387. Kill Gil, Volumes 1 & 2

(originally aired December 17, 2006)
This episode I feel had some potential; a chance to develop a one-note secondary character, and an examination of Marge and how far she can be pushed until she hits a breaking point, but this is yet another time where the show’s penchant for being extremely exaggerated works against it. An act of kindness to Lisa by department store Santa Gil ends up getting him fired on Christmas Eve. Taking pity, Marge lets him stay for the night, then for the next day, and then for the entire next year. The second act is in two stages: first, set up the “conflict,” with the most transparent dialogue possible. Marge explains how she can’t say no to people, and later while Homer is complaining about Gil at the bar, Carl comes out of nowhere with this statement (“Well, you can’t kick him out, ’cause then Marge will never learn to assert herself.”) Thanks, Carl, that sounded completely natural for you to say. After that, it’s just fast-forwarding through the year as Gil becomes more and more of a burden and a mooch, Homer scowls and Marge does nothing. Yawn.

This plot is insane. An entire year goes by and Marge can’t tell Gil to leave? And moreover, Homer doesn’t buckle and force him out himself? Or when Marge sees how her kids are being affected, stealing their lunches, she doesn’t step up then? If this had been over a month, and we really see her struggle, okay, sure, but once again, done over a year, it’s exaggerated to such an absurd level I can’t take it seriously anymore. When Marge finally works up the gumption to kick Gil out, it turns out he’s already gone. Not only that, he apparently became a real estate kingpin in Scottsdale overnight. How did this happen? And how did Marge not notice him leave? I guess she was raking those leaves for a long time. Wanting to get her big “no” out, the now insane Marge drives to Scottsdale and tells Gil off at work, causing him to get fired again. It’s a really sour ending; Gil took advantage of the Simpsons, but in a blind-sighted, naive way. Marge was a complete doormat against the constant insistence by her husband, then completely blew Gil’s happy ending for her own selfish reasons. It’s hard to really feel for anyone by the end of this, which is kind of rough for our Christmas episode.

Tidbits and Quotes
– We have a completely redone winter themed version of the opening, which is nice, I guess. We’re but a stone’s throw away from the new HD opening, but more on that slop when we get there. The only curious thing is they reanimated everything except for Bart writing on the chalkboard. That old 90s cel animated snippet really clashes with the digitally colored stuff surrounding it. If they redid everything else, why not that small part?
– I think this is the title I hate the most. Sure, all these episodes have lame parody titles, but they always at least make some sense. “Moe’N’a Lisa”? Well, it’s about Moe and Lisa. “Ice Cream of Margie”? Well, Homer’s got his ice cream truck and that ties in with the Marge story, so sure. But this one, “Kill Gil”? Yeah, Marge is annoyed with Gil, but the title just makes no sense. And try and say the whole thing out loud: Kill Gil, Volumes 1 & 2. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?
– Krusty’s Kristmas on Ice: Adults $40/Children $39. Literally the exact same joke from the Halloween show, concerning Krusty’s show museum.
– It’s gotten to the point where I can predict jokes before they happen. Marge wants to leave when a fight breaks out on the ice? Homer’s going to be in that fight. Then we cut to Costington’s and we see Mayor Quimby. It’s going to be an infidelity gag. Then Burns and Smithers walk by, and Burns gets four words out before I figure out the next forty second scene. The characters have become so painfully sanitized and one-note, what’s the point in watching this show if you can easily call them on their gags?
– It is pretty sweet when Gil gets Lisa her toy and refuses to take it back at the risk of his job. That’s the thing, he’s a nice guy, but inadvertently takes advantage; I feel they could have really made a great story out of this. Instead, they pushed it too far into ridiculous territory and I can’t go along with it.
– Nice exchange between Marge and Homer on MLK Jr. Day (“We have to let him stay! It’s what Dr. King would want us to do!” “Oh, that’s it, we’re changing doctors!”)
– I get the joke they were going for with Marge recalling her memory, but it’s something only we see and not Homer, leaving him confused… but it just doesn’t work.
– It’s so, so stupid, but the Grumple that keeps showing up everywhere amuses me. Homer knocks him out at the bar and he seems to be bleeding green blood (“What the hell is this thing?!”)
– Would Marge be such a wet blanket that she wouldn’t tell Gil to quiet down when he’s playing piano and singing with fellow drunks on St. Patrick’s Day night? I guess so. Also, apparently the leprechaun from “Treehouse of Horror XII” is real in this universe, somehow.
– So, at the end, the Simpsons bought a house in Scottsdale… why? Gil just got fired, it’s not helping him out. Is the house for Gil? Well, it’s got the Simpsons mailbox out front so that can’t be it. So… oh, whatever.

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12 responses to “387. Kill Gil, Volumes 1 & 2

  1. I agree with you that this episode’s premise had potential but had some issues that prevented it from being classic era material. It did seem very unrealistic that a whole year would go by before Marge got some gumption, for instance.

    One scene I particularly liked was Gil’s utter defeat when he’s turned down for a job over the phone; it’s like, how can Marge kick him while he’s down? That was executed well.

    “So, at the end, the Simpsons bought a house in Scottsdale… why? Gil just got fired, it’s not helping him out. Is the house for Gil? Well, it’s got the Simpsons mailbox out front so that can’t be it. So… oh, whatever.”

    The ending is very rushed and not 100% clear. But from what I understand, the Simpsons bought a house from Gil so he could stay hired. But this also highlights two problems: That Marge learned absolutely nothing about saying “no”, and that the Simpsons apparently have tons of disposable income to throw away on a -second- house when they can barely afford their first one.

    And for that matter, how did the Simpsons buying a house make his co-workers and boss forget that he cowered under Marge just seconds ago? Do they all have extreme short-term memory loss?

    “I get the joke they were going for with Marge recalling her memory, but it’s something only we see and not Homer, leaving him confused… but it just doesn’t work.”

    I actually liked that bit. Good meta reference. Years later Family Guy would do the same thing in “Back to the Pilot” when it’s revealed that when a cutaway is set up, everyone just silently stands around, staring blankly into space until it’s over.

    My favorite dialog in the episode:

    Homer: Why did you let that loser into our home?
    Marge: I’ll tell you why: Christian charity.
    Homer: Christian Charity? What does a porn star have to do with this?!

  2. – I think this is the title I hate the most. Sure, all these episodes have lame parody titles, but they always at least make some sense. “Moe’N’a Lisa”? Well, it’s about Moe and Lisa. “Ice Cream of Margie”? Well, Homer’s got his ice cream truck and that ties in with the Marge story, so sure. But this one, “Kill Gil”? Yeah, Marge is annoyed with Gil, but the title just makes no sense. And try and say the whole thing out loud: Kill Gil, Volumes 1 & 2. Just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

    A better title would have been “Overstayin’ Gil” but seriously wtf Gil rhymes with Bill so what it doesn’t give you the right to shoehorn it in like that and Volumes 1 & 2 errrr right whatever…

    Also who is that and what has she done with Marge?

  3. I absolutely hate Gil — one of the worst characters in the history of the show, imo. I mean, I LOVE Glengarry Glen Ross, so it’s not the concept or what they’re ripping off, I just think Gil has never been established as anything more than a whiney worthless idiot. That being said, I find this to be one of the more compelling and watchable zombie episodes for much of its length. Which isn’t saying much but eh.

    I like the opening sequence. Snow is always nice.

    • Also, re: Gil staying with them — I know we’ve had “[such and such] stays/lives with the Simpsons” episodes in the past but in about 13 episodes from now, Kent lives with the Simpsons in “You Kent Always Say What You Want” (which imo is the best episode of the season). The Simpson family sure love to let RANDOM STRANGERS sleep on their couch (at least in the case of, like, “The Otto Show”, Otto had been driving Bart and Lisa to school for a while, for example)…

  4. No Otto only got to stay due to Bart’s persuasion and his bad imitation of Marge over a tape recorder.

  5. I don’t completely hate Gil, but I don’t care for him either. I thought he was a great character in “Realty Bites” and a few times in Season 9 (like in “Natural Born Kissers,” but after that, the joke became old. It’s the same thing with the Old Cat Lady. One or two appearances were fine, but then it just became a repeated joke and Season 22 having like two episodes dealing with her was terrible.

  6. Hands down, Marge is an irrational bitch who ruins the lives of others and and those closest to her. Why must she act this way! Is she THAT narrow-minded that cannot see how unhappy she makes her family. Not just in this episode, in general. Because she doesn’t know how to have a life of here own, she finds it necessary to tie down Homer, Bart, and even Lisa (whose ventures are just (technically)), and then there’s Maggie. So let’s review:

    -She won’t let the family leave to house at all until the entire house is clean (or anything else for that matter).
    -She rushes Bart and Lisa like crazy to get to school (just so she and Homer can have the house to themselves), then drag races Otto to get them on the bus, but ends up making it to the school before him, but orders Bart and Lisa to get on the bus just so she could “win”.
    -The whole sugar ban.
    -The Simpsons Comic Issue #100.
    -There are too many examples.

    Basically, her idea of thrills and trying something new and exciting are sloppy joes and different laundry detergent.

    A few hours later,

    Well my anger has petered out, so I get back to this at a later time.

  7. the grumple amused me with his “grumpety grumpety grue, your blood will make my stew”

    but other than that I agree.
    One thing I particularly hate in this episode though is the way that it portrays gill as basically a gross selfish pig.

    gill is a desperate character and eternally

  8. So do they actually kill Gil in this one? Like, never to be seen again? That would make any awful story worth it. Gil worked as a one-off character but is horrendously overused.

  9. “The characters have become so painfully sanitized and one-note, what’s the point in watching this show if you can easily call them on their gags?”

    That’s the perfect description of my feeling watching 90% of modern sit-coms, but it’s unbelievable how Zombie Simpsons is still the worst show there is on teevee. Really sad times.

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