Original airdate: April 13, 2014
The premise: Thirty years into the future, Bart is still dealing with the heartbreak from his divorce, Lisa struggles to deal with her husband Milhouse’s zombie disease, and Marge finally breaks it off with Homer, who after years of being replaced with clones, is now reduced to just a floating head on a screen.
The reaction: I guess after the unusually strong positive response the last future episode received, it makes sense they would go back to that well one more time. So this is, what, the fifth future show? At this point, it just feels like a hodgepodge of elements we’ve already seen from the last two. Bart is a deadbeat dad living in the school, Lisa is still inexplicably with Milhouse, Homer and Marge break up again… none of this is new material. But before we get to the future, we’re one minute into our present day when Homer drops dead, and Professor Frink wheels into the funeral with a Homer clone. In present day. It’s glossed over quickly with a joke as to why the fuck Frink would have cloned Homer at all, then we get a hilarious montage of Homer dying or killing himself over and over and over again throughout the years, without explaining why Frink would bother creating new clones. So we get to the future, and like I said, everyone is more or less in the same place as we saw them in the last future episode. Bart’s still a big loser who can’t get over his ex-wife, so he goes to get his heartbreak wiped from his memory (so they’re ripping off an old episode where they ripped off a movie now?) Then he fucks a bunch of girls, because we needed to have that mental image, then he and Jenda get back together, and then they break up, both instances being incredibly simplistic and formulaic. Bart experiences a single moment of clarity around Jenda, and she instantly becomes putty in his arms, and then later she gets mad at him for not paying attention to when she’s talking, like all women folk do, am I right, men?! So in the end, Bart accepts that he’s done with Jenda, a character we don’t really know or care about, and also Homer and Marge get back together because of course they do, all while we’re inundated with more half-baked, rejected Futurama jokes that the writers fished out of their trash bins. Bleh.
Three items of note:
– This is now the third episode where we’ve seen Jenda, Bart’s wife. You’d think after this much screen time, we would know a little bit about her, likes, dislikes, personality quirks, why she fell in love with Bart to begin with… but no. Nothing. Can anyone tell me one goddamn thing about her? She rode a skateboard and was kind of like a cool kid in “Future Drama,” but here, she’s just a blank slate. And she’s voiced by Amy Poehler, who now, almost a decade after the first appearance of this character, is way too big a star to be slumming it with shit scripts like this one.
– Homer’s robot body goes to Moe’s on its own and guzzles down beer. I guess they were gearing themselves up for that Futurama crossover early.
– Toward the end of the episode, Bart and Lisa drunkenly tell each other their problems (y’know, like they did in the last future show), and a drunk Marge appears out of nowhere to tell them the secret to a successful marriage or something. She then decides it’s stupid to stay mad at Homer for the billionth time because she knows she’s going to go crawling back eventually, so she downloads herself into the monitor with Homer, and gleefully allows him to devour her entire head, complete with Pac-Man sound effects. Bart and Lisa look on dumbfounded, as does Moe, who comments, “I can’t tell if that was love, suicide or a really boring video game.” It’s like he’s speaking for all of us. Especially that “really boring” part.
One good line/moment: Bart works for the Jurassic Park rip-off Cretaceous Park (“Now Correctly Named.”)