(originally aired May 13, 2007)
So, in this episode, some stuff happened… yeah, this one certainly wasn’t as aggressively terrible as the last two, but I found it pretty damn boring. We open at a harvest fair set piece where the Simpsons get lost in a corn maze. They manage to get out, save Homer of course, who’s been a real joy to watch this whole first act. And by that, of course, I mean he’s been insufferably loud and obnoxious. Santa’s Little Helper picks up his scent and rescues him, which then springboards into him being trained as a police dog. He gets teamed up with Lou, and it becomes like a buddy cop movie, where he talks to him like he’s a human, and like he’s the renegade cop that needs to be talked down and told to take it easy. It sounds dumb, but I didn’t mind, it was actually kind of endearing. Also, Lou and Eddie are basically props at this point in the series, so it was nice to see one of them get some more screen time.
SLH becomes such a hardcore police dog, in a heated moment he bites Bart’s leg. I guess we’re supposed to feel sad for him and hope they reconciliation at the end, but I dunno. These shows feel so emotionally empty now; the era of “Dog of Death” was a long, looooong time ago. Bart gets a replacement pet, a deadly python, which none of the family objects to for some reason. He takes it to show-and-tell, it gets loose, knocks over some chemicals at the school, it’s evacuated, SLH rushes in and saves the day and makes up with Bart. Yawn. There’s a moment where the dog rushes in and nudges open Bart’s locker, and Lou understands that he misses his previous owner it pretty sweet. Hell, I’m more invested in their relationship than Bart and SLH, bizarrely enough. There’s a few token bits here that were kind of nice, but largely it was just a dull twenty minutes.
Tidbits and Quotes
– Homer is intolerable in the first act, with so many bits of him screaming that go on way too long: him trying to find the missing pine cone First Ladys, the endless bit of him thinking Marge wanted them to split up, getting electrocuted by the corn maze fence… Just leave him to die in there, I could care less at this point.
– More crummy cel-shaded 3D with the corn maze, where 2D characters are integrated in the CG rows of corn. It looks like crap. Also, Stephen Hawking is in the maze for some Godforsaken reason, in his third appearance. It’s strangely like Futurama in that he’s done three guest spots on both shows: the first being a larger part, and the latter two basically cameos. Except Futurama utilized him in a funny way all three times, and here, only his first I would consider good.
– I liked Bart’s dream of being rescued by SLH as Robocop, after he’d been cornered by Jason, Pinhead and a giant math book that bleeds out equations.
– How big is the Springfield Police Force? For new recruits, they have ten dogs, five horses and a dolphin. Considering the only police officers were see are Wiggum, Lou and Eddie, the force seems to have more animals than humans.
– I remember FOX marketed the episode solely on Bart getting the python; if the show isn’t focused on either Homer or Bart, they have to run promos featuring them heavily anyway. Also, Homer getting hurt is preferable, so every promo showed him getting strangled by the snake.
– Martin’s rabbit hopping inside the python’s gullet as it slowly gets digested into nothing as Bart stands by with a blank look on his face is a wonderfully grim gag.
– SLH drags Bart out of the building, just so Wiggum can snatch him and hog all the credit (“Hero cop saves boy! Hero cop saves boy!”) Remember two episode ago when he was urging him to commit suicide? I do. When did Wiggum become such a negative character?