Happy fake Halloween everyone, and welcome back to another Treehouse of Horror episode. It’s that time of the season where we get to see things get downright spooky. And you know that it’s going to be spooky because the opening of the episode recreates the opening to the HBO Tales from the Crypt show, with Mr. Burns as the Crypt Keeper. Which is fantastic. Although, the episode doesn’t take the perfect premise and run with it, because we just get three random vignettes with no connective tissue. Despite how perfect it would have been to have Mr. Burn intro the segments while pumping out as many puns as possible. Oh well, win some lose some.
Married to the Blob
Our first segment starts off with Homer and Marge sitting on the hammock in the back yard, making out. But that’s spoiled when a goddamn meteor falls from the heavens and crash lands in the Simpson’s back yard. Bart and Lisa come rushing out to investigate with Marge and Homer, as they check out the steaming piece of rock. And, as luck would have it, the meteor falls apart and some seemingly intelligent life is inside. Unfortunately it’s some glowing green wad of goop, that Homer decides is a marshmallow. So he of course eats it. It struggles quite a bit, but Homer keeps fighting and ends up shoving this sentient being down his gullet. Surely that’s not going to cause any problems!
That night Homer wakes up in the middle of the night, starving. So he heads downstairs and just starts gorging, eating everything in the fridge. And later that night he’s still starving, to the point that he tries to eat Bart. Marge stops this though, so Homer heads off into the night, and ends up stumbling upon a group of teenagers who are frolicking on the beach. So, Homer eats them instead. And this proves to be a slippery slope, because Homer’s endless hunger is not sated, and now he’s gotten a taste for human flesh. He starts wandering Springfield, slowly eating every fat person he comes across, gradually becoming a gigantic blob of a man. He even gets so gigantic that he outshines the 50-Foot Lenny and Invisible Carl. But the day is saved when Dr. Phil himself shows up to try and help Homer with his eating problem. Which is solved by Homer eating Dr. Phil. But it’s okay, because the city decides to kill two birds with one stone and start a lovely scam where they sate Homer’s hunger by letting him eat all the homeless in town.
You Got To Know When to Golem
The second, and weakest, segment of the episode starts off with Bart attending a live taping of Krusty’s show, where he announces that he’ll be moving to HD so the kids can see how horrifying his face is. But after the episode finishes taping Bart decides to go back stage and chat with Krusty, since that’s something he can do, and he ends up going to a prop room. And inside, Bart finds something fascinating. A golem. Bart gawks at the thing for a while until Krusty comes in and tells Bart the legend of the Golem of Prague, which was created by a Jewish artisan to fight off ignorant townspeople who wanted to kill him. And now Krusty owns it, using it to kill hecklers. Krusty also explains that the golem will do whatever you want, as long as you write down a request and put it in its mouth.
So before he leaves Bart tosses in a note telling the golem to come to his house that night. And as luck would have it, he does. The golem shows up, ready to carry out tasks, and Bart immediately takes advantage of his new friend, having the golem go around and do Bart’s bidding, like kicking Homer in the balls, beating up the bullies, and giving Bart a shave. However, Lisa starts to notice Bart’s weird new companion, and she has objections. She says that he’s not giving any thoughts to the golem’s feelings, and she writes a command for the golem to speak. And it turns out she was right, he’s miserable. He hates following all of these stupid tasks, always hurting people, and wants something more in life. He starts complaining nonstop, and it quickly drives Bart insane. So the family decide to help the golem by giving him a bride. The create a female golem out of play-doh, and bring it to life. And it’s love at first site. The two golems get married, and live happier ever after.
The Day the Earth Stood Stupid
Our final and strongest entry takes place in Springfield in 1938. Everything is sepia toned and everyone is miserable, what with the Great Depression going on. People are just trying to live their lives, and we get to see Homer and Marge sweetly dancing together to the radio. But that’s spoiled when they get a sudden news alert telling them that mysterious cylinders from Mars have landed in a small town, and aliens have begun invading. And in case that sounds familiar to you, yes, this is the Orson Welles broadcast of War of the Worlds. We see Welles in studio, crafting his fun little story while we also see the people of Springfield immediately taking the radio report as gospel, and flipping the holy hell out.
And things quickly escalate. The town gather in the town square, horrified at what’s going on, and they’re desperate for answers. Which is when Marge suggests that they act like animals, since the aliens will only want to kill humans. So everyone strips down and starts wallowing in mud, pretending to be animals. And this makes everyone extremely embarrassed when Lisa shows up and tells them all that it’s a hoax. So Springfield is horrified, and becomes a national laughingstock. Oh, and they also become an interplanetary laughingstock, because Kang and Kodos are watching them, and decide that this is the perfect time to invade. So they attack Springfield, who just assumes that this is another hoax, and ignore it. Even when Orson Welles shows up to tell them to fight back, they just yell at him, and let the aliens take over. We’re then treated to a really weird metaphor where Kang and Kodos are irritated with the human insurgency, a la the invasion of Iraq, ending out episode on a bit of political commentary.
I had a whole lot of fun with this episode. The Treehouse of Horror episodes are always going to be fun, but they’ve been a little lax lately. This one was just a goddamn hoot. I’m still very irritated that they didn’t take advantage of the idea of Mr. Burns being the Crypt Keeper and spewing puns in between the segments, but oh well, they clearly don’t want to do that anymore. As it stands, this is just a fun little episode. The goofy 50s B-Movie plot of the blob segment was a whole lot of fun, especially by showing up things like the 50-Foot Lenny and Invisible Carl. The golem one is probably the weakest of the three, but it’s still pretty fun. It’s also neat to see the Simpsons talk about a golem. Not exactly a Halloween story, but still unique. But the best is definitely the War of the Worlds one. I love Springfield getting so terrified of aliens, I love Orson Welles showing up, and I love Kang and Kodos deciding to invade after Springfield already went through a fake alien invasion. That’s just kind of genius. All around this was a fun Treehouse of Horror, and I’m hoping that this streak will continue this season. Tomorrow does not make that seem likely.
Take Away: Don’t eat space goo, don’t torment golems, and don’t trust Orson Welles.
“Treehouse of Horror XVII” was written by Peter Gaffney and directed by David Silverman and Matthew Faughnan, 2006.