Hey hey friends! So after a bit of a break, The Simpsons is back with new episodes and the wait for more new hilarity is over. Since the show is back, so am I and it’s time for another episode recap for y’all. 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 to catch as much as I can while jotting down notes. Without further ado… here’s my thoughts on Season 28, Episode 14: Fatzcarraldo.
To start this off for accidental clickers who just prefer the synopsis, here’s what my DVR had for the episode that aired February 12th, 2017:
“All of the fast food restaurants in Springfield go healthy, forcing Homer to turn to the last bastion of greasy food for comfort.”
Now on with the random recap observations of yours truly… fair warning, this is SPOILER heavy.
– Kwik-E-Mart: Your 2 Days to Valentine’s Headquarter (Gotta love Apu holding a mug that says I ♥ VD), Bart writing “ If we’re so good at predicting how come my dad bet on Atlanta” (lol… and I love the pic of Homer as an astronaut in Bart’s classroom), and a couch gag without Maggie… oh wait, she’s in the safe along with three gold bricks.
– It all kicks off 2001: A Space Odyssey style with the dramatic music and Homer doing an intricate line of dominos with dominoes pizza boxes. Way too funny and I love his 2D art of Burns yelling at him about tomfoolery (www.goofingoff.org, not a real website but it should be). Uh oh… he’s overloaded the core with an imminent meltdown but all is well since it’s all in the pursuit of getting irradiated slices of pizza into the mouths of Homer, Lenny, Carl, and three others.
– Burns shows up to let Homer know he won the count the buttons in the button jar challenge earning everyone a day off from work. So (steeples fingers) excellent that it’s all a ruse to hide bodies in a Christmas decorations box…. So many boxes.
– Homer’s stoked and rapping on his way home. Too bad Patty and Selma are at the house and now apparently own two Volkswagen Things (Thing 1 and 2 respectively… hooray for Dr. Seuss!). Now Homer has to go to the 38th annual DMV awards…. The Surlies. It’s being held at the Aztec Theater and P & S are the hosts. The sign says it all… “more fun than it sounds.” Gotta love heckling Homer and an award for funniest vanity plate (I♥♥DRS). Also funny that Springfield license plates say it’s the land of loading zones. The award show is long and Homer is bored out of his mind and has to leave. Seriously… Homer claims “one guy in the in memoriam reel was alive when it started.” Homer leaves before he’s due to present an award (“The winner is me cuz I’m leaving.”) I guess I should also point out that Lisa was reporting on the awards show for Springfield Elementary’s radio show, WSES. It makes no sense really until later in the episode.
– Homer needs to quench his rage-filled stomach with French fries. Problem is that when he gets to Krusty Burger (Ball Pit Now Free of Malaria), they now serve only healthy items by order of their corporate parent in Kumumoto, Japan. Am i alone in seeing a connection to the current act in the event? The healthy-sounding food and beverage concepts include the buttermilk sriracha sandwich, a kobe shiitake ciabatta explosion, and the Hanoi honey barbecue banh mi pho-furter (Get ‘em quick before they’re Sai-gon). Homer just wants a Python Buster aka “a one pound burger that a snake couldn’t fit its mouth around” but all Squeaky Voiced Teen can offer are kombucha kimchi mini tacos. Even the catsup has been replaced by beet aioli (what the heck is yellow sauce?). “People, beware! The crap you love to eat has been replaced by food!”
– Homer is off to find junk food but all he finds is Kentucky Fried Chickpeas, Tofu Bell, and Arby’s (laughing so hard that the last one wasn’t a joke about health food but the actual food). Homer ends up leaving Seldom-Seen County and prays to his maker, a lover of the eating man, who created Sunday for brunch. “Shower me with your divine grease and deliver me some egg rolls… or pizza or hot dogs… whatever I can eat while driving. For thine is the flour and the gravy forever. A menu would be great.”
– Heavenly prayers granted. Homer finds chili dogs at the next exit at Deuce’s Caboose where the healthiest thing is the directions on how to do the Heimlich maneuver (should I be shocked that the directions are actually how to do it? The more you learn.) Homer gets his chili dogs and we get a Star Wars: The Force Awakens reference… “Chewie, we’re home.” Chewie is what Homer calls his mouth and I’m officially excited to be Homer’s fuzzball, I mean pie hole.
– Morning dawns at the Simpson residence and Homer’s just arriving in time for breakfast. Marge is upset at Homer being gone all night but his explanation of going to get chili dogs is “so stupid it must be the truth.” She accuses Homer of picturing her as a hot dog but that’s absurd. Clearly, he’s picturing a hamburger. Homer explains to Butterfinger Bart who gets nutbutted by Candy Apple Lisa that he was eating amazing chili dogs from Deuce’s Caboose while his family was worried. Grampa then shows up to explain that he used to take Homer to Deuce’s when he was young.
– Bring on the flashback of a time Homer doesn’t remember (“You were young then and you’re stupid now.) Abe and Mona would drop Homer off there while they tuned up their marriage. It was right next to Discord Plaza Marriage Counseling and Homer would sit there during his parents three times a week therapy sessions. Even the therapist knew THAT marriage had no hope. The chili dogs made Homer happy. We see him have one for his 10th birthday, at a ball game, and even in the hospital as an old man. This is when Homer started eating his emotions aka Fatman Begins. It’s Homer’s coping mechanism. “Eating is to me what drinking is to me.”
– Now all Homer needs is something aggravating to make him hungry. Bring on Patty and Selma losing their jobs at the DMV due to their expensive awards show spending 100,000 dollars over the 43 dollar budget. What could be more aggravating than a baby and iguana on separate sleeping schedules who both have diarrhea and no diapers?
– Homer heads back to Deuce’s. Homer wishes the owner remembered him (his little H-dog) but Deuce claims he doesn’t. Deuce does remember the starting line-up of the 1961 Chicago Blackhawks though.
– Martin is heading the meeting for WSES Radio with Milhouse, Database, Janie, Wendell, and Lisa. They are getting killed in the ratings and need news. It’s worth pausing to read some of the memos on their walls. My favorite were Willie’s Rant (Please Edit), Inside the Teacher’s Lounge: Den of Cigarettes, Series: From Detention to Death Row, Toilet Tattle Tales, Topic: Is Radio Dead?, and Topic: Why is Radio Dead? Also the reveal that Martin’s grandpa died before they could interview him. Skinner announces a field trip of 30 kids to South Springfield was done by another school’s bus and Martin is upset at being scooped again. Their ratings stinks and WSES is even being beaten by Jimbo’s bully podcast, Left, Right and Center. Martin is all about the ratings… it’s serious business not kindergarten talk. Oh wait… they’re meeting in Willie’s shed and their meeting is over because Willie needs to put the school’s balls away including Ralph who’s “the smartest ball in the bag.”
– At the nuclear plant, Homer is being berated by Burns about his replaceability with “a cinder black with a stretched out belt” so he’s back to comfort eating at Deuce’s. The comfort food also works after Hibbert gives him a diagnosis of coronary artery disease. Funny that Homer is eating chili dogs while reading the brochure. We see Kirk, Barney, Homer, Carl, and Lenny eating there also which is now next to a Krusty Burger. Krusty is upset that no one is eating at his sty, errr, I mean establishment. It’s funny because Krusty laments this while also eating at Deuce’s. He’s “a self-hating chew.” Deuce cooks up more chili dogs with Anthony’s Wieners and some Duff while singing a fun song with Homer. Hot dog! Too bad Deuce still doesn’t remember Homer.
– Lisa is reporting at school on detention aka Prankatraz, the Skinner Sheraton, Spitball Alley, the Bully-Pen, 3:11-worth, Little Devil’s Island, and Dead Man Chalking. She interviews the legendary Nurple Purpler Nelson Muntz. Great puns and the reveal that Nelson’s signature Haw-Haw is all about seeing “a jerk doing something lame” and wanting to make the “dope feel like a dingus.” Lisa brings one of the dingi (Milhouse and the funny info of the plural of dingus) in to let the bully know that getting the “Full Nelson” hurts. “The first haw isn’t that bad but the second one is devastating.” Nelson has a revelation but before he can do more than put his head down on a desk, we’re now feeling bad for Lisa. Skinner has to cancel the school radio show and take back her hat due to funding issues right before the story of the year broke. “Jeff and Becky broke up!”
– Lisa is sad at home and Homer finds her sulking over the loss of “the only source of news in a fifty foot area.” Homer takes her to Deuce’s where she can do the word search on the kids menu. Lisa also teaches Homer about finding words diagonally. “That’s where racecar was hiding.” Problem is that Lisa and Homer find Deuce’s closed permanently with a chain across the caboose.
– “Don’t let it be forgot, that on this shining spot, was a place I really ate a lot.” Deuce can’t be blamed for retiring at 97 (funny that both Homer and him thought they were the same age) but we can blame him for selling to Krusty who shows up in a clown car with Lindsey Neagle, fourteen lawyers, and Mr. Teeny (also in a business suit). “Welcome to the Krusty Burger family and since we’re family, we don’t talk.” Krusty’s first action is to turn a rusty pipe into a Krusty one. Krusty plans to change everything great about Deuce’s (including increasing the price from 2 bucks to 12) but Homer won’t have it. He chains the caboose to his car and drives away with it. The lawyers and Teeny pile into the clown car to follow but the car can’t take the load and falls apart. Blue Haired Lawyer is now with them even though he didn’t get in or out (he must have been sitting inside the car the whole time or it’s an editing issue) The joke of the episode which made me laugh the hardest lies here while the lawyers all lay in a pile. “That better be a monkey’s tail I’m feeling.” “Uh… Chimps have no tails.”
– Lisa and Homer are on the run with a caboose chained behind their getaway train. Homer is saving a precious childhood memory even if he’s creating a potentially not so precious one for his daughter (“That’s a problem for grown-up Lisa.” lmbo) Bring on the police chase with Springfield kids following along on their bikes and cop cars and helicopters also on their trail. Marge watches the whole thing on tv. “Oh Lord. He’s on the news so much he has his own theme music now.” Kent’s tagline for the chase is “Chili Dog Day Afternoon Wiener on a Roll.” I just love Homer going under an overpass with a banner that say “The Caboose is Loose!” Kent really has no commentary but I guess Channel 6 wins since they don’t cut away when somebody dies.
– Lisa tries to defuse the situation by using Wiggum’s mike (keep in mind she’s in one car and the mic is in the other.) Police regulations may have said no but Lisa’s eyes said yes. Lisa reports on the situation which inspires a bunch of tubbys eating healthy food at Krusty Burger to save “that caboose full of hot dogs” (which is also what Comic Book Guy’s father called him apparently). Homer is just trying to keep “a greasy spoon from being licked.”
– Flash to a meeting of McMasters of the Universe where a fast food summit is in progress with doors guarded by an armed Grimace and Hamburglar. The summit includes Simpsonized versions of the Colonel, the Panda Express Panda, a lady Bob’s Big Boy, the Burger King, Jack in the Box, as well as Cheese McMayor and Señor E. Coli. The gag of Krusty asking which army the Colonel fought for and him saying “never you mind which army I was in and which courthouse we surrendered at” is enough to make this history major rejoice. Let’s roll!
– Homer’s chase reaches a climax when he runs out of gas on a hill. The chase won’t end up being one that ends in failure though. CBG and the other big-boned folks show up to help. “We shall overeat!” They heroically pull the caboose up the hill only to hilariously discover it levels off before an even bigger one. Of course they make it to the top to find a downward slope blocked off by police and the fast food mascots. Homer refuses to give up and rides the caboose straight towards the road block.
– Krusty makes me laugh as he forgets to run regular and the caboose veers off a bridge. The chain which previously had been used to close it and then to haul it now works to dangle it precariously over the edge. Homer grabs on to the weird handle on top of the hot dog and Deuce shows up to admit he remembers his little H-dog. Deuce believed he failed “the sweet, sad little boy” who used to frequent his establishment. Homer needed a father and all Deuce gave him was “steamed tubes filled with chicken asses.” Deuce and Homer have a father-son reunion as they both reveal their loves for each other and chicken asses. Homer is saved and the caboose plunges into the river. Not a complete loss since the smell it makes when it explodes is oh so delightful for everyone. Bart shows up to be proud of his hero father who is being called “Public Elephant Number One” which is ever so much better than “Local Man Cut Out of Dressing Room.” The Simpson family drives off and Lou wonders why Wiggum is letting a man who committed a series of serious crimes get away. “Forget it Lou. It’s Chili Town.” The moon plays jazz and it’s over. Both cops and the moon wear sunglasses to be cool. The end.
– Commercial – the last one was the hilarious Simpsons segment promoting the Daytona 500
– One last little bit with Luigi trying to make peace with the McMasters of the Universe. Too bad they all ate Cheesy McMayor. “You fools. I’m a real person in here.”
So there you go… a super funny episode that was very loosely based on the 1982 film Fitzcarraldo by Werner Herzog. The entire dragging of the caboose scene is directly based on the movie. Also an overture toward O.J. Simpsons, jokes at the expense of both fast food and healthy schtuff, a great Homer-centric story that dives into his psyche in a non-heavy-handed way, and a ton of jokes to make you smile. I really dug this episode and on my blah/meh/oooh/aaaah/wowza/woo hoo scale, this gets a solid wowza. I could have done without the B plot which felt wedged in but overall it all was fun to watch and sometimes it’s just nice to see a story flow naturally with great comedic beats.
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? How would you grade this episode? Sound off in the comments and happy classy tapping. I’ll be back with more recaps as new episodes air.
TTFN… Wookiee out!