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|Season 7 episode|
Broadcast season 9 episode
|Written by||Patric M. Verrone|
|Directed by||Dwayne Carey-Hill|
|Title caption||Made from 100% recycled pixels|
|First air date||27 June, 2012|
|Title reference||"Decision 2012", a media nickname for the 2012 U.S. presidential election|
|Opening cartoon||The Family Album (1930)|
"Decision 3012" is the one hundred and seventeenth episode of Futurama, the third of the seventh production season and the third of the ninth broadcast season. It aired on 27 June, 2012, on Comedy Central. Leela becomes a campaign manager for a presidential candidate whose birth certificate is missing.
Act I: "I'm going to get involved in the political process and make my voice heard!"
Richard Nixon's head runs for a third term as president of Earth. The crew, with the exception of Leela, are set on voting for Nixon, especially Bender, who has been swayed by the free beer given by Nixon to citizens for his campaign. They point out that they would rather stick to a candidate they have already experienced rather than face the possibilities of a new candidate. Leela decides to become a campaign manager for one of Nixon's opponents, Senator Chris Travers, whose good-hearted views are disliked by the general public. She helps him reinvigorate Travers' faltering campaign by making promotional stops to help him socialize with the people. Travers is eventually named a nominee against Nixon. The crew decide to help Leela in Travers' campaign, with the exception of Bender, who collaborates with Nixon in helping sabotage Travers' campaign.
Act II: "We voters demand you release your Earth certificate!"
At Travers' presidential headquarters, Bender attempts to find some incriminating info about Travers, but only succeeds in finding positive information about him. When he reads out Travers' middle name, "Zaxxar", Nixon points out how the name sounds like that of an alien and how voters hate aliens. Despite the fact that Travers is a human, Bender and Nixon decide to spread a rumor that Travers is an alien. At one of Travers' campaign stops, Bender questions whether Travers was actually born on Earth and demands his "Earth certificate". Leela plans to release the certificate to prove he was born on Earth, but Travers dismisses the rumors as distractions from the real issues and tells Leela not to look for the certificate. Nonetheless, Leela, Bender and Fry travel to Our Lady of Patriotism Hospital in Kenya, where Travers claims he was born, to find the certificate. They find a file labelled "Travers", but fails to find an Earth certificate. Travers then arrives at the scene. Leela examines the file more, and finds that Travers' mother was admitted to the hospital that morning. Travers then reveals that while he was in fact born on Earth, he will only be born tomorrow, for he is actually from the future.
Act III: "It really doesn't matter who you vote for!"
Travers explains that he was sent back from the year 3028 to prevent Nixon from getting elected. He goes on to explain the series of events that follows after Nixon's election. Nixon's promise to build an alien-proof fence around the solar system eliminated cheap alien labor from Earth. Without the aliens to perform these jobs, the economy collapsed. Starvation and civil unrest became widespread around Earth. Nixon then eliminated working-class humans, turning them into a food product named Soylent Majority. With the working class gone, robots were forced to do all of Earth's labor, and they eventually rose into revolt, led by Bender. The last remnants of humanity hid underground and sent Travers back in time to oppose Nixon and prevent him from getting elected. As he has not yet been born, he has no certificate. Leela then comes up with the plan of broadcasting his birth on live television. His mother eventually gives birth and his certificate is printed. The election results are announced, and Travers is declared the winner. When Amy asks Bender why he is not upset over Nixon's loss, he replies that he does not really care. Travers starts to fade away as Bender points out that since Nixon never won the election, the robot uprising never occured and Travers was never sent back in time to begin with. All mentions of Travers are erased as he disappears, and Morbo announces that Nixon has won the election. Back at the Planet Express headquarters, the crew realize that it does not really matter who one votes for. Leela points out that they at least tried to make a difference, but forgets Travers' name. Hermes points out that they never even left the building. At the end, Nixon says that he always wins.
According to the commentary, the episode was written in April 2011.
In 2012, two revelations concerning the episode were made. On 29 February, CGEF revealed the episode's title, its writer to be Patric M. Verrone and its director to be Dwayne Carey-Hill. On 25 April, MSN TV revealed the episode's plot and air date.
In May, Countdown to Futurama released five items of promotional material for the episode: concept art of Bender dressed as Napoleon on 13 May, concept art of Senator Chris Travers on 14 May, a video clip featuring Morbo as the host of a political debate and suggesting that the presidential candidate mentioned in the MSN TV plot was Travers on 15 May, a promotional picture featuring a Robot army consisting of Bender dressed as Napoleon, Destructor, four Killbots and several other machines on 16 May and part of the storyboard showing both Bender break into a cave full of Humans and the portion of the video clip where Morbo addresses Travers for the last time and the announcement of the second Futurama podcast - which confirmed that the presidential candidate mentioned in the MSN TV plot was Travers - on 17 May. A preview of the episode aired on 20 June during the credits of the episode "A Farewell to Arms".
The episode was watched by 1.452 million viewers.
- This is the first episode in which the opening sequence continues directly into the episode itself.
- This marks the first time the full opening sequence was used in season seven.
- Various sections of the episode borrow from La Jetée, a 1962 sci-fi featurette that deals with elements of time travel and mankind's demise.
- The episode's title is a reference to "Decision 2012", a media nickname for the 2012 U.S. presidential election.
- The music that begins Nixon's speech is "The Stars and Stripes Forever" by John Phillip Sousa, considered to be the official march of the United States of America.
- Chris Travers is a reference to U.S. president Barack Obama - in that he is a Harvard educated senator and former community organizer from Hawaii, raised by his grandparents, with a middle name that sounds 'foreign', and there are conspiracy theories about his Earth certificate.
- Also, Travers is born in Kenya, which is where many 'birthers' claim Obama is really from.
- The female candidate - who says "We have a saying up in Alaska..." - is likely a reference to former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin.
- One of the candidates says, "Enviro-mite!", a clear parody of Jimmie Walker's character J.J. Evans from Good Times, whose catchphrase was "Dy-no-mite!".
- The music heard during the news montage of Travers is a parody of Louis Prima's composition "Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)" as made famous by Benny Goodman and His Orchestra.
- Scoop Chang now works for Fox "News". This is a reference to the infamous conservative bias and high amount of editorial and opinion-based shows that exist on said network.
- Hedonismbot's role as "Big Throat" is an obvious parody of Mark Felt's role as "Deep Throat".
- The fence constructed by Nixon along the southern border of Earth is a reference to the controversial Mexico – United States barrier. The Earth border fence mimics the barricade constructed in the Star Trek episode "The Tholian Web".
- The Dyson Fence is a reference to a Dyson Sphere, a hypothetical structure that completely encompasses a star and hence captures most or all of its power output.
- The product Soylent Majority is a reference to both soylent products, and to Richard Nixon's famous 1969 political phrase "silent majority".
- The human race being taken over by robots in the future and being forced to live underground to survive is a direct reference to the Terminator movies.
- And sending somebody back to the past from the future using time travel to attempt to alter history.
Nations at the convention
There are several nations which were represented at Travers' nominating convention, including:
- References the Kardashian family
- New New York
- Old Zealand
- References the setting of The Hunger Games
- References the sunken alien city in H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos
- References the setting of the 2011 video game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Tri-State Area
- References the setting of the 1995 science fiction film Waterworld
- Bender has previously worn a Napoleon hat and briefly joked with the others that he believed he was Napoleon in the HAL Institute during "Insane in the Mainframe". He was also seen dressed up as Napoleon in a portrait in "Godfellas".
- Bender's sunglasses were last seen in Bender's Big Score.
- Bender was also using the same rifle he was using in Bender's Big Score.
- Travers traveled back in time to 3012 thanks to the Machine language time code, thought destroyed in Bender's Big Score, but is revealed to have survived on a photocopy of Fry's rear end. He was erased from time shortly after his infant duplicate was born. This is because in Bender's Big Score none of the paradoxes stopped themselves from getting the time code in the first place, however, Travers erased the point in time where he used it, therefore he never did at all.
- This slightly conflicts with a point made in Bender's Big Score that the code itself is paradox-correcting. Based on the logic in "Decision 3012", a number of events stemming from Bender's numerous thefts in the past (including the construction of several golden Death Stars and subsequently, the final battle of the movie) would have never happened due to the final Bender inviting the others to stay underground rather than present their treasure to the scamming aliens.
- A presidential election was last featured in "A Head in the Polls".
- Ironically, Bender and Nixon were enemies in "A Head in the Polls", but now they've joined forces in this episode. An allusion to this reversal is seen early on in this episode where Bender shows off reelect Nixon bumperstickers he used to repair his ass, while at the end of "A Head in the Polls", Bender struggles to get the elect Nixon bumperstickers off of his ass.
- A sign at the convention says Atlanta, which was shown to be both under the ocean and its own nation in "The Deep South".
- The state of eHIO was previously mentioned in "Bendin' in the Wind".
- The fact that Bender was a convicted felon so he couldn't vote was previously mentioned in "A Head in the Polls".
- The time code Chris Travers used to go back to 3012 was the same "paradox correcting" time code we were introduced to in Bender's Big Score. Yet, a paradox occurred and erased Travers even though the time code used is supposed to be a special time code that prevents this from happening.
- If Chris Travers never came to the past (3012), Nixon wouldn't have been running unopposed. Instead, Mr. Greenland, the first runner-up, would've gone against Nixon in the election.
- Maybe Mr. Greenland dropped out in that timeline thereby Nixon was unopposed. If this happened, the next candidate would've then taken over, but maybe that candidate was forced to drop out as well because of Nixon's underhanded tactics.
- If Travers hadn't been born yet, and as such named, then why did he have a file in the hospital?
- Adult Travers may have put that there, as he did anticipate the crew going there.
- This is unlikely, as he didn't want anyone to find out about him.
- Travers is his last name, the file Leela finds is only label "Travers". It's possible it's his mother's file as she was admitted to the hospital that morning.
- Adult Travers may have put that there, as he did anticipate the crew going there.
- This episode contains a paradox, if Chris Travers had caused himself to cease to exist, then his future would occur, then he would exist, and then he would go back, and then cause himself to cease to exist and so on, so there would be no actual solution.
- Travers used a paradox correcting time code, so there technically couldn't be a paradox, although there were also possible paradoxes in Bender's Game.
- Technically, it's a "Paradox Correcting Time Code". The correction in this instance was Travers disappearing, instead of a time duplicate being killed (Travers never disrupted the flow of time besides his election).
- There's also the possibility that Travers created an alternate timeline. Since the main issue was Nixon's Earth border fence starting the events leading to Travers's future, when the time sphere corrected the paradox it also altered the timeline so Travers would never have travelled to the past, thus preventing the causality loop.
- Bender's Reelect Nixon ass stickers disappear after they are first shown.
- In the montage of the future, one of the aliens shown disappearing as a result of the Dyson fence is a Neptunian, however the fence is said to surround the solar system, so presumably migration from Neptune would be unimpeded.
- Perhaps he was not a native Neptunian and still forced to leave.
- When Leela, Bender and Fry travel to Kenya, the hospital appears to be in the middle of a jungle. However in "Mars University" Farnsworth hints that jungles no longer exist on Earth, exclaiming "Jungles? On Earth? Ha!".
- When Travers talks about the future, he says that he escaped just as the robots arrived. However, he could not have known what occurred after he left.
- He could have been anticipating the robots' arrival to take place at the moment that he escaped.
- If the Earth Constitution is identical to the United States Constitution (except for substituting "Earth" for "United States"), and since Travers was born just before the election, he would legally be less than a year old, and therefore ineligible to run as a candidate in the election, as the Constitution has a minimum age requirement of thirty-five. Furthermore, Travers should never have even gotten any votes, or won (before the paradox occurred and erased him) on Election Day, as he would have been disqualified for not meeting the age requirement.
- Nixon is running for a sixth term, as the banner he is standing under mentions he will be elected for 4 more years. However, in "A Head In the Polls" a reporter mentioned that the Earth Consitution still limits presidents to 2 terms.
- He is most likely using the same loophole he originally used to become Earth President, wherein no "body" can be elected more than twice.
Chris Travers: Look, let's be honest here. No one likes taxes. But they pay for our basic needs. Roads, schools, defence. If we hope to realise our aspirations as a great planet, we must each pay our fair share to achieve those noble goals.
[Cut to: The audience. They all lean forward and boo, except for Leela, who stands up and claps slowly. They quiet down, leaving Leela left standing and clapping alone. She makes an angry face and sits down, crossing her arms.]
Morbo: Thank you, Senator. A thoughtful and lucid answer. [angrily] You will be destroyed!
Bender: All right, I'm low on bullets. Everyone scooch together.
Richard Nixon's head: I promise to cut taxes for the rich and use the poor as a cheap source of teeth for aquarium gravel!
[The audience applauds.]
Fry: That'll show those poor!
Leela: You're not rich.
Fry: But someday I might be rich, and people like me better watch their step!
Bender: Is that you Big Throat?
Hedonismbot: In the flesh.
Bender: Listen I need some dirt on Senator Chris Travers.
Hedonismbot: How quaint, but I suppose I should do my part for political intercourse. Come closer, and I'll expose what I know.
[Bender walks up to him, and leans down to his mouth.]
Hedonismbot: There's nothing. He's as clean as a freshly waxed buttock.
Bender: Hey did you put your tongue in my ear?
Hedonismbot: Certainly not, I don't have a tongue.
Bender: Oh good, cause I don't have an ear.
Leela: This is crazy! You're from the future?
Travers: Yes. I was sent back from the year 3028 to prevent Nixon from getting elected.
Fry: I was sent forward from the year 2000, but you don't hear me gassing on about it.
Leela: But, why would it be so important to stop Nixon?
Travers: Because of the horrific events he's going to set in motion. [Travers begins to cry.] Oh God... I can't bring myself to describe it.
Fry: Oh well, wanna hear about how I got frozen?
Travers: [He wipes his nose.] Not really.
Bender: Wait, I know a robot named B.B. Rodriguez. Wait, I am a robot named B.B. Rodriguez!
Bender: You want my opinion, Nixon's only chance to defeat Travers is with filthy lies, dirty tricks and good old Quaker thuggery! [The scene zooms out, revealing that Bender is with Nixon in the Oval Office.] And I'm just the guy for the job! [Bender and Nixon laugh evilly.]
Bender and Nixon's Head: AROOOOO!
- Mrs. Astor
- Debut: Backwoods septic tank
- Censored couple (woman only)
- Scoop Chang
- Debut: Chris Travers
- Debut: Chris Travers' mother
- Professor Farnsworth
- Gearshift (cameo, unknown moment)
- Headless clone of Agnew
- Hydroponic farmer
- Debut: Mr. Greenland
- Mayor Poopenmeyer
- Michelle (cameo, unknown moment)
- Richard Nixon's head
- Nixon's campaign manager
- Queen of Yonkers
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg's head
- Judge Whitey
- Australia (mentioned in speech only)
- ^ Episode Guide: 7 ACV. (CGEF.) 29 February 2012. Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
- ^ "Just Fan" (29 February 2012). "Futurama: Futurama News (pre-season 7)". (PEEL.) Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
- ^ Futurama - Episode Guide. (MSN TV.) Retrieved on 26 April 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (13 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Bender as Napoleon Sketch. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 13 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (14 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Senator Chris Travers. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 14 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (15 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Crowded Field of Candidates Clip. (Comedy Centrl [sic].) Retrieved on 15 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (16 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Robot Army. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 16 May 2012.
- ^ Matt Tobey (17 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Scooch Together and You Will Be Destroyed Storyboard. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 17 May 2012.
- ^ a b Comedy Central (15 May 2012). iTunes - Podcasts - Futurama: Countdown to Futurama by Comedy Central (Week 2). (iTunes Store.) Retrieved on 22 May 2012.