You know, I’ve noticed that there’s been a significant lack of episodes revolving around Itchy and Scratchy lately. Which I don’t really mind, because as I’ve mentioned before, I have a weird inability to type the word Scratchy. Well guess what, I found a word even worse than Scratchy. Albuquerque!
The episode starts off with the family sitting around watching TV like 75% of episodes, and we see a commercial for a new theme park called Blockoland. The commercial does its best to make this look like the coolest thing in the world, and Homer’s psyched to bring the kids there, even though Bart and Lisa respond with the mating call of the Millennial, “meh.” But Maggie’s pumped, so they all get in the car and drive off to look at Legos.
And pretty much right off the bat the place seems horrible, what with the square wheels on its tram and the washboard slide that hurts to go down it. But once they’re in it obviously means it’s time for a slew is sight-gags! We see Homer play with a house of mirrors that make him blocky, a pretty regular non-block related arcade, their meal made from squares of food, and a boat-ride on river of blocks full of block leeches.
At the end of the day though it seems like they had a pretty good time, and head home, content that they had a nice family outing. That is until Lisa mentions that her little model of the Eiffel tower seems to be missing a piece. Homer responds with this problem by giving Lisa some advice on life, which is to never hope for anything, but Marge tells him that’s a terrible lesson, and he decides to drive back and stick up for Lisa. Which shockingly works. He talks to the souvenir guy and gets the missing piece, instantly getting on a high for sticking up for the little guy.
And he’s actually pretty good at it. First he goes to infiltrate Bart’s class in order to get Sherrie to go out with him, which basically consists of Homer convincing Sherrie to settle on Bart. He also goes to talk to Marge’ hairdresser to get him to give her free streaks in her hair, while also solving the salon’s budget crisis.
So obviously Homer takes on Lenny’s case, which is to refund his season tickets to the Isotopes, since they’ve been terrible again ever since they were bought by the Duff company. So Homer storms down to the field, has a brief conversation with a groundskeeper, and makes his way into the office of Howard K Duff, the general manager of the team. Homer has a big fight with the guy, and then accidently opens a secret door in the office that reveals a closet full of Isotopes merchandise. But there’s something odd about this merch, namely that it all says the Albuquerque Isotopes. The team is moving!
Homer starts to confront Duff about the Albuquerque move, and Duff responds by calling Duffman in to drug Homer. They kick him out of the building, hoping that he’ll forget all about the discovery. But the next morning he wakes up and chats with Bart, and it all comes rushing back. Homer’s discovered a conspiracy! So Homer rounds up the media and gets them to storm into Duff’s office with him, and he’s shocked to find that the closet is now empty, and Homer looks like a fool.
But he’s not going to give up that easily! So Homer talks with Lisa about advice on how to protest, and she tells him about Caesar Chavez’s hunger strikes, and Homer shockingly is down with that plan. So he heads to the stadium, sets up a little camp and starts up a hunger strike to get Duff to admit the Albuquerque conspiracy.
And at first no one really starts to care. He’s just some crazy guy. But when he starts getting crazy from the hunger, including his wonderful little line “I’m kind of like Jesus, but not in a sacrilegious way.” At that point people start gathering around him, and he just gets crazier and crazier. No one’s listening to his Albuquerque conspiracy, but he’s still fun to watch! And that’s bad news for Duff, because now people aren’t coming to the games because they’re too busy gawking at crazy Homer.
So, like a true capitalist, Duff decides to market Homer’s craziness, and in the dead of the night he has goons sneak out to Homer’s little camp, and they drag him into the outfield, chaining him up to become a reason for people to watch baseball. Oh, and they also start telling people that the goal of Homer’s hunger strike is for the Isotopes to win the pennant, leaving out the whole Albuquerque thing.
Things aren’t going well for Homer. That is until he starts to hallucinate from the hunger, and gets to meet Caesar Chavez!
Caesar Chavez: “Hello Homer, I am Caesar Chavez.”
Homer: “But, how come you look like Caesar Romero?”
Caesar Chavez: “Because you don’t know what Caesar Chavez looks like.”
So Caesar Chavez gives Homer a pep talk, and he keeps going with the hunger strike, until Duff finally realizes that they can’t do this any longer and risk Homer’s death. So they take Homer out of his post, replace him with Paint Drinking Pete, and hold a lame press conference at the game where they tell him his job is over, and give him a new hotdog. But Homer’s love of food saves the day, because he realizes that the ingredients for the hotdog are Albuquerque ingredients and convinces everyone of the trade! Oh, and apparently the stadium is already using Albuquerque napkins, so that helped too. And now that the truth has been revealed, and Duffman switches sides to depose Duff, Homer has saved the day!
This is a pretty fun episode. I really like the idea of Homer getting sucked into a hunger strike, and the whole conspiracy thing really clicked for me. Homer’s the perfect character to accidently stumble upon some crazy secret and then do his best to convince everyone, and it lead to a really great episode. I think it’s kind of hilarious that the reason Homer got sucked into a hunger strike was something as trivial as the cities minor league baseball team moving locations, but hey, it worked and lead to us seeing a whole lot of henchman Duffman, which is always a good thing. The reveal at the end is kind of stupid, with the napkins and the ingredients, but hey it’s nice to see Homer figure out a puzzle and save the day for once.
Take Away: Hunger strikes, ultimately, don’t solve anything?
“Hungry, Hungry Homer” was written by John Swartzwelder and directed by Nancy Kruse, 2001.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons
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