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Episode Recap: The Honking

When Bender inherits a castle from his deceased uncle, he finds himself being pursued by a terrifying, driverless car. 


Bender receives word that his Uncle Vladimir passed away. He invites his Planet Express friends to accompany him to the family castle for the funeral and reading of the will. A robot attorney, Executor, informs Bender that he has inherited the castle…with the proviso he spend one night within its walls. It isn’t long before Bender convinces himself that the castle is haunted by robot ghosts. Panicked, Bender runs off. While making his way down a corridor, he comes face-to-face with Vladimir’s ghost, who assures his nephew he will enjoy being dead. Meanwhile, the Planet Express crew exhumes dead robots and computers buried around the castle. It turns out the machines were disposed of in improperly-shielded coffins. As a result, their programming leaked into the castle’s wiring, allowing the machines to project themselves as holographic images. Before the Professor can relay word of the discovery, Bender runs off into the dark moors, where he encounters a driverless, old-style car which viciously crashes into him. The Planet Express crew discovers the unconscious, dented Bender lying in the moors. When the robot awakens, he describes the four-wheeled creature that ran him down. At first, his tale is met with disbelief. But when the others notice tread marks in the dirt nearby, they hop back in the spaceship and return to New New York. It isn’t long before word of similar attacks in the city appear in the media. Bender concludes the creature is pursuing him. The Professor gives Bender two tickets to the circus in hopes of calming his nerves. Unfortunately, the show includes an act in which a tiny police car runs down a clown. Bender is horrified. While walking along the midway, Leela and Bender happen upon a robot gypsy, who warns Bender that he is cursed. That night, the killer car attacks two thieves inside an apartment building. When Bender awakens the next morning, he discovers a pair of fuzzy dice in his chest. Bender worries he may have hurt someone, and makes his way back to the circus encampment, where he speaks with the robot gypsy. The gypsy claims that Bender is a were-car. He inherited the condition when the were-car he encountered on the moors beamed a virus into his system using its demonic headlights. Bender’s only hope is to destroy the original were-car. But the gypsy warns Bender that, one dark night, he is doomed to kill the one he loves most. When Leela learns of the curse, she welds Bender’s arms and legs to a wall, leaving him completely immobile. But at midnight, Bender morphs into a terrible scary-looking car…the same one that attacked the thieves. The Bendermobile breaks loose and heads down a dark street, where it leaps directly at Leela. Thinking quickly, Leela climbs into the cab of a nearby crane and, using its four-pronged claw, grabs hold of Bender. At dawn, with the danger having passed, Leela releases her friend. Fry, Leela and Bender then head back to the castle to hunt down the original were-car. They happen upon an Old Man Robot who describes how he was attacked by the Abominable Snowmobile while bird watching in the Arctic. His information leads the threesome to an igloo, where a Parka Robot tells them that she received the curse from Calculon, the robot actor. Calculon describes how, in the year 2019, he worked as a robot arm at an automotive research lab. He was assigned to Project Satan,which built an intelligent military vehicle using parts from the most evil cars in the world. But when the car came to life, it was pure evil. The threesome locate Project Satan in the abandoned automotive lab. When it turns midnight, Bender morphs into the evil Bendermobile. Both Bender and Project Satan terrorize Fry and Leela. Luckily, Leela manages to trick Project Satan into jumping inside a blast furnace. The moment Project Satan is destroyed, Bender is cured.