Ok, this time I'll try to participate.
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Ok, this time I'll try to participate.
Good choice of episode; looking forward to rewatching that one since it's been a while.
Brother from the Same Planet is officially up for discussion so have at it.
I'm not going to bother with a big long review because I simply don't have the ability to do that, but I will say that this is my 2nd favorite episode of season 4. It's just absolutely hilarious, and the characterizations are perfect. Homer forgets to pick up Bart, so Bart tries to find a better father figure, so Homer tries to find a better son to spite Bart. All things you can easily see those characters doing. There are literally loads of jokes in this episode, from "I love you too, Pepsi," to Homer showing Pepi how the garage "works." The only minor nitpick I have with the episode is that the ending is somewhat predictable, but it's a very, very strong episode nonetheless that I love watching.
Hey, I just realized it's my 4th anniversary here! Woo-hoo!
The original Favorite and least favorite by season
Shorts: 1: The Pacifier Watching TV 2: World War III Maggie's Brain 3: Bathtime Scary Movie
Episodes: 1: Krusty Gets Busted The Telltale Head 2: Bart Gets an F The War of the Simpsons 3: Homer at the Bat Separate Vocations 4: Marge vs. the Monorail Krusty Gets Kancelled 5: Cape Feare Lady Bouvier's Lover 6: Homer Badman Lisa on Ice 7: King-Size Homer Lisa the Iconoclast 8: Simpsoncalifragilisticexpialad'ohcious Lisa's Date with Density 9: Girly Edition The Trouble with Trillions 10: Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo Homer Simpson in: "Kidney Trouble" 11: Guess Who's Coming to Criticize Dinner? Hello Gutter, Hello Fadder 12: HOMЯ Tennis the Menace 13: Tales from the Public Domain She of Little Faith 14: The Dad Who Knew Too Little Helter Shelter 15: The Ziff Who Came to Dinner Bart-Mangled Banner 16: Don't Fear the Roofer She Used to Be My Girl 17: My Fair Laddy The Italian Bob 18: The Haw-Hawed Couple The Boys of Bummer 19: Funeral for a Fiend All About Lisa 20: Gone Maggie Gone The Good, the Sad and the Drugly 21: The Bob Next Door The Color Yellow 22: Homer Scissorhands Love is a Many Strangled Thing 23: The Falcon and the D'ohman A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again 24: Hardly Kirk-ing What Animated Women Want
Indeed, thread title needs to be updated by a mod. A question for all: What do you think of the Lisa B story? If I recall correctly wasn't Yeardley Smith against it?
Ah yes, that. While it's not the best subplot, it shows the "young girl" side of Lisa. Now sometimes I don't like it when they show that side of her, but it works here. Not even half as good as the main plot, but for a subplot, it's passable.
I can't say anything about the subplot right now since it was such a long time since I saw the episode, but I will state my thoughts regarding it in the review, which will be a bit late.
Brother from the Same Planet
Written by Jon Vitti and Directed by Jeff Lynch, Brother from the Same Planet is one of those episodes I only remember because of the end. Specifically, I remember watching this one close to its original air date, at least I think I do I was so very young, and my father laughing uproariously at that fight scene inspired by the John Wayne film. Watching this one again for the first time in at least a good 6 months though I was astonished with how many hilarious and just extremely likable things it contains. Interestingly enough this episode had several bad things attached to it at the time. The guest star they had hoped to get declined the offer. The cast apparently didn't find much to laugh at. Jim Brooks even told David Mirkin to stay away from these types of episodes. Yet as it stands, and as I've already said one before, this is one of the all time classics.
We begin with Bart at soccer practice. He awaits Homer to come pick him up but Homer just can't seem to remember. Bart tries to go "Shining" on his father but only manages to get Milhouse. A fantastic reference to be sure though with Trab Pu Kcip. The Homer we get in this early section of the show is letting his son down, but it is not on purpose. He just can't seem to remember. I love the way they characterize Homer here as the lovable oaf. When he finally remembers his son via a powerfully dark vision of his own he rushes to him without the slightest hesitation.
The animation on Bart when Homer finally comes to pick him up is really great. I just feel his anger through his eyes and we're given another wonderful bit of animation with the appropriately gruesome melting Homer. Amazingly enough we are also treated to a female Homer doppelganger that I somehow managed to forget all about! Bart is naturally upset and during a very nice send-up of Saturday Night Live sees a commercial for the Bigger Brother program. Bart goes to the agency and is paired up with a man named Tom, who was intended to be voice by Tom Cruise. Instead we get Phil Hartman whose voice seems to really surround this episode. He manages to bring a sense of awesomeness to the character making him someone Bart can bond with.
While all of this is going on we also learn of Lisa's new addiction to the Corey hotline. This is a reference to the late Corey Haim and Corey Feldman that certainly feels dated, and as I said in an earlier post was apparently not loved by Yeardley Smith, but I still find it an enjoyable little diversion. It gives us great Skinner material particularly with that wonderful Psycho parody I also forgot all about. I have to point out here again that I still manage to get surprised when I hear Skinner's voice from an earlier season like this as it sounds so very different to how the character has sounded since season 10 or so, at least to me. The other thing I really love about this subplot is that great scene where Lisa is trying to stay off the phone and Maggie continuously taunts her, unintentionally of course. You can really feel Lisa struggling for control here and the buildup of tension is just so very nicely executed. It is all just beautifully animated and I really love it. Eventually Lisa succeeds as she overcomes the insidious hotline.
The other big issue I forgot to ask about, partly because I forgot it was in this episode, was how everyone felt regarding those two scenes where Homer, who by now has learned of Bart's bigger brother Tom, and Bart legitimately feel like ex-lovers. Personally I find them both really funny and at the same time creepy. I know at least the first scene is supposed to parody a movie and maybe that is why Homer has such a strange voice throughout it but I find it effective regardless. The other scene takes place after Homer has already decided to get a replacement son, Pepe. Ignoring Pepe as a character for the moment Homer uses him to try and make Bart jealous and that second scene, which must also be a reference to something what with the swing replacing an orgasm, just comes off as very disturbing yet I kinda enjoy it anyway.
I love the design of the Pepe character, who was apparently inspired by a comic strip character I've never heard of. Those huge eyes are somehow mesmerizing. His time with Homer watching the stars is also quite funny as Panther pointed out. Eventually everything comes to a climax at Marine World. But first, we are treated to a callback from a Tracy Ullman Short that, on this particular rewatch made me laugh longer than I'd probably like to admit and, I once again forgot was even in here. Homer's facial expression while taunting the poor dolphin, as well as his ultimate comeuppance are just both fantastic.
This probably shouldn't be as funny as it is...
Once Tom finally meets Homer he has to show him the error of his ways via a duel! This epic battle is humorously compared to a Godzilla fight and sees both competitors endure a brutal plummet off of a cliff, none the worse for wear. This all ends with the titular scene of Homer on the hydrant and Bart introduces Pepe to Tom. I loved the idea that the two were just gonna walk away without realizing the obvious potential match up and as further proof of how long it has been since I've seen this I actually thought they did. As it is I kinda wish Bart had left well enough alone. The episode ends, appropriately enough, with father and son reunited, their bond stronger than ever.
Just a few stray things I noticed that I really liked or felt worth mentioning here:
1.)Krusty in the crowd during the Tom and Bart baseball scene, particularly where his mouth is open, looks unintentionally hilarious.
2.)The obvious Ren and Stimpy cameo, which actually also dates the episode, was nice.
3.)The scene with Lisa at Grampa's has a picture of Bea Simmons from "Old Money," a very nice little piece of continuity.
4.)Another appearance of Nelson's dad, I think he must have several different designs. Nelson also sounds strangely different here.
5.)This one at times reminded me of several much later episodes, only vastly superior, including Bart Star, The Regina Monologues, and O Brother Where Bart Thou? The first two were only for a single scene, but this reminded me of Where Bart Though quite a lot, likely because of the similarities with Pepe and Charlie and the two agencies. As stated I feel that this is indeed superior to them all, and to the first two rather easily, but I should point out that at least Where Bart Though is another episode that I really do enjoy very much.
I have been watching almost nothing but episodes from Seasons 10 and onward for quite a long time now and in case you somehow haven't caught on by now I have to admit that much of this episode came as a big surprise to me. I had not bothered to watch an episode from this era in such a long amount of time that the art, voices, and even feel of the show felt so very different and refreshing that I couldn't help but love it. That isn't meant to discourage the later years of course, but man was this fun to watch tonight. A great, great episode definitely deserving of a 5/5.
"Brother From The Same Planet", written by John Vitti and directed by Jeff Lynch, is, like season 4's other more lacking episodes, perfectly enjoyable if not just missing that extra something. The story revolves around Bart and Homer, who both end up taking part in the Bigger Brother scheme, almost as a way to spite one another, after Homer forgets to pick Bart up from football (ie. soccer) practice.
Humour is undoubtedly the strongest aspect of the episode, despite not being spectacular. "Planet" exhibits many examples of classic era humour, though it tends to come from more wacky and almost off the wall scenes than most of its contemporaries; the fight scene being just one example. The joke where Tom and Homer brawl, which leads them to fall off a cliff - and then somehow make their way up again - is the best example of this. Whilst this was funny (and included the funniest scene in the episode: Homer smashing antiques in the antique store), I found myself more fond of the character based humour in the episode, which mainly came from Homer's stupidity when helping Pepi. For example:
"Oh Papa Homer, you are so learn-ed"
"Heh heh heh. Learn'd, son. It's pronounced 'learn'd'."
However, there were examples of funny non-character based humour in the episode, namely the Bigger Brother advert ("He's not coming back" "He might" "Nooo he won't"). Another thing to note is that this episode made many bold cultural references, which at points didn't work for me (probably due to my ignorance in those topics, or maybe because the episode is nigh on 20 years old now). For example: Milhouse and chums chanting "Barton Fink", the nun, Ren and Stimpty, The Shining reference, Bobby Sherman, and when Bart came home and Homer was sitting on the stairs (I don't know what it was from but that was definitely from something). Most of them worked, because you didn't have to "get" them to find them funny, but other moments felt out of place and sorta obvious. On the whole the episode was funny but by no means hilarious.
However, as is the case with most of my complaints directed towards season 4, the plot really let the episode down, which made the episode feel weirdly hollow to me. Maybe it's because I've watched too much O&W episode over the years, but I really prefer more plot-driven episodes (which season 4 seems to lack) to the season 4 style of episodes, which works, but just isn't for me.
Lisa's sub plot felt completely unnecessary. Whilst it was a nice to see a more girly side to Lisa, it delivered maybe one laugh from me (Homer's line about the jukebox) and really reeked of a way to fill time. The episode really would have benefited without it; it would have allowed more development towards Bart and Homer's falling out, and perhaps would have stopped the plot from just hovering around one spot and help it move on.
As it stands though, "Planet" has problems with its plot: namely the lack of development towards the inclusion of the Bigger Brother scheme in to the plot (whilst it didn't bother me that much as I can imagine Bart doing it impulsively in a brief moment of anger, it would have been nice to have one extra scene, perhaps) and the fact much of the episode is just Bart spending time with Tom, and Pepi with Homer. It's funny, but it doesn't progress the plot, really.
On a more positive note, the animation in this episode was great and really expressive. For example, Bart going to hide under the tree was nice bit of fluid movement, as was Homer throwing the starfish. The action really went hand in hand with the animation, which was visually exciting. My favourite individual moments were:
Loved this, it was out of place in a 'good' way.
This scene was great, Homer's really expressive. Not to mention his kooky laugh.
It seems Lisa too had kooky laugh syndrome in this episode.
The ice cream slowly dripping down Bart's head as he gets even angrier at Homer was a nice touch.
I just liked Lisa's stance here, it was.... cute.
Essentially, "Brother From The Same Planet" is perfectly enjoyable but its plot lets it down. However, humour-wise and characterisations-wise it was good if not spectacular (though I would have liked to see Homer recognise himself as perhaps being a bad father a bit more instead of just continuously wanting revenge on Bart). It's also pretty wacky for the time, which has mixed results - though everything turns out fine, the ending with Homer and Bart being very realistic and a nice touch, it, as stated almost hollows out the plot and the conflict of the episode. Even so, thanks to humour, decent characterisations, and an okay plot and pacing (I think I've made it sound a lot worse than it is), "Planet" gets a slightly generous:
that melting scene always freaked me out as a kid...
anyway i am home sick today so i will watch and review this one later
YOU EDIOT! You tried to KILL me MAN!!
Directed by Jeff Lynch, underated genius of The Simpsons, assistant director T[om] Norval Mazzocco.
Holy hell! This list is INTENSE.
Sue Bielienberg contributed the short sequence with Bart running out to go to a 'father son picnic'.
Sue appears to also be invovled with the scene where Homer and Marge are calculating phone bills.
This is the only episode where Sue worked for Jeff Lynch.
Most all the scenes of Homer and Pepe together are done by Lynch's top man, Steve Mealue.
Steve also does a lengthy sequence at the marina where Homer teases the dolphin and encounters Bart.
Steve finishes the episode with a happy ending for Homer and Bart.
Ed Olivares does alot of work on this episode with his sightly ears. Olivares handles all the scenes of Bart playing soccer and waiting for Homer at the begining.
That dramatic soap opera-esque encounter, where Homer calls Bart out for his galavanting, is also by Olivares.
Also "Don't say revenge" at the signup desk.
Ed does the scene where Homer and Tom start fighting at the marine park.
Last edited by zartok-35; 08-09-2011 at 02:41 PM.
"traB pu kciP" is by Lance Kramer.
Lance also did some parts of the Bobby Sherman scene.
Mike Marcantel does the Peanut brittle inventory sequence, where Skinner learns the severity of Lisa's phone problem.
Eric Keyes does the scene where Homer finally realizes he must go to get Bart, and streaks out of the house.
Eric and Nasty Matt do the sequence where Lisa has to control her hotline addiction. "Must you forever be dialing that phone?!"
Then Matt comes again where Homer tries to reason with Bart.
I think Matt also does that "I'm on my way!" scene near the start of the episode.
Last edited by zartok-35; 08-09-2011 at 02:38 PM.
'Brother From The Same Planet', directed by Jeffrey Lynch and written by Jon Vitti, is an episode from the second half of the beloved fourth season of the show. The main plot, which is about Bart who feels angry at and let down by Homer and gets a 'bigger brother' named Tom while Homer later on gets a 'little brother' to get back at Bart, is quite a solid and entertaining story that holds up pretty well. The subplot which deals with Lisa's addiction to the 'Corey Hotline' phone sevice is, while not really so funny and rather weak compared to the main plot, pretty okay and entertaining as well. While I don't think I would classify this episode as one of my favorites of the season, I must say that it definitely is enjoyable and some really funny moments throughout despite not being packed with gags so overall, it's a good episode despite not being one of the the greatest accomplishments of the season.
Animation-wise, the episode is rather strong for being from one of the early years of the show when the animation was not as stellar as it was several years later; there are some really nice effects (such as the storm clouds after Bart's soccer game, the following rain which looks really nice and Homer spotting Bart and Tom's hang glider with his binoculars; the effect there was great) as well as a bunch of rather effectful shots, solid uses of high low and high angles as well as shadowing/lighting (some expressions on the characters' faces were also pretty great); overall, it is quite a well-animated episode and it all makes it feel a lot more atmospheric and, well, cinematical. The episode also has two pretty unsettling imaginary moments that were quite effectful; Homer finding Bart's skeleton at the soccer field and when his face melts ("Now how about a hug?!"). The pacing is pretty good, the voiceacting is solid (Homer's tone when he says "Haven't you?, haven't you?, Look at me!" to Bart is pretty unique to this episode) and the characterizations are rather solid; none of the characters were really off as far as I can tell. One thing I like is how Homer tends to switching between being oafish, happy and careless and being more angry and serious as as for the other Simpsons and the rest of the characters starring in this episode, they are also portrayed well. Tom, voiced by the late Phil Hartman, was a nice one-time character: I think it would have been cool if Tom Cruise voiced him as intended but Phil did a solid job voicing the character instead; I also like that they gave him a humorous scene (the one where he saves the starfish). Pepi, voiced by Tress MacNeille (surprise, surprise), was also a good one-timer and served his purpose well.
Regarding the jokes and the gags of the episode, there's quite a bit and it's no surprise since it's from the fourth season of the show, which was when the successful comedy style of the show was in full bloom. Here's some of my favorites; The female Homer driving her car and singing, the exploding nun (If i'm not mistaken, one of the first instances of something/someone randomly blowing up), all the 'Pick Up Bart' stuff ("What the hell is 'Pickabar'?"), Homer running outside naked followed by Ned commenting that he can see Homer's 'doodle', Homer lamenting about his subscription to the record club, "Uhhh, this is better than Dart Day.", Bart firing the 'Neural Disruptor' gun at Martin ("I wouldn't give him any homework for a while."), "I have a horsie... heeeh, heeeh, heeeh.""Wuss!", Homer taking a drink and saying "We'll see" to Bart who's asking him what he's gonna do (the way it is pulled off is really funny), Homer's brain leaving after Homer states 'revenge' as the reason to get a little brother which was the reason his brain didn't want him to reveal, Skinner crazily going on about his mother ("I think we should go"), "Just like Oscar the Grouch!", The exchange between Pepi and Homer ("I love you, Papa Homer.""I love you too, Pepsi.""Pepi.""Pepi."), the dialogue about the swing and how Bart was supposedly faking it (quite disturbingly funny when I learned what it alludes to), Homer pestering the dolphin before attacking it after it swipes his hotdog, the shark swimming by and eating all the starfish that Tom just helped (his "d'oh!" is icing on the cake), one of the early reports (sent in by some 'drunken frat boys') of the fight at the aquarium stating that one of the fighters is a giant lizard, Homer briefly forgetting the fight and starting to smash things in an antique store, Tom and Homer fighting down into and up from a canyon (so very cartoonish) and the iconic scene of Homer breaking his back against a fire hydrant ("This is even more painful than it looks")
The climax of the episode when Homer and Tom starts fighting around the town is pretty wacky and brings my thoughts towards many of the Scully episodes where the conflict was resolved with an action scene, but this worked really well as something leading up to the end and I liked how Bart brings Tom and Pepi together while he goes home along Homer and sits on the couch with a strengthened bond; it's a fine way to wrap up the episode. However, I must admit that the subplot, which is all right and pretty good, feels a tad unnecessary and could have been removed since it does feel sort of filler-esque; I wouldn't have minded if they instead gave some extra time to the main plot about the father-son conflict and saved this subplot for another episode. All in all, I don't think that the episode is completely perfect, but it has a solid central plot, some really funny moments as well as lines and is also quite entertaining during it's twenty-two minutes; definitely a good and rather solid episode despite the fact that in my opinion, it's not one of the very highlights of the season.
Last edited by CousinMerl; 08-11-2011 at 12:04 AM.
there's a distinct lack of resolution within the story. bart, unhappy with homer and wanting to gain revenge, sees homer get hurt and then declares, "gee dad, i didn't want you to get hurt." then it's over. i can somewhat accept homer forgiving bart, and getting over the whole thing pretty easily, because it's within homer's nature to do so. i can't accept bart doing that though, given that the entire timespan of the episode prior, which must have been at least a month or so, has bart consistently and highly (and justifably) resentful toward homer. but seeing his father get hurt is enough to end the conflict.
that'd be okay if there was some kind of indication throughout the episode that bart was simply getting over it (though it'd sure make for an ordinary story), but there isn't, and as far as i can remember the only indication of that sort was bart's expression at the very end of that "higher dad!" scene.
the plot was resolved in a very contrived manner then. there's no reason to the conclusion of that narrative arc, and that's bad storytelling.
i believe it was either jean or vitti who, on the commentary track, said that this episode had a very flat table read and didn't come across as very funny. outside of the first act, i'd probably agree. now, i'm aware that this episode is a bit of a favourite and i'm open the idea that i'm plain wrong about this plot business. i don't think this has even been widely discussed. but as it stands, i buy my reason.
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Also of interest:
My grades and reviews of every episode from seasons 1-7
Animation question!: were both of these parts animated by the same person since both characters have that wierd eye-thingy going on when they laugh?;
Wow, I'll be faster the next time.
Steve Mealue did Homer, and Lance Kramer did the Lisa scene. Acting like this would stem from the prefferences of Jeff Lynch instead of the animator.
so, i signed up for this, then forgot to post in it/was too lazy to come up with a well-formulated review to complement all of yours. However...as Raspberry has informed me it is my week to choose an episode I nominate...
The Trouble With Trillions, an episode I love, but many hate. This will inspire me to actually participate this week
Very interesting choice hughes, and I too actually really like Trillions. I look forward to this weekend's discussion.
Great choice. I remember the first time I saw it I hated it, but on second viewing I actually warmed to it, so it will be interesting to see what the third viewing will be like.
Also nice to see some season 9 up for viewing; it's a season that's loved by some and dismissed by others. Should bring up some good debate, I hope.
A solid choice; I'm predicting this will ignite an interesting discussion/debate sessions (they seem to work the best with episodes from season 8,9 and later).
Good choice of an often over-looked episode
I still have a quick question about the episode of this week.
Skeleton Bart in the beginning was disturbing, but that transvestite Homer was even more disturbing and if all of this was a reference to something, well... I'm totally clueless. Was it?
I notice an overabundance of crossdressing in S4 though. (Bart as a girl to save Marge out of jail in his fantasy or Grampa as a female dancer performing in front of Hitler in his fantasy)
Weird temporary obsession of the writers in S4 I'd say.
I watched the episode a few days ago but didn't have time to comment. Here's a few things I have to say before it's time to move on to the next one...
There's a lot to love about Brother From the Same Planet. Interestingly at a time when they were still tinkering with just exactly what the characters were, the characterizations are perfect as with pretty much every Jean/Reiss episode. Despite the conflict I really do empathize with the positions of really everyone in this story. Homer makes a mistake, but more out of endearing absent-mindedness, Bart feeling betrayed by his father and acting rash as I'm sure at least some of us have felt at times (though I'm sure most of us didn't go so far as to call a big brother agency), Lisa actually being drawn in by mainstream tween vices, and of course Marge pretty much the bystander. I really like the dynamic as it feels like the family has something to them. This wasn't some crazy adventure, but rather intertwining events in their lives.
I didn't have a problem with the ending. I totally buy what seems almost like a TV trope where after the main characters have gone through such an ordeal, perhaps including some level of physical confrontation, there's a calm after the storm and the ensuing bond arises not necessarily out of solving the problem, but in that normalcy has been re-established after exhausting the feud. I also liked the touch how Homer fighting Tom leads to a sense of admiration in Bart.
I haven't touched too much on individual moments. From "I'm on my way" to "Don't say revenge" to the father-son spin on a lover spat, there's plenty of great stuff, but I'd like to say I always find the "Do you have him in blonde?" absolutely hilarious. It somehow manages to be cute and dark at the same time in raising the superficiality of selecting a kid. Lisa's story wasn't quite as memorable in this respect but I still thought it was an effective, charming B-story.
The interesting thing I found when rewatching was how fast the episode seemed to go. Certain shows just seem to whisk by so swiftly, and I can't reason it down simply to entertainment. It could be that at this time the show was so fast-paced with many scenes lasting merely seconds long. Logic might tell you that should mean the episode feels longer by offering more, but perhaps it's leave less time for everything to resonate. Nevertheless, I find something really hilarious and appealing about the style that was present in season 4, and it remains my favourite season of the show. Brother From the Same Planet fits right in there in a long string of classics. 5/5 (A)
To view various lists about my Simpsons opinions, click the link below.
Season 9's Trouble with Trillions is now up for discussion.
The Trouble with Trillions
Written by Ian Maxtone-Graham and directed by Swinton Scott, The Trouble with Trillions is a typical Scully gag episode that ends up having a wacky premise and even wackier results. However, I find that it is actually funnier and more entertaining than many other episodes from the same era that could be described in a similar way.
We begin at New Years where Ned Flanders has decided to already turn in his taxes. By April 15 the Post Office is swarmed with several Springfieldians who have not yet filed their taxes. Homer openly mocks them only to learn that he too has not yet done his taxes. He panics and barely gets them in in time but the government is not fooled by his fraud and he is arrested by the IRS. Homer meets Agent Johnson and is recruited by the FBI rather than sent to prison. His first mission proves successful when he gets Charlie from the nuclear plant arrested.
Now the true plot of the episode kicks in as Homer is given a top secret mission. He learns of a trillion dollar bill made after World War II which was stolen by Mr. Burns. Homer is sent to Burns to try and find some evidence regarding the bill. Burns at first tries to release the hounds and later scald Homer but quickly thinks he is actually there to write an article on him in Collier's Magazine. He eventually reveals the bill to Homer and is promptly arrested. However Homer has a change of heart and saves Burns and the two go on the run.
Homer and Burns get Smithers for help and decide to leave the country with the trillion dollar bill. They decide to go to Cuba and meet with Fidel Castro. He steals the bill and they are left floating on a raft trying to get back to the states. We end the episode with Burns assuring us he will bribe a jury when he goes on trial.
So yeah as I mentioned earlier this one admittedly has one hell of a crazy story. This would probably bother me more except I honestly find it very entertaining. I think this is helped by what are in my opinion solid characterizations for Homer and Mr. Burns. Burns is appropriately ruthless at first when speaking with Smithers and later trying to attack Homer. Later he makes extremely dated references as usual that I also love such as Collier's Magazine, or not knowing Batista was gone from Cuba. This might actually be my favorite Burns episode throughout the Scully Era. Homer is nice if a little dumb here as well. He is given some poor throw away lines but I really like him here for the most part. I love whenever he speaks into the recorder and when he almost takes the suicide pill rather than walking. His attempt to use the trillion dollar bill for the soda machine and placing the one FBI agents hand on the others ass and then giggling are also great.
The trillion dollar bill idea is successfully interesting, at least to me, and I love the old film we get to watch. Truman's line about America's allies who fought so poorly and surrendered so readily is one of my all time favorite Simpsons lines and one I regularly quote. It is without a doubt my favorite joke of the episode. However the initial tax idea is also appropriately funny and entertaining. As was mentioned in the episode's audio commentary credit must be given to Harry Shearer who really has quite a few roles in this one. Just off the top of my head I'm almost certain he plays at least: Burns, Smithers, Flanders, Otto, Dr. Hibbert, Kent Brockman, Agent Johnson, Harry Truman, and one of the Cuban officials in this episode. It probably isn't but I have to wonder if this might be the episode in which he's played the most roles.
Aside from that there are several more small touches throughout this that I enjoy. These include: the guys at Moe's when Homer is arrested and their chat, Homer, Burns, and Smithers in the plane, Smithers' apartment with the Malibu Stacy collection, Milhouse getting a picture of himself shirtless, Professor Frink's appearance, and several others. Most of these are not actual laugh out loud moments but I appreciate them anyway. I'm not sure why I like these moments except that they just feel appropriately enjoyable to me. I have read many of the criticisms of this episode in its review thread and I can certainly understand them as this is a fairly wacky Scully premise. Still this is one of my favorite Season 9 episodes and as said in my initial section I just usually find it very funny and entertaining throughout. I'm gonna say 4.5/5, rounded up to a 5.
PS: I know he has appeared at least in several later episodes, but I think this was probably Charlie's final speaking appearance on the show.
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