Futurama season 11’s penultimate episode is an out-of-continuity anthology wrapped in a made-up story shell. “The Prince and the Product” was written by Ari Kaplan and Eric Kaplan and directed by Corey Barnes.
In the Planet Express building conference room, Philip J. Fry (Billy West), Turanga Leela (Katey Sagal), Amy Wong (Lauren Tom), John Zoidberg (West), Hubert Farnsworth (West), and Bender Bender Rodriguez (John DiMaggio) are seated around the table. They are answered by an ornately decorated crate presented to them by Hermes Conrad (Phil LaMarr). Hermes explains they have a delivery to the King of Space. Fry is eager to get recognized for his groveling.
Soon the Planet Express ship approaches the King’s floating castle grounds. A trio of elves out front are crushed by the ship’s forward landing gear. Inside the King’s royal chambers, Bender declares the castle a “swanky dump.” Fry kisses the King’s feet. The King is suitably impressed by Fry’s groveling. The crate is revealed to contain a framed macaroni portrait of the late Queen of Space.
Fry has a difficult time assisting Leela in hanging the portrait. Then the Prince of Space appears and, in Fry’s words, makes Fry “look like a wimp.” Leela and the Prince lock eyes and romantic music plays. An oblivious Fry leaves the pair alone. While Fry attempts to explain the PlanEx loyalty program to the King, the Prince and Leela spend time alone together. Leela announces she and the Prince have fallen in love and are getting married. Fry collapses.
The story is interrupted by an advertisement for the wind-up toy “Windos.” Outside the PlanEx building, A Windo cat and dog run by. Inside, Windo Farnsworth announces they’re delivering sushi to Mrs. MacDougal. Farnsworth lifts a cloche and reveals three Windo sushi pieces. They scurry off the table and out the door. Windo Bender declares this another job well done while smoking his Windo cigar.
Windo Fry enters and announces he’s a little run-down. So Windo Leela suggests he see a doctor. In Windo Zoidberg’s office, Zoidberg determines that Fry’s main spring is nearly run down. Farnsworth determines it must have been running during the millennium Fry spent cryogenically frozen (at “Eternal Springs Cryonics”). Even the freezer tube is a Windo.
Having “eated,” “prayed” and “loved,” Fry says he feels he lived a full life. But Bender says he can’t give up so easily. Bender escorts Fry to the Windo Temple of Robotology. Inside, the Windo Preacherbot (LaMarr) says religion can calm the terror of mortality. Preacherbot says, “After you wind down, you rise up, you spread your wings and fly around heaven forever as an angel.” But when Bender asks if they can do loop-de-loops, Preacherbot admits heaven’s not an actual place (like Robot Hell). It’s a metaphor. Bender asks if “metaphor” isn’t “a fancy word for ‘steaming load’?” Preacherbot says he wouldn’t call it “fancy.”
At the PlanEx building, Bender laments Preacherbot’s failure. Windo Amy says some say there’s a guru high in the mountains. This is sufficient for Bender. Soon the Windo PlanEx crew is traversing the frozen mountains. Fry says escaping from a Windo yeti used most of his remaining tower. Then Fry collapses and says maybe they’ll meet again (“in a better metaphor”).
Bender refuses to let Fry die. He declares that he’s administering spring-to-spring resuscitation. He jams his winder in a crack in the stone wall and holds Fry’s winder. This causes him to rotate and wind Fry back up. But while this successfully resuscitated Fry, it causes Bender’s spring to wind down. Bender collapses and rolls down the mountain. On the way, he breaks into many pieces. The pieces all fall into a volcano and melt. “Now that’s dead,” declares Farnsworth.
Fry is distraught at Bender’s death. Hermes says the lesson is that life is meaningless. Fry says he needs answers and will continue on to the guru, however long the journey. He immediately runs into the Windo Robot Fortune Teller (Tress MacNeille). Fry finds a Windo quarter and inserts it. RFT tells Fry to take solace, for Bender’s spirit is eternal and will be reincarnated in other bodies. Panning down through rock that includes a Windo treasure chest and a Windo triceratops fossil, we see a cavern where molten metal is being poured into molds. One forms into a propeller.
Fry says reincarnation sounds like another “big steaming load.” RFT says, “Load? Perhaps. Steaming? Perhaps not.” That’s when a Windo plane version of Bender appears. He says he’s back and doing loop-de-loops. Fry says the soul may really be eternal. Bender says, “Bite my enlightened metal ass, mortality. I’m 40% aerodynamic.” Hermes calculates that that’s not aerodynamic enough and the Bender plane collides with the side of a mountain. But since he’ll be something else in a minute, it’s fine.
Before returning us to the program, a narrator urges the viewer to collect all 293 Windos.
In the castle, the King forbids the Prince from marrying a commoner. Fry says they should head home. But he reconsiders when he sees Leela crying. Fry says the late Queen would be ashamed that the King is standing in the way of true love. The King challenges Fry to a duel. If he wins, the wedding is on. The King accepts and says if Fry loses he’ll be decapitated.
Another advertisement interrupts the show, this time for the “Round Wheels, the only toy car with wheels (wheels sold separately).” Round Wheels versions of the cat and dog roll by outside the PlanEx building. Inside, Round Wheels Farnsworth addresses the Round Wheels PlanEx crew. He says they’re delivering a replacement track to Saturn. But since only six can fit in the Shipmobile, Round Wheels Zoidberg will have to stay at home (again).
The Shipmobile travels to Saturn and Round Wheels Bender bends the track into place. To test the new track, the PlanEx crew rolls around the planet’s track ring. Meanwhile, a tearful Zoidberg watches from Earth.
In the PlanEx break room, Zoidberg addresses the rest of the crew. He asks why no one likes him. Round Wheels Hermes says, “You’re depressed, you’re depressing, and you talk when we’re trying to watch TV.” Meanwhile, Round Wheels Morbo (Maurice LaMarche) and Round Wheels Linda (MacNeille) report countless victims have died after watching a video circulating online. It’s a Round Wheels version of The Ring video, replete with phone call.
Go Go Round Wheels
After watching the clip, Amy gets a cell phone call. Over the protests of the rest of the crew, Amy answers the call (from “666-666-6666”). A voice (MacNeille) says Amy’s warranty has expired. “Press 1 now whether or not you want to renew.” Amy’s eyes/headlights turn to static. Later that night, Amy rolls up to the Warranties R Us building for a 3 A.M. appointment. But she’s chopped into pieces by the barrier gate.
In the Shipmobile’s cargo bay, Round Wheels Fry and Round Wheels Leela push boxes around. Leela asks Fry if he’s seen Amy since the video and phone call. Fry answers a cell phone call from the same 666 number, putting it on speaker. This causes both Fry and Leela to get static headlights and travel to the WRU building. They are both smashed by the barrier gate as well.
At the Round Wheels PlanEx conference table, Hermes tells Bender, Farnsworth, and Zoidberg something’s picking them off. Bender tells Hermes to stop frightening him while he’s on the phone. Soon he has static eyes and is departing. Farnsworth suggests racing after him to find the source of the call. However, Hermes orders Zoidberg to stay at home and answer the phones.
Farnsworth and Hermes follow Bender through several loop-de-loops. However, Farnsworth is destroyed en route. Bender arrives at WRU and is crushed by the barrier gate. Having witnessed this, Hermes drops it and limbos under the other arm. Inside, he discovers a chop shop. Zoidberg is revealed to be the villain. He’s taking pieces of the rest of the crew and incorporating them into himself. This allows him to be included, but it means everyone is trapped inside him. Zoidberg raises Hermes on a lift, smashing him against the ceiling.
Zoidberg takes Hermes’ hood and replaces his hood with it. But since this piece contains their mouths, Zoidberg is now on the floor and Hermes is in control of the amalgamated Round Wheels car. The PlanEx car runs over Zoidberg and leaves the chop shop. But outside, it crashes directly into a wall. Fortunately, Amy got the warranty. Soon the repaired PlanEx car is rolling around the Saturn ring track. The announcer brings us back to our program (Futurama).
At the castle, the duel between the King and Fry is about to begin. The competitors approach and mount their respective lamassus. Leela volunteers to fight in Fry’s place as his champion. The crowd gasps. This is permitted by the rules. Fry says he’s fighting for Leela. Leela points out Fry is really bad at fighting. Fry concedes.
Atop their lamassus, Leela and her competitor activate their laser lances. They charge toward each other and Leela impales her competitor. The King’s lamassus says, “The King smells dead. Long live the King.” Leela says she and the Prince can marry at last. But it is revealed that the Prince served as the champion for the King. Leela killed her “true love.”
An advertisement for Rubber Ducks interrupts the program. The theme song recommends Rubber Ducks over live ducks for bath time because the latter will pluck your child’s eyes out. Rubber Duck versions of the cat and dog swim past the floating PlanEx building. Inside the break room, Rubber Duck Fry says he thought they might fall off the edge of the water during the last delivery.
Rubber Duck Amy holds up a map and says that’s impossible. Rubber Duck Farnsworth claims he’s responsible for the map and says “whole sections were based on old legends and random hunches.” He proposes a voyage of scientific exploration. Soon they are following the floating PlanEx ship in a line. Farnsworth says they’ll find the edge if it exists. “And if not, an agonizing death with friends,” says Rubber Duck Zoidberg. As they float past, Rubber Duck Zapp Brannigan (West) and Rubber Duck Kif Kroker (LaMarche) salute them.
The PlanEx ship travels until they come upon land. There they spot another version of the PlanEx building. It opens to reveal egg toy versions of Bender, Leela, Hermes, and Scruffy the Janitor (David Herman). Rubber Duck Fry’s eyes pop out in heart shapes when he and Egg Leela spot each other. The ducks approach the eggs. “I don’t trust these land-wobblers,” Farnsworth states. He says they should just trade their guns for tobacco and leave.
Bender tells the ducks to go back to where they came from. Amy says never and tells Farnsworth to peck him until he falls down. But the eggs are surprisingly well-balanced. Leela intervenes and welcomes the strangers. Fry is very receptive. Leela asks them to take part in a Tur-ducky dinner.
Soon everyone (plus egg versions of Lrr, Hedonismbot, and MacDougal) is gathered around the table. Fry and Leela introduce each other to one another. They fall in love with one another and kiss. But Farnsworth protests that interspecies love is forbidden by their culture. Bender says their society believes a woman’s sexuality is her own decision. However, Bender personally disagrees with that view and is deeply offended. War is declared.
The Rubber Duck Nimbus arrives carrying Zapp, Kif, and a battalion of soldier ducks. Meanwhile, solider eggs emerge from the PlanEx building and move towards the beach. Scenes of rubber ducks versus eggs ensue. In the wake of the battle, broken toys litter the beach. An incapacitated Fry and Leela bid one another farewell as they die. But then the Leela egg hatches into a Rubber Duck Leela. Egg Fry emerges from beneath the late Rubber Duck Fry. Then Egg Fry and Rubber Duck Leela head off towards the sunset together. A narrator solicits Eggulons: “Collect all 11!”
The PlanEx ship leaves the King’s castle. On the bridge, Fry tells Leela he’s sorry she killed the love of her life. Leela says she wasn’t really in love with him, just under a spell. Fry asks if it was a magic spell. Farnsworth appears on a nearby screen and says, “No, a science spell.” Fry and Leela embrace.
But then it’s revealed they’re riding inside a Bender version of the PlanEx ship. He giggles as he does several loop-de-loops before colliding with Earth and exploding.
New episodes of Futurama are available for streaming Mondays on Hulu.
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