Lifetime of Simpsons

S02 E11 – One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish

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This is a weird episode guys. It’s a pretty emotional episode, and talks about a really heavy topic, all while keeping the classic Simpsons charm. It’s episodes like this that remind me why I love this show so much. It tackles a serious topic, like what you would do if you literally had one day left on Earth, but also remained funny and enjoyable. Enough preamble, let’s dive in.

Right off the bat we get a strange moment, Marge cooks meatloaf in the microwave? Now, meatloaf was certainly a staple in my house growing up, and hell, my wife and I still make it frequently, but I’ve never cooked it, or anything really in the microwave. The microwave is for heating stuff up, not cooking. That meatloaf must be gross. C’mon Marge. Anyway, Lisa starts to express some ennui over having their meals planned out so rigidly, which I can totally relate to. My family weren’t as bad as the Simpsons, but we definitely had the week planned out, and there was little deviation from the schedule. She wants to try new things, go to restaurants that aren’t burgers, pizza, or fried chicken, which Homer assumes must be on Mars. And in the end, they decide that they’re going to go try the new sushi place in town. The next night we join the Simpsons at the Happy Sumo, getting ready to try sushi for the first time. Now, I hate sushi. I’ve tried a lot of different kinds, because I have had friends who can’t accept that I don’t like it, and have given me lots of different kinds, trying to find one I like, and they’ve never succeeded. Generally I don’t like fish, just the taste of it, but it doesn’t help that I live in Colorado, so most seafood I come across is a little sketchy, because it’s probably not exactly fresh. But the Simpsons seem to like it. They order a wide variety of sushi from their waiter Akira, and much to his surprise, Homer loves it.

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There’s two great jokes at the Happy Sumo featuring karaoke, because apparently it’s also a karaoke bar. First, there’s the weird Asian anesthesiologist guy, whose design is so odd and specific that I have to assume he’s a parody of someone, but I couldn’t figure it out. Then we see Bart and Lisa singing the theme from Shaft, which is hilarious. But while the kids are singing, Homer is basically eating one of everything on the menu, until he reaches the last thing, Fugu. Akira heads into the kitchen to talk to the master sushi chef, but he’s busy making out with Mrs. Krabappel. The junior chef tries to get the master to help, because Fugu can be poisonous unless it’s preparing correctly, but the master yells that his “Skilled hands” are busy, and the junior chef has to try to prepare the blowfish himself. He does his best, and Homer eats it, but the master chef comes in, sees the blowfish, and freaks out. They then tell Homer that there’s a good chance he ate poison.

They race Homer to the hospital, where Dr. Hibbert runs some tests, and comes to the conclusion that Homer probably ate poison, and will be dead in 24 hours. I love that Homer goes through all the stages of grief in the conversation with Hibbert. Hibbert leaves them to talk after giving them a pamphlet called “So You’re Going to Die”, because in the Simpsons universe there’s a pamphlet for everything. Homer is mad that he’s going to die because he tried new things, but he starts making a bucket list with Marge while the two lie in bed. Homer plans his last day on Earth, and goes to sleep, planning to wake up early with Marge and watch the sunrise before starting his bucket list. But unfortunately the next morning when his alarm goes off, he smashes it off, and ends up waking up at 11:30 instead. With time running out, Homer begins to quickly check things off his list.

He has a heart to heart with Bart, who assumes that he’s in trouble, and it ends up with Homer telling Bart three sentences that will help him in life: “Cover for me. Oh, good idea boss. It was like that when I got here.” He then teaches Bart how to shave. Ever since I was old enough to shave, I’ve used an electric razor, and except for times when a barber has given me a straight-razor shave, I’ve never used a normal razor, and it seems like a pain in the ass. Homer just cuts his face up. Screw that. Next up he goes to listen to Lisa play her saxophone, but when she plays the blues he gets too sad, until she changes to playing “the Saints Go Marching In,” which makes him happy, and he dances. Lisa kind of gets the shaft on the bucket list thing. Next Homer wants to make a video for Maggie, but needs to borrow a camcorder from Flanders, and ends up promising to come to a barbeque the next day, since he figures he’ll be dead, and he wants to take advantage of his impending death. And the tape Homer makes for Maggie is amazing. He says that he’s communicating from beyond the grave, and lies about being a patient man, before getting a phone call from Milhouse, and being unpleasant and scratching his butt on the tape. Homer then heads over to tell Grandpa he loves him, and the two have a pretty sweet moment together where they hug and talk about their relationship, then Grandpa ends up eating a lot of Homer’s time and the two play catch, go fishing, all sort of stereotypical father-son stuff.

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But because Homer hung out with Grandpa longer than he planned on, he rushes home and gets pulled over for speeding. After he smart-mouths Eddie and Lou, he’s thrown into jail. I love that there’s a guy playing harmonica, and when Homer asks him what he’s in for, he says “atmosphere.” Homer calls Barney, who bails him out with spare change, and Barney convinces him to come to Moe’s for one last beer. There’s also a weird scene where Mr. Burns and Smithers are sitting in a park looking a women’s shoes? What the hell? But Homer gets to yell at Burns, which was on his list. He drinks at Moe’s for a while, and then has Barney drive him home, but they get a flat tire, and Homer ends up running the rest of the way. He gets in bed with Marge, and after she reads him a really sweet and beautiful poem, they’re “intimate” one last time. Homer then goes to all the kids as they sleep, says something sweet to them, and kisses their head. Even though he couldn’t think of anything for Bart, and just says “I like your sheets.” He then starts to listen to the Bible as read by Larry King on audiobook, and prepares to die. I love that he fast forwards through all the begating stuff. Then surprise surprise, Homer doesn’t die. Twist! Marge finds him the next morning, and apparently he beat the poison, and he vows to live life to it’s fullest, even though we then cut to him eating pork rinds and watching bowling on TV.

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This was a really good episode. I love that it started out with Homer trying sushi, and ended up with him assuming he was living his last day on Earth. It gets to some really emotional stuff. Homer saying goodbye to his family was really heavy and well done. It’s episodes like this that make the Simpsons great, balancing heavy emotionality and great humor

Take Away: Don’t eat sushi. And I guess live your life to it’s fullest.

” One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish” was written by Nell Scovell and directed by Wes Archer.

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4 replies »

  1. Burns and Smithers are admiring the “gams” on the women in the park. Ankles, lower legs. Because Burns is old and in HIS day showing ankles was considered lewd. And I cook plenty of things in the microwave, you luddite! Hehe. Great write up.

    Like

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