"You may have to make a metaphorical deal with the devil. And by "devil", I mean Robot Devil. And by "metaphorical", I mean get your coat." - Bender to Fry, "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings"
Futurama Episode #72: The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings
Date: Sunday, August 10, 2003 at 7PM
Written by: Ken Keeler
Directed by: Bret Haaland
Intro Caption: "See You On Some Other Channel"
As production of the fourth season of Futurama drew to a close the creators had a nagging feeling that FOX was not going to renew the show. After all, the network had treated it shabbily for two years. For their last episode the writers chose to pen an episode that could act either as a season finale or a series finale. Entitled "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings", the episode would bring closure - but not a finish - to the Fry/Leela romance plot arc. Sure enough, FOX shut down production in February 2002 and the cast and crew went their seperate ways. FOX, meanwhile, held this episode until August 10, 2003. Furthermore, FOX actually planned to air another Season Four episode, "Bender Should Not Be Allowed On Television", as the finale. The creators stepped in and ensured that "Devil's Hands" would air last. Seeing as how this episode was created to serve as a finale, it seems like almost every supporting character has a moment on screen (even as just an extra). During the opera one can see in the audience and the intermission hall beloved characters such as Morbo, his wife Fawn, Richard Nixon, and Tinny Tim. This episode also ties up the Season Four plot arc of Fry actively trying to show Leela his true feelings.
The episode picks up where Season Three's "Parasites Lost" left off. Fry is practicing the holophonor in an attempt to play a song so beautiful that he can accurately express his love for Leela. Unfortunately he has stupid fingers and cannot play worth a darn. Taking Bender's advice, Fry goes to see the Robot Devil (from Season One's "Hell Is Other Robots") who offers to make a deal: he'll spin the Wheel of Robots and whichever name comes up on the wheel, that's the robot he'll switch Fry's hands with. In a wild coincidence it's the Robot Devil's name who comes up on the wheel, and so he trades his robot hands for Fry's human ones. Fry goes on to become a master of the holophonor and is comissioned by Hedonismbot to compose an opera; Fry insists the opera tell Leela's life story. It seems that the musical extravaganza, entitled Leela: Orphan of the Stars, will finally win the fair lady's heart. Meanwhile, the Robot Devil is trying desperately to get his hands back. After Fry twice refused to return them, the devil crafts a devious plan. He outfits Bender with a stadium air horn that promply deafens Leela. Now unable to hear the opera, Leela strikes a deal with the devil for robot ears. In return she agrees to give him her hand. During the opera the devil takes issue with Fry's refusal to return his hands and proclaims that he will take Leela to Robot Hell as his bride unless Fry complies with the devil's demands, for you see the deal that Leela made was actually for her hand... in marriage! The final portion of the episode turns into an operatic musical performed by the cast as the fates of Fry and Leela are played out on stage before a captivated audience.
"Please don't stop playing, Fry. I want to hear how it ends." - Leela to Fry, "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings"