Round 65: Homer’s Enemy vs. Lisa’s Sax

Round 65: 4F19 vs. 3G02.

4F19: “Homer’s Enemy” (Season 8 / May 4, 1997)
Written by John Swartzwelder
Directed by Jim Reardon
Showrunners: Bill Oakley & Josh Weinstein

Homer Simpson presenting his power plant model to Mr. Burns

The real world collides with that of the Simpsons once again, and once again the results are hilarious. Frank Grimes, or Grimey, as he liked to be called, is the tragic personiofication of all of us in the audience who ever wondered how exactly someone like Homer Simpson could ever become safety inspector in a nuclear power plant, or afford to live in anything other than a single room above a bowling alley – and below another bowling alley.

  • “Then, on his 18th birthday, he was blown up in a silo explosion.”
  • Love the B-plot (Bart’s factory), as well.

3G02: “Lisa’s Sax” (Season 9 / October 19, 1997)
Written by Al Jean
Directed by Dominic Polcino
Showrunner: Al Jean & Mike Reiss

Homer playing foosball with Edvard Munch's The Scream

The ninth season is a mixed bag, and a look at the production codes shines a light on why that is: Most of the episodes are Mike Scully’s (5F), and while I like some of them, there is a noticeable drop in quality from the Oakley and Weinstein years, of which we get a few holdover episodes in S9, among them “The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson.” David Mirkin ran two shows (5F23 and 5F24) which we’ll get to when we get to them (Yikes!) and then we have two holdovers of Al Jean & Mike Reiss’ 3G episodes, including “Lisa’s Sax.”

So that explains why this episode doesn’t feel like a S9 episode but more like a S7 episode. The flashback format always allows for some fun stuff, and it’s got some good observations of not quite finding your place in the world, no matter if you’re five or three and three-eights.

  • From the commentary: The original sheet music for the Batman theme apparently said “Word and music by Neal Hefti.” Nice.

The winner: 4F19, “Homer’s Enemy.”