During his introduction on the season 9 DVD, creator Matt Groening admitted that this is one of his least favorite Simpsons episodes. See more »
At the beginning, Skinner plays a tuning fork, but he should have place the handle onto a resonating surface to hear a sound. See more »
[Bart is preparing a batch of appetizers for Skinner's party]
What's with the dog food?
My theory is - Skinner likes dog food.
[both leave, Homer walks in the room]
Ooh, a fresh batch of American balls.
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This was a pretty contentious episode when it came out, much like Homer's Enemy. And that's exactly what it was supposed to be -- a conspiracy against the fans, a giant screw- you, "in canon," but with a big wipeout at the end so that nothing really changed. This was a bold move that was well executed, and yet somehow fell short of communicating itself to the bulk of the audience.
We've got a story where a minor character in the lives of Springfieldianites is revealed to have a history that's shockingly different than they had understood, though his personality remains unchanged. This leads to outrage and finally a complete rejection of the truth because it's too unsettling.
Hey -- if this episode makes you outraged and uncomfortable, you might be from Springfield!
You see -- it's all a commentary on how easy it is to love a lie. On how constancy is such a necessity in our lives that we'd rather embrace a familiar falsehood than accept the truth.
Maybe that's too meta for TV -- but who gives a spit, this episode is also funny as hell, well paced, well written and highly emotive. And tucked inside is a cogent exploration of complex relationships. It could be the smartest episode in the series' history.
Now let us never speak of it again -- under penalty of torture!
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