A Bicyclops Built for Two
|"A Bicyclops Built for Two"|
Leela meets Alcazar.
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Susan Dietter|
|Written by||Eric Kaplan|
|Original air date||March 19, 2000|
|Opening caption||"This Episode Has Been Modified To Fit Your Primitive Screen"|
|Opening cartoon||"Hollywood Capers" (1935)|
The Professor opens the episode by bearing good news to the Planet Express crew: several years ago he had tried to log onto AOL, and it has finally connected. He sends the crew into the Internet for fun. While playing the video game Death Factory III, Leela meets the only other cyclops in the known universe, but Fry blasts him before she can find out who he is and where he comes from. The crew is sent on a delivery mission to bring popcorn to Cineplex 14, so Leela cannot take the time to find him. However, he records her screen name beforehand and sends her a video message. Leela abandons the delivery, and heads off to the coordinates provided. Unfortunately, when she jettisons the cargo, it misses by a margin and hits the Sun, causing a popcorn nebula to form.
The cyclops reveals himself to be Alcazar, sole survivor of the destruction of the planet Cyclopia. He explains that Leela was sent away as a baby when the blind mole people of Subterra 3 launched missiles in every direction, hitting forty planets including Cyclopia. Luckily, before the crash, Cyclopia's smartest scientist managed to save a baby that was possibly Leela. Alcazar was employed as a pool cleaner and was spared from the chaos while fishing out a dead possum. Leela decides that it is her duty to help rebuild the Cyclopian civilization, which primarily includes marrying Alcazar. While Bender loots everything of value, Fry tries to find out "what makes the Forbidden Valley so forbidden", and stumbles right into the dungeon. Now that Leela is committed to Alcazar for the good of their race, he becomes abusive to her, demanding she carry out menial work and humiliating her in front of his friends, an anthropomorphic rat couple and a pig. While he is in the dungeon, Fry tries to convince Leela to dump Alcazar; he almost persuades her when Alcazar proposes marriage. Flattered, Leela accepts.
As the wedding begins, Fry (who has escaped the dungeon) and Bender break into the Forbidden Valley to find out Alcazar's secret and discover to their amazement four other castles, identical except that the decorations show different types of aliens. They arrive back at Leela's wedding just before she is about to say "I do" and bring a surprise—four other women, each the last of her species like Leela. Alcazar, flustered, tries to reason with the women, shape-shifting each time to match their form; the women quickly beat him into submission, and he takes his real form, a grasshopper-like alien. He explains that he played with their emotions because he wanted to "make it with five weirdos" and get them to become his personal maids, and that he had to stage all the weddings on one day because tuxedos that change shape are expensive to rent. All five of the women reject him, and Leela leaves with the rest of the Planet Express crew. The episode ends with Leela sadly contemplating her desire to find her true species, wondering "How many planets could there be?" as she looks out at a vast, starry space. However, the Professor tells Leela she will have many years to search for her home, considering the amount of time she will spend paying for the popcorn shipment she destroyed.
The new look that Leela does to please "Al" parodies voice actor Katey Sagal's role as Peggy Bundy (with husband Al) on Married... with Children. The scene also lampoons the show's dysfunctional family sitcom style and marriage/sex related jokes.
In the beginning of the episode, when Bender opens the portal to the Internet, Fry's exclamation of "My God...it's full of ads!" is a reference to Dave Bowman's line "My God...it's full of stars!" in the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey and the film 2010. As the portal opens, the characteristic theme "Also Sprach Zarathustra" from 2001: A Space Odyssey can be heard.
Alcazar's story of Cyclopia also shadows that of Superman, whose father sent him in an experimental vessel to travel through hyperspace when it was discovered a nuclear reaction was building inside Krypton, soon destroying the entire planet.
When making the popcorn delivery to Cineplex 14, the name of the planet is a spoof of the Canadian company Cineplex Entertainment. Later when the popcorn is thrown into the sun, it makes a shape of a galaxy, the logo of Galaxy Cinemas, one of the companies that merged to make Cineplex Entertainment.
Color stylist Bari Kumar won an Emmy award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation for this episode in 2000. Susie Dietter was nominated for an Annie Award in 2000 for "Outstanding Individual Achievement for Directing in an Animated Television Production" for this episode; she lost to Brian Sheesley for the Futurama episode "Why Must I Be a Crustacean in Love?". In Doug Pratt's DVD, Pratt noted that this episode was his favorite of the second season. In particular, he notes that the virtual reality sequence at the beginning was very witty and the overall plot was entertaining.
- Ellis, Rick (2000-08-26). "2000 Creative Emmy Award Winners". All Your TV. Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
- Azrai, Ahmad (2004-10-31). "Farewell to the funny future". Asia Africa Intelligence Wire. Archived from the original on 2 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
- "28th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners". International Animated Film Society. 2000. Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
- Pratt, Douglas. Doug Pratt's DVD: Movies, Television, Music, Art, Adult, and More!. p. 474.
- "PEOPLE'S CHOICE.(Brief Article)(Statistical Data Included)". Broadcasting & Cable (Reed Business Information). 2000-03-27. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
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