Lifetime of Simpsons

S24 E19 – Whiskey Business

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Hi there everyone and welcome back to another week of Lifetime of Simpsons. It’s not going to be a particularly memorable week, but we will be finishing off Season 24 and entering into the wild world of Season 25! And what better way to start off the week than with an episode that revolves heavily around attempted suicide!

The episode starts off with Marge sitting on the couch, getting ready to clear out space on the family’s DVR. Which is clearly a horrible decision, because the rest of the family quickly come running into the room to contest her ideas, insisting that their ridiculous shows need to remain saved for perpetuity. Marge takes a stand though, and she insists that they need to clear some space, so Homer ends up staying up for 87 hours to watch all of his garbage.

But this frankly doesn’t matter. Because once Homer’s done with this weird marathon he heads over to Moe’s to complain to the guys about his weird television diet, and the actual plot gets going. Because while the guys are chatting about nonsense Moe is desperately trying to get their attention, wanting to tell them something important. Namely that he’s about to go into a supply closet and kill himself. He even has a noose ready, right out in the open.

Moe is hoping that his so called friends can offer at least some interest in his life to help save him, but he has no such luck. So he heads into the closet, and gets up in the noose, ready to end everything. Before he does it though he decides to call the suicide hotline, seeing if they can help him, but it’s just an automated voice that’s not very helpful, and ends up just playing “Suicide is Painless.” However, after hanging up on the hotline he does get a surprising call, from Bart for one of his classic prank calls. And Moe ends up getting so flustered by Bart’s call that he slips, and ends up hanging himself before he was ready.

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Luckily though, Moe has terrible beams in his supply room, so when his full weight is brought down on the noose it ends up breaking the beam and dropping Moe safely to the ground. Which is when Homer, Lenny, and Carl finally realize that something is up, and they come in to save him. Moe then gets up, surprised he’s still alive, and finds that he’s been given a new lease on life. Until he sees how horrible his bar is, and that post-attempted suicide afterglow quickly fades.

While they’re standing there, really just gawking at Moe, Marge ends up storming into the bar, furious that Homer is hiding out in here when he was supposed to be doing errands. But when she learns that Moe literally just tried to kill himself she’s shocked, and immediately wants to try and help Moe. She talks to the guys, and suggests that they should all go on a roadtrip to help Moe find a new purpose in his life. And Moe decides to go through with it.

So a couple days later everyone meets up at Moe’s, pile into a limo, and head off for a fun-filled weekend in Capital City. During the ride Moe continues to be a grouch, complaining about everything, until Marge convinces Moe to try and be positive. They then arrive in Capital City and travel around the city, going on ridiculous tours, spraying mace on Occupy protesters, and stealing art, all before showing up at a fancy tailor.

Moe is kind of confused about why they’re here, but then Marge explains that she, Homer, Lenny, and Carl all have agreed to pitch in and get Moe a fancy suit. He’s actually really thrilled about this, and ends up getting a suit tailored that actually makes him look good. And this really makes him emotional, making him happier than he’s been in recent memory.

Oh, and while all of this is going on we have to set up a couple weird little sub-plots that are threaded throughout the episode. Because while Homer and Marge are in Capital City, Grandpa has been tasked with taking care of the kids, and he’s doing a terrible job. Bart and the bullies have gotten together to build a massive water-slide, right off the roof of their house, and Lisa is hanging out at the Jazz Hole, getting furious that they have the gall to have a hologram performance of Bleeding Gums Murphy.

But the Bleeding Gums Murphy thing isn’t really going to matter that much. What will matter is that water slide, because as Bart and the bullies are preparing to try it out, Grandpa ends up finding them and gets up onto the roof to stop Bart. But as Grandpa is fussing he ends up slipping and falling onto the slide, going through the whole course and hurting his back like crazy. Bart obviously freaks out, and ends up bringing Grandpa down to the basement to hide him from the return of Homer and Marge, trying to fuss over him and pamper him so that he won’t tell them what Bart has done.

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Grandpa’s going to be in that basement for a while though, so let’s check back in on Moe. He has returned to Springfield, and is absolutely shocked at the positive reaction he’s getting to his suit. It’s really brightening his mood, and he ends up making him want to clean up the bar. He spends a while fixing the place up, and finds that when it’s clean it actually doesn’t look too bad.

And, as luck would have it, as Moe cleans the place up two men show up to the bar, figuring it was a classy place, and they ask Moe for well-aged whiskey. Luckily Moe has a weird bottle of bourbon he’s been home-distilling for years, and gives it to the guys. Shockingly, they love it. At which point they reveal that they’re venture capitalists, looking for a new drink to sell, and after quickly giving Moe’s bourbon to a focus group they decide they want to start selling it. And Moe is super down with that.

Meanwhile, Bart is still keeping Grandpa hidden down in the basement to recuperate, even though Homer and Marge are back, and thing have gotten a little odd. Bart was irritated at first with taking care of Grandpa, but they’ve gradually started to bond, and are actually having a great time hanging out together. Oh, and Lisa is writing angry letters to record companies because of the weird holograms, which results in the record company showing up and inundating Lisa with other holograms. Which is the end of that plot.

Anyway! Things have been progressing pretty quickly in the Moe plot, to the point that they’re ready to throw a massive party for his bourbon, which has been called Maker Moe’s. The party is a hell of a good time, and it’s all to celebrate the fact that the next morning they’re going to go public with the company and start selling stock in the company. However, as Moe is leaving the party he ends up getting into an accident with the elevator, and it destroys his precious suit. So he races over to the Simpsons, assuming they’ll be able to help fix his suit. But all Marge does is teach him the message of Dumbo, and tells him that the true magic was in himself all along. Thanks Marge.

Before we see what Moe does without his suit though, it’s time to finish off that Bart plot. Because one day when Bart is heading back down into the basement to take care of Grandpa he’s shocked to find him playing some sort of ballroom dancing DDR machine, showing that he actually doesn’t have any back pain. Bart calls him out on it, and Grandpa explains that he kept up the farce because he really enjoyed all the time he and Bart were spending together. This really moves Bart, and while they agree to send Grandpa back to the Retirement Castle they do agree to spend more time together.

Back to Moe! He’s arrived at some sort of Springfield stock exchange, where people are eagerly awaiting the stocks for Maker’s Moe. However, when Moe shows up without his magic suit, and just looking like himself, things start to fall apart. People are terrified of Moe, and the speech he gives gradually makes everyone lose confidence in him, to the point that Maker’s Moe is a failure before it even begins. But that’s okay. Moe goes back to his normal life, and cleans up the bar,  knowing that he’s not worthless.

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This episode is okay. It doesn’t really blow me away or anything, but it’s not terrible either. I typically like Moe episodes, even though they tend to be about how depressed and sad he is without ever really giving him any growth. And this one is probably the same. I’m sure the next Moe story I see will be about Moe being just as depressed as he was in the beginning of this episode, and that he learned nothing from this, but at least they gave some believable ideas in this episode as to why he stops being depressed. Moe actually feels some confidence in this episode, and becomes a success, without becoming an asshole. So often they make Moe successful and then he becomes an egotistical monster, but this episode keeps him pretty down to earth, just panicked that his confidence isn’t actually real. Like I said, it’s all fine, it has some solid gags, and I’ll almost certainly forget it in a couple weeks. But it’s fun.

Take Away: Self-confidence is the key to happiness. Oh, and to paraphrase Homer, the crows in Dumbo aren’t racist, the humans who drew them were.

 

“Whiskey Business” was written by Valentina L Garza and directed by Matthew Nastuk, 2013.

 

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