Happy Halloween everyone! We unfortunately had a Treehouse of Horror episode last week, just barely missing the mark. But, as luck would have it, we just so happen to have a kind of appropriate episode to talk about today. Because, for some damn reason, we have a non-Treehouse of Horror episode that involves the Simpsons hanging out with Kang and Kodos. The only downside? It’s kind of terrible.
Things begin with the Simpsons in their car, driving off for a fun-filled day at Diz-Nee-Land, a non-copyright infringing amusement park. And, like you can imagine, Homer is being driven insane by his children, already becoming frustrated with their trip to the amusement park. Which isn’t helped when they park their car and begin the arduous trek from the parking lot to the actual park, which seems to be across an ocean from Springfield.
They eventually get to Diz-Nee-Land though, which means it’s time to start pumping out as many Disneyland jokes as humanly possible. The Simpsons have to deal with terrible security lines before getting into the park and taking a ride on a terrible attraction which Maggie is a big fan of. They also can’t stand the amount of Cosmic Wars crap which is now plastered all over the park, which they feel is leeching off of the other brand that the park is based on. Oh, and there’s also a politically correct Pirates of the Caribbean ride, which is kind of hilarious.
After all of these rides though, they make an assessment of Diz-Nee-Land. They kind of hate it. It’s too crowded, none of the rides are fun, and everything seems out of date. Especially their version of Tomorrowland, which is a vision of the future from the 70’s. So, the Simpsons aren’t having a good time. Which is right when Bart notices a new attraction that no one seems to be at, and which has no line.
So, of course, the Simpsons head right over to this mysterious attraction, Rocket to your Doom, never thinking about the fact that no one is in line for it. Lisa does register a slight complaint when she realizes it’s not even on the park map, but they just ignore that and head on in. They find what appears to be a room similar to Star Tours, and get into their seats as the ride begins to activate. The room seals itself up, and the ride begins.
Well, not a ride actually. Because it turns out to actually be a real rocket ship. It blasts off from Earth, and begins travelling through space, blowing the minds of the Simpsons. And that’s not changed when they get a video message from Kang and Kodos who have some good news and some bad news. They’re going to get to be the first humans to ever step foot on Rigel. They just don’t get a say in the matter.
The Simpsons then begin their trek to Rigel, and it’s going to be a long trip. Kang and Kodos told the Simpsons that they would have the ability to mentally conjure anything they would need for their trip, so of course we need some pandering. Homer summons some potato chips, ready to recreate that scene from “Deep Space Homer,” but with Bart stealing all of the chips from him before he can eat them. It’s a dumb joke, but whatever.
The Simpsons finally reach Rigel, and their ship automatically begins descent. Homer does try to hijack the ship at this point and take the family back to Earth, but they find that they’re unable to operate it. So they have to just stand idly by while Kang and Kodos slither in and give them some pills which let them breathe. And, with that taken care of, it’s time to go for a tour!
Kang and Kodos stick the Simpsons into a giant pet-carrier and they begin flying around the planet, showing off their various institutions. The Simpsons get to see a Rigellian hospital where they see the miracle of birth, and also a funeral home where dead Rigellians are dumped into a river to be forgotten. The Simpsons are still a little confused about why they’re on Rigel, and why they’re being shown all of this, so Kang and Kodos drop the pretense. They’ve been brought to become additions to their zoo, and they’ll never be permitted to leave.
The Simpsons are then brought to the Rigellian zoo, where they’re put in their new habitat. Luckily, it’s a recreation of their home back on Earth. But they do have to deal with being gawked at by Rigellians all day, and some invasive medical examinations from their humanologist. The Rigellians do seem to have a pretty advanced society, but as the Simpsons try to get acclimated to their new life, a pretty big bombshell is dropped on them.
One of them has to be eaten. They don’t really explain why, but the humanologist does give them the ability to discuss the matter and decide who should be eaten. And, unanimously, it’s Homer. He’s not really okay with it, but he decides to save his family, and goes through with the sacrifice. Homer is then brought to a fancy celebration where he will be cooked and fed to the queen of the Rigellians. And, he seems to have come to terms with it.
However, right before Homer is cooked something odd happens. A teleportation tube settles down around him, and Homer is beamed away without his consent. He wakes up in a new place, and finds that he’s been saved by a group of Rigellian rebels who don’t believe that humans should be eaten. They want to overthrow the government, but seem to spend most of their time having raves. They tell Homer that they’ve gotten a ship that can return him to Earth, but he won’t be able to save his family as well.
Homer can’t abide that, and decides to use the ship to rescue his family instead of saving himself. Which causes him to promptly be recaptured. He and the rest of the family are then prepared to be devoured, when something ridiculous happens. It turns out that their high junk-food diet has made them inedible, so the Rigellian’s decide to just evict the Simpsons from their planet, since they aren’t tasty. They wipe their memories, stick them on a ship, and send them back to Earth, never to mention this stupid episode again!
This is a very rough episode. I saw online that this was originally supposed to have been a season finale from a couple years previously, and I think that that would still have made it ridiculous. The whole central idea, that the Simpsons would travel to an alien world, is just a little too much for me. In a Treehouse of Horror episode? Makes sense. Those ones aren’t in any sort of reality, they’re just silly little stories. But this is a normal episode which take the Simpsons, people who are supposed to be the average American family, and have them fight aliens on their own planet. That’s ridiculous. Things have gotten crazier and crazier on the show, having the Simpsons do increasingly weird things that no family would ever do, and I think we’re reached that peak. Or nadir. Whatever you prefer. Sorry that we have to talk about such a lousy episode here on Halloween. Maybe things will get better.
“The Man Who Came to Be Dinner” was written by Al Jean and David Mirkin and directed by David Silverman, 2015.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons