Tuesday, July 17, 2007

14 Days of Simpsons

#11: Who Shot Mr. Burns Parts 1 & 2
Seasons 6 & 7
OK, I know that this is actually 2 episodes, so I'm cheating a little bit. Nonetheless, I don't think you can really discuss one without the other. More importantly, however, it's my blog and I can do what I want...
Plot Summary(s)
Part 1
When Willie tries to bury a class's dead hamster, he strikes oil. This means that the school is rich. The fact that Mr. Burns can never remember Homer's name is really starting to get under Homer's skin. Principal Skinner looks into spending the money from the oil well. He approves every silly request from people at the school. Mr. Burns makes it known that he wants the oil well to complete his monopoly. Principal Skinner rejects this idea. When they switch on the oil well for the first time, they find that someone else tapped the well with a slanted oil well. It is Mr. Burns. His new well shoots oil towards the Simpsons home, where it injures Bart's dog. Bart is very angry at Burns for this. Lisa is very angry because her idea to get Tito Puente as the school's band teacher cannot happen now. Homer is very angry because Mr. Burns still cannot remember his name. Moe's has to close down due to toxic fumes at the oil well, so Moe and Barney are very angry. They grab their guns and leave Moe's for the last time. The retirement home collapses due to the oil well, so Abe and the old folks are very angry. Mr. Burns is happy with all of these developments, but he has just one more plan. He wants to block out the sun. Smithers, refuses to help him and Mr. Burns fires him, so he goes on a drunken binge. Abe moves in with the Simpson family and with him, he brings a gun. Marge buries it in the yard. Homer spray paints his name on Mr. Burns' wall. When Mr. Burns still cannot remember his name, Homer threatens him. At a town meeting, Mr. Burns reveals his plan to block out the sun. He makes it night forever and walks home in twilight. He struggles with someone and a shot is fired, and he lay bleeding on the town's sun dial. Everyone is Springfield is a suspect, so it is up to Chief Wiggum to find out "Who Shot Mr. Burns."
Part 2
The investigation continues and everyone is a suspect. Finally, Mr. Burns revives and reveals his assailant: Maggie Simpson.
Why I Like It
I vividly remember my parents watching "Dallas" regularly during my childhood. These 2 Simpsons episodes are a spoof of the episodes for which Dallas is most well known. Moreover, it both makes fun of and fully takes advantage of the common practice of ending a season with a cliffhanger.

These episodes contain so many elements that make me love the Simpsons. Among them:
  • It has always been one of my favorite running jokes that Mr. Burns cannot remember Homer's name. That conflict features prominently in this episode.
  • There is not a character in all of the Simpsons who I respect more than Maggie Simpson. This episode begins her mastery of personal firearms. We find out in a later episode that she is also a trained sniper. Combine that with her MacGuiver/Jack Bauer abilities, and she is not someone to be trifled with.
  • Only Mr. Burns has a big enough ego to consider the sun as his only worthy adversary who must be stopped. Excellent.
  • Chocolate microscopes (and other Ralphisms)
Watch it For Yourself
Part 1 (1)

Part 1(2)

Part 1(3)

Part 2(1)

Part 2(2)

Part 2(3)

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