The Silence of the Clamps
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"The Silence of the Clamps" is the one hundred and second episode of Futurama, the fourteenth of the sixth production season and the fifth of the eighth broadcast season. It aired on 14 July, 2011, on Comedy Central. After testifying against the Robot Mafia, Bender goes into hiding in the witness relocation program.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Production
- 3 Reception
- 4 Additional Information
- 5 References
Act I: "I'm scared and great at sex!"
While making a delivery to the Donbot's mansion during a wedding, Bender sneaks onto the mansion grounds to take part in the festivities. He secretly makes out with the Donbot's daughter Bella when he witnesses the Robot Mafia viciously beating Calculon.
Act II: "Let's hire someone better!"
Being the only witness of the attack, but fearing repercussions from the Robot Mafia, Bender tries to disguise himself while testifying against the Donbot in open court. However, he is recognized by Bella, while Calculon is threatened by the Robot Mafia into testifying in favor of the Donbot's innocence.
Now targeted by the Robot Mafia for ratting out the Donbot and his affair with Bella, Bender is forced to go into witness relocation, leaving Planet Express to begin hiring for his replacement. Determined to hunt down Bender, the Donbot sends Robot Mafia member Clamps to apply for Planet Express under his real name, Francis, in order to befriend Fry and make him reveal Bender's location. However, he is unsuccessful and earns the resentment of Zoidberg, who fears that Clamps's masterful use of his clamp-like hands will overshadow the use of his own pincers, the only part of Zoidberg's job that makes him feel appreciated.
Act III: "Drop the robit."
The Planet Express crew makes a delivery to the moon where they find a robot they believe to be Bender, who claims his name is Billy West and does not seem to remember any of them, his memory seemingly erased as part of the witness relocation program. This does not stop Clamps from attempting to kill "Billy," but he is stopped by Zoidberg, who uses his pincers to cut off his clamps. However, Bella arrives and shoots "Billy" to death, accusing him of cheating on her since he is married to the Crushinator. The crew returns to Earth to mourn Bender's apparent death at Family Bros. Pizza. There they find Bender working as a waiter, revealing himself to still be under witness protection there, and realize that Billy was a different, innocent robot. With the Robot Mafia believing Bender to be dead, Bender is freed from witness protection.
"The Silence of the Clamps" was originally titled "Bend on a Wire". Maurice LaMarche revealed in an update online that the episode would have a large focus on Clamps, indeed his great breakthrough episode. Eric Rogers said on his Twitter page that the episode would be directed by Frank Marino, not Ray Claffey. A video clip from the episode featuring Bender meeting Bella and witnessing the crime was hidden on Volume 5 as an Easter egg. "Neutopia" replaced the episode as the eighth broadcast season's first.
During May and June 2011, Countdown to Futurama released three items of promotional material for the episode: reused concept art of the Crushinator from "The Series Has Landed" (accompanied by two classic Crushinator clips) on 22 May, part of the storyboard showing the Donbot's trial on 23 May, and a video clip featuring Clamps arguing with Zoidberg on 17 June.
This episode was subject to censorship by itself.
In its original U.S. broadcast on 14 July, 2011, "The Silence of the Clamps" scored a 0.7 share among adults 18-49 and 1.406 million viewers, down about 150,000 viewers since "Law and Oracle", making it the second lowest rated episode of season 6 after "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular".
- It is the first time that Clamps' real name is used.
- While Clamps says "Snitch juice," the subtitles read "Hoffa Juice."
- This is first time that Space Pope has a larger role and talks in the series.
- David Herman does not voice any characters in this episode.
- The "F" word is spoken 6 times in the episode - being bleeped each time, because Futurama is not so loose with language.
- When the crew fly over the Moon, Luna Park is visible, which was first seen in "The Series Has Landed".
- The title is a reference to the novel (and the film) The Silence of the Lambs.
- The episode features uncommon, but censored, use of cursing. Given the subject matter, this could be a reference to gangster films such as Goodfellas and Casino, which became famous for their frequent use of "blue" language.
- The first act is based on the film The Godfather.
- Clamps's first name, Francis, is the same as that picture's director, Francis Ford Coppola.
- Bender said "Bada Boing" at the mob wedding, which is a parody of the well-known stereotypical Italian-American phrase, "Bada Boom Bada Bing" or "Bada Bing Bada Boom".
- The barn where Bender and Bella make out has the word "STABLES" on it, in the same font as the logo for office supply chain store Staples.
- Robot Stack is a reference to actor Robert Stack, who played the role of Prohibition agent Eliot Ness in the hit television series The Untouchables.
- Robert Stack also hosted the hit television series Unsolved Mysteries.
- The song which plays over the montage of Fry and Clamps' friendship is The Clash's 1979 hit "Clampdown".
- At one point, Fry accidentally breaks a pipe and a sign above it says, "Warning: Colonel Mustard Gas". This is a reference to Colonel Mustard, one of the characters from the board game Clue.
- When ordered to take care of Bender (who is actually Billy West) Clamps says that they're in space where no one can hear you clamp. The tagline of Alien is "In space no one can hear you scream."
- Zoidberg uses the line "I told you, I do the cutting", unleashing a duel. This could be a reference to the film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. In addition, the music that follows is very similar to the film's soundtrack. The music is then played at the end of the episode.
- The robot mistaken to be Bender was named Billy West, and Fry scoffs at that name. Fry, among other characters of Futurama, is played by voice actor Billy West.
- Leela says that Bender is committed to his new "Jethrovian identity". This is could be a reference to Jethro, a character on The Beverly Hillbillies.
- When Bender sees Fanny, she jogs his memory by mentioning they had an affair. They did indeed in Into the Wild Green Yonder. The Donbot also attempted to liquidate Bender as a result of his actions there too.
- Clamps' first delivery is to the Moon, just as it was for Bender, Fry, and Leela in "The Series Has Landed".
- In "Lethal Inspection", we learned that all bending units are equipped with a wireless back-up copy of them being updated everyday. Clearly, the character Billy West was also a bending unit (except he can't bend) so the Robot Mafia had never really killed Bender (really Billy West) meaning the real Bender could still be in danger.
- It may have been a warning, like Into the Wild Green Yonder.
- We can't tell Billy West was a bending unit just because he looked like one. There could be other purposes robots which share the same design.
- Before the battle scene between Clamps and Zoidberg, they both grab a bird. Zoidberg is drawn with teeth at the moment he grabs it.
- During the group shot after the Donbot shows up Clamps is drawn with his clamps still attached even though Zoidberg cut them off during the fight and Clamps is seen carrying them in the next scene.
- This episode shows that the EBI is in charge of investigations, but this contradicts other episodes showing that the FBI is still existing.
[Bender is seeing Clamps clamp Calculon.]
Bella: Yeah, Daddy hates welchers. The only thing he hates more is witnesses... [Bender looks horrified.] ...and guys who mess around with his daughters... [Bender looks even more horrified.] ...and attempt to duplicate his meatball recipe. [Bender opens his chest cabinet and takes out a pan of steaming hot meatballs and looks even more horrifed.]
Robot Stack: We're putting you in the Witness Relocation Program.
Bender: I gotta hide forever?
Robot Stack: No, until the Robot Mafia finds and kills you. They're very good at that.
Fry: I wish I could come with you.
Bender: Me too. I'll need a butler.
Clamps: Hey, scuttle on home. Dis ain't none of your business, slick.
Zoidberg: My name isn't Slick. It's Zoidberg. JOHN [bleep] '-ING ZOIDBERG!
Clamps: Looks like an all-you-can-kill lobsterfest!
Zoidberg: That offer was for a limited time only.
Donbot: Bender was a hell of a squealer. Maybe the best there ever was.
- The πkea Robot
- Debut: Bella
- Billionaire Bot
- Debut: Billy West
- Boxy Robot
- The Chain Smoker
- The Crushinator
- Debut: The Crushinator's offspring
- The Donbot
- Debut: The Donbot's eldest daughter
- Professor Farnsworth
- The hair Robot
- Hedonism Bot
- Humorbot 5.0
- The hydroponic farmer
- The Hyper-Chicken
- Joey Mousepad
- Debut: Judge 723
- Debut: Judge 724
- Debut: Judge 802
- The Masked Unit
- Mayor Poopenmeyer
- Debut: The multiheaded monster
- The Queen of Yonkers
- Reverend Preacherbot
- The Robot Devil
- Debut: Robot Stack
- Debut: Sheriff Burley
- The Space Pope
- The Spotty Teen Robot
- Debut: The yellow and red lawyer
- ^ 2012 WGA Awards TV, News, Radio, Promotional Writing, and Graphic Animation Nominees Announced. (WGA.org.) 07 December 2011. Retrieved on 07 December 2011.
- ^ a b "MightyBooshFan91" (10 February 2010). ""Hot Diggity Daffodil, Futurama's back!" (News thread) (No spoilers)" Page 5. (PEEL.) Retrieved on 10 February 2010.
- ^ Eric Rogers' Twitter
- ^ Seidman, Robert (15 July 2011). Thursday Cable Ratings: 'Burn Notice,' Rises, Defeats 'Swamp People' + 'Suits,' 'Wilfred,' 'Futurama,' 'Louie' & More. (TVbytheNumbers.com.) Retrieved on 15 July 2011.