Lifetime of Simpsons

S31 E17 – Highway to Well

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The world is in complete chaos, nothing makes sense any more, up is down, left is right, and I actually found myself ironically enjoying a contemporary episode of the Simpsons this week. That’s right folks, it finally happened this Season. A good episode.

Things start off with Marge frantically dropping Maggie off at some sort of advanced daycare type thing. She gets Maggie in just on time, but is then shocked to find that she’s not allowed to stay with her all day, because it will stunt her intellectual growth. And, Marge ends up having a much harder time with this realization than Maggie, who just kind of slides right into playtime, leaving Marge alone and sad.

So, she’s going to have to find something to occupy her time with now that she has a day without her baby. She tries checking her favorite mommy blog for some tips on relaxation, and just ends up getting terrible advice. She goes to a very abusive Soul Cycle class that she hates, an equally abusive pottery paining class, and finally attempts to surprise Homer at the Plant with sex, only to be spied on by a creepy coworker.

Marge then sadly wander the town, looking for something to entertain herself with, when she sees a whole line of people waiting to apply for a new business called Well + Good. She doesn’t know what it is, but decides to give it a shot, being ushered into a very sleek and minimalist building where she takes a series of ethics tests, while just generally mothering the employee running the thing. Which, turns out to be exactly what this business was looking for.

They excuse everyone else from the interview, and offer Mage the job right on the spot. She meets her two co-workers, Desmond and Laura, and they get her selling their products, without even explaining what they are. And, it’s pretty clear that it’s marijuana. But, weed has changed so much in recent years that Marge doesn’t understand what it is, but happily helps people with this pens and tinctures.

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Eventually though her curiosity gets the better of her, and she asks Laura what exactly it is they’re selling. And, Laura just straight up tells her it’s weed, obviously. Marge beings panicking, even though it’s legal in Springfield, and is ready to quit when the owner of the business arrives. And it’s Drederick Tatum! Apparently after years of boxing the only solace he could find for his broken body was THC, and he’s decided to open this store with wellness in mind. Desmond is a scientist, Lauren is attractive, and Marge is a reassuring mother figure to the customers. The perfect group of employees. But, Marge is still against it, and leaves.

That night back at the house Lisa weirdly asks everyone at the table to talk about things they learned that day, and Marge tells them about Well + Good. And, everyone is into it. They think it’s fine, and don’t care, pointing out how welcome marijuana is now in society, even talking about how most of the food now at Krusty Burger is specifically designed for stoners. So, at the end of the talk Homer ends up encouraging Marge to give it a shot, and go sell some drugs.

So, Marge begins working at the weed store, and ends up doing quite well. Even though she mainly has to deal with people assuming it’s an Apple Store, while selling those people drugs. However, the whole feel of the store really puts off one customer specifically. Otto! The town’s most famous stoner shows up, and just can’t get over how clean and bright the whole process is.

Otto ends up storming out of the place, and going to Moe’s in order to get intoxicated somewhere sketchy. And, while complaining to Moe and Homer, the three end up getting a brilliant idea. They’re going to open a marijuana dispensary that feels like buying weed used to, for nostalgia. So, right away Moe starts selling weed out of the back room of his bar, where he’s replicated a sketchy apartment where Homer replicates the whole experience of buying crappy weed from a weirdo. But, people seem to like it.

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Both stores start doing really well, and they end up becoming the biggest things in Springfield. And, after a while Well + Good does so well that Tatum comes to make an announcement. They’re opening a cannabis resort and spa, and have a huge gala to open it involving prominent marijuana influences. And, he was planning on having Marge be the face of he event, since she’s so possible, but he’s changed his mind because of Homer.

Tatum has learned about Homer and his operation, and hates that he’s dragging the face of marijuana back into the sketchy past after all the work he’s done to legitimize it. But, Marge promises she can find a way to fix things. She heads home that night and tries to get Homer to give up on his idea, and the two just get in a huge fight. So, Marge goes back to Well + Good and tells Tatum she’s going to have to quit.

But, Tatum has one last idea. He wants Marge to help him shut Moe’s place down, by getting the County Health Department involved. Because Moe’s place doesn’t have a license to sell food, so if Marge is able to get them to offer one of their customers food they can get it shut down. Marge then heads to Moe’s with a jug of cheese-puffs, and ends up pressuring Homer into offering one to Kursty, who’s just there to buy some schwag.

Krusty ends up taking one of the puffs, and the Health Department comes barreling in, ready to shut everything down. And, they make it quite clear that Marge was setting them up, which Homer doesn’t really appreciate, obviously. So, Marge is back at Well + Good, and is welcomed back as a hero, meaning the gala is back on.

We hop right over to the gala, which seems to be going quite well. Marge is having a great time as a hostess, except for  the fact that Homer is there, drunk, and belligerent. And, pretty quickly he starts making a scene, getting everyone’s attention and revealing that Marge sells them weed, but has never tried it herself. Which is apparently a shocking and disgusting thing for people to learn.

So, Marge ends up taking some tincture to prove she’s cool, and immediately starts to get too high. She freaks out, because she’s been selling this stuff for wellness, not getting high, and quickly sees that everyone is just here to get stoned. Marge begins panicking, and runs to the bathroom to try and chill out, when Homer comes and manages to talk her down. The two have a discussion about what Marge did to him, and Homer doesn’t really mind, because he’s happy that she feels special with this job. However, they also light a vape on fire, which causes a cascading series of explosions that end up burning the whole place to the ground, which apparently destroys Well + Good, and gets Marge out of selling people weed any more.

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This episode was just such a pleasant surprise. It’s a good idea for a story, told well, that didn’t devolve into weird gripes about the kids today, something I really didn’t think the show was still able to do. When the premise of the episode was first revealing itself, that Marge was accidentally working for a marijuana dispensary, I was a little worried that this was going to end up like every single other “Marge gets a job and fails at it” episode we get, but thankfully that wasn’t the case. Yeah, things still implode by the end to reset everything to the status quo, but this wasn’t an episode about Marge failing. It was about her being the best damn drug dealer that’s ever been, while getting into a drug war with Homer. And, let me tell you, the whole premise of Homer’s little business is hilarious and genius. I have to assume that people are actually doing things like that in real life, and it’s great. Sure, the idea of people being shocked that they’re selling weed is a little quaint for someone like me, who lives in Denver where we’re about to legally be able to buy shrooms, but it’s still a fun little idea. It’s insane that we live in a world where an increasing amount of states can provide legal weed from places that feel like jewelry stores. And, hey, maybe we should free the people arrested for selling weed and expunge their records? Might be the sane and humane thing to do.

 

“Highway to Well” was written by Carolyn Omine and directed by Chris Clements, 2020.

 

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