Love and Rocket
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|Season 4 episode|
|Love and Rocket|
|Written by||Dan Vebber|
|Directed by||Brian Sheesley|
|Title caption||When you see the robot, drink!|
|First air date||10 February, 2002|
|Title reference||Love and Rockets, an alternative rock band of the 1980s, or Love and Rockets, the comic book by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez that the band was named after|
|Opening cartoon||Makin' 'Em Move (1931)|
|Special guest(s)||Sigourney Weaver|
"Love and Rocket" is the fifty-seventh episode of Futurama, the third of the fourth production season and the fourth of the fourth broadcast season. It aired on 10 February, 2002, on Fox. It guest-stars Sigourney Weaver as the Planet Express Ship and Lucy Liu as herself in a jar. As Valentine's Day approaches, Bender's romance with the Planet Express Ship puts the crew in jeopardy.
Act I: "U-R-2 Cute"
Shortly before Valentine's Day, Bender and the Planet Express Ship are having major differences, creating tension between them. Meanwhile, Professor Farnsworth informs the crew that Planet Express has landed a big contract with Romanticorp. The crew takes a trip to Romanticorp to finalize the deal, where they pick up conversation hearts to deliver to Lrrr and Ndnd. After making the deal, Farnsworth is able to afford some modifications to the ship, including an improved personality (female) software for the Planet Express Ship, whom Bender immediately falls in love with.
Act II: "I Wuv U"
While Bender dates the ship, Fry tries to find the perfect pickup line from the huge load of conversation hearts they are supposed to deliver in order to impress Leela with it. Bender has become tired of the Planet Express ship, and starts to date cheap floozies on the side. This arouses the ship's suspicions and makes her jealous. Bender keeps stalling the Planet Express Ship, and making her more suspicious.
As the crew delivers a load of conversation hearts to Omicron Persei 8 as a peace offering from Earth's government, the Omicronians get mad at the 'I Wuv U' hearts and chase the crew off the planet, and then attack them with a fleet of Omicronian fighters. Bender picks this moment to break up with the ship, because he likes a dump to be as devastating as it is memorable. The Planet Express Ship screams and shuts down its engines, as it starts to sob. Seeing the opportunity for a fatal blow, the Omicronians fire several missiles, which leave the ship in ruins.
Act III: "U leave me breathless"
The ship is surprisingly unharmed, save her feelings and some scorch marks, and despite Leela's best efforts to console her, is still deeply depressed. Losing all hope to get together with Bender, the ship decides to fly into the nearest quasar to unite her and Bender into a quantum singularity. The crew tries to stop the ship, which disables life support and artificial gravity. Bender offers to merge his programming with the ship's to distract it, while Leela tries shutting down the ship's brain.
While Fry and Leela are in the brain room, Fry continues looking for the ultimate heart line while Leela is busy shutting down the ship's brain. As Fry is searching, he notices that Leela's oxygen is running out. Unaware of the situation, Leela ignores Fry, thinking he is trying to give her a conversation heart. Fry secretly plugs his oxygen supply into Leela's helmet. Meanwhile, Bender is being chased around the matrix-like world of the ship's computer by her personality icon, but cannot evade merging their programming. Leela succeeds in shutting down the computer, which brings life support and gravity back online. This also stops the ship from flying into the quasar. Leela, cautiously optimistic, speaks to Fry, who does not respond. She discovers that he sacrificed his own oxygen for her. She attempts to resuscitate Fry, who has lost consciousness. While pounding on his chest to make him breathe, Fry coughs up the candy heart he has been searching for U leave me breathless. Bender separates himself from the computer's consciousness, but seems to have ingested part of her personality.
The crew dumps the now useless conversation hearts into the quasar, causing a mystical love radiation spreading across the universe, destroying many, many planets--including two gangster planets and a cowboy world. Earth, however, was exactly the right distance to not be destroyed by them, but rather to see the beautiful romantic rays, with coupless around the world, such as Leela and Fry (and Zoidberg, who is inexplicably narrating this section) who watch the romantic sky.
- Lucy Liu's lines were from an earlier recording session during the time she recorded her lines for "I Dated a Robot".
- According to the DVD commentary, Leela lights a vanilla-scented candle on the bridge while consoling the ship and feeds it several buckets of ice cream - her standard method of coping with romantic problems, judging from her feelings expressed by Bender in "I Second that Emotion".
- Bender says "with my mighty robot powers, I can get sick of things much quicker than you humans". In "A Clockwork Origin", which was also written by Dan Vebber, he says "robots do everything faster. Including evolving... and believing how quickly things spring up".
- The title of the episode is an allusion to Love and Rockets, an alternative rock band of the 1980s, or Love and Rockets, the comic book by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez that the band was named after.
- The nebula in the opening scene is the Horsehead Nebula.
- Much of the episode is inspired by the epic Sci Fi movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, like the computer's eye (HAL 9000), Bender singing "Daisy Bell", the ship trying to lip-read the crew and the scene in which Leela deactivates the ship's carbonated logic matrix.
- Leela's comment about Six Flags is a reference to a Coca-Cola promotion where specially marked cans would give the drinker a free ticket to Six Flags.
- Planet Express Ship's accusation of nobody liking Leela because she's "tiny and made of meat" is a reference to the 1991 short story They're Made Out of Meat by Terry Bisson.
- When Bender is trapped after having merged programming with the Planet Express ship, Bender cannot continue because he has run into a Zener diode.
- The scene in which the lady chooses between the two talking wire mesh dummies is a reference to psychologist Harry Harlow's maternal-separation and social isolation experiments on Rhesus monkeys.
- The concept of gangster planets may be a reference to the Star Trek episode "A Piece of the Action".
- The Star Trek: Voyager episode "Alice" has similar themes. The ship Alice infatuates Tom Paris and tries to fly him into a spacial anomaly.
- While escaping from the Omicronians, Fry says "Shields at maximum yarnell." This is a reference to the mime team of Shields and Yarnell. Shields is credited with being the originator of "The Robot" dance moves.
- Bender crosses a diode in the chase sequence, meaning he supposedly can't go back across it. However the diode is actually pointing the wrong way. Pointing the way it does in the episode, he should have been blocked from crossing it in the first place.
- It's explained in the DVD commentary that the diode represents the wall that Bender runs into, not that he can't cross over it again.
- The sign on a diode shows the way a theoretical "electric current" made of positive particles would flow (from + to -). So if Bender is a "negative particle" in this circuit....
- The quantity of candy hearts are referred to as "trillions," then "20 billion," and finally "millions."
- Though these are likely referring separately to: the trillions of hearts in the Romaticorp warehouse, a delivery of 20 billion to the Omicronians, and whatever millions are left on the ship for other contracted deliveries or were undelivered due to the Omicronians becoming infuriated.
- In the first scene, the fuselage of the Planet Express ship is incorrectly colored gray.
- All of the ships colors are color-shifted due to the purple hue of the nebula it's flying through.
- When the Planet Express ship turns off the artificial gravity, Fry, Bender and Leela immediately float up into the ceiling, which would only happen if they were close enough to a large source of gravity such as a planet.
- Turning off the oxygen instantaneously makes Fry and Leela choke until they get their rebreathers. However, when the supply is turned off, there would still be plenty of oxygen left in the ship for them to easily breathe for several hours without even noticing the halt in oxygen.
- The hissing sound that can be heard when the Planet Express Ship "turns off the oxygen" might indicate that the entire air (or at least the oxygen) is actively removed from the room, rather than just the supply of fresh oxygen being shut down.
- When the Planet Express Ship comes to Fry's window, it is much smaller in proportion to Fry than in all other scenes in the show.
- During the close-up of Fry holding the candy heart that says "You're my man," his index finger is on the right side of the heart from the viewer's perspective. However, during the shot immediately afterward, his index finger is on the left side of the heart.
- When the ship is heading toward the quasar and turns off the artificial gravity, Leela is shown wearing her pajamas. However, in the immediate next scene she is shown wearing her uniform as they get in the shower.
- There are multiple inconsistencies when Leela pops the tops on the cans to shut down the ship's computer's brain. There are 2 rows of 6 cans, the first one opened is the upper right can. The second can opened is second from the right in the bottom row. The scene then cuts to Fry, but when we can see the cans again, only the upper right can is popped. Leela then pops the right-most can in the bottom row. After showing the ship chasing Bender, again only the right-most cans in each row are popped. Leela then pops the can second from the right in the top row (front from this angle). The scene then shift angles and shows 4 cans popped - the 3 from before the angle shift, and the second one she originally popped. Leela eventually pops all the cans - the leftmost ones are shown popped when she pops the last one. After focusing on the computer's HAL9000 eye the scene shows Leela, Fry, and the cans again, but there are 3 unpopped.
Farnsworth: Remember, we've got to show these people we're not bitter husks of human beings who long ago abandoned hope of finding love in this lifetime. Leela, you'll have to do some acting.
Zoidberg: Clothing, delicious clothing!
Bender: Call me old-fashioned, but I like a dump to be as memorable as it is devastating!
Leela: Look, Ship, if I learned anything from my mutual breakup with Sean that was totally mutual, it's that happiness can only come from within you.
Planet Express Ship: [crying] But Bender IS within me!
Planet Express Ship: I'm afraid I can't do that, Leela.
Lrrr: Eugh! These candies are chalky and unpleasant.
Ndnd: And what is this emotion you humans call "wuv?"
Lrrr: Surely it says "love?"
Ndnd: No, "wuv". With an Earth "W". Behold!
Lrrr: This concept of "wuv" confuses and infuriates us!!
Zoidberg: [voice-over] As the candy hearts poured into the fiery quasar, a wondrous thing happened, why not. They vaporized into a mystical love radiation that spread across the universe, destroying many, many planets, including two gangster planets and a cowboy world. But one planet was at exactly the right distance to see the romantic rays, but not be destroyed by them: Earth. So all over the world, couples stood together in joy. And me, Zoidberg! And no one could have been happier unless it would have also been Valentine's Day. What? It was? Hooray!
- Some items in Fry's and Bender's cabin refer to earlier episodes, among them are: a sword (probably nicked from Alcazar) leaning on the wall, a DOOP uniform on the ground, a model of the Titanic on a shelf, the helmet Fry wore in "When Aliens Attack", a Mars University pennant on the wall and a suitcase. The same gadgets are already there in "The Deep South", and some of them can be seen in other episodes as well, like the sword in "Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch". The pink cloth on the hilt of the sword looks suspiciously like Gender Bender's tutu from "Raging Bender".
- Bender sings "Daisy Bell" in this episode. The song was previously referenced as the title of another episode.
- Debut: Omicronian castle