May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Simpsons Did It!: “Cremains Of The Day”

In which the gang mourns Larry. Wait, who's Larry?

Wait, there’s only 18 episodes this season?  Are they finally running out of ideas?

Maybe?

It’s a typical day at Moe’s, or at least it would be if the guys weren’t making bets on an NFL game being played in London so Homer could skip church.  Everything seems to be going in a rather average way until Moe sees Larry isn’t moving, even when poked with a broomstick in the face.  Yes, Larry is dead.

Hold on…how the hell is Larry?

Larry is one of those two silent guys who sit in Moe’s and just drink and not much else.  He’s like a literal background character in that you can probably count the number of spoken lines he’s had on the fingers of one hand, and many of them are when the group all talks at the same time.  And for the record, the other guy is apparently named “Sam” after Sam Simon.

But yes, Larry is dead.  His funeral is sparsely attended.  In fact, it’s just the Simpson family, Larry’s mother, Moe, Carl, and Lenny.  Moe’s mad at Barney for skipping out because he had better things to do, allegedly, and I can see why Moe would think so.  I mean, Barney’s providing fresh drinking water for what looks like a poor Latin American village and speaking fluent Spanish to boot.  How dare he miss that funeral!

And in cutting edge, topical humor, Bart and Lisa skip out of Larry’s funeral to see some others, like the pirate funeral and the political one that has a slam on RFK Jr that is somehow still relevant.  I don’t know how, but it is.

Meanwhile, Marge challenges the guys–especially Lenny for some reason–to do something in Larry’s memory since Larry felt like a part of the group while the group clearly didn’t know anything.  The episode does show Larry’s rather sad life, and it does seem to get to the guys as they decide to take a note from Larry’s scrapbook and scatter his ashes at Paradise Falls.   It’s a task that all four of them–especially Lenny for some reason–take seriously while grumbling on the way out.

So, here’s where I take a moment to say…is this where the series is right now?  I get the impulse to want to do something about a character that has been on the show for ages and never really done anything, like, at all.  But this feels like a show trying to find something to do and not really knowing what that something is, kinda appropriate given it’s about a character that no one really did anything with before, and now he’s dead.

It does lead to an interesting conversation between the four guys, sometime before they realize they don’t like each other as much when they’re sober, involving what happens when you die.  In short:  Lenny believes in ghosts, Carl in reincarnation, Moe in nothing, and Homer in the Christian heaven.  Sure, they’ll all later pick different ones, but it’s good enough for now, particularly when Homer accidentally knocks over the urn and finds sapphires hidden amongst the ashes.  Moe comes in afterwards and talks the easily suggestable Homer to keep quiet about it, and naturally when Lenny and Carl do find out, Moe says keeping that thing a secret was Homer’s idea.  There might be some arguing were it not for the sudden appearance of a smalltown sheriff who tosses the four into his frunk, or front trunk of his car.  Homer only figures that out later.

Oh, and the sheriff isn’t a sheriff but someone who works for Fat Tony (returning guest star Joe Mantegna) because Larry was part of a smuggling operation.

Wait, how did those sapphires get into Larry’s ashes since he’s kinda a pile of ash?

You know what?  I don’t care.  The rest of the episode has the guys get loose thanks to Homer’s discovery of a flare gun, and an accident with Larry’s urn rolling down a hill and getting stuck in the wheel of the sheriff’s car saves Homer from falling to his death because he doesn’t know that “3” means “go” when jumping from a moving vehicle.  The gems seem to disappear, and it turns out Larry’s picture was from Moe’s wall advertising and not the real Paradise Falls, so everyone goes back there to celebrate Larry’s life even if his jewel smuggling nearly got the others all killed.

Also, Moe swallowed those sapphires.

Huh, I guess Fat Tony didn’t stay in prison.