Well, here we are already, the end of the first season. The first hurdle has been passed, 25 to go! Oh man, I didn’t think this through. Let’s dive on in folks!
So the family is sitting at breakfast, listening to the radio, which is something the Simpsons do a lot, but that my family and I definitely never did. I also noticed that they called the traffic reporter Bill Pie, instead of Arnie Pie. Maybe they’re brothers. But while they’re listening, the family is being generally terrible. I feel like any story that revolves around Marge feeling unappreciated, the family acts extra shitty. Don’t get me wrong, generally the family acts terrible to each other, but in Marge episodes they’re way worse than usual. So when the family storms out leaving Marge a huge mess to deal with, she decided to call into a radio shrink show hosted by Marvin Monroe, because apparently they haven’t learned that he’s no exactly a reliable source. And she quickly dumps all of her issues live on the air, which of course, Homer is listening to at the plant. She even uses his name, until Monroe tells him not to, so she switches to yelling “not Pedro!” Monroe basically just tells Marge to leave Homer unless he straightens up.
Homer hears her, and freaks out, so of course he goes to Moe’s instead of dealing with his marital problems. So Homer gets drunk, and eats some pickled eggs. Which…what? I realized that that was something that I’d always just kind of accepted about Moes. That jar is always there, but I don’t get it. Is that a thing? I’m not a big drinker, but I’ve never been in a bar that had pickled eggs. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen pickled eggs in life. Eh, whatever. Shockingly, the weirdest part of the scene is that Moe gives some shockingly decent marital advice. He tells Homer to take Marge out to a nice dinner, and stay over at a motel to reignite things. So Homer comes home with some chocolates, a rose, and a practiced speech to win Marge back, who quickly folds and welcomes him back. We also hear some great prank phone calls in this episode. Al Coholic and Oliver Clothesoff are classic prank names.
So Homer and Marge plan their night out, but run into a roadblock when they realize that they’ve been blacklisted from the local babysitters because Bart is so terrible. The whole concept of babysitters is a little foreign to me. My family was lucky enough to have grandparents that lived close by, so they were always the ones to watch us, so I never had to deal with some stranger coming to watch us. It seems inherently weird. Anyway, Homer gives them a fake name, and they get ready to leave. I love that Lisa sits with Marge, and Bart sits with Homer while they get ready. It was pretty cute. Plus we get the great joke that as soon as Homer shaves his stubble, it grows right back. Then Miss Botz, the babysitter shows up. And ho boy, is she sketchy from the get-go. She also threatens Bart after like a minute of being in the house.
So Homer and Marge go to their fancy dinner where Homer tries to pick a dead lobster from the tank. Back at home Bart and Lisa are watching the Happy Little Elves, and I noticed that one of the elves looks exactly like Professor Farnsworth, which is great. But Bart switches it over to a parody of America’s Most Wanted. That show freaked me out as a kid. I didn’t want to hear about killers on the loose. Anyway, at the perfect time the show runs an expose on the “babysitter bandit” and serial burglar who robs families while babysitting their kids. And dun dun DUNNNN, it’s Miss Botz. Shocker. We have a brief interlude of Homer and Marge heading to their sexy motel, Ye Old Off-Ramp Inn, then right back to the house where she’s tied up the kids, and forced them to watch the Happy Little Elves.
But it’s Maggie to the rescue! She gets out of her crib, and makes it downstairs, pasing Miss Botz who’s robbing the house, until she finds Bart and Lisa. Lisa convinces Maggie to untie her, and the kids start to hatch a plan. The trick Botz into following the sound of Maggie’s pacifier, then when she opens a door, Bart smashes her in the head with a baseball bat, and they tie her up and make her watch the Happy Little Elves. The kids then run off to a pay phone to call the America’s Most Wanted show, where they find out that if she’s convicted, they’ll get t-shirts.
But Marge gets homesick, and decides to call the kids, and when there’s no answer, she gets scared, so they head home. When they come inside they find Miss Botz tied up, and assuming that Bart was just being a shit, they untie her, give her triple pay, and help her bring her bags to her car. The bags that are filled their their possessions. As soon as Botz leaves the police and news cars show up with Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. Homer realizes that he let a criminal go free on national tv. We then see Homer and Marge in bed, watching the news where they refer to Homer as a “local boob.” Homer gets sad at the news, saying “lord help me, I’m just not that bright.” But Marge consoles him, the romance is restored, and everything goes back to normal.
This was a weird episode, especially since it was the season finale. You don’t often see plots the revolve around a burglar abducting children. Outside of Home Alone. It was dark. And the other plot was pretty heavy too. This first season had a lot of episodes about the fragility of Marge and Homer’s marriage. It’s pretty realistic. Marriages aren’t perfect, there’s ups and downs, and rocky patches. But they work to fix it.
Take-Away: Marriages take work, you can’t be a slouch, you need to keep things romantic. And vet your babysitters, you don’t want to accidentally hire a criminal.
“Some Enchanted Evening” was written by Matt Groening & Sam Simon and directed by David Silverman & Kent Butterworth.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons