Lifetime of Simpsons

S16 E13 – Mobile Homer

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Hey everybody, you know what can always spice up a lackluster week? Giving us one of those ridiculous episodes that revolve around Homer and Marge’s marriage spiraling out of control because of some ultimately insignificant reason that just get swept away at the end without any real closure. Those are the best! Let’s deal with it!

The episode begins with Marge and the kids hitting the town for a nice Sunday drive. At least that’s what Marge was envisioning, because while she’s on board for a nice drive the kids are not. Bart’s just bored and unpleasant and Lisa is lecturing her on the environment. But Marge doesn’t back down and just keeps driving around town, bothering Krusty, while the kids start to complain that Homer didn’t have to come.

And the reason for that is because Homer is in theory cleaning up the garage while they drive. And in actuality he’s standing around drinking beer and trying to fight the legions of spiders that live in the garage. And the spider’s win. Homer sprays the hell out of them with poison, and ends up spraying himself before falling on the floor and hurting his back. And to add insult to injury the spiders decide to press the garage door button, causing the door to rapidly pummel Homer in the chest while he slowly asphyxiates.

Luckily the family show up from their terrible walk just in time to save Homer. They come running in and Lisa and Bart perform CPR until Homer finally wakes up, delirious from spider poison. And that night while Homer is still hallucinating a bit, Marge tells him that she’s worried about his constant injuries, and implores him to buy some life insurance in case he kills himself. Homer agrees and the next day they decide to go get insurance.

And it doesn’t go well! Mainly because Homer has every pre-existing condition, and is labeled uninsurable. That’s America! So Homer doesn’t get to have life insurance, and Marge starts to develop an anxiety disorder! Marge constantly begins worrying about Homer’s health, and her future if he dies. Which isn’t helped by a timely Lifetime Movie. So Marge decides to do the only proactive thing she can think of, and start hording money like she’s a Victorian miser.

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Marge starts running the family’s finances even stricter than normal, not letting the kids eat brand-name food, making them shop at the Goodwill and wear shirts people have died in, and Homer even has to bring his own beer to Moe’s. And the beer thing is apparently the first and final straw for Homer, who snaps and begins fighting with Marge about her penny-pinching, claiming that he earns the money so he should say what it’s spent on.

Which was a really bad can of worms to open, because this begins a massive fight between the two. Mainly because, as Marge explains, she does everything for the family, and since she shops and deals with the financials it’s her that should actually control the money. This pretty handily wins Marge the argument, so Homer does the only thing that he can at that moment to regain some masculinity. He steals Marge hard-saved money and buys an RV for himself. Like a responsible adult!

So yeah, Homer has an RV now, and plans to live in his own backyard and not in the house anymore so that he can be the king of his own castle. Which obviously leads to some massive arguments. Marge is furious about this decision and things don’t go well. It even reaches the point that Marge decides Homer’s better out there for a while, and they basically become separated, and quickly begin fighting over the children as pawns in their feud.

But Homer can still come up with ridiculous ways to put strains on his marriage, as demonstrated by him doing something even dumber. Because one day when Homer is gassing up his monstrosity he runs into a group of weirdos who live in RVs travelling the country, and he offers them the use of his backyard and power hookups. So a whole convoy of nutjobs come into the Simpson’s backyard and set up a little shanty town, all to spite Marge.

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Marge isn’t going to put up with that bullshit though, and quickly stops it by taking their power. This causes the rest of the weirdos to leave, and another huge fight to brew between Homer and Marge. And they continue to fight for the rest of the night while they yell about things they don’t like about each other. And that morning the kids decide they can’t take it anymore. They don’t want to hear fighting anymore, and decide that the RV is the symbol of their problems. So, logically, they decide to steal the RV and return it to the dealership!

So Bart and Lisa break into the RV, figure out how to drive it, and slowly start making their way to the dealership. And around the time that they leave Homer realizes that his RV is missing, and freaks the hell out. Homer and Marge go to investigate and find a letter from the kids outlining their plan. So Marge and Homer put aside their difference for now and get in their car to try and chase down their children, who have now stolen the car and are home alone.

And things aren’t going great for the kids either. They get super lost and somehow end up on the freeway, terrified that they’re going to cause an accident. Homer and Marge manage to find the kids, and try to talk them into stopping the RV, but even though they promise that they’re made-up it doesn’t really matter, because the kids can’t reach the breaks in time, and end up barreling down a run-away truck lane, and flinging themselves off a cliff.

Luckily they don’t die. Unfortunately they land on a freighter heading for Turkey. So Homer and Marge race down to the seaport that the freighter is leaving from, and implore the Turkish man to turn around and give the kids back. But the captain doesn’t want to stop, and is apparently just going to kidnap the kids. That is until Marge offers him a shitload of soup that she bought when she was pinching pennies, and he turns the freighter around so that they can all have a nice potluck together. Oh, and Homer and Marge are fixed now.

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I feel like I beat on the same dead horse every time one of these episodes comes up, but I just don’t care for them anymore. Episodes that revolved around Homer and Marge having an argument that gets super blown out of proportion used to come around once every couple seasons, and they had some real emotional weight behind them. They were logical problems that real couples actually have, and they have to find actual and realistic solutions to it. But now these plots are popping up once or twice a season, and they just get more and more ridiculous. Fighting over finances seems very realistic, and unfortunately the inability to get insurance is increasingly an issue for couples since this country elected a failed gameshow host as President. But the decision to blow their money on an RV is completely nuts, and such a weird, selfish, and malicious thing for a person in a partnership to do. Plus, since they don’t introduce the RV for so long it means that they left themselves with no room to actually end the fight and repair the marriage. It’s just magically fixed at the end, brushed aside so that they could end the episode and reset to status quo by the end of the episode. These episodes are becoming more and more prevalent, and my patience for them is wearing thinner and thinner.

Take Away: Fighting about finances is something that may happen in any marriage, but you have to deal with them maturely and with compassion, and not by spiting your partner.

 

“Mobile Homer” was written by Tim Long and directed by Raymond Persi, 2005.

 

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