Crook and Ladder
I will not look up what teacher makes
Couch gag: The Simpsons are on a conveyor belt going through a carwash.
Director: Lance Kramer
Synopsis: Homer becomes a fireman, and along with Moe, Skinner and Apu, start stealing valuables from places they save.
Discussion: You know when you’re channel surfing and after 20 channels, you start forming your own narrative to link them together? That’s what this episode feels like: a series of disjointed narrative events that take half the episode to get to the point and stay on the same lame premise for the remaining 10 minutes. Boo!
If I died tomorrow, I wouldn’t leave this episode to my worst enemy. I respectfully disagree with Robert Canning, who called the episode “delightful” and “well-crafted”. This ep was all over the place: Marge overreacts and takes away Maggie’s dummy (sorry, pacifier for my US readers) and Maggie goes nuts. Cue smirk for lashing out when object of addiction is taken away. Unable to sleep due to Maggie’s new suck toy, the squeaky dog bone (eww), Homer starts taking a sleeping pill, does some crazy things, destroys the fire dept and ends up as a fireman. This is not “well-crafted”, this is “we have five ideas that can’t be fleshed out so let’s smoosh them together and hope for the best”. The first clue was the opening sequence: when the episode runs a minute or so ‘over time’, the opening sequence is shortened whereas this ep had the full sequence plus a few extra seconds of couch gag where the family went through the car wash. It’s all to eat up time.
There’s nothing fun about the character interractions except for when Apu plays a gag on Moe and Homer, pretending to have died and been reincarnated as a cat, then quipping, “You’ve been Apu’d”. As always, there’s a moral to the story and the kids’ sad faces convince Homer to give up his life of stealing but thankfully it’s short and sweet. Not even Homer’s kooky night time pranks liven the episode.
OK, so I didn’t love the episode. It doesn’t have any great ideas and feels like a bunch of ideas thrown together to make a mediocre episode.