"Bendin' in the Wind"
is the thirteenth episode in season three of Futurama
. It originally aired April 22
. The title comes from the Bob Dylan
song "Blowin' in the Wind
". In South America, this episode was #1 in "Bender's Best" top ten Bender related Futurama episodes.
gets a free Volkswagen microbus
, excavated from the ruins of Old New York. He pushes it back to the Planet Express office, and has to fuel it with whale oil
, which replaced gasoline
lifts the barrel of whale oil to the can opener, and is caught by the opener's magnet and horribly damaged (the same can opener had attacked him in "I Second That Emotion
At the Cedars-Sinewave Robot Hospital, the doctor informs Bender that he will never move again. Bender falls into a state of depression, which is not helped by Patch Cord Adams
; but when he finds out that Beck
's disembodied head is occupying the bed next to him, his spirits are lifted. Beck loans Bender a set of neck-mounted robotic mini-arms. Using the arms to scrape across his mangled body, Bender earns the position of Beck's washboard
Bender goes on tour with Beck, and Fry, Leela, Amy, and Dr. Zoidberg pile into Fry's van to follow them. Unfortunately, their money is destroyed in the laundry, so they are unable to buy food to live on. Things are eventually solved, however, when Zoidberg coughs up some pretty pearls, which Leela and Amy string together as jewelry and sell. While on tour, Bender is insulted by the treatment of other broken robots. As the tour continues, Bender writes a song about broken robots. Together with Beck, he decides to put on a benefit concert in San Francisco, to help all the broken robots.
Fry and the crew catch up with Bender, who is relaxing in a San Francisco hotel. To everyone's shock, they discover that Bender has miraculously been fixed. To keep his music career, Bender decides to fake still being broken. The concert goes on as planned, but when the time comes to perform Bender's song, he cannot restrain himself, and dances around the stage. Bender, having been found out, runs off with the oversized benefit check in Fry's Volkswagen.
Bender, being pursued by an irate Beck, drives the microbus into the San Francisco Bay. Beck catches Bender, and recovers the check, but he does forgive him since Bender has done so much for broken robots. The crew floats back to New New York in the microbus.
The United States in 3000
In the shot of the United States map it is shown that some states have been renamed in the future including "Nukevada
", "East West Virginia
", and "WyΩing
is called eHIO. California is split into "HighCal
" and "LoCal
" (which contains the San Andreas Gorge rather than a fault line
) and the state of Pennsylvania
has become the "Penn Republic" and "Sylvania"—a parody of Czechoslovakia
splitting into the Czech Republic
. One state (contiguous with present-day Utah
) is named, in Alienese
, "Human Farm". Conflicting issues involve the fact that despite this episode, Washington D.C.
is referred to as such, rather than Washington A.C. and "New New Jersey" is often referred to as just "New Jersey
", although this is in line with today's common practice of referring to the state as "Jersey". Additionally, in the episode The 30% Iron Chef
, Bender references Eugene
", differing from "XORegon"; also, Idaho
is shown as "UserID:aho" and Washington
as "Washingtron". Presumably these state parodies were only thought up for this episode as they are not used at any other point in the series.
- The song "My Broken Friend", performed by Beck and Bender, was written by Christopher Tyng, Eric Horsted and Ken Keeler.
- The song "Scarborough Fair" is by Simon and Garfunkel.
- At one point the score of Bender's song is shown. It is actually the theme from Beethoven's 5th Symphony in C minor (although it is shown in the key of D minor).
- The two other songs played during the episode are "Where It's At" from the album Odelay and "Sexx Laws" from Midnite Vultures.
- While playing "Where It's At", Bender sings a mock-up of the line "I got two turntables and a microphone" by singing "Got a washboard stomach and a microphone." Also, instead of singing "That was a good drum break", Beck sings the line, "That was a washboard break."
- While telling Bender to write a song about broken robots to express his feelings Beck mentions that's what he did when he wrote Devil's Haircut, although he couldn't quite remember what the song was about. "When I'm upset I write a song about it. Like when I wrote "Devils Haircut," I was feeling really...really...what's that song about?".
- Beck's album Odelay is mentioned in this episode when Bender says that he'll use real words to write a song, "Not phony ones like 'Odelay'!" to which Beck responds "Hey, Odelay is a real word! Look it up in the "Becktionary'!".
- The title is a play on the Bob Dylan song "Blowin' in the Wind". This is the second episode of a series created by Matt Groening to parody this song, the first one being The Simpsons episode D'oh-in In The Wind.
- Beck's Tour Bus closely resembles the Thomas Saf-T-Liner C2.
- The chase scene at the end is inspired by the 1968 movie Bullitt, and the part of the chase in Chinatown could refer to a scene in the video for Beck's Devil's Haircut. The green Volkswagen New Beetle that is seen throughout the chase is a reference to the green Beetle seen throughout the chase scene in Bullitt.
- When Bender discovers that he is no longer broken he says that he can't sing about being broken if he's not and he then says "It's just like Christina Aguilera singing in Spanish" this is a reference to Christina Aguilera singing many songs in Spanish while only being half Ecuadorian.
- When the Bus is dug up, Bender asks if it's one of "those Led Zeppelins I've heard so much about?" Leela later asks if it's "one of those Jefferson Starships I've heard so much about?".
- On the map of the United States in the year 3000, Washington D.C.'s name has changed to Washington A.C. That could be reference to direct current and alternating current, or more likely rock band AC/DC, considering episode theme.
- Cylon and Garfunkel is a reference to the Cylons of Battlestar Galactica and the 1960s folk duo Simon and Garfunkel.
- The concert Bend-Aid is a reference to the famine relief effort Band Aid.
- Bender lands at "Fisherman's Worf", renamed after the Star Trek: The Next Generation character Worf. This is similar to the parody of a prison on "Commander Riker's Island" in the Season 2 Episode "Brannigan Begin Again", which is a parody of both the prison, Riker's Island, in New York, and the First Officer, Commander Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Along with the brief appearance of Jonathan Frakes, who played Riker, in "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" these are some of the only references to Star Trek: The Next Generation, as the show mainly focuses on the original series. One of the others includes an ongoing internet debate about the merits of Captain Kirk versus the merits of Captain Picard in the episode "I Dated a Robot".
- The Robot "Patch Cord Adams" is a parody of Patch Adams.
- When Bender eats the chips dug up by the hole project, he defecates bricks, which is a reference to potato chips made with the fat substitute Olestra. This substance was rumored to severely upset the bowels, hence the phrase "shitting bricks".
- The name of the whale oil used is Mobil Dick, a reference to Mobil Oil and Moby-Dick.
- The robot whose head exploded in the episode "A Fishful of Dollars" can be seen in the crowd of broken robots.
- When Bender holds the microphone upside down, it is a reference to what Freddie Mercury would do at live performances.
- Fry, Leela, Amy and Zoidberg's travelling around place to place in a mini-bus with tie dyed shirts is a reference to the Grateful Dead's hardcore fans The Deadheads.