Difference between revisions of "Ghost in the Machines"
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=== Continuity ===
=== Continuity ===
Revision as of 08:13, 1 July 2011
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|Season 6 episode|
Broadcast season 8 episode
|Ghost in the Machines|
|Written by||Patric M. Verrone|
|Directed by||Ray Claffey|
|Title caption||#1 most viewed show among viewbots|
|First air date||30 June, 2011|
|Title reference||The phrase "Ghost in the machine"|
|Special guest(s)||Dan Castellaneta|
"Ghost in the Machines" is the one hundredth and seventh episode of Futurama, the nineteenth of the sixth production season and the third of the eighth broadcast season. After Bender dies, his disembodied software begins haunting the Planet Express crew.
The Planet Express crew watches as the annual Parade Day parade passes by their headquarters. The Professor explains that during his youth, every ethnic and political group in New New York wanted their own parade, so a different parade was held every day (and "those were dark times"); eventually, all the parades were consolidated into a single holiday. However, a mishap causes the giant globe on the Earthican pride float to come loose and begin rolling toward a pair of spectators, one robot, and one human. Fry selflessly dives in front of the globe to push one of them out of the way, saving the human, but leaving the robot to be crushed.
Fry is praised for his act of heroism, but Bender is incensed with him for sacrificing a robot's life for the sake of a human's. When Fry admits that he values human life more highly than robot life, Bender is so outraged that he vows to kill himself, but the crew are unconcerned; Bender regularly claims he will kill himself, but the last time he visited a suicide booth (named Lynn), he ended up dating it for six months. Bender leaves in a huff, and heads for the nearest suicide booth... which turns out to be Lynn, who violently murders him in retaliation for dumping her. A DeadEx hearse drops Bender's corpse off at Planet Express headquarters, and the crew mourn his passing... only for Bender's ghost to emerge from his body and emit a sinister laugh.
The crew hold a wake for the deceased Bender and begin to divide his body parts up amongst themselves, and although Bender's spirit makes wisecracks about the unfortunate robot (not realizing it is his own corpse), no one responds to his jokes. Confused, Bender wanders outside, wondering aloud why no one can see or hear him... only to learn that the Robot Devil, who is sitting nearby, can. The two travel to Robot Hell, where the Robot Devil explains that because Bender killed himself, he is now "in Limbo"; his software was uploaded to the computational cloud, where his program is now running on the collective wireless network shared by all machinery, and Bender, stuck in an infinite loop, can never leave it. Bender grumbles how his predicament is Fry's fault, prompting an angry response from the Robot Devil, who still wants revenge on Fry for stealing his hands. The Robot Devil offers Bender a deal: if Bender uses his ghostly powers to scare Fry to death, the Robot Devil will return him to his old body; if he fails, however, then he will be condemned to Robot Hell.
Bender sets out trying to frighten Fry, only to discover that his task is more difficult than he first thought; as a ghost, he is immaterial, and cannot interact with physical objects. However, he discovers that he can manipulate electronic equipment by "possessing" it. Bender wages a campaign of technological terror against Fry, attacking him with every appliance in his apartment and the Planet Express building. Seeking aid, the crew call in the Gypsy, who is able to sense the presence of a robot ghost, but cannot identify it as Bender; Bender possesses her, causing her head to explode. Following that, the crew summon the Reverend Preacherbot in order to perform a robotic exorcism. The Reverend provides Fry with a "sacramental firewall" that expunges all "ghostware" within 20 feet. As long as Fry keeps it with him at all times, he will be safe.
While Fry sleeps that night, Bender is able to overpower the firewall and take possession of it, using it to project a nightmarish image of Fry's face melting off his skull. This causes Fry to suffer a heart attack, and he falls to the floor, apparently dead.
Bender returns to the Robot Devil to claim his body, but the Robot Devil says that according to Fry's Wikipedia page, he survived his heart attack and is still alive. At the hospital, Dr. Cahill informs Fry that his heart was severely damaged, and he must avoid further shocks; because he is being haunted by a robot ghost, the only solution is for him to move to the Amish planet, where all electronic devices are prohibited. As Bender takes possession of Fry's heart monitor, preparing to terrorize him further, Fry laments how much he misses Bender (much to Bender's surprise). Fry's experience with the unidentified spirit has led him to develop a newfound respect for robotic life. Touched by the sentiment, Bender is unable to kill Fry, and accompanies him on his journey to the Amish planet aboard a wooden spaceship.
Fry lives a simple, rustic existence on the Amish planet, working as a carpenter and farmer. Bender accompanies him the entire time, but because there are no machines on the planet, he is unable to communicate his presence to Fry. One day, the rest of the Planet Express crew come to visit Fry, while Bender watches from a distance. The Robot Devil appears, disguised in the clothing of one "Granny Hester", and instructs Bender to kill Fry and satisfy the terms of their agreement; when Bender refuses, the Robot Devil claims that Bender has no choice, as he is fated to kill Fry. Bender inadvertently spooks the oxen pulling Fry's cart, causing the barn atop it (which is shaped like a geodesic dome) to topple to the ground and begin rolling toward Fry and the other crew members. Bender shouts out a warning to Fry, but cannot be heard; the Robot Devil mocks him, saying there are no machines on the planet he can possess to save Fry. Bender counters that there is one machine, and promptly possesses the Robot Devil. Using the Robot Devil's body, Bender pushes Fry out of the path of the rolling barn, only to be crushed beneath it. Fry, confused at being saved by the Robot Devil speaking in Bender's voice, expresses a desire to return home to Earth.
The spirits of both Bender and the Robot Devil descend into Robot Hell, with the Robot Devil explaining that because Fry lived, Bender violated their contract, and will spend an eternity in Robot Hell as a disembodied ghost (while the Robot Devil simply uploads himself into a new, identical body). Just as the Robot Devil begins to torment Bender with a song, Bender is unexpectedly pulled upward, and ascends to Robot Heaven, where "Robot God" explains that because of his act of self-sacrifice to save Fry, Bender is now welcome there. Bender, however, is not pleased; he takes possession of Robot God, demanding to be returned to Earth, and is swiftly kicked out of Robot Heaven. At Planet Express, Bender's body quickly reassembles itself, allowing his spirit to occupy it. The crew, and especially Fry, are overjoyed to have Bender back... but when Fry asks whether or not it was Bender who was haunting him, Bender's eyes becomes shifty, and he does not answer.
During May 2011, Countdown to Futurama released five items of promotional material for the episode: a promotional picture featuring the Robot Devil on 15 May, concept art of an Earthican pride float depicting Zapp Brannigan and the Nimbus on 16 May, a promotional picture featuring the Planet Express crew mourning for Bender as his ghost watches from above on 17 May, part of the storyboard showing Mayor Poopenmeyer give Fry the keys to the city on 18 May, and a promotional picture featuring Fry and Bender's ghost sleeping in their apartment on 19 May.
On 15 June, David X. Cohen revealed that Dan Castellaneta would be reprising his role as the Robot Devil. On 28 June, two days prior to the release of the episode, Comedy Central released a two-minute clip featuring Bender's death. On 29 June, the day before the airing, Bongo Comics released a picture of the Robot Devil in an outfit.
Before airing, several items released had the episode title "Ghosts in the Machines" (example), but most sources seem to use "Ghost in the Machines".
A promotional picture released by Bongo Comics.
- The title is a parody of the phrase "Ghost in the machine".
- The name and logo of DeadEx is an obvious reference to FedEx, a courier company. This was previously referenced in "Future Stock", when Planet Express changed name to PlanEx and with it adopted the same logo.
- Zapp Brannigan holding up the Earth as the Earthican pride float is a reference to Atlas of Greek mythology, who according to the mythology supported the heavens in such a way.
- The Robot Devil is reading a magazine entitled "Life in Hell", a reference to Matt Groening's comic strip.
- When the Robot Devil is about to start sing, he has a wall with a boat called "S. S. Anything Goes", a reference to the musical.
- Bender asks the Robot Devil if he's "a g-g-g-ghost?!" This is a reference to grown-ups' reaction to seeing Casper the Friendly Ghost in the cartoon series of the same name.
- When the Robot Devil mentions an infinite loop, he blows out the sign for infinity (∞) in smoke.
- When Fry is calling for help to "bust his ghost", Hermes asks "who you gonna call?", and Fry begins to reply "Gho-" before he is interrupted. This is a reference to the movie Ghostbusters, and line "Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!"
- The scene in which Preacherbot is coming to help drive out Bender, is a reference to the movie The Exorcist. The scene when he stands outside the Planet Express headquarters is identical to one in the movie, and the same movie is played.
- When Bender comes to tell the Robot Devil of having killed Fry, the Robot Devil is playing Patience on his computer.
- The Robot Devil looks up Fry on Wikipedia.
- Fry travels to the Amish Homeworld, a planet populated by Amish people.
- Suicide booths have previously appeared in multiple episodes, first in the pilot. This is, however, the first time a suicide booth is seen to have feelings and being capable of decision-making.
- The concept of robots turning into ghosts was previously seen in "The Honking".
- The Robot Devil originally appeared in "Hell Is Other Robots", and has appeared in several episodes since.
Bender: I thought you were in Oregon.
Lynn: My mom tried to commit suicide in me. I don't wanna talk about it.
- Dr. Ben Beeler
- Dr. Ben Beeler's wife
- Dr. Cahill
- Debut: Drugman (mention)
- Professor Farnsworth
- Debut: Granny Hester (mention)
- Debut: Lynn
- Debut: Lynn's mother (mention)
- Mayor Poopenmeyer
- Mrs. Poopenmeyer (mention)
- Robot Devil
- Debut: Robot God
- Unnamed fat guy
Alien Language Sightings
Location: Hypnotoad poster
- ^ Futurama - Episode Guide - MSN TV
- ^ Countdown to Futurama: Ghost Bender
- ^ a b "Well, Dan Castellaneta returns as the Robot Devil for an episode where Bender dies but his software keeps haunting the Planet Express, and he has to make a deal with the devil." — Cohen, David X.
Cohen, David X. (16 June 2018). Cohen Spills the Beans on Futurama's New Season. Retrieved on 16 June 2011.