In the Name of the Grandfather
Billboard gag: Dr Nick is holding up babies with the caption “Pay for septuplets and get octuplets free”
Four leaf clovers are not mutant freaks
Couch gag: The Simpsons are paraded like dogs on show and Homer attacks Bart when he wins the blue ribbon
Director: Ralph Sosa
Colm Meaney as Tom O’Flanagan
Glen Hansard as street performer
Marketa Irglova as Eastern European woman
Synopsis: Fearing his days are numbered, Grampa wants to travel to Ireland and have a last beer in his favourite pub. While drunk, Homer and Grampa purchase the pub.
Discussion: Well, to be fair, this episode wasn’t terrible. It just wasn’t very good. While the Simpsons’ journeys to other foreign countries were quite controversial (and frankly, really stupid), this one acts like a giant love letter to Ireland. Were they sucking up? Who knows. The point is (yes, eventually there is a point to this) that Homer and Grampa end up owning the pub. Why they didn’t move this particular plot point 10 minutes forward, I don’t know. Instead there’s a bunch of cliches and stereotypes as filler while waiting for the plot to start.
Due to Homer and Grampa taking so long into the ep to buy the pub, there’s no time to fully explore this. There’s a few random Springfield characters thrown into the mix, an appearance by a Judge who resembles Mr Potato Head and that’s about it. The ep is largely nonsensical, except for Act I which is full of fun and great one liners.
Marge, Lisa and Bart’s side plot (you can’t even call it a subplot) is about them sightseeing. It’s not very interesting; just an excuse to put as many Irish things into the episode as possible. Also, having never seen the film Once, I completely missed the references.
As far as foreign episodes go, this one is pretty much the best in that you can’t really be offended by anything, unless stereotypes of leprechauns are offensive. Flesh out Homer and Grampa’s pub storyline and it might be something half decent. As it stands, it’s only average.