Review: Futurama – The Prisoner of Benda

In what I can only describe as the most random episode of the season, The Professor and Amy perfect their mind switching machine. Upon realizing that they want to be in each others body, they switch. But when they discover that it’s impossible to switch back, all hell break loose. Bender, wanting to steal the Robo Emperor’s crown, decides to switch bodies with The Professor, who is currently in Amy’s body. And The Professor decides to run away with Bender’s body. But Amy hates The Professor’s body so she decided to switch with Leela, which then prompts Fry to switch with Zoidberg to prove to Leela that he isn’t only attracted to her body… and that’s only the first half of this week’s Futurama.

What worked: Three words, what the f**k? I couldn’t stop laughing at the sheer randomness of this episode. Body switching, theft, greed, redemption, I slowly lost track of who was who, and what was what. But it was hysterical. Watching Fry and Leela make out and do the dirty deed in Zoidberg and The Professor’s bodies was both creepy and extremely creative. There’s a lot of ground you can cover with a plot like this, and the writers really pulled it off with grace in this episode.

But it didn’t stop there. We even get some character development from Scruffy. Turns out he’s got the hots for Wash Bucket. And when Wash Bucket finds her way into Amy’s body, she decides to make a move on Scruffy (quick note, everyone retains their own voice regardless of what body their in). But Scruffy knows their relationship could never last, so he lets her go. Poor Scruffy, but holy crap dude. I don’t even know what to make of that.

This episode also had some great comedic action. Most notably in the chain sword fight between The Professor (currently in Bender’s body) and the Robo Emperor’s guard. I enjoyed The Professor’s level of commitment to the use of Bender’s body and I felt his utilization of another being was the best one.

Oh, and I’m always a fan of episodes that feature the genius Globetrotters.

What didn’t: I think it would’ve been a cool creative choice to have everyone use the voice of whatever body they’re in, but I understand the writers needing to retain some level of identification.

Final thoughts: Pure and simple, I have never understood less of what was going on in a single episode of Futurama. And I couldn’t have loved it more.

Episode: “The Prisoner of Benda” (Season 6, Episode 10)

Airs: Comedy Central, Thursdays, 10pm

What’s next: After a bungles Earth invasion, alien leader Lrrr faces a midlife crisis.

To listen to the latest episode of Merrill’s TV Podcast, The Idiot Boxers with Kevin Carr, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.

From a young age, TV guru Merrill Barr has been obsessed with the small screen. And one day he decided to put that obsession to good use.

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