Lifetime of Simpsons

S25 E20 – Brick Like Me

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The last couple days have been…less than stellar. But I have good news. Because today we’re going to be talking about a wonderfully weird episode. Because not only are we getting a Homer/Lisa plot, which seem to be shockingly rare these days, we also get an episode that’s almost entirely made from Legos! I’m assuming this had something to do with the Lego Movie being out that same year, but none of that matters. What does matter is we’re about to experience a crazy Lego episode of the Simpsons.

There’s no couch gag, or title sequence, and we instead get straight to the action, with Homer waking up gazing lovingly at Marge while they’re lying in bed. However, we can tell that something is off. Because Homer, Marge, and their bedroom is made of Lego, and their animation is now in a stop-motion style. But, Homer and Marge don’t seem to find this odd, acting like this is just how their lives work.

We then see the Simpsons gets ready for the day, never commenting on the fact that they’re Lego’s now, and Maggie is a giant Duplo. Bart does notice that something is a little off, but just decides it’s because Homer’s wearing a tie that day, and they move on. And with that taken care of Homer heads out to go about his day, and drives around Springfield, enjoying his day. He even drives over Krusty, shattering him. But that’s fine, because he can just rebuild Krusty, and everything’s fine.

We’re also given a very slight B-Plot, which begins when Bart arrives at the Elementary School and meets up with Milhouse. Apparently it’s a show-and-tell day, and Milhouse has decided to bring a live skunk to show everyone. So, of course, the skunk escapes and begins running through the school, and the boys give chase. Eventually they find that it entered a hole in a wall, and they begins disassembling the school. Until Willie shows up and yells at them. But when he learns that there’s a skunk in the walls the starts rapidly destroying the school, and accidentally causes it to collapse around him. And, of course, Skinner holds Bart responsible.

Meanwhile, Homer is heading over to the Android’s Dungeon, apparently just running errands in the middle of the day, in order to pick up a Lego princess castle set for Lisa. However, when Comic Book Guy hands Homer the box, something weird happens. When Homer touches the box he suddenly has a vivid vision where he’s traditionally animated, in the normal reality we’re used to, as he’s playing with Lisa and building this same castle, while being shocked that the two of them are having a good time together building Lego’s.

Homer obviously freaks out when this vision is finished, and not just because he actually enjoyed playing with Lisa in it. He flees from the Android’s Dungeon and heads home to tell Marge about his apparent hallucination. Marge listens, but immediately tells him that it must be some kind of dream, and that he should just ignore it. But that becomes very hard when Homer continues to see random things in his Lego world flickering into animation. The “real” world is bleeding in, and Homer is terrified.

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But before diving into Homer’s apparent mental break we should probably get some of that Bart stuff out of the way. Because after accidentally causing the school to collapse, Skinner is forcing Bart to rebuild the school, by himself. So, obviously, Bart does not do this, and ends up rebuilding the school as a weird dream-building full of extreme sports. And Skinner is not pleased. In fact, he now wants Bart to build a dozen copies of the same school, just to punish him.

Anyway! Homer is still worrying about these strange hallucinations he’s been having, and against his better wishes he gets convinced to seek help in the church. So he and the family head to the church, which is primarily plastic and instruction manual based, and doesn’t give Homer any help. Homer then decides to stand up and start talking about his hallucinations, hoping to get a more specific answer if he asks a direct question.

Homer begins telling everyone about what has been happening to him, and posits that maybe there’s another world, where things aren’t perfect and made of plastic, and everyone is horrified. And that becomes much worse when they all notice that Homer’s little nubs have turned into animated hands, right before their eyes. So, now that everyone has seen this bizarre mutation in their perfect world, Homer realizes he needs to do something about it.

Homer then flees from the church, and heads back to the Android’s Dungeon to reexamine that box, and see what’s going on. He grabs that princess box set again, and is instantly transported back to our normal world, where we start to see what’s actually going on. We see that after Homer and Lisa had a good time building the princess castle, they decided to spend more time together, building more Lego’s, until they gradually built a massive Lego Springfield. They even decide to enter themselves into a Lego building competition.

However, as the competition gets closer, disaster strikes. Because one day a group of older, popular girls come over to the house to invite Lisa to go with them to the premier of the newest Survival Games film. They were impressed with a book report Lisa wrote about the novel the movie is based on, and they want to hang out with her. There’s only one problem. The movie premiers the night of the Lego competition.

Homer overhears this conversation, and comes barging in, ready to make a scene and embarrass Lisa. Which he does a very good job of. However, in doing so he makes Lisa decide that she’d rather spend time with these other girls, and she blows him off for the Lego competition. Homer, dejectedly, still goes to the competition, with their Lego Springfield, and tries to have fun on his own. However, while standing around talking to Comic Book Guy, a giant Lego recreation of the protagonist of the Survival Games collapses, and knocks Homer out, transporting him to the world of Lego.

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So that’s why this episode is made of Lego. And, after gaining that realization, Homer comes back to the Lego world, and tells Comic Book Guy all about it. Comic Book Guy then explains that Homer’s going to have to find some way to return to his reality, or else he’ll be eternally trapped in this world where there are no consequences, and everyone is plastic and happy. And, shockingly, Homer doesn’t really think that that should be a high priority.

Homer has realized that he loves this perfect plastic world, and decides that he’s not going to try and fix it, to just live eternally as a Lego person. And his primary reason for doing this is because now Lisa will never grow up, she’ll always be his little girl who wants to hang out with him. However, the more he thinks about it, the more he realizes that this is a Sisyphean curse, living out the same adventures, never growing, and just becoming a monotonous trek through an endless existence. Which surely isn’t a metaphor for the state of the show after twenty five seasons. No, not at all.

Anyway, Homer then realizes that living in this world is inane, and returns to the Android’s Dungeon to use the princess box to return to his world. But, when he gets there he runs into some surprising resistance. Comic Book Guy reveals that he now doesn’t want the world to change either, and begins fighting with Homer, summoning an army of pirates and ninjas to guard the Android’s Dungeon, and make it so Homer can never return to reality.

Luckily for Homer, Bart becomes aware of his predicament, and decides to use the parts of the dozen schools he’s been having to build to make a giant war-mech, which he uses to help Homer fight into the Android’s Dungeon. And, once that’s taken care of, Homer is able to open the box and return to reality, where he’s buried under a mountain of Lego. And, surprisingly, Lisa is there too. She felt terribly about ditching Homer, and wanted to come be with him, only to find him get knocked unconscious. However, Homer has learned a lesson, and tells Lisa that it’s okay that she wants to grow up, and says that he doesn’t mind if she goes to that movie instead of being with him.

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I had a really good time with this episode. Yeah, the moral of the episode ends up becoming very similar to that of the Lego Movie, which the end of the episode even calls attention to, but I think it’s a solid moral to base an episode around. Having a Lego Simpsons episode is crazy enough to begin with, and I think it was a lot of fun. The stop-motion animation was really good, and it had a bunch of really fun Lego jokes tossed in. But I think the thing that worked best for me was that this was a Homer/Lisa plot, which is something we just don’t see that often anymore. And, really, the idea that Homer is scared that Lisa is growing up and not wanting to spend time with him anymore is a solid one. It’s one we’ve seen before, but that doesn’t make it any less solid. And any problems I may have had with the repetitive nature of the plot gets swept away with how fun the episode was.

Take Away: A life that never changes and is eternally safe isn’t worth living.

 

“Brick Like Me” was written by Brian Kelley and directed by Matthew Nastuk, 2014.

 

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