Oi oi oi… how y’all doing? One of the features we like to have on the site is Episode Recaps of the newest Simpsons episodes. Of course with all the holiday goodness, we’ve fallen a little behind and I aim to fix that over the next week or so. You can see previous recaps here. I’ve caught up with most but wanted to keep our recaps a bit more current and thought I’d knock out the most recent episode, Season 26, Episode 10: “The Man Who Came to Be Dinner”. I know some people prefer to watch these on their own so only click more if you don’t mind SPOILERS. I know everyone can’t watch them so sometimes reading them can be a nice replacement. Also fun to see what others took away from an episode.
So I really need to start this recap with a disclaimer. I go to the real Disneyland often and also am a huge fan of anything Halloween-related on The Simpsons i.e. Kang and Kodos. Reading around the ultraweb, this episode wasn’t hailed as the Greatest. Episode. Ever. but I actually disagree. I thoroughly enjoyed all the goodness and my review was written with that happiness intact. Ultimately, all us puny humans are entitled to our own ideas, opinions and thoughts but I figured I’d start this off by saying this gets SIX TENTACLES UP from the Fuzzball. Most of the images are the promotional shots but I added a few where I thought they had to be seen. Now on to the recap…
The couch gag cracked me up. The Simpsons family sits in an art gallery where all the characters are expressed as art fitting their character. Homer clicks the remote and the art is replaced with television channels they would rather be watching. If this isn’t a great commentary on society, I don’t know what is. Go check out some art peeps. TV is great but there are so many extra mediums available to gander at and enjoy. My favorite piece of art is Vesuvius from Portici by Joseph Wright of Darby. Super cool.
Anywho… the episode starts with our favorite family driving to Dizzneeland: The Happiest Hell on Earth. Bart, Lisa and Maggie are taunting Homer with the classic “Are we there yet?” Homer’s responses are great and the kids sleeping while their myPad keeps it going is great. Damn technology! Of course, this reminds me of the kids in “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou” (S2:E15).
The family parks in the Ethnic Princess section of the parking lot. For Disney nuts, the parking is in a ginormous structure with a tram that takes you to the theme park. I love watching the long trip for the Simpsons. Universal’s Studio’s crazy Starway also gets lampooned. After a tram, helicopter and boat ride, the family is finally there. Too bad Mama didn’t make it. After a security screening, acorn plant and chipmunk beating, the family is off to the magic. I loved the Simpsonized Main Street. Aww heck, no outside pacifiers but at least the rental is only $25… jeesh. There’s so much hilarity making fun of Disney here.
– The first ride is Mr. Bug’s Slow Crawl. I think this might be making fun of Small World and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. The background music is great.
– Fat Tony watches Michael try to pull the sword from the stone. Gotta love Tony making it happen by gunpoint. If you’ve never watched the tourists try to pull the sword in front of the carousel at Disney, you haven’t lived lol.
– Lisa expresses how Disney has changed since they bought the rights to Cosmic Wars. Love, love, love the Country Storm Trooper Jamboree, Jim-Jam Bonk’s Wild Ride, Jabba the Tiki Hutt and Yoda. “Purchased for four billion I was yet still hoody ragged where I do this.”
– Pirates of the Caribbean! Oh wait, it’s been renamed Politically Correct. Lisa explains it was revamped because of massive complaints from two people. All the pirates chant “no means no” as they recycle, are hung for bias and possibly love other men. Way back in 1997, the ride actually was made more politically correct and I remember both sides of the argument. I’m glad I can remember when it was more risqué.
– The restaurant they eat at it is Kooky Cat’s Deli-Cat-Essen, possibly making fun of Goofy’s Kitchen. The real treat are the two posters seen: Song of the South Bronx and Tom Bosley’s Island. Disney’s most racist movie is lampooned along with Tom Sawyer’s Island aka the location my mother used to take me to to wear me out back when it was really unsafe and fun. Homer does have some mad skills with the tiny cups of catsup.
– Hall of Dizznee C.E.O.’s, No Shareholder Questions and a long line to boot. Definitely a mockery of the Hall of Presidents.
– Lisa expresses the coolest thing the family has done in six hours is stand in the Cool Zone. While Disneyland doesn’t have these, many California theme parks do. Gotta love the cool zone being over capacity so the tourist are melted with acid and the mouse ears reused. I worry the theme parks might start doing this. Also wonder if mouse ears really are acid proof.
– The Let-Go-Loop. Yet another Frozen joke.
– Maybe my favorite joke is Futureland… I mean Out-Of-Date Land. Too funny and any Disneyland local who’s discussed Tomorrowland knows this discussion.
– Homer mentions Churro County and Toonton Abbey (Closed Due to Anglophobia). We also see even the benches lines are too long.
Man oh man, this whole bit had me laughing and I’ve re-watched it way too many times. Basically saying Dizzneeland is a skoshi lame and a lotta greedy. I think the best is I felt the writer’s love for what they were trashing. The Cosmic Wars stuff is my highlight of the entire episode. Anywho… Bart finds a ride that actually looks decent with no line… Rocket To Your Doom. Of course, it’s just a cleverly disguised UFO that blasts the Simpsons into outer space.
So the family is being taken to Kang and Kodos’ home planet… Rigel VII. A great scene ensues a la “Deep Space Homer” (S5:E15) but instead of Homer space-eating potato chips, he’s thwarted by Bart and Maggie. Duh duh duh duh duh… crunch d’oh crunch d’oh. The complex calculations of hyperspace apparently involve Rigellian XXX. We see the Asteroids game, Silver Surfer, and Rocket J. Squirrel too. Homer’s lightsaber/hand grower is really great too. Is it canon now that Marge has a hand hiding in her hair?
The Simpsons are able to breath Rigel VII’s atmosphere by taking pills. Alas, they’ll never grow tentacles. Rigel VII is cool. Traffic, billboards, spacy stuff, purple landscape and trees able to be changed to green, blue or orange at will, seven suns. Everything is foreign but still in English like Canada. Behold their miracle of birth. Gross and weird just like real childbirth but the dumping of the dead into a river of their own drool on a sacred journey to the chopper-upper is pretty weird too. Gotta love the tiny Rigellian who sounds like bagpipes… even when he smokes!
The Simpsons are displayed as zoo animals. They play Twister and Lisa meets a Rigellian version of herself. The family meets the trained Humanologist who really knows nothing about humans. Homer does need to stop dropping his pants for anyone who says they’re a doctor. We learn young Thinglings (Rigellian kiddos) are taught the wisdom of the universe: physics, mathematics, FORTRAN… “the greatest of the programming languages”. I looked up that last one and it is a highly popular programming language that is used for supercomputers. Of course the whole thing is a set-up for the family to learn one of them is to be eaten. The family votes and Homer gets the chance to be a stand-up guy and vote from himself aka “The Boy’s Father, Me” lol. We also see Maggie is a good artist. Homer’s request for a last meal? Rabbit… lots of rabbit. Sorry Bunny.
Next is a little send-up of The Hunger Games and Homer wearing a bacon kilt. He’s set to be eaten in a delicious chesse fondu. I really love the Rigel VII Children’s Choir’s song. Homer is saved at the last minute by a transporter beam. We all knew the first one wouldn’t contain Homer’s chub but it was still funny to watch. The second one works though and Homer is transported away to….
The family is jailed and Bart thwarts a strangling by one of the K’s by tying his tentacles in a knot lol. Kang and Kodos are surprised to learn the K is silent. They’ve been saying kitchen this whole time. Would that make them Ang and Odos? Meanwhile Homer finds himself with The Resistance and also Space Broccoli. They like to party in the secret rebel base a la The Matrix Reloaded. One thing you may not have noticed is the resistance Rigellians don’t drool. Homer explains his primitive but beautiful culture. Humanity’s Achievements according to him: free refills, pre-mixed peanut butter and jelly, instant replay in Major League Baseball, Grindr, did he mention “free refills” and Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band. Earth’s greatest achievement: moon rocks and the golden age of radio.
The hippy Rigellians offer Homer a one-person ship back to Earth. It is equipped to fulfill Homer’s deepest desires which include pie, donuts, hamburgers, a completed chores list, Duff beer, baseballs, hot dogs pancakes, an electric guitar and amp, hockey on the big TVs, a calendar with Marge in lingerie, the Complete Works of Shakespeare made of chocolate, a golden hammock AND……
Ned, Rod and Todd Flanders hanging by nooses? I’d be a bit outraged here if it all didn’t evaporate to show Homer’s true deepest desire is his family sitting on the Simpson’s couch. He couldn’t enjoy calorie one without his family. He’s off to rescue them.
Meanwhile, the golden rule states that if the chosen one escapes, his family is eaten as forfeit. If he returns, they’re all eaten. Lisa is so right that the system is rigged against them. Homer licks off his glaze hilariously to delay the eating but part of his magnificent behind was pre-sliced as he was sleeping. Turns out his @$$ is most disagreeable because the family’s unhealthy fast food diet made them completely composed of indigestible toxins. Even Lisa. Her lunches of humus and rice cakes combine in her stomach to create formaldehyde and animal fat. The Rigellian Queen takes the first bite and dies. The family is sent home. Thank goodness the UFO controls are just like Maggie’s busy box. The rest is a love letter to Star Trek fans as the credits roll. Lots of images and I only recognized a few. Gotta love Marge as a blue slave girl, Homer fighting Gorn, Akira as fencing Mr. Sulu (all hail George Takei!) and Milhouse as a big-eared Ferengi. I know some of you are big Trek nerds so feel free to highlight exactly what was shown. You can check out this link to see the whole sequence.
So that wraps it all up. Lots of words about an episode I really liked. Honestly, I left out a lot that I thought was super funny. I truly laughed and laughed while watching this one even on repeat viewings. This episode makes Kang and Kodos canon I suppose. We could chalk it up though as a bonus Treehouse of Horror episode. Up to you. Loved seeing Disneyland spoofed and more of the Rigellians. Rigel VII certainly looked different than what we saw in the In The Na’vi segment of Treehouse of Horror XXII (S23:E3).
Interestingly, according to showrunner Al Jean… this episode was considered as a concept for a second Simpsons movie. He joked on twitter we got to enjoy the second movie 1/4 for free. I think it’s a better episode even if it took two years from idea to airing. Good news is they still are thinking of another Simpsons Movie! What did y’all think of it? Don’t forget episodes can be found on Hulu Plus and the FXNow app. Stay classy as usual and much love.
TTFN… Wookiee out!