Futurama's season finale was a nonstop cavalcade of horrific freaks, sewage, and wall-to-wall vomiting, all in the name of equal rights for subterranean mutants. Hilarious, sweet, inventive, and celebratory, this episode ended Futurama's new season on a high note.
Futurama has never shied away from gross-out material when it comes to exploring New New York's mutant underbelly, and "The Mutants are Revolting" pushed that to new extremes. The entire episode revolved around what happens to the surface-dwellers' sewage, which was thankfully kept a mildly disgusting green instead of something too horribly realistic. The mutant designs were even crazier this time around, and Fry's mutated form is maybe the most horrific thing the show's ever given us, at least in part because that's our Fry under all that hideousness.
So this would have been a thoroughly unpleasant episode if it wasn't so damn brilliant. Considering just how monumentally unlikely it is that Futurama ever reached its hundredth episode, you can hardly blame the show for so openly celebrating the milestone, and it lends the episode a little extra energy and zip. The in-universe reason for the celebrating - Planet Express's hundredth delivery - takes us to the asteroid home of the fabulously wealthy Mrs. Astor. Bender's running start around the asteroid is the sort of physics-infused craziness you can only get on Futurama (well, that and certain levels of Super Mario Galaxy).
The encounter with Mrs. Astor takes Fry, Leela, and the Professor to the annual banquet in support of mutant education, which sounds great until it becomes clear just how condescending and bigoted Mrs. Astor's motivations really are. Fry accidentally reveals Leela is a mutant, which leads to her exile in the sewers. When the rest of Planet Express (except Bender, who's too busy planning the big party to care) heads to Mayor Poopenmeyer's office to protest, they end up in the sewer as well, although their sentence is only for two weeks.
Fry's guilt leads him to do what Leela calls the stupidest, sweetest thing he's ever done - jump into the mutating sewer lake. He emerges as a horrifically deformed mutant, and he and Leela take up the cause of mutant rights with a little help from the now mutated members of Devo. The entire Planet Express team comes together on this one, with even Bender pitching in to help force New New York to notice the plight of its sewer-dwelling citizens.
In general, I've really enjoyed this season of Futurama, and the back half in particular has been chock full of great episodes. "The Mutants are Revolting" is another excellent addition, with Futurama's customary mix of jokes, emotions, and wild ideas. Every major character got his or her own little moment, including Hermes's self-defeating indignation, Amy's gemerald lust, the Professor's safe-opening techniques, and Zoidberg's remarkable (and cheap!) umbrella.
But I've got to talk about the craziest part of the episode: the Land Titanic, the gigantic land boat that sank at Fifth Avenue and 32nd Street on April 10, 2912. The show has already done a Titanic riff, but this one was about a million times more bizarre. One of the things I've loved about this new season of Futurama is its willingness to pursue ideas that feel utterly unprecedented in science fiction. A gigantic bus slowly crawling down Fifth Avenue definitely fits that bill. I can safely say I've never seen anything like the Land Titanic.
Bender's 100th delivery party was a great moment for longtime fans, cramming dozens (maybe hundreds) of supporting and one-time characters into Bender's immense party. Sure, it's a little self-indulgent, but again, I'd say Futurama has earned it, particularly when it's a quick moment of fun in such a strong episode. And, like pretty much any occasion when Bender dresses up, his basic cuteness shone right through. Seriously, Bender's so damn cute.
In the final analysis, I'd say this season has produced six out and out classics ("Rebirth", "Proposition Infinity", "The Late Philip J. Fry", "A Clockwork Origin", "The Prisoner of Benda", and "The Mutants are Revolting"), four strong efforts ("In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela", "The Duh-Vinci Code", "Lethal Inspection", and "Lrrreconcilable Ndndifferences"), and two missteps ("Attack of the Killer App" and "That Darn Katz!"). That's a pretty remarkable record for any show, let alone one producing its first broadcast season in seven years. Futurama is most definitely back as good as ever. And you know the best part? There's still at least fourteen episodes left to go.