Lifetime of Simpsons

S25 E17 – Luca$

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Hi there folks, and welcome back to another week of Lifetime of Simpsons. And we have a pretty decent week to get to this time. It’s a tad all over the place, but I would say that by and large the episodes are all pretty fun, while occasionally dipping into some very heavy topics. Such as today! Because today we get to discuss Marge worrying that Lisa will marry a man like Homer and lead a life like she does! Oh, but we also get a fun opening sequence that’s made like Minecraft. That’s fun and not traumatic!

The episode begins with Homer waking up after a night of heavy drinking, and finding himself trapped in one of those metal spiral things kids climb on in a playground. He does not recall how he got trapped inside of this thing, nor how he’s going to get out. And, to make matters worse, it turns out Marge is here, having found him in this predicament. Homer doesn’t seem too embarrassed though, and he decides to just tell her the story, as far as he remembers it.

Homer tells Marge that the night before he, Lenny, and Carl all met up at Moe’s and decided to have a drinking game where they’ll take a sip every time Kent Brockman uses the word senator. So, overhearing that, Moe decides to call Kent Brockman and tell him a fake story about two senators having an affair at his bar, causing Homer and the guys to become absolutely shitfaced. They then wandered around town, blind drunk, until stumbling upon a playground. And while goofing off, Homer slips and crams himself into the spiral, at which point Lenny and Carl flee.

I’m not sure if Homer thought that telling Marge this story would make him look better, but it does not. She’s deeply ashamed, and calls the police to come help him, since she’s busy taking the kids to school. So Marge drives off and we learn that apparently this whole episode has been Bart telling Skinner a story about why he was late to school, and shouldn’t get a tardy. So I guess it was real? And, don’t worry, this isn’t just an episode that functions like a nesting doll of stories, like I was worried it was going to be, because things fall into a normal rhythm after this.

However, as Bart is telling Skinner this story, Skinner stops giving a crap. Mainly because this infraction has given Skinner the lawful authority to use capital punishment, and he’s going to use it on Bart. And, upon hearing that, Bart decides to flee from school. Skinner gives chase in his car for a while, but Bart is able to escape because Skinner’s terrible car can’t go up hills. And, once free, Bart heads home to hang out in his treehouse, only to find someone else inside.

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And it’s Snake! Bart is a little surprised at first, but Snake quickly calms him down, and explains that he’s currently hiding out from Chief Wiggum. And, surprisingly, Bart decides to let Snake hang out there. Hell, Wiggum even shows up at one point, and Bart lies to tell him that he heard Snake was hiding out on a mountain, putting him off the trail. Bart explains that this is because he considers himself an outlaw too, and he wanted to help Snake. Snake is incredibly appreciative for this, and heads off to find a new hiding place.

But this episode isn’t all about Bart and Snake. Hell, it isn’t named for one of them. So now it’s time to set up a very odd secondary plot, which begins with Lisa heading into the cafeteria at school. She notices that there’s a new boy in the lunchroom, who is sitting by himself and desperately trying to eat a whole pizza. Lisa goes to talk to the boy, whose name is Lucas, and he tells her that he’s training to be a competitive eater. Which instantly disgusts Lisa. But, for some reason she can’t quite put her finger on, she finds herself endeared to Lucas, and decides to sit with him and help him with his training.

At this point, the two plots are going to rapidly switch back at forth, so I’ll do my best to keep it straight. Because the Bart plot is about to get crazy. One day when Bart and Milhouse go into Bart’s bedroom they notice something odd. There’s a new video game consul inside that Bart’s not sure where it came from. He investigates the game, and finds that it has a note from Snake, saying that this is to repay him for helping him out. And it’s not just this game. Over the coming days Bart continues to find more and more stuff that Snake has stolen, and gifted to Bart. And Bart loves it!

That’s not going to lead to anything for a bit though, so let’s check back in on Lisa’s story. Because she’s begun spending a whole lot of time with Lucas. So much so that Lucas has started coming over to the house so that Lisa can help him eat thing in their backyard. Which is kind of a red flag for Marge. One day while Lucas and Lisa are hanging out in the backyard Marge starts spying on them while chatting with Patty and Selma.

Marge tells them that she’s a little surprised that Lisa seems interested in this boy, because he seems so unlike her. But Patty and Selma have a pretty easy explanation. They tell Marge that women tend to marry their fathers, and with a father like Homer of course Lisa was going to pick a weird little fat kid with terrible ambitions. And this terrifies Marge. She begins having weird fantasies of Lisa’s horrible life taking care of this stupid boy, and she begins to panic.

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So, with this wrinkle established in the Lisa plot, it’s time to go toss one into the Bart one. Because Bart and Milhouse have been loving these random “gifts” that Snake has been giving them, until a troubling one appears. Bart gets a tablet, which turns out to belong to Milhouse. Yep, Snake robbed the Van Houten’s. And Milhouse is pissed! He storms over to the treehouse, and Bart has to quickly explain to him what’s been going on lately.

And, after hearing what Snake has been doing, Milhouse does agree to keep it a secret. But this is a lie. Because the next day Bart is watching TV and hears a report that Snake has been arrested after Milhouse called in a tip. And, to make it worse, Springfield apparently now has a three strikes law, and after all of Snakes innumerous he has been found guilty of these strikes, and has been sentenced to death. And it’s all kind of Bart’s fault for getting Milhouse involved.

Meanwhile, Marge is still extremely worried about Lisa and Lucas. She’s terrified that Lisa has developed a bad idea of what an ideal husband should be, so she decides Homer needs to become a better male role model. Unfortunately, she doesn’t really want to tell Homer why she’s wanting this. So Marge just starts nagging Homer about how he behaves with Lisa, and implies that Homer should go on a little dinner date with Lisa where he establishes how gentlemen should behave.

And this seems weird to Homer. He can’t understand why Marge is acting like this, and after a flustered attempt to bullshit him, Marge accidentally admits that the reason she wants him to do this is because she’s afraid Lisa will marry a man like him. And this was the wrong thing to say, because Homer instantly gets pissed off. Marge tries to backtrack, but Homer won’t give it up, and storms off. But, surprisingly, no matter how mad he is at Marge, he does want to help Lisa out, and agrees to go on the dinner date.

At this point in the episode the Lisa plot has really taken over, so let’s bid a fond farewell to Bart’s plot. He’s terrified that Snake is going to be executed, because of him, and he starts thinking of ways to stop it. So he goes over to the jail while Eddie and Lou are trying to build a new electric chair, and Bart does his best to tell Chief Wiggum to be lenient. But Wiggum refuses, and says the execution will go on as planned. Until Snake gets a hold of an Allan wrench and hold Wiggum hostage with it. Wiggum then instantly lets Snake go, and Snake tells Bart that he’s forgiven, before running off into the sunset, a free man.

Anyway, Homer gets all ready for the dinner date, and even gets dressed up and starts speaking eloquently. Mainly to spite Marge, but whatever. He and Lisa go out for a fancy dinner at the Gilded Truffle, and actually end up having a great time together. But, as they’re eating Marge shows up, and tells Homer she wants to talk to him. The two go to the bar, and Marge apologizes for hurting Homer’s feelings, saying that she loves him, and always will, and that Lisa would be lucky to marry a person like him. Oh, and she wears a sexy dress, so Homer instantly forgives her, and everything goes back to normal. And Lisa keeps hanging out with Lucas, even though he’ll surely never return.

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Overall I think this episode worked for me. The Bart plot, with him befriending Snake and then accidentally contributing to Snake’s downfall was a lot of fun. Bart didn’t really have to learn anything, and just got to play around with ill-gotten goods, which didn’t make for a particularly deep plot, but a fun one. Meanwhile, that Lisa plot is kind of a downer. We’ve seen Lisa be drawn to a lot of weird guys over the course of this show, but it’s kind of shocking to have taken this long to have Lisa deal with a boy who acts like Homer. Yeah, Lisa often acts ashamed of Homer’s behavior, but the consistent moral message of Lisa/Homer episodes is that even though Homer and Lisa are very different people, they love each other and always will. So, it makes sense that Lisa would want to find someone like Homer, since that could potentially find her a partner who supports her like Homer always will. I kind of found the idea that Marge thinks this is a bad thing, only to take that back at the last second and with very little provocation to be pretty odd, but that’s okay. The episode works fine despite that weird plot point.

Take Away: People do tend to find partners who remind them of successful relationships around them, so try to make sure you’re a good role model. And snitches get stitches.

 

“Luca$” was written by Carolyn Omine and directed by Chris Clements, 2014.

 

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