The Cryonic Woman
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|Season 2 episode|
Broadcast season 3 episode
|The Cryonic Woman|
|Written by||J. Stewart Burns|
|Directed by||Mark Ervin|
|Title caption||Not a Substitute for Human Interaction|
|First air date||3 December, 2000|
|Title reference||The TV show The Bionic Woman|
|Opening cartoon||"Up to Mars" (1930)|
|Special guest(s)||Pauly Shore|
"The Cryonic Woman" is the thirty-second episode of Futurama, the nineteenth and last of the second production season and the third of the third broadcast season. It aired on 3 December, 2000, on Fox. It guest-stars Pauly Shore as himself, Nora Dunn as Butch's mom and Sarah Silverman as Michelle. Fry meets his former girlfriend, Michelle, at Applied Cryogenics. Michelle decides they should flee together to the year 4000, but they mistakenly end up in Los Angeles.
 The Story
 Act I: "I’d like to reapply for my old job."
Leela leaves the keys in the Planet Express Ship but it is attached by the unbreakable diamond tether and Fry and Bender take off in it, taking the Planet Express building with them. They fly over the world and return with the building badly damaged. The Professor fires Fry, Bender and Leela (because she left the keys in the ship). Leela has kept their old career chips and they insert them into their palms. At the cryonics lab Leela finds out that she put in the delivery boy chip in her palm and the cryonic counselor in Fry’s palm. Bender also gets a job there, as he has got the severed arm of the prime minister of Norway. Fry and Bender enjoy their new job by tricking people into thinking evil creatures like giant flys, gorillas and robots have taken over. Fry also prank call Leela and unfreeze Pauly Shore. The next person they try to trick turns out to by Fry’s ex girlfriend Michelle and they fall in love.
 Act II: "So you froze yourself to come look for me?"
Michelle tells her story of how she got married, divorced and then froze herself. Michelle has trouble fitting in with giant roaches, art tattooed on fat people and other weird things in the 31st century. Things get worse when she meets the rest of the Planet Express crew. Michelle tells Fry that she doesn’t fit in and that the only way out is to freeze themselves again for another 1000 years and that nothing matters but their love. This convinces Fry and they go in the tube, only to find that the year 4000 is a wasteland.
 Act III: "Could we please join your society?"
Fry and Michelle argue and Michelle demands that Fry builds a shelter and the best he can do is a hole which doesn’t satisfy Michelle. The next morning they are woken up by some kids with guns. They are taken to the place they live ruled by a boy named Butch. Michelle wants power and makes Fry challenge Butch's leadership. Fry wins this challenge, but then Butch's mom arrives and tells all the kids to come to Hebrew class. Fry and Michelle argue again and Fry leaves Michelle. He travels through the wasteland and spots something ahead. He finds himself in LA and the Planet Express ship lands. They explain that Fry was only frozen for 2 days, that he was in Pauly Shore’s tube and the people responsible for delivering it to his movie screening chucked it in a ditch when they found out it wasn’t him. Michelle is now dating Pauly Shore. Fry asks for his job back but is ejected out of a trap door in the ship after Bender reminds the professor why he fired him.
 Additional Info
- "Weird Al" Yankovic is also seen in one of the cryo-tubes.
- Michelle "first" meets Bender during the events of Bender's Big Score, though it is possible this is not the case until late 3007, or that back in 2000 she thought it was a cheesy new years costume or was simply too drunk to remember that night. Otherwise her not recognizing and screaming because of Bender may be a continuity error of Bender's Big Score. However, it is possible she screamed because she recognized him.
- Before the deathrolling match, the chief's girlfriend counts up to 3 in Hebrew.
- Names found in the Walk of Fame:
- Fry's first consultee explains that he froze himself so that he could meet Shakespeare, figuring that time was cyclical. Fry tells him it is not so. Later in the series, in "The Late Philip J. Fry", it turns out that time is in fact cyclical.
- Despite the defrostee Fry met being correct about the nature of time, his plan was still flawed. He cryogenically froze himself, hypothesising that time cyclical nature would make it possible for him to meet Shakespeare. However the man would have been unable to meet Shakespeare through cryogenics, because the cryogenics lab wouldn't have survived the destruction of Earth like the time machine does. Also, the end of the universe would have occurred somewhere around 10^38 years after the destruction of the planet. Even if the cryogenic tube had miraculously survived Earth’s destruction, the metal in the chamber would have broken down long before the universe would start over. Further, even if the chamber had somehow endured to see the universe restart, the defrostee would need to wait another 13.7 billion years to reach Shakespeare’s time.
- After the 2011 Norway attacks, some syndicated versions of the episode replaced the "Prime Minister of Norway" screen with "Chainsaw Juggler" on the part where Bender scans the severed human arm to see what the career chip on his hand says.
Hermes: Have you lost all self respect?
Fry: All what?
Michelle: Oh, look! Some little kids.
Fry: They'll save us. [The kids point guns at them.] We're saved!
Bender: You were only frozen for two days. Uh, by the way, I broke your bed.
Butch: I'm Butch, leader of this place. I took your hole and you can't do nothing about it.
Fry: So you're saying these aren't the decaying ruins of New York in the year 4000?
Farnsworth: You wish! You're in Los Angeles!
Fry: But there was this gang of 10-year-olds with guns.
Leela: Exactly. You're in L.A.
Fry: But everyone is driving around in cars shooting at each other.
Bender: That's L.A. for you.
Fry: But the air is green and there's no sign of civilization whatsoever.
Bender: He just won't stop with the social commentary.
Fry: And the people are all phony. No one reads. Everything has cilantro on it.
- Fry has, understandably, forgotten about the use of career chips. These were last mentioned in the pilot.
- In this episode, Fry tells Michelle that his parents kept him out of school because it was a waste of taxpayer money (which is also why they didn't bother to get the cops to search for him when he went missing), but "The Series Has Landed," "Anthology of Interest II," and "Fry and the Slurm Factory" implied that he at least did a year of high school before he left ("The Series Has Landed" revealed that he got bad grades in school, which is why he gave up his dream of being an astronaut, "Anthology of Interest II" revealed that Fry spent his freshman year of high school playing video games [except for that one day where his eyeballs started to bleed], and "Fry and the Slurm Factory" revealed that he drank 100 cans of cola a week in high school until he had three heart attacks).
- Fry and Michelle think they awoke in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic wasteland. A very similar theme appears within the plot for "The Late Philip J. Fry".
- Los Angeles is depicted as a decaying society in this episode, but in "That's Lobstertainment," L.A. is clean and futuristic (unless this was the outskirts of the city, away from the bright lights and celebrities).
- After the ship destroys part of the Great Wall of China, some Mongol raiders enter China through the gap.
- The gallery of tattoo art is probably a reference to Roald Dahl's story 'Skin', part of the Tales of The Unexpected series.
- The children Fry and Michelle meet might be a reference to the New Zealand TV show "The Tribe" or "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome".
- The poster Ipgee takes out a of a monkey wearing a tie and the slogan "I Hate Mondays", is reference to Garfield that he doesn't like Mondays.
- When Fry is wishing to be back in the year 3000, he mentions brains flying through space, these have yet to be encountered. Then again, no one has been seen eating lasers either, so he may just be talking about a TV show, which got something correct. He could also mean the Spheroids from "War Is the H-Word", a previous episode.
- The bandanna wraps around a pole with Fry and Butch on either end, when the dust clears the pole is missing.
- Throughout the episode, there are times when Michelle is wearing pants, then is wearing a skirt in the next scene. This also happens vice versa.
- When Bender begs for money, Leela tells him "for God's sake Bender, we're not veterans", but, in actuality they are after the events in "War Is the H-Word".
- The career chip Leela gave Fry said Cryogenic Counsellor, when her old title was actually Fate Assignment Officer.
- When Leela mentions that she left the keys in the spaceship, she's wearing her jacket. In the very next scene, she's flying through the air after the Planet Express Ship rips up the Planet Express headquarters, and she's wearing only her tank top.
- The cars driven in Los Angeles are not hover cars, but cars using wheels. This is strange because by the 31st Century, the wheel has become obsolete.
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa, which was destroyed at Monument Beach reappears back in Italy (and is subsequently destroyed again).
- When Fry gets milk from the cryogenic tube of the elderly man who suffered a heart attack because of Bender, the man complains about seeing "flies and gorillas" despite the fact that he was already frozen when Bender put the gorilla mask on.
- It's likely Bender unfroze him again off-screen while wearing the gorilla mask.
- At the start of the Deathroll, Fry and Butch pass a sign marked "Highway On Ramp." In California, such signs state "Freeway Entrance."
 Episode Credits
- Voice Actors
- DVD Commentary
- Special Guest