“Leave it to good old Mary Bailey to finally step in and do something about that hideous genetic mutation.” – Marge Simpson
This week on Zombie Simpsons, Burns does something we saw him do much funnier twenty years ago, but he also falls in love and becomes a softy for a while. In between, Patty and Selma live with the Simpsons for a while, Marge, Lisa and Smithers vanish for most of the episode, Homer gets another new job, and there’s a big explosion.
– No couch gag this week, so what they left in must be pure gold!
– Marge is buttering Homer up with pork chops because Patty & Selma need a place to stay. If you guessed that Patty & Selma weren’t in the house right up until they mysteriously appeared in the house as if by transporter, you win absolutely nothing.
– Homer is repeating the word “teensy” for some reason. I guess that got a big laugh at the table read?
– So the conflict here is that Patty & Selma aren’t supposed to smoke in the house. Homer has put smoke detectors all over the place to catch them. Then it starts raining instantly so they can’t go outside. The instant rain thing was funny in “Bart the Murderer” because it was a joke. Here it’s a plot crutch for an already nonsensically weak plot. It won’t be the last.
– Hey, a decent sign gag that didn’t get read out load “Once Your Lungs Go Black, They Never Go Back”.
– They put a new bathroom in the house for no discernible reason. It’s under the stairs because Patty & Selma were by the stairs. They want to smoke there because, for some other indiscernible reason, Homer didn’t put smoke detectors in the bathroom. This show cannot even maintain a joke, much less a story. It’d almost be impressive in its sloppiness if we hadn’t seen it so many times before.
– Hey, look, the main story has arrived! The water in the bathroom caught on fire.
– Lisa just scrolled over a bunch of movies titles on her tablet. They were supposed to be depressing documentaries, so most of them were just “noun of death”.
– Hey, it’s a joke free explanation of fracking. I love it when they pre-explain things.
– So, Lisa and Bart just teleported into the Rich Texan’s office where she exposited for a while, before he told us he was going to dance, then danced. I realize that sentence makes no sense to anyone who hasn’t seen this episode, but, trust me, you’re not missing anything.
– Lisa discovers there’s a fracking site in the neighborhood by looking at a satellite picture. Why? Because they’re keeping people away with a sign that says “Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame”. How did she never notice this building that is in her neighborhood? Don’t ask. But they compound it by having her praise women’s basketball, which makes the whole thing make even less sense.
– Also too, the kids just walked into the building. Then Burns and Smithers pull up in a cart and Burns begins explaining things to Lisa. Is there any reason for him to do this? No. Is it the opposite of something Burns would actually do? Yes.
– Lisa then exposits the existence of Maxine Lombard, a Nancy Pelosi type voiced by Jane Fonda. I miss Mary Bailey.
– After a really boring and repetitive hearing, Burns just barged into her office for a slow, cliche filled fall in love moment between Burns and Not Pelosi. They apparently slept on the floor under a flag for some reason.
– Hey, how about another non-sequitor? Now Burns needs to buy the mineral rights under Evergreen Terrace. How do we know this? Because he just told us. Does it have anything to do with his romance with whatshername? Of course not. Jebus this script is sloppy.
– And, right on cue, Burns picks Homer to be his salesman.
– We then get a series of quick cuts of Homer being good at his new job. It ate some time.
– Marge and Lisa are opposed to this, of course, with Marge reminding that “the water was on fire”. She will be saying this a lot.
– Homer wins some kind of debate with Frink (don’t ask) and now everyone has sold their mineral rights. Burns, being Zombie Burns, has second thoughts and asks Homer for relationship advice.
– Homer has the “signed gas leases”, which are all complete except for Marge’s signature not being on one. This somehow comes as a surprise during a ceremony to turn on the fracking. Then Burns and whatshername have a breakup as cliched and nonsensical as when they got together. Also, Smithers is back after a long and unexplained absence.
– Burns was going to fire Homer, but now they’re talking about relationships again. Then a wrecking ball breaks into Burns Manor because whatshername decided to . . . you know what? Screw this. It’s too weird and nonsensical even to recap.
– Hey, there’s an NPR guy who shows up, tells us his name, and then wanders off.
– Now Burns and Homer are turning the fracking machine back on out of revenge or something.
– Want to know what’s happening? The show will gladly tell you:
Marge: Is one of the side effects of fracking earthquakes?
Glad we cleared that up.
– Jane Fonda just showed back up out of nowhere
– And Marge just repeated the water thing for the sixth time or so. Oh, and now Homer’s burning down the fracking thingie and it explodes.
– Because the ending was apparently not explained enough already, Burns is helpfully expositing it some more.
– And it ends with Burns and whatshername in bed being boring to run out the clock. What a mess.
Anyway, the numbers are in and, sans football, they are expectedly terrible. Just 4.24 million people wished they were seeing Burns run his Slant Drilling Company again. That’s the lowest of the young season and good for #7 on the all time least watched list.
There’s a very clear dichotomy now between the weeks when FOX has a late NFL game and when they don’t. The three episodes this year with a football lead were watched by 8.50 million, 7.34 million, and 7.64 million viewers. The two episodes without a football lead in were watched by 4.32 and 4.24 million viewers. FOX does have a late national game next week for the Futurama crossover, so I fearlessly predict that episode will get somewhere in the 7 million viewers range. And while I’m still expecting the renewal notice any day, the show clearly can’t stand on its own anymore.