December 5, 2022

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Simpsons Did It!: “Poppa’s Got A Brand New Badge”

In which Homer finds a good where he's not stupid, lazy, or corrupt, and it nearly gets him killed.

So, we end season thirteen with another case of Homer getting a new job.

He’s actually good at this one.  There’s the problem.

Actually, there’s a moment in this one where Homer actually lists all the jobs he’s held during the course of the series up to that point.  It’s a nice moment.  Hey, I found it on You Tube!

So, how did this happen?  And what is the this that happened?  Good questions; so here goes.

There’s a heatwave in Springfield, the kind that causes sunflowers to wilt, newspaper ink to melt off the page, and butterflies to spontaneously combust.  As a result, air conditioners are running at max all over Springfield.  It’s enough to get long truant students like Jughead, the Fonz, and Fat Albert to return to the relative coolness of Springfield Elementary.  But the Power Plant is running at maximum.  Someone somewhere plugging in just one more appliance could overload the system.

Cue Homer plugging in an electrical Santa Claus to cheer up the family.

The resulting power failure results in rioting because this is Springfield and Springfield knows how to riot.  People will steal anything that isn’t nailed down.  Moe tosses a garbage can to loot his own bar.  Maybe he should have thought that through a bit more.  As for the police, Chief Wiggum pretty much fails at stopping anything, as is completely expected.  I mean, the rioters were stealing from the tire fire.

Homer’s actually being responsible and just watching from afar.  He won’t even let Bart riot.  But something strange comes over Homer:  a sense of responsibility.  What will he do?  Well, he’ll start behaving better and helping people.  He starts with Lisa.  Someone stole her entire Malibu Stacy collection.  Homer looks for clues, finds a hat, goes to the hat store, interrogates the owner, and then finds Jimbo Jones wandering in hatless.  Jimbo objected to how the dolls portray women, but that doesn’t matter to Homer.  He’s taking Jimbo to juvie.  And it’s a good thing Jimbo’s been there before because Homer doesn’t know the way.

Feeling accomplished, and with a recommendation from Marge, Homer opts to open a security company with Lenny and Carl as his deputies.  And Homer’s actually good at this!  It does combine his love of helping people with his love of hurting people.  His new SpringShield company is so popular that when the mayor fires Wiggum for trying to hit a Piñata with a shotgun on live television, he immediately hires SpringShield to replace the police department.

And Homer’s still good at it.  Thanks to a ferret wearing a wire, Homer can arrest Fat Tony (obviously Joe Mantegna) for various crimes.  But Fat Tony never stays in jail long, and Homer forgot again how to shame him.  Vowing to kill Homer at high noon the next day on a radio call in while also requesting “Radar Love,” Fat Tony is coming for Homer, and nobody will stand with Homer.  Well, Flanders would, but you know Homer won’t take help from him.

And so, Fat Tony and his people ride in to something that sounds very familiar.

What will save Homer from the vicious mob gunmen?  A sudden savior manages to wound all the gangsters with some sort of rifle.  Who was it?  Was it Wiggum, who shows up on scene to collect Homer’s badge?  Er, no.  He lost his gun too.

Actually, it was Maggie.  She’s a hell of a shot.  She’s never around when there’s trouble, just like Clark Kent.  And she really loves her poppa.

And so ends season thirteen.


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