So, here we are with the last Simpsons write-up for the year, a nice John Swartzwelder scripted one. And, in honor of this being the beginning of winter and all that rot, let’s cover an episode that takes place during a riotous Spring Break.
I was a little surprised to learn from Wikipedia that this episode has an unfavorable reputation. Something about how the plot jumps around to all kinds of crazy stories and the whole thing is structured oddly to say the least.
But we’re talking about a show where the episode will open with the family going somewhere and then getting involved in a main plot that often has nothing to do with the opening weirdness. So, I don’t much mind. The jokes are good.
Homer’s new self-quizzing magazine comes along, and he takes a quiz to see how long he has left to live. The answer: three years. The panic that occurs, especially after Marge confirms he didn’t make a math error, leads him to insomnia and weird hallucinations, like how talk show host Charlie Rose was interviewing producer Robert Evans and Homer alone heard the two stop to threaten him personally. I mean, yeah, Evans talks what sounds like gibberish, but let’s just move on.
It goes too far when Homer shows up at the Power Plant wearing a kid’s sleeping bag and trying to nurse a plastic doll since mothers can’t die. The plant actually has a psychiatrist who recommends some rest in Florida, AKA America’s wang. They prefer the Sunshine State.
So, Marge drives Homer down there for some quiet rest, but they arrive during Spring Break, and though Marge is horrified, Homer revels in it. He even helps some college kids flip his own car with Marge and the kids still inside. And though Marge ties Homer down the next day, he still manages to get out to rock out at a Kid Rock concert where he thinks the late Joe C is a lost child. And when Homer is just short of being wasted like the biotch he is, the sheriff (guest star Diedrich Bader) stepped in to save the Simpson patriarch from a bad beating. Boys will be boys.
The whole party incident allows Homer to get the rest he needed, and he wakes up fine the next day ready to party some more. But Spring Break is over and the kids are headed back to school. Will that stop Homer? No, he’ll find people to par-tay with. That’d be the rest of his family, none of whom look happy to be out on that fan boat, especially when it hits Captain Jack, the giant alligator that helped build the town and acts as town mascot. And the sheriff pops up just then to arrest the whole family. Why? Well, the beer companies pay him to look the other way during Spring Break, but the rest of the year, he’s a real hardass.
But a chance to slip away occurs when the sheriff steps away to get baby-sized cuffs for Maggie and, as a result, the family escapes. The sheriff pursues, but they ditch him by beating a train to a crossing. Sure, they don’t miss the second train on the next track, and that means they have no car or clean clothes or money, but the world’s most agreeable diner owner will hire the lot of them and let them live in a trailer behind her establishment.
Hillbilly life appeals to the family actually. Bart and Lisa stop fighting. Too bad the sheriff finds them there and takes them back to stand trial.
Homer, of course, acts as his own attorney. Then they end up on a chain gang where a very talented man with a whip gives out instructions like, “No listenin’. You hear me?” There’s no right answer to that. But that whip guy is good. He can even make a person into a trained jazz pianist with the right lashing. And though an escape from forced catering duties doesn’t work, Captain Jack shows up alive and well. He’d only been stunned. The Simpsons are free to go, but banned from returning to Florida.
That’s one of many states they have to avoid. Well, they still have North Dakota.