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Episode Recap: Obsoletely Fabulous

A new model of robot threatens Bender, prompting him to go on a trip while upgrading his own technology. 


At Roboticon 3003, the World’s Largest Robot Trade Show, Mom’s Friendly Robots presents its cutting edge model, Robot 1-X. Mom invites any one of her previous model robots on stage and Bender volunteers. Mom points out that Bender runs on alcohol and emits pollution, while Robot 1-X is fueled by pollution and emits oxygen with a fresh pine scent. In the evolution of robots, Bender is the "Before" and Robot X-1 is the "After". The Professor buys a Robot 1-X and when Bender admits he feels threatened the Professor suggests he get an upgrade to make him compatible with Robot 1-X’s technology. At Mom’s Friendly Robot Factory, Bender waits on the conveyor belt for his upgrade and sees the robot before him go through a complete personality transformation. When it’s Bender’s turn and the technician places an electric helmet on his head he breaks away and jumps through the window. Too ashamed to return to Planet Express without his upgrade, Bender sets sail out to sea.

Bender lands on the shore of a tropical island, sets up shelter, spells out a rescue note in the sand, and tries to distill booze from scavenged yams. After a few days he collapses and from his prone position sees a mechanical cymbal-banging monkey in the tree above him, then loses consciousness. The next morning Bender wakes up as coconut liqueur is poured into his mouth and meets Sinclair, Lisa and Cartridge Unit, three out-of-date, low tech robots. The island is home to this community of outdated robots who refuse to upgrade-they believe that the things that make them obsolete also makes them unique. The other robots convince Bender of the wonders of nontechnology and downgrade Bender into a wooden, hand crafted machine powered by a steam engine. Bender is so excited by his transformation to lower tech status he convinces the others they must go back to civilization and wage war on technology.

The four low tech robots paddle to New York where they begin their attack…they destroy tech driven household gadgets, punch out rockets, and blow up Mom’s Friendly Robot Company. Bender insists they have to take out Robot 1-X, and using a catapult the tech troglodytes smash Planet Express’ transformer, leaving the crew in the dark. Bender enters Planet Express and catapults a bolder at Robot 1-X, but misses and crushes the ship, which falls on the crew. Fuel leaks out, catches on fire, and ignites Bender as he tries to save them. While Bender curses his failure to get the upgrade, and Robot X-1 steps in and efficiently saves the crew. Bender then comes to at the Robot Upgrade Factory center-he had hallucinated the island/war on technology scenario during his upgrade but now, with his changed personality, questions what is real and what is imagined.