Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Crepes of Wrath

Episode Number 7G13 (#111)
Created by Matt Groening; Developed by James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon
Written by George Meyer, Sam Simon, John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti
Directed by Wesley Archer, Milton Gray
Executive Producers James L. Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon
Starring Dan Castellanetta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, and Harry Shearer
Also starring Pamela Hayden, Christian Coffinet, Tress MacNeille

Bart comes home from somewhere and immediately leaves a trail of his arrival on the floor from the front door to his bedroom upstairs. Homer, upon seeing this, get aggravated, doesn't watch where he is stepping and trips on Bart's skateboard and falls down the stairs. Throwing out his back, Homer is unable to get up and is on the floor for hours until Marge and Lisa get home. Marge scolds Bart and tells him to clean his room. As he does, by throwing all his stuff into his closet, he finds one last cherry bomb.

At Springfield Elementary, Agnes Skinner is visiting her son, Principal Skinner, at work. Agnes has Skinner introduce her to Milhouse, Lewis, Richard, and Bart shortly before Bart and his friends go off into the restroom to set off the cherry bomb. Coincidentally, at that moment, Agnes needs to use "the little girl's room" and, as the cherry bomb explodes, is launched into the air by a pillar of water. Skinner then brings Bart home, Homer is still unable to move from the couch, and recommends that Bart be deported. Actually, it would just be a foreign exchange student scam but either way, Homer is on board.
The news of Bart being in another country has healing factors.
So Bart is off to Paris and the Simpsons receive their own exchange student, Adil Hoxha, from Albania. Bart's trip to Paris isn't all that it is cracked up to be. He is taken to a rundown winery, the Chateau Maison, where he is thrown under the care of Cesar and his cousin Ugolin. They immediately begin treating Bart as a slave which escalates to them using Bart to test their wine made of antifreeze. When Bart doesn't go blind, they send him to get more antifreeze where he finally grasps the French language and is able to tell a policeman what is going on. Bart is hailed a French hero for ending Cesar and Ugolin's antifreeze wine scheme. No, really.

Back in the States, the Simpson family takes a shine to Adil who really places Homer on a pedestal. Adil also takes a huge interest in the Nuclear Power Plant. As it turns out, Adil is a spy for the Albanian government. He is apprehended by the FBI and sent back to Albania to spy again another day. Bart returns home, with gifts, saying that he met one decent French person.

Random Observations
  • I've always loved the "I like to play with you" on repeat from the Krusty after Homer falls down the stairs. Just makes a bad situation even worse. Santa's Little Helper falling asleep on top of Homer is also hilarious.
  • That animation on Santa's Little Helper is beautiful.
  • Homer: "The boy. Bring me the boy."
  • Principal Skinner's motherly nickname is "Spanky". You don't hear that nickname after this episode but it is mentioned in Simpsons Illustrated and Simpsons Comics occassionally.
  • Agnes Skinner is also much more loving than we see later in the series. Maybe the Cherry Bomb Incident and Skinner's ineptitude to stop it made her bitter toward her son.
  • This was my first introduction to cherry bombs. I've never understood random acts of vandalism and I still don't.
  • Homer: "I'd get up but the boy crippled me."
    Skinner: "I understand completely."
  • Homer, on Albanians: "All white with pink eyes?"
  • A sign of great writing, we learn immediately from Cesar that they participated in the student exchange program specifically to give their donkey, Maurice, some time off. Maurice later is given Bart's lucky red hat.
  • I always wondered, even when the episode first aired, how Cesar and Ugolin got selected in the exchange program. Were they not vetted or are the French just that terrible?
  • Adil, in a speech to Springfield Elementary: "Although I am required to hate you, I do not fell that in my heart."
  • I never liked Adil. Especially his hair.
  • Bart: "Can I get something to go with my turnip?" Bart just gets a turnip for dinner. When he starts working like a man, he can get fed like one.
  • Cesar: "You grab the grape between your thumb and forefinger and drop it in the bucket. Now, you do it." [Bart pulls off a grape, drops it in the bucket] "Very good. Now, do it a million times."
  • Can you imagine someone just being able to wander through a nuclear power plant (with or without an escort) and being able to take pictures?
  • Homer already has a picture of Adil hanging in the bedroom.
  • In France, antifreeze in the wine is a worse crime than child slavery.
  • The nuclear plant just gave Homer blueprints.
  • Springfield has direct flights to and from Paris.