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 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.
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 (changed to chainsaw juggler in the Netflix version following terrorist attacks in 2011). Fry and Bender enjoy their new job by tricking people into thinking evil creatures like giant flies, 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 reunite.
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. She and Fry rekindle their relationship. 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. She tries to make friends with people like Amy, only to discover she's Martian. Michelle tells Fry that she feels as she doesn't belong, and that the only way to be happy once more is to freeze themselves again. Fry reluctantly agrees, and they freeze themselves until the year 4000. They awake in a barren landscape.
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. The challenge is to skateboard, and as they race through highways, with cars shooting at each other, the two eventually collide around a large pole and Butch is hurt. As Fry pretends to help him, he cheats and wins this challenge, but then Butch's mom arrives and tells all the kids to come to Hebrew class. Fry is even more confused. 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.
- "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, such as the version shown on Netflix streaming in the United States, Canada, and the UK, the Comedy Central reruns (Cartoon Network's Adult Swim version had it uncut as the attacks happened after Cartoon Network's rights to air the reruns ran out), and the re-released DVD version, 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. The edit is also seen in the version shown on Hulu.
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 seen 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).
- In "Mars University" it's shown that he's a college dropout - of a 'college' in an amusement park. Perhaps his high school was of similar quality.
- 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).
- The present-day Grauman's Chinese Theatre is located in Hollywood, Los Angeles, (and presumably so is Loew's Qaddafi's Mann's Grauman's Chinese Theatre), roughly eight minutes away by car from the cross streets of Hollywood and Vine that we see in "That's Lobstertainment!"; perhaps an 8 minute car trip (roughly a mile and a half) is enough for a drastic difference.
- Fry says at the start of the episode, "This is captain Fry of the U.S.S Planet Express Ship". A clear reference to Star Trek.
- 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.
- People do tend to change their clothes.
- 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.
- This could be because Los Angeles seems to be completely different from the rest of Earth.
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa, which was destroyed at Monument Beach reappears back in Italy (and is subsequently destroyed again).
- At the start of the Deathroll, Fry and Butch pass a sign marked "Highway On Ramp". In California, such signs state "Freeway Entrance".
- The current "Freeway Entrance" signs may get replaced between now and a thousand years in the future.
- In the scene where Fry first sees Los Angeles, Fry has 5 fingers on his right hand, and 4 on his left.
- Leela has her old career chip, despite smashing it in the very first episode.
- Debut: Butch
- Debut: Butch's gang
- Debut: Butch's girlfriend
- Debut: Butch's mom
- Censored couple (cameo, unknown moment)
- Debut: Pauly Shore
- Prof. Farnsworth
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg
- The romance between Fry and Leela is explored in this episode.
- Voice Actors
- DVD Commentary
- Special Guest