Round 25: 9F01 vs. 5F17.
9F01: “Homer the Heretic” (Season 4 / October 8, 1992)
Written by George Meyer
Directed by Jim Reardon
Showrunners: Al Jean & Mike Reiss
A beautiful, smart episode, featuring a happy, relatable Homer, great jokes, just the right amount of absurd humor, and a “lesson” that is fun, ambiguous and never preachy.
- Similar to what happened in “Weekend at Burnsie’s,” Homer has animals land on his shoulders and treat him as their master. But here it is actually funny. And no one gets their eyes pecked out.
- Nice car chase scene, animation and music are just right.
- All-time great “Itchy & Scratchy.”
- “Coming up next: Make Your Own Ladder.”
5F17: “Lost Our Lisa” (Season 9 / May 10, 1998)
Written by Brian Scully
Directed by Pete Michels
Showrunner: Mike Scully
I don’t know why exactly this is, but I enjoy few things more in life than the sight of fathers spending quality time with their daughters. I don’t have a daughter nor am I one, but it just stirs something up inside me and I get all emotional. Many of the Simpsons moments I hold most dear are ones between Homer and Lisa, and we get a handful of beautiful examples in this episode.
Another reason to love “Lost Our Lisa” are the many great observations of being a kid, from super glue accidents to riding the city bus for the first time. Nancy and especially Yeardley are perfect as Bart and Lisa, they bring so much emotion to their performances.
And there’s Homer, of course, happy, adventurous, wise (in his own way) and most of all proud of (and concerned for) his daughter. It’s just wonderful, and a far cry from the angry, careless Homer we get to see these days.
But it’s not all emotion, the episode is actually very funny, too. I imagine I’ll get into some of my favorite quotes when we see “Lost Our Lisa” again in the next phase of the tournament, because…
The winner is: 5F17: “Lost Our Lisa.”