(originally aired November 9, 2008)
Did Homer and Marge do anything else in their past other than fight, break up and get back together? The writers certainly can’t think of another thing, so here’s another fucking flashback show. This one actually jumps between two periods, twenty years prior, and five years prior to present day, about Homer and Marge’s simultaneous almost affairs. This is after “I Married Marge” and “Lisa’s First Word,” by the way, and all those wonderful, beautiful moments where we saw just how much these two love each other and what Homer is willing to do for his wife and his family. Here, they squabble and bitch about stupid shit, because their relationship is always on the rocks in every time period, apparently (“Homer Simpson, I wish I’d never met you!”) First we see young Homer and Marge hitch a ride with recent newlyweds… Ned and Maude Flanders. Goddammit, more of the “everybody knew everybody” shit again. Worse yet, of course, this is more psycho religious Ned, forcing Homer and Marge to sleep in separate rooms and having Maude wait up in a tree with a Super Soaker aimed at Homer’s penis if he tries any funny stuff the morning after. No, really, that happened.
The most focus is on five years ago when Homer and Marge both almost had one-night stands with two people they met at a party, two people whose names I don’t remember and have no real character traits to speak of. The guy is another Hank Azaria-voiced swarthy fellow, and the girl is… another nondescript Tress MacNeille voice. I’ll once again reiterate this is after Bart and Lisa were born, so Homer and Marge’s relationship should be pretty strong and meaningful at this point. But instead, they have a petty skirmish… something about Homer being reckless and irresponsible, and him thinking Marge is no fun. Okay… whatever. The two characters end up together at the end, and they show up at the cabin that the present day Simpsons are visiting, and the truth is revealed. Homer and Marge have another falling out, and get back together by the end, of course. I think this may be the worst flashback show ever… yes, even worse than “That ’90s Show.” That and “The Way We Weren’t” were terrible, but at least they existed in Homer and Marge’s pre-marital days. Here, the events of the classic flashback shows already happened, and despite all that, we see Homer and Marge are still as flimsy a couple as ever, negating everything those other episodes stood for.
Tidbits and Quotes
– Nice small joke at the beginning where Lisa and Maggie are asleep in the backseat leaning against each other, and Bart toys with their heads, seeing that their spiky hair interlocks like cogs.
– Holy shit… I fucking hate the Flanders stuff. Homer’s instant irrational hatred of Ned in “Lisa’s First Word” is a lot funnier than here where we see young Homer is taken with the guy, at least until he splits them up (“I never thought I’d say this, but… stupid Flanders.”) See, it’s funny because he hates Ned in modern day! Idn’t that great! Also, Ned is a sick, sick fuck, putting a bear trap outside Homer’s door (“What better way to celebrate our wedding night than by keeping an unmarried couple apart?”) and getting aroused by Maude buttoning up her dead grandmother’s pajamas.
– Bart plays a video game Cereal Killer, where he guns down famous cereal mascots, all voiced by Maurice LaMarche. I found it funny since LaMarche actually is the voice of Toucan Sam, and here he does his death cries as he’s shot down.
– They try to play Homer and Marge extremely naive, in how they stumble into almost fucking these other people… but I don’t get it. These two are grown adults who should be able to pick up on obvious cues (“You are adorable! Are you alone?” “No, I’m talking to you at this great party!”) Marge doesn’t speak up for herself, because she’s a namby pamby pushover, and Homer they just have get drunk. That almost feels worse to me… this whole episode feels worse, to be fair.
– I don’t see exactly what bullshit lies Homer and Marge concocted for each other on where the other had been all day, why they both ended up at that cabin, where Marge got that fancy dress, or where the girl’s car or the guy’s giant plane came from.
– The only good thing in the show comes from li’l Bart and Lisa; Grampa arrives at the cabin with the two and passes out on the bed. Bart cheers that now they can stay awake forever, the two jump for joy, then immediately pass out. So freaking adorable.
– The peddle car bit with Bart and Lisa is cute at first, but goes on for twice as long as it needs to.
– Weird that Marge, and seemingly Homer, would laud the cabin memory as one of the most beautiful moments of their marriage considering the secretive circumstances; you’d think each of them would be quick to brush those memories off and not mention them, let alone go on a family visit to the cabin where they almost fucked other people.