Original airdate: March 1, 2015
The premise: While Mr. Burns makes a deal with a Nigerian king for his uranium, Homer is tasked with watching over the royal daughter. Wanting to experience America firsthand, the princess ends up forming an unusual kinship with a smitten Moe.
The reaction: As simplistic and transparent as this show has become, sometimes there comes an episode where I really am not sure what the point of it is. This one is about Moe finding love, except not really, because she’s not attracted to him, so he’s comforted that he found kindness in a platonic friend? I guess? Again, not really sure. We start off with Take Your Daughter To Work Day at the plant (does that even still exist?), featuring Lisa going to the plant, which only makes me desperately yearn for the sweetness of “Bart on the Road.” She’s effectively used as a prop so Burns can pick Homer to watch after the king’s daughter after scanning the monitors and seeing him hugging his own kin. So Burns has Homer watch the princess (I have forgotten her name, don’t think that matters much) at her hotel. She convinces him to take her out, so they go to Moe’s, where Moe proceeds to repeatedly say strange, awkward, but mostly innocent things, and the princess laughs and finds it all charming. But while Homer and Moe talk about stupid shit in the back room, the princess leaves, Homer follows to find her and is conveniently arrested, then the princess returns, so I guess that was the best way they figured they could get rid of Homer for the time being. The princess hangs out, tolerating Moe, and then later in the evening falls asleep in the back room; surely this woman wants to see more things than this gargoyle’s disgusting bar. Now we get sad pathetic lonely Moe as he goes to sleep on the bar and does a weird “Goodnight Moon” thing (“Goodnight beer, goodnight mice, goodnight princess who treats me nice.”) The princess had gotten up to leave, but then decides to stay upon hearing this. Ehhhhhh, let’s skip to the end. When all parties finally meet back up, Moe is shocked to learn the princess doesn’t have the hots for him, but just enjoyed his company, which he later seems to be fine with. And that’s it, I guess. Our happy ending is a flash forward to old future Moe, who reflects back on his one comforting memory of a woman actually being kind to him. Or feeling sorry for him, one or the other. Whatever.
Three items of note:
– In the first act, there was a pretty solid string of crazy Family Guy-esque cutaway gags one after another: one featuring a line-up of frozen Burns clones, showing Richard Branson is Burns’ neighbor, and then Smithers fantasizing about being in an island paradise with Burns. This last one turned out to be plot relevant and recurring, as Smithers goes along with having Homer watch the princess hoping he’ll fail, and Burns will run away with him. The Nigerian deal being critical to keep him from financial ruin after Elon Musk fucked him over; really, really weird to see this being a running reference, mentioned here and in “My Fare Lady.” At the very end, we see a despondent Smithers walk out of Moe’s and come upon a couple of the escaped Burns clones and he feels happy again. Or something. Whatever.
– They had Jon Lovitz play a paparazzi guy who takes a photo of the princess kissing Moe on the forehead, and he has one line. Plus, it’s not even the same guy he voiced in “Homerazzi.” So, did they just forget who that character was? Or is it just a big coincidence?
– The ending is just awful. Everyone is gathered around Burns’ office, including the Simpsons for no reason, as we painfully go through the plot beats with characters just openly saying what they feel and what they’re going to do… standard procedure at this point. I honestly can’t get over how terrible the writing on this show is sometimes (“I am not convinced.” “Because you want them to grow?” “Still not convinced.” “Because you can’t strangle a girl.” “That makes sense. Come here, daughter.”)
One good line/moment: Homer makes Lisa a replacement lunch out of a montage of increasingly elaborate trades in the plant cafeteria. It’s kind of dumb, but also kind of sweet seeing him do something nice for Lisa.