Lifetime of Simpsons

S21 E18 – Chief of Hearts

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Howdy everyone, and welcome back to another week of Lifetime of Simpsons. And guess what? We’re in for another week of rather solid episodes! The show is absolutely spoiling us at this point! And we don’t even have a stinker vacation episode in there messing up the average this week. And it all starts with today’s episode about the wonderful friendship between Homer Simpson and Chief Clancy Wiggum.

The episode begins with Marge driving Bart and Lisa to a birthday party for a kid that neither of them really know. The kid was in some baby class with Bart, which is incredibly spurious logic, but it does lead to the realization that they don’t know what gender this kid is even supposed to be. And the fact that the party has activities for boys and girls doesn’t help, and just absolutely baffles Marge. So I guess they’ll just have to figure this out the hard way!

Or not, this is immediately dropped and no one cares about the birthday kid in the slightest. Instead we finds that while Bart is walking around the party, looking for something to do, he comes across a group of kids playing some sort of complicated game that involves collectible cards and little toys that fight each other. Bart has never heard of this game before, but quickly gets peer pressured into being interested in it.

But that’ll pay off later. For now we have to check in on Homer, who is strolling into a bank while eating a candy apple. He realizes that he can’t have food in the bank, and sticks it in his pocket. And almost immediately the combination of him holding something in his jacket pocket and the caramel’s effects on his mouth make everyone assume that he’s robbing the bank. So Homer has accidentally been launched into a robbery situation, and things quickly get dire.

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Homer ends up tasered and arrested. Things get ironed out at court though, but to punish his idiocy they still give him a sentence where he has to do community service. So Homer and a group of other petty criminals have to deal with community service. And it just so happens to be on a day where Chief Wiggum is not having a good time. He’s feeling very lonely, and seems to be taking it out on the folks he’s supervising.

However, things take a turn when he notices that Homer has a cooler full of sandwiches for his lunch. They look delicious, and he decides to have Homer hang out with him and eat the whole time the other people do their community service. And the two end up having a great day together! They sit around, chatting and eating, and by the end of the day agree that they should continue to hang out, and make plans to keep being friends, which Eddie and Lou find adorable.

But hey, let’s check in on Bart. He has really taken to this Battle Ball game, and has brought it into Springfield Elementary, where it quickly expands into being the schools new fad. All of the kids begin playing the game, and Bart becomes the mastermind behind it, carrying a backpack full of toys. Which is where things get complicated. Because one day Principal Skinner is watching the kids play around, and after seeing Bart giving the kids things from a secretive backpack, he starts to assume that Bart is dealing drugs.

Skinner calls Marge into his office to talk about it, and she’s of course immediately against it. You would think that she’d know that Bart recently spent a lot of money on these stupid cards, but whatever. Because Skinner actually manages to convince her that something is going on, and one day when she hears Milhouse and Bart goofing off in the basement she decides to snoop. And when she eavesdrops on them it sure sounds like they’re talking about drugs, so Marge instantly becomes convinced that Bart has become a drug dealer.

Meanwhile, Homer and Wiggum have become fast friends, and begin spending all of their time together. Homer even gets to drive around with Wiggum in the squad car while Homer edits his criminal record. And after a certain point Wiggum decides to bring Homer to his special place, a scenic overlook where you can see the whole town. Homer and Wiggum hang out on the overlook, talking about life and becoming deeper friends.

However, disaster strikes when Lou calls them about an armed robbery. And because Wiggum is a terrible cop he agrees to let Homer tag along. So Homer and Wiggum race off to the robbery, where Lou is begging to book various members of Fat Tony’s gang. However, when Wiggum and Homer arrive things go sideways, and Johnny Tightlips is able to grab Homer and threatens to kill him. Wiggum then freaks the hell out, and charges Johnny, trying to save his friend. At which point Johnny Tightlips shoots Chief Wiggum square in the chest.

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Wiggum is raced to the hospital, and Homer begins spending every waking hour at Wiggum’s bedside. Because things aren’t looking great. Dr. Hibbert does everything he can, and Homer doesn’t leave Wiggum for a second. And after about a week of intensive work, Wiggum finally wakes up, and is thrilled to see Homer. However, as soon as Homer suggests leaving and seeing his family, something changes in Wiggum, and he begins acting moody and petulant, holding it over Homer’s head that he literally took a bullet for him.

But before we get into what’s going to happen with this development, we need to finish that Bart plot. Because Marge has been utterly obsessed with finding the truth about Bart’s drug dealing, and ends up tearing his entire room apart. And once almost every possession of his is destroyed she finally decides to ask Bart what’s going on. And he easily explains that it’s this dumb game. And, to make matters worse, Marge decides that the game seems fun, utterly running it for Bart, who then gets rid of all of his cards and toys.

Anyway, things are getting weird for Homer. Wiggum is driving him insane, and he starts trying to hide from him. He hangs out at Moe’s hoping for some sanity in his life, when Wiggum comes storming in and attempts to arrest Homer for being a bad friend. So yeah, Wiggum has fallen off the deep end, and things are looking a little dire. It even reaches the point where Wiggum says that they’re no longer friends.

And despite Wiggum’s erratic behavior, this really bums Homer out. He was enjoying spending time with Wiggum, and is really sad about losing him. However, one day Eddie and Lou show up at the house and tell Homer that Wiggum is missing, and they don’t know where he might be. Homer immediately assumes that Wiggum is back at that scenic overlook from earlier, and races up to try and find the Chief.

And Homer guessed right! Wiggum is up there and they end up reconciling. However, they also run into some problems, because Fat Tony and his men are up there too. They quickly overpower Wiggum and Homer, and end up sticking them in their trunk while driving off to kill them. Homer gives Wiggum a pep-talk in the trunk though, and gives him the confidence to jump out of the trunk and beat up the goons. So, everything’s okay, their friendship is back and less intense than before, and everything goes back to normal.

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I had a whole lot of fun with this episode. I’ve always been a huge fan of Chief Wiggum, and it’s kind of shocking that there really hasn’t been any episodes that revolve around Wiggum to this extent. And the idea of making him and Homer friends is great. There’s been a lot of previous episodes where Homer and Wiggum ended up paling around for a bit, and it’s always been a fun dynamic that’s really worked for me. And this is no different. Plus, the idea of Wiggum taking a bullet for Homer and then becoming crazy about it is pretty great. The whole Battle Ball/drug thing is a little weird and didn’t do much for me, but it doesn’t do anything to take away from the fact that this is a really fun episode about two characters I love being friends. And that’s nice.

Take Away: It’s great to start new friendships, but don’t become an obsessive weirdo about it.

 

“Chief of Hearts” was written by Carolyn Omine and William Wright and directed by Chris Clements, 2010.

 

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