You know, The Simpsons often have a decent, sentimental Christmas episode.
Is this one of those sorts of episodes? I dunno. Probably.
It’s Christmas Eve, and Homer isn’t home yet. He’a assured Marge by phone that he is on his way, and Mr. Burns gives him a Christmas gift of a charitable donation in his name. Burns has his own problems: he’s being visited by three ghosts later on.
But then Homer almost runs over a woman in a baby carriage. That causes him to divert his car into a snow drift coincidentally in front of Moe’s. Oh, and Moe was the woman and the carriage was empty and very flammable. Homer doesn’t see that part and goes in for a quick beer. Now, Homer doesn’t want to stay long, but every time he tries to leave, Moe begs him to stay because Moe is very lonely. Homer agrees, and once Moe has had his fill, he resets the clocks to the right time and Homer realizes he is really, really late.
And Marge is angry enough to toss Homer out when he gets home. Homer tries to shout that Marge can assemble the toys by herself. Patty (or Selma) emerges to say Marge already has, but that spooks Homer because he think he’s seeing the Ghost of Marge Future.
That’s rather clever, actually.
So, Marge is heartbroken, and Homer’s not much better. Homer can’t find anyplace that is open to stay in, including Moe’s. He tries a movie theater, where he selects a Holocaust drama starring Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill, but seeing himself in there with the likes of Groundskeeper Willie, the Crazy Cat Lady, some hobo with a dog, Kirk VanHouten, and, of course, Gil, suggests only losers and loners go to the movies on Christmas Eve night, so he skips out of there. Then he runs into Ned Flanders, shutting up a Leftorium kiosk. Ned’s business doesn’t do that well, and he’s still down from Edna’s death (plus, he’s almost done grading the papers she left behind), and that touches Homer enough to buy something and give Ned a hug. Ned’s suggesting Homer was now his best friend causes Homer to make a run for it.
Marge, meanwhile, gets a visitor from the chimney: Moe. Moe is there to confess he’s the reason Homer was so late. Marge leaves to find Homer, bringing the kids with her. They try the retirement home first, seeing if Grampa has seen Homer. He hasn’t, but then they can’t bring themselves to move on from the lonely old man. Eventually, they try a party full of Christmas mascots at the mall, and yes, Homer is there. All is forgiven, all is well, and everyone (and I mean everyone) poses for a Christmas photo.
So, that’s sweet and sentimental, right?
Probably moreso than the next one, as this episode gave us a preview of it.