(originally aired November 25, 2007)
Like every other character, Sideshow Bob has become a one-dimensional shadow of himself, a learned murderous madman with seemingly no rhyme, reason or sense to his actions. This is such a bummer, of course, because of how amazingly written his episodes used to be; now they’re just frustrating and stupid. Here, Bob’s evil scheme to kill the Simpsons, because since his lase appearance, he’s extended his scope from Bart to the whole family, is to lure them into a trap: the grand opening of a family-style BBQ restaurant. A restaurant he builds himself, records an elaborate commercial and pays for air time for, which he hopes the Simpsons will see and go to. So is he waiting in that place all day long, warding off other potential customers, for when the Simpsons will possibly maybe show up? Bob’s schemes used to be about something, have some air of purpose or sense to them. This is just fucking stupid. Bob intends to kill the family via boxes of TNT like in a Looney Tunes cartoon, but of course is foiled very quickly. This is only the start of act two and I’m already pissed off.
At his trial, Bob tries to reason his murderous actions were due to insanity caused by his constant haranguing by Bart, and tries to ploy the jury’s sympathies, as they have also had run-ins with the young prankster. I guess I can see that, but it’s still not an ironclad defense, but as we see, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Bart knocks a vial of nitroglycerin from Bob’s hands, but it turns out it was for his congenital heart defect, causing his ticker to stop short and die. But, of course, this was all a ruse too; Bob’s father injected his son with a serum to simulate death, and his brother Cecil convinced Bart to pay his final respects to Bob at the funeral home, where Bob could cremate the boy in his place. But Lisa figures out this whole entire plan apropos of nothing, and manage to stop them just in time. Now the entire Terwilliger family is behind bars: Bob, his wife and kid, Cecil and his parents, all evil masterminds. How creative. It was interesting in “Brother From Another Series,” since you suspect Bob to be the villain, and then it turns around and it’s Cecil. But all of this just seems so lazy and unoriginal. A particularly horrid Bob episode, but thankfully the last one I ever have to watch.
Tidbits and Quotes
– The show starts with the family getting a Tivo. What, no Mapple treatment in calling it TeeVee or something? Maybe the staff was gunning to get free Tivos. The family is thrilled that they can skip commercials, but eventually Marge’s guilt gets to her and she goes back to watching ads. Actually, the first time we see them skip commercials, not only do we see the many ads from the series past, like for Mr. Sparkle and SpringShield, but we see Bob’s fake ad. So his plan in getting them to see the commercial is so flimsy enough, but with Tivo, they would never ever see it at all. At what point would Bob just give up and close up shop? The whole thing makes no fucking sense.
– The animation of the Itchy & Scratchy cartoon looks really good, with a lot of exaggerated movements and takes.
– Bob even explains how he built the restaurant and edited the commercial, and what a laborious scheme it was. And the real kicker is, he planned the rest of the events out too. So this flimsy bullshit plot was actually just a prelude for his other flimsy bullshit plot. Why wouldn’t he just kill the Simpsons right then and there? Why go through the rest of that crap?
– John Mahoney voices Bob’s father, because the writers figure, hey, we had Frasier’s brother voice his brother, let’s get Frasier’s father to voice his father too! Bob’s mother is voiced by… guess who… Tress MacNeille. Shocker. Both provide nothing interesting whatsoever.
– Krusty sings at Bob’s funeral, ending it with hocking a new DVD of the best Sideshow Bob moments from his show. But what about “Day of the Jackanapes” where he admitted to taping over all of Bob’s shows? Oh, who cares.
– The only thing in the show I liked was David Hyde Pierce’s return as Cecil, who gets a nice scene with Bart (“Bob and I never got along. He was always zigging when I zagged. One summer when he wanted to tour the castles of Italy, I wanted to tour the castles of France, so we went to Spain, a compromise that satisfied no one.”)
– How could Lisa have figured out Bob’s entire plan, with his father injecting him and faking his death? The only tip-off she had was about Bob’s coffin having extra room for his feet. But maybe the family would have done that so they wouldn’t have to cram poor Bob’s feet into a regular coffin out of respect. But anyway, they burst in the funeral home to save the day, because of course Bob has the coffin heading into the crematoryextreeeeemely slowly. But here’s the thing: we got Homer, Marge and Lisa vs. Bob, Cecil, Francesca, Gino, and Mr. & Mrs. Terwilliger. They could easily subdue the Simpsons, or manage to stall them long enough for Bart to be killed. Instead, Homer and Marge go in, stop Bob and get Bart out of the coffin. I guess everyone else is just standing around watching. Why aren’t they doing anything? What a load of shit.