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Episode Recap: Space Pilot 3000
A pizza delivery boy named Fry awakens from a state of suspended animation and finds himself in a futuristic world populated by aliens, robots and spaceships.
The year: December 31, 1999. The place: New York City. Fry is a
25-year-old delivery boy who works at Panucci's pizza parlor. Mr.
Panucci instructs Fry to make a delivery to a company called Applied
Cryogenics. Fry rides his bicycle to the building where the company is
headquartered. Fry opens the front door and steps inside. The room
houses frosted glass tubes containing human bodies in a state of
suspended animation. Fry glances at his delivery sheet and sees the name
"Walt Disney." He realizes he has been the victim of a crank call. As
the final seconds of the twentieth century tick away, a lonely Fry sits
in a chair and blows into his noisemaker. The recoil flips him head over
heals into an open tube. The lid snaps shut…and the dial on the device
clicks to "1000 years." Fry awakens in the year 2999. Gazing out a
window, he marvels at the futuristic wonderland before him, now called
New New York City, a world complete with hover cars and spaceships.
Leela, a shapely alien with one eye in the middle of her forehead,
welcomes Fry to the end of the 21st century. She performs a DNA test,
and ascertains that Fry has one living relative, a
great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great nephew by the name
of Professor Hubert Farnsworth. Next, Leela connects Fry to a biographic
projector, a device that will help assign Fry to his place in society.
Fry is horrified when the machine determines that he will spend the rest
of his life as a delivery boy. Leela attempts to implant a career chip
into Fry's hand. But Fry jumps out of the way. During the ensuing
scuffle, Leela falls into a cryogenic tube. Fry alters the setting from
"1000 years" to "5 minutes."
Fry boards the Tube, a tube-way made of glass that transports people
around the city. He uses the device to travel to the Empire State
Building. Later, Fry notices (what he believes to be) a phone booth. He
gets in line, intending to give Farnsworth a call. As Fry steps into the
booth, a robot named Bender joins him. It turns out that the booth is
actually a suicide machine. Fry dodges the machine's knife, knocking
Bender out of the way. When Bender's anger subsides, he takes Fry to a
bar for a drink. While enjoying a malt liquor, Bender tells Fry that he
is programmed to bend girders. He grew depressed when he discovered that
his work was being used to construct suicide booths. Shortly thereafter,
Leela spies the pair. Fry and Bender take refuge inside the 20th Century
gallery of a museum, which contains rows of human heads in jars. Fry
accidentally bumps into a shelf, causing a jar containing Richard
Nixon's head to crash on the ground. Two policemen, Smitty and Url, rush
inside. The cops beat Fry with their nightsticks. Outraged, Leela
battles the officers, knocking them to the ground. During the confusion,
Fry and Bender escape. They take refuge in a back room with a single
barred window. Fry begs Bender to pull the bars apart so they can
escape. But Bender insists he is only programmed to bend for
constructive purposes. Luckily, his antennae accidentally connects with
a light socket, causing him to change his mind. Bender pulls back the
bars, and the pair escape.
Leela manages to find the pair beneath the ruins of Rockefeller Center.
Fry sits on a bench and holds out his hand in defeat. Leela raises the
chip installer, but at the last moment, she uses the claw end to pull a
chip out of her own palm. Leela announces that she is quitting her job,
something she hadn't the courage to do until she met Fry. Unemployed and
penniless, the threesome travel to Farnsworth's townhouse. The Professor
gives them a tour of his laboratory, which includes an intergalactic
spaceship of his own design. He offers the threesome the chance to
become his crewmembers. Suddenly, there is a loud banging on the front
door. Smitty instructs the fugitives to give themselves up. The foursome
climb aboard the spaceship as the countdown to the new millennium
begins. At the stroke of midnight, the ship takes off…just as colorful
fireworks fill the skies. Confused police sharpshooters fire in all
directions, and the ship sails into the heavens unscathed. Shortly
thereafter, Nixon's head issues the foursome a full pardon. The
Professor learns that the charges have been dropped, and the spaceship
heads back to Earth. Along the way, the Professor tells the others about
his cargo transportation business, which he uses to fund his research.
The Professor informs Fry that he will be responsible for making sure
the cargo reaches its destination. Fry realizes he is once again a