Hi there everyone! I was out of town last week so I’m playing a little bit of catch-up, knocking two Simpsons episodes out this week. And we’re going to start things off with today’s episode, which is really odd. Do you feel like talking about hallucinations, kite-surfing, and marital problems? Then let’s get going!
The episode begins with Homer and Marge getting ready to leave the kids in the care of Shauna so they can go to some sort of drug-awareness seminar. Which, isn’t going to go very well, because Jimbo immediately shows up to start making out with Shauna. But, Homer and Marge don’t really care, because they have this very shakily defined seminar to go to.
It’s not put on by the school, causing Homer and Marge to go to some sort of convention center. But, it’s being done by Skinner and Chalmers, and seems to just consist of Chalmers telling the families about new drugs and then forcing Skinner to take them. It’s really weird. And, pretty quickly, Homer and Marge decide that this is a waste of time, and sneak out of the seminar.
They plan to just go home, but as they’re leaving the seminar they see that there’s some sort of late-night wedding expo also going on in the same building. So, logically, they decide to crash this industry conference. They grab some nametags and start wandering around the bridal expo, checking out all the exhibits and having a weirdly good time. They tell people they’re wedding planners and get to try cake and play with an AI microphone that un-drunks the best man’s speech.
However, they do hit what seems like a rough patch when someone approaches them and they realize that the name-tags they stole were for the keynote speaker. But, this doesn’t end up being a problem, because Homer and Marge just wing a presentation about trends in weddings, and it actually does super well. So, after a great night they head home and prepare for some romantic “snuggling.”
Unfortunately, when Homer picks Marge up and starts climbing the stairs with her, disaster strikes. Homer ends up slipping and they both fall down the stairs, injuring themselves quite badly. They get taken to the hospital and Marge finds out that she’s gotten a mild ankle sprain and needs to be off it for a few days. And Homer has gotten a hernia, which they’ve already given him surgery for. So, Dr. Hibbert loads them up with drugs and sends them home to take it easy.
Which, sounds like a dream for Homer. He just sits around, watching cartoons, and popping pills, while Marge is being incredibly proactive and signs up for physical therapy for this minor sprain. She offers to bring Homer as well, but he decides he just wants to sit around being lazy instead. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, the pain pills he’s taking start giving him hallucinations, specifically a weird little embodiment of his hernia, which begins convincing Homer he should get lazier and lazier.
So, while Homer listens to his own pill-induced madness, Marge starts going to physical therapy, and does really well. But, for some reason, the therapist decides that Marge doesn’t just need to get her body back to normal, she needs to enhance it by preparing for some sort of sport. And, because she has no interest in sports, the therapist decides Marge should work towards getting into shape to start doing kite surfing. And, she just kind of goes with that.
Marge begins spending more and more time training for kite surfing, while Homer just sits around pounding ice cream, wandering town talking to his hernia, and just generally settling into madness. Marge tries to invite Homer to the beach with her, but the hernia convinces Homer that everything in the world is too risky, and that he should just keep being lazy. Which, ends up causing Marge to start feeling very neglected. But, because Homer is too blitzed out of his mind, he doesn’t notice.
So, as always, Homer and Marge’s marriage has ended up on the rocks. And, this time it’s to the point where Lisa decides to take it upon herself to fix things. But, she needs some relationship advice, and she goes to ask the healthiest couple she knows, Shauna and Jimbo. They tell Lisa that the key to a good relationship is shared interests, so Lisa decides they need to trick Homer into being into kite surfing.
Lisa tells Homer that he needs to drive her down to the beach for a school project, and ignoring the pleads of his hernia, Homer agrees. And, immediately, he sees Marge kite surfing and realizes what a fool he’s been. Plus, while at the beach Homer witnesses Chief Wiggum destroy a bicycle by sitting on it, and decides that he can’t let himself get as out of shape as Wiggum, and wants to make a life-change.
So, Homer suits up in kite surfing gear, while Maggie captures the hernia she can apparently see, and he heads off into the water to save his marriage. Marge is thrilled to see Homer, and they quickly make up, before being blown out of their control, and into a beach-side wind-farm. They get caught in some windmills, getting a whole new slew of injuries, but with a stronger marriage.
I don’t know, this episode is okay I guess? There’s some fun little elements to it, even though it’s not really a groundbreaking story. We’ve seen Homer get lazy after injuries, we’ve seen Marge find a new passion that puts distance between her and Homer, and we’ve seen Homer fall into a pit of drug-use. But, the idea of Homer being heckled by a strange little hernia-goblin voiced by Wallace Shawn was certainly something that I’d never seen before, and that stuff was pretty fun. But, what wasn’t fun was the really shaky plotting that this episode was inflicted with. Why was that seminar not at the school? Why, because they needed to do the wedding expo thing. Why would a physical therapist force Marge to train for kite-surfing instead of just healing? Well, because Marge needed a new passion. I don’t expect Simpsons episodes to make perfect sense, but lately things have just felt kind of lazy, tossing out these plot elements they want to cover, but then connecting them with tenuous tissue paper. And, today, those plot elements just weren’t strong enough for me to ignore the weaker elements.
Take Away: Don’t abuse prescription pills, or kite surf.
“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” was written by Jeff Westbrook and directed by Steven Dean Moore, 2019.
Categories: Lifetime of Simpsons