(originally aired April 5, 2009)
And now, another one of those schmaltzy sensitive Moe episodes. “Moe Baby Blues” was effective because it managed to balance the lecherous with the sweet, so it still felt like the same bottom feeder Moe, but we got to see a more tender side to him. Here, through almost the whole running time, he’s this sweet, vulnerable, inoffensive guy, which is always entertaining to watch. Moe gets into a relationship with a girl online and is preparing for their first face-to-face date. To his surprise, Maya (another Tress MacNeille voice we’ve heard a billion times) is a little person, something that Moe comes to terms with and accepts quickly. Their relationship advances normally. Just normally. Nothing particularly funny happens, it’s just Moe making out with someone Lisa’s size, which I have to admit is a little disturbing to see. There’s “conflict” in that Moe is hesitant in showing her to the barflies, thinking they would ridicule her, but nothing really ever comes from it.
After a non-disclosed period of time, Moe asks Maya to marry him, and she responds with a jovial crack about her height (“Are you asking me to be your little woman?”) Moe retorts with a few jokes himself, all seemingly in good fun, until Maya takes offense. You’d think at this point she would know he meant no offense; also it seems she’s a weird trickster herself, in one bizarre scene where pretends to be a lifeless doll to freak Moe out for no reason. Moe is crestfallen when Maya shuts him out, leaving him no other recourse… than to have surgery to reduce his height. Maya arrives at Dr. Nick’s to stop him (“Moe, if you have to be like me to love me, then you’re not seeing the real me!”) Moe then gives a heartfelt soliloquy about how much she really means to him… and then Maya just leaves him anyway. It just felt that considering Maya’s character (the very little of it we get to know), it made no sense that this relationship would fall apart. Moe had been nothing but earnest the entire episode, only joking around about her after she cracked wise first. It’s just a cop out ending, but considering Maya is voiced by MacNeille, they didn’t have to write her out. But then again, writing a new character is too much work, so get her out. A very boring, ineffectual outing.
Tidbits and Quotes
– The B-story involves Homer being a shitty father to Maggie. Discovering there’s a playground behind Moe’s (after Moe scrubs the back wall and finds a window there, which makes no sense), he dumps Maggie there every day so he can get plastered, leaving her at the mercy of infant bullies. Growing suspicious of what goes on during the day, Marge places a mini camera on Maggie’s bow, only to watch the footage at the end of the episode. Homer drops off Maggie, but then comes back to save the day from the bullies… but is beaten up himself, until Maggie saves him. He then says some sweet, sweet, completely natural-sounding words into the camera, which is enough to absolve the continued abandonment of his infant child in Marge’s eyes. Then we get his sweet wrap-up with Moe, which doesn’t work with me because it didn’t feel earned at all.
– I did like the initial awkwardness from Moe regarding Maya (“Oh, you’re a little person. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that, what’s the correct term?” “Little person.” “Woah! Look at me bein’ polite!”) and the bait-and-switch with the car seat.
– There’s not one but two make-out scenes between Moe and Maya, which is kind of uncomfortable to watch. I guess it’s just a lot easier to cut to the chase rather than see them talking and understanding why the two are in love.
– As is the case whenever we have a double date scene, we see Homer being a total ass of himself and embarrassing Marge, except the B-plot isn’t really about the two of them being at odds with each other. But basically whenever an episode is about a burgeoning relationship nowadays, we have to fix Homer and Marge’s for the ten thousandth time.
– So apparently Mr. Largo wanted a sex change operation. They’ve done this joke with Smithers too, him wanting estrogen pills; I guess the writers equate homosexuality with actually wanting to be the other sex, and that both topics are hysterical to make fun of.
– Despite it mostly feeling empty, I can’t help but think the ending is a little sweet, with Moe making a rose out of his bar rag and putting it on the frame. I’m not made of stone.