The idea that the universe is just a simulation has become increasingly popular in sci-fi—and Team Planet Express will explore just that in the Futurama season 11 finale, “All the Way Down.” Hulu has released a trio of clips ahead of Sunday’s premiere to tease what’s in store.
First up, simulated Fry and Leela take a romantic vacation.
Then, a horrified Bender realizes what “being a robot” really means.
Finally, a surprisingly earnest Bender makes a request… in a strip club.
“All the Way Down” wraps up the series’ first Hulu season (after a 10-year absence from the airwaves), and it wasn’t a flawless effort—last week’s episode, the disappointing “The Prince and the Product,” was probably its least inspired entry. But overall, the season did have some fun moments and, more importantly, enough momentum to make us look forward to Hulu’s next batch of episodes.
Here’s a summary of “All the Way Down,” which arrives on Hulu this Monday:
“The Professor reveals an amazing achievement: a table-top simulation of the entire universe! The downside: it’s extremely low resolution. Versions of our Futurama characters inhabit it, but are each depicted using only three pixels. Nevertheless, they have adventures that are very real to them, and 3-pixel Fry falls in love with 3-Pixel Leela.
The existence of this world forces Bender to confront the fact that he too is artificial… a simulated being. When high power bills cause the Professor to announce he must unplug the simulation, Bender’s emotions run high. He defends his fellow simulated beings, and makes the Professor swear he will never shut the simulation down, or let its inhabitants learn they are not real.
Tapping into a huge new energy source (sewer-pipe hydropower), the Professor generates enough electricity to keep the simulated universe going… and even increases its resolution so it is now barely distinguishable from the “real” world.
But now the simulated crew members begin to wonder… is it possible their universe is just a simulation? Virtual Amy even comes up with a way to test it… they will cause a cosmic event so complex, no computer could possibly simulate it.
Bender can’t stand the idea that his simulated brethren will learn they’re not real. So he makes a heroic decision to go into the simulation… since he’s really just software… and take the place of Bender in that world. There, he will share his robot wisdom with the simulated crew members, just as they set off a monstrous event to test the very reality of their world.”
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