Simpsons Did It!: “Crystal Blue-Haired Persuasion”

The producers of The Simpsons suggested this episode would be something that would anger actress Gwyneth Paltrow.  Does that mean Ryan would like this episode?

Eh, he probably wouldn’t watch it anyway.  I’m not sure why I still do some days…

Actually, in the grand scheme of things, maybe this one wasn’t too bad.  Sure, we open with Mr. Burns deciding to save money by cutting children’s health care from the employee medical plan, but that…wait, that is an awful thing to do, and as Homer observes, he has three kids who have health.  Sure, he insists Marge was on board with big corporate tax cuts to prevent government-assisted health care for kids, but that might not have been Marge so much as it may have been Ann Coulter with a cold.  Homer apparently can’t keep them straight.

So, what happens now with Bart’s Focusyn?  Well, Marge gives Bart a generic version, but as she does, Lisa shows her a video from a website where a doctor voiced by guest star Werner Herzog lists various side effects and Bart has all of them.  Can Marge get something else for Bart’s ADD?  Dr. Nick only treats pets these days!  But wait, what about the new age crystal shop run by a friendly woman voiced by guest star Illeana Douglas?  Can those help Bart focus?

Um, yeah.  He gets an A on a test, one he is willing to staple to the fridge.  Lisa is a bit suspicious, but Marge is so overjoyed, she wants to buy more crystals.

Bad news:  crystal-lady just joined a cult or a convent or something, and she’s leaving the business.  Good news:  she’ll let Marge have all the inventory, and given Bart’s success, Marge’s new garage-based business is a big hit in Springfield with all kinds of people buying from her new store Murmurs.  Sure, she has to bribe Chief Wiggum since she lacks a business license, but she can sell $1,000 worth of stuff in a day and $998 of it is profit.  Homer even feels that if Marge is working, he doesn’t have to for some reason.  Marge keeps telling him otherwise.

That leads to a weird dream sequence between Marge and Homer seeing crystals everywhere, and a cameo from a memorable coyote.  So, this won’t last, right?

Yeah, even when Marge gets competition from one Piper Paisley (guest star Jenny Slate), a woman who already runs a successful similar business in the Shelbyville Mall, you just know Marge’s business will be temporary like every other business she’s had on this show.  Remember when she ran a gym for regular women?  Yeah, neither do I.  Piper doesn’t like competition, but then Marge just opens a kiosk next to Piper’s and plans rather devious plans involving her extended family in the form of Patty and Selma taking far too much advantage of the free samples while Grandma Bouvier comes in as the confused old person.  By the by, nice touch not making it Grampa.

What kills Marge’s business?

Simple.  Lisa figures out Bart was cheating.  He was using the crystals to read answers on tests written on posters next to his desk with a little help from perpetual toady Milhouse.  That and all the other people who bought Marge’s stuff realized they didn’t work.  Marge closes shop, Homer goes back to work, and Marge even rescues the crystal lady from the cult-convent thing.

So, that was the end of season 30.  Kind of a strange note to end things on when…

Wait, Fox ordered two more seasons…dang…

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