Episode: Futurama 6.06 – “Lethal Inspection”
Original Air Date: July 22, 2010
“Lethal Inspection” is a very Bender-heavy episode, where Bender learns some important information about himself. It was nice to see more of Hermes, too, as he always seems to be more of a background character, and this time we got to learn a little about his past!
The episode starts with the crew in a war reenactment. This was quite amusing, with lots of little jokes. Not a lot of big laughs, but definitely a few good grins. Bender is very cavalier about death, and when Fry questions him about it, we learn that Bender has a wireless backup unit that saves a copy of him daily. This means that even if his body was destroyed, his personality and memories could be loaded from the backup file to a spiffy new body!
The next day, the crew is sore from all their reenacting, causing Bender to comment about how weak humans are. Leela tells him he’s not perfect, to which he disagrees. According to the only human whose opinion matters to him, he is perfect, and that human is Inspector #5, the quality control inspector that approved him at the robot factory. There’s only one problem. Bender is leaking oil!
Professor Farnsworth checks him over and locates the problem. Bender was built without a backup unit. Okay, can someone tell me how a missing a wireless backup unit somehow leads to an oil leak? Just wondering. So, Bender doesn’t react well to learning about his mortality at all. I loved the responses when he asks how they deal with knowing they can die. Fry’s is the best, “Thanks to denial, I’m immortal.”
Bender blames Inspector #5 for allowing him to be made imperfect. Hermes decides to help Bender locate Inspector #5 since Bender wants revenge and Hermes was insulted by his mini-rant about bureaucrats. This leads to quite an adventure. First, they go to Hermes’s cubicle at the central bureaucracy, where they find out that Inspector #5’s record on the computer system has been blanked.
Discovering that the paper files on #5 are also missing, Bender makes a call to Mom, of Mom’s Friendly Robot Company, to complain about being defective, which wasn’t the brightest idea. A defective robot could make her look bad, so she orders him to be destroyed. Reminded of his mortality, Bender has to run for his life. Good thing the robots chasing after him are stupid.
Bender and Hermes are hunted while they, in turn, hunt the elusive Inspector #5. The end of this episode is absolutely heartwarming. Though Bender never learns the identity of his inspector, he manages to escape with his life by faking his own death with the help of Hermes’ quick thinking and computer skills. Hermes also manages to convince Bender to give up the hunt and be happy with the time he has.
We, however, do find out who #5 is. It’s Hermes! He erased his file and got rid of the paper copy, all to ensure Bender never found out. Then we get to see why Hermes approved Bender even though he was imperfect. Little Bender was so cute! If Hermes hadn’t approved him, little Bender would have been scrapped, but instead he was given a chance at life. Not only that, but Hermes put in his resignation right afterward, unable to send imperfect little robots to the scrap heap. Awwwww.
There is also an amusing little subplot, as Hermes left Leela in charge of his office. Her only responsibility is to file incoming papers in alphabetical order, which proves to be more difficult than expected, especially when the first paper received is in alienese. Of course, Hermes only intended to be away for an hour, and his and Bender’s adventure took a lot longer. Poor Leela was overwhelmed, with too many papers and not enough places to hide them!
I would have loved to see more Fry/Leela interaction, but not every episode can be all about them, no matter how much I might like it. It was still great. Sure, I had to choose not to think about all the times Bender has been rebuilt or disassembled when they should have found the backup problem, or wonder why they couldn’t just put a backup unit in now. It was necessary for this episode to happen, and I liked the episode enough to do so.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars