Well here’s a weird episode. I really didn’t remember this one quite right. I forgot that it was such a Homer/Maggie episode, and had always remembered it being primarily a Marge one. We really haven’t had a solid Marge episode in a while, hopefully that gets fixed soon.
We start right off with the ridiculous homage to that old Roadrunner/Wile E Coyote cartoon where Homer is chasing Bart and it pauses momentarily to show their fake Latin names. Then everybody in the family starts acting like assholes to Marge, because even though this doesn’t end up being a Marge episode, it starts off as one, so of course it’s about how the family is super shitty, and undeserving. Homer breaks a lamp, Maggie’s being difficult with her pacifier, and Bart, Homer and Lisa have crazy specifications for their sandwiches. And finally Marge blows up at them, gives them their lunches, and they bail, without saying thank you, and even giving her more work. Homer asks her to get his bowling ball fixed, and Bart and Lisa miss the bus, making Marge drive them. I love that the whole way to school Bart is making horrible faces at Lisa, while she yells for Marge to stop him. Oh siblings. But when they get to school Marge kicks them out and growls like a demon. She’s starting to lose her mind. She has to drive all over town for the stupid bowling ball thing, and she listens to Bill and Marty on the radio do a horrible “Classic Crank Call,” where they call a man and tell him his wife is dead. Marge then starts having floating memory heads pester her with requests, and she has a complete nervous breakdown on a bridge, slamming the car into both lanes and shutting off her car, closing the bridge.
Arnie Pie is almost immediately on scene, reporting on the traffic situation and I loved his line “Lookout at the corner of 14th and L, because I just dropped my bagel!” Everybody in traffic is starting to get pissed, especially Krusty since he has Mr. Teeny in the car, and he keeps getting his chocolate ice cream cone all over the place. They try to lower Kent Brockman from Arnie’s helicopter, but that doesn’t go so well, and he ends up dropping off the bridge. But thanks to all the media coverage Homer finally finds out about the breakdown, and goes to talk to Marge. Wiggum gives him a megaphone, and he tries to get her to leave the car. It works, and she comes out, although is instantly arrested. But we cut over to city hall, where Quimby forces Wiggum to free her, so he can still count on the “chick vote.” I miss the days when Mayor Quimby and Chief Wiggum hated each other and were super antagonistic. So Marge is free and comes home, still feeling unappreciated. But then she sees a commercial for a spa/resort called Rancho Relaxo, which features a conquistador playing tennis and sitting in a hot tub.
So Marge informs Homer she wants to go on a vacation to Rancho Relaxo, by herself, which Homer assumes means she wants a divorce. But after she convinces him she just needs some alone time, he agrees. The day Marge heads out, Patty and Selma come to take the kids, because apparently Homer can’t care for them, but while Bart and Lisa get in the car, Maggie clings to the doorframe, and won’t go. So Maggie has to stay at home with Homer. And Homer quickly proves not to quite know what to do with a baby. I love that she rattles a tin cup against her crib bars to get his attention. And things aren’t going much better for Bart and Lisa, having to eat tongue sandwiches with Patty and Selma, and even sleep in the same room as them, because apparently Patty and Selma still sleep in the same bedroom like they’re Bert and Ernie. But I absolutely love Lisa’s line “You think you know fear? Well I’ve seen them naked!” Ew. But things are going well for Marge, she’s learning what to do at Rancho Relaxo with the handy welcome tape, of course hosted by Troy McClure, whose best role this time is Gladys the Groovy Mule.
Back at home we see a montage of Homer failing to keep Maggie happy. He eats all her baby food, he staples her diaper closed, and when he tries to do a puppet show for her Santa’s Little Helper attacks him. He then decides that a good idea would be to have Barney come stay with them and help. Bad call Homer. I mentioned a few episodes back that Lisa shouldn’t be around Barney, but Maggie definitely should be. He even thinks that she’s Bart. Back at Rancho Relaxo, Marge is starting to enjoy her stay, even getting to spread out on the whole bed, which is really an amazing thing that you can do after sharing the bed with someone for so long. But back at home Maggie is really starting to miss Marge, so she decides to run away. And she’s shockingly good at it, managing to get out of the crib and out of the house in just a couple minutes. There was also an incredibly adorable scene where Maggie sees a shrub on the other side of the fence, thinks its Marge, and jumps out to surprise her. The animation is really adorable. But it’s not Marge. So she heads off into the night in search of her mother.
The next morning Homer wakes up, and finds Maggie is gone, and freaks the hell out. He starts running around the house trying to find her. He wakes Barney up and the two still can’t find her. But we do see where she is, and Maggie is wandering around town, retracing Marge’s usual steps, trying to find her. But Homer isn’t having any luck, so he calls the Department of Missing Babies, and we get another great hold-music gag with “Baby Come Back.” Back at Rancho Relaxo we see Marge has completed all the activities, and ends up having a relaxing bath while eating ice cream and cheesecake, and drinking a bottle of tequila. Hardcore. But Homer still hasn’t found Maggie, and even stops by Patty and Selma’s to see if the kids have seen her. Then Marge calls home and tells Homer that she’ll be back in an hour, and he really starts to panic. But we end up seeing that Maggie has climbed to the roof of an ice cream store that’s mascot looks like Marge, and Chief Wiggum gets her. Back at the house, Homer is trying to figure out how to convince Marge that Maggie running away is a good thing, but Wiggum shows up, and gives Maggie back. He kisses Wiggum in gratitude, and goes to pick up Bart and Lisa and run to the train station. She gets to the station, and boy does the rest of the family look terrible without her. But she’s relaxed, and the family promises to be better to her in the future. They then all five sleep in the same bed, a happy family.
This was a pretty cute episode, even though it’s kind of weird that it starts out being a Marge story, and kind of abandons her to focus on Homer and Maggie. It was still a fun story, but it’s just odd that they bailed on Marge. Homer’s ineptitude in taking care of Maggie is pretty staggering, but also hilarious, and man was seeing Bart and Lisa suffering with Patty and Selma hilarious.
Take Away: Don’t take advantage of your wife/mom. Give them respect; they do pretty much everything for us. Oh, and don’t let you baby escape in the middle of the night. Lock you damn doors Homer!
“Homer Alone” was written by David M. Stern and directed by Mark Kirkland.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons