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Episode Recap: A Tale of Two Santas

As Christmas approaches…Bender faces execution when he fills in for the murderous Santa robot. 


As the Planet Express gang watches the evening news, Walter Cronkite’s Head reminds viewers about the murderous brute known as Santa Claus. Anticipating trouble, the Professor presses a button on a console, causing bulletproof shutters to cover the office exterior. But moments later, the Professor gives the staff a bag containing children’s letters…letters which must be delivered directly into Santa’s arms. Fry, Leela and Bender rocket to the North Pole of Neptune, where they befriend disgruntled elves Balthazar and Kyam. The elves drag the mailbag into Santa’s ice fortress, then make a hasty exit. Fry, Leela and Bender spring from the bag and attempt to destroy the Santa Claus robot using a logical paradox. But the plan fails and Santa fires missiles at them. The threesome toboggan to the Planet Express ship and attempt to take off. But Santa grabs hold of the rocket’s tail, preventing it from getting away. The engine exhaust causes the surrounding ice to melt. Santa sinks…and the ice quickly reforms, trapping him. But Fry realizes that billions of toys still need to be delivered that night…a daunting task only Bender could fulfill. Singing with joy, the elves load toys onto Santa’s sled. Bender rockets the sled back to Earth, where bitter humans, anticipating the evil robot Santa, vent their rage. A mangled Bender makes his way back to the Planet Express office, where he insists there must be a better way to deliver the toys. Soon after, Bender is arrested and accused of crimes against humanity. Bender insists he is not the real Santa, but his plea falls on deaf ears. Judge Whitey sentences him to be executed. Fry and Leela rocket back to Neptune, intending to transport the Santa robot back to Earth in a block of ice, thereby proving Bender’s innocence. But as the pair cut through the ice, they realize too late that most of the ice around Santa melted due to a greenhouse effect. Fry and Leela board the rocket ship and take off, unaware that Santa is clutching the hull. Just as Bender is about to be executed, Leela bursts into the room and announces to authorities that they have the wrong man. With that, Hermes, the Professor, and Amy enter clad in Santa costumes. Despite this, Mayor Poopenmeyer pulls a switch, activating magnets that threaten to pull Bender apart limb from limb. Suddenly, the Santa robot smashes through a wall in his sleigh. Bender credits Santa with saving his life and helps him “save” Christmas. As Santa terrorizes the land, Fry and the others take refuge inside the Planet Express lounge. Fry realizes that fear of Santa brought them all together after all. Meanwhile, Santa “rewards” Bender for trapping him in the ice by kicking him out of the sleigh, sending him plummeting into the burning city below.