This The Simpsons review contains spoilers.
The Simpsons: Season 28 Episode 21
The Simpsons Season 28 Episode 21, “Moho House,” sees Homer and Marge’s marriage at wit’s end. Now while you may say, wait, we’ve seen this before. This time someone is vying for Marge’s affections. Not her old and now magnificently successful boyfriend Arty Ziff, but Moe. The barkeep who went from Kid Gorgeous to Kid Presentable to Kid Gruesome to Kid Moe when he was a whatsitsweight and he only got fuglier since then.
Oh, but wait. Moe’s made his desires clear about Midge before too. Well, this time Mr. Burns bet the fortune of a British teabagger, who came escorted by his own Piccadilly Circus walkup trollop, against Mr. Smithers that the Simpsons marriage could not be torn asunder. Mr. Burns has a history of gambling with people’s fate but this time it’s for pounds, not dollars, and sterling, not flesh. Yes, the Simpsons have played with all these elements before, but this time they have songs and movie parodies.
The Shining, or should I say The Shinning, because The Simpsons have had copyright trouble with this before, puts in a spooky appearance. The Simpsons love Stanley Kubrick, reference him reverently and repeatedly. They treat Kubrick like he put a man on the moon or something. Putting Moe in an iconic photograph cements the classic horror film with Casablanca, whose gin is all over this episode. Moe has his very own Sam, who sells him a hill of beans, which he’s going to pickle and put on the bar.
Most people love Moe for his bile, he’s got a spleen full, but Marge sees something in him that she’s never seen before, pickled onion juice probably. She’s seen this before. We all have. The most dysfunctional family on Evergreen Terrace flirts with divorce twice a month. They’ve tossed in all variety of due causes and nolo contendres. None of them are quite as binding as Mr. Smithers’ freeing himself from being a contractually obligated chew toy with the stamp of a Skull and cross Burns.
Moe has done this a lot but always does the right thing in the end, like when he backpack-helicoptered Homer out of the ring when he was about to get his head pounded by Heavyweight Champ Tatum. He’s not about to lose an ass-filled seat, and what an ass, to a dame in dis here dress, no matter how high she stacks her hair. Moe himself has legs that just won’t quit, a great sight gag that many viewers have probably been picturing for years.
Marge doesn’t know Moe exists, which is the best thing he’s got going for him. It’s not that he’s alone. He has Raggy, the talking bar rag, but he also knows he could give her more love than her free green hat wearing husband.
Tonight is a tour de force for Moe, though. Between the vaguely British knockoff he touts his upcoming conquest to Sideshow Mel to the way he breaks into a grittily hysterical realism on the line “yeah, well Midge, I don’t know what my deal is with that,” he uses all his voices tonight. And he doesn’t have to get car exhaust in his eye. Also, that line, and the delivery, humanizes Moe more than his standing down and telling Homer what’s what. He’s got a problem, just with remembering her name. Maybe it’s the same affliction people used to pin on former President W, but in a sense, we all suffer.
Moe has his problems, with more than a helping from every other person in Springfield, but really, he should slink off somewhere dark. We all should. Moe isn’t everyman, and he ain’t nobody neither, he could been somebody, but here he is, whatever he is. He has beer.
We learn nothing new tonight about Marge or Homer, except that Homer can animate to the Carpenters and pass a carrot through his nose, and that all matrimonial drama winds up as foreplay. The Simpsons will never get divorced. Dangling their marriage on a string can be strung out forever. But we can’t really worry. The worst that would ever happen would occur over a two episode arc. Dysfunction will continue to eat at Evergreen Terrace like termites.
We do learn about Smithers, who could never work for a man he’s not in love with. While it’s comforting to feel Mr. Burns run his fingers through his hair as he molds it into amusing shapes, it may not be enough. Like Tiffany is not enough for Marge, frozen yogurt is not enough for Smithers.
Bart and Lisa barely put in appearances tonight. There are some good sight gags. The parents play with their kids through isolation windows at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant day care center. Chief Wiggum raids the evidence cabinet for an anniversary gift for his wife. Jesus is three gods in one to the Flandersese. McBain also delivers a devastating admission about his latest movie: “The trailer gave too much away. Like the fact that the movie was terrible.” “Moho House” isn’t. It suffers from retreads, but gives us enough Moe that we don’t really need to see him for the rest of the season.
“Moho House” was written by Jeff Martin and directed by Matthew Nastuk. The Simpsons stars Dan Castellaneta as Homer and Abe Simpson, Julie Kavner as Marge Simpson, Nancy Cartwright as Bart Simpson, Yeardley Smith as Lisa Simpson. Hank Azaria plays Kirk Van Houten, Chief Wiggum and Moe. Harry Shearer is Kent Brockman, C. Montgomery Burns and Waylon Smithers. Tress Macneille and Pamela Hayden also star. Guest stars Michael York as Nigel, Valerie Harper.
But It All Went By So Fast: Flanderses: It’s Always Sunday Somewhere, Maude’s Lil Acre, Casa De Ned. Drunken Donuts. Numb Housewife. Between the Roses Vodka. The 3 O’Clock Solution. Of Time and the Liver, by Barney Gumble, First Draft. Birthplace of Jebediah Springfield is destroyed for Moho House. To a beautiful woman on her 81st Birthday. An Ale of Two Cities.
Can you come alone to Mono House? I mean Mohair House. Milhouse. Stupid autocorrect.