Ep.44: The Route of All Evil (Notes)

  • In the Orphanarium, the kids often brew their own beer. In previous episodes, we see many of the now grown youths in miserable conditions, such signaling that they have become the underclass. Likely, alcohol played a part in sabotaging them early in life. Considering that they were able to get away with this often, we can only assume that the warden was encouraged to look the other way. Obviously, the state had a degree of vested interest in having these kids turn out low-maintenance if my theory on the previous episode is to be followed.
  • Dwight has been in a boarding school up to this point in the series. I cannot recall if this is his first appearance or if there have been other cameos, but it is a detail which should be noted all the same. Why Hermes wanted him in a boarding school is not specified. This is interesting, of course, since Cubert is seen alongside Dwight, so does he also go to a boarding school?
  • Education: in secondary schools, students are required to build a miniature black-hole. The technological sophistication of the future speaks volumes.
  • When Dwight and Cubert are reintroduced to Fry, Leela, and Bender, Hermes and the professor mysteriously run off after saying– or implying– that they are now the kids’ legal guardians for a month. Why? Because Dwight and Cubert got in trouble at school?
  • Drinking Age: a thousand years in the future and the drinking age is still 21. The United States just refuses to change; still can’t up to Europe despite all these years.
  • The professor invents for the sheer pleasure of inventing. Though Dwight asks what the target consumer is the professor simply says “there is no target consumer, only targets”. This is actually a divergence from his father’s faceless paper-work which usually doesn’t think of marketing.
  • Hermes has a “power-stampler” which has a “Tax Exempt” script. Does this mean that he is abusing his powers as a state worker to help the professor? Or is there really so many tax exempt loopholes in the future that a worker needs a power-stamper to work effectively.
  • Bender: once it is time to add the yeast to their homebrew, Bender gets weepy at having a lifeform growing inside of him. This is one of his fun divergences as a robot who hates carbon-based life-forms: he hates humans but appears to secretly desire their ability to create life through non-mechanical means. Interestingly, though, since we learn in a later episode that robots can reproduce, this actually speaks more to Bender’s apparent gender-trouble insofar as he, like Zoidberg, desires the vagina-womb which creates life. As I said, gender-trouble, especially when you include his persona as the “Gender Bender” and other bodily transgressions in future episodes.
  • Dog-doo 7: the planet at the farthest reaches of the universe; the universe ends after it. Incidentally, the professor and Hermes does not know where the crew went when they attempted to deliver a pizza to dog-doo 8. How?
  • Hermes demands that the kids get a job. This is revelatory since Cubert and Dwight are only twelve years old. So, this means that child labor laws are pretty slack in the future.
  • Mail: when Cubert and Dwight order an outer-space bicycle for their paper route, it only costs a quarter and it is delivered in mere seconds in the form of a tube. This raises some questions on how commodities are created and stored in the future; is it matter-generation, shrinking via those “tiny particles” that the professor once ranted about, or something else entirely?
  • Planet Express is not in good financial condition. This much is a running joke later in the series but here we at least see that the company is in such dire straights that Hermes and the professor are afraid of even a start-up offered by children.
  • The “Sunday Edition” of newspapers can deliver itself: why? What happened to make the Sunday Edition deliver itself? Why not all papers?
  • Hermes filed papers to have the PE crew re-classified as slaves… we know they get paid in later episodes so from this joke we learn that classification means something to the labor force and how business is conducted. Perhaps enterprises with slaves pay fewer taxes? Supposedly, the professor declared himself dead as part of a tax-dodge, so it is not impossible (even if the professor denies it because he was supposedly “taking a nap”).
  • Cubert and Dwight make a fortune scamming people and eventually come to own Planet Express. Does the business ever revert back to the professor? Do they refund the money they scammed from their customer? In any case, ultimately, both Hermes and the professor are proud of their sons’ dirty business tactics.
  • LeBarbara chastises Hermes and the professor by saying that they should be proud of their kids since they are not “following in your food stamps”. Unless this is a turn-of-phrase, this means that food-stamps still exist in the year 3000.
  • Brett the Blob’s father works at an undisclosed plant which is bringing in computers. Since this is the year three-thousand and three, we have to ask what kind of plant this is since computers should have already been there, right?

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