Although there’s still an episode to go in the current season, the latest installment has the feel of a Futurama finale, with an epic scope and some relationship issues to be addressed.
Unsurprisingly, this episode was written before the sci-fi animation got recommissioned, and so was planned accordingly, with a very similar tone and ideas to the ‘first’ series finale, The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings. But I’ll come to this later.
Overclockwise concentrates on Bender (which makes it perfect already), who gets an illegal upgrade from Farnsworth’s ‘offspring’, Cubert – all just to win at a videogame (‘cos the shiny metal-assed one is no good at it). This modification alerts the authorities (well, Mom, as Bender has managed to beat her sons in said videogame), and due to this violation of the license agreement, Bender is hunted down.
There’s some fun, if somewhat familiar gags about license agreements and the notion of authorship: “I slightly modified the thing that I own. We’re monsters!” This leads to Bender becoming more powerful through his increased knowledge and god-like before the episode is over (again evoking another cracking episode, Godfellas, where Bender became the creator of a world whilst floating through the universe).
Countering this is the relationship between Fry and Leela (or Freela as no one refers to them as). Many fans have commented on its erratic nature recently, citing poor continuity on behalf of the show (as, technically, they should be together, according to previous episodes in this season). Personally, I don’t care. Give me a good story, and the show’s mythology could be rewritten and I wouldn’t bat an eyelid.
Clearly, the writers were aware of the situation between the two lovebirds, as Leela amusingly refers to their on-again-and-off-again relationship. The denouement is straight out of the aforementioned The Devil’s Hands Are Idle Playthings, where their future would seem to indicate a happy ending for the couple. Of course, I fully expect (nay, hope) that they’re not together in the next season (and possibly the next episode, I would wager).
Overclockwise is classic Futurama, with some great videogame gags, Matrix-style jellyfish killer-robots, the return of Mom in badass mode, loads of knowingly mocking self-reverence, and a whole heap of Bender action. Had it been a finale, it would have been suitably placed. As it is, it’s simply another great episode in this wonderfully entertaining season.
Read our review of episode 24, Cold Warriors, here.