Hey hey friends! Wookiee here and up to my usual antics with another episode recap for my favorite Addicts. This episode recap will cover Season 27, Episode 20: “To Courier with Love”. One of the features we like to have on this site is recaps of new Simpsons episodes for all our friends who can’t watch them immediately or like our silly reviews of them. I love when there are new episodes of the Best. Show. Ever. on TV. It’s my privilege to not only watch new episodes, which I would do with or without this awesome site, but then break them down for all of you. I apologize for the delay with all of these but consider it some fun for the break where there are no new episodes. Without further ado… here’s my thoughts. If you’re not used to the style, it’s basically stream of consciousness style while I watch the episode live. Paragraph breaks usually indicate new scenes. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing about it.
To start this off for accidental clickers who just prefer the synopsis, here’s what my DVR describes this one as: “Homer makes a deal with a travel agent to be the courier of a top secret briefcase to get a discount on a family vacation to Paris.” Here’s a fun little video about the episode.
Now on with the recap. Milhouse is in a bounce house over the opening, Nelson is defacing the ad to say Burly Pooper Towels, Bart is writing that “Dirty Clothes Are Not a Mother’s Day Gift,” and the couch gag is football and Homer getting dogpile tackled.
The Dawn of Time and the Invention of Motherhood. CaveBart and CaveLisa are fighting, CaveMaggie is painting on the walls, and CaveHomer is a lazy sod who is not a good co-parent. Poor CaveMarge. Fifty thousand years later… evolution has done nothing to change the situation. Homer still “Ooks” when Marge wants him to do more. Homer’s laminated chore list says it all.
Homer and the kids are cleaning out the garage. There’s a throw away box, one for donating, and two boxes for Flanders keep and Flanders return. Also the Olmec Head. Lisa finds a valuable antique car in the garage which must have been left by a previous owner. Homer enjoys the spoils of the ancient law of trover (it’s an actual thing… look it up) and goes gallivanting in the Morgan automobile. I really enjoy Homer’s song about a chubby dude in a tiny car. Duff Winter Blend works well for gasoline apparently.
“There’s something truly amazing about you Dad. Everything’s an adventure.” This line sums up Homer perfectly. He just lives one of those kind of lives. “Fortune favors the bald.” Homer goes to share his great day with his beloved but Marge isn’t glad to hear about the day. His life is so fun and hers sucks. Even backrubs with hands that smell like a steering wheel don’t help.
Homer needs the universe to help… and it does. Jay Leno shows up at the door and would like to buy the antique car. Jay buys it, no questions asked, and goes to take it where it will be admired as art… “to my secret underground car depository.”
Homer brings in his haul and goes to do what he does best, “prolong this marriage.” He promises Marge the trip of a lifetime but while he leaves her to daydream, Jay Leno returns and wants his money back because he’s discovered the joys of owning a new Toyota. Homer doesn’t even get the car back because it wasn’t his according to the registry. The police took it and now it’s Wiggum’s turn to drive and sing about a chubby cop in a tiny car. Marge decides she wants to go to “the most romantic city in the world” aka Paris and now Homer is in a conundrum.
Homer heads to the Springfield Travel Agency (We Can Get Back Those Water Bottles the TSA Took). Raphael is there to help Homer with his problem. He hooks up Homer with a trip to Paris for no money by having Homer be a casual carrier. The mob, err, the carrier company pays for airfare and hotel provided a package is delivered and not ever looked at. “For Marge I will make the supreme sacrifice of not doing something.”
The family heads off to the Springfield International Airport for their trip. Raphael brings the package to be delivered and the Simpsons are off to Paris! Marge is so thrilled to be whisked away “to the birthplace of existentialism.” Everything is absolutely great but Homer can’t help looking into the briefcase which has a blue snake inside it. Lisa sees too but Homer silences her with an oxygen mask.
Homer is in a quandary. Can the snake breathe? Yes. Lisa finds out it’s an Amazon blue constrictor… a very rare and endangered species. Homer swears her to secrecy and promises to not let anything happen to the snake. “For the first time a snake has ruined paradise.” The plane lands at Charles de Gaulle Airport (Welcome to France, No Outside Food) and Homer sends the family off to find a cab while he gets the luggage and delivers the package. He meets two Frenchmen, you may recognize César and Ugolin from “The Crepes of Wrath” (S1:E11), who have his money but tell him the snake “will have a fine home… as a belt around the waist of a well-dressed women.” Homer and Lisa run off with the snake and the belt-makers can’t follow because they’re too heavy because of the seven course meal they ate. Lisa is driving a baggage cart and Homer fits right in with four Michelin Men that he is showing the Springfield Tire Fire to. Funny.
Now we get all the beautiful Parisian landscapes that mark this episode. So much eye-pleasing imagery. The Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. Gorgeous. The family is outside the latter. “Man, look at those gargoyles. That’s from back when religion still knew how to scare the crap out of you.” Marge wants to know why Homer still has the briefcase. Homer claims he brought work but Marge just wants one trip that is great. “Not like Australia, Brazil, Japan, London, China, that World’s Fair Bart drove to, that place with the underground jockeys, Itchy & Scratchy Land, outer space…” Homer comes to realize that snake’s shouldn’t live in briefcases and plans to release it to the wild, Lisa suggest the gardens of the Louvre while the child from “The Red Balloon” floats by with balloons and collides with the house from “UP!”
Marge, Bart, and Maggie are dining at the Café des 2 Moulins complete with a drawing of Pepe Le Pew on the wall while Lisa and Homer run their errand. Marge really likes patte and the waiter offers a menu with extra cruelty. Marge decides she can’t stand the thought so Bart takes it outside where starving models pounce on it and then head to Paris Vogue Fashion Week. Bart is inspired to do some pranking.
Lisa and Homer continue their caper. Problem is that Homer can’t figure out the automatic ticket dispenser. Hitting it only makes it switch from speaking in French to angry German. Or maybe it’s regular German, I can never tell.
At Fashion Week, the models are strutting on the catwalk, disappearing as they turn sideways, and shuffling themselves like playing cards. Bart ties a hot dog to a string on a stick and gets the models to dive off the catwalk while running to it. No problem a pneumatic tube can’t fix and Bart has never been happier.
Homer and Lisa go to release the snake. The snake is lazily staying in the briefcase. The Frenchmen find them there because “all tourists come to the Louvre.” Homer says it has great paintings but can’t even name two. Lisa tells the snake belt makers to stop patronizing them. The poachers argue that they treat their animals humanely but I don’t think feeding crocodiles champagne before offing them counts as humane. They may be monsters but they are also “poets, communists, experts on mustard…” While they’re blabbing, Homer and Lisa abscond with the snake. The Frenchmen use the surefire Marco Polo technique to find their prey. Homer can’t help but respond to the call and answer technique but still somehow elude the men.
Homer and Lisa end up at Rue Des Lombards, “home of the three most famous jazz clubs in Paris,” and they hide out in one of them, Duc Lombards. It’s the kind of place where an eight-year-old can be served wine, and the entry fees vary by status (Aficionados: 10 Euros, Poseurs: 20 Euros, Americans: 50 Euros). Lisa takes over the saxamaphone when the soloist collapses. She’s never been happier.
Homer takes Marge on a stroll of Paris past the Arc de Triomphe, Jim Morrison’s grave, and the Place de la Pointillisme. I’m the nerd who is thinking of the song “Out There” from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” while they stroll by the Seine. Homer describes the night well. “Plastered in Paris. There’s no better feeling.” Marge goes to smooch her hubby but Homer has to tell her about the briefcase and how he paid for the trip. He grabs it from where it was resting on a statue of Napoleon and shows her the snake. “This is my Battle of Essling, unless Napoleon had a more famous defeat I’m not aware of.” Homer’s random knowledge in this episode is great. César and Ugolin catch up to them but lose the couple once again as they digress into talking about French things. “This Joie de Vivre is killing us.”
Homer and Marge return to their hotel but the police are waiting in their room. The police are French versions of Wiggum, Eddie, and Lou. “Ooh la la la la la. You have despoiled our supermodels, let an American perform with a French combo, and stolen these poor gentlemen’s snake.” Homer goes to run but there are police with rifles to stop him.
The Frenchmen open the briefcase but the snake is not there. They find nothing when they search the room other than urgent messages from Grampa. The cute poodle police dogs aren’t helpful either. The Simpsons are let go for lack of evidence and French Wiggum sets the dogs on the beltmakers. France worked like a charm to mend the relationships of the Simpson family. It’s no longer “falling apart like your European Union.’ The police leave after giving Homer smooches on the cheek. Our favorite family “finally lucked into a great vacation.” As Homer and Marge smooch happily, we discover she hid the snake in her hair.
The family returns home and Homer has gifts for Carl (a French Coca Cola), Lenny (a miniature Empire State Building from a layover in New York), and Moe (“a belt made out of a blue snake, artificial I think”). Flashback to prehistoric times where we see a cave drawing of the four of them as cavepeople around a fire. CaveMattGroening shows up to sign it. Ook. The End.
I thought this was a fun story and loved the animation and use of HD to do France beautifully. Sure we’ve been to France before in the show (my favorite is Bart’s student exchange in Season One) but I thought this was handled nicely. There’s some French jokes but it’s all in the spirit of Homer doing something nice for his wife. The plot flowed nicely and it was great to see the whole family enjoy a vacation unlike all the one’s Marge listed. Jay Leno’s cameo was fun and I heard he helped with details about the tiny car. Also great that he made fun of his own obsession with cars. Lisa dressed as Madeline was just one of those nice touches I like in episodes like this. Just a fun episode with laughs and heart the way I like my Simpsons to be. What did you think of the episode? I’d be curious to see what any of our friends from France or French-descent thought of it. Sound off in the comments and happy tapping. I’ll be back with another recap soon.
TTFN… Wookiee out!