Welcome to Season twenty three folks! We’ve made it into yet another season, and the home stretch is closing in. But, shockingly, I’m not eagerly awaiting that ending, like I assumed I would be. The show has really had a bit of a comeback for me lately, especially last season, and all of my crotchety grumblings at the beginning of this project about how rough the end would be have actually proven rather false. Which is great. Now, I’ll say, Season 23 certainly gets off to an odd start, but I’m sure things should settle a bit after this week. Oh, and in case you were wondering about the fate of Edna and Ned’s relationship, or Nedna as they call it, they tell us right off the bat that somewhere in the episode the reveal will be tossed in, so we have to keep our eyes peeling I guess.
Things begin with Homer slipping into the Nuclear Power Plant, at noon, trying to hope that no one will notice that he’s coming in late, while loudly singing the Police. He actually does a very good job though, and ends up getting some overtime put on his old-timey punch card. So it’s a rousing success. Until he gets to the security booth, and makes a shocking discovery. The old security guard that he’s known for years is gone, and now it’s a new guy who seems very irritable.
The guy’s name is Wayne, and he seems to not be up for Homer’s bullshit. No matter what Homer does to try and charm the guy with his buffoonery he just seems irritated, and ignores him. Which really seems to bother Homer, since as we know, he doesn’t really like people to not like him. So this is really going to start bothering him. Lenny and Carl try to explain that not everyone needs to be his friend, but this obviously isn’t going to help Homer.
He becomes pretty fixated on Wayne, and ends up feeling really lonely because this one specific person doesn’t seem to care about him. But providence smiles on Homer one night when he’s driving home from the Plant in the rain, and he notices Wayne walking alone. Homer tries to convince Wayne to get a ride from Homer, but he keeps refusing. Until it starts hailing, and Wayne has no choice but to get in the car with Homer.
Homer then immediately starts hounding Wayne, eager to get attention, when Wayne finally breaks down and says that he’ll allow Homer to take him out for one beer. So they drive over to Moe’s, and have an incredibly awkward time together. Things are spiced up a bit though when Wayne heads to the bathroom, and Snake bursts into the bar to rob it. Moe tries his best to fend Snake off, but utterly fails, making it clear that everyone is about to get their money stolen.
Which is when Wayne comes out of the bathroom, and snaps into some sort of fugue state where he’s suddenly able to take down Snake effortlessly. He kicks Snake’s ass, and everyone is super impressed. And, as per tradition, Wayne is then invited home to dinner for saving Homer’s life. And the rest of the family are incredibly impressed with Wayne’s fighting abilities. Bart especially tries to harass Wayne into telling him his secrets, but Wayne stays strong and won’t tell them about his shadowy past.
Luckily, we get to see a flashback. Turns out that Wayne is a former government assassin, and was put through an arduous training process where he was specifically trained to defeat every possible type of enemy, including Chucky, Pinhead, an old-timey boxer, and the Baseball Furies. So that’s why Wayne is so powerful and cagey. But as soon as the flashback is over he ends up fleeing from the house, too awkward to keep up the conversation. Oh, and as Wayne leaves we get a weird scene where Ned comes over to the house, seemingly to tell us about Nedna, but he awkwardly leaves without telling us anything important, teasing us.
But Wayne’s issues aren’t over. Because the next day he gets to work at the Plant and is confused to find that there are a bunch of reporters waiting for him. Turns out they’re there to do a story on his heroic actions at Moe’s, which is something he’s super not interested in. This triggers another flashback to when the CIA was done using him. They were going to eliminate him and erase his memories, and this fear makes him freak out and strangle Mr. Burns, who was going to give him some sort of ceremonial hard-hat. So that’s a problem.
Wayne is then fired, for strangling his employer, and things aren’t looking great. But, of course, Homer offers to let Wayne come and crash at their house until he can get back on his feet. Against his better judgment Wayne agrees, and comes to live in the Simpson’s basement, like so many tertiary characters before him. Unfortunately it’s clear that there’s something wrong with Wayne, and he spends all night loudly screaming in his dreams, haunted by his memories. The screams keep everyone in the house, and the neighboring houses up all night. Oh, and we also see that Edna is staying over at Ned’s house, confirming the results of the Nedna poll.
But the family won’t kick him out. They’re convinced that they can help Wayne, so they put up with his eccentricities and work on fixing him. And things go well for a while. He teaches the kids some torture methods for interrogations, he teaches Marge how to drive like a spy, and he even gives Bart some tips for destroying bullies. However, he hits a snag when he listens to Lisa play a song on her saxophone, triggering a flashback to him killing a bunch of Ukrainian gangsters at a gala, and when he comes back into reality he finds he’s pointing a gun at Lisa. This is the last straw for him, and he leaves the family, deciding he can’t live in the real world anymore.
Meanwhile, in the Ukraine, a powerful gangster and his friends are watching YouTube videos and end up finding the footage of Wayne’s disastrous news interview. And he instantly recognizes Wayne as the secret agent who shot up his gala, and caused him to accidentally kill his wife. So that’s not good. The gangster then orders that he and his men will head off to Springfield to find Wayne and get revenge on him.
Unfortunately Wayne has already left the Simpson’s house, so when the gangsters arrive at the house they find just Homer there. So they decide to just kidnap Homer, and hold him hostage to lure Wayne to them. They have Homer call Wayne, and when he hears the voice of the Ukrainian gangster is all comes flashing back and he promises Marge and the kids that he’ll head out and save Homer from the certain death that awaits him.
Wayne then heads to Springfield’s Little Ukraine, and ends up locating the gangsters at a skate rink. Wayne sneaks in and sees that the gangster and his men have Homer encased in the ice of the rink and are waiting for him. He manages to get past them and creates a deadly t-shirt cannon which he then attacks everyone with. He takes out all of the thugs, but ends up getting caught by the gangster before he can kill him. Luckily Homer gets out of the ice at this point and manages to distract the gangster long enough for Wayne to take him down. So, Homer is safe now, the gangsters are all dead, and Wayne decides he can’t let the Simpsons be hurt by him any longer. But Marge comes up with a good idea to keep him hidden, and use his robotic and angry talents. They get him a job at the DMV, where he presumably lives a decent life.
This is a pretty fun little episode. It’s another one in a long line of episodes that revolve around some mysterious stranger meeting the Simpsons and immediately moving into their basement, but this one is rather enjoyable. I like Wayne, the weird Jason Bourne killing machine, and seeing him hang out with the Simpsons and teach them to be badasses is pretty fun. It’s just kind of a ‘been there, done that’ type of episode. It didn’t feel particularly fresh, so while there was so good gags and moments it was just a tad forgettable, which is a weird choice for the season opener. It’s also nice to see that Edna and Ned manages to stick through their issues, and the fans did the interesting thing by making them get together. That’s pretty cool.
Take Away: Always trust mysterious angry people, they’re probably going to save your life.
“The Falcon and the D’ohman” was written by Justin Hurwitz and directed by Mathew Nastuk, 2011.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons