Futurama may be set incredibly far into the future but that doesn’t mean the writers aren’t providing acute and funny commentary on the lives and time we’ve found ourselves living in.
When Futurama was canceled for the second time in 2013, the fandom was left to contemplate how Matt Groening’s sci-si series would’ve satirized so many talking points in the news. However, when the Hulu and Disney+ reboot was announced, we predicted that season 11 would deliver some hilarious commentary.
We were definitely right, and so far we’ve had unforgettable episodes taking aim at everything from Bitcoin to Amazon. The episode that we’ve all been waiting for, on the other hand, is the seventh, Rage Against The Vaccine.
The Covid-inspired episode explains that in the year 3023, the world has finally beaten Covid-19.
However, when Linda the newsaster delivers the good news she announces that the “triumph over Covid-19” report is being interrupted by the report of a new virus called Explovid-23 which has broken out amongst the mutants who dwell below New New York.
Symptoms of this Covid-19 substitute (much like Momazon was a stand-in for Amazon) include breaking out into uncontrollable anger and a mild cough. A travel ban to and between the sewers is enforced but the installment opens with Leela arriving at the Planet Express building after visiting her parents.
She ends up passing the virus on to Fry and her colleagues, as well as some high-profile figures.
Throughout the episode, scientists are on the search for a cure, including Farnsworth’s sworn enemy and rival, Wernstrom. And yet, it’s actually Hermes who finds himself on track to discovering what will save New New York from Explovid.
His adventures lead him to a lab in Voodoo HQ where they concoct a cure. Hermes’ wife LaBarbara explains that “the key is to produce a voodoo potion that tricks the body into thinking it has the virus, but without actually getting the disease.”
“So the immune system falls under its own spell and produces anti-jujus that attack the spike protein, thus inoculating against future infection,” Hermes adds.
“Precisely,” LaBaraba weighs in, “you got some serious mental pecs husband.”
They administer the voodoo potion into the arm with the help of a voodoo doll in between the
two. They successfully return to Earth with a huge banner reading ‘Free Voodoo shots’ outside of the Planet Express building.
“Can you assure me there is absolutely no science in this vaccine?” Dr. Banjo asks. “Nothing but 100% Louisiana swamp voodoo,” Hermes reassures him. Zapp Brannigan and the Professor get their shots, with Farnsworth saying beforehand it’s a bunch of “mumbo-gumbo, anything I can’t understand is fake.”
After the shot works, he offers Hermes an “apology for being so anti-voodoo. It may seem bat-whack crazy to a layman, but I see now that voodoo methods are built on centuries of brilliant scholarship.”
Hermes argues that “any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from science.” The episode then ends with Bender receiving the voodoo vaccine, ending the pandemic, and taking us into next week’s adventure, whatever that may bring!