Lifetime of Simpsons

S17 E20 – Regarding Margie

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So you know how I’ve been complaining a lot here on the site about the glut of episodes that revolve around Homer and Marge’s marriage being on the rocks for little to no reason? It’s a really weird thing that’s been happening, with a whole bunch of episodes that are virtually identical and interchangeable. But guess what we have today? And episode that takes that rough formula, and actually does something different with it! Gasp!

The episode starts off with Bart, Milhouse, and Nelson going around town spray painting people’s house-numbers onto the curb. This is apparently some sort of con, because they aren’t getting permission for doing so, and just expect money from people after they’ve done it. But it seems to be working, so I guess it can’t mock their ambitions. Actually, not everyone is down with it. Not surprisingly, Homer doesn’t want to pay the boys, so they leave it half-done, thus giving Homer the responsibility to pain one extra number.

And he fails. Homer can’t write the 2 that he needed to, so he decides to just be lazy and leave their house as 74 Evergreen Terrace, assuming that nothing bad will happen. And I suppose it doesn’t, because all that happens is Homer starts getting some other family’s mail. Which he of course opens. Mainly because this other family lives a more exciting life than the Simpsons, so Homer gets their steaks and their invitations of weddings. Which he and Marge partake in.

Homer doesn’t seem to explain to Marge that this is happening, but she doesn’t really ask any questions, and just keeps opening the mail. And one day she gets a letter telling her that she’s won a contest for a professional housekeeper to come and clean her house. So, logically, Marge decides she needs to deep-clean the house before the housekeeper shows up so that they don’t think she’s untidy. Marge then goes on a massive cleaning binge, making the house perfect.

However, disaster strikes when the housekeeper is just about to arrive, and she finds some unholy stain on the kitchen floor. She mixes some horrible witches brew of solvents, and prepares to clean the smudge, when the fumes knock her unconscious and she collapses, smashing her head into a little foot-stool that she took out. And next thing Marge knows she’s in the hospital, recuperating from a serious hit to the head. Oh, and she has amnesia.

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Marge doesn’t have any idea who she is, what happened, and who her family is. So the family tries to jog her memory, and don’t have a lot of success. She just can’t remember the kids, and she flat out refuses to believe that someone that looks and acts like Homer can be her husband. And because they have terrible insurance, they’re promptly kicked out of the hospital and have to deal with this serious memory issue on their own.

The family drive Marge around Springfield, hoping that the sights will bring her memory back. But she’s just horrified at how weird the town is. So they bring her home, and try to get some memories there, to no result. That is until Maggie comes tottering into the room, and sucks on her pacifier. That sounds immediately jogs Marge’s memory, and she remembers Maggie. Lisa then explains what happened, and Marge remembers Lisa by the fact that she’s a know-it-all. Milhouse then randomly comes into the room, and Marge remembers Milhouse, and by extension Bart.

So her memory is completely back! Well, except for Homer. She still has absolutely no idea who he is. Homer continues to try and job Marge’s memory, showing her photos from their life. But all that does is depress her. And it’s not helped by the fact that Patty and Selma are doing their best to convince Marge that this is proof that her brain is trying to get her to forget Homer and leave him forever, finding a better life.

Homer doesn’t give up though, and just keeps trying. He even decides to take Marge out on a massive date, attempting to woo her all over again. The two go on a nice day, and Marge actually has a great time, even though she still doesn’t remember Homer. So he decides to do something extreme, and takes Marge to the putt-putt place where they first had sex. And this backfires tremendously. Marge is horrified that they has sex in a putt-putt castle, and storms away from Homer, still not remembering him, and deciding that forgetting him was the best thing that ever happened to her.

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Marge can’t take Homer anymore, and decides that he should move out of the house until they figure out what to do about this situation. So Homer goes to live with Grandpa, and everyone is just kind of uncomfortable with everything. Except Patty and Selma, because they aren’t passing up this opportunity. They grab Marge and make her go speed dating with them, hoping to get her into a new relationship before she remembers Homer.

Marge goes along with the speed-dating for a while, but is mostly just horrified at the caliber of men that are there. That is until she meets some handsome and nice guy, and they really hit it off. So much so that they decide to leave the speed-dating and go get drinks and actually have a real date. And while they’re having their date, Lenny and Carl happen to walk by, and they decide to call Homer and tell him about it.

So Homer runs to the coffee-shop where Marge is having her date, and creeps over to eavesdrop. Things seem to be going well between Marge and the guy, until she mentions that she has three kids, which is when he immediately bails. Marge seems pretty disappointed, but Homer is furious. He runs after the guy and yells at him about missing out on the most perfect woman in the world. He thinks Homer is crazy, and leaves, but it turns out Marge was listening. She decides that everything Homer said was super sweet, and agrees to give him a shot. And as they’re driving back home, she suddenly gets flash of memory, and everything comes back, returning everything to normal.

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Overall I think I liked this episode. I’ve gotten so sick of these episode about Homer and Marge’s marriage being on the rocks, and while this episode certainly plays with some of those same ideas, I like how it handled them. The idea of Marge getting amnesia and not remembering the family is pretty sitcomy, but in a way that I enjoyed. But the thing that really worked for me about this episode was the idea that Marge would be so shocked about their relationship, and took everything on its face value. And when she looks at the marriage like that, it doesn’t seem that good. Homer tries too hard to show her how much they were in love, and it backfires, but when he actually speaks from his heart and talks about how much he loves Marge and how much she means to him, it all clicks back into place. And there’s something about that that I really appreciate and enjoy.

Take Away: Love is more complicated than just the things you’ve done together.

 

“Regarding Marge’ was written by Marc Wilmore and directed by Michael Polcino, 2006.

 

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