How many episodes of any TV show can claim to have Frances Sternhagen and Carmen Electra play the exact same character in the same scene?
Man, this episode is really freakin’ weird.
Thanks, John Swartzwelder.
Our story begins when Homer buys Marge a koi pond. Somehow, this leads to the chair.
See, the pond attracts a screamapillar. That’s an endangered species that takes the form of a very loud caterpillar that screams like crazy. It needs constant reassurance and is sexually attracted to fire. And since it decamped in the Simpson yard, the Simpsons have to take care of something that is small, obnoxious, and attracts all kinds of predators.
The EPA is really on top of things here. They first nab Homer when he goes to step on it, and then later after he accidentally smashed it with a book cover while reading the dang thing bedtime stories. The screamapillar lives, but Homer is sentenced to 200 hours of community service delivering Meals on Wheels to old folks. That’s where he meets the axe-welding Mrs. Bellamy (that would be Sternhagen).
Oh, the axe was just to cut her steak with.
But Mrs. Bellamy is so helpless, she soon has Homer agreeing to stop by and help out whenever she needs it. She needs it a lot. And I will say I was amused by Homer getting Burns of all people to cover for him at the plant.
Homer is so run ragged that Marge decides to go talk to Mrs. Bellamy herself. That ends with Marge also apparently doing all the old lady’s chores. I sense a pattern. Heck, by the time of the murder, Homer and Marge appear to be some sort of full time servants for Mrs. Bellamy.
Oh yeah, someone murders her. Homer and Marge spot a man with braces making a getaway after stealing Mrs. Bellamy’s diamond necklace after stabbing the old lady with a pair of scissors. And it just so happens Mrs. Bellamy left $50,000 to the Simpsons in a very recent will change. That makes the pair prime suspects even for a dense guy like Chief Wiggum.
Being top murder suspects initially leads to some advantages as Homer uses his new reputation to get free stuff, but then during a search of the house, Wiggum and the cops find Maggie playing with the dead woman’s diamond necklace. Homer attempts to bribe Wiggum with it, but Wiggum doesn’t take bribes from anything he can easily steal from the evidence locker.
The trial goes as expected and Homer and Marge are sentenced to death. The kids are given to a foster family run by Cletus, and Bart and Lisa are renamed. Prison life is hard for Marge, so Homer confesses he acted alone and got Marge off. He doesn’t seem to get right away that she can’t do the same for him.
And so, Homer goes to the chair. Lots of interested parties are there. Marge, his kids, Grampa (he’s asleep), Patty and Selma (they’re happy to be there), George Bush, the screamapillar, and then…well, it turns out the whole thing was a set-up. Homer and Marge were being used on a hot new Fox show called Frame Up. Mrs. Bellamy was not only still alive, she was really Carmen Electra (see first sentence of the write-up). Wiggum mentions the city spent millions on the trial, but he’s going to be on TV so he doesn’t care.
That would be more or less the end of it as Homer lectures Electra’s chest. But this seems like the sort of thing that doesn’t hold up too well under more intense scrutiny. Like, you know, that one where Edward Norton conned Homer and Bart and the explanation was cut off by a sudden wave of surfing.
But, man, that is the sort of thing that happens when you get to the tail end of Season Thirteen.
I suppose we’ll need to finish the season off next time.