Lifetime of Simpsons

S03 E11 – Burns Verkaufen der Kraftwerk (Burns Sells the Power Plant)


More Mr. Burns goodness everybody! And man is it a crazy episode. For reasons that are unexplainable to me currently, I took German in sixth and seventh grade. I did terribly, and remember essentially nothing of the language, but one thing I remember doing was bringing in my old battered episode guide and having my teacher translate the grammatically messed up title of this episode.

The episode starts up with Burns getting his hair washed by Smithers, because Smithers has the worst job description of all time. And Burns isn’t feeling very fulfilled lately. But he doesn’t want to open up to Smithers about his angst, so Smithers uses a crocodile puppet named Snappy to help Burns express his feelings. And I love that it’s named Snappy, because if it has a name, they must do this a lot. Burns admits that he’s depressed, and thinking about selling the plant, which shocks Smithers. A distraught Smithers bonds with Homer after he assumes Homer is sad about Burns, and not the fact that the vending machine won’t take his dollar. Homer then gets a call from his sketchy ass stock broker, who tells him that for the first time ever Homer’s meager stock in the Power Plant has gone up, so Homer cashes in his holdings for a whopping $25. I love that he daydreams about getting a haircut, a carwash, and a fancy hammer with his wonderful earnings. And of course, as soon as he does that, word breaks that Burns is looking into selling the plant, and that makes the stocks go through the roof, to the point that Homer’s stock would have been worth $5,200.

Homer heads to Moe’s after he cashes out his stock, and gets a fancy Duff. While there though he strikes up conversation with two German businessmen who happen to be in town looking to buy the Power Plant. Homer says that Burns would only sell for $100,000,000, which is apparently no big deal for them, so they decide to go ahead with the bid. Homer gets home to the family who all assume he’s just made thousands of dollars, and are disappointed to learn that he pulled an idiotic move and only got $25, which he apparently spent on beer. The next day Homer gets to work, and it turns out everyone else cashed in their stocks, and have spent their money on fancy cars and clothes. Meanwhile Burns is meeting with the Germans at a restaurant called the Hungry Hun, and they talk about the sale of the plant. At first Burns is resistant, but then they hand him the briefcase full of cash that Homer recommended, and he goes for the deal instantly while hopping around hooting.


Once the news of the sale is released however, all the plant workers start to get scared, assuming they’ll lose their jobs. I love that Homer, Lenny, and Carl talk about the fear, and Lenny and Carl decide that they’ll be okay, since they have important jobs that not everyone can do, but Homer is probably screwed. Then the Germans take over, and the workers meet with Horst, a friendly looking executive who’s there to help them acclimate to the new order of things. Meanwhile Burns is moving out of the office, off to bigger and better things, and I’m frankly shocked that Smithers is staying behind. It really seems like he works more for Mr. Burns than the Plant, you’d think he’d leave the Plant with Burns, and just become his butler or something. Oh well. Homer starts to get scared that the Germans are going to fire him, so he asks Lisa for knowledge about Germany, and once she tells them that they’re diligent and efficient, he becomes convinced that he’s doomed. Then Homer gets called in to meet with the executives to talk about his job as safety inspector. He then has his great Land of Chocolate fantasy, which is pretty great, especially him eating the little dog and wanting the half-priced chocolate. Then when he comes back from his fantasy he realizes the meeting has not gone well. Then he gets laid off. Just him, no one else in the whole Plant.


But while Homer loses his job and the family starts to save money we find that Mr. Burns is starting to get bored with his retirement. He even hangs out with Grandpa and Jasper, who mainly just make fun of him. But he calls Smithers to catch up, and the two decide to go for a drink. But we then learn that no one is happy with the current order of things, because the Germans are starting to hate the Plant, since it’s a hellhole after all. But later that night Bart gives Moe a prank call with the classic Bea O’Problem, and right after he hangs up from Moe’s threats of horrible violence, Marge asks him to go get Homer back from Moe’s. Which is weird. Marge is having her ten year old son walk to a sketchy bar to her his drunk dad home? Sounds like something he’ll be telling a therapist in great detail eventually.

So Bart heads to Moe’s and is terrified that Moe will recognize his voice, and kill him for the years of crank calls. And at first that looks like what’s about to happen, since Moe recognizes his voice, but then it turns out that Moe just knows it’s Bart, and is a huge fan of his. He starts chatting with Bart, telling him how good it is that he’s a hellraiser, and gets him to sing the “Teddy Bear Picnic” song. And just at that moment Burns and Smithers show up, deciding to get their drink at Moe’s. But as soon as Burns comes in, Home sees that the man who ruined his life is there, and starts yelling at Burns, even getting the whole bar to chant and yell at him. Burns then realizes that he’s no longer feared in the town, so he goes to buy back the Plant. And just as he gets back to the Plant he finds that the Germans are desperate to sell, so he gets the Plant back for half of what they paid him, and his reign of terror returns. He even hires Homer back, because he wants to keep his enemy close to him, before destroying him, just like he does to a stuffed pig on his desk.

This was a fun and goofy episode. Another good story that didn’t have a B plot keeping it from reaching it’s potential. We got great Mr. Burns weirdness and got to see the weird things he would do with retirement. It’s also sad seeing that Homer is completely expendable in his job. And that he has the worst luck, I mean, can you imagine if you sold all your stock before it became super profitable. Poor Homer.


Take Away: Stocks are complicated, the Germans are decent businesspeople, and it’s really hard to keep a Nuclear Power Plant safe.

“Burn Verkaufen der Kraftwerk” was written by Jon Vitti and directed by Mark Kirkland.

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