan is standing during the Police Academy graduation ceremony, there is a sign reading TODAY: POLICE ACADEMY GRADUATION, TONIGHT: POLICE ACADEMY AWARDS.
  • Pickles, the colored balls, the screens controlled by hand movements, and the overall concept of trying people for crimes committed in the future, are all obvious references to the 2002 film Minority Report.
  • The concept of a "hybrid" machine floating in a liquid container resembles the Hybrids of Battlestar Galactica.
  • The Chief describes Pickles as being the collection of various great investigators and their experiences. A similar description was given to the Timelord Matrix on Doctor Who.
  • The opening scene is a direct reference to the opening scene of "Space Pilot 3000".
  • The Sound Effects 5000 is a direct parody of Sgt. Larvelle Jones from the Police Academy films. The sign in front of the police academy also states that they are not affiliated with Police Academy IV.
  • Bender and Leela make a delivery to the 3-D planet of Pandora, and Leela asks if they can use their avatars. This is a reference to the 2009 3-D blockbuster film Avatar, which largely takes place on a planet called Pandora.
  • Leela moves the ship back and forth as she tries to land in front of the giant tree on Pandora. This is a reference to cheap gags in some 3-D movies where objects seems to jump out of the screen at the audience.
    • At the end of the 3-D sequence, Bender throws his sandwich at the screen, to similar effect.
A screenshot from the chase scene which is an obvious Tron parody.
  • Circuit City is a reference to the American retailer of the same name, Circuit City.
  • The light cycle chase scene, featuring Fry and URL in Circuit City, is an obvious reference to the 1982 science-fiction movie Tron and its sequel, Tron Legacy.
  • Fry mentions to URL that he learned his light cycle skills from a commercial for juice drink SunnyD.
  • The man being chased in the light cycle scene is Erwin Schrödinger, a 20th-century Austrian physicist known for his Schrödinger's cat paradox. The cat is found alive in a box inside Schrödinger's car, along with a lot of drugs. Schrödinger had also suggested in his book What is Life? that DNA is closely related to reproduction of biological organisms.
  • The door of the Future Crimes division has a sign that says, "We know what you did next summer." This is a parody of the thriller film I Know What You Did Last Summer.
  • Fry makes two references to "Speed Buggy", a 1970's Hanna-Barbera cartoon similar to Scooby-Doo about a mystery-solving trio of teenagers and their talking car, Speed Buggy.
  • The Maltese Liquor is a reference to the priceless jewelled statuette known as the Maltese Falcon, which is the subject of attempted thievery in the film of the same name.
  • Leela says that she and Bender had to listen to Bender's Eagles album, and Bender says, "It beats talkin' to you, Witchy Woman."
  • In the alternate future, URL mentions that it is fatal for anyone other than robots and Billy Dee Williams to drink the Maltese Liquor. This is most likely a reference to Williams' appearances in commercials for Colt 45 malt liquor.
  • After Fry is named "Executive Delivery Boy", Hermes whispers to Leela that "executive" is a meaningless title that helps people with low self-esteem feel better about themselves. This is a fourth-wall break that mocks the numerous "Executive Producer" and "Co-Executive Producer" credits on the show, including a direct jab at Matt Groening and David X. Cohen whose "Executive Producer" credits appear right after Hermes finishes talking.

Continuity[edit]

Goofs[edit]

  • In "The Silence of the Clamps", it is clear that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been replaced by the Earth Bureau of Investigation, thus it does not make sense that the game in this episode has an FBI warning.
    • The game might have come out before this replacement happened.
    • Another possibility is that "The Silence of the Clamps" is wrong, as the tooth fairy is the head of the FBI in "Teenage Mutant Leela's Hurdles".
  • Fat-bot is drawn with a closed grin on his face instead of a light-up mouth.
  • When the Police Academy graduates throw their lightsticks up into the air, way more fall down on them then were thrown up. Also, the lightsticks fall onto the people in the stadium as well, even though they only should have fallen in the area where the graduates were.
    • That's clearly a deliberate joke, not a goof.
  • While likely a joke, it is impossible for alcohol to be 210 proof, since proof is twice the percentage of alcohol per volume in a liquid. 210 proof would be 105% alcohol per volume.
  • Hattie McDoogal's hair is tan instead of grey when the scene first starts.
  • Pickles does not predict his own capture. The whole area is NOT prediction proof, just the back room.
    • A likely answer is that Pickles doesn't possess the ability to see the future. It seems plausible to assert that his incredible mind is able to calculate how the future will go, based on all the data he is given, which is theoretically possible. However, if a variable is deliberately removed from his field of vision (the projection proof glass), it may impair his calculations and cause them to fall apart.
    • Fry is told that future crime prediction has 99% accuracy, leaving a margin of error.
  • URL has no "Police" in white on his suit, it's gone and never reappears in the episode.
  • When Schrodinger is travelling 15 miles per hour over the speed of light, he should not be visible as he goes towards Fry and URL, and he should appear to be moving away from them in both directions immediately after passing. This may be why he is a violator of the laws of physics.

Quotes[edit]

    Fry: Hi, I'm Fry!
    Sound Effects 5000: I'm the Sound Effects 5000! [Produces various police-themed sound effects.]
    Fry: Wow! That would be impressive if you were a human!
    Sound Effects 5000: [gloomily] Yeah...

    Sound Effects 5000: [Produces a cheering sound effect.]
    Gretsky: Ah, my tinnitus!

    Police officer: Yeah, that's great. Now can you actually turn on the ignition?
    Sound Effects 5000: I don't have any hands!

    Chief O'Mannahan: [In the locker room topless.] Congratulations on your big bust.
    Fry: You, too.

    [In Space Pilot 3000.]
    20th-century kid: You stink, loser.
    Mr. Panucci: Hey, Fry. Pizza going out. C'mon!
    [In this episode.]
    Dr. Zoidberg: You stink, loser.
    Leela: Hey, Fry. Pizza going out. C'mon!

    FBI warning: Winners don't play video games.

Characters[edit]

(In alphabetic order)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Seidman, Robert (08 July 2011). Thursday Cable Ratings: Burn Notice, Suits rise, but Swamp People still top night + Wilfred, Futurama, Louie & More. (TVbytheNumbers.com.) Retrieved on 08 July 2011.