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Episode Recap: Bendin' in the Wind
Bender is broken in a freak accident, but meets Beck who launches him on a singing career that turns him into a hero for other broken robots.
Fry and Bender acquire an old Volkswagen van recently unearthed at a construction site. When Fry looks for fuel, Leela points to a huge can of whale oil, which Fry asks Bender to open. Bender pitches a fit, claiming that the last time he used the giant can opener, it nearly cut off his head. His friends convince Bender to face his fears, but as predicted, the magnet sucks up Bender while the blade slices up his body. Bender is rushed to the hospital where an engineer tells everyone that Bender will never move again and will have to be replaced. In tears, Bender begs his friends to leave, not wanting to be seen incapacitated. Alone, Bender hears the sound of a harmonica, which perks him up. He discovers that his roommate is the head of Beck preserved in a jar fit with a harmonica holder with two miniature robotic arms all connected to a mannequin’s body. Bender confides to Beck that he always wanted to be a singer, but now knows that his dream will never come true. At Beck’s request, the engineer hooks Beck’s harmonica holder to Bender’s neck. When Bender rubs the robotic arms over his body, he creates the sound of a washboard, and Beck asks him to be his new washboard player. When Bender tells the gang he s touring with Beck, they all decide to cram into Fry’s van to follow the tour. After the first concert, Bender notices trash bins filled with mangled robots being rolled into a factory. The broken robots cheer Bender on his performance, which they had overheard. Touched that he’s considered a hero to other broken robots, Bender is greatly saddened when he realizes that the broken robots were melted down into paperweights. He and Beck decide to put on a benefit concert called “Bend-Aid” to raise awareness about the plight of broken robots. The concert is scheduled to be held in San Francisco, and at the hotel Bender confesses that helping his defective brothers is the first thing he’s ever cared about. Bender gets so excited during his speech that he begins moving his arms and legs, and everyone realizes that he's cured. Distraught over the fear that being cured will end his new career, Bender decides to fake being broken. The benefit concert is a huge success, and the crowd goes wild over Bender–especially the broken robots in attendance. As thanks to the crowd, Bender performs his new song “My Broken Friend.” During the number, Bender gets so emotional that he begins moving his limbs, eventually sliding across the stage in a showstopping pose. Everyone, including Beck, is furious, and begins storming the stage. Bender and his friends jump into the van, and take off on a mad dash through San Francisco, followed by Beck’s tour bus. They head to the Golden Gate Bridge, but at the last moment realize it’s a hoverbridge without a physical road. As the van plummets towards the water, Bender grabs a cable out of the window. The cable stretches,which slows the van’s descent until it sets down on a rocky outcropping. Beck’s bus catches up with the van, and Beck threatens to beat Bender up. Bender apologizes for lying, and explains to Beck that he only wanted to play music and help broken robots. Beck accepts Bender’s apology, and heads off to visit Alcatraz. Bender and the gang pile into the van to make the long journey home.