My Three Suns
My Three Suns is possibly my favorite episode of Futurama. It has a good balance of characters and some of Fry’s best lines in the series. This is the quintessential Futurama episode. All of the shows best traits are present in this episode. After some down to earth stuff the Planet Express crews goes on a mission to an alien world where they have a hilarious adventure. It has equal parts Sci-Fi adventure and character comedy. The episode also has good stories for all of the main character; none of them gets the full focus. It is about how the characters react to their foreign surroundings and the outrageous situations they find themselves in.
This episode begins with Bender watching cooking shows, but is interrupted by Hermes telling him he needs to do some work to keep his job. So Bender decides to become the ships cook. On a trip into town to get supplies, Fry shows his gullibility and Bender his lack of concern over ingredients. When the get back they find they have a delivery. In his first attempt at cooking Bender goes crazily heavy on the salt, even in the water and everyone hates it. He goes to deliver the package, but is so thirsty from the meal that he drinks a bottle of mysterious blue liquid. He is soon accosted by some watery guards who claim that he has drunk the emperor. By the laws of their land Fry is now the emperor. When the rest of the crew arrive Leela berates him about his recklessness, but Fry ignores her and appoints Bender as his Prime Minister. During the celebrations for the new Emperor, Leela discovers that the emperors have extremely short reigns due to frequent assassinations. Fry ignores her various warnings and she leaves to go back to the ship. Fry then recites the inaugural oath. Just as he finishes the suns go down and the planets inhabitant begin to glow, including the emperor who is still in Fry’s stomach. Realizing that their Emperor is still alive, they attack Fry and pals to rescue him. The Planet Express crew barricades themselves in the throne room and tries to think of ways to get the Emperor out of Fry’s body. They call Leela for help, but she reluctantly agrees. On her way there she is attacked by the water people. Bender tells Fry she is dead, and he starts to cry out the Emperor. But Leela arrives and Fry stops crying. So the crew takes turns beating Fry until he cries the Emperor out completely.
This is some classic funny television. Fry is dumb, Bender is greedy, and Leela is responsible but frustrated by the stupidity and greed of her companions. Zoidberg is a terrible doctor. All of these stock jokes are at their best in this episode. I love how this episode starts as a Bender episode with a Fry b-story, but halfway through drops the Bender story and focuses on Fry. Bender’s story only takes half the episode to conclude, he is a bad cook there is nothing else. Fry’s quick acceptance of the emperor’s throne and his moronically brilliant parable of “The Grasshopper and the Octopus” is some of the funniest stuff ever animated. Zoidberg’s centrifuge idea to get the old Emperor out of Fry is the perfect illustration of his incompetence. Bender’s has his attempt at being the ship’s cook fail horribly. And Leela tries to keep the rest in line and in the end gets to take her anger out on Fry to his benefit. The whole episode just flows together perfectly. This is just one of the best episodes of any television show, ever.