A Flight To Remember
Tragic Romances Always Have a Happy Ending
Ah, the Titanic parody. The only thing better than bloated James Cameron movies is mediocre parodies of them. If not for Zapp Brannigan, this episode would be among my least favorite episodes of Futurama. But Zapp can save nearly anything. And as this is Futurama, this is not even bad, just somewhat lackluster.
It starts with the crew’s return from Canniballon, and they are understandably somewhat disgruntled. Professor Farnsworth attempts to smooth things over with a luxury cruise on the Space Titanic. Major General Webelo Zapp Brannigan of course, captains the Titanic. Zapp is eager to rekindle his romance with Leela, who is not so eager. So she pretends Fry is her boyfriend. This starts the A story, the love triangle between Fry, Leela and Amy. Once on the ship, Bender sees the Countess, starting the b story, Bender playing Leo’s role in a robot version of the Titanic. Since the main crew’s accommodations are so terrible, (the Fiesta Deck) they all stay in their room as short a time as possible. Amy runs into her parents and in order to get them off her back pretends that she is dating Fry. There is also a C story with Hermes and his former career as an Olympic limboer. Or maybe that is the D story and the C story is Zapp wrecking the ship. So Bender romances the countess and Fry tries to pretend to be dating both Amy and Leela until Zapp, true to his nature, flies the Titanic straight into a black hole. Then the crew must traverse the sinking ship to get to the escape pods, while Bender tires to rescue the Countess. A fairly standard Futurama-flavored Titanic parody.
The Fry-Leela-Amy love triangle works well. Zapp is a big enough dick that Fry has to keep up appearances and Fry is too stupid to even make a passable pretense of dating both women. The part of this episode that does not really work is Bender and the Countess. I do not buy Bender’s romance for a second. That does not fit with the Bender from the rest of the series. Moreover, while highlighting Zapp’s utter incompetence is amusing, I do not really like the Titanic reenactment plot.
This episode does set up character points that are important later in the series. The first is Hermes limboing. It helps them out here and becomes his second most used character trait, after his bureaucratic fussiness. The other is the long running Amy/Kif romance. I still do not like this episode that much. The major culprit is too much of the boring Bender plot. Bender should never be boring, and this is one of the few episodes where he is the weak link. Still, enough series important developments happen in this episode to make one definitely too good to skip.
- “Come back when it’s a catastrophe!” Zapp
- “We’ll set a new course for that empty region over there, near that blackish, holish thing.” Zapp
- “I like a man who’s … flexible” Hattie (Crazy Cat Lady)
- “I’m just like Hermes, I’m just like Hermes, I’m just like CRACK” Young fan
- “It’ll seem even nicer once you’ve seen your rooms” Farnsworth
- “Tragic romances always have a happy ending” Bender