Every once in a while, The Simpsons fall back onto familiar sitcom tropes. It’s understandable considering the show has been on for three decades. IN this episode we get another marriage breakdown trope only this time it’s just Homer dealing with these issues. The unfortunate part about episodes like these is that we know the outcome. We know Homer isn’t going to leave Marge and while he may be tempted by someone else his love for Marge is just too strong. It doesn’t mean that an episode like this isn’t enjoyable but that it lacks the tension required to actually make it work.
The story revolves around Lily, a Brit, who men find irresistible and has ‘Mary Poppins’ like quality of making everything around her better. She is, however, exiled to Britain’s penal colony, the US. There she starts a new life in the least romantic city: Springfield.
At the same time, Homer is left alone for 3 weeks after Marge and the kids spend some time at her aunt’s vineyard (the location and its surrounding area appear to riff on towns from Maine). This leaves Homer sad as even the pets are being taken care of by Flanders. Marge’s aunt even made a clause stating “No Homers” a nice call back to the Stonecutters.
Homer eventually goes to Moe’s to drink away his sorrow and meets Lily who, in the meantime, has made the bar a happier place. She immediately tries to cheer Homer up but it doesn’t work leaving her infatuated and determined to get him to fall for her. Mr. Burns and Lily to go on a date with her and she brings Homer has her chaperone. The date fails as Burns is too much of a Bond villain and Lily leaves questioning what she is doing with her life.
Homer, to his credit, has been oblivious to her many advances but only when he drops her home does he start to realize what she is doing. She plants a kiss on him and says she’ll see him in his dreams. Homer, taking this literally does his best to stay up but fails. He’s surprised by Marge who has returned early from a disastrous trip and Homer is glad to see her. Lily calls him and sings food to him to get him to come over. He almost does but is reminded of the many reasons he should stay with Marge. He eventually ghosts Lily who then returns to London.
Not a bad episode, it was amusing how aloof Homer was to Lily’s advances as well as his concern once he realized her intentions. He didn’t want to sleep because his dreams are where his stuff is. I also didn’t need the Burns interlude as the episode would’ve been fine with more of Lily trying and failing. That time might have also been better served by adding more to the Marge/kids vacation scenes. That part of the episode felt rushed and only there for the plot. Kudos to Olivia Colman though for guest-starring as she did a good job with the role she was given