The Great Louse Detective
couch gag: When Homer presses the remote control, the family (and couch) are transported to prehistoric times, Roman times and then back to the present.
Director: Steven Dean Moore
Kelsey Grammer as Sideshow Bob
Synopsis: Someone is intent on murdering Homer, and it’s up to Sideshow Bob to find out who.
Discussion: Well, this is a breath of fresh air! Instead of Bob plotting to kill Bart yet again (yawn), Bob is hired by the police dept to find who is trying to kill Homer. Only a sick, twisted mind could find another sick, twisted mind.
Who can forget Frank Grimes? He was a new employee at the power plant but was disgusted to see Homer getting away with pretty much everything. Attempting to demonstrate an act of stupidity, Grimey was unfortunately killed in a workplace accident. Turns out, he liked hookers and has a son who is now attempting to murder Homer.
It’s actually a really good plot and takes the focus off the Bart-Bob relationship. However, the writers did address this at the end by having Sideshow Bob attempt to murder Bart but bursting into song instead. There’s little to dislike about this episode even though it never really reaches the heights of previous seasons. I like that the focus is switched from Bob trying to kill Bart, one of Homer’s many enemies is out to kill him and everyone loves a good detective story- all the clues are right there in front of you. The show should have a few more whodunnit eps.
Who Shot Mr Burns? Part 1
This is not a clue… or is it?
Couch gag: The family run against a repeating background
Director: Jeffrey Lynch
Tito Puente as himself
Synopsis: The school is found to have oil underneath it, but Mr Burns steals the oil and blocks the sun, giving the residents of Springfield plenty to be angry about.
Discussion: To date, this is the only 2 part episode. It’s also the season cliffhanger for season 6. The episode borrows the title from ‘Who Shot J.R.?’ plot from Dallas which kept viewers guessing over the hiatus. It shares similarities: Mr Burns and JR Ewing have a lot of enemies, who was the one who fired the shot?
In this case, the culprit wasn’t revealed until after the US summer, leaving fans to wait about 4 months to ponder the question. According to Wikipedia, there were competitions and websites dedicated to deducing the answer and discussing clues (and the clues are there if you look for them). Here in Australia, no such thing existed, we were left to read articles from magazines about the cliffhanger, and by the time Part 2 aired here, it was pretty much a well-known fact who shot Mr Burns.
Anyhoo, everyone in town hates Mr Burns. He’s robbed the school of much-needed money, his oil rig has forced the closure of Moe’s tavern, he’s fired faithful manservant Smithers, Groundskeeper Willie has lost his job because of Mr Burns, and then there’s that little thing where he’s permanently blocked out the sun to increase the town’s consumption of energy. After the shot is fired and Mr Burns collapses on the sundial, Marge remarks that everyone in town is a suspect, and she’s right. I’m assuming if you’re reading this, you already know the answer, but let’s pretend we don’t know and we’ll discuss the solution tomorrow.