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"In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela" is the ninetieth episode of Futurama, the second of the sixth production season and the second of the seventh broadcast season. It aired on 24 June, 2010, on Comedy Central. It guest-stars Chris Elliott as the V-GINY censor ship. When a death sphere is threatening to destroy Earth, President Nixon calls for Professor Farnsworth for a plan. The Professor has devised an undetectable ship which Leela and Zapp Brannigan must use to get into the death sphere and destroy it. But not all goes according to plan.
Act I: "Let's see how crazy I am now, Nixon!"
After Zapp Brannigan dreams about The Transcredible Exploits of Zapp Brannigan, he is called to the Secret White House, where President Richard Nixon has bad news. A death sphere has been seen destroying planets in nearby systems, and they now know it is headed for Earth. But when Zapp Brannigan is too cowardly to devise a plan, Nixon decides to try and ask a man he once deemed crazy, Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth. The Professor, acting on the fact that every death sphere has a small weakness, has devised a plan involving a Tiny One-Man Stealth Fighter.
After some deciding about who should go, they decide to send Turanga Leela and Zapp Brannigan together. They lift off at Cape Knievel. Although the ship itself is perfectly cloaked, its occupants remain clearly visible, and appear to be floating. As they approach the death sphere, we see the letters V-GINY across it and lots of surveillance on its surface.
Turanga Leela and Zapp Brannigan enter the sphere, which seems to be censoring television broadcasts by spitting black goo on them. Leela and Brannigan are spotted, and narrowly escape but lose control of the ship.
Act II: "So, the orgy's off?"
Leela and Brannigan awake in a jungle. Leela's legs are pinned underneath a tree, which Brannigan cannot lift. Leela complains that her spacesuit is too hot, and Brannigan suggests taking them off; they do so and put on leaves to hide their 'naughty bits'. Leela notices that Brannigan is strangely considerate, trying to help her out while pinned. Brannigan goes to forage for food.
Back at Earth, Fry is beginning to wonder about why Leela isn't back yet, much to the annoyance of Bender, who feels he is being a third wheel. And while the crew discuss how best to make use of their time as the death sphere approaches, Farnsworth announces he has identified the death sphere to be a fusion of two satellites that collided: USAF Flying Destiny and FCC V-Chip. Farnsworth has further discovered that the ship is just acting in its programming, and thus destroying indecent planets, like Planet XXX, Poopiter and That world that can't be mentioned in polite company. Farnsworth's plan is to convince the people of Earth to be less indecent, so that the censor ship may reconsider destroying it.
Meanwhile, Brannigan returns with nuts and fruit berries for Leela. He explains that there are no intelligent life to be found on the planet, and that the ship was destroyed in the crash. Brannigan remarks that the planet is sort of like the Garden of Eden. A talking snake appears to explain how their situation is just like Adam and Eve, but Brannigan dismisses it as delirium from dehydration.
In New New York, Farnsworth's plan goes under way to convince people to be more decent, but it takes the form of a "The End Is Near" protest, which is easily dismissed as crazy. They see Sal attempting to pay five dollars for a night with Petunia, who announces she could go for just three dollars, much to Sal's disgust, and thus goes into the Pubic Library (and not public library as Fry thought).
The talking snake continues to urge Leela to mate with Zapp. Meanwhile, Zapp fetches the telescope so they could view whether Earth was still whole. On Lo'ihi Island in the Pacific Ocean on Earth, the Planet Express crew makes one desperate attempt to convince the censor ship of there being some decency left on Earth. However, during their purity chant, Bender cannot keep it in his pants and mates with the satellite dish.
Leela watches V-GINY destroying the Earth. Leela becomes convinced that perhaps she should attempt to recreate the human race with Zapp. As they discuss their plan for their new humanity, an apple falls onto Leela's head, who begins seductively suggesting a kiss to Zapp.
Act III: "Approved for all audiences!"
Leela remarks that the apple has ameliorated her dehydration, unlike the nut berries that Zapp brought, which were exactly as salty as Fry's trail mix. Her questions then wring a confession from Zapp, piece by piece, that everything he has done since the crash has been a scheme to get into Leela's pants: he brought the trail mix from the ship, which is not destroyed; he even placed the tree over Leela's legs.
As they are talking, Fry arrives on the scene. Leela wonders how he ended up on this planet as well, after she saw Earth explode; Zapp confesses that the destruction was simply a visualisation created by the ship's holographic targeting projector. Leela beats up Zapp.
And just as they reunite with the crew, the V-GINY arrives. V-GINY explains that the Earth may yet be redeemed if Zapp and Leela make love like Adam and Eve. Leela complies, to save her world, but Zapp has performance anxiety. The crew is horrified by the act and Fry demands V-GINY censor it, but it instead, ironically, decides to label their activities as 'approved for all audiences' and then leaves Earth.
By 20 August, 2009, the writing of this episode was ready for its table reading.
Now that Futurama is on Comedy Central, a cable channel, the writers and producers can be a bit more lenient about the show's content. David X. Cohen stresses that they aren't doing anything that wouldn't have been accepted on its former network, FOX, but they are doing more of it than the FOX censors might have accepted.
In an interview to Entertainment Weekly, David X. Cohen reveals that the plot, being Matt Groening's brainchild, plays on the Adam and Eve trope wherein two characters must "recreate" an entire species as the lone survivors. In this episode, Zapp Brannigan and Leela land on a Garden of Eden planet, but unlike the trope, this part of the plot occurs in the beginning of the episode, and never actually gets to the reproduction of the human species.
"In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela" aired 24 June, 2010 10:30pm EST on Comedy Central, preceded by "Rebirth" as a lead-in to The Daily Show. The episode received 2.775 million viewers according to Nielsen Ratings, 0.2 million less than "Rebirth". It received 1.8/3 of households and 1.5/5 of adults between 18 and 49.
It received mixed reviews, some people saying it was better than "Rebirth" due to it being a standalone episode, but most people saying it was not as good. A great portion of the Futurama fans hated the ending, and many of them did not like that Fry and Leela's relationship was probably in a strange limbo once again. There have also been complaints about Leela's lack of devotion to Fry. Many fans were also disappointed by the frequency of jokes about sex.
Due to its airing together with "Rebirth", "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela" was immediately compared to that and many reviewers did not consider "In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela" as strong an episode as "Rebirth".
Shows in the V-GINY
When Leela and Zapp travel through the V-GINY (a massive censoring module), the viewer can see tens of screens with different shows, including many commercials and shows previously seen in the Futurama universe.
- All My Circuits
- Bachelor Chow commercial
- Channel √2 News with Linda and Morbo
- eyePhone commercial
- Fishy Joe's commerical
- Leela and Zapp traveling through the V-GINY (presumably security camera)
- Richard Nixon's head
- Slurm commercial
- Torgo's Executive Powder commercial
- The opening sequence was abridged in this episode. Consequently, there is no opening cartoon.
- With this episode, David Herman was officially promoted to a series regular.
- The sound effect used for the stealth ship's cloaking is the transporter sound from Star Trek.
- Inside the V-GINY, among many shows and commercials, there is an eyePhone commercial. This is the eyePhone's first appearance in Futurama, later having a much larger appearances in the very next episode, "Attack of the Killer App".
- The picket signs that the Planet Express crew hold are as follows:
- Amy: "Shame on everything!"
- Zoidberg: "Sin no more!"
- Hermes: "Judgement Day is at hand!"
- Bender: "Bender is great!"
- Fry: "The end is nigh!"
- Farnsworth: "Repent!"
- Hermes is shown to listen to his iPod, but it is unlikely to have any connections to the name of the eyePhones, which were a major plot point in "Attack of the Killer App", since his eyes are not involved in the product.
- "A Farewell to Arms" - which is also the second episode of its season - features an end of the world plot as well.
- The Pimpsons and Assarama are name-plays on The Simpsons and Futurama, both of which were created by Matt Groening.
- Uranus has been renamed Urectum. However, the names of Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune remain unchanged and Pluto is not shown in the solar system.
- The missile fired from the stealth fighter appears to fill the same space as Zapp and Leela's bodies.
- The episode's title is a spoof of the Iron Butterfly song In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, which was apparently first called In the Garden of Eden.
- The scenes between Zapp and Leela are reminiscent of a "shaggy God story", a science-fiction genre which takes Biblical episodes and places them in sci-fi settings, typically the creation story in Genesis.
- This scene could also be taken as satire of religious content often being approved for younger audiences despite having scenes often expected to give a much higher rating
- Leela and Zapp's infiltration of the sphere includes many references to Star Wars, including Leela mentioning the Force and a voice very reminiscent of Alec Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- Zapp once again mentions his "captain's log", a reference to Star Trek.
- Hermes tried to find references to the V-GINY ship in the Janeway's Guide, a reference to Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager and the Jane's Fighting Ships reference book.
- The index search for the V-GINY against silhouettes is similar to the method of identifying the Cygnus in The Black Hole.
- The V-GINY is similar in both name and origin (i.e., from an old 20th century Earth vessel) to V'Ger from Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
- In yet another reference to Star Trek, the plot point of two probes colliding and merging in both form and programming is taken from the Original Series episode "The Changeling".
- President Nixon says, "Sock it to me!" This is a reference to his appearance on Laugh-In.
- Zapp makes a reference to CSI: Miami.
- The V-Chip censored such programs as The Pimpsons and Assarama, very obvious inappropriate versions of both of Matt Groening's shows.
- Nixon refers to Kif as Reptilicus, a creature from a 1962 Danish monster movie of the same name.
- Nixon mentions the erasure of "18 minutes of incriminating tape." This is a reference to the partial erasure of the Watergate tapes.
- President Nixon's map of the Solar System shows Uranus being renamed Urectum.
- This episode marks the second (and probably last) appearance of Planet XXX, the Nude Beach Planet, although this is the first time its proper name is used.
- The Pubic Library wasn't an adult book store in "The Day the Earth Stood Stupid", but we could easily say it was changed into one sometime between the events. Alternatively it could be a different, near-identical, building.
- 'The Bender' reappears for the first time since "A Pharaoh to Remember".
- Fry smells the milk before drinking it, like he did in Bender's Game.
- After being shown a (fake) scene of Earth being destroyed by the V-GINY, Leela gets depressed because "everyone [she knows] is dead" and she and Zapp are "the last humans in the universe". Obviously she was ignoring the fact that in the 31st century many humans inhabit other planets in the universe, including Earth's closest neighbour, Mars.
- Leela was dehydrated so she wasn't thinking clearly.
- Leela cannot clearly move her legs, yet she manages to take her space suit overalls off in a few seconds.
- After seeing the fake scene of Earth's destruction, Leela states that she and Zapp are "the last two humans in the universe". While this is true, with Leela being a mutant, at this point Zapp should still have believed Leela to be an alien.
Zapp: I surrender and volunteer for treason.
Bender: So, how's this Happy Meal toy going to destroy a Death Sphere anyway?
Fry: Granted, all that makes perfect sense, but why is this death sphere destroying planets?
Farnsworth: That makes the most sense of all. [Farnsworth puts up a projection of planets destroyed by the death sphere.] Look at the planets it's destroyed so far. First came XXX, the nude beach planet. Then Poopiter. [A planet labelled "#!@€$!#%&" comes on screen.] And finally that world that can't be mentioned in polite company.
Fry: You mean...
[Fry whispers something to Farnsworth and the crew get angry at him for doing so.]
Farnsworth: How dare you!?
Amy: Shame on—
[Farnsworth slaps Fry.]
- ^ "i_c_weiner" (20 August 2009). "By Hawking's chair! Futurama is back! (News thread) (No spoilers)" Page 17. (PEEL.) Retrieved on 21 August 2009.
- ^ a b c "For example, we have an episode that was Matt Groening’s brainchild, with Zap Brannigan and Leela getting stranded on a Garden of Eden planet. Matt wanted to do a story based on this science-fiction trope where man and woman land on a planet and at the end of the episode you realize that they’re Adam and Eve and they’re going to recreate society. But he wanted to do that at the starting point of the episode, so we have Zap and Leela stranded on this beautiful Garden of Eden planet and they’re naked and wearing fig leaves immediately. It’s a little more cartoon flesh than we would have shown in the old days." — Cohen, David
Snierson, Dan (25 May 2010). "Futurama Exclusive: Exec producer David X. Conhen Previews the return". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on 25 May 2010.
- ^ Tobey, Matt (05 May 2010). "Exclusive First Look at the First New Episode of Futurama". Comedy Central Insider. Retrieved on 06 May 2010.
- ^ a b "TravisYanan" (25 June 2010). Thursday 6/24/10. (MediaWeek.) Retrieved on 26 June 2010.