The new season of Futurama has dealt with a lot of speed bumps, whether it was rusty character relationships, outdated culture references, or a feeling that the show jumped the shark. Personally, I was beginning to wonder if I only liked these new episodes just because it was new Futurama. Then “Lethal Inspection” aired and all my troubles were put to rest.
The episode isn’t perfect, but it’s a true return to classic form. The story deals with the fact that Bender was made with a birth defect that causes him to be mortal like humans. Instead of throwing himself a pity party, he goes on a vendetta against his inspector, Inspector #5. Hermes comes along too, giving Bender access to bureaucratic files; Leela is responsible for his job in the mean time.
Plot wise, there wasn’t really any major surprise twists here, but that doesn’t mean the ending was pulled off extremely well. The bulk of the episode deals with Bender and Hermes, which works out a lot better than it sounds on paper. Both characters are used to their full potential and the witty humor we’d expect from Futurama makes a return here (the kill bots are the highlight of the episode) instead of the non-sequitur humor that’s crept up in past episodes this season.
Time will tell if “Lethal Inspection” can hold up compared to the episodes of the original run, but the day after, it easily stands out as the season’s best so far.