Season 2 Episode 20

Anthology of Interest I

Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM May 21, 2000 on Comedy Central

Episode Fan Reviews (18)

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  • Another one of my favorite episodes from this brilliant season.

    Professor Farnsworth invites the employees of Planet Express to see his new invention: the Fing-longer. As he tries it out, it activates the What-If machine, a device that allows the user to view a simulation of a hypothetical scenario after the user asks it a 'what-if' question. The Professor then invites the crew to try out the What-If machine.

    [edit] Terror at 500 Feet
    Bender asks the What-If machine what would happen if he were 500 feet tall. The simulation begins with the giant Bender being built by hundreds of regular-sized bending units. He reaches Earth, crashes onto Central Park and meets with a recently unfrozen Fry, becoming good friends with him. There is a montage of the things they do to MMMbop, by Hanson. Giant Bender destroys nearly all of Central Park (Including squashing Hanson, mid-concert.) and the military is sent to deal with him.

    The military is unable to damage Bender, but when they shoot Fry, he is electrocuted. Bender wreaks havoc upon New New York. Especially because he is friends with Fry, their havoc seems even worse when playing games. To combat Bender, the Professor uses his enlarging-ray on Zoidberg, only to see him wreak havoc as well, interrupted by Bender who isn't pleased with Zoidberg destroying "his" city. The two fight and Bender finally appears to win by pushing Zoidberg into a stadium of boiling water.

    While Bender laughs in triumph, he is distracted by Fry. An enraged Zoidberg rises out of the water and snaps off Bender's feet, causing his impalement on the Empire State Building. A tearful Fry admonishes the citizens of New New York City about the tragedy of Bender, whose final words lament his inability to fulfill his dream: the killing of all humans. Bender dies, and the scenario ends.

    [edit] Dial L for Leela
    The Professor asks Leela to try out the What-If machine. She asks what would happen if she were a little more impulsive.

    Leela shows off her new boots bought on impulse, the only difference being a green stripe down the side. The Professor summons Leela to tell her that she will be his sole heir as she is so unimpulsive. He then proceeds to lean over a pit containing his man-eating anteaters while commenting on how very rich Leela will be as soon as he dies-the slightly more impulsive Leela gives in to her impulses and kicks him into the pit, where the anteaters eat him. As Hermes discovers her role in the death in a video will, she is forced to silence him by stuffing his body down a drain in pieces. When Bender deduces that she is the murderer, he proceeds to extort (Bender prefers "extort" to "blackmail", believing the x makes it sound cooler) money from her in return for his silence. Leela reacts by killing Bender with microwave rays (from the kitchen microwave) and turning his body into a go-cart. Horrified by how her murderous impulses are getting the better of her, Leela decides that whenever she wants to kill someone, she'll chew a piece of gum to distract herself. Amy insults Leela when she rides the go-cart. Leela asks Amy for a piece of gum. Amy has none, so Leela kills her and stuffs the body into a grandfather clock.

    Zoidberg summons the rest of the crew in order to solve the murders. While Zoidberg obliviously reveals clues, Cubert, Scruffy and Nibbler attempt to implicate Leela, only to be slain by her whenever she turns off the lights. Zoidberg discovers Amy's body in the clock with her hand clutching a lock of purple hair. He then finds a letter from the deceased Bender, which finally reveals to him the identity of the killer. Just as he is about to reveal it to Fry (the only other living crew member), Fry declares Zoidberg "boring" and leaves the room. Leela kills (and eats) Zoidberg. When Fry finally figures out the next day that she was responsible for the murders, Leela is forced to do something really impulsive: sleep with him to keep him quiet. Fry declares that he likes the new, impulsive Leela. She then ominously asks Fry to turn off the lights. Fry does so and promptly begins screaming-and then says that he really likes her.

    [edit] The Un-Freeze of a Lifetime
    After being told that Bender's scenario would not be done again, Fry asks what would happen if he had not been frozen.

    Fry narrowly misses falling into the cryogenic tube, and a rift in the space-time continuum appears, which shows the Planet Express crew in the future. The next day, after talking to Mr. Panucci, he comes to the attention of Stephen Hawking who arranges for Fry to be abducted. He is introduced to the "Vice Presidential Action Rangers", led by Al Gore, whose task is to protect the space-time continuum.

    Fry explains what happened the previous night at the cryogenic facility and the Vice Presidential Action Rangers determine that Fry was supposed to die and try to kill him. Another rift appears during the attempted murder and Nichelle Nichols suggests that Fry be frozen and Gary Gygax gives Fry his +1 mace for protection against drunken robots in the future. Just before Fry is frozen, he smashes the cryogenic tube, causing the universe to collapse into a space-time rift. This results in Fry and the Vice Presidential Action Rangers appearing in some other indeterminate dimension which is not part of the universe. The scenario ends with them playing Dungeons and Dragons for the next quadrillion years.

    [edit] Conclusion
    After the end of Fry's scenario, the Professor curses the What-If machine for simulating scenarios even he found preposterous and dumps it into the trash can. He then judges the Fing-Longer to be a rousing success and is congratulated by the crew. It is then shown that everything before was just a simulation by the What-If machine when the professor asked what would have happened if he had invented the Fing-Longer, leaving him to lament about the possibilities if he had invented it.