Quick Take: Futurama, "Decision 3012"
"I don't even know who this guy is!" - Bender
Review: Futurama, "Decision 3012"
(S0703) Even though the multi-season renewal of Futurama left some fans dissatisfied with the quality of the show's return, the Planet Express has been burning the midnight Nibbler-guano trying to reach its max speed. Last week's one-hour return certainly set a healthy pace, but "Decision 3012" helps things pick up momentum, filling its half-hour slot with enough sight-gags, election satire, and Nixon's head to make you wonder if time-travel wasn't somehow involved.
Although in this case, time-travel really is involved, as Leela's participation in the election leads her to uncover a damaging secret about Nixon's opponent: he's from the future. When a faintly-familiar birth certificate debacle threatens to derail the campaign against Nixon, Leela goes looking for proof that the candidate she's been helping is really an Earthling. But even though he is, he technically hasn't been born yet.
When Nixon won his bid for re-election in 3012, he built a giant space-fence to keep out illegal aliens. In order to compensate for the loss of cheap labour, humanity employed robots to do menial tasks like sweeping streets, teaching math, and curing disease. But as we've learned from the Terminator franchise, robots always take over the human race, forcing them to send back one man as their only hope to change the future.
The ridiculous thing about the Terminator franchise that they've ignored for four movies and a tv-series, is that if John Connor succeeds in stopping the raging machines, then the future he came from ceases to exist, meaning he was never sent back to the "present" to prevent the impending disaster. So right as future-boy wins the election after airing his live birth, thereby avoiding a future with Nixon as president, his future dissolves into oblivion – as does he – leaving Nixon the always-unopposed victor and leader of Earth.
Aside from revealing that Bender B. Rodriguez is the robot warlord that eventually wages war on humanity, the episode also saw the return of Fry's time-travelling Bender tattoo. Not only does the future have just one suit and tie to send back in time, but they also have a photocopy of Fry's butt, which contains the time-travelling code that caused so much hassle in "Bender's Big Score."
Bender and Nixon, while not the most unlikely of cohorts, never really got any mileage as a duo after Nixon commandeered Bender's body for himself. Their joining forces against Leela, however, was the perfect opportunity to reintroduce the pairing, and it would be nice to see more conspiring between the two further down the road. And don't worry, the Headless Clone of Agnew can come, too.