Lifetime of Simpsons

S26 E06 – Simpsorama

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Hey, does everyone remember how last week we talked about a truly terrible crossover between Family Guy and the Simpsons? That was a real low point for the show, creatively speaking, right? Well, apparently, they didn’t just want to have one weird crossover in Season 26, because we have a second one. Although, it’s a much better episode, primarily due to the fact that the Simpsons are crossing over with a much better show this time. That’s right, it’s time for a Simpsons / Futurama crossover, y’all! From 2014! You know, after it was cancelled for the second time? Striking while the iron is hot!

The episode begins with Principal Skinner talking to the students of the fourth-grade class, since they still haven’t figured out what to do about Marcia Wallace’s passing. He’s telling the kids that the city is going to be placing a time capsule in the Town Square, and the kids are all required to put something inside that represents their opinions of the present so that the people of the future will be able to appreciate this time.

The kids put in all sorts of things, like books and a lucky rabbit’s foot, while Bart decides to just blow his nose inside of a sandwich, and toss that it. But apparently, no one cared about a snot-sandwich being placed in, because the capsule is then lowered into the ground in Town Hall before having concrete poured all over it, sealing it up. Oh, and they also pour in some toxic waste to kill two birds with one time capsule.

The town then moves on, while a series of strange electrical storms start to wreck havoc on Springfield. The Simpsons are sitting in their house, watching Kent Brockman, when something heavy appears to crash into their backyard during the storm. But they all just ignore it, and that night go to sleep. While they’re all sleeping though, something breaks into their home, and begins rummaging around in the basement.

Homer wakes up to the sound, so he and Bart decide to go investigate the basement and see what’s going on. And, surprise, surprise, it’s Bender the robot! And Homer and Bart are not really shocked in the slightest that they’ve just met a sentient robot. Homer and Bender chat for a little bit, and Bender just straight up says that he’s from the future, and travelled through time to stop something. He just can’t remember what.

So, logically, Homer and Bender decide to go out to Moe’s and drink. And it turns out that Homer and Bender make for fast friends. They get drunk at Moe’s, and the guys even take Bender out to a bowling alley to hang out together. And, after partying, they head back to the Simpson’s house where Homer and Bender crash on the couch, passing out until the rest of the family wake up and find out what’s going on.

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Which is when someone finally decides that this whole thing is insane. Lisa decides that they need to figure out where Bender came from, and why, so she decides they need to go visit Professor Frink. Frink starts tinkering around with Bender, and finds that his purpose for travelling time is still intact, he just needs to be rebooted. And, sure enough, after being rebooted Bender remembers the reason he’s in the past. It’s to kill Homer Simpson.

Everyone’s obviously pretty shocked about this, including Bender. And, to explain why this is happening, Bender suddenly gets a message from the future where we see Leela, Fry, and the Professor explain. It turns out that the future of New New York is being ravaged by a race of weird mutant rabbits who seem unkillable and highly destructible. And, while examining the rabbits, they find that they have the same DNA as Homer.

But Bender isn’t willing to kill Homer now that they’re pals, so the Planet Express crew has no choice but to travel back in time as well. Fry, Leela, and the Professor travel through time, and decide that they don’t need to kill Homer. Professor Frink and Professor Farnsworth decide to start finding a non-lethal way to get rid of the rabbits, while Leela, Fry, Homer, and Bender all head back to the Simpson’s house to hang out I guess.

There’s some awkward introductions between Marge and the kids between the Planet Express crew, but none of it really matters, because almost immediately the smart people return with a revelation. It turns out the rabbits only have half of Homer’s DNA. And the other half is Marge’s. Which means that these rabbits actually come from one of their kids. And, as luck would have it, they then get another message from the future where they learn that the rabbits have pulled a Mogwai and have mutated into weird little Gremlin creatures that look exactly like Bart.

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But how did Bart begat a race of Gremlins in the future? Well, it turns out that the combination of Bart snot, nuclear waste, and a rabbits foot spent a thousand years mutating in that time capsule, until they finally burst forth to destroy New New York. Sure, let’s go with that. So the Simpsons and the Planet Express crew run to the Town Square, prepared to dig up that time capsule and save the future from the Bart monsters.

However, as they get there something goes wrong with the time machine in Bender’s casing, and it ends up sucking the Simpsons, Fry, Leela, and the Professor into the future, leaving Bender and Maggie trapped in the past. Bender and Maggie then head off to start gambling at a horse track, while everyone else has to deal with the Gremlin apocalypse in the future. Which does lead to Homer getting to snap a lot of little necks.

When they get back to Planet Express though they realize what happened. All the little Gremlins came and destroyed the time machine’s generator, so the Simpsons will now be trapped in the future until they can get the generator fixed. But the little Bart Gremlins won’t stop ripping up the generator, so they first need to find something to distract them with. Luckily, Lisa has some ideas on how to harass Bart’s.

She comes up with a plan where they fly around the town, herding all of the Gremlins to one place with promises of Butterfinger’s and threats of listening to Lisa’s saxophone. And this works wonderfully, so they’re able to round up all the Gremlins, put them into Madison Cube Garden, and then they just throw the Cube into the sun. Problem solved! They’re then able to repair the generator, get the time machine running, and send the Simpsons back to the past. Which just leaves the issue of Bender. Well, not really an issue, because Bender then just turns himself off, and the Simpsons toss him in their basement where he’ll presumably wait for 1,000 years.

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I had a lot of opinions about that Family Guy crossover. It was garbage. So, I wasn’t too excited to see that they were doing a second crossover episode in the same season. But, I love Futurama. In fact, my plan right now is that when this Simpsons project is all wrapped up to tackle it next. So, I was far more interested in seeing these characters interact. The only problem is the fact that this episode is just kind of fine. The Futurama characters who aren’t Bender don’t really get a chance to shine, and I think it’s kind of ridiculous that the Simpsons characters just instantly deal with the fact that they’ve met a time-traveling robot and a mutant cyclopes. But whatever, we just have to roll with it, it’s a crossover, it’s never going to make a whole lot of sense. Honestly, just having Bender travel back in time and interact with the Simpsons would probably have been a better idea, and kept it a little more simple, but that’s just griping. As it stands this is just kind of a fine and forgettable episode that doesn’t really show off the strong points of the Simpsons or Futurama. But, it’s a serious step up from the last crossover, so that’s all that matters I guess.

Take Away: Take time capsules deadly seriously.

 

“Simpsorama” was written by J Stewart Burns and directed by Bob Anderson, 2014.

 

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