It was kind of a wonky episode of Futurama this week and one that, oddly enough, seemed most affected by the fact that Fry was kind of off and unfunny for most of it. That pattern started in the opening, where Fry was making catfight noises at Leela and Amy during their double date. Its just how women bond, according to them, but Fry just KEPT DOING IT. It seemed like one of those bits that was funny in the writers' room but, as actually realized, it was just kind of annoying.
Anyway, the action quickly shifted to the Moon where Leela and Amy's friendship would be put to the test when they sign up as fighters in Butterfly Derby, a kind of lunar roller derby. After an effective pitch from Abner Doubledee, the CEO of the league, Amy and Leela sign up and promptly lose to everyone ("Even the ones who turned out to be us in the mirror" according to Amy). So they naturally turned to PEDs, in the form of "nectar" from a shady "trainer" who hangs around the locker room.
I was worried this was going to turn into one PED joke after another but, fortunately, that wasn't really the case (the definitive PED sitcom episode, as far as I'm concerned, is "Hundred Dollar Baby" from Always Sunny and what few bits of PED humor they did have felt somewhat derivative of that). Instead, the PEDs make Leela and Amy amazingly successful but ruin their relationships with Fry and Kiff. Amy turns abusive towards Kiff (which was, um, a little too problematic to be funny), but Leela seems totally disinterested in Fry. I didn't love this direction, to be honest, because I was hoping the episode would focus more on Amy and Leela than their respective significant others. But, anyway, in an attempt to get back in their good graces, Fry and Kiff suggest a romantic vacation to Kiff's home planet, which happens to be where nectar is havested from (cut to Bender, decked out in vacation gear, ready to go).
On the planet, Fry gets blasted with pheremones by the angry male butterfly and, it turns out, those pheremones make him irrestiable to anyone hooked on Nectar, meaning both Leela and Amy. Eventually, they realize how untenable this is and go off the PEDs. However, they still have to fight their roided out nemeses in the finals. Just when it looks like things are going to be disasterous, Fry emerges as a butterfly and saves the day.
So the episode was passable although, as I said upfront, I thought Fry was annoying in the first act and kind of whiny and dull in the second. I'd have liked to see the emphasis more squarely on Leela and Amy's friendship (which was where the episode seemed like it wanted to go). However, this is still a comedy and a lot of the throwaway jokes and one-liners seemed particularly hilarious. Bender, especially, was on fire this episode, throwing off some great lines from the sidelines.
SumOlogy: Don't do drugs, kids. Or you'll turn into a butterfly Grade: C+
"And we failed because we accidentally kicked those Rockettes to death? Why do you bring that up?”
"Eternulax, dead at the age of 26"
“Look, the hammer's already out. I've got to smash something”
Did you notice that the butterfly arena was sponsored by Monsanto