Between 1999 and 2003, then 2008 and 2013, “Futurama” was one of the most beloved anime sitcoms. And she’s even still talked about… If you haven’t followed everything well or if your memory challenges you, we’ll tell you about the end of the series.
Warning, spoilers. The following article reveals key plot points of “Futurama” as well as its ending.
Futurama never stop! Slated for a big comeback in 2023, the animated sci-fi sitcom from Matt Greening has everything to worship – and this despite a course interspersed with breaks.
The adventures of professional slacker Philip J. Fry, cryogenically preserved for 1000 years and then sent into the future, won over a whole generation of enthusiasts who followed the hero as he made his debut in an interplanetary delivery company alongside Leela and the robot Bender.
One of the 60 Greatest TV Cartoons of All Time according to TV Guide, Futurama garnered critical acclaim throughout its run and as a result won 9 Annie Awards out of 17 nominations, and 6 Emmy Awards out of 12 nominations. The series has also been nominated 4 times for a Writers Guild of America Award, winning the award 2 times.
Created in 1999, the show was first canceled by Fox in 2003 before returning in 2007 in the form of 4 films, feature films which will be cut into 16 episodes and then broadcast on Comedy Central between 2008 and 2009, constituting the 5th season of the series.
In 2009, the show returned for 2 more seasons before saying its second (and still not final) farewell to the screen in September 2013. Episode 10×13 is called “En attendant…” (“Meanwhile” in VO) and is the last broadcast to date, the one whose plot we summarize here.
Back to square one. The finale begins where the series began, where the first delivery of the Planet Express crew took place: the Moon. As the trio has just landed, Bender (doubled by John DiMaggio) is so excited that he cartwheels to Luna Park.
Inside the bubble, Fry (voiced by Billy West) and Leela (voiced by Katey Sagal) come across the Craterface mascot who makes balloon animals: Fry buys some from Leela in his likeness.
The crew then boards the “Mecha-Hexadecapus”, an attraction which Bender breaks up while vomiting nuts and bolts (because he kept doing cartwheels and ate 2 corn dogs before boarding). Indeed, one of the parts ends up jamming the gears of the carousel, which sends Leela – the “Buggalo” plush that she carries in her arms and her balloon – flying through the protective glass bubble of the park and thus in the space.
While she is missing, Fry confesses to Bender that he always thought they would grow old together. The Moon Patrol finally announces his death: they only found his stuffed animal which they brought back with them.
Fry starts crying but suddenly Leela comes out of the plush in question: she had sheltered there while breathing the air inside her balloon double. Later, in their apartment, Fry confesses to Bender that after what he felt when he thought she was dead, he decided to propose to Leela in marriage.
THE BUTTON TO GO BACK IN TIME
The next day, back at the Planet Express building, Professor Farnsworth (also voiced by Billy West) unveils his latest invention: the “Time Button”. Thanks to the latter, he can send the entire universe 10 seconds into the past.
Only the user(s) of the button or those hiding in the “Temporal Refuge” he also invented can remember what happened.
As the crew enters the shelter to explore it, Dr. Zoidberg (still voiced by Billy West) arrives to brag about receiving a $10 bill someone dropped while getting in a taxi. . Professor Farnsworth then takes the ticket before using the button and everyone gloats at Zoidberg’s disappointment when, 10 seconds back, he finds no money in his pocket.
Leela then asks if she can use the button to go back as far as she wants by pressing it multiple times. Farnsworth tells him it’s impossible because it takes exactly 10 seconds for the button to recharge.
Fry, meanwhile, asks if using the button can make a moment last forever. The Professor takes offense, stating that the button should only be used for scientific purposes…as he presses it again to relive the moment when Zoidberg can’t find his ticket.
THE MARRIAGE PROPOSAL
Fry steals the button so he and Bender can steal diamonds from a store without the owner knowing. It aims to create an engagement ring the size of a golf ball.
He then prepares his marriage proposal at Elzar’s Fine Cuisine. Unfortunately, at the restaurant, Fry presents the ring to Leela in a giant clam…which ends up biting – and cutting off – Leela’s hand. Fry panics and uses the button to prevent this from happening.
Eventually, he invites her to meet him at the top of the Vampire State Building at 6:30 p.m. if she agrees to marry him. If she does not come, he will deduce that she refuses. His plan is to use the button to make the sunset last as long as he and Leela want.
But he is heartbroken when his watch says 7:02 p.m., and she still hasn’t arrived. He then decides to jump from the roof, considering that he cannot live without her.
But, as he falls, he sees Leela approaching and notices that the building’s clock reads 6:25 p.m.: his watch has continued to function normally during all his uses of the button while the time has been delayed.
In his fall, Fyr tries to undo his jump but, because he’s been falling for over 10 seconds, he can never get back to the moment before he jumped. He is then forced to press the button continuously to prevent killing himself.
SAVE FRY AT ALL COST
Professor Farnsworth later notices that the device has been stolen and invites everyone to enter his time vault. With the button constantly used, the universe finds itself in a constant time loop. He fears that the latter is damaged.
Additionally, anyone leaving the shelter could be destroyed if the device is then used again less than 10 seconds later, as the machine would not know where to send that person back.
Obviously, Bender denounces Fry. Unfortunately, they cannot leave the refuge without causing a double paradox. Their past selves would be caught in the loop while their present selves would be shredded through the timestream “like human coleslaw.” The professor even demonstrates this by throwing the 10 dollar bill which evaporates while the button is constantly being used.
The group then runs towards the Vampire State Building carrying the shelter, stopping every 10 seconds. When they arrive, Farnsworth accidentally distracts Fry causing him to lose the button and hit the ground: he dies on impact. Leela however uses the button to undo her death but does accidentally disappear the professor, out of the shelter without his knowledge. She still prefers to sacrifice him to save Fry.
After several loops, realizing they need an exit strategy, Bender waits for the opportune moment to save Fry’s life with his airbag.
But as Fry bounces around and everyone rejoices, he accidentally falls on the button and breaks it, causing time to freeze for all but Fry and Leela – which literally makes this moment “last forever” as Fry said. had announced.
A LIFETIME TOGETHER
Fry and Leela discover that they can still interact with objects to some degree – for example, they can still eat – and with living things as if they were inanimate objects. They then organize their wedding at the Saint-Koch cathedral, the pope of space presiding in silence and without movement, all in front of their friends on a break.
They then explore planet Earth in a decades-long honeymoon, with frozen time allowing them to cross oceans. A mysterious glow bothers them from time to time, but other than that they are very happy in their stationary world.
As they are now old, they return to the rooftop garden of the Vampire State Building to drink the champagne that János the Vampire (voiced by David Herman), had poured them into cups before the time set.
Fry even recites the toast he was prepared to give when he proposed, again referring to making a moment last forever. Reflecting on their years together in the frozen time, Leela assures Fry that she had a great life and tells him that she “was never alone, not even for a minute.”
GLIMMER OF HOPE
Then suddenly, the glow appears and turns into a tunnel from which emerges… the Professor! He wasn’t killed but instead was sent into an orthogonal time that runs perpendicular to Fry and Leela’s. He has thus dug tunnels for decades, searching for the button at every moment “from yesterday to tomorrow”.
Fry eventually reveals that he’s been carrying the pieces of the broken button around with him for years, a button he tried to fix before he got angry and broke it further. Farnsworth then quickly repairs the device and modifies it so he can reset everything.
However, the Professor explains that this will send them back to when he invented the Time Button, leaving them with no memory of any events that happened after that.
Although they enjoyed growing old together, Fry asks Leela if she wants to “take another ride” with him. She accepts saying “yes, I do”: they share a last kiss and the teacher presses the button. End of Futurama.