Lifetime of Simpsons

S28 E12 – MoHo House

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Hello everyone, and welcome back to another week of Lifetime of Simpsons. And folks? I had a realization this weekend that kind of threw me through a loop. There’s only going to be about three weeks more of this project, in its current form. Which is insane. We’ll be ending Season 28 this week, and catching up with the current season of the show. I’ll start talking more about how things are going to work once we completely catch up with the show and run out of episodes, but for now let’s move past that and deal with what we all need in our lives. Another goddamn episode about Homer and Marge’s relationship being in trouble while Moe tries to swoop in. Always a great time!

The episode begins by showing that it’s evening in Springfield while Moe narrates to us, telling us that all is well in the town. Except for at the Simpson’s house. Because inside Marge and the kids are waiting at the table, letting their Sunday dinner go cold while Homer is nowhere to be found. Until he finally swings by the house, and comes waltzing in, not caring at all the he’s late and that Marge is clearly furious at him.

Homer is incredibly drunk, and his excuse is that it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and it would be ludicrous if he didn’t get wasted. Unfortunately, it is not St. Patrick’s Day, it’s just a random Sunday, and Homer’s just kind of an asshole. Marge is clearly pissed off with him, but something rather odd happens. She decides she doesn’t want to fight. She just can’t summon the energy, and instead just goes to bed in the middle of the evening, giving up on Homer.

Homer’s obviously worried about this, and the next day he talks about it with Lenny and Carl at the Plant, who agree that it doesn’t seem like a good sign. But, their relationship talk has to take a minor break when Mr. Burns walks into the office, showing around an old friend of his named Nigel, and Nigel’s young trophy wife. There’s really no reason for this to have happened, other than to establish Nigel and show that he seems to assume that Smithers is Burns’ trophy husband, and is jealous of how devoted he is to Burns.

Burns and Nigel then leave the office, and Homer gets another random visitor. Marge! She has arrived at the Plant with a basket, and is telling Homer that she’s going to try and forgive and forget the previous night, and wants them to have a nice picnic lunch together to restart things. Homer then promises her that he’s going to really change, like he always does, and the two just drop their fight and have a nice time together.

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Meanwhile, Burns and Nigel are up in Burns’ office, arguing about the futility of love. Shockingly, Burns is the one taking the side that there is such a thing as love, while Nigel says it’s all bullshit. And, because they’re rich weirdoes, this obviously becomes a wager. Nigel looks at the security monitor and sees how lovey-dovey Homer and Marge is, and tells Burns that he can break up their marriage in a week. And, of course, Burns takes that wager.

That night Homer is getting ready to leave the Plant, eager to go home and continue this good streak with Marge, when Nigel comes waltzing in with a proposition. He wants to go drinking with Homer. Homer rightfully thinks this is weird, and tries to say no, but Nigel starts intimating that since he’s Homer’s bosses friend, if he doesn’t go drink with him he’ll put in a bad word with Burns and get him fired.

So, Homer goes to Moe’s with Nigel, and texts Marge the situation. But, she’s not that lenient, and becomes very irritated with him. And Homer sure isn’t having a nice time. Nigel is trying everything he can think of to trick Homer into an affair, mainly by telling how lame he is for only ever sleeping with one woman, but it doesn’t work. Homer remains resolute, and finally just leaves the bar, not caring what Nigel thinks.

Unfortunately, once Homer is gone Moe starts talking about how great Marge is, and how much he wishes she was his. Nigel hears this, and realizes that he has another way to win this wager.

We don’t see how this works right away though, for now we hop back to the Simpson’s house, where Marge is furious at Homer. She gave him another shot, and to her viewpoint he threw it away and went to get drunk. She then tells Homer that she’s accepted that he’ll never change, and ends up crying all night at how their love has fallen apart. And, the next morning, she tells him she doesn’t want to spend any time with him that weekend, leaving him to mope around town instead of trying to fix his marriage.

Because Homer never learns, he then heads off to Moe’s. But, when he gets there he finds that Moe’s is closed now, and Barney is sadly standing vigil. Homer’s baffled by this, since he was at Moe’s the night before, and luckily Moe shows up to tell them what’s going on. He explains that Nigel has become his benefactor, and is building him a fancy new nightclub to run, so he’s closed to bar for greener pastures.

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Moe then almost immediately opens the MoHo House, a place for Springfield’s elite to come and party. And, of course, everyone wants to go check it out. Including Homer and Marge, even though they’re still fighting like crazy. They get all dressed up and head to the MoHo house, where Burns and Nigel also are hanging out. Burns is mocking Nigel, telling him that he’s going to lose, so Nigel decides to make things even more interesting. He proposes that if he wins, he gets Smithers. And Burns accepts.

Meanwhile, Homer and Marge have arrived at the MoHo House, but have immediately split up to go on their own separate adventures. And, pretty quickly, Marge runs into Moe and the two start chatting. She’s very impressed by the bar, and even more impressed by Moe, because he’s now actively trying to steal her from Homer. He has the pianist play her favorite song, and the two start dancing together, while Moe feels like he’s finally succeeded.

Smithers is watching all of this, and he’s terrified. He doesn’t want to leave Burns and become Nigel’s property, so he decides to try and head out into the club and fix Homer and Marge’s marriage. He finds Homer and tells him that he needs to do better, and even gives him some help. He has a gift that’s supposed to be for his mother, and instead he gives it to Homer to give to Marge. Homer’s thrilled with this zero-effort way to fix his marriage, and goes to give Marge the gift.

Unfortunately, Marge immediately realizes that this gift couldn’t possibly be from Homer, and knows that something is up. And, when she opens it and finds a message referring to “mother,” she realizes that Homer’s full of shit. So, the two head home and continue fighting, while Moe remains at the bar, plotting. He talks to his pianist, asking his advice about the whole thing. The pianist says that it’s the wrong thing to do, but Moe doesn’t seem to care, because he texts Marge to meet him alone at the Mo Ho House the next morning.

Marge gets the text, and decides to go through with it. So, the next morning she drives through the rain and finds herself in an empty bar, with just Moe. But, this isn’t what you think it is. Because Homer then also arrives after getting a text from Moe. Apparently, Moe has decided to do the moral thing, and has called them both together to tell them to get their acts together and stop being stupid. Homer has finally realized that someone might steal Marge away if he doesn’t fight for her, and the two have a nice moment, apparently fixing everything. Which, of course, makes Burns lose his wager, letting Smithers stay with him.

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I am just so sick and tired of episodes like this. I understand that relationships are complicated, and make for compelling narratives, but after twenty-eight years of this goddamn show constantly pulling that same trick, I’ve grown to loathe these types of episodes. Homer and Marge’s relationship has been put on the rocks so many times, and it’s always fixed with the minimal amount of effort, never actually accomplishing anything, and it’s just so boring at this point. Homer is always an asshole, taking Marge for granted, but instead of talking about it like adults they both just become sulky teenagers until something magically fixes it all without them having to do any work. The idea of a weird wager between Burns and his rich friend was kind of an interesting wrinkle, but other than that this just doesn’t feel like anything new. It’s well-trodden ground, and there’s just nothing to get from this storyline anymore.

Take Away: Communicate! There’s no reason to treat your relationships like some magical thing that’s impossible to understand, just communicate with each other and work on problems!

 

“MoHo House”was written by Jeff Martin and directed by Matthew Nastuk, 2017.

 

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