“Futurama,” Season 6, Episode 5: “The Duh-Vinci Code” is, of course, the show’s tribute to “The Da Vinci Code” — somewhat late, considering that the book and the movie have been out for many years.
The episode is also a study on the uses and misuses of intelligence. Spoilers follow:
After being humiliated once again due to his lack of intelligence in a scene that might have been in “Slum Dog Millionaire” if the movie had been “Time Tripping Imbecile,” Fry finds that the Professor is a big fan of none other than Leonardo Da Vinci. In fact, he has Da Vinci’s beard in his collection. A typical Fry accident reveals a parchment within the beard, it being a schematic of one of Da Vinci’s hitherto unknown inventions.
An examination of The Last Supper, procured by Bender from the Louvre, reveals that St. John was in fact a wind-up robot, and not Mary Magdalene at all. So, it is off to 31st century Rome, where a reptilian Pope resides, and a mad-cap adventure that leads from tomb to a secret chamber beneath the Pantheon and a collection of full scale models of Da Vinci’s inventions.
By the way, the book “The Da Vinci Code,” a pot boiler of dubious historical accuracy and even more dubious literary worth (though the Tom Hanks movie was pretty cool) is considered ancient text a thousand years hence.
In any event, the largely useless Da Vinci inventions suddenly morph together, Transformers-style, to create a very useful invention indeed: a faster-than-light star ship. The ship whisks Fry and the Professor away to another planet where resides none other than Leonardo himself, still wearing 15th century Italian garb but also speaking fluent 31st century English.
Yes, Da Vinci was a space alien. That explains a lot.
But, here’s the joke. Da Vinci is considered “slow” on his own planet, in which calculus questions are answered in the form of an opera. High intelligence also does not translate to high wisdom or compassion. Da Vinci has been humiliated all of his long life. But, with the schematic that Fry and the Professor have brought back, he will now have his revenge. The machine is a doomsday device.
Things go wrong, as they often do with doomsday machines. Da Vinci, honored as one of the greatest men of all time, artist and inventor, falls like a Bond super villain. The Professor and Fry return to Earth in their Da Vinci-built star ship sadder, perhaps, and maybe even a little wiser.
Futurama, The Duh-Vinci Code, TV.Rage