The Thief of Baghead

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Season 7 episode
Broadcast season 9 episode
The Thief of Baghead
Countdown to Futurama 2012 (video 4).png
Leela, Farnsworth, Fry, Amy, Hermes and Zoidberg waiting for Bender to take a photograph of them.
No.118
Production number7ACV04
Written byDan Vebber
Directed byEdmund Fong
Title captionIf this show's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin'
First air date4 July, 2012
Broadcast numberS09E04
Title referenceThe film The Thief of Bagdad and the film Baghead
Additional
Commentary
(Transcript)
Transcript
Storyboard

Pictures

Season 7
  1. The Bots and the Bees
  2. A Farewell to Arms
  3. Decision 3012
  4. The Thief of Baghead
  5. Zapp Dingbat
  6. The Butterjunk Effect
  7. The Six Million Dollar Mon
  8. Fun on a Bun
  9. Free Will Hunting
  10. Near-Death Wish
  11. 31st Century Fox
  12. Viva Mars Vegas
  13. Naturama
  14. Forty Percent Leadbelly
  15. 2-D Blacktop
  16. T.: The Terrestrial
  17. Fry and Leela's Big Fling
  18. The Inhuman Torch
  19. Saturday Morning Fun Pit
  20. Calculon 2.0
  21. Assie Come Home
  22. Leela and the Genestalk
  23. Game of Tones
  24. Murder on the Planet Express
  25. Stench and Stenchibility
  26. Meanwhile
← Season 6

"The Thief of Baghead" is the one hundred and eighteenth episode of Futurama, the fourth of the seventh production season and the fourth of the ninth broadcast season. It aired on 4 July, 2012, on Comedy Central. Bender wants to take a photo of an actor whose face has never been seen so he joins the paparazzi.

Plot[edit]

Act I: "Picture time! Everybody get together!"[edit]

After watching an episode of All My Circuits, Amy suggests that the crew take a trip to the aquarium. While there, Bender shows his liking for photography, and mentions that he is the last photographer on Earth to use film. After discovering Calculon is at the aquarium, Bender follows him around and harasses him by taking photos of him, to the point where Calculon leaves out of frustration. Back at Planet Express headquarters, Bender shows off his photos to Leela and Zoidberg, but is disappointed with the ones of Calculon. However, Zoidberg is impressed with them, and suggests that Bender go to Hollywood and take them to the offices of Us People magazine. Bender does so, and the managing editor of the magazine, Larvae Levin, is pleased enough with the photos that he offers Bender a job as a paparazzo.

Act II: "I'd like to introduce you to Bender, the newest member of our paparazzo family."[edit]

Bender is successful at getting many front page images for the magazine. Later, Zoidberg shows him a documentary about the greatest actor in the universe, Langdon Cobb, a man who believes he should be admired for his acting and not for his looks, and therefore always wears a brown paper bag on his head. The documentary states that no one has ever taken a photo of Cobb's true appearance, which inspires Bender to take one.

While breaking into Cobb's compound, Bender is chased by an unusual mushroom dog, but escapes it and manages to take a picture of Cobb by hiding in his fireplace. Cobb begs Bender to never show the image to anyone, and Bender agrees. However, he immediately takes the picture to Fry; when Fry sees it, a green light bursts from his eyes and mouth and his body is reduced to a shell. Curious, Bender shows the image to Amy and Hermes, too, and finds that it has the same effect. He realises that the image of Langdon has this effect on all living creatures. The Professor recognizes the symptoms and identifies the cause; Langdon Cobb is an alien from Bryoria 6, an organism with two bodies linked by quantum entanglement; the actor is the Id of the creature, and the unusual fungus animal that chased Bender is the ego, which feeds off of attention. Any living creature that looks on the Id's face will have its life force sucked out to feed the ego. In order to rescue their friends, they must weaken Cobb's ego so that they can attack it and free the victims' life forces. Zoidberg suggests that they could do this by taking advantage of an upcoming acting competition between Cobb and Calculon; if they can ensure that Calculon wins, Cobb should be weakened. Leela and Bender present their plan to Calculon while Zoidberg and the Professor break into Cobb's compound to be ready to attack the ego when it weakens. Calculon agrees to their plan out of a desire to outshine Cobb, and performs the final death scene of Romeo and Juliet; to ensure a strong performance, he decides to drink real poison and die on stage.

Act III: "There's a humongous fungus among us!"[edit]

Calculon delivers a moving performance and goes through with his plan to drink the poison. However, Cobb is still declared the winner of the competition, and his ego only becomes stronger. It attacks the theatre where the competition is taking place. Bender theorizes that if he shows Cobb the picture of himself, it will suck out his life force; to do so, he must manually develop the film in the dark room in his torso. While Bender takes his time to develop the photo perfectly, Cobb explains to the others that, rather than sucking out life forces as the other members of his species do, he has been sustaining himself by milking the admiration that the people of Earth have for actors. By the time Bender develops the photo properly, Leela, Zoidberg and the Professor have had their life forces sucked out as well. Unfortunately, Cobb cannot be hurt by the photo; however, his admiration of its quality inflates his ego to the point that it bursts, releasing the absorbed life forces of all of his victims and restoring them to full health.

Production[edit]

In 2012, two revelations concerning the episode were made. On 29 February, CGEF revealed the episode's title, its writer to be Dan Vebber and its director to be Edmund Fong.[1][2] On 2 May, MSN TV revealed the episode's plot and air date.[3]

In May, Countdown to Futurama began releasing promotional material for the episode. It has so far released eleven items: A design of a new character, the Mushroom Ego, and part of the storyboard showing the Mushroom Ego chase Bender on 18 May,[4] a promotional picture showing Fry, Hermes and Amy husks and a character design of Fry and Amy zombies on 19 May,[5] a design of another new character, Langdon Cobb,[6] and part of the storyboard showing an excerpt of an All My Circuits episode on 21 May,[7] a video clip featuring Bender making Zoidberg, Hermes, Amy, Fry, Leela and Farnsworth angry as he attempts to take a photograph of them[8] and the third Futurama podcast[9] - which confirmed that a storyline involving Calculon competing in the World Acting Championship that was revealed at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con[10] was from the episode - on 22 May, a character design of Zoidberg and Farnsworth dressed as burglars on 23 May,[11] a promotional picture showing Bender dressed as a tourist on 24 May[12] and the fourth Futurama podcast - which revealed that the reason why Zoidberg and Farnsworth get dressed as burglars is that they break into Langdon Cobb's estate to find some dirt on him - on 29 May.[9]

Additional information[edit]

Trivia[edit]

Allusions[edit]

  • The episode's title is a reference to the film The Thief of Bagdad.
  • The Monsterey Bay Aquarium's name is a play on the name of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
  • Fry and Amy's zombie appearances when seen through one of Bender's lens are a reference to the aliens in the 1988 science fiction-horror film They Live, in which special glasses revealed aliens in human disguises.
  • Larvae Levin is a parody of reporter and producer Harvey Levin, founder of gossip website TMZ.
  • Selena Go-Bot is a parody of American actress and singer Selena Gomez.
    • Could also be a reference to the Go-Bots, a line of transforming robot toys produced by Tonka much like the Transformers. They even had their own cartoon.
  • Parts Hilton is a parody of celebutard Paris Hilton.
  • Langdon Cobb could also be a reference to the actor "The Unknown comic" A.K.A. " Murray Langston" who in the past was known to wear a paper bag on his head and never take it off, even during interviews and when he went out in public. He also liked to wear fancy suits.
  • Us People magazine is an amalgamation of Us Weekly and People Magazine.
  • Leela mispronounces William Shakespeare's first name as "Will.i.am Shakespeare", a reference to American hip-hop musician will.i.am. The name could refer to a robot character.
  • The "id" and the "ego" are two parts of the psyche according to Freud.
  • After Langdon Cobb tells his butler, LeRoy, that he wants to relax with his bag off and that LeRoy should leave, LeRoy responds by saying "By your command." This is a reference to the Cylon catchphrase from the television series Battlestar Galactica. A robot butler would be safe from his power.
    • He still doesn't want anyone to know he's from Bryoria 6.
    • The butler looks extremely human. If he is a robot, he is the most human-like seen in Futurama.
  • Zoidberg says to Farnsworth "Faster, Professor! Kill! Kill!", a reference to the 1965 film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
  • In Bagheart Langdon Cobb yells "For Rigel 7 and all Mankind!" Rigel 7 is the planet that Kang and Kodos, two recurring aliens in Halloween episodes of The Simpsons, stem from.
  • The Professor says that Langdon Cobb's ego is "going totally Kanye", a reference to singer Kanye West, who features in Beyoncé's song "Ego".

Continuity[edit]

Goofs[edit]

  • The Professor repeatedly is annoyed when the crew says "soul" instead of life force, however in "Obsoletely Fabulous" it was shown that they have soul detectors in the future, suggesting the soul have been scientifically proven to exist.
    • That may be why the Professor is annoyed, because these are not souls, but rather life forces.
  • Langdon Cobb's house had a fifty foot force field around it, so his ego shouldn't have been able to get out and to the concert hall.
    • The ego had swollen to a size were it could have easily jumped over or broke through the force field.
  • If Bender's camera is simply a non futuristic film camera, then the heat of the fire he hid in to take Langdon Cobb's photo should have caused the camera to melt or the film to burn.
    • Just because the camera shoots in film doesn't mean it's non-futuristic, it could have been built in the future to use an obsolete medium for novelty. It certainly looks futuristic. Therefore the camera could have been fireproof.
  • The Professor explains that looking upon a Quantum Lichen drains any living things life force. This shouldn't mean that their bodies are reduced to skin, as their bones, fat blood, and organs would remain.
    • A life force may include the living matter it inhabits. Only the dead cells (hair and the topmost layer of skin) remained after the life forces were removed.
  • If a robot drunk battery acid, it would corrode their insides.
    • Robots drink alcohol, it has been shown before if Bender stops drinking he starts corroding around the mouth. Therefore a robot's insides might be lubricated with alcohol, so drinking battery acid might not corrode the robot's insides.
  • The Professor and Zoidberg wear black stealth gear when breaking into Cobb's mansion to get to his ego, yet when the ego attacks the theater not too long after with the two in its grasp, they are in their regular outfits.

Quotes[edit]

    Calculon: [as All My Circuits counterpart] It seems someone in this room... is a murderer! ...It's me. But the real question is, which of you is the victim? And that secret I shall take to my grave!
    [He stabs himself with a sword.]

    Hermes: Film? Who uses film? We've had digital cameras for a thousand years!
    Bender: Digital?!? [Bender turns his head to his right, spits and turns his head back.] No digital camera can capture the warmth and grain o' good, ol' film.
    Farnsworth: How can you even tell?!? Your eyes are digital cameras.

    Leela: [to Calculon] Now, your only chance is a classic death scene, one with a lot of thy's and thou's.
    Bender: Voíla! The tragic end of "Rome-o and Julie-t."
    Leela: That's Romeo and Juliet, dummy...by will.i.am Shakespeare.

    Fry: What happened? Did you save us Leela?
    Leela: Actually no, for once it was Bender.
    Fry: Really? Well thanks for whatever you did Bender.
    Bender: It was a lot, and you'll never be able to pay me back.

    Zoidberg: [as Pookie starts to grow] There's a humongous fungus among us!

Characters[edit]

(In alphabetic order)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Episode Guide: 7 ACV. (CGEF.) 29 February 2012. Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
  2. ^ "Just Fan" (29 February 2012). "Futurama: Futurama News (pre-season 7)". (PEEL.) Retrieved on 29 February 2012.
  3. ^ Futurama - Episode Guide. (MSN TV.) Retrieved on 02 May 2012.
  4. ^ Matt Tobey (18 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Mushroom Dog. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 18 May 2012.
  5. ^ Matt Tobey (19 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Husks and Zombies. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 19 May 2012.
  6. ^ Matt Tobey (21 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Langdon Cobb. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 21 May 2012.
  7. ^ Matt Tobey (21 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: All My Circuits Storyboard. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 21 May 2012.
  8. ^ Matt Tobey (22 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Just Take the Damn Picture. (Comedy Centrl [sic].) Retrieved on 22 May 2012.
  9. ^ a b Comedy Central (22 May 2012). iTunes - Podcasts - Futurama: Countdown to Futurama by Comedy Central (Week 3). (iTunes Store.) Retrieved on 23 May 2012.
  10. ^ JavieR (27 July 2011). "San Diego Comic-Con 2011 Futurama panel sneak peeks + videos". The Futurama Point. Retrieved on 22 August 2011.
  11. ^ Matt Tobey (23 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Zoidberg and Farnsworth Burglars. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 23 May 2012.
  12. ^ Matt Tobey (24 May 2012). Countdown to Futurama: Tourist Bender. (Comedy Centrl.) Retrieved on 24 May 2012.