Couch gag: The living room is made of sand, which collapses as soon as the Simpsons sit down.
Director: Mark Kirkland
Synopsis: Moe’s bar is closed by the Health Dept, leaving Homer to remortgage the house to bring the bar up to Code. Marge takes over the business, gets a little too close to Moe and Homer struggles to win her back.
Discussion: The Simpsons works best when there’s heart in the episode. This ep is full of heart: Homer loves Moe’s bar but he loves Marge more, and will do anything to win her back.
There’s quite a few brilliant moments here: the opening sequence where Homer has finally paid off the mortgage, the funeral for Moe’s bar, Marge’s costume as a British dame running a quaint pub, Homer on the crane trying to catch the plane, a CGI sequence as a movie trailer for the fictional film Cards and Homer’s business card saying “Plus Size Butt Model”. All these make the episode better than average and show there’s still some (not a lot) life left in the old girl yet. For the record, I was convinced I hadn’t seen this episode before, but seeing Homer’s business card convinced me that I had- I know this because I used Plus Size Butt Model as a handle on a forum that I frequent.
There’s always been a subtext between Marge and Moe, even if Marge has never realised it. This episode explores Moe’s unrequited feelings for Marge, which is something different. Until now, there’s just been inferences and implications with no real substance, so I’m glad that finally, we have something tangible. Moe’s always been unlucky in love but generally he’s not a bad person… as long as he’s not sitting around feeling sorry for himself. That bit gets real old, real fast.
We know Homer really loves Marge, he’d do anything for her and his mission to follow Marge to Aruba to win her back is just plain lovely. It’s always the simple plots that work the best in this show. Marge’s final speech to Moe is also nice; I wondered if she was going to set him up with Selma?