I will not “let the dogs out”
Couch gag: As the family sit down, the wall spins around to reveal Ned Flanders shackled upside down, chained by a laughing mad scientist.
Director: Bob Anderson
Michael Keaton as Jack Crowley
Bruce Vilanch as himself
Charles Napier as the warden
Robert Schimmel as a prisoner
Synopsis: Marge helps a prisoner explore his artistic side.
Discussion: This episode is reminiscent of the recent ep where Marge helps the bikie gang. She tries her hardest to let low-lifes have a fresh start, but it inevitably leads to disaster (it’s part of the narrative convention).
Anyhoo, Marge’s interest in art is explored a bit more here when she teaches an art class to prisoners and discovers a sensitive side to Jack Crowley (as an aside, I suddenly wanted to watch Beetlejuice after watching this ep…) who has been convicted of shooting Apu, and later released under parole into Marge’s care.
I like the ep. It shows Marge in the role she does best: mothering. She’s also shown as somewhat naive but in a good way as she believes the best of everyone even when the culprit is caught red-handed. Homer’s chiropractic subplot is beautifully done. Chiropractic is a controversial practice with some practitioners believing a lot of woo… and for some reason a lot of chiropractors are actually named Steve (my first job after I moved to Qld was receptionist to a chiro named Dr Steve!) I understand that the subplot caused controversy among the chiropractic community, but this is The Simpsons: they poke fun at everyone and everything. It’s only when you’re the target audience that you get upset! (Example: Bart vs Australia)
This episode is one of the best of season 12.