6.18 Silence Of The Clamps
After last week’s corker of an episode, I wasn’t expecting another top notch story so soon, but lo and behold, season six throws up another absolute peach for us to enjoy in Silence Of The Clamps.
As you may have deduced from its title, the latest instalment of the science fiction animation features the return of that lovable rogue, Clamps! Or Francis X Clampazzo, to give him his proper name. And with Clamps comes Donbot, and various other members of the Robot Mafia.
The Planet Express crew start off by delivering a set of new clamps for Francis at the wedding of the Donbot’s daughter. Cue Bender’s desire to crash it. And also cue his trademark robosity in lines like, “I don’t want to hit on anyone I already had sex with,” and “Badda Boing!” But it’s his lascivious behaviour which leads him to witness the clamping of Calculon (also making a welcome return and treating us to a song).
After the proceeding, not to mention hilarious court case, Bender finds himself on the run and having to change his identity, leaving Planet Express for life elsewhere. Clamps is out to get Bender, though, and takes his old job, becoming firm friends with Fry and the gang with his “magnificent squeezers”. The Clash’s Clampdown is used to brilliant effect in a top Futurama bonding montage.
Zoidberg, however, is not happy, as it turns out Clamps also snips, and that’s always been his job! The lobster takes this up with Clamps in one of the funniest scenes involving the use of the swear bleep I’ve ever seen. Laughs and snorts ahoy!
The gang manage to track Bender down on the moon (with yet another returnee, The Crushinator), but he’s now a “hillbilly moron” called Billy West (also the name of the actor who plays Fry and other characters), complete with straw hat, dungarees and broken teeth.
I won’t spoil the end for you, but it does feature another amazing swear bleep moment when Planet Express’s resident lobster proudly states his name is “Zoidberg, John ****** Zoidberg!” An utterly, utterly brilliant Futurama moment that will have you howling with laughter and going back to watch it again and again.
Silence Of The Clamps has the feel of a genuine Futurama classic, with a fantastically tight plot, a tremendously satisfying conclusion (with a hilarious twist!) and gag after gag after gag. It’s competing with the very best of the show’s oeuvre and neatly demonstrates that Futurama has a whole barrel load of adventures and laughs still to give.
Read our review of episode 17, Law And Oracle, here.