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Futurama – Leela’s mom gets her groove back

Munda Leela leaves her husband, jump starts her dream job, travels to worlds unknown and shacks up with a young, stupid stud. You've come a long way, baby.

- Season 7, Episode 5 - "Zapp Dingbat"

‘Zapp Dingbat’ is already one of my favorite episodes of the season. We have Leela’s mom Munda struggling to rediscover her identity now that the mutants can live above the sewers (and nice tie-ins to both last season’s episode where Fry led the mutant civil rights movement and Munda’s linguistics degree mentioned during her official introduction way back in season 4). You get to see her shine and grow as her own person and there’s something incredibly refreshing about her story in this — kudos to the always fantastic Tress MacNeille for her performance as the newly independent woman. The fact that Zapp Branigan of all people becomes genuinely smitten with her is a testament to how special this show is. Like the election episode a couple weeks ago, they could have gone the easy route and made Zapp try to get with Leela through her vulnerable mom, but they didn’t! In fact, the only reason Zapp and Munda don’t get married is because Munda realizes Zapp isn’t a very good person (outside of loving her) and she could never marry a person like that. You go, Mrs. Turanga!

The other nice aspect to the episode was Leela’s relationship with her mom. It wasn’t that long ago that I saw Brave and it’s great to see another story about a mother/daughter relationship that focuses on empathy and acceptance. On top of that, there was a nice moment with Fry giving Leela some very good advice and perhaps foreshadowing a more serious step in Leela and Fry’s relationship (shippers rejoice!).

Even with minimal Bender moments, ‘Zapp Dingbat’ surprised me with how good it was. There were certainly some hilarious moments in this episode — holy crap, Futurama finally did a Mos Eisley parody and with a George Takei cameo/Star Wars Holiday reference to boot! — but this was a more character focused episode and I liked where it went.

All the best quotes:
“Don’t worry. I’m only going to stay with you until a vacancy opens up on this floor.” — Munda
“You know, the rents are a lot more reasonable in Peru.” — Leela

“The truth is, I once slept with him … a few times.” — Leela
“I know. He showed me the commemorative painting.” — Munda

“Why can’t you just let me be happy? After all these years I’ve going places I’ve never been … and having sex there.” — Munda
“You’re too old to be happy!” — Leela
“I’m not too old to enjoy hard sex with Zapp!” — Munda
“Argh!” — Leela
“Sex with Zapp! Sex with Zapp! Sex with Zapp!” — Munda

“Kif, I’m bored. What say you go out on the wing and pretend you’re a gremlin.” — Zapp

“Mom, if you try to marry Zapp, I will shove you into a filthy nursing home so fast you won’t know what hit you! … Probably it’ll be a filthy nurse!” — Leela

Photo Credit: Comedy Central

2 Responses to “Futurama – Leela’s mom gets her groove back”

July 12, 2012 at 11:42 AM

And then there was Bender’s “Awww” moment.

July 12, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Yes, another good moment. I was sad it didn’t quite translate well to quotes or else I would have added it to the end.

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