There are plenty of ways to find out that you've moved past the point of basic compassion for humans, but the most embarrassing is enlightenment-by-TV-show. Sadly, that's what I've had to deal with while watching Fry interact with his family in "Game of Tones."
This week's Futurama started out promising, with the best intro screen message I've ever seen — "If unable to see this message, turn on Futurama now." Sadly, it doesn't sustain that level of fun. To be fair, it's not trying to sustain that level of fun. When a spaceship approaches the Earth playing a world-destroying sequence of tones, Fry remembers the melody from the day he was frozen. The gang puts him in a dreamscape and has him go through his last day in 1999. While there, Fry remembers his family, and wants to spend more time with them rather than finding the tones to save the Earth. The rest of the gang Inceptions their way into his dream to force him to remember.
The reveal of what is making the tones is an anticlimax (although it does make me want to go back and watch the pilot to see if the tones were actually in there), but it was meant to be an anticlimax. The point of the episode was Fry's realization of the fact that when he came to the future he died to his family, and his family died to him. He needed closure, not a way to save the world.
The timing is right. Futurama is a comedy show, and you can't start it out with the lead character in desperate mourning for his family. It's smart to give him a few years so the loss isn't fresh but the need to reconnect undiminished. The problem is this: remember when he lost his dog, Seymour? I have a good relationship with my family, and I don't even particularly like dogs, but I found that episode a thousand times more affecting. While the touching moments in this episode took place I was thinking the following:
"You know, they should have been wearing diapers in the actual movie Inception."
"Wish they were doing an actual Games of Thrones parody episode."
"Oh good! Nixon's here!"