Simpsons Did It!: “Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part Two)”

When last we left the Simpson family, it was season six.

Now it’s season seven, and Bart is writing on the chalkboard that “I will not complain about the solution when I hear it.”  It’s like they knew…

The show opens to Smithers waking up with a hangover and a mouth full of cigarette butts.  A shower in the next room shows a fully OK Mr. Burns.  And they’re off to solve crimes on the hotrod circuit.  Wait, that can’t be right.

Nope, the Dallas dream fake-out is not the truth.  Well, Smithers is still a drunk with a mouth full of cigarette butts, but the rest isn’t true, especially the part about the crime solving on the hotrod circuit.  Did Smithers do the crime?  Even he thinks he did.  Confessing at a church only gets him arrested since that was actually Chief Wiggum’s stake out post.

But Smithers didn’t do it.  Neither did Dr. Colossus.  Smithers is exonerated by Sideshow Mel, while the man Smithers did shoot was Jasper, but only in a wooden leg.  No one was hurt.  Heck, Jasper didn’t even notice.

This sets up a pattern where other residents of the town come to help Wiggum with the crime.  After Mel it’s Lisa, and Lisa’s list of suspects includes a revenge-minded Tito Puente.  And Tito did get revenge…through song.

Soon after, Wiggum’s interviews show other suspects aren’t guilty either.  Principal Skinner had an alibi at the time.  Groundskeeper Willy’s arthritis means he can’t use a pistol.  Moe passes an embarrassing lie detector test.  Really, Wiggum is out of luck.

Then another TV-inspired dream gives the Chief an idea.  Going the Twin Peaks route, backwards-talking Lisa suggests checking Burns’ suit, which Wiggum eventually figures out.  There they find an eyelash with Simpsons DNA.  Plus, Homer is raging against the fact Burns can’t remember his name.  And when Burns wakes up, Homer’s name is the only thing he’s capable of saying.  As if Homer didn’t have enough problems hosing out his toolshed after Grampa decides to use a nonexistent outhouse.  A quick arrest, a gun with Homer’s prints found in the car, and Homer is in real trouble that only the Springfield PD’s own incompetence can get him a break from.  And when Homer confronts Burns, he’s really mad.  Fortunately, Lisa is on-hand to find the real culprit.

Double fortunate that Burns snaps out of his fugue and forgets Homer’s name again.  Plus, he shows no fear that Homer could even use a gun if he wanted to due to what Burns sees as poor evolution.  Nope, Burns is only afraid of the one person who actually did shoot him.


Was it an accident?  The show never really says.  But it happened all the same.  And despite Burns’ insistence on an arrest, there isn’t a jury in the world that would convict a baby outside maybe Texas.

So, there you have it.  Burns’ archenemy is a baby.  How appropriate.


Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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