This week, the family takes a back seat as the story focuses on two beloved side characters: Chief Wiggum and Fat Tony. The show has rarely given the reigns of an episode to anyone other than the Simpsons but here the decision pays off.
The Simpson family goes to the San Castellaneta Festival, dedicated to the Italian culture, while Fat Tony meets with his uncle. The people at the festival, though, were all robbed of their wallets. At the Police Station, Lenora Carter takes the case in hand, diminishing Chief Wiggum’s job. They devise a plan to use Homer as bait on account of his big butt.
Homer is nevertheless pickpocketed in the underground. The police follow the wallet with a tracking device to a storage full of wallets, when a door opens and Fat Tony and his uncle get framed being the culprit, while Wiggum is depressed cause of being put aside in the case.
At the Springfield Penitentiary, after Sideshow Bob escapes from it and gets hit by a rakes truck, Fat Tony prays to God to help him out of it, while Wiggum on the other side prays to him to help him in his own situation, and Homer prays for him to bring back plastic straws.
Wiggum watches an old interview with Tony saying he would never do pickpocket crimes. This impacts Wiggum and he sets on a course to try to get Tony out of jail.
Tony shows him what he does every day and in particular the day of the crime: singing in his room alone. Tony agrees to put on a wire and goes to Luigi’s to find out who framed him, and Frankie the Squealer reveals to him it was Johnny Tightlips who betrayed him to try and become the new Springfield Mafia boss.
Homer enters the room by mistake when police intervenes on the scene and is hit by a bullet in the butt. At the Springfield General Hospital, Homer wakes up safe, while at the station Wiggum regains his confidence. At the end Fat Tony, Homer and Wiggum share a toast on the successful operation at Giuseppe’s.
This was one of those episodes that left me wanting just a bit more. Once again, the show eschewed a B plot in favor of just telling one unified story. This strategy makes for better episodes because the writers can focus on longform storytelling and not have to rush anything or abandon plot lines.
The episode takes great care to tell an affecting story using two characters that don’t normally get a lot of screen time. Wiggum and Tony are developed well and to be honest I found it kind of refreshing to not have The Simpsons be a major part of the episode.
Bob Odenkirk and Jason Momoa guest starred and they were serviceable (though Odenkirk was spot on in his role as the shady lawyer).
A solid episode that broke away from the norm makes The Fat Blue Line one to remember. It’s not ‘classic’ material but its certainly good in its own right.