Episode Recap: “Last Traction Hero” (S28:E9)

Woohoo! School’s out for winter and school’s out for, well not ever but a while. Wookiee popping by for another episode recap for y’all. Last week was finals so I fell a little behind but have no fear, I’m back with some free time. One of the many 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. 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 9 “Last Traction Hero.”

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To start this off for accidental clickers who just prefer the synopsis, here’s what idmb had for the episode:

“Homer is placed in a cast following a workplace accident, leading Marge to receive romance from an unexpected source; Lisa attempts to keep the peace as bus monitor.”

Now on with the random recap observations of yours truly… fair warning, this is SPOILER heavy.

Chazz Busby walks a tight rope and we get a shortened intro that goes straight to the couch gag inspired by Francisco de Goya’s “Third of May, 1808.” It is not lost on me that a couch gag made me look up famous art. Smart stuff and makes you wonder what the animators were truly saying. I’m sure it’s something political but will keep my personal feelings to myself.

Anyhoo… we get started with Homer ranting to himself in the Power Plant parking lot as he can’t find a spot. He finally finds what I call rockstar parking after the stupid smart car, a SUV taking up two spots, a sinkhole, and spots reserved for what we normally see in the credits. Homer takes said spot which is actually reserved for Burns. No big deal though since “he’s on vacation this week with his weirdo hunting buddies.”

Flash to the Knights of Caucasian and shocked laughter at them hunting sedated by ether animals. This is not to say that killing defenseless animals is cool, it’s just that they’re satiring a certain type of person. Note: Wookiee just finished a class all about comedy in literature and is keen on pointing out satire at this point in his life. “Damn… you… surface… tension!”

Homer is inspired to live Burns’ whole life and makes me chuckle as he goes through with it quickly before he can think it through. The montage of him doing this is great and includes an amazing lampoon of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. Homer wearing assorted Burns outfits also gets my approval. Too bad Burns had to come back as Homer was lining up a beautiful putt with his hitting stick. It all goes horribly wrong as Homer shanks the putt and trap doors himself… which is under renovation. Let’s just say Homer falls hilariously a long way, ruins the safety record of days without a plummet, and lands headfirst in a cement mixer.

At least when he ends up with both arms casted Marge is the lovely wife as always and came up with a phone-remote-beer-Moe-donut-pizza mobile to keep Homer occupied. She even got him geezer-cancelling headphones to take car of Grampa having a captive audience.

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On the school bus, Milhouse accidentally sat in Dolph’s seat and causes one heck of a fight.

Flash to Bart writing something that begins with ‘F’ and ends with ‘CK’ on Homer’s cast. Homer makes Maggie laugh by spinning like a game show wheel (I wish Wheel of Fortune had “D’oh” and “Woohoo” sounds) and gets to spend lots of time knitting and doing the Foggy Day in Berlin puzzle with his beloved Marjorie. Too bad his schpanken banken daydream is not what’s going on… just grids and rules. There is a good joke about Homer wishing he wasn’t “immobile and numb” and free to move so he could sit on his @$$ drinking beer at Moe’s… nice.

Lisa recorded the fight on her phone and shows it to Skinner. The result is her getting a gig as bus monitor. Skinner says it’s difficult to see stuff like that “particularly on a cell phone so much nicer” than his. Skinner’s is powered by hand crank.

Burns finds out from the Blue-haired lawyer that there’s a legal issue with his trap door. The old one was fine under Reagan code but now that it’s being renovated, it has to be brought up to code. Like ADA compliant code which is another issue since Burns apparently doesn’t hire anyone disabled. BHL fears a lawsuit from Homer. Burns then trapdoors himself wearing a hardhat to talk to the foreman. “Enrique mas grande la puerta.”

Back to puzzling with Homer and Marge. She thought it’ would be nice to spend more time together but Homer is, well, Homer. Smithers shows up to get Homer to sign away Burns liability for the accident but Homer is not going for it. “They say it’ll be three months before I can scratch my @$$. Six before I can really go at it.” Smithers unintentionally convinces Homer to surround himself with “parasitic attorneys with get-rich-quick schemes.” Homer likes all those words well at least schemes, parasitic, rich, and quick. “Sue-S-A. Sue-S.A.”

Bring on the attorney commercial for Maxwell Flinch who specializes in helping people who were hurt at work, school, museums, church, Iraq, elevator plummets, from uneven sidewalks, hit by fair or foul balls, or at Iditarod viewing parties.

Smither shows up with a liability waiver cake for Homer. All Homer has to do is bite, nibble, and lick in several different places and have Marge eat a cupcake. “You cannot bribe me with cake because I just at several pies.” Smithers leaves the cake and advises Homer to not eat it in front of a notary public. Also the fun fact that Grampa is one and Maggie likes playing with his stamp. Before Smithers leaves, Marge invites him to stay and help her brainstorm quilt patterns. Homer may not like Marge’s idea of fun but Smithers does. Grampa gets cake (which he drops) and Bart drops a tarantula down his dad’s cast. At least Smithers gets to enjoy tea with Marge (and also not having to chew said tea for Burns). They commiserate in the choices they’ve made. They both understand the words “what do you see in him?” Marge deals with it by needlepointing “it is what it is” designs. Smithers just recites the Alcoholics Unanimous (Homer’s words, not mine) mantra.

Meanwhile, Lisa has arranged the seats of the school bus using complex social algorithms that team up compatible seat mates. Poor Milly doesn’t have one. The bus is quiet now and Lisa is ready to control even more than buses in a PG-13 fantasy.

BHL is prepping Burns for the possibility of court. Burns is not good at it though and just wants to release the hounds even if advised it’d be better to not mention them.

Back to Marge and Smithers. Marge made him a shirt with a quilting pattern on it. They’re really hitting it off, like Marge thinking romantically about Smithers and him realizing it’s happening and that he thinks she’d look good with a mustache. He sees her true self that she never pays attention to. Before anything untoward happens though, Burns send a threatening text and Smithers is back to the drudgery of his lackey-hood. Marge is turned on enough to tackle her immobile hubby with benefits. Homer’s down with being needed for nothing but sex.

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Smithers is in Burns’ office and not sure he wants to help get Homer’s signature. Problem is if he doesn’t, he’s gonna be off to re-start Burns’ plant in Chernobyl.

Lisa is all decked out in new dystopia overlord clothes and her bus monitor sash. Bart tries to warn her about unhappy kids with the organized seating. Lisa has plans for much more organization. The bus shows up and is calm but boy howdy do the kids look resentful. All it takes is one tunnel for all heck to break loose and become the Tragic School Bus that’s on fire. Lisa is upset her plans didn’t work but as Milhouse points out, “The bus is supposed to be crazy. It’s the brief respite between the twin nightmares of home and school.” Way to go Milhouse with semi-wise words. Lisa’s lesson from the brief B-plot… “The one thing a know-it-all doesn’t know is that everyone hates a know-it-all.”

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Smithers shows up for one last get together with Marge. She’ll have to get back to knitting now and Homer realizes something’s wrong. Marge feels alone without Waylan to talk to.

In his attorneys office, Homer’s ready to possibly forgo his settlement from falling down a trap door into a cement mixer. Flinch feels it’s unfair and he deserves something for Homer’s injury.

Burns is at the courthouse and wishes the town would get over him eating Springfield’s panda (they are finger Ling Ling good) but Homer shows up to drop the lawsuit provided Burns doesn’t send away Smithers. “Why doesn’t anyone ever think of the lawyers?” Nothing a slip and fall on the courthouse steps can’t make better. Marge gets her friend, Homer gets his Moe, and both Homer and Marge get upper body casts when they both fall down the steps and are hit by a truck. It all ends with a sweet moment of the two talking and having their own mobiles. Well not that sweet because Grampa spills hot soup on them.

The last scene is Lisa struggling to not be a know-it-all in Miss Hoover’s class. It’s hard too since the teacher doesn’t know any of the answers to questions she asks. Good thing Lisa seems to know it all.

So there you go… notes from an episode I found pretty solid. It mainly stuck to an A plot while having a funny extra bit with Lisa. There were some good laughs throughout and it all went by pretty quickly as I enjoyed it. I think my favorite bits were the comments on America’s litigious society and just seeing a bunch of interactions between the family. Why not do it with an episode that really revolved around Burns’ trap door? On my blah/meh/ oooh/aaaah/ wowza/woo hoo scale this is somewhere between oooh and wowza. This script by Bill Odenkirk felt good as his work usually does. But enough with my words… what did you think of the episode? Anything you loved or hated that I didn’t mention? Are you enjoying Season 28 as much as me? Sound off in the comments and I hope everyone had a good Act One of the Holiday Event leading to an even better Part Two. Keep on being classy and I’ll be back with more recaps in the future.

TTFN… Wookiee out!

4 responses to “Episode Recap: “Last Traction Hero” (S28:E9)

  1. I missed this episode when it aired and just watched it online. It was a good one. I hope to see more of that quality.

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  2. And what happened to Totbox Throwback Thursday?! Did I miss something?! I really enjoyed them

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  3. I really enjoyed this episode! Season 28 is turning out to be a lot better then I thought. Really wasn’t impressed with last week’s “Christmas episode”. I thought it was an okaaay episode but:
    1) It didn’t really feel “Christmassy”
    2) Putting spotlight on side characters meant we didn’t see much of The Simpsons family.
    3) I was expecting a lot more of the Pagan stuff in the episode. And what did that pagan segment have to do with the rest of the episode?

    But I guess the episode had it’s good moments.

    Like

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