You know what we haven’t had in a while? An episode where Marge decides to get a job, and then inevitably fails at it. How about we do one of those, but make it the biggest job that she’s ever had yet! Plus, some awkward implications about the Simpson’s personal politics!
The episode begins with Kent Brockman giving a newscast about the latest flash-in-the-pan idea that Springfield has to deal with its rotten image. They’re turning the old Monorail tracks that apparently liter the city into a massive park! New York has done this to park of their old railway lines, and now Springfield is stealing the idea to deal with the failed rubble of the Monorail. And, obviously, everyone in Springfield has shown up to check out the grand opening.
Unfortunately, because it’s a monorail track, it’s a little narrow, and it leads to a bunch of fat-dude traffic jams. And that’s the least awkward thing that’s going to happen during this grand opening, because as Mayor Quimby gets up on a stage to officially activate the power that will light up the park, disaster strikes. There’s something wrong with the wiring, and when he turns on the lights it ends up activating one of the old monorail trains.
The train then turns on and begins driving down its old track, destroying the park and causing everyone who was on it to jump off to save themselves. This causes a whole lot of destruction, and fury, which of course means that there’s going to be a Town Hall meeting to discuss what went wrong. Quimby begins deflecting immediately, which makes Marge really mad. So, she gets up and starts making some very valid criticisms of how Quimby is handling the whole situation, and he responds by being incredibly patronizing and sexist to Marge, and just blows her off.
The Simpsons head home after this Town Hall meeting, and Marge is livid. She can’t believe that Quimby dismissed her like that, and she has no idea what to do with all this righteous indignation. Lisa is also pissed off about how sexist the world still is. So, when Marge starts talking about how she’d run the town in she was in charge, Lisa has an idea. Marge should run for mayor! And, that idea actually sounds really good to Marge.
Marge starts thinking about it, and decides to actually proceed with the idea, and gets a small council together to help run her campaign. She has Julio, Professor Frink, Lindsey Naegle, and Sideshow Mel. Solid group. They think that Marge can get elected and help clean up the city, and they have a great idea on how to get it to happen. They’re going to use analytics to find what issue that each small fringe group in Springfield cares about, and tailor make her message to speak to all of them, so she stands for everyone.
So, Marge begins campaigning, with the analytics help, and starts to talk to all sorts of weird subcultures in Springfield. She talks to objectivist hillbillies, exotic pet owners, and downtrodden stereotypes, and manages to convince all of them that she’s the person to vote for. They start gaining real momentum on Mayor Quimby, and she even gets to have a debate with him, which does raise the question of what party Marge is running on. Mayor Quimby is canonically a Democrat, and this doesn’t seem to be a primary, because they shut out two other people from the debates calling them third-party, so I guess Marge is a Republican? Gross.
The debates are going okay, until Marge starts talking about how she’s going to run the town like a mom. People don’t respond well to that, and she quickly realizes that she needs a different approach that will unify the town. And then she thinks of something that everyone hates. The Tire Fire. She starts talking about how her first order of business will be to destroy the Tire Fire, and everyone quickly gets on board with this, pushing Marge just over the threshold to win the election.
Yep, Marge Simpson is now the mayor of Springfield. And she doesn’t want to waste any time. She quickly sets up her office in Town Hall, and then gets to work trying to shut down the Tire Fire. She gets together some firefighters and bulldozers and heads off to destroy the Fire. Unfortunately, when they get there they find that there’s a man chained to the gates of the Fire. He sells knick-knacks based around the Fire, and doesn’t want Marge to destroy his livelihood.
Marge freaks out about this, and does everything she can think of to change the guy’s mind, but he remains resolute, and even starts to convince people that he’s in the right. So, Marge has now failed on her very first campaign promise, and people are not happy. The town starts to get worried that they made a bad decision, and Marge and her council decide to focus test a speech of Marge’s trying to see if there’s anything they like about her to emphasize and stay in office.
And they do find something. In the recorded speech they made, Homer wanders in and starts complaining to Marge, looking like an idiot. People love it. In fact, they love idiot Homer so much that Marge’s council decides she needs to make him part of her administration. They start having Marge make fun of Homer constantly in her speeches, referring to him as the First Doofus and making him a local celebrity. And people love it! And, by extension, her.
However, this starts to make Marge feel a little weird, since her whole platform now seems to be making fun of Homer. So, she decides to get some advice on the matter from Quimby. She goes and visits him in his home, and he tells her that it’s impossible to have a good marriage and a good administration. She’s going to have to pick between the two. Marge won’t accept that though, and starts to rebel a bit, talking about how much she loves and appreciated Homer in her speeches. The people don’t really respond to it that well, but Marge doesn’t care, she loves her husband.
The episode then ends with a really weird tag, jumping ahead eight years to show Marge and Homer visiting Marge’s mayoral library to look at how her term went. She apparently became a pretty good and beloved mayor, until her career ended in an unexplained “disgrace and impeachment” section. So, that’s a bummer…
This episode is pretty strange. On the one hand, I really dislike episodes that revolve around Marge trying to get a job and for no real reason being terrible at it. It always bums he out, seeing Marge try to do something with her life, and then apparently be revealed to be incompetent. And this episode isn’t really that. True, Marge doesn’t turn out to be a great mayor, apparently being so bad that she was impeached, but it kind of was outside her control. She didn’t fail really, the people of Springfield are just dumb and fickle, and she got in over her head. I like the idea that Marge saw things she didn’t like in the town and did something to change it, it’s just a shame that she failed. And apparently ran as a Republican. That sucks. But, really, the thing that most drives me crazy about this episode is that it didn’t end with her immediately leaving and giving Quimby the job back, because I know that they are never going to mention ever again that Marge is the mayor, so it’s just going to be weird that they never had any closure. Especially because the weird tag implies that she was the mayor for quite some time, which we’ll never talk about again. Oh well, that’s just me being obsessive and weird.
Take Away: Be the change you want to see in the world.
“The Old Blue Mayor She Ain’t What She Used To Be” was written by Tom Gammil and Max Pross and directed by Matthew Nastuk, 2017.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons