EPISODE REVIEW: Futurama: "The Duh-Vinci Code" (Season 6, Episode 5)

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Fry is really dumb, and we see several scenes of his stupidity which are supposed to be really funny, but mostly feel like leftover Homer Simpson gags, particularly since the previous four episodes and the movies from "last Year" have shown he isn't quite as stupid as is generally assumed.

The Professor tells Fry of his love of all things DaVinci, which results in Fry accidentally discovering a lost plan from the Renaissance polymath. They head to "Future Roma" and have a fairly tedious reenactment of "The Davinci Code," which, again, is supposed to be really funny, but just kinda' isn't.

This results in the discovery of an ancient spaceship built by DaVici, which takes Fry and Farnsworth through space to an idyllic planet called "Vinci." There they meet Leonardo (Whom Fry mistakes for Leonardo DiCaprio "I thought you were great in Titanic! 'The Beach'...eh...")

The planet is basically one huge university and we discover that Leonardo was the stupidest person on the planet ("Hey, look at me, I'm Leonardo, and I don't know what the mass of the Higgs-Bosun is!" and "Hey, look at me, I'm Leonardo and I have to draw in pencil because I don't know how to use drafting software!" the others chide.) He ran away from home to earth because he was tired of being stupid.

On earth he was surrounded by people who were even stupider than he was, so eventually he came back to his own planet and resigned himself to a (Very long) lifetime of being tormented by his rival, "Biff." Meanwhile, Farnsworth can't keep up with the classes, and all three of them realize they're the biggest morons in the world. Fry happens to have the long-lost plans with him, which encourages Leonardo to build his greatest invention: A killing machine to slaughter everyone that ever made fun of him.

Higgaldy Piggaldy ensues, but Fry stops it, and that's more-or-less the end.


The whole "Leonardo is an idiot" half of the story was really solidly funny, and I enjoyed it a lot. The first half of the episode, however, was just a pastiche of anemic gags based on a three year old, universally reviled movie, and possibly Tom Hanks' least satisfying role since Dragnet '86. Hardly current, and hardly insightful, or even scathing, it was just kinda' dumb.

I like that Fry - having been an idiot for his whole life - is well adjusted to a life of moronitude (I just made that up! It's terrible!), whereas Farnsworth just can't handle being stupid, and DaVinci himself is just a seething cauldron of resentment and anger.

"Hey, Leela, wanna' join the mile-down club?"
"Sure, why not?"

There's a nice Charlie Chaplin "Modern Times" gag towards the end.

"Nice killing machine, genius! It barely killed anybody!"

Ultimately, I'd say this episode was about on par with last week, which wasn't all that funny. Granted, the second half here was a hoot, but the first half was entirely unimpressive, so it kind of evens out in a great tepid sea of 'meh.'

So what do you folks think?