Lifetime of Simpsons

S04 E14 – Brother From the Same Planet

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You know, I kind of thought I remembered this episode well, but it turns out, I did not. This episode is nuts. It’s super funny and wacky for most of it, but I really didn’t remember that most of this episode is basically a parody of an a marriage falling apart due to an affair, but its Homer and Bart’s relationship. So weird guys. So weird.

It starts right off with the amazing image of Nelson getting ready to kick a soccer ball while taking a big drag on his cigarette, because this was the early 90’s and I guess that was still cool. He kicks the ball right into Bart’s head, but it’s all cool because Bart blocked the goal. The team meets up with the coach who gives a trip to a soccer camp to Nelson, probably because the coach is Nelson’s dad. Yay nepotism. Anyway, after the practice Bart is waiting for Homer to pick him up and blows off Richard Milhouse, and Lewis who are all excited to sneak into an R-rated movie. I really wish we followed them though, because the movie they’re sneaking into is Barton Fink, and I would love to see the response of three ten-year olds to that mind-fuck of a movie. But it turns out Bart made a bad call, because Homer has completely forgotten about him. It’s such a goofy couple scenes after that, Bart just waiting at the field and Homer being oblivious back home. We see some weird woman that looks like Homer drive by, a rainstorm starts which lifts a nun into the air until she crashes into a mountain and blows up (man I love things blowing up that shouldn’t blow up on this show), and Bart even uses psychic powers to get Homer to pick him up, unfortunately his aim was off and he gets Milhouse to pull a Danny Torrence and start talking backwards.

While all that’s going on Homer is trying to remember what he’s forgetting and gets into the tub to try and remember. I love that his mind almost immediately says “Pick up Bart,” and he misheard it and thought it said “Pick a Bar? What the hell is pick a bar?” But then Homer has a fantasy of him showing up at the field and finding Bart’s skeleton while shouting reporter questions to the heavens. “HOW? WHY? WHERE? WHEN?” So now that he knows what he forgot, Homer goes running out to get Bart, running out the front door leading to Flanders saying he can see Homer’s “doodle.” Well Homer finally gets there, and boy is Bart pissed, understandably. Homer tries to mend things in his usual terrible fashion where he just ends up trying to pass the blame onto Bart. Bart ignores him though, while imagining that Homer’s flesh is melting off in a genuinely disgusting scene.

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So clearly we have an episode about Bart and Homer’s relationship, but the plot really gets going when Bart is staying up to watch Krusty host SNL, which is pretty disappointing, but during a commercial break he sees an ad for a service called Bigger Brothers. And man is that ad messed up, it has a kid standing next to his father’s open grave while arguing with the narrator whether he’ll come back or not. But then a Bigger Brother shows up and they play catch over the grave. Bart thinks this is a good idea though, and the next day goes to the Bigger Brother office, telling them that he hasn’t seen his father in six years and needs a male role-model. So they hook him up with a really fun Phil Hartman character called Tom, a badass F-16 pilot who drives a motorcycle. He comes and picks up Bart at school, leading to a great Martin line “wow, Bart’s father really got himself together.”

We’re then introduced to the weird B plot in this episode where Lisa is addicted to calling a 900 number for some teen idol named Corey, which appears to just be the guy saying random things. She’s racked up a ridiculous phone bill though, so Marge makes her promise not to call it anymore. Back at the main plot Tom is taking Bart to a baseball game where they’re handing out tomatoes to everyone. Bart tells Tom about the fake Homer he’s concocted, who has a big beard and lost the family’s life-savings on blackjack. Tom promises to beat up Homer if he ever sees him while the baseball game takes a break to introduce a recruiter for the local Communist party, leading everyone to pelt him with their tomatoes. We then kind of bounce back and forth between the two plots. We see Lisa calling the hotline in Dr. Hibbert’s office while he’s busy laughing at a MASH coloring book, then Bart and Tom hanging out watching Ren and Stimpy. That show’s weird. I never watched it that much, because even though my folks were fine with me watching it, it was like too odd for me even as a kid. We then get a weird scene where Bart brings some military weapon Tom leant him to show-and-tell called a Neural Disruptor, which he demonstrates on Martin, causing him to collapse on the floor. And man is it hilarious that Milhouse has to follow that up with his plastic horse, which he half-heartedly “neighs.”

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Lisa is still up to her addiction, briefly popping in with her using Grandpa’s phone after he falls asleep while talking with her. But things finally start happening with that story when she calls in Principal Skinner’s office while she’s supposed to be counting peanut brittle, and he catches her. He then calls Marge, and they decide she needs to go cold turkey until midnight. There’s then a super wonderful scene where we see Skinner is in a weird Psycho relationship with his mother, who apparently lives in the Bates house overlooking the school.

Back with Bart, he’s hang-gliding over the town with Tom, while starting to feel bad that he’s abusing this program by lying. And just as he’s feeling guilt we see Homer watching them with binoculars, and the episode takes a weird turn. Bart comes home and Homer confronts him about his fake father, and they start fighting with each other like an old married couple. Homer ends the scene drinking brandy from a snifter and promising vengeance. We then smash right to Homer getting his own Little Brother, purely out of revenge, which is apparently an option on the forms, and not a red flag at all. Homer then looks through the face book of the possible kids, and mocks them all. He’s about to abandon his plan when some little depressing kid named Pepi comes in, wanting a Bigger Brother. Homer decides to pick him, and starts hanging out with the kid. He goes to pick him up at his house in the bad part of town where Homer sees a homeless guy in a dumpster and says “just like Oscar the Grouch.” He gets Pepi (who doesn’t have any parents? And lives alone in an apartment?) and takes him out for ice cream and to see the wonders of suburban life, like the garage door. They then spend the evening together, looking at the starts while Homer teaches him about all the wonderful constellations, like Jerry the Cowboy, and Alan the Cowboy.

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We finish the Lisa plot by having her manage to make it to midnight without calling the hotline. So that’s done now. But things in the main plot really heat up when Homer tells Bart about Pepi, and Bart starts telling Homer that he faked it all the times they played on the swing. We then see Bart and Tom go to Marine World for a Bigger Brother event, which Pepi and Homer are also at. There’s a great scene of Homer taunting a dolphin before it steals his hotdog, then he runs into Bart. They have an awkward moment until Tom comes up and tells Bart not to talk to strangers. Homer says he’s Bart’s father, and they begin fighting. Homer starts it off by throwing starfish at him like ninja stars, and they begin brawling all over town. They make it into an Antiques Shop and break everything, then they fall off Springfield Gorge and magically ramp back up. But the fight ends when Homer falls over a fire hydrant and destroys his back. Homer is then taken to the hospital and Bart decides to hook Pepi and Tom up, since they actually deserve each other. Bart and Homer then end the episode bonding over Homer’s dirty fighting tips, including the wonderful line “keep sobbing until he turns away in disgust, and that’s when it’s time to kick some back.”

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This episode is a blast. It’s so weird that they made this episode function as if Bart was having an extramarital affair instead of just hanging out with some random dude. And it’s so great that Homer got his own kid out of spite. That last fight scene is absolutely bonkers and so cartoony. The only downside to this episode is the Lisa plot, because besides that crazy Principal Skinner/Norman Bates thing it was pretty dull. But man was the Homer Bart stuff great.

Take Away: Don’t forget to pick up your kids. And don’t abuse nonprofit organizations.

“Brother From the Same Planet” was written by Jon Vitti and directed by Jeffrey Lynch, 1993.

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