Couch gag: Homer pulls off his face, revealing himself to be Sideshow Bob. Wielding a knife, Bob chases Bart around the living room.
Director: Raymond S. Persi
Synopsis: Fearing Homer might die in an accident, Marge starts saving money as a nest egg. Homer spends the money as a down payment on a RV.
Discussion: You know, there are some episodes where I really want to poke my eyes with a pen just so I don’t have to watch the end of it. It’s not even train-wreck TV, where it’s so awful you can’t help but watch. Still, I made a commitment and I’m gonna see it through.
Marge and Homer are fighting about money, and money spent on a RV. The Simpsons have owned a RV before, with hilarious results. Likewise, Marge and Homer have temporarily split up before, only last time Homer was living in the treehouse. They’ve also saved money before… in so many episodes I’ve lost count. So, the themes aren’t new but that’s OK, we expect some recycled ideas now.
What we don’t expect is for Marge to swap 300 cans of mushroom soup for her children. In sitcom world, humour lies between what is expected from a real-life situation, and what happens in the fictional world. But it can go awry: even though the audience doesn’t expect 300 cans of mushroom soup to be swapped for Bart and Lisa, it’s not funny. It’s pathetic (and, incidentally, the height of my urge to poke my eyeballs with a pen).
Typically, even in the worst episodes, there’s one or two redeeming features such as a funny line, image or song. Nup, not in this episode. Not even Homer’s battle with spiders in the garage and Bart’s weird predictive drawing of Homer lying under the garage door (WTF was that about?) I wish for train-wreck TV- that would be better than this.