Yesterday we got to talk about an incredibly strange and enjoyable episode that did things we’d never seen before in the Simpsons. And today we’re going to talk about chili dogs! It’s serviceable!
Today’s story begins with what appears to be a Monolith from 2001. But, it’s actually just a pizza box, because Homer has set up a massive domino display all throughout the Plant, all made of pizza boxes. It appears that every single Plant employee is watching as Homer sets off this massive display, racing all around the Plant. This doesn’t really lead to anything though, because once the display is over Mr. Burns walks up to Homer and announces that he won some sort of contest to guess the amount of button in a bottle, which means the whole Plant gets to leave work early! This is primarily so that Burns and Smithers can hide some corpses from negligent radiation.
Homer then heads home, thrilled that he gets a half-day. He’s in a truly wonderful mood, and figures that nothing can possibly spoil it. Until he gets home and finds that Patty and Selma are at his house. He begrudgingly heads into the house, and is informed that he’s going to have a very crappy evening. Because Patty and Selma are apparently hosting some sort of weird DMV awards show, and the whole family have to go for some reason.
So, the Simpsons have to head out to the Aztec theater where Patty and Selma begin hosting their awards show. Homer of course heckles them the entire time, growing increasingly furious that he’s having to spend his evening here. He waits for as long as he can, but he eventually finally cracks, and Homer ends up storming out of the show, deciding to abandon his family while he goes and is selfish. Nice work Homer.
He ends up driving around, deciding that he needs some fast food. Homer ends up at Krusty Burger, but makes a horrible discovery when he gets there. Krusty Burger has apparently be bought by a Japanese company who now insists that the food actually be food, and healthy food at that. Homer is disgusted by this, and storms out of the Krusty Burger, going on a quest to find horrible fast food. Unfortunately, it looks like that’s going to be difficult, because all of the Springfield fast food is now marginally healthy.
Homer ends up driving all night in his quest for garbage, and eventually ends up in the next county over from Springfield. He drives around a bit and comes across a small chili-dog stand that’s shaped like a train-car called Deuce’s Caboose. Homer heads over to the shack and starts chatting with Deuce, the elderly man who runs it. And, thankfully, these chilidogs are horrible for you, and Homer loves them.
The next morning Homer finally returns home, having gorged himself silly of chilidogs, to find that his family have been waiting up for him. But, he doesn’t really care about that, and instead starts raving about the amazing chilidogs he just had. And, as he’s talking about it, Abe ends up coming inside and telling him that he’s actually been there before. Turns out that back in the day Abe and Mona went to a marriage counselor that was next door to Deuces, and Homer used to sit there every afternoon, eating chilidogs and talking to Deuce.
Homer is blown away by this, and realizes that that time in his life must have been what created his emotional dependency on food. And, lucky for him, he’s going to have a whole lot more feeling to repress with chilidogs, because Marge has some bad news for him. Patty and Selma were apparently fired because they went incredibly over-budget at the DMV awards, and they’re now going to be staying with the Simpsons.
Homer then begins visiting Deuce’s all the time, using his chilidogs to deal with his anger and depression. And, while doing so, he tries to figure out if Deuce remembers him, since he apparently had such a big role in Homer’s life. But, Deuce insists that he doesn’t remember him. But, even though Deuce promises Homer that he has no recollection of hanging out with him when he was a kid, Homer is now coming enough that the two have formed a little friendship.
At this point in the episode though, we need to take a very weird detour for a while. It all begins by showing us that Lisa works for some sort of school radio station. Unfortunately, the station isn’t really being listened to, so Lisa gets pressure from Martin to go find stories that people actually want to listen to. She ends up heading into detention to try to drum up a story, such as confronting Nelson about how harming his laughs are, when she gets word that the station has been shut down.
Lisa is really sad about this, and Homer ends up picking up on it. And, because he’s found a new perfect way to cheer himself up, he decides that he’ll take Lisa to Deuces and let his magic food fix her. Despite the fact that she’s a vegetarian. Unfortunately, when they get there they find something horrible. Deuce’s is closed. It’s all locked up, and Homer promptly has a meltdown, not sure what to do about this.
Turns out that Deuce has retired and sold the Caboose to Krusty Burger, since all of Krusty Burger’s actual food has now been replaced by the healthy crap that Homer hated. Homer obviously hates this idea, since he’s going to change Deuce’s food, and decides he needs to do something extreme. He steals the Caboose. Homer just chains it up his car and drives off with Lisa, stealing the Caboose to do…something with it.
Homer ends up starting a massive high-speed chase once the police are called on his theft, and when Chief Wiggum’s car shows up Lisa decides to do something. She takes Wiggum’s loud-speaker, and starts narrating the chase, getting her the story she needed. Even though it’s too late and has nothing to do with that radio station. I don’t know why that story element existed.
Homer does run into a problem though when he reaches a massive hill. His car isn’t able to pull the Caboose up the hill, and it looks like everything is going to fall apart. However, an army of fat dudes show up after watching the chase on the TV, and they decide to help Homer. They drag the Caboose up the hill, and Homer is able to fly down the hill, only to be caught by a bunch of cops who have barricaded an upcoming bridge.
Homer ends up running straight through the barricade though, and the Caboose is launched off the bridge. The Caboose is barely hanging onto the bridge, and Homer seems to be in rough shape, when Deuce suddenly shows up to help. He reveals that he actually does remember Homer, and didn’t tell him…for some reason. So, Deuce saves Homer, and the two friends embrace. And I guess now Homer will go back to his old vices.
This is such an incredibly weird episode. It really just ends up feeling like it could have used another draft or two, because things don’t really seem to make sense. The whole side-plot of Lisa needing to get a story for her school radio show doesn’t really end up mattering in the slightest, especially when it apparently paid off with her giving a speech to the news, and not being able to save her radio show in the slightest. I don’t know what Homer planned to do with the Caboose once he stole it, or why Deuce didn’t tell him the truth and just admit that he remembered him. I think the central idea of Homer encountering a nice older guy who was a friend when he needed him most, but basically everything else about this episode just felt like it was just spinning its wheels, accomplishing nothing.
“Fatzcarraldo” was written by Michael Price and directed by Mark Kirkland, 2017
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons