Bendin' in the Wind
|"Bendin' in the Wind"|
|Episode no.||Season three
|Directed by||Ron Hughart|
|Written by||Eric Horsted|
|Original air date||April 22, 2001|
|Opening caption||"Federal Law Prohibits Changing The Channel"|
|Opening cartoon||"A Coy Decoy" (1941)|
Beck as Beck's Head
"Bendin' in the Wind" is the forty-fifth episode of Futurama, the thirteenth of the third production season and the thirteenth of the third broadcast season. It aired on 22 April, 2001, on Fox. It guest-stars Beck as himself. Bender becomes a folksinger after being broken, and starts touring with Beck. The title comes from the Bob Dylan song "Blowin' in the Wind".
Fry 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. Bender lifts the barrel of whale oil to the can opener, but is caught by the opener's magnet and horribly damaged. 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 (he was attempting to affix a mannequin to his head), 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 player.
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 to 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. Having been found out, Bender 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 forgives him since Bender has done so much for broken robots. The crew floats back to New New York in the microbus.
Broadcast and reception
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", "'Ucky", and "WyΩing". Ohio 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 and Slovakia. One state (coterminous 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". Additionally, in the episode "The 30% Iron Chef", Bender references Eugene, "Oregon", differing from "XORegon"; also, Idaho is shown as "UserID:aho" and Washington as "Washingtron".
- 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 traditional, famously performed by Simon & Garfunkel. Simon is replaced by a Cylon, forming the new duo, 'Cylon and Garfunkel'.
- Bob Dylan's song "Girl from the North Country" is interpolated at the end of "Scarborough Fair".
- 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, both by Beck.
- 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 'Devil's Haircut,' I was feeling really... what's that song about?".
- Beck's album Odelay is mentioned in this episode when Bender says that he will use real words to write a song, "Not phony ones like 'Odelay'!" to which Beck responds "Odelay is a word! Just look it up in the 'Becktionary'!".
- The title, "Bendin' in the Wind" is a play on the Bob Dylan song "Blowin' in the Wind".
- Cylon and Garfunkel is used as the name of the opening band for the Beck concert instead of Simon and Garfunkel. The Cylon reference is from Battlestar Galactica.
- Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco is referred to as "Fisherman's Worf", a reference to the Klingon crew member of the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
- The magnet Bender affixes to his head at Fishermen's Worf says, "I [heart] Men" which is an irreverent but funny poke at San Francisco's broad acceptance of varied lifestyles.
- When Beck chases Bender through the streets of San Francisco, a green VW Beetle appears in every shot. This a reference to the car chase from Bullitt.
- Ray, Kenneth (2001-04-30). "BroadcastWatch.(Statistical Data Included)". Broadcasting & Cable (Reed Business Information). Retrieved 2009-03-07.
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