Lifetime of Simpsons

S19 E05 – Treehouse of Horror XVIII

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Hey there everyone, and welcome back to Lifetime of Simpsons, where Lackluster Week continues in one of the least likely ways possible. It’s pretty hard to make a Treehouse of Horror episode that just falls completely flat, but apparently it’s not impossible. We’re in for a doozy here folks, and it all starts off with an interesting note, Marge in the kitchen warning us about how scary this episode is going to be. That’s something we haven’t seen in a long time, and it kind of gave me a false sense of hope. But this warning gets interrupted when several Fox promos show up on the screen, for things like House and 24, causing Marge to freak out and brutally kill all the promos, baking them into a meat loaf. And that’s when the stories start.

E.T. Go Home

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Our first segment is a fairly straight forward parody of E.T., and it begins with Marge making crème Brule, before running out of propane for her little torch. Bart heads out to a mysterious shed in the back yard, where there’s more propane, and he finds an eerie glow emanating from the shed. She he starts hucking rocks into the shed until the source of the glow comes out. And it’s Kodos. Apparently Kodos was left behind while scouting for an invasion, and is now trapped on Earth, so Bart decides to befriend Kodos and bring him up to his bedroom. Bart shows Kodos some of his toys, and Kodos is mostly unimpressed, when Lisa comes barging in, stunned to see an alien in her house. But she and Bart agree to keep Kodos a secret from the government, and also agree to help him build a communicator so that he can phone his home, and get a ride.

So Kodos begins working on the communication device, not letting the kids help him other than bringing him the parts he needed. He also requests that Lisa find all of the nuclear silos in America, which doesn’t seem to raise any red flags for them. And things seem to be trucking along nicely, until Homer catches Kodos in the shower, and threatens to ruin everything. But Homer doesn’t get a chance to do that, because right at that time the government shows up, ready to capture Kodos, and he’s forced to flee with Bart and the communicator. They ride Bart’s bike into the woods, casually ray-gunning some government officials that were in their way. And when they get to the wood Kodos decides to drop all pretense, and tells Bart that he wasn’t building a communicator, he was building some sort of teleportation beacon so that an army of Rigelians could appear on Earth to conquer it. He then summons a whole army to begin the invasion. Luckily for Earth, an armada of helicopters show up, and start to mow down all of the aliens, until it’s just Kodos left. So Bart hops on one of the helicopters and Homer just blows Kodos away, ending the alien menace.

Mr. and Mrs. Simpson

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Oh hey, guess what? Another parody of a movie. But while I could maybe understand the logic of ET being parodied on a Halloween episode, I have no clue why the forgettable Mr. and Mrs. Smith needed to be poked fun of in this episode. But whatever, let’s get into it. It’s basically the same premise, with Homer and Marge in a therapy session talking about their lack of connection, while also learning that things aren’t what they seem. Homer is secretly an assassin working for Mr. Burns, and he’s been ordered to assassinate Kent Brockman. So Homer makes a bad excuse and heads out to a fancy party that Brockman is attending so that he can snipe him. Homer gets ready to assassinate Brockman, and is about to pull the trigger when a mysterious woman shows up and stabs him.

Homer gets frustrated and decides to start shooting at the woman, and inadvertently knocks her wig loose, revealing the other assassin to be Marge. So Homer races home, ready to confront Marge about her secret life, and the fact that she screwed him out of his hit, and finds her waiting. She also has figured out that Homer was the sniper, and the two have a tense evening together, each trying to get each other to eat some poisoned lasagna. And after a while they just start fighting, leading to an extended gun battle and mostly destroys the house. Which inevitably causes Chief Wiggum to show up with a noise complaint, and Marge promptly kills him. This was apparently a bridge too far though, and the two stop fighting, and end up just having sex on Wiggum’s corpse, before revealing that in the beginning of the segment they weren’t in therapy, they were telling Skinner all of this.

Heck House

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Apparently they couldn’t come up with any other movies to parody for the last segment of this special, because we have an original story, that doesn’t really have much to it. It starts off with Bart, Lisa, Milhouse, and Nelson trick or treating on Halloween, and getting a pretty good haul. Until they reach Skinner’s house, and have to deal with Agnes. She’s horrible to the kids, and doesn’t give them any candy. Which really pisses off the kids. But they decide that there’s a tacit agreement in the trick or treat mantra, so they now have to trick her. They then pelt Agnes with water balloons, and realize that tricks are a lot more fun than treats. So the four begin causing chaos in Springfield, committing pranks. They cover Wiggum in toilet paper, beat Moleman with a bat, and accidentally cause a gas tanker to hit a hotel and explode.

And after all of these pranks, the adults of Springfield realize that something needs to be done about these little terrorists. They meet at Homer’s house to yell at him, but he has no idea. Which is when Flanders offers to take care of everything. So the kids continue to walk around the town, wrecking havoc, when they come across the church, which has been transformed into a haunted Heck House. They stroll in and find Ned, who begins showing them what a life of sin will lead them to. And it’s mainly bad acting from Skinner and the Flanders kids. This doesn’t really impress the kids, and Ned feels like a bit of a failure. So Ned prays for power, and becomes the literal devil and drags the children to hell to show them what will await their mild pranks. He shows them all sorts of punishments for the seven deadly sins before they get taken to a hellish Springfield that looks like a Heironomous Bosch painting. The kids then promise not to sin anymore, and are taken back to earth so the episode can end.

Yeah, I think this may be the weakest Treehouse of Horror that I’ve had yet. There’s just kind of nothing to this one. I’m a huge fan of Kang and Kodos, and love seeing them show up every year, and always prefer when one of the segments is primarily about them. I suppose the idea of Kodos being ET is okay, it just was a little too speedy, due to the fact that it was just a segment, to really work for me. And that was probably the best of the three. I have no idea why they thought they needed to do the Mr. and Mrs. Smith thing, but it just fell flat at every turn for me. I don’t want to see Homer and Marge try to brutally murder each other. That’s why I don’t watch Family Guy. And I really don’t know what that last part was about. It reminded me of that segment from a couple Treehouse of Horrors ago where the town got transformed into their costumes, because it was shorter than most segments, and just really didn’t have anything going for it. It’s just quick and unsubstantial with some weirdly aggressive Christian overtones. Not up my alley. The whole thing was just kind of a swing and a miss, which is a little disappointing. Usually these were guaranteed beacons of joy, and I really hope that this isn’t a harbinger of the season to come. But I guess we’ll find out.

Take Away: Don’t trust aliens, don’t be an assassin, and don’t go to churches.

 

“Treehouse of Horror XVIII” was written by Marc Wilmore and directed by Chuck Sheetz, 2007.

 

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2 replies »

  1. Yeah, not a great one. What you may not remember is that Mr and Mrs Smith was HUGE at the time for a few months and led to the power couple of “Brangelina” which broke up last year. This episode came out in 2007; maybe it just seemed fresh when they wrote it a year earlier.

    Liked by 1 person

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