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Episode Recap: A Taste of Freedom

In celebration of Freedom Day, Dr. Zoidberg eats the Earth flag, for which he is sentenced to death. In retaliation, the Decapodians enslave the entire world. 


The Planet Express gang celebrates Freedom Day, a day on which anyone can do anything they want regardless of the consequences. During the party, the gang goes skinny-dipping, but realize all their clothes are missing when they prepare to dress for the Freedom Day parade in Washington. Dr. Zoidberg announces that he ate their clothes, since it’s acceptable on Freedom Day. Donning towels, the gang dresses and heads to the parade. After the parade, the crowd listens as President Nixon’s head delivers a rousing speech about freedom. When he refers to the planet’s beloved flag, the crowd notices that the flag is missing. Zoidberg steps forward to say that he ate the flag in honor of Freedom Day, but the crowd goes wild and angrily moves towards Zoidberg.

Pursued by the mob, Zoidberg takes refuge at the Decapodian Embassy, where Ambassadors Sigmoid, Langustina and Moivin promise to defend their compatriot. When the mob reaches the Embassy, Leela argues that Zoidberg’s actions are a form of expression protected by the Earth’s Constitution. Nixon demands Zoidberg stand trial, and Old Man Waterfall offers to defend him because of his deep love of freedom. Despite Old Man Waterfall’s best efforts, the prosecutor, Hyperchicken, contends that freedom of speech only applies to what comes out of one’s mouth, not what goes in. The Supreme Court rules against Zoidberg, and sentences him to death. Zapp leads a mass of troops against the Embassy, but the Ambassadors appear on the balcony to announce that the invasion is an act of war under intergalactic law. When the troops refuse to stand down, a flotilla of crab-like Decapodian ships fills the sky. 

The Decapodian ships wreak havoc, and the human race is quickly enslaved. Fry, Leela, Bender, Zapp and Kif are put to work building a huge mud structure. When questioned by Leela, Zoidberg explains that Earth doesn’t deserve freedom until it learns what it is to not have freedom. Later, Leela inspires everyone to fight back, but without weapons, the outlook is bleak. Fry gets an idea, and they break into the Weaponry Museum to steal a weapon from Fry’s century. Days later, the slaves are addressed from a large stage by Moivin, who reveals that they’ve built a Mobile Oppression Palace that can oppress Earth without support from the Decapodian fleet, which takes off for home. As the Palace moves about crushing buildings, Old Man Waterfall, waving an Earth flag, challenges the Decapodians to try to crush his spirit. 

Instead, the Palace crushes Old Man Waterfall himself. Stunned, Zoidberg chastises Moivin for killing the one man who was willing to defend his freedom. Suddenly, a missile rises from behind a bush, heads to the Palace, but only circles the building. The Ambassadors laugh at the earthlings’ secret plan, explaining that a heat-seeking missile is useless against the cold-blooded Decapodians. Zoidberg leaps off the stage, grabs the flag from Old Man Waterfall’s hands, sets it on fire, and hurls it into the mud Palace. The missile immediately zooms towards the flag, and destroys the Palace. As the earthlings revel in their re-found freedom, the crowd begins to chant Zoidberg’s name. A few days later, a beaming Dr. Zoidberg proudly raises a new flag over the restored Capitol as a crowd cheers him on.