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Thread: Rate and Review: "Ghost in the Machines"



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  1. #1
    Food-Crazed Maniac Oh, that's raspberry!'s Avatar
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    Rate and Review: "Ghost in the Machines"

    When Bender dies his spirit lingers in the mortal world. He makes a deal with the Robot Devil: to get his life back all he must do is scare Fry.....to death! Discuss...

    PS: If a poll was made before this someone just delete it, thanks

  2. #2
    I'm Bartman. Jims's Avatar
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    I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I was kinda lukewarm about it in the first act, but the episode seemed to get better and better as it went along. That isn't to say that the first act was all bad, since it had a pretty funny twist on the suicide booth. Still, when Bender finally figured out he could possess electrical objects, the episode really started to kick into gear.

    Was also surprised at how faced paced the plot elements seemed to come and go. They brought in the PreacherBot to give him that magical device, and it seemed like it was going to be a big factor in the story now. But nope, it just disappears in almost the very next scene. It's not that big of a complaint because this kind of story needs to keep moving (how long are we just going to watch him haunt Fry?). It was just weird.

    And man, do they need to stop teasing the "Fry is dead" angle. Just like in the recent Lrrrrr episode, we're up to like 5 or 6 times Fry has "died" now.

    I really enjoyed the Amish Planet a lot. A lot of typical Amish jokes, although the futuristic spin made it feel more fresh. I also felt hints of "Jurassic Bark" as Bender was following Fry around... Bender is hanging around, but Fry can't possibly know that. There's probably some big essay that could be written about how Bender is Fry's new Seymour.

    Good episode overall. 4.5/5.

  3. #3
    Food-Crazed Maniac Oh, that's raspberry!'s Avatar
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    Fry actually saved one of the paleontologists from "Jurassic Bark" in this episode didn't he?

    Anyway great episode, far better than the last two. Anytime the Robot Devil is involved I automatically enjoy the episode and here was no different. Several good lines/gags here including Scruffy's "Bite my shiny metal ass," Hermes sensing someone said limbo, all the Amish stuff, the Professor remarking about his dark childhood with a parade everyday, and the several uses of Bender's body. Loved the Exorcist parody too but man, Matt must really love the Theremin huh? 4.5/5 rounded up to a 5 on the poll. Easily the best of the season so far.

    Also, several callbacks here including the paleontologist, Robot Devil, preacher, fortune teller gypsy robot, etc...

  4. #4
    chinese martian physicist HRH Sir Prince Charles's Avatar
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    Loved it. I'm giving it a 4/5, but it's really closer to 4.5... more substantive review tomorrow

    but fffuuuuu at the Obamacare joke. I'm willing to bend for a reference to The Office or CSI, but that made no goddamn sense.

  5. #5
    Food-Crazed Maniac Oh, that's raspberry!'s Avatar
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    Hey if Nixon can be President of Earth...

    EDIT: That was a joke but I also remembered something else from the episode, that Ghostbusters jab seemed surprisingly harsh(but funny).

    DOUBLE EDIT: Rewatching the episode and the magazine the Robot Devil reads is Life in Hell....pretty clever/sneaky sis.
    Last edited by Oh, that's raspberry!; 06-30-2011 at 08:13 PM.

  6. #6
    Hired Goon DotheBartman's Avatar
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    Ghost Bender sleeping at the foot of Fry's bed was ridiculously adorable, but then I have a dog named Bender who does that, so...

    But um, I loved this. I was laughing pretty much the whole way, and it was surprisingly sweet towards the end. Ghostbusters phone bit is one of my favorite lines ever. I thought the story got just a bit awkward towards the end (I think I missed a line or something about exactly WHY Fry would go live with the Amish...), but it was still awesome with lots of great twists and parodies. I don't want to be too hyperbolic off one viewing but I could possibly see this being in my top 30 or so. One of the best of the 2010/2011 run in any case.

    Oh, and Obamacare was way funny. I think it's funny specifically because of the fact that it's apparently still active and even still called by its derisive nickname 1,000 years later, which honestly is at least vaguely within the realm of possibility.
    Two eyes, two ears, a chin, a mouth, ten fingers, two nipples, a butt, two kneecaps, a penis. I've just described to you the Loch Ness Monster. And the reward for its capture? All the riches in Scotland. So I have one question: why are you here?

  7. #7
    The Chosen One Walid's Avatar
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    liked:

    "Heroes don't do drugs. Except for Drugman I guess."

    Bender telling the Robot Devil to explain what's wrong NOT in song form

    The Robot Devil

    the obamacare line was weird but got a chuckle out of me. same with the wikipedia reference.

    not that bad. i laughed a lot and thought the plot was pretty good. 4.5/5

  8. #8
    AddminisGator Gatorgod's Avatar
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    Robot Devil heavy episodes rule! hearing Dan C. step in and work his vocal talents on the "Other" Matt Groening show is a treat. It blinds me from noticing any real flaws that might actually exist. Like how they lampooned RoboDev's love of musical numbers,.. oh well! maybe next time.


  9. #9
    lp.org Mira's Avatar
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    Eh, it was just OK to me; definitely not bad. I actually liked Benderama and Nuetopia much more. This one had too much of a magic & supernatural feel and less of sci-fi/ space feel, which I'm not crazy about. I prefer the show when it focus on life in the year 3000 and how and why things work the way they do in that time period. 3/5

  10. #10
    canadian. likes the hockeys arii's Avatar
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    Oh man this was great. Great story, great jokes, extremely fast pace that just kept things moving along. Like it was really quick and snappy but it didn't feel rushed or anything, just a great mixture of plot and jokes that delivered non-stop.

    Fry and Bender are my two favourites and I love their relationship so I tend to love episodes like this anyway, but there really were so many things in this to like. The Amish planet, the Robot Devil, the Suicide Booth, PreacherBot's usage was fantastic... Just such a great story. I haven't been watching any of the promos or reading the plot summaries or anything, so I didn't really know what this one was going to be about, and walking completely blind into Futurama as of late has been a good move I think. I don't have time to consider things, I'm just taken along for the ride, especially in an episode like this one. Just such a good episode.

    The one thing that bugged me is all of the Robot Devil/song references. Yes it was a great song back from season 1. Sure, it might have gotten overhyped a bit. ... But calm down.

    No problems with the Obamacare line, pretty much for the exact reasons DTB stated. It's great to know that it'll still be around in 1000 years haha.

    But man from Bender trying to kill his best friend to following his best friend around like a lost puppy and trying to hug him and such. He's such an emotional character. Absolutely adore things like that though.

  11. #11
    Hired Goon DotheBartman's Avatar
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    Calling back to the season 1 song was funny since it implies/acknowledges that these "spontaneous" musical numbers on Futurama (and Simpsons and whatnot) would actually have to be "rehearsed" despite the plot-specific lyrics, and in this case apparently it actually is. (Though we also heard parts of it in "The Devil's Hands...." so I guess we already knew that.) I didn't feel it was just a cheap callback, and Futurama has had a few cheap callbacks before. And it's a meta-joke that still works within the universe, none of that "is this the end of our series...of events?" garbage.

    But yeah I agree with all of that otherwise.

  12. #12
    canadian. likes the hockeys arii's Avatar
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    That's my general beef with it, they already showed them rehearsing it once in the series already, I don't think it's that funny of a joke to have it show up every time.

  13. #13
    Hired Goon DotheBartman's Avatar
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    Fair enough. I think it was also funny to me since Robot Devil kept repeeaatedly trying to use his annoying songs (not just that one) to Bender's annoyance, but it's definitely a bit of a well-worn joke I suppose. We all know Bezzlebot likes musical numbers already.

  14. #14
    Junior Camper Muskrat's Avatar
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    Eh, I didn't care so much for this one. There weren't too many things I laughed at, and the plot was a bit too goofy. Still, I liked the sequence on the Amish planet, and the robot devil is always good for a few laughs.

    Also, this is probably only me, but I was hoping they'd take a jab at Transformers 2 during the robot heaven part, if only because that infamous scene can't be made fun of enough.

  15. #15
    Food-Crazed Maniac Oh, that's raspberry!'s Avatar
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    Off topic but I still haven't seen the apparently terrible Transformers sequel. Saw the first movie in the theaters and remember the only thing sticking with me during it was that the seating was extremely uncomfortable so yeah...no way I'd torture myself through a second two hours of explosions and whatnot...

  16. #16
    in the back of a pick-up Ryan's Avatar
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    Does anyone find it ironic that they did a "Ghostbusters is a lame outdated reference" joke, then two minutes later they did a full-on Exorcist parody?

    I wrote a lot on this episode and it was deleted, so yea bullet-points:
    -DtB explained Obamacare well, but I don't feel like that was the writer's intentions. Culture is somehow becoming relevant again without any twist or irony 3000 years later, just because the writers thought of it in the room and it was funny so they threw it in.
    -They need to stop with the whole "Fry is unaware of this whimsical element of the future" exposition bit. He's lived there for 11 years and never once been awake on Parade Day?
    -I disliked how the robot devil's scenes were entirely "REMEMBER THE FIRST FUTURAMA SEASON FINALE?" and "REMEMBER THE FIRST FUTURAMA SERIES FINALE?"
    -All aside, liked the episode, very sweet with Bender following Fry to the Amish Planet, and I loved how Fry's stress was tied both into the haunting and dealing with Bender's death.
    -Better than last week. Will write a bigger review erm... later.
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  17. #17
    Stonecutter Diversity Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DotheBartman View Post
    none of that "is this the end of our series...of events?" garbage.
    Why does everybody keep bringing that line up?

  18. #18
    Mapple Fan-boy HMS pinafore's Avatar
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    I realy liked this episode, I loved ghost bender following fry around but has anyone else noticed that scruffy has featured more prominently in this season and that all the staff know who he is?

    But anyway this episode gets a 4.5/5 from me

  19. #19
    Stonecutter blueguy's Avatar
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    Another solid episode. This is what I wanted out of the movies and last season. Seems they just needed to work out the rust. The only joke I didn't care for was the Obamacare joke, but that was very minor.
    Despite all my rage, I'm still just a rat in a cage.

  20. #20


    I had a lot of problems with this episode., primarily the lack of positive points.
    • I think the worst problem is how Bender has the turnaround when Fry announces that he misses Bender so much. Funny how Fry really didn't show that at all prior to this moment. I found that very shoddy.
    • Also, another anachronistic reference with "Obamacare". I don't know why the Simpsons is so fascinated with these sort of references now but I could do without them in a show set after the year 3000.
    • Bender argues with the Robot Devil for what seems like a minute while the giant construction noisily rolls towards them and they don't notice. A real problem of pacing here.

  21. #21
    grappling with local oaf Postmaster's Avatar
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    Bit better this week, although it's one of those episodes where you think that for it to work, you have to kind of ignore all the previous episodes of development between the characters. I mean does Bender really not know Fry cares about him that much? It seems silly to think that just hearing a few words from fry would suddenly turn it all around. But that said it still felt like quite a fresh exploration of their dynamic and was funny enough to be an enjoyable episode.
    Last edited by Postmaster; 07-01-2011 at 11:23 AM.

  22. #22
    Mod, eh? Tomacco's Avatar
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    So far I'm liking this season more than the first three eps of last season, for sure.

    But yeah, to echo the sentiments above, I kinda wish they'd stop referencing modern TV shows, news, etc. so much. At least come up with futuristic versions of them. I don't think they'd be showing The Office on planes 1000 years from now, in regards to the Neutopia reference to the show.
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  23. #23
    DICK MOVE! Comicshow MolemanBob's Avatar
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    Ghost in the Machines

    This was a really funny episode but once again it seemed to have really bad/strange pacing. Firstly we begin with Hermes talking to the crew (Once again about something wrong with the company) then the story begins with parade day and Fry saving a human instead of a robot (This all happens in the first seven or so minutes of the episode) Then Bender commits suicide and is revealed to be a ghost while all of this happens in about a minute, they could have spend so much longer on these scenes as they were really important to the plot (And I felt Bender's reason for killing himself was rather stupid) We start act two and the story builds really nicely then we reach the third act where I feel they spend way to long on the Amish stuff and the ending just happened for no reason (Did he really need to 'visit' God?) And we end on a pretty forgettable note with Bender just returning to life and the episode just ending (I can't even remember if there was a joke or not)

    But besides the weird pacing the episode was very funny and well characterized with everyone getting just the right amount of screen time. I'd even go as far as saying this is the funniest of the three episodes that have aired so far but not the best (It's just beaten by "Benderama" as it had a better premise and pace)

    Score: 8.0/10.0

    1) Benderama - 8.5/10.0
    2) Ghost in the Machine - 8.0/10.0
    3) Neutopia - 6.5/10.0

  24. #24
    chinese martian physicist HRH Sir Prince Charles's Avatar
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  25. #25
    grappling with local oaf Postmaster's Avatar
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    The more I think about it, I realize that I wish episodes would feel unique to each season. I know the show isn't about continuity and an ongoing story arc every episode, but at the same time I do think character dynamics and relationships should develop over time. So in season 3 Bender & Fry's dynamic has changed in in some subtle ways from season 2 and especially season 1. But this episode for the most part felt like it could have come from an earlier season. So it's not so much continuity I'm looking for as acknowledgment that it's a different time and the characters have moved on slightly. It's possible to do this and have self-contained episodes that any newcomer to the show could enjoy. Obviously there's a danger of the characters changing too much from their original selves, but it's important to strike a good middle-ground.

    This is one of the problems with modern days Simpsons repeating the same character conflicts. It's impossible to take them seriously because they've all been done in a more meaningful way before. So even though this episode was hardly the worst example of a repeated character conflict. It does tread some very familiar and predictable territory.

  26. #26
    Hired Goon DotheBartman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomacco View Post
    I don't think they'd be showing The Office on planes 1000 years from now, in regards to the Neutopia reference to the show.
    This isn't specifically defending the writers on this since I realize they probably didn't think of it this way....but I chuckled at that since I thought it was a funny idea that The Office would STILL be being continually re-made one thousand years from now (in the present, Gervais is planning more of them). The Kim Kardashian thing from last week is harder to defend though, even though I chuckled at it.

    RE: Fry and Bender, I forgive it more with Bender than other characters I think because I see Bender as being a really super-emotional character whose emotions change quickly. He really is a lot like a dog in that way: driven by impulses, emotions changing on a dime, radically passionate or hateful toward a given person or idea (and often changing on a dime), perhaps even short-term memory. So the seeming lack of advancement in episodes like this makes some sense. I'm a bit more concerned about, say, Fry and Leela apparently having declared their love to each other, and being sorta "together" at times, but being back to square-one, seasons 1/2 status the rest of the time. Not that I'm a shipper-type, but it's one thing I've found a little odd.

  27. #27
    in the back of a pick-up Ryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DotheBartman View Post
    This isn't specifically defending the writers on this since I realize they probably didn't think of it this way....but I chuckled at that since I thought it was a funny idea that The Office would STILL be being continually re-made one thousand years from now (in the present, Gervais is planning more of them). The Kim Kardashian thing from last week is harder to defend though, even though I chuckled at it.
    See, you're reading much more into this joke than there actually is. Funny idea, yes? Writers' intention, no. And that doesn't excuse it from being lazy.

  28. #28
    Hired Goon Adam R's Avatar
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    great episode. i laughed a lot.

    futurama feels like such a different show to me now. this season and last have moved from animated sitcom to adult cartoon. an obvious observation, seeing as it's gone from primetime on a sunday to thursday nights but stylistically it has really followed this as well. futurama feels basically like an adult swim show to me now. the plots are so simple that a tv guide style blurb probably details the entire thing, they're all totally bonkers and they fly by so fast that i could've sworn only 11 minutes passed. the thing is though, now this is seeming like a more natural and obvious fit for futurama. the original run allowed me to get to know the characters, care about how they interact and how work as comedic props. now, they've taken these characters, put them into simple hilarious plots and i'm already attached to them so they don't need to worry building character if they don't want to and it really works. i really don't care much about exploring anything new with dynamics and relationships any more, i don't see it necessary for my enjoyment of the show, i just want to laugh at a sci-fi comedy. this was a familiar plot for sure and the pacing was a little off, but i'm ok for the story to purely be a frame for getting fry to a hilarious amish planet or some great robot hell scenes. i've liked the past three episodes so much overall that i'm fine with futurama just being like this now. i apologise if this kinda thing has been done to death on these forums but i don't really read it besides the r&r and just wanted to talk about this.

    i hearby declare that this saturday will be fry day!

  29. #29
    grappling with local oaf Postmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DotheBartman View Post
    I'm a bit more concerned about, say, Fry and Leela apparently having declared their love to each other, and being sorta "together" at times, but being back to square-one, seasons 1/2 status the rest of the time. Not that I'm a shipper-type, but it's one thing I've found a little odd.
    Yeah their status seems to have changed from "will they/won't they?" To "are they/aren't they?" A first for TV perhaps.
    Last edited by Postmaster; 07-01-2011 at 03:03 PM.

  30. #30
    in the back of a pick-up Ryan's Avatar
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    I think it's "they are when the story calls for it".



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