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. I don’t know how but I’m still up to date which may be some sort of new record. 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 6 “There Will Be Buds.”
To start this off for accidental clickers who just prefer the synopsis, here’s how my DVR had as a recap for the episode:
“Homer gets roped into coaching the kids’ lacrosse team with Milhouse’s dad.”
Now on with the random recap observations of yours truly… fair warning, this is SPOILER heavy.
So we get the clouds and lettering and then it’s right to the episode. Guess the writers didn’t want to waste any time getting to the action of this one. It’s the first Saturday of September and all of Springfield is excited to root on the pee wee football team. I guess Springfield shares similarities with some states like Texas and Oklahoma in this regard. The team is called the Neutrinos and homes in the town, the cemetery, and the Fire Department are all decked out for the big game. Heck, the FD shut down but we all know it is mainly volunteers anyways. Let’s head on down to Child Soldier Field for the game. Yes, that is a sight gag that will go down in history for the show and I found it so shockingly funny I actually missed the next minute or so when I first watched this episode. Possibly one of the best in a long time IMHO. Anyhoo… it’s the first game of the year with a perfect season on the line. Once the drunks are literally rolled off the field, the kids enter the field which was over-fogged. Children put in danger just to psyche up the crowd. Carl and Lenny are aghast. Marge is worried about the kids banging heads and getting concussions and when she gets to her feet she knocks Homer’s beer into his hot dogs… Concessions!
The parents of Springfield rush their kids to the hospital in fear of brain injuries and I’m howling as they all rush for the MRI machine only to bang the kiddos noggins more. Kent reports on the Mama’s Baby Trauma Drama and apparently football has been shut down. Frink explains how “these children will need their brains unbruised for the demanding high-tech jobs of the future. Polishing and buffing our robot masters.” Nelson’s dad shows up all macho to defend pee wee ball even if Nelson dekes when his dad said to juke it. Nothing can’t be solved by calling Kent a “fruit munch” and Frink “smart nuts.” Kids need football to learn character just like the man who once left to buy a pack of smokes and rarely came back except to be a pig in this episode.
The town gathers at Springfield Town Hall to answer the question of what sport is safe for the kids if not football. Hibbert offers baseball (rife with steroids which they test for causing no home runs),Wiggum has biathlon (which teaches kids to ski AND kill), and Moe is all for Filipino Tooth Fighting (“builds biting, jaw strength, and mouth work”). Kirk Van Houten has an idea but no one listens to him. Maybe LuAnne’s right that no one wants to listen to his ridiculous idea. I’m more shocked that the couple still go to pre-natal yoga when Milhouse is ten.
Marge feels bad for Kirk and how everyone treats him like garbage and convinces Homer (“I only came to this concert because I was told it was a pot luck”) to get the town to listen to Kirk. Homer calls the attention of the “smothering parents who only came to listen to themselves talk” and states Kirk has the same right to bore everyone as they do. He calls Kirk his buddy and Milhouse’s dad is emboldened (or is it embiggened?), unzips his bag in which Milhouse was hanging out the whole time complete with lacrosse stick, and offers his idea. Lacrosse. It’s “great exercise and teaches teamwork.” “It’s the perfect combination of America’s two least watched sport, soccer and hockey.” Milly was convinced to come with the promise of a drive-in movie but seals the deal for Kirk’s sales pitch when he displays that he can catch anything thrown at him: a lacrosse ball, sunglasses, keys, a gun, a purse, and the squid the Sea Captain brought for unknown yet funny reasons. If Milhouse can be good at a sport, anyone can. Best of all, lacrosse has the second highest concussion rate after football making the town love that it’s safer lol. “Fruit munch” Kirk even gets to coach the team to which he agrees provided Homer is a co-coach even if most of the town won’t make eye contact with Kirk when he weighs their yogurt. Homer agrees to coach and that he’ll never stop complaining about it. Gotta say I love the difference between how Kirk and Homer hear the word buddy echoed in their heads.
And boy does Homer complain as we transition from town hall to him at the game. “Stupid sport I never heard of. Make me wake up early on a Saturday. Probably have to slice oranges. Don’t even know the rules because I refuse to learn ‘em. My kids will probably suck at it. I’ll have to kneel down on photo day. Knees get all wet. Despite my bad attitude I’m thrilled by the non-stop action. Kids running toward me with a look of joy I’ve never seen before”. Bart and Lisa exclaim that they won and Homer can’t believe it until he sees the scoreboard. He’s ecstatic to finally have the opportunity to say good game and mean it for the first time ever. Even better, when the losing team says it back he can exclaim “that’s loser talk!” and commercial.
The winning kids go to Winner’s Pizza (Your #1 Victory Party Pizza) which is right next to Participation Pizza (A Trophy with Every Slice). “Pizza really does taste sweeter after you win” but that’s probably because of all the added sugar. Homer likes his girl who only reads and son who has one of “those paying attention diseases that really isn’t a disease” being winners for once. Kirk tells Homer all about his days at Gudger College (not a real school but a nice call back to Kirk and his dignity drawing in “A Milhouse Divided” S8:E6) where he was a star lacrosse player yet still balding. He’d been drafted to play in the pros for the Milwaukee Zoom (not a real team but a real Milwaukee artistic exposition). Unfortunately for Kirk, after his big win, he high fived everyone including the armored mascot (Sir Gudge-a lot) demolishing his wrist, making Joe Theisman throw up in his hat, and destroying his future as a pro. His wrist healed but his insides never did. Bring on the loser track for Kirk who has never even high-fived (despite four fingers and a joke from the previous episode) his own son. Kirk toasts Homer for new success and friendship even if he has to ask for a roll of toilet paper since drinking beer gives him nosebleeds. Awwww…. Homey has a Milhouse now too.
6 am and Bart and Lisa wake up Homer with lacrossed sock balls and Maggie and also by using their sticks as a ramp. They have a weekend lacrosse tournament and Kirk got a skeezy van for “two days, ten games, 700 miles, and one sweet mix tape” which is basically just tons of different live versions of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s (BBVD) “You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three Tonight.”
I like that song but over and over… no thanks. Apparently Kirk vapes too and him asking the craziest place Marge and Homer have ever done is it is just as awkward for me as it is for Homer. Right as I’m thinking there’s kids in the molo-van, Homer says it. I cringe as Kirk says Chipotle. Even weirder all the kids are actually paying attention to lacrosee videos while carbo loading with rice sandwiches. “Doesn’t this dweeb know kids need bologna to win?”
Homer is wrong though. The carbs fuel victory after victory. Rice power! Kirk is a good coach and Homer just keeps a-slicing those oranges. At the Red Rash Inn, the team practices the sport even while bunking four to a bed. Homer chats with Marge that “Kirk is like a sports genius who everyone hates” but not as bad as Jim Harbaugh. Even if Kirk is a “Dizzy Duck,” Marge reminds Homer it’s all for the kids. Kirk is coming and Homer has Marge (who’s on the fun if you don’t remember) hide in the drawer. Kirk wants Homer to go strip clubbing with him at Skin City, The Tassel Castle, or Wiggles. Kirk even checks out a site called lap aficionado dot com. Homer doesn’t want to though, “he’s married to a naked lady.” Good for you Homey. “I’m a lot of type of guys. A booze guy, a don’t know my kid’s birthdays guy, a steal the blow dryer from the motel guy but I am not a strip club guy.” Okay yes, I know you have to forget other episodes of Homer watching Princess Kashmir or interacting with Belle at Le Maison Derriere but let’s go with it.
Kirk is bummed that Homer might not want to hang with him but the head bubbles of Lisa, Bart and himself revolving around Kirk’s head convince him to keep with the charade of friendship. Lisa’s a jock, Bart scored goals and didn’t spit on his hand for the post-game handshake, and Homer’s head sees how much fun the kid’s heads are having. Homer claims tiredness from videos about whiskey-making (the color comes from the barrel) and they fall asleep to Kirk’s white noise machine which makes the sounds of a mother’s womb. More BBVD, lacrosse victories, vape pens, rice sandwiches, Sir Gudge-a lot, and the tournament is finally over and Homer is home. Also an ad for Strupo on the wall of the motel. The kids sweep the tournament and get to play a championship against Capital City. Homer is just done and goes for a walk. Bring on the Homer and Kirk song. One side told from a man sick of pretending to be Kirk’s friend and the other from Kirk who romanticizes his friendship with his “buddy.” It’s a funny song I won’t ruin but highlights include: Kirk as the Lard Lad statue, stupid texts from Kirk, Renaissance minstrels, Blues Buddies, and the ending which rifts the duo. Seriously worth watching friends. And commercial.
Similar intro to the beginning of the episode only now it’s lacrosse and there’s two hours to the big game and no Coach K. Mayor Quimby needs Kirk to be there so he doesn’t have to give the Mayor of Capitol City a crate of Springfield apricots. “We grow no apricots!” Homer can’t hide that he ruined the relationship with “a soul-sucking loser who found out I was only pretending to be his friend for the sake of the team.” Problem is Kirk is gone but the clue that he emptied out his bank account in the form of one dollar bills is all Homer needs to know. The men of Springfield (Hibbert, Wiggum, and Apu) are eager to rescue Kirk from his debauched ways at a strip club (Apu even has special sweatpants) but Marge thinks it’s Homer’s responsibility since he caused the mess. Homer goes even if “those places are filled with creeps plus all the chairs face the stage.” No conversations with other patrons… just the business of saving Coach K for the big game. You gotta laugh as Marge tells Homer to go to the strip club to prove his love and romantically kisses him.
So Homer does what he has to do. Past the Airport Bypass Rd and Storage Facility Blvd intersection, he enters the seedy strip district of Springfield we never guessed, but probably always knew, existed. Locations include Krystal Spice, Wet ‘N’ Girls, Champagne Explosion, Nude Elegance, Gyrationz: Where Friction Comes Alive, Peelers Nude Girls, Intimate Frustrations, Not Hookers, Pole Cats, Saddy’s (Credit Card Statement Will Say “Church Dues”), Taragon Ocelot, Juicy Wang (Warning: Guy In The Bathroom Does Not Work For Us), and the location where Kirk has holed up as evidenced by Milhouse’s bike being chained outside, Clubbb Sinnn. All Homer has “to do is go in, get the pervert, and bring him back to a park full of children.” Problem is that the whole house is full of “bald, middle-aged guys” with “sad paunch” who’ve “given up on life.” It is ten in the morning after all. Not all bad though since we know where Princess Kashmir works now. I’m just surprised we didn’t see Nelson’s mom. I guess the business at Classy Ladies must be a-booming. So many Kirk lookalikes and dancers and points to Homer for not giveing in to temptation except for the one whose “legs go on forever” aka the free buffet of awful chicken wings.
Homer finds Kirk in the champagne room of the den of sin. The rice sandwiches mentioned by the strippers was a good clue. The best thing is Homer finds Kirk just explaining bourbon to the girls. No funny business at all. “He’s not a loser paying for lap dances, he’s a loser paying for listening.” Carmelina and Bodacious are his true friends now. Homer owes up to faking his friendship but offers his respect for what Kirk did as a coach, the one thing you can’t buy in a strip club. It works and Kirks unpeels himself from his chair. Problem is he has a 15,000 dollar bill he owes Raphael. “12 lap dances an hour time three girls times 56 hours. Pole tax. Glitter recycling fee. It’s quite a ride.” Good thing Homer is able to throw pole chalk in their faces and try to escape. I say try since they get stopped by DJs, Japanese businessmen, an ATM with a giant service fee ($17.50), and security. Good news is the dancers hear them mention letting their kids down and apparently have kids of their own (literally a Clubbb Sinnn Daycare Center in the club complete with training poles). The working moms offer to help the men get to the game.
And just in the nick of time before the official whistle is blown. “It’s the strip-a-copter. I mean it’s a helicopter I’ve never rented before.” I love you Hibbert. Kirk is ready to coach, Homer has orange slices, and they must have won since the next shot is Championship Pizza. Homer and Kirk high five and the crunch we hear is no Bueno for either of them. Mirror image breaks and beds right next to each other in the hospital. At least Kirk has more BBVD. End scene and commercial but there’s one more video of Kirk making his top secret rice sandwich recipe for all the “Crushin’ It” fans which turns into a whiskey rant about colonoscopy cameras, jet fuel and steel, rudeness, and crushed futures. Pretty funny if you like making fun of Kirk Van Houten. Should I feel like a loser for having a podcast just like Kirk albeit sans video?
The last bit is a Simpsonized image of Kevin Curran. Rest in peace good sir and thank you for all the laughs and especially The Island of Dr. Hibbert.
Let me try to channel my inner Homer. Ugh. She’s your cousin dude! Stupid Shelbyvillain cousin loving lacrosse playin’ make me watch an episode. Legs all numb from the chair. Ruining a good song. Homer gets to be a good guy. Secretly thrilled by a clear episode with a coherent plot that all ties together. Laughing like a kid. Make me write a recap for a good episode. Probably won’t even be read by anyone but my mom. Stupid awesome episode that gets a furry wowza. Wonder what the other fruit munches thought of it? Dang I liked the original song. Kirk gets all the love in a self-deprecating way. Hey… did we win?
But enough of my thoughts. What’d you think of the episode? Anything I didn’t talk about that you like in particular? Favorite/least favorite parts? Can I borrow a feeling? Sound off in the comments and I hope you’re Halloween Event went as crushingly as mine. Thanks for stopping by, you stay classy, and I’ll be back with more recaps in the future.
TTFN… Wookiee out!