A Fishful of Dollars
After a Leela focused episode and a Bender focused one, it is time for Fry to get the spotlight. This episode also introduces one of the less interesting returning antagonists for the Planet Express crew: Mom. Mom is not necessarily bad, but she is just not as funny as Zapp or Lrrr. Still this episode does not suffer from her inclusion. This is another episode where the Sci-fi is merely set dressing and for the most part the show does not need to be in the future.
In this episode Fry is tempted to buy designer underwear from commercials in his dreams, but does not have the money. So he goes to the bank to check on his account only to find that he has billions of dollars due to the interest he’s accrued in the thousand years he had been frozen. So he takes his money and buys all of the things he’s always wanted. Except the one thing he wants to show his friends, anchovy pizza because the anchovy is extinct. He also start s to forget his friends and focus on all the stuff from the 20th century that he has bought. At a auction he buys the last can in existence, outbidding Mom, who wants it to make cheap robot oil. In order to keep Fry from bankrupting her, Mom and her sons trick Fry into revealing his bank pin number and take all his money. Now that he is broke, Mom offers to buy the anchovies but Fry wants to feed them to his friends. Because he is not going to use them to mass produce oil, Mom has nothing to fear so she leaves Fry to eat the anchovies.
One thing I really love about this episode is the it is obvious that the writers put a lot of thought into questions people would ask. Fry having a ton of money in his thousand year old bank account is a nice touch, especially that they actually did the math on how much the interest would actually be. Also, the way Fry uses his money says lots about Fry and his nostalgia and stupidity. The way he loses his money is a cheap way out of a rich Fry and actually makes sense. While I do not love Mom, I do like that she is almost wholly villainous. She is always scheming and greedy, not to mention usually fairly successful. It is an odd contrast to the fact that the stars of the show are only slightly on the side of good. In this episode Fry never realizes that he is a contest with Mom, even at the end of the episode. It also has some goods interplay between Fry Leela and Bender, as well as some the first great Zoidberg moments. By the end of shows run Zoidberg was many peoples, including me, favorite characters but through most of the first season he does little.. Still, with all the good in this episode it is still merely decent Futurama.