The Simpsons see the future
By Kevin Mercado
Senior Staff Writer
Nov 18, 2014
“The Simpsons” crossed paths with the future in their most recent crossover episode.
Show creator Matt Groening brought together two of his shows, “The Simpsons” and “Futurama,” the latter recently being cancelled in 2013 after a seven season run.
Show runner Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly, “They were going off the air, so I thought people would really love it if we had one more chance to see those characters.”
The episode opened with Principal Skinner starting a time capsule project for Bart’s class, intended to be open in 1,000 years. Bart, forgetting about the project, puts in a sandwich that he blows his nose into. Mayor Quimby lowers the capsule into a dug-up hole filled with green ooze.
Marge and Homer hear a belch in the basement, prompting Homer and Bart to go investigate. After setting up Bart as bait in a trap, the two find a shadowy figure drinking Homer’s Duff Beer, revealing it to be Bender from the future.
Homer and Bender hit it off and become best friends. Bart even noticed how similar they look, by just erasing Homers hair, adding an antenna, and changing his mouth.
Lisa still does not believe that Bender is from the future so she enlists the help of Professor Frink. Bender admitted that he had forgotten why he was sent to the past. After Frink unplugged and replugged Bender’s mission protocol, it was revealed that Bender was sent to Springfield to kill Homer.
Rabbit-like creatures that mutated from Bart’s sandwich and a rabbit-foot that was placed in the capsule were terrorizing New New York (New York of the 31st century) in the future. Leela, Fry, and Professor Farnsworth head to the past when they find out that Bender did not complete the mission. Leela attempts to shoot Homer, but fails when Bender bends her ray gun. Farnsworth reveals that the only way to destroy the creatures is to kill the family member from which the creatures mutated.
When Marge and Leela meet, they have a humorous interaction when they have inner thoughts not to mention each other’s hair and eye, respectively. Marge said, “eye…am so pleased to meet you” and Leela responded, “Nice to be hair.”
Lisa suggested digging up the capsule in order to prevent the creatures from mutating. However, the creatures, evolving from bunny-like creatures to lizard-like creatures, destroyed the time-travel portal visible from a hologram from Bender’s rear. This caused the Simpsons and the Planet Express crew to go to the future.
The gang agreed to shoot the creatures into space. The lizard-like creatures resembling Bart all crowd in Madison Cube Garden because they think there are Butterfinger bars and run away from Lisa’s saxophone playing. The Planet Express ship lifts the cube and hurled it into space. Reconstruction begins on New New York, now called New New New York. The Simpsons make it back to their time with Bender staying in the basement and waiting there until it is his time again.
Homer then goes down to basement and gives Bender another can of Duff beer to which Bender replies, “Thanks, pal.”
This crossover makes the second crossover for The Simpsons in the fall television schedule, also crossing over with Family Guy.
“That was a really tough one to negotiate, because I had to talk to myself,” show creator Matt Groening to Entertainment Weekly.
This crossover was cohesive mainly because the art style is complimentary of each other, being that the same artists work on both shows. The characters’ interactions with each other were not merely a comparison of the different lives, though they come from different periods. The characters recognize that they come from the same universe.
While the two worlds, or time periods, came together easier, the show did not have an excitement factor. It used the same redundant time travel plot that many other shows have used. It lacked originality in its plot line, even though the characters had a fresh feel to them.
It is also nice to see Groening bring back Futurama for an episode to remind television viewers that these characters were fun to watch and to bring them back from cancellations to see them one last time.
In the end, the episode could have done better, but it was adequate to watch.