After a reenactment of the "Sith-al War", Bender touts his perfection, specifically citing his ability to download a back up copy of himself into a new working body should anything happen to his present one, effectively making him immortal. His irreverence for death annoys his fellow coworkers, but he informs them that the only human being whose opinion matters to him is that of "Inspector #5", the quality control inspector at Mom's Friendly Robot Company who assessed him right after he was built. Though he does not remember him, Bender lauds Inspector #5, believing his approved inspection to be the ultimate affirmation of his perfection. However, Bender soon discovers that he suffers from a terminal manufacturing defect: built without a back up unit, Bender cannot download a copy of himself into a new body, effectively making him mortal. Though he has as much as a billion years left to live, he is devastated by the revelation of his mortality and by Inspector #5, believing the inspector's careless error resulted in him being sent out into the world only to die. He becomes determined to find Inspector #5 and demand an answer to why he allowed Bender to exist despite his fatal flaw.
Leela explains that inspectors are bureaucrats and therefore part of the Central Bureaucracy and difficult to find. Despite Bender's offensive statements about bureaucrats, Hermes reluctantly agrees to help Bender in his quest to discover the identity of Inspector #5. In his absence, he assigns Leela to take over his duties, though she proves to be a poor fit at managing the company's bureaucratic needs. While at the Central Bureaucracy, Hermes logs into the computer system with his ID to look up Inspector #5's records. However, he and Bender find that the electronic record on Inspector #5 has been deleted and that the physical file is also suspiciously missing. Frustrated, Bender calls Mom's Friendly Robot Company technical support and angrily demands to know Inspector #5's identity. His call alerts Mom, who attempts to have Bender destroyed to cover up the existence of a defective robot, which would tarnish her company's image. The two flee from Mom's forces by train, and Hermes impresses Bender with his daring.
While on the run from Mom's Killbots, Bender and Hermes travel to Tijuana by train, where Bender was manufactured. Hermes' bureaucratic skill allows them to cross the border easily. The manufacturing plant is abandoned, but Bender finds an old directory listing the address of Inspector #5. However, upon reaching the home, they also find it abandoned. Realizing that he may never find the answers he seeks, Bender is forced to confront the reality of death, going through several stages of grief, and blaming Inspector #5's lack of quality control for his mortality. Hermes consoles him, telling him that now life is precious and he should not spend it bitter and angry. The two bond, and Bender resolves to "start living." Immediately, the Killbots arrive and begin firing into the house. Hermes forms a plan and tells Bender to flee while he attempts to hack into Inspector #5's old Central Bureaucracy computer and fake Bender's death. Hermes successfully uploads false information to the Killbots claiming Bender has been eliminated, which ends their pursuit and he narrowly escapes the burning wreckage of the house.
Back at Planet Express, the company is in disarray because of Leela's inability to keep up with Central Bureaucracy paperwork. Hermes quickly restores things to the way they were, burning some remaining documents. As the other characters leave to celebrate Bender's new affirmation of life, Hermes throws the missing file on Inspector #5 into the furnace, which reveals that he is Inspector #5: Flashbacks reveal that Hermes worked as an inspector at the Tijuana manufacturing plant; when a baby Bender came off the line, Hermes found the production defect, but faced with the choice to scrap the infant robot for his flaw, Hermes chose instead to certify Bender and give him a chance at life. Hermes resigned from the Friendly Robot Company shortly afterward and left his house in Tijuana, where it remained abandoned. During their visit to the Central Bureaucracy, Hermes covered his tracks by deleting his own records and stealing his own file while Bender was distracted; he did not have to hack into the computer at the house because it was his to begin with.