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The Thief of Baghead

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The Thief of Baghead
Future Camera focus
Episode 118
Production Code 7ACV04
Season 9
Air date July 4, 2012
Opening subtitle If this show's a-rockin', don't come a-knockin'
Preceded by Decision 3012
Followed by Zapp Dingbat
"Listen up gang. I like to introduce you to Bender, the newest member of our paparazzo family"
Larvae Levin
"Nice to meet you. And even though it's only my first day, I want you all to know that I'm aæready better than you. STAY OUT OF MY WAY!"
Bender

The Thief of Baghead is the fourth episode of production season seven and season 9 (broadcast).

SynopsisEdit

Bender becomes a paparazzo and tries to photograph a well-known actor whose face has never been seen.

PlotEdit

The crew is watching All My Circuits, when Amy enters and asks them if they want to go to the new aquarium. They go on the trip, seeing such exhibits as Jurassic Tank (featuring a Tyrannosaurus Rex trying to tread water). Bender tries to take a photo of all of them together, revealing that he uses actual film that he develops inside himself rather than traditional digital photos. He spends a ridiculous amount of time adusting to details such as light and exposure, but then ditches the crew as he spots Calculon. Bender follows Calculon snapping photos, annoying him as Bender interrupts his studio-mandated day with the actors that play his family on the soap opera. Zoidberg tells Bender to sell his photos to Us People magazine, which he does after initially insulting Zoidberg about the suggestion.

Bender becomes a paparazzo, excited when he learns that he will be paid to be annoying. He takes pictures of many celebrities, but becomes especially interested in the actor Langdon Cobb after watching a documentary about him. Cobb, as the documentary reveals, has always worn a bag over his head, and nobody has ever seen his face. Bender decides to get a picture of Cobb without his bag. He breaks into Cobb's property, and in the process is chased by Cobb's guard fungus, which looks like a dog covered in lichen and mushrooms. Bender manages to get a photo of Cobb without the bag. Catching Bender, Cobb pleads him to never show the picture to anyone, explaining that he wears the bag so people will appreciate his acting and not his looks, and that there'd be consequences. Cobb even attempts to bribe Bender not to develop the photo, but Bender does anyway. Bender shows Fry the picture, and beams of light pour from Fry's mouth and eyes as his body deflates like a balloon. To confirm the effect, Bender shows the picture to Hermes and Amy, both of which also deflate after light erupts from their faces. Professor Farnsworth saves Zoidberg from the same fate, tearing up the picture and discovers that Langdon Cobb is from Bryoria 6, home of the quantum lichen people. These are a race of people who feed on the admiration of their prey. However if someone sees their face, even in a photo, their life force will be sucked out and captured by the Bryorian's ego. Bender was immune because he had no life force. Each quantum lichen person is composed of two parts: an attractive algae-based id, and a ravenous fungus-based ego, the latter of which stores the stolen life forces of those who have seen the id. Professor Farnsworth determines that the only way to get the stolen life forces back is to destroy Cobb's ego, which turns out to be the fungus-dog that chased Bender earlier. The remaining crew attempt to weaken Cobb's ego at the World Acting Championship by helping Calculon, as a weakened ego will be more easy to destroy. Calculon, wanting to outdo Cobb whom he has lost to 7 years running, decides to do the death scene out of Romeo and Juliet using real poison, as he believes that his real death will finally let him win the competition. However, Cobb wins anyway, and his ego begins growing out of control and attacks the crowd. The crew fights Cobb's ego as Bender develops the picture of Cobb from the negative that he kept. Cobb explains he was once like the rest of his people, stealing the life out the population of one planet and moving on, but found that humans elevate a celebrity to the point where a being like him can feed just from the worship Earth pours on him, granting a never-ending supply of food. He then shows his face to Professor Farnsworth, Leela and Zoidberg, turning them into flaccid husks to protect his secret.  Bender attempts to destroy the id part of Cobb by showing him a photo of himself, but Cobb explains that this won't work. However, Cobb becomes so self absorbed in the image Bender has taken, that his ego inflates to the point of exploding, returning all of the stolen life forces to the Planet Express crew.

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