Ep.25: The Deep South (Notes)

  • Hermes hates Nibbler. But he does love filling out requisition forms; evidently, one needs a form for a pet– though maybe it is just Nibbler’s exotic nature. Hermes fills out the form but there is a mix-up and a “mandatory fishing license” is instead sent. The idea that a fishing license exists and that it is “mandatory” is an oddity which is hard for me to wrap my head around.
  • The PE ship’s unbreakable diamond filament tether was given to the professor by his grandmother. Odd how she is never again referenced. Maybe there are clues in the later episode featuring Farnsworth’s parents?
  • “Sweet Zombie Jesus”. Though it seems like a slur today, in the Futurama universe, we learn that the Second Coming actually happened, so this is more of a historical statement than anything else.
  • Colossal Mouth Bass: one of many mutated creatures in the year 3000. In an episode, the three-eyed fish from The Simpsons can be seen and then there are the mutants in the sewers. Is the cause of the mutations purely from toxic waste and if so, then if this waste connected to the third industrialization which I have hypothesized before?
  • When underwater, Hermes holds up a booklet entitled “Codes for Cannibalism”, meaning, that humans eating humans have become an acceptable practice, so as long as it is done in specific ways.
  • Bender relapse: takes holds of a fish to get an electricity high. In a later scene, we see the crew sitting around the table eating. Shockingly, despite Bender the one who cooks, the meal looks edible; can Bender cook well when he is high?
  • Zoidberg finds an empty shell which he adopts as his home. Later, it is found that his home burns down, making a joke out of physics. Is there a deeper significance to this burning or is it merely a one-off joke?
  • When talking to Umbriel, Fry claims to be a “lion tamer” and says that he has also claimed to be a jewel thief. Fry’s pretend jobs all include either high-theatrical productions or lumpen professions.
  • “Atlanta” has become a lost city: history, in brief, is that they wanted more and more tourism so they airlifted their city to become a “delta hub” island city. But, they overdeveloped and the city sank; the only people to escape as the “quality people” like Ted Turner, Hank Aaron, Jeff Foxworthy, the ‘guy who invented coca-cola, the Magician (and also Jane Fonda, though she is hinted at not being a “so-called legend of our times”). The mayor of the sunken city, the Colonel, though, begs the people to spend some money, thus raising an interesting question of why they still use the same money from hundreds of years ago. Suggests, in addition to the mayor’s usage of the word “Yankee”, that history has been frozen. This is contrasted against the caffeine-induced evolution of the people into mermaids: history is frozen but not biology.
  • Zoidberg’s poverty is shown throughout. First, he tried to own a home vis-a-vis the empty shell. When that burns down, though, he switches to the giant bass. But, the fish decays and will put Zoidberg out of a home. A mini-allegory for the indiscernibility of the working class under capitalism (at least in the United States with the fixation on home ownership).
  • Originally, Fry was going to stay in Atlanta with Umbriel, but incompatible sexual matters made that impossible. Shows that even with sped-up evolution, there are certain determinates which make co-mingling difficult. It is interesting that Fry is ready to forsake his life on the surface for an upper-middle class position and sex; not surprising, but intriguing. Class life in a microcosm.
  • This is the second time that Futurama has used the idea of the deep south (the first being the episode “The Series has Landed”). Hints at a wrestling with the past and what a Southern identity means. Provided, this time, the class identity is different. Whereas previously the depiction dealt with rural Neo-neo-confederates, this episode deals with the ruling class and urban elite. Unfortunately, aside from economic insecurities, the episode does not say very much.
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