April 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “The War Of Art”

In which the Simpsons buy an unexpectedly valuable painting at a yard sale.

So, who really owns art?

That may be a good question brought on by a sudden pet mania.

See, Lisa wants a guinea pig.  Why?  She just does.  Stop asking questions like that.  She’s eight.  She can do that.  Stop treating her like a short adult.

Anyway, Lisa wants a guinea pig, and after a lot of wheedling and a contract signed, Homer and Marge agree.  The family goes out to the sticks to adopt from a guinea pig rescue operation and Lisa’s excitement means it takes longer than expected with a hotel room for the night, but once she has the guinea pig home, she’s happy.

And then it gets loose.

The guinea pig, quickly forgotten like many Simpsons opening plots, gets into a hole in the wall and eventually chews its way out through that sailboat painting that hangs over the family’s sofa.  With the painting ruined, Marge will need a replacement, and that eventually leads to a yard sale hosted by the VanHoutens.  There’s a lot of stuff there, but Milhouse’s violin collection is of no interest to Homer.  Marge does find a nice, impressionistic style lighthouse painting from Kirk’s days during the separation, and offers to buy it for twenty dollars.  That’s a deal if they also take the violins.  Homer uses the instruments for firewood and the bows to roast marshmellows, while Marge gets the shiney chrome frame off and Lisa spots the signature of one Johan Oldenveldt.  It seems the painting may be very valuable.  Marge wants to sell the painting and split the money with the VanHoutens.  Homer wants to keep it and spends a lot of time convincing her not to share.  What finally works?  Telling her that selling the painting for $20 will make the VanHoutens feel bad.  Too bad Milhouse overheard that.

That requires taking him to a toy store for a bribe of whatever he wants.  Casually mentioning Lisa loves him means Lisa also needs a bribe, and then one for Bart since, well, you know.

Milhouse tells anyway.  The VanHoutens are furious, and take the story to the local news because Kent Brockman will air anything.  Does that make the Simpsons pariahs?  No, actually.  About half the town sides with them over the other half siding with Kirk and Luane.

The auction isn’t going well when a mystery woman comes in claiming to be Kirk’s ex from that period and he stole the painting from her.

That leads to one coarse of action:  Homer and Lisa go to the vacation island where Kirk bought the painting to find out who actually owned it.  It turns out Kirk did buy it, not the ex.  But there is a twist:  a patron of the art gallery named Klaus Ziegler  (guest star Max von Sydow) reveals he painted the picture as a talented art forger.  Lisa is outraged but what the harm in people enjoying beautiful paintings?  That’s not the right answer to Zeigler, but he will make three new paintings for Homer that will settle everything down:  a new sailboat for Marge, a family portrait for the VanHoutens, and a bitchin’ jukebox for Homer.

Homer has his priorities.