David X. Cohen Pinpoints A Biblical Futurama Episode That ‘Didn’t Age Well’

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Written By Sedoso Feb

There are a lot of beloved episodes of the show’s first full season back from cancellation, but “In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela” wasn’t one of them. It’s often ranked among the worst “Futurama” episodes, mainly because of how casually it treats Zapp’s disturbing behavior. Zapp’s always been a creep, but usually he gets far more of a comeuppance for it, not a reward. The other fan complaint is that Leela comes across as too much of a pushover. She falls for Zapp’s lies more easily than the Leela we know would, and even before the Earth’s supposed destruction she’s still putting up with far more abuse from him than usual. 

Likewise, Leela’s lack of concern towards Fry throughout all this feels inconsistent. Throughout the Fox era of the show, Leela went back and forth between liking Fry or not, often to the point where it seemed like they were dating in one episode and mere acquaintances in the next. This was the understandable result of Fox messing around with the episode’s airing order, but for Comedy Central there was no such excuse. Why was the audience expected to laugh at Fry’s heartbreak after it’s been so clearly established by now that the two love each other? Why give us this storyline right after they left off the previous episode on such good terms?

Luckily, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Leela” was a low point in an otherwise strong season, rather than a harbinger of things to come. Not only did season 7 give us all-time great episodes like “Lethal Inspection” and “The Late Philip J. Fry,” but it generally stayed away from any flippant jokes about Leela being sexually harassed. David X. Cohen pointed to this episode as a mistake, but at least they seemed to learn from it afterward.

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