Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch

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"Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch"
Futurama episode
Episode no. Season four
Episode 1
Directed by Wes Archer
Written by Bill Odenkirk
Production code 4ACV01
Original air date January 12, 2003
Opening caption "Bigfoot's Choice"
Opening cartoon "It's a Greek Life" by Van Beuren Studios (1936)
Season four episodes
List of all Futurama episodes

"Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch" is the first episode in season four of Futurama. It first aired on January 12, 2003.

Plot[edit]

Amy is unhappy with her long-distance relationship with Kif and wants to see him in person again. When the crew is sent to deliver a giant pill to a planet near where Kif is stationed, Amy stows away on board the Planet Express Ship. While the crew is asleep, Amy changes course to meet with Kif. When Zapp Brannigan sees the ship, the Planet Express crew joins him on the Nimbus. On the Nimbus, Kif shows Amy the HoloShed to show her what life would be like with him. In one of the environments, Kif tries to literally pluck the moon from the sky and give it to Amy, but only succeeds in dislodging it before he falls into a lake. Soon, however, the shed malfunctions and the holograms that invade—Attila the Hun, Professor Moriarty, Jack the Ripper, and an evil version of Abraham Lincoln along with an evil horse Amy had earlier admired—become real. When the holograms reach the bridge, Zapp Brannigan threatens them with a laser cannon and, despite a rather accurate warning from Attila -"No shoot fire stick in space canoe. Cause explosive decompression!"-, he blasts a hole in the ship, which sucks out history's greatest villains (although the evil Abraham Lincoln later appears, unharmed). Everyone else on the bridge is also sucked towards the hole, but they manage to survive by hanging on to each other's hands (until the moon from the Holoshed plugs the hole). In sickbay later, the doctor looks at everyone and deduces that everyone survived despite minor injuries, and also reveals the unlikely news that Kif is pregnant.

It is initially believed that Amy is the mother since Kif's race reproduces through touch, due to the fact that their skin is a semi-permeable membrane. Kif's race is thus able to conceive whenever they are in love through direct physical contact with another being. Fry points out that everyone on the ship's bridge touched Kif while he was trying to hang onto them to prevent being sucked through and it is unclear who the mother is. Professor Farnsworth uses an invention of his, the Maternifuge, to determine who is the real mother. The machine filters out its occupants based on a DNA sample, eliminating Fry, Zapp (much to Kif's relief), Zoidberg (who just lives in the machine because he doesn't have a home of his own) and Amy, revealing that the mother is Leela. Amy is instead the "smizmar" (person whose love inspired the conception) of Kif's children, which nevertheless makes her the "real" mother by Kif's species' standards.

Later on, at Fry and Bender's apartment for the pre-birth celebrations, Amy decides she cannot go through with this and runs away, leaving Kif just as his babies are about to be born.

The crew takes Kif to Amphibios 9, his homeworld. They escort him through the jungle after they land. Kif encounters the Grand Midwife, who oversees the birthing ceremony, which requires the participation of the smizmar, further underscoring Kif's sadness at Amy's abandonment. Just as Kif is about to give birth, Amy arrives saying she wants to be with him despite not being ready for motherhood. After Kif gives birth, the babies, in a tadpole-like state, hop towards the swampy planet's water, nearly attacked by deadly predators that Amy, telling them to stay away from her babies, fends off successfully. The tadpoles make it to the water and are left to swim about until they are able to live out of water, which Kif reveals will not actually happen for twenty years; Amy is thus satisfied that she will be ready to help raise them when the time comes (they are indeed Leela's children, as some have only one eye).

Continuity[edit]

The term "smizmar" was previously used in the episode "Raging Bender" when the announcer for the Ultimate Robot Fighting match refers to the audience as "Ladies, gentlemen, and smizmars". The same episode also contains a movie poster advertising When a Man Loves a Smizmar. This episode is the first time the term is explained.[1]

Production[edit]

At the beginning of the episode when Professor Farnsworth retreats to the angry dome, there was a long debate amongst the writers about whether the viewers should be able to hear him or not. They envisioned the angry dome as being similar to the Cone of Silence from Get Smart, but ultimately it was felt that hearing the professor was funnier.[1] The writers apparently had an even larger debate about who the second parent of Kif's children should be.[1] The head writer for the episode notes that they felt making Amy the true parent would make her character unlikeable after she did not accept the children.[2]

In the scene in Kif's room, Bender is seen in Kif's closet with his head and body separated. No explanation for this is ever given. However, on the DVD commentary, it is revealed that it was originally going to be explained that the room was much too small to have everybody fit inside, and that Bender was in the closet out of necessity. The original script also contained a much longer series of events once the characters arrived at Kif's planet. The material that was eventually cut focused on the journey and a series of tasks Kif needed to complete before giving birth. Reportedly the material was enough for an entire second episode.[2]

Cultural references[edit]

  • The animation of the Planet Express Ship entering the Nimbus’ cargo hold is a reference to the film You Only Live Twice, although on the DVD commentary the creators mistake it for Moonraker.[1]
  • The HoloShed (and its frequent malfunctions turning holograms "real") are parodies of the holodeck from Star Trek: The Next Generation.[3] Among the HoloShed characters who run rampant are Professor Moriarty, Attila the Hun, Jack the Ripper and an evil version of Abraham Lincoln. A holodeck incarnation of Professor Moriarty "came alive" in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation - "Elementary, Dear Data" and "Ship in a Bottle" - while Jack the Ripper and Lincoln appeared in Star Trek; "Evil Lincoln" is a specific reference to the episode "The Savage Curtain", where aliens pit some of Earth's most storied heroes (including Lincoln) against its most hated villains.[1]
  • The HoloShed is programmed in BASIC because the writers were amused by the idea that in the Star Trek universe any simulation one wants to experience has already been painstakingly programmed.[1]
  • The sick bay scene is a parody of that from Star Trek, complete with sound effects. The sign references a creature from the series called a Horta[1] that gives severe acid burns. The sick bay's doctor is a parody of Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy,[1] and is named "Veins" in a deleted scene.
  • The maternifuge is based loosely on the amusement park ride, "The Rotor".[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cohen, David X. (2003). Futurama season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Kif gets Knocked Up a Notch" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 
  2. ^ a b Odenkirk, Bill (2003). Futurama season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Kif gets Knocked Up a Notch" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 
  3. ^ Archer, Wes (2003). Futurama season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Kif gets Knocked Up a Notch" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 

External links[edit]