The Simpsons have a knack for appropriately named episodes and this one is no exception. The show runners really put all their eggs in one basket by having no B plot and making the guest star do all the heavy lifting. It kind of worked.
The episode follows Homer being twice humiliated (once by Mr. Burns who signed Lenny’s birthday card in obnoxiously large font without pitching in and second by Smithers who demotes Homer after he asked Burns for the money while on his medication). Homer’s demotion to mentor the interns almost turns out to be the third humiliation when the ‘millenniums’ heckle him for being dumb. However, one bright eyed intern steps in to defend Homer, Mike Wegman, played by Michael Rappaport. Mike is a huge fan Homer’s and see’s him as a kind of idol figure but has a short temper and loses it on anyone who disrespects Homer.
Homer invites Mike to dinner which goes terribly after Mike angrily roasts Bart. Marge tells Homer that he needs to teach Mike how to grow up. After some more mentoring Homer finds out that Mike’s idea for a pizza slice truck might actually be a good idea. The two seek investors but are rejected by Burns. Mike gambles on a loan from Fat Tony and nearly gets whacked for not being able to pay him back. Homer steps in to make a compromise where Mike can keep the truck to him back and use the truck as part of Tony’s gambling racket. In the end Homer is validated by Tony for being a good mentor which brings Homer to tears of joy.
I rather enjoyed this episode and it certainly was an improvement on the premiere the week before. Rappaport is at his best here going full on roast mode. The family dinner scene where he goes in on Bart is priceless. That everyone is in shock except for Lisa , who belts out laughing, was gold.
Although, Mike’s idolization of Homer was a little odd to understand. I get they made the character to be not as smart as he thought he was but how did he not get that Homer was the cause of all the plants past meltdowns and near catastrophe’s? At least with Mindy and Karl, from what feels like like an eternity ago, you could understand that they were either infatuated with Homer or had an admiration for him as a person. Homer is a lot of things, dumb, clumsy, prone to rash decisions but deep down he’s a family man with a good heart. Mike on the other hand willfully blind to the obvious and a real jerk to boot.
That criticism aside, he’s a funny character to have on screen but he would be even funnier in smaller doses. I think the show relied too much on him. I actually thought the bits before him were quite funny. Homer’s nightmare with Burns’ signature got a laugh as did Burns inexplicably giving Homer a cricket on a string as an apology.
The sight gags were top notch once again. After going on the run from the mafia Mike takes Homer in his food truck to a scrap yard where other failed food trucks are left. Some notable ones are: Que Pasa Kielbasa, Beet Box, Cletus’s Chicken Thumbs, Hoagie Mackeral, Pho-sicles, Dumpling Cheeseburgers and Houston We Have a Cobbler.
Overall, I enjoyed this episode, it was quite funny and despite Mike being an odd character he was a good foil for Homer to have.
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