Murder on the Planet Express
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|Season 7 episode|
Broadcast season 10 episode
|Murder on the Planet Express|
|Written by||Lewis Morton|
|Directed by||Frank Marino|
|Title caption||#1 Rated Show in Universe 3|
|First air date||21 August, 2013|
|Title reference||The 1934 Agatha Christie novel Murder on the Orient Express|
"Murder on the Planet Express" is the one hundred and thirty-eighth episode of Futurama, the twenty-fourth of the seventh production season and the eleventh of the tenth broadcast season. It aired on 21 August, 2013, on Comedy Central. The crew becomes trapped aboard the ship with a horrific alien creature.
Act I: "And they look like ass flakes."
Fry accuses Bender of using his toothbrush to polish his ass, and purchases a spy camera to check. Later, at the Planet Express building, Hermes accuses Zoidberg of eating his lunch. Leela then accuses Amy of using her punching bag for golf-ball practice. In turn, Amy then accuses Leela of using her golf-clubs to pound dents out of the Planet Express ship. The crew gathers together later that day, and Fry publicly accuses Bender. He shows the others the video he recorded, but it turns out that although Bender was not using his toothbrush that night, he was stealing Fry's kidney whilst he slept. Leela then reveals she also used a spy cam to spy on Amy, only to find out that Scruffy had used Amy's clubs to kill a fly and that Zoidberg had been living in Leela's punching bag. Hermes also used a spy camera to catch Zoidberg eating his lunch, only to find out that Bender had used his lunchbox to keep Fry's kidney on ice. Much to everyone's disgust, the footage then shows Leela unwittingly eating the kidney, and that Hermes' manwich had instead been used in Professor Farnsworth's kidney transplant. The crew continue to bicker uncontrollably when Farnsworth has had enough and threatens to do something about it.
Act II: "The creature could be anywhere... except in this room."
Farnsworth hires business consultant Dan McMasters for a team building exercise. On the way to the corporate team building retreat, they pick up a random hitchhiker at the behest of McMasters. The hitchhiker comes aboard and is used by McMasters to be the first "trust fall", but McMasters is apparently eaten by the hitchhiker, who transforms into a monster and crawls into the ventilation shafts and shuts off the power. Scruffy's apprentice Jackie Jr. is soon eaten by the creature. The crew go to the panic room, but the creature shuts off the life support for the ship. Farnsworth splits the crew into three teams: Zoidberg and Hermes must restart the life support system, Leela and Amy must travel to the bridge to get the steering wheel so as to pilot the ship from the panic room, and Bender and Fry must re-light the pilot light from outside the ship to get the engines started again. Fry and Bender manage to restart the engines, but Bender's gyroscope is broken when the engines ignite in his face. Zoidberg and Hermes restart the life support system (which was being blocked by Jackie Jr's skeleton), but Hermes' motion detector shows that the monster is coming. Hermes then gets stuck in the vent and Zoidberg tries, in vain, to un-stick him.
Amy and Leela are in the basement of the ship and encounter the monster first-hand. Leela attempts to fight it, but is captured. Amy's golf shot to the monster's face saves her and they make a run for the bridge. Outside the ship, Bender's gyroscope is still not working; panicked, he accidentally breaks Fry's helmet causing him to suffocate in the vacuum of space. Bender, in a bid to save his life as well as fix his gyroscope, stuffs Fry into his compartment. Fry then takes over Bender's body by wearing him like a suit (creating a combination dubbed "Friender") and gets him under control. Leela and Amy finally make it to the bridge and take the steering wheel. Happy with their success, they proclaim themselves "Lamy". They run back to the panic room and see what they think is the monster (but is actually Hermes who's stuck in the vent) and begin attacking it. Zoidberg, calling themselves "Hermberg", un-sticks Hermes by squirting him with his oil. Amy fixes Bender's gyroscope by bashing him with her club, but the group abruptly comes face to face with the monster and flee back to the panic room.
Act III: "One of us must be the bad creature."
Once they get the ship up and running again, Professor Farnsworth reveals that the whole thing was an exercise in trust. The three teams congratulate each other, but Hermes is abruptly eaten by the monster, who was disguised as the Professor, who also manages to claim Scruffy and the Professor himself via shape-shifting. The surviving crew members run out of the panic room and arm themselves with laser pistols. The monster continues to eat various members of the crew until only Fry and Bender are left; they meet up and proclaim that they trust each other (and Bender admits to using Fry's toothbrush) before McMasters enter the room. McMasters assures them that the whole thing was staged to help build trust and the monster, Blorgulax, is his business associate. He asks them to join him and the rest of the crew to a pizza party on the bridge, but Fry and Bender are convinced that he's the monster and kill him. Too late, the crew reveal themselves to be alive and well, and Bender disposes of what little is left of McMasters. Back on Earth, a news report is talking about the mysterious disappearance of McMasters and are calling it a homicide. Fry and Bender agree to not tell anyone about what happened. Linda then states that the police will give 1,000,000 dollars for information leading to an arrest. In the event of two killers, they will give total immunity to whomever turned in the other and 2,000,000 dollars. Bender and Fry then glare at each other and at the phone on the table.
On 5 February, 2013, Vulture.com released a preview clip for the tenth broadcast season, which contained footage from the episode.
On 14 August, Comedy Central released a two-minute preview clip featuring the crew picking up Blorgulax.
Concept art of Blorgulax.
A promotional picture featuring Blorgulax sneaking up behind Bender.
Concept art of Blorgulax disguised as Fry.
This episode was named #8 on IGN's list of top 25 Futurama episodes.
By 5 December, the episode had been nominated for the 2014 Writers Guild of America Awards.
- After Bender denies having polished his ass with Fry's toothbrush, Fry's eyes narrow. An image of Fry with narrowed eyes in "The Lesser of Two Evils" became popular as an internet meme.
- It's implied that Professor Farnsworth may have hired Bender to steal Fry's kidney for his transplant, as they are from the same bloodline.[1ACV01]
- When Dan McMasters introduces himself to the crew, all three of the pairs that are fighting — Fry and Bender, Leela and Amy, and Hermes and Zoidberg — are separated by two crew members.
- Fry and Bender name their winning combination "Friender". "Friender" is also the name of the Fry/Bender merger in one of the special features on the D.V.D. for Bender's Game.
- Bender asks Fry what the square root of 2345.4 is. The answer is approximately 48.43.
- The word "blorg" was previously used in "Reincarnation".
- The police offer stated at the end of the episode is a reference to the prisoner's dilemma, a concept in game theory.
- Click here to see cultural mentions made in this episode.
- The episode's title is a reference to the 1934 Agatha Christie novel Murder on the Orient Express.
- Zoidberg reads the book in a deleted scene from "The Tip of the Zoidberg".
- The episode's plot is inspired by two science-fiction horror films:
- The 1979 film Alien: Crew members are trapped on a spaceship with a murderous alien, with scenes where characters are crawling through air vents and tracking the creature on a motion tracker.
- The 1982 film The Thing: A shapeshifting alien assumes the form of the crew so nobody can tell who is human and who is the alien, and the alien kills using a giant mouth that forms in it its midsection.
- The name "For Your Eyes Mainly" is a reference to the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only.
- On one of the establishing shots of Planet Express, a pickup truck can be seen delivering an arcade cabinet featuring the title character from the 2012 film Wreck-It Ralph, directed by Futurama director Rich Moore.
- The name "Jackie Jr." may be a reference to the Sopranos character Jackie Aprile, Jr..
- Fry tells Bender to leave the ship first, because he doesn't want him locking him outside like HAL. This is a reference to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- The Fry/Bender merger may be a reference to the animated T.V. series Adventure Time, where Finn sometimes wears a Jake suit and controls him.
- Bender also used Fry's toothbrush for polishing in "The Butterjunk Effect".
- Bender was previously referred to as Bender the robot in "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" and Bender's Big Score.
- Nine calls Fry an old paranoid kook, a reference to Into the Wild Green Yonder.
- Zoidberg uses the F-Ray, first seen in "Fry and the Slurm Factory".
- Fry wears the space suit from "A Big Piece of Garbage".
- Bender previously had (fake) human ears in "Godfellas".
- The fact that Bender has a gyroscope was established in "The Mutants Are Revolting".
- Fry previously wore Bender's body in "Rumble in the Jungle".
- The ship's basement was first seen in "Proposition Infinity".
- In this episode Bender is completely hollow, but in previous ones only his chest compartment was hollow and the rest of him was full of circuitry.
- Bender shouldn't reshape with Fry in him, as it's impossible for Fry to be strong enough to reshape the metal.
- The metal that Bender is made of may for some reason be extremely soft now.
- After getting blasted by the ship's engine, Bender says that his gyroscope is melted, so his body may have also become hot enough to be softened.
Hermes: Enough of this foolishness! Amazingly, I too set up a spy camera, to catch Zoidberg stealin' my lunch.
Fry: Have you been using my toothbrush to polish your ass again?!
Bender: What?! Me? Bender the robot?!
Fry: There's metal flakes on it, and they look like ass flakes.
Bender: How dare you accuse me! I would never do something like that to a friend - every single night, while he's sleeping.
[Fry narrows his eyes and stares at Bender, in a manner similar to the Fry meme.]
Dan McMasters: So I hear we've been having some trust issues, huh? Well, for the next week... we'll be doing hundreds of trust falls from every possible height and level of gravity.
Bender: Or we could not do that.
Dan McMasters: Hello Planet Express! I'm Dan McMasters, and I'll be your retreat leader for a week of fun and personal empowerment!
Professor Farnsworth: [Looking annoyed at the crew.] I hope you're happy!
Bender: Fry. You saved my ass out there.
Fry: Aw... I couldn't let anything happen to something that shiny.
Scruffy: I weren't fooled. The real professor—
[The professor eats Scruffy.]
[Leela opens up a cabinet full of weapons inside the Planet Express ship and takes a rifle from inside; stood around her are Fry, Bender, Amy and Zoidberg.]
Leela: It's time we solved this problem the old fashioned way. By shooting it!
Bender: Wait, wait, wait, wait, you can't give everybody guns! What if one of us is the creature? It could be any of us: [The camera pans to each character as Bender calls out their name.] Fry. Leela. Amy. Zoidberg. [The camera pans to another Zoidberg stood next to the original.] Zoidberg.
[Everyone gasps and backs away.]
- Apartment 00100100
- Debut: For Your Eyes Mainly
- Debut: Panic room
- Planet Express conference room
- Planet Express employee lounge
- Planet Express hangar
- Planet Express headquarters
- Planet Express kitchen
- Robot Arms Apartments
- Birthday (mentioned in speech only)
- "Bite my shiny metal ass" (alluded to)
- Debut: Cavitar Toothpaste
- Channel √2 News
- Dark-matter afterburner
- Dark-matter engines
- Facebook (mentioned in speech only)
- Fry-Bender relationship
- Fry-Leela relationship
- "Good news, everyone"
- Ink defense
- "Me, Bender"
- "My manwich!"
- Debut: Slurm Slim
- ^ Jesse David Fox (05 February 2013). Watch a Preview of Futurama’s Seventh Season. (Vulture.com.) Retrieved on 23 June 2013.
- ^ Team Building Retreat - Video Clip. (Comedy Central.) Retrieved on 08 August 2013.
- ^ Countdown to Futurama: Alien Form. (Comedy Central's Tumblr page.) 05 June 2013. Retrieved on 05 June 2013.
- ^ Countdown to Futurama: Alien Sneaking Up Behind Bender. (Comedy Central's Tumblr page.) 06 June 2013. Retrieved on 06 June 2013.
- ^ Countdown to Futurama: Fry with a Monster Mouth. (Comedy Central's Tumblr page.) 07 June 2013. Retrieved on 07 June 2013.
- ^ Michael Rowe (05 December 2013). Mike Rowe. (Facebook.) Retrieved on 11 December 2013.
- Episodes written by Lewis Morton
- Episodes directed by Frank Marino
- Season 7 Episodes
- Articles in need of expansion
- A plots focusing on Planet Express ship
- B plots focusing on Amy
- B plots focusing on Bender
- B plots focusing on Fry
- B plots focusing on Hermes
- B plots focusing on Leela
- B plots focusing on Zoidberg