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The Sting
Dead Fry
Episode 66
Production Code 4ACV12
Season 5
Air date June 1, 2003
Directed By Brian Sheesley
Written By Patric M. Verrone
Opening subtitle A By-Product of the TV Industry
Preceded by "Where No Fan Has Gone Before"
Followed by "Bend Her"
"All those times I said, "Kill all humans," I'd always whisper "Except one." [sobbing] Fry was that one, and I never told him so!"
Bender

Plot Edit

While on a mission that the previous Planet Express crews didn't survive, collecting honey from space bees, Leela finds an adorable baby queen bee and decides to take it back to Earth so they can create their own hive. While escaping in the Planet Express ship, it wakes up. Fry stands in front of Leela to protect her, but it runs him right through, its sting only pricking Leela, but killing Fry. Bender tosses the bee into the airlock and shoots it into space, where it gets hit by a space-truck. Later, a funeral is held and Fry's coffin is shot into space. During the funeral, Kug from Amazon Women In The Mood says he was great for snu snu while a gallery of women including Morgan Proctor, Petunia, a radiator it's hinted at that he had sexual intercourse with in The Lesser of Two Evils, 21st century woman[1] and Michelle say, using body language, 'eh, not so much'.

SpaceBeeBender

Bender as a space bee.

Later that night, after Fry's funeral, Leela starts to develop strange dreams, all ending with Fry telling her, "You have to wake up." The other employees of Planet Express start to get concerned about her, thinking she is going insane. Later that night, Leela has a dream where Fry gives her his jacket, only to wake up with his jacket, which she finds out the next day is really her off-the-rack lime green jacket. The crew finds out that she has been eating space honey. Zoidberg warns her that one spoonful calms her down, two helps her sleep but three will put her in a sleep so deep that she'll never wake up.

Later, Leela eats some space honey to calm herself and spills the royal jelly on the couch, which turns into a naked, sticky and confused Fry who asks, "Why am I sticky and naked? Did I miss something fun?". According to the Professor's Gizmometer, the royal jelly Fry had fallen in during the mission had an imprint of his DNA, causing him to reform when it mixed with Fry's hair and skin in the couch. However, when he asks Leela to "wake up", she finds out that this is just another dream.

When Leela flies out into space to retrieve Fry's dead corpse and keep under her mattress to remind herself that he is really dead, she instead finds a color changing tunnel. She wakes up in her apartment with the other employees' faces on the walls yelling, "You killed Fry!" Thinking she is insane, she decides to take enough space honey to sleep and dream forever. Fry's picture beside her bed talks to her, and she throws the jar at a small bee, making more smaller bees. He begins saying "wake up", and she wakes up with a sobbing, dishevelled, unshaven Fry saying "wake up" beside her in a bed in the hospital. Apparently, the stinger went through Fry and she got all the poison. The others come in and are shocked to see her awake. Bender states that she was "in the best coma he had ever seen", for two weeks. Amy says the doctor said she would never wake up. She also states that Fry never left her side for a second. Obviously, Leela hearing Fry say "wake up" was Fry saying this in the real world. The episode then ends with them hugging and both whispering that the other needs to take a shower.

Ongoing ThemesEdit

Death, InjuryEdit

  • The noisily horrible deaths of the previous Planet Express crew are played out on their ship's black box.
  • Fry's emergency high-speed escape-pack crisis response unit slams him against a few walls.
  • At least one space-bee explodes while chasing the Planet Express crew.
  • Fry and Leela are both stung by the baby queen space-bee they are bringing home, resulting in Fry's death.
  • The space-bee that Leela intended to bring home is smashed on the windshield of a passing space-truck.
  • After a commercial break, Bender is on fire from the waist up, for reasons that are not explained.
  • Leela watches the other crew members explode one-at-a-time as a space-bee stings them.

DoppelgängersEdit

  • Bender impersonates a space-bee.
  • Amy and then Hermes speak to Leela in Farnsworth's voice, and Bender in Amy's voice.
  • Fry appears variously as a zombie, a strangely romantic version of himself, a version of himself made of royal jelly and his bodily fluids from the couch, and a talking photograph on Leela's nightstand.
  • The other crew members serve as wallpaper and carpeting in Leela's house.

Fry and LeelaEdit

After their harrowing escape from the space-bees, Fry suddenly has feelings for Leela again. He realizes that he doesn't want anything to happen to her, and comments that they need to be more careful. When the baby queen space-bee attacks, Fry puts his body between the bee and Leela to protect her.

While Leela is in a coma she seems to have a lot more affection for Fry than she ever has before, perhaps prompted by Fry's death. In one of Leela's coma-dreams, Fry is very romantic, and she enjoys it. The alert viewer might notice that something is clearly amiss with Fry being genuinely romantic with Leela. We have seen from the beginning that Fry has no capacity for romance, and usually approaches Leela with brazen lust even while thinking to himself that he is in fact being romantic.

When jelly-Fry comes into being, Leela expresses great relief that "Fry" is now alive. She says nothing about feelings for him, in fact clearly denying any such feelings with, "Feeling responsible for your death was driving me mad."

When Leela has reached the end of her rope, she muses, "The only time I feel alright is in my dreams," then looking at Fry's picture she adds, "with you." Perhaps here we see that Leela has feelings for Fry that she's not entirely conscious of--she constantly denies having such feelings but here she clearly has some. Fry's photo says to Leela, "I love you," but her hallucinations frighten her so much that she is unable to respond.

When Leela wakes in the hospital, we realize that everything Fry said in her coma-dream was said by the real Fry at her bedside for two weeks. This is not the first time Fry has said, "I love you" to Leela, but perhaps going through this experience has matured him somewhat, which would finally give some meaning to the words. Their embrace, lacking a kiss, suggests that even if Leela has begun finally to see the desired maturity in Fry, she's still comfortable being just friends with him.

Character ArcsEdit

The alert viewer might be very suspicious when Bender, whose lifelong dream is to be a folk singer, and who has sung numerous times in numerous episodes, claims that he's not allowed to sing due to a "court order." This is a hint that we're in an alternate reality, just as are Fry's genuinely romantic gestures.

Hermes-ismsEdit

  • Sweet three-toed sloth of Ice Planet Hoth

FootnotesEdit

  1. "Love's Labours Lost in Space"

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