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Worldly Distractions: The Simpsons 26.18 - The Kids Are All Fight





Yeah, yeah, another Simpsons episode. This week we get to go back in time! Again. To Bart and Lisa's early childhood! Again. It's hard to get enthusiastic this far into the game. Come on, writers, wow me.


We actually get real opening credits! Chalkboard: Lisa writes the words, "I will not pay my sister to do my punishment". Bart watches. Lisa plays the harp in the school band this time. The couch gag shows the Simpsons as pegs playing the Game of Life, hitting such squares as "unexpected pregnancy", "lose hair", and "descent into alcoholism". In the end, though, they finally get to their couch.

At Moe's, a suited-up Homer offers to pay off his bill, damn near killing Moe. He goes through his pockets, coming up with odd items, both from past seasons and from off-the-wall adventures we never heard from. One of these items is an old film roll. Carl mentions that most film developers are closed. However, Moe says that the bar can function as a darkroom, so they develop it. With Duff beer. Shudder.

Homer summons his family to look at the photos, which were taken about six years before. Most of them are of the kids fighting. Marge wonders why Homer didn't step in, Bart why they fought so much, and Lisa how they resolved their differences (kinda). So guess what, it's time for a story.

Bart and Lisa are little hellions who can't stop attacking each other, which is probably a side effect of being 4 and 2 respectively. Homer tries to reason with Bart, but the child is too frightened of his infamous clown bed to listen. (You know the one.) The fighting continues, and it's really boring. We do get a funny 2001 parody, though.

Marge tells the kids that she lost a lot of sleep during that difficult period. Past-Marge asks her husband to help her find answers. The child psychiatrist condemns Bart while praising Lisa, saying their differences are too great to ever be overcome. More fighting, and some Miami Vice hair courtesy of Flanders. We even get Maude's first appearance in ages. The Flanderses can see that Homer and Marge are having trouble at home, so they invite the couple to lunch, presumably to lecture them on the principles of blanket training.

Grandma "Hello, Joe!" Flanders, perhaps even more religious than her son (wait, wasn't his mom a freaky beatnik?), is horrified at the Simpson kids' lack of morality. In her shock, she kicks the bucket. Homer and Marge get caught up in "snuggling" and don't quite make it to brunch. The Simpson kids, terrified at the death of Grandma, run for home, where they almost run into an even scarier sight. Fortunately, they're distracted by an ice cream truck. They get hopelessly lost and Bart plays in traffic.

Homer and Marge finally get to brunch, which we do not get to see, and arrive home only to find Ned grieving for his dead grandmother. (That's right, she's not a horribly aged freaky beatnik.) Marge panics when she realizes the kids are gone. They go to the police, who are their usual incompetent selves.

Baby Bart and Baby Lisa get menaced by the Baby Bullies. They try to steal Bart's trike, but Lisa cries, so they give it back. (Also, Kearney is portrayed as almost a dad, even though he's like four. I know he's been portrayed as a dad the whole series, but eccchhh.) Once they're gone, Lisa admits she faked the tears to get rid of the bullies. Bart decides that maybe a little sister isn't so bad after all.

Homer tells Marge that he can't find the kids, so they should just have a third child and call it Maggie. An exasperated Marge calls a medium, who happens to be Selma, who of course blames it on Homer. Bart and Lisa find themselves at Springfield Retirement Castle, The old people terrify them, but Grampa saves the day! (And we get to see Bea Simmons!)

The kids sit there while Grampa sleeps. As they try to kill the time, they find themselves becoming reconciled to their differences. Homer wants to search for the kids some more, but his buddies won't help him, because they just ordered pizza. Homer shoots the pizza. Yeah, that's right. He chose his kids over food. YOU GO HOMER.

Young Milhouse runs into the Simpson kids and tries to alert his dad, but is distracted by cartoons. They bike away from a dog and find themselves at the top of a large hill, which they immediately throw themselves down. Fortunately they survive, but Lisa is shaken. Homer and Marge continue their fruitless search, almost going so far as to alert Social Services. Miraculously, the Surly Repairman is able to point them out - on top of the tire fire. Homer wants to save them, but only develops the strength to do so when Marge reminds him that they just bought the kids new shoes. He grabs a tree and manages to bend it so that the kids can grab on. Unfortunately, he then flings them halfway across town - directly into Bart's clown bed, which they destroy.

Back in the present, Marge concludes that they lived happily ever after and had their Maggie. They also gave her the room where Marge used to grow her weed. WHAT? No. Back the fuck up, Simpsons. You do not get to throw Marge into out-of-character situations like that without at least an entire episode to justify it. Bad Simpsons writers! Go sit in the corner.

We get a tag scene where Grandma Flanders miraculously pulls through and Ned sings "Amazing Grace" to celebrate. Unfortunately, this kills her. In the present, the kids play pool while Homer talks about how great a dad he is.

So yeah, this episode was pretty much a nothing. Incredibly rushed, no real sentiment, very few jokes that landed. I liked some of the callbacks to the past, but other than that, it was incredibly meh. There was absolutely nothing in plot - and I'm pretty sure the actors were sleepwalking. Oh well. Next week, I guess.

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