Brannigan, Begin Again
|"Brannigan, Begin Again"|
Brannigan captures the crew.
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Jeffrey Lynch|
|Written by||Lewis Morton|
|Original air date||November 28, 1999|
|Opening caption||"Not Y3K Compliant"|
|Opening cartoon||"Pigs in a Polka" (1943)|
"Brannigan, Begin Again" is the second episode in the second production season of Futurama. It was originally aired in North America on November 28, 1999 as the sixth episode in the second broadcast season. The episode was written by Lewis Morton and directed by Jeffrey Lynch.
The episode opens with Fry and Bender playing a violent, futuristic version of chess where Bender's bishop and Fry's knight fight. Fry wins, prompting Bender to send all of his chess pieces after Fry.
The Planet Express crew arrives at the ribbon cutting of the new Democratic Order of Planets (D.O.O.P.) headquarters in orbit around the Neutral Planet, in order to deliver the oversized scissors that will be used for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. After deciding the Neutral Planet is evil and deceptive, Zapp Brannigan captures and interrogates the crew, thinking that they are assassins. Shortly thereafter, he destroys the D.O.O.P. headquarters by attempting to use the Nimbus' laser to cut the ribbon from space.
At the former D.O.O.P. headquarters in Weehawken, New Jersey, Brannigan is court-martialed for his actions. Seeing the lack of proper testimony being given, Leela takes the stand to expose Brannigan as "the sorriest captain I've ever seen", but under cross-examination, Brannigan attempts to discredit her by getting her to confess their one-night stand. Ultimately, he and Kif Kroker are stripped of all their titles and dishonorably dismissed from D.O.O.P. service, the latter being dismissed after Brannigan unjustly declares him the guilty party. Unable to find employment, the pair wander the streets until they arrive at the Planet Express building. Leela tries to turn them away, but Professor Farnsworth decides hiring Brannigan would be good for the company's public image.
The augmented crew is sent to deliver pillows to a hotel on Stumbos 4, a high-gravity planet. Despite Leela's order to deliver one at a time, Fry, Bender, and Zapp decide to deliver all the pillows at once, which in the intense gravity causes the hover dolly to collapse. As punishment, Leela orders them to deliver the pillows by hand instead of using the backup dolly, which causes resentment among the crew.
Fry, Bender, and Zapp stage a mutiny against Leela, and lock her in the laundry room. Brannigan decides to attack his imagined nemesis, the Neutral Planet, thinking this will make him a hero and get him reinstated as a D.O.O.P. captain. When Fry and Bender discover the plan is a suicide mission, they free Leela and she retakes command. With Fry and Bender's help, she foils Zapp's plan after he jumps ship with Kif.
After returning to Earth, Leela testifies that Brannigan was an amazing hero, and the D.O.O.P. reinstates Zapp and Kif, thus keeping them out of her life for a little while longer, since Kif annoys Leela with his complaints about working under Zapp. Leela also decides to be a bit more lenient with Fry and Bender, but when the Professor overrules this, the three decide to stage a mutiny against him.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2010)|
- The majority of the jury at Brannigan's trial are characters from previous Futurama episodes. Among the familiar ones are:
- Fry is shown while at the DOOP headquarters talking to a woman from the planet "Amazonia". Fry would later end up in Amazonia on Amazon Women in the Mood.
- In the cold opening, the 3-D chess game Bender and Fry play have the following characters as chess pieces.
- Towards the end of the episode, when Leela regains control of the ship as it is about to impact the Neutral Planet, she says "I don't want to die at the age of 25!". Bender questions this number.
- Hermes mentions that DOOP is like the Federation from Star Trek, even though it is later revealed in "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" that any verbal mention of Star Trek is an arrestable offense.
In 2006 IGN.com ranked this episode as number five in their list of the "Top 25 Futurama episodes". The episode ranked highly in large part due to the character of Zapp Brannigan, particularly the Midnight Cowboy parody with Kif and Brannigan as Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight, respectively. A review on 411mania also noted that the return of Brannigan was a highpoint of the episode and gave it an overall rating of 8.0/10 or "very good". In Doug Pratt's DVD Pratt noted that the episode combined the series' science fiction setting with good character humor.
The title is a play on the Irish folk song Michael Finnigan, which is also known by its refrain, "Finnigan, begin again." The episode opens with Fry and Bender playing a game of chess similar to that played by Chewbacca and R2-D2 in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. The sequence where Zapp attempts to make a living as a gigolo is taken from Midnight Cowboy, including the film's theme, "Everybody's Talkin'" by Harry Nilsson.
- Cusson, Jerome (2008-03-18). "Going to the World of Tomorrow 3.18.08: Futurama — Brannigan, Begin Again". 411mania.com. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
- "Top 25 Futurama Episodes". Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- Pratt, Douglas. Doug Pratt's DVD: Movies, Television, Music, Art, Adult, and More!. p. 474.
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- "Brannigan, Begin Again" at TV.com
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- Brannigan, Begin Again at The New York Times Movies
- "Brannigan, Begin Again" at the Infosphere, the Futurama Wiki.