Thursday, December 13, 2012
Mother Simpson (S07, E08-136)
Rather than help clean up a Burns-owned highway on a Saturday, Homer goes out of his way to fake his own death so that he can just waste the day away instead. With his co-workers all witnessing the "death", news of it spreads quickly, with neighbors and sisters-in-law trying to comfort (or celebrate with) Marge. Marge scolds Homer over it, and has him go the next morning to prove his status among the living. At the cemetery, he does so but with an attitude and after demanding he see his government profile, he notices what appears to be a glaring error: his mother is still listed as alive. Homer tries to point out the grave his dad claimed to be his mother's, but upon closer inspection it's just Walt Whitman's grave. He inspects another grave, but it turns out to be his, falling in over the shock. Then, he gets scolded by an old woman for messing around in her son's grave. As Homer is pointing out to the woman that its his grave, both people realize what that means, and Homer has reunited with his mother.
He introduces her to the family, who are a combination of shocked and stunned over this development. While "Mona" Simpson starts to get along with the family, most notably Lisa, suspicions begin to rise. For one, Mona refuses to talk about where she's been the past 27 years. Bart finds several fake IDs in her purse, as well. Mona also avoids being seen by the police, which confuses Lisa. Homer also doesn't know why she left him, presuming he had something to do with it, which prompts Marge to inquire about her past as well. With the whole family on her, Mona decides to reveal her story.
It was 1969, and as Mona tucks away young Homer for bed time one night, she notices her husband Abe watching Super Bowl III. On the broadcast, she sees Joe Namath put on display his long hair, which blows Mona's mind, showing her a new revolutionary side of things. In that vein, she joins a protest against Mr. Burns, who was heading a germ warfare building at the time (guarded by Clancy Wiggum, who was in student security). She and the group decide to build a device that releases concentrated antibiotics into the building, pretty much killing all the germs in the building (as well as Wiggum's asthma). Burns arrives just in time to be trampled by the group, but Mona makes the mistake to see if Burns is alright. Burns sees to it that she'll be arrested, but Wiggum's incompetence allows Mona to escape. However, now that her face is on the news, she's forced to go on the run, kissing Homer good night one last time.
Homer still wonders about one thing: how come Mona never sent him any packages? Turns out, she sent one every week but Homer never received them because the letter carrier is never tipped at Christmas. While Homer and Mona go to the post office to retrieve the packages, Mr. Burns happens to be there as well, and is able to identify Mona, requesting the FBI and Chief Wiggum to track her down.
The search takes the police to the graveyard and eventually to Patty & Selma, who have the tombstone Mona was visiting: Homer's. Meanwhile, after Mona is painstakingly reunited with Grampa and the group sits down for dinner, Homer receives a call, and he and Mona quickly take their leave just before Burns and company arrive. At a distant locale, the tipster calls again, revealing that Mona was responsible for clearing up his asthma, allowing him to rise up the ranks and become Police Chief Wiggum (though Homer hangs up before that last part). With Mona's hippie group ready to pick her up, Mona says her goodbyes to Homer and departs.
In terms of comedy, Mother Simpson isn't among the best episodes of Season 7 thus far. However, this episode is an emotional one, as Homer is reunited with, then separated from, his long lost mother. The scene at the end can be a tearjerker, and really boosts the quality of the episode, making it one of Season 7's best.
Final Score: 9.5