Lifetime of Simpsons

S22 E13 – The Blue and the Gray

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Well everyone, it looks like it’s been a while since we had an episode where Marge made some change to her physical appearance and the family had to cope with it. So I guess it’s time to check that off the list again.

It’s Valentine’s Day in Springfield, and for some reason the whole town has been decked out in decorations for the holiday. Everyone is ready to celebrate with the people they love. Hell, even Crazy Cat Lady has met some Crazy Dog Guy to share the night with. We also see that Lenny and Carl apparently date each other’s sisters on Valentine’s Day, which is super weird. But it does leave Moe pretty lonely, with no one to serve. He does have a plan to sell super expensive novelty cocktails, but there’s not going to be anyone there to partake.

Homer feels bad about leaving Moe alone on Valentine’s Day, since he has no one who loves him, but Moe insists on Homer leaving. However, as soon as Homer leaves Moe begins moping about how lonely he is, and he begins watching some TV. And, as luck would have it, he finds a commercial for some sort of upcoming seminar all about how to pick up women. Because those are never creepy. But Moe is down, and calls to sign up.

But before we check in on Moe we have to make a quick pit-stop at the Simpson’s house, the next morning. Homer and Marge apparently had a wild night together, and they wake up with very little time to get the kids ready for school. Marge goes into a whirlwind to get things finished in time, and while she’s getting ready she finds something shocking. A gray hair. They then claim that this is Marge’s first gray hair. And, listen, I don’t want to be a Comic Book Guy here, but I do write a daily article about the goddamn Simpsons, so I think I’m allowed to be a little pedantic. They’ve established, in “Secrets of a Successful Marriage” that Marge has been “gray as a mule” since high school. Which makes this whole episode ridiculous. But whatever, that was almost twenty years ago, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

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Anyway! We then cut back to Moe, who is arriving at the run-down hotel where the pick-up seminar is being held. Moe shuffles in with all the other sad men of Springfield, and the energetic speaker arrives. He then quickly starts dishing out secrets on how to meet women, and asks that everyone come up and he can help them with their flirting. But he really runs into a problem with Moe. He can’t find a single promising aspect to Moe physically or mentally, so tells him that his only hope will be relying on a wingman. And since Moe has very few friends, he decides that Homer will be the perfect person to help him.

Back over in the Marge’ plot, she’s become very self-conscious about her gray hair, and has gone over to Julio, her hairdresser, to get it fixed. Which is when she learns that she’s been graying for years, but Julio has been using some super-powerful hair dye that wipes out her memory every time they use it. Marge is a little shocked about this, like she always is I guess, and starts to have second thoughts. And when she sees an older woman confidently wearing her hair gray at the salon, she decides to just roll with it.

So Marge gets the dye washed out of her hair and returns to the home, proudly wearing her gray hair. And the family is stunned. Homer has absolutely no idea what to say about it, but he’s not a fan, and just remains quiet. Lisa tries to spin it as empowering, before she and Bart just begin panicking when they realize that there’s no line of delineation between their skin and their hair, throwing them into existential panic.

Luckily though, Homer gets a call from Moe at just that moment, asking him to go be his wingman. So Homer slips out of the house, without explaining what’s going on, and goes to try and help Moe get lucky. And he’s actually really good at it! They go to some club and Homer chats up a lady’s heavy-set friend, talking about the size of pizzas, while Moe gets the know the other woman. All in all it was a successful night.

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However, Moe is the only one having any success, because Marge is not getting the reaction she was hoping for with her new hair. The other kids at the Elementary School make fun of Bart when they see Marge, so much so that Bart and Milhouse get in a fight that lands Bart in Dr. Pryor’s office. Marge also has to deal with some snide comments from the other mothers at the grocery store, which she’s unable to fend off.

But the real final straw is when the grocery store cashier suggests that Marge is a member of AARP, which makes her fly into a rage. She becomes really worried about her hair, and sets up a meeting with Patty and Selma to talk about how they deal with their hair. They then reveal that they aren’t gray, that it’s just collected cigarette ash. But while Marge is talking to her sisters she overhears some young women talking about some club they go to, and how much fun they have with Homer. And after they begins saying “d’oh,” Marge realizes it’s her Homer.

And because Homer is an idiot and never told Marge that he was going to this club to help Moe pick up chicks, she obviously thinks that he’s cheating on her now that she has gray hair. So she decides to get all dressed up and head over to the club to make Homer realize that she’s still sexy. Which does not go well. Marge ends up getting into a minor car accident, and after a series of ridiculous events ends up arriving at the club looking like a bedraggled witch.

They still let Marge into the club though, where she finds Homer surrounded by young women who think he’s hilarious. Marge runs up to Homer, making a huge scene about what a scum he is, when he finally explains what’s going on. And, to make things better, he tells her that the reason he’s such a good wingman is that he’s completely confident in the fact that he already has the most beautiful woman in the world at home. This fixes everything, and he’s able to admit to Marge that he preferred her hair blue. So she decides to go back to the dye, and everything goes back to normal.

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This is one of those episodes that I’ll probably forget in a week, but it’s one that I had a decent time with. There’s not really anything special about it, but there’s not really anything particularly wrong with it. Homer helping Moe with his love life seems to be an evergreen premise, and usually always leads to some fun gags and plots. I also do enjoy the idea of Marge deciding to embrace her gray hair, despite any fanboy whining I can do about the inconsistent canon that this creates. I also enjoy the idea that Homer felt comfortable enough at the end to have a frank discussion with Marge about his preferences, which wasn’t done in a way that made him look like a jerk for shutting her down. All in all it’s a well-handled episode, just one that’s a little dull. But that’s okay, it works.

Take Away: Change isn’t bad, but when you’re in a long-term relationship it’s okay to be honest about your feelings.

 

“The Blue and the Gray” was written by Rob LaZebnik and directed by Bob Anderson, 2011.

 

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