" I've never been able to put into words how I feel about you. But somewhere among these trillions of hearts, those words must already exist. And I'm gonna find them."
―Fry to Leela
Love and Rocket is episode 57 in Season Four of Futurama. It features the guest voices of Sigourney Weaver and Lucy Liu. Much of the material refererced in the episode is drawn from Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke's 1968 classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The love affair between Bender and the ship's personality is a comedic exploration of machine personhood, an issue raised in the film. The deactivation or killing of the ship's personality actually shares the same complex comedic touch as the film: Kubrick and Clarke had HAL 9000 reduced to pathetically singing "A Bicycle Built for Two" as it died.
Returning from a delivery, Bender is having an argument with the Planet Express ship over art. When he proceeds to his room, the ship snaps off his head. Back at the Planet Express building, Bender screws back his head on, complaining about the ship. Professor Farnsworth comes in with new uniforms, for Planet Express is planning on contracting Romanticorp, maker of all things romantic. During a tour, Dr. Farnsworth uses a shock stick to keep Leela in line. Fry finds candy hearts with messages on them. He becomes determined to find the right words to find to woo Leela.
Thanks to the contract, the Professor is able to make repairs on the ship that the crew has been suing him about; he taped the cracks in the dark matter reactor, got a cage for the lion and new software for the ship to adjust its voice. Turning it to female, Bender becomes immediately attracted to her. They begin having fun with their circuits until the others find out. Though it is fraternizing with employees, Leela allows it. Soon, Bender grows tired of the ship and begins cheating on her. Unbeknownst to him, while he is taking out two fembots at Elzar's Fine Cuisine, he is spotted by the ship, who become immediately possessive and erratic.
The crew delivers a shipment of hearts to Omicron Persei 8. The Omicronians become confused with the concept of "wuv" and begin to attack. During the attack, Bender decide to break up with the ship, shattering her mind, bringing them to a complete stop, allowing missiles to impact them.
Luckily, they survive, but the ship's feelings can't be repaired. After getting advice from Leela, the ship irrationally flies near a quasar. With its power of ten billion black holes, it would compress her and Bender into a single quantum singularity. Bender tries pleading with her, pretending to say he loved her but she said if he really loved her, he'd merge his programming with hers. To prevent Fry and Leela from interfering, she shuts off the oxygen and gravity. The organics manage to put on oxygen tanks.
Hiding in a shower, the three come up with a plan to deactivate the ship before she kills them all. Luckily, she can't read lips. Bender had to distract her by merging programs, with the risk of losing his personality if the ship engulfs it, while the others deactivate her brain. Bender merges with the ship, going deep into her motherboard. Inside it, he wis portrayed as just his head and the ship is smaller and had a face. He noticed a tube, meaning she is a lot older than she said she was. Bender then "runs" away from the ship.
Meanwhile, Leela slowly attempts to shut down the ship's brain while Fry continued to look for the perfect words. Fry notices Leela's oxygen tank is almost empty but she refuses to listen. So he attaches his tank to hers and falls unconscious. Leela is able to take the ship offline and stop it from plunging into the quasar. But she soon realizes Fry's sacrifice and performed mouth-to-mouth on him. When he awakens, Fry coughs out a candy heart which reads 'U LEAVE ME BREATHLESS'. They find Bender, shaken from his chase, but a bit of the ship's personality has gotten into him. Leela lazily dumps the scattered hearts into the quasar. But, as narrated by Zoidberg, "
As the candy hearts poured into the fiery quasar, a wondrous thing happened, why not. They vaporized into a mystical love radiation that spread across the universe, destroying many, many planets, including two gangster planets and a cowboy world. But one planet was exactly the right distance to see the romantic rays but not be destroyed by them: Earth. So all over the world couples stood together in joy. And me, Zoidberg. And no one could have been happier unless it would have also been Valentine's Day. What? It was? Hooray.!!".