Sunday, 8 August 2010

MAYORED TO THE MOB

SEASON 10 EPISODE 9 (EPISODE 212)

THIS IS IT:
Here is what happens when Homer becomes a bodyguard.  It begins with the family watching TV and the conclusion of the “Thousand Dollar Movie” “Roger Corman’s Titanic”.  Just before the end of the movie an advert is run for the Bi-Monthly Science Fiction Convention (“Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con”) with this month’s guests being Mark Hamill and Alf along with robot wrestling.  They attend the convention on the basis “it beats work” and “it beats school”.  After a nice circuit of proceedings Mayor Quimby addresses the crowd and introduces Mark Hamill who emerges from a space ship swinging a lightsaber taking out cut outs of three Stormtroopers and one Wonder Woman.  As he begins addressing the crowd he reveals that he is promoting Sprint telecom.  With this discouraged he offers to act out a scene calling for a volunteer to play Obi-Wan Kenobi.  People offering include Skinner, Lenny, Karl and Professor Frink.  Then Groundskeeper Willy (in a Chewbacca t-shirt) punches Frink after questioning his lightsaber sound and suddenly a riot ensues.  They corner Hamill and Quimby while his bodyguards sit on the bonnet of his car commenting how fluffy the clouds look.  Enraged by the swarm of nerds Homer plunders through the crowd and rescues the pair of them introducing himself as “Homer Simpson – Nerd Buster.”  He carries Hamill out who climbs to have twisted his ankle.  At first Homer leads them into the spaceship only to re-enter commenting “how was I supposed to know it’s not a real spaceship?”  Once outside it is revealed that Hamill’s ankle was fine all along and when Quimby’s bodyguards approach him (“Hi boss, we were just talking about you.”) they are promptly fired from their jobs.  With this he appoints Homer as his new bodyguard.  From here he attends Leavelle’s Bodyguard Academy.  Also attending it Kirk Van Houten.  When given watermelons to use as their protectees Homer is given Ann Landers, which he wastes no time in eating.  The class isn’t the greatest but being that their cheques clear they all graduate.  In honour of their achievement Leavelle sings a version of the “Bodyguard Theme” in celebration.  Now a fully qualified bodyguard a dressed up Homer uses his knowledge around the house referring to guarding Marge safely home as “the pig in the poke.”  Cavalierly he uses his new sleeper hold on his family and then himself to get a thirty minute nap.  Before long he is driving Quimby around Springfield “representing the office of the mayor” with one of his first acts being to honk the car horn at a red headed lady.  Homer takes Quimby to Moe’s where he bribes the mayor being that it is health inspection season which is the first in a number of bribes that Homer witnesses Quimby receiving.  Later at the Legitimate Businessman’s Social Club, Mayor Quimby hands the School Milk Concession to Fat Tony.  Elsewhere while Homer is speaking with Fat Tony’s associates a rat steals the last cannoli and carries it into the “Milking Room” where upon entry Homer discovers that Fat Tony is supplying rat milk to Springfield Elementary.  This outrages Quimby stating that he was promised “dog or higher.”  From here Homer runs into the school where all the kids are drinking cartons of Squeaky Farms Brand Genuine Animal Milk including Bart and Lisa.  Horrified Homer heads to the Springfield Municipal Building where he confronts Quimby on the subject who at the time is running on a treadmill.  As Homer bangs his fists on the machine he accidentally presses the speed button prompting Quimby to go flying out of the window.  Fortunately he grips onto a ledge and Homer is able to pull him up and in on the provision that he gets the rat milk out of the schools.  Soon after this Chief Wiggum and his squad bust Fat Tony while they are playing poker.  Fat Tony tells them they should consult with Mayor Quimby who bursts in afterwards saying “not this time” who comments “I’m not so much disappointed as blinded with rage.”  “And so as the rat’s milk is returned to the sewers, the circle of life is complete.”  From here while being interview by Kent Brockman, Fat Tony takes the opportunity to remind Mayor Quimby that “accidents will happen, like the killing of you by us.”  Then as with these things less than thirty seconds later Fat Tony is out on bail and Homer is now wearing a bulletproof vest to work.  With this he asks Bart to go start his car to which Marge naturally and sensibly objects.  In the end he takes a cab.  When Homer picks Quimby up, out of fear Quimby is resigning himself to a night at home with his wife.  Eventually Homer persuades the mayor that it is safe when he tells him “I’m going to take you where you can forget all about gangsters” and the ill judged performance of Guys And Dolls at Springfield Dinner Theater where Mark Hamill is starring as Nathan Detroit.  Also in attendance is the Flanders family, Burns and Smithers, Fat Tony, Reverend Lovejoy and Dr Hibbert.  Fat Tony passes on a kiss to Homer to give to Quimby.  Paranoid Homer suspects Fat Tony of poisoning Quimby’s food so he takes appropriate precaution.  Hamill performs the role of Nathan Detroit dressed as Luke Skywalker complete with lightsaber (“this is a conceptual nightmare.”)  By mistake one of Tony’s henchmen Louie winds up in the show doing one of Hamill’s numbers when he should have been stabbing Quimby.  Now having stolen his part Hamill begins a fight before the associate (Louie) makes another attempt at Quimby at which Homer prevents the killing and while holding the knife Hamill tells him “use the forks” to defend himself thinking that he says “use the Force.”  At this point Homer declares victory only to spot Fat Tony clubbing Mayor Quimby over the head with a baseball bat.  In the aftermath with Quimby in hospital, Mark Hamill delivers some assuring good news before they step outside to a hoard of fans at which point Homer revisits his role as bodyguard and carries Hamill kicking his way through the crowd of autograph hunters and well-wishers to the sound of the “I Will Always Love You” this time sung by Whitney Houston.

IS IT ANY GOOD:
Yes it’s really good with all the Star Wars and gangster references.

WHAT IT TAUGHT ME:
Regardless of their public personas people in politics are corrupt.

EXTERNAL REFERENCES:
Homer asking Bart to start his car for him because he fears a bomb is attached is straight from The Godfather 2.  And so is the kiss.  There are some great Star Wars references in addition to various other general science fiction connections.  In the Springfield Dinner Theatre performance of Guys And Dolls Mark Hamill changes the words of “Luck By A Lady Tonight” to “Luke Be A Jedi Tonight”.

BEST LINES:
“You stupid little tramp, you’re so boring, I hate you” C3P0 to R2D2.  “Use your lightsaber”, “And break it?  George Lucas makes me pay for these.”  “Those wacky gangsters, what are gonna do?”  “Six queens.  Read ‘em and weep.”  “You’re all talk Hamill; you never even finished Jedi school.”

BEST JOKES:
Tag team robot wrestling at the Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con featuring the mighty robots of Battlestar Galactica vs. the gay robots of Star Wars (R2D2 and C3P0).  The Lost In Space going “Danger! Danger! Bart Simpson” when Dr Smith attempts to meet up with him later in the food court.  Quimby commenting “the Mayor’s Office is not for sale” prompting much hilarity from the police and press alike.

PERIPHERAL MOMENT:
The tagline of the Science Fiction Convention is “set phasers on fun”.  Chewbacca isn’t allowed into the event because it is full.  Uter is wearing a Futurama t-shirt.  Signing autographs are Gort, Tom Baker, Godzilla, Neil Armstrong and Dr Smith from Lost In Space.  Mrs Krabappel is dressed as Barbarella and Skinner dressed as Spock.  Comic Book Guy is wearing a t-shirt that says Alien Biopsy while a prospective female interest is wearing an Alien Autopsy t-shirt to whom he admits he is a 45 year old virgin who lives with his parents.  Leavelle’s Bodyguard Academy is A Division Of Ray-Ban.

REALITY CROSSOVER:
I have attended science fiction conventions and the portrayal here of one isn’t far off.

MVP:
Fat Tony.  Understated and awesome as ever.

GUEST APPEARANCES:
Mark Hamill appears as himself at the Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con although sadly Alf does not make a similar appearance even though scheduled/billed.  C3-P0 also appears but not voiced by Anthony Daniels.  And as ever Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony.  Also Dick Tufeld the voice of the robot from Lost In Space.

SONGS:
“I Will Always Love You” performed by both Leavelle from the Bodyguard Academy and Whitney Houston.

EPISODE LINKS:
Several subtle but none explicit.

PERCULARITIES:
How is Homer yet again able to drop his job at the nuclear plant to pursue yet another vocation?

BART ON THE BLACKBOARD:
“The president did it” is not an excuse.

OTHER:
This is a golden era episode.

FINAL WORDS:
These days I don’t think references are allowed to be so specific.

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