362. See Homer Run

(originally aired November 20, 2005)
Feeling like three stories smashed together, this episode is just a jumbled, aggravating mess. We open to see Homer crowing about Father’s Day and being incredibly giddy, and my fears of him being completely grating through the entire show are confirmed. From top to bottom, he’s just way too mindlessly chipper, and every word out of his mouth makes me want to hit him. Not wanting to buy a gift, Lisa makes her father a heartfelt storybook for the holiday, which Homer thoughtlessly rejects. Pretty cold stuff. They tried to make it like he’s just ignorant more than scornful (like the perfect example, “Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean I don’t understand,”) but he’s just so incredibly callous, I think even Homer would realize how much he’s hurting Lisa’s feelings. Lisa ends up snapping at school, and the diagnosis is that with Homer as her prominent male figure in her life, she’s losing faith in the entire gender. Alright, I’m still on board, kind of. To regain her daughter’s respect, Homer agrees to be the school’s safety mascot by donning a salamander costume. Umm… what?

Homer is the Safety Salamander, and of course fails spectacularly at it. Lisa is just becoming more appalled by her father (“Janey’s father just takes her to the zoo once a month. Couldn’t you be that kind of Dad?”) It’ll take a miracle to get Homer into her good graces, or more accurately, a gigantic multi-car pile-up which he can rescue people out of. With one act left, the plot completely shifts gears: Quimby’s many illegalities are called out, resulting in a recall election, where every wacko in town, including Schwarzenegger expy Rainier Wolfcastle, tries their shot at running. It’s like the California gubernatorial election… that happened two years ago. For some reason, people really respond to Homer dressed in that stupid suit, so he ends up running. But when Marge washes it and it falls apart mid-debate, his candidacy is over. But don’t worry, Lisa’s here for our unearned saccharine ending (“You tried to make this town a better place, and no matter what, that makes you my hero.”) If by that you mean drinking constantly and showboating for the crowd, then sure. It’s more of just Homer being a maniac and doing whatever he wants, and the family standing by to support him for no reason whatsoever. Just complete garbage, and the worst Homer-Lisa show since “Make Room For Lisa.”

Tidbits and Quotes
– Homer tossing aside Lisa’s gift is really so heart wrenching (“You didn’t like it, did you?” “No, no, it’s great! I’m done with it now!”) It feels like one of the cruelest things he’s ever done. There really is a huge difference between this and the aforementioned line from “Lisa’s Substitute.” There, Homer really has not been on the radar regarding Lisa’s feelings about Mr. Bergstrom, nor does he really see how upset his daughter is about it. The quote itself is mean, but the intentions were not. The same could be said with this episode, but here the situation directly involves Homer, and Lisa eagerly and visibly anticipating her father’s positive response. Even a fucking lunkhead like Homer should be able to pick up on this and at the least humor his daughter, but instead, he acts like a fucking asshole and make her cry. Later, Homer reflects on the situation (“I still don’t understand how her feelings can be hurt. It’s my day!”) Remember the days when Homer would fight tooth and nail for the affections of his kids? Now he whines and moans and has absolutely no regard for others. Now that’s great character development.
– Dr. Pryor returns after sixteen long seasons. He was in “Lisa’s Sax,” but in terms of present day, he’s basically been completely forgotten. I like how that’s kind of alluded to as he appears in the shadows of Skinner’s office before he’s mentioned, then feels he can step out and speak his piece.
– “Now I’m off to bring safety to Springfield Elementary and win back your love!” The dialogue here is so painfully on the nose, Homer mentions winning back Lisa’s love a good four times this episode.
– The car pile-up is so ridiculous. It starts as a line of twenty cars rear-ending each other, somehow all driving in a close proximity on a residential street. Then when rescue vehicles arrive from all directions and crash into each other, it turns the wreckage into a gigantic pile of cars. How the fuck did that happen? Doesn’t matter, it gives Homer the opportunity to be a hero. And also for a Smithers gay joke, where Homer pulls him and Mr. Largo out of the wreckage (“We were just carpooling, and that’s it!”)
– Once again, the only gags about Quimby involve his rampant infidelity, showing him hijacking a plane for that reason (“Take this plane anywhere girls are going wild!”) Also the annoyingly voiced Miss Springfield has somehow become a regular character, despite being fucking aggravating to listen to.
– Speaking of aggravating regular characters, the Crazy Cat Lady is of course running for mayor too, and her full name is revealed: Eleanor Abernathy. I guess the writers fucking love this character.

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13 responses to “362. See Homer Run

  1. terrible episode

    Just thinking about these piece of shit episodes is raising my blood pressure. I can’t fathom having to relive them. Godspeed, Michael.

  2. This was it. This was the episode that finally made my blood boil to the point where I was almost screaming at my TV in frustration. This is a terrible episode, and it seemed to me at least that the reason everyone rejected Homer at the end was because they actually discovered that he wasn’t a real fucking salamander. How fucking dumb is that? Do the writers even care if this garbage makes sense, or do they enjoy shitting all over blank script pages and sending it to Korea for the animators to figure out.

    • I haven’t seen this one in a while, but that’s how I remember interpreting that scene as well. It seemed as if the costume was pretty much the only reason the townspeople listened to Homer’s lunacy. Once he shed the costume, they suddenly didn’t take him seriously. I’m not even sure what this is supposed to be satirizing, or what a literal costume is supposed to be “symbolizing”.

      On another subject: Why couldn’t they have stuck with the non-annoying Miss Springfield from “Whacking Day”? Va va voom.

      • “Gentlemen, start your whacking!” Sexy and hysterical.

      • phillyfoodie85

        [QUOTE]On another subject: Why couldn’t they have stuck with the non-annoying Miss Springfield from “Whacking Day”? Va va voom.[/QUOTE]

        Well, since “Miss Springfield” is a beauty pageant title, she probably stepped down and was replaced with the one with the annoying voice. Or maybe Quimby dumped the one from “Whacking Day” (remember in “Bart Gets Famous” when Quimby’s wife catches him in bed with the “Whacking Day” Miss Springfield and on the episode with the “Do What You Feel” festival, Quimby introduced a woman who looked like the “Whacking Day” Miss Springfield as a woman he was sleeping with who wasn’t his wife, but, thanks to Brad Goodman and Bart, he can be open about his womanizing).

  3. I’m surprised you didn’t mention that stupid Bart thing where he steals a street sign because it has his name on it or something.

  4. I like this episode a lot more when it is called “Homer’s Odyssey.”

  5. Just another “meh” episode with some interesting parts, I kinda liked it. But not by much.

  6. ” the Crazy Cat Lady is of course running for mayor too, and her full name is revealed: Eleanor Abernathy”

    what was the deal with zombie era episodes revealing “Real names”? Like crazy cat lady, comic book guy [I’m sure there’s way more and the only one I appreciate is that sarcastic store clerk is ‘raphael’ just because it makes it easier to talk about him and he isn’t just a guy who shows up and sports one catch-all phrase, though I guess he is still a stereotype]. I’m glad JUST STAMP THE TICKET MAN was never ruined by the zombie era (or was he?!).

    • -“Remember the days when Homer would fight tooth and nail for the affections of his kids?”

      Well probably just Lisa, since Bart annoys Homer a lot (it’s the reason why Homer strangling Bart is the show’s signature running gag) and Homer can’t even remember that he has a second daughter (Maggie), though episodes like “Saturdays of Thunder,” “Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy,” and “Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder” (and maybe that flashback episode that told the story of how Maggie was born and why the family has no pictures of her) are notable exceptions.

      -“I’m glad JUST STAMP THE TICKET MAN was never ruined by the zombie era (or was he?!).”

      I don’t think I’ve seen him since “Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy,” when he punched Homer in the face after Homer tried to sell the love tonic at the mall (“Hey you, you look like you could use a boost in your love — OW!”). Guess he wasn’t gimmicky enough for the later episodes.

      • [-“Remember the days when Homer would fight tooth and nail for the affections of his kids?”
        Well probably just Lisa]
        What? Are you sure you ever understood this show? Homer loves his children more than anyone, and would do anything for Bart. The boy annoys him in every way possible, and hes annoyed just like any parent with such an exuberant kid like Bart; but that doesnt mean he wouldnt do anything for him(funny how you quoted “Saturday of Thunders”: did you forgot the main plot?).
        And he wouldnt do anything for Maggie? Really? Just because of 2 jokes(the ZS episodes dont count), that only shows Homer irresistible dumbness, if any. Homer even came back to his shitty job only for Maggie.
        Homer is a big baby, unlucky, impulsive, and is not the smartest man on earth, but one can never doubt his devotion toward his family.

  7. Rembrandt Q. Einstein

    An absolutely hilarious and heartwarming episode. Positively wonderful.

  8. To say that the homer lisa seen with homer’s present gave me chills for just how much of an absolute oaf homer was, the seen where Homer and lisa dance and Homer says “watch out for my tale” was rather sweet.

    Admitedly that isn’t much, but honestly if zombie simpsons can make me think “sweet” as opposed to either “meh” or more likely “why can’t homer just go off and die and leave his family better off” it’s saying something.

    The only really! sad thing is, I recall seeing this episode pared with one from I believe season 22 about fracking and I honestly found this one a relief since at least it had a story and characters who said things that made a vague amount of sence.

    wow, that zombie simpsons can go even more zombific as time goes on is really rather scary.

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