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Episode Recap: Anthology of Interest I
The Professor’s "What-If" machine simulates Bender, Leela and Fry’s wishes: Bender turns into gigantic robot; Leela impulsively murders her friends; Vice President Al Gore, Stephen Hawking and Nichelle Nichols come to the rescue when Fry inadvertently opens a rip in the space-time continuum.
The Professor shows the crew his "What-If" device, a contraption that generates a simulation of possible events. Bender seizes the opportunity to ask what would happen if he were 500 feet tall. As the first story unfolds, a gigantic Bender finishes his work on a mysterious, faraway planet and then rockets to Earth.
Meanwhile, a lonely Fry wishes for a friend. His wish is granted when Bender belly-flops into Central Park. The two become fast friends, but while playing frisbee, the behemoth Bender accidentally crushes an audience attending a rock concert. Desperate, the mayor of New New York calls upon Zapp Brannigan for help. Zapp dispatches tanks and soldiers in an effort to disable the giant robot with electrical charges. But the plan backfires when Bender grows taller and stronger as a result of being exposed to the energy. He lowers his foot, crushing Zapp and Kif’s tank.
The Professor decides that the only way to stop Bender is to create another behemoth. He lures Zoidberg into one of his inventions and increases his size. The now giant Zoidberg engages Bender in battle. Bender fills Shea Stadium with water from the East river and heats it with flames. He then pushes Zoidberg into the boiling water.
Zoidberg rises out of the pot and clips Bender’s legs, sending him falling backward. Bender impales himself on the Empire State Building and dies.
Next, Leela asks the machine what would happen if she were more impulsive. As the story unfolds, the now-impulsive Leela shows her colleagues her new boots. The Professor pulls her aside and reveals that he is willing her his vast fortune…because she has been so level-headed and predictable. Suddenly, Leela kicks the Professor into a giant pit, sending him plummeting to his death.
Later, Zoidberg determines to solve the Professor’s puzzling demise. Shortly thereafter, Hermes shows Leela the Professor’s video will…which clearly reveals her as the killer. But before Hermes can warn the others, Leela kills him with an ax and destroys his remains using a garbage disposal. When Bender catches her in the act, Leela turns on a microwave oven, smashes the glass and aims it at Bender, causing him to collapse into tiny pieces.
And shortly thereafter, Leela does away with Amy. At midnight, Zoidberg, Cubert, Nibbler and Scuffy, a curmudgeonly janitor, gather in a parlor. Zoidberg tells the group he intends to solve the mystery. But before he has the opportunity, Leela skewers Cubert, Scruffy and Nibbler. She also does away with Zoidberg, and then dines on his remains. When Fry realizes that Leela is the killer, she tells him she must do something really impulsive to make sure he won’t talk…and ends up going to bed with him.
In the last segment, Fry asks what would have happened had he not ended up in the future. As the story unfolds, Fry delivers a pizza to the cryogenic lab (as seen in the pilot episode). But when he falls backward in a chair, this time he bonks his head on the outside of the freezing tube (instead of falling into it). The tube door slams shut, the dial clicks ahead 1000 years, and suddenly, the walls undulate as a space-time rip opens. Bender and the others peer into the hole from their side of the universe.
Suddenly, the hole seals itself and disappears. Later, physicist Stephen Hawking drops by the restaurant for a pizza. When Fry describes the incident with the strange space-time rip, Hawking assures him there is nothing to fear. But later, Hawking, Vice President Al Gore and actress Nichelle Nichols jump Fry and transport him back to the cryogenic lab. They tell him that the time rip indicates some event was supposed to happen...but didn’t. Unless they can find out what it is, the universe will be destroyed. The group incorrectly concludes that Fry was supposed to die when he hit his head.
Hawking attempts to finish the job by rolling his wheelchair over Fry’s body. When that fails, the rip increases in intensity. Nichols realizes Fry was supposed to fall into the tube. Fry bravely volunteers to enter the tube…only to smash its glass at the last moment. The universe is sucked into the time rip and destroyed.