Wookiee taking a break from schoolwork again to keep up with episode recaps. I know I haven’t been around a ton but at a minimum, my goal is to keep these current. Thankfully the Best. Show. Ever. took a week off so I could not only delay the Halloween episode for the appropriate weekend but could catch up this one before the next new one. 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 and 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. It’s also nice to have a break from research papers and historiography essays plus all the reading and brain-sucking tedium. I stuck to the stream of consciousness format for this. Basically I watch the episode once for my enjoyment and then a couple more times slowly to catch as much as I can while jotting down notes. Without further ado… here’s my thoughts on Season 28, Episode 5 “Trust But Clarify”.
To start this off for accidental clickers who just prefer the synopsis, here’s what an anonymous user on idmb wrote for the episode:
“Lisa and Bart investigate a new candy from Krusty; Homer asks for Marge’s help when he decides to ask for a promotion at the nuclear plant; news anchor Kent Brockman (shaking my head that the DVR said “Ken”) struggles with the changing media world.”
Now on with the random recap observations of yours truly… fair warning, this is SPOILER heavy.
First up… if you don’t get the title it’s making fun of famous words from Ronald Reagan. Trust but verify. This history moments brought to you by me. You’re welcome. In fairness, this title means this episode will make fun of politics in some way. I only wish it had done more.
We start with Stretch Dude and Clobber Girl fighting over “The Simpsons”, the billboard proclaims “Beware Rigged Voting Machines” then “All Voting Machines Fine”, Bart is writing “The First Episode of the Second 600” on the blackboard, and the couch gag is Marge and Lisa forcing Homer into the Springfield Museum of Art for a special exhibit. Lots of modern art that is really cool looking. If I knew more about the types of art I guess I’d say more. Makes me think of my best friend saying, “that’s beautiful enough to be a modern art masterpiece” and implying something is ugly. Actually a good description for this episode but I’m digressing.
The episode kicks off with Bart and Lisa watching the new Itchy & Scratchy episode which parodies Making a Murderer. I like Itchy’s crimes on the People vs. Itchy docket: hanging, gouging, stabbing, kicking, inflating, freezing, and breaking. Super cool especially because you get the classic Itchy offing Scratchy and teasing on cruelty free food.
Krusty is hosting his show, as he does, and it’s product tie-in time. He has a delicious candy (chuckling at the screen saying it’s not) so the board will stop threatening to fire him. They’re Krustaceans… “they look like shrimp, they taste like candy, and they’re organic.” The actual seal on the bag approving it has me in stitches and surprise surprise, they actually taste good when the clown eats the snack. Krusty won’t “be needing the spit bucket” much to Sideshow Mel’s dismay. Flash to Bart who’s already got a bag of them as a Krusty Prime member… only 75 dollars a month.
At the nuclear plant, Tibor Jankovsky has received a promotion. If that name rings a bell… just watch “Marge Gets a Job” (S4:E7). “Now Marge, just remember, if something goes wrong at the plant, blame the guy who can’t speak English. Ah, Tibor, how many times have you saved my butt?” This is a great callback to a classic episode. Homer’s none too thrilled at a man who barely speaks the language getting a corner office with a great view, two chairs and a mini fridge with tiny colas… “it’s humidifying.” Homey was in line for the gig apparently but we all know why he probably didn’t get it. Guess he didn’t blame Tibor enough. Bring on the Tiny Homer in his head aka Ambition to try and get Homer to rise in the ranks. Ambition has” been locked up for 30 years by Apathy and Alcoholism (also tiny head Homers)” but if Homer dressed nicer, maybe he could compete with Tibor and not look like “a typewriter salesman in 1953” or show so much cleavage (“these two have gotten me out of so many traffic tickets”… gross). It’s time for Homer to not be so outdated. I just hoped he’d rock suspenders like Lenny.
At the VOUW (Veterans of Unpopular Wars), Grampa Simpson and other vets are watching The Late Late Late Show With Jimmy Jimmy and Kent Brockman is on. Interesting facts about Kent, he “has never heard of Talking Heads (although he’s singing it as a distinguished journalist aka Talking Head),” “has the largest forehead in the news business,” and “has no interesting ancestors.” Just a spoof of the sort of thing the real Jimmy Kimmel/Fallon do on American late night TV. Kent is relating an interesting story that happened to him in Basra, Iraq when he was embedded with the 98th Airborne. Problem is one of the VOUW members was part of that unit and doesn’t remember Brockman. Grampa doesn’t “even remember what I said at the start of this sentence.”
It’s TV tray dinner time at the Simpson household and Marge takes away Bart’s Krustaceans. Brockman is on the boob tube with the apology of the century for lying about his wartime correspondent experience. “Kent Be Trusted” is the segment or as Homer says, “the spectacle of an imploding celebrity.” Must be good if Homer can’t eat. Turns out that every interesting thing Brockman has ever said he’s done was a lie. Don’t lip quiver Kent, you’ll always have those awesome Eye on Springfield segments even if they are a bit misogynistic. Kent was fired and replaced with Arnie Pye. Laughing that Homer thought Kent was Anderson Cooper the whole time. Kent is licked… he doesn’t even have a cell phone or a place to sit.
Homer wants to look like “a powerful self-reliant man” so he asks Marge to take him shopping after school lol. He’s even willing “to temporarily lose weight.”
Bart and Milhouse are on their way to school (love Milly’s Smother app), and Lisa is sitting next to Ralph who is also a fan of Krustaceans. He calls them num nums because they numb his fingers. Lisa is intrigued by the snack with ingredients of “water, fun, and hydrogenated chuckles.” Bart goes to defend Krusty’s quality products (with an exploding Krusty lunchbox) and Lisa tries one of the candies only to spit it out right into the mouth of Milhouse who projects it to Nelson. No it doesn’t count as kissing Lisa for him or Nelson but it is technically sharing a meal so yay Milly! Also a fun joke about both boys actually kissing Lisa for uber fans like me. Lisa doesn’t think candy should make her left arm tingle but Bart is intent on proving “Krusty is a good clown with non-lethal candy” and tricks Otto into taking the bus to the food processing district. Wasn’t too hard actually.
Homer and Marge are at the dilapidated Springfield Mall. Stores inside include The 9 Cent Store, Bed Bath & Beware, Duller Image, Bruised Banana Republic, Boarders No Books, and Rode Lewin’s “Restricted” Lifestyle Gallerium. It’s the last one where they go clothes shopping. Funny that a shirt from the XXXXXL rack is snug on Homer. He gets a complete makeover from Raphael (Sarcastic Clerk). Homer like the leg tape measuring… “intimate but heterosexual” and spending quality shaking time in the changing room with Marge. Homer’s all ready as Lord S. aka lard ass to take on work and ask for a promotion. They run into rudderless anchor Kent in the parking lot filming his own news with a handheld video camera but refuse to give him a sound bite as they don’t trust him anymore.
Lisa and Bart reach Krusty Foods: Guaranteed to Taste Funny. Good thing Bart knows the security door combo… the number of jokes Krusty has written. Four zeroes if you’re wondering. Inside is an organic hydroponic wonder as in you wonder how it can seem so legitimate until Bart pushes the “push when inspector’s gone” button to draw back the screen to reveal a robotic chemical lab. Lisa grabs the convenient box of samples to get them analyzed even if she wishes for once she wasn’t always right. Gotta love Bart pointing out that her diary says she’s often wrong. Thankfully the robotic security guard is sleeping. Bart called Uber kid to give them a ride which is a Latvian-accented kid with a bike and connected wagon. Water and mints too but the driver isn’t much in the conversation department.
Commercial – surprising they let the episode go 14 minutes before one
Kent’s mansion with awards for “Best Regional White-Haired Anchor,” “Outstanding Segue Non-Tragic,” “Channel 6 Softball MVP,” and a picture from Dancing with the Press on the mantel. His agent promises to find him something or drop him. No Fox News though since Kent asks too many questions about pretending to be a liberal while losing every argument.
At the plant, Karl is playing music in the break room (maybe for Katie Perry, maybe not) and Homer is looking impressive in his Connecticut-made suit. “Here is a leader of men… and women because that’s what you have to say now.” High five! Although they wonder why four-fingered people say that.
Lisa took the Krustacean samples to Frink and the vials are full of formaldehyde. Bart is eating them and blames Lisa for taking “all the fun out of eating poison.” Bart claims not to be “a paid apologist for Krusty” and goes to escape through what looks like a teleporter and actually is a bathing suit dryer. Am I alone in laughing at impulsive Bart. Where did he think it would send him… the future? That’s what he thought by the way.
Lisa is off to Channel 6 News and Arnie Pye is on the billboard now. “Yum! Pye Twice a Day!” The News Director is uninterested in Lisa’s discovery because Krusty is their biggest star and formaldehyde is their biggest sponsor. Meanwhile Kent is looking for work at Bizzfad, an internet news company. Lots of people typing up stories on laptops. “100 actors who were never considered for James Bond, the 20 people Donald Trump hasn’t insulted, the 6 things you don’t know about the 6 things, and the Queen of England met an Alligator… what happens next will amaze you.” Kent pitches a story about crazy ice cream flavors and the hip owners like him but unfortunately the company has gone out of business after four days.
Homer is in Burns’ office and trying to impress the boss with his suit. Ambition is stoked but meets Lupus in Homer’s brain cavity… uh oh. Burns just makes fun of Homer’s gigantic suit (lots of fat shaming here) and Burns literally kicks Homer out with ink on his foot.
Lisa is ready to have Brockman tell her story to return to glory. “The best thing you can do is offer a lifeline to a person with no hope” unless it’s Barney popping out of a window. No lifeline for Barney. She and Milly find Brockman at the scene of his highest peak aka “where he reported on the flood of ’09.” Sure enough he’s there and playing sad toots on a Duff beer bottle. The kids offer the Krusty story to him but Kent no longer feels like a real newsman as he sees one of his billboards pasted over for laser hair removal. He’s through and while he tries to walk away with his remaining dignity he’s hit by the Uber kid driver.
Commercial – 5 minutes, now that seems like the America I know
Kent is awesomely bearded and at the Former Anchor Support Group Meeting (We Won’t Be Right Back). Lots of parodies of anchor people here. Kent is ”looking unusually thoughtful and silent for an anchor” and tells his group about the offer he was made by Lisa. Dan Rather tells him to take the story in strange cowboy terms. Kent feels Integrity (a little guy in HIS head who hangs out with Ego, Vanity, and Fake Tan) and is ready to jump back in the news saddle AFTER he borrows eye liner and pancake makeup from his fellow rejected anchors. Dan has a personal line called Rather Handsome lol.
Homer is relating his temporary setback to Marge and wondering if the Burns footprint on the back of his suit will come out. Marge doesn’t know. Ambition has some advice but unfortunately the other little men in Homer’s head who also wear A hoodies beat up Ambition and toss him right out of Homer’s head where it’s eaten by SLH. Homer’s off to Moe’s instead.
At Krustylu Studios, Kent shows up to confront Krusty with the hard facts. They even have Ralph as evidence of paralysis caused by the candy. Krusty couldn’t formaldehyde the truth. Nice pun. Krusty tries to sing Beatles songs so the cellphone recording will be too expensive to use but he’s too late. Kent is back to his old job and on Jimmy Jimmy. He relates how he returned to glory and initially seems to be back to lying but instead he is completely truthful and gives credit to Lisa. Also truthful that he didn’t fight to have Lisa on the show. Grampa tells Lisa she received “Hollwood’s highest honor. Shared credit. No money.”
Commercial – 4 minutes, now we’re talking
One last scene with Arnie Pye at the news desk revealing he made out with Kent’s daughter… the grown-up one. Yes friends, I was aghast for a moment too. Kent is ready to be back on air after 6 weeks of torture. He’d “watch Bill O’Reilly and pretend it was an older stupider version” of himself. He’s back in his chair with the lotto numbers. Now that’s news!
Soooooooooo… I have to say this was not my favorite episode of the season so far. I enjoyed it more the second time I watched it but there was just too much going on with the different stories. I honestly think the entire Homer’s suit stuff should have been cut out and maybe used for a different episode. Not a big fan of the little people in heads a la Inside Out. They did a parody of that last season which was much funnier. I also don’t like seeing Homer fail at things. Oh well. I guess Kent got some love which isn’t all bad but I just felt meh and didn’t really care that much about the story. We get that Krusty is a corporate shill for himself and careless about his products. It’s been done. There were some good yucks in the episode so that’s a win I suppose. I don’t like saying meh to an episode but sometimes you gotta call it like it is. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments and happy tapping friends.
TTFN… Wookiee out!