That Darn Katz!
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|Season 6 episode|
Broadcast season 7 episode
|That Darn Katz!|
|Written by||Josh Weinstein|
|Directed by||Frank Marino|
|Title caption||(Or similar product)|
|First air date||5 August, 2010|
|Title reference||That Darn Cat!|
"That Darn Katz!" is the ninety-sixth episode of Futurama, the eighth of the sixth production season and the seventh broadcast season. It aired 5 August 2010 on Comedy Central. A group of cats hypnotizes the Planet Express crew, and Amy and Nibbler have to stop them.
- 1 The Story
- 2 Reception
- 3 Additional info
- 4 Characters
- 5 References
Act I: "The horse says: 'Doctorate denied.'"
At Planet Express, Amy Wong is anxiously preparing to present her doctoral thesis at Mars University the following morning. The Professor admits that since Amy has been his graduate student for the past twelve years, she was experienced enough to present her thesis about six years ago; he simply neglected to tell her. He advises Amy to relax before tomorrow's presentation, and so the crew take her out to The Hip Joint for a night of fun (and heavy drinking). While there, Nibbler voices a desire to Leela to be treated as a respected, equal member of the crew rather than a common pet.
After partying late into the evening, Amy oversleeps and shows up late (and in her underwear) to defend her thesis at Mars University; she is reviewed by a doctoral panel consisting of Professor Morris Katz, Dr. Ogden Wernstrom, Ethan 'Bubblegum' Tate, and a robot with a Fisher-Price Speak-N-Spell for a head. After Professor Farnsworth loans her his lab coat, Amy discusses her thesis: using a giant ratchet and a length of superconducting wire to harness the power of the tremendous magnetic field created by Earth's rotation, creating a perpetual motion machine that could provide an abundance of free energy. However, Amy's presentation is interrupted by Professor Katz's cat (to which Amy is highly allergic), and the panel members scoff at her implausible proposal, denying her doctorate.
Back on Earth, Katz's cat emerges from within the Planet Express ship, having stowed away on the return trip from Mars. The other crew members immediately fawn over the adorable feline, but Amy is still bitter about its interference at the university and having been denied her degree, and Nibbler is jealous of the attention that Leela gives to the cat instead of to him; he says that the cat should be watched carefully, as "nothing acts that cute without some ulterior motive". Amy and Nibbler both spy upon the cat, but fail to find signs of anything sinister; they are ready to admit that they may have misjudged it when they hear an entranced Leela refer to the cat as "my lord" and say that Amy and Nibbler represent a "tewwible thweat," and must be "spayed and neutered, wespectivewy".
Act II: "Pet it! Pet it! Pet it!"
The cat meows out a rhythmic signal which summons a pink flying saucer shaped like a cat's head. Amy and Nibbler rush to tell the other crew members that the cat is evil, only to find that they all have cats of their own, and are also being mind-controlled. The cat saucer lands in the Planet Express hangar, where the crew begins unloading supplies, including an enormous ball of yarn and a large amount of cobalt; it's obvious that the cats are using the crew to construct something in the basement, but when Amy and Nibbler try to investigate, they are told that no one without a cat may enter. They decide to travel back to Mars University in order to interrogate Professor Katz and find out what the cats are up to, but when they burst into his office, they discover that Katz is nothing more than a life-sized marionette rigged to be operated by a cat. Amy realizes that the cat itself is Katz, and is angry that she was denied her degree by a "fuzzball".
The two return to Planet Express to find the door to the basement ajar and unguarded. Upon investigating, they discover that the cats have implemented Amy's thesis as an actual model, building a large ratchet above the molten crater in the cellar, and substituting the superconducting wire with a length of yarn that runs down into the Earth's core. Amy sneezes, accidentally revealing her and Nibbler's position, and they are confronted by Katz in control of Leela's body.
Katz explains that all cats originated from the planet Thuban 9, where they lived a pleasant, lazy existence. However, Thuban's rotation gradually began to slow down. This was initially beneficial, as it provided longer days and nights for napping, but eventually Thuban's rotation came to an almost complete stop, resulting in large differences in temperature on the two hemispheres of the planet (due to one side being exposed to constant sunlight, and the other shrouded in darkness). Thuban scientists searched until they found a planet with the proper orientation and magnetic field: Earth. Thuban scouts landed on Earth, and were worshiped as gods by the ancient Egyptians. The Thubans built an enormous antenna - The Great Pyramid of Giza - to siphon off Earth's rotational energy and beam it back to Thuban, but the Thubans grew accustomed to being pampered by the Egyptians, until they became fat and domesticated, and the knowledge of how to save Thuban was lost... until Katz heard Amy's thesis. Amy is furious that Katz not only mocked her research, but stole it for himself. Katz orders the Professor to open a large can of cat food; the sound of the can opener is broadcast throughout the city, causing thousands of cats to plaintively rub up against Planet Express headquarters. The static charge they generate is channeled down into the molten crater, which causes the Earth's rotation to begin slowing down.
Act III: "Enjoy being broiled alive by the sun, and also the dead bird we've left in your slipper."
The Planet Express crew members turn the giant ratchet, gradually slowing the Earth's rotation. Nibbler theorizes that the space cats must be using some sort of "super cuteness" to hypnotize them; he tries to counter it with a pleading expression of his own, but to no avail. The Earth at last comes to an abrupt halt, transmitting its rotational energy to Thuban, and inertia from the sudden stop causes several landmarks and land masses to shift position. The crew members are snapped out of their hypnotic trance, and the space cats depart. The crew attempts to turn the ratchet in the opposite direction in order to restart Earth's rotation, but the ratchet doesn't budge.
As the Earth's western hemisphere slowly begins to roast, Amy says that the ratchet can only apply force in one direction; she laments having ever come up with the concept for her thesis. The Professor consoles her, saying that science itself is neither good nor evil; it's how it's used that's important. Amy agrees that science must continue moving forward... and realizes that's the answer. She explains that while they cannot turn the ratchet backward, they can continue turning it forward, which will cause Earth to begin rotating again; the planet will be turning in the opposite direction than it was beforehand, but that should make no difference. The plan is quickly undertaken, but the crew is unable to turn the ratchet quickly enough until Nibbler dresses up in his naval uniform (which bears a striking resemblance to a child's sailor suit) to motivate them. This does the trick, and Thuban's energy is siphoned back to Earth, kick-starting the planet's rotation (and causing Thuban to come to a screeching halt). In recognition for having proved her thesis and saving the planet, Amy is awarded her doctorate in Applied Physics; Nibbler, still in uniform, also makes his peace with Leela, gratefully curling up in her lap to receive her affection. The crew returns to Planet Express headquarters while, for the first time, the sun sets in the East.
"That Darn Katz!" originally aired on August 5, 2010 on Comedy Central.
Zack Handlen of The A.V. Club enjoyed the episode, rating it an A-, stating that the jokes were strong throughout the episode. Handlen felt the episode was "a return to pure wackiness" and found it a nice change of pace from the more emotional issues of the season. He particularly praised the season's continuation of unlikely pair-ups in Nibbler and Amy, feeling that both received good character development from the episode. Alex Zalben of UGO.com likewise enjoyed the use of both characters, feeling that "it paid in such great character dividends. Amy manages to prove she’s not just a bunch of eye candy, and Nibbler finds out it’s not so bad to be cared for by Leela after all." He concluded that "That Darn Katz!" may not have pulled on the heart strings like the last two episodes, but this one was firing on all cylinders – and we need episodes like this, just silly larks about cats taking over the world, to give us breathing time between the crying jags."
- This is only the second episode of Season 6 to use the full opening sequence, complete with opening cartoon, after "Rebirth".
- This is also the first episode of Season 6 to have a sponsor.
- The sponsor states that "the legbone is connected to the cashbone". This is a reference to the song Dem Bones.
- To signal the flying saucer, the Thubanian leader mews the Meow Mix jingle.
- The cats and their spaceship is a reference to the 1978 film The Cat From Outer Space.
- The Thubanian leader describes the no longer rotating earth as one big McDLT (McDonalds Lettuce & Tomato), which was given out in 2 parts: half of the bun and the meat (warm), lettuce, tomato, cheese, pickles, sauce and the other half of the bun (cold).It was sold between 1984 and 1990.
- This is the third time we see The Hip Joint in the series. Previous times being in "Love's Labours Lost in Space" and "Bendless Love".
- This is the first time the contents of Nibbler's litterbox are actually seen being thrown away, since dark matter is no longer useful in any way as of Bender's Game.
- The cats say that their race was responsible for the creation of the pyramids of Ancient Egypt. The people of Osiris 4 would later inadvertently gained this knowledge second hand, mistaking it for Earthican technology.
- The lava lair seen in this episode was the same place where Fry's dog was going to be cloned in "Jurassic Bark".
- In "The Series Has Landed", when Amy is introduced, Professor Farnsworth states that she's his engineering student; which was a detail that had been mostly ignored until this episode.
- Since Nibbler never wiped the memories of the crew at the end of "Bender's Game" they are all aware now that he can talk. Now that everyone knows he can talk, Nibbler feels that he should be treated as a member of the crew in this episode.
- Amy and Kif's apartment is seen once again; the previous time being in "Proposition Infinity".
- Leela claims to be single at the Hip Joint even though she has clearly shown feelings for Fry in the past few episodes.
- It seems like the relationship is on again, off again. Due to Fry's frequent screw ups, they're most likely in a very casual relationship. The note she wrote him in Cavern on the Green was future Leela, who assumed Fry had been dead for decades. Present Leela might not view it as a real relationship yet.
- Amy finally gets a doctorate in applied physics, but she had originally stated that she was going for a doctorate in engineering.
- She could have changed her mind.
- Farnsworth had said she was an engineering student of his, this may have referred to a particular class she was in. Physics, especially applied physics, has a similar basis to engineering.
- The first time the Earth is shown from outer space, the Western hemisphere appears at night; however, the next two times just minutes afterwards, it shows the Western hemisphere in daytime.
- This could be a joke, as the magnetic field was destabilized.