Homerland

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"Homerland"
The Simpsons episode
The Simpsons - Homerland poster.png
Promotional artwork of the episode which is a parody of Homeland.
Episode no. 531
Prod. code RABF20
Orig. airdate September 29, 2013 (2013-09-29)[1]
Showrunner(s) Al Jean
Written by Stephanie Gillis
Directed by Bob Anderson
Chalkboard gag 25 years and they can't come up with a new punishment?
Couch gag Similar to the couch gag for season 11's "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", season 17's "The Bonfire of the Manatees" and season 22's "Elementary School Musical", the couch is roped off and a bouncer lets Marge, Lisa, Bart, and Maggie in, but not Homer in celebration of The Simpsons milestone 25th season. The end credits continue the couch gag by showing everyone in Springfield (and the families from Family Guy, Bob's Burgers, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show (who are only let in after protesting due to allegations of racism]) being let in while Homer is still turned away, and ends up getting tasered.
Guest star(s) Kristen Wiig as Annie Crawford
Kevin Michael Richardson as an unnamed FBI agent

"Homerland" (styled as "HOMƎRLAND") is the season premiere of the 25th season of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons, and the 531st episode of the series. The episode was written by Stephanie Gillis, and premiered on September 29, 2013 on the Fox Network.[1] It guest-stars Kristen Wiig as Annie Crawford and Kevin Michael Richardson as an unnamed FBI agent. The episode's title and plot is a reference to the Primetime Emmy Award-winning TV series Homeland.

Plot[edit]

The morning starts off with Marge getting Bart to take his ‘vitamins’ as she opens a cabinet filled with drugs such as Prozac. Once the day gets going, the audience sees that Homer has been invited to a convention with Lenny and Carl. The trio celebrate in the car and on the plane as shown when the aircraft takes a temporary nosedive. While swiping swag left and right, Lenny declares that there’s nothing like work and binge drinking put together. Immediately afterward, Homer, Lenny, and Carl are thrown out of the convention, but that doesn't stop the three from attending the party. At the arrival terminal, although his family prepares to greet Homer, he doesn't make an appearance. Not knowing Homer's whereabouts, Lenny and Carl attempt to comfort the Simpsons in the worst way possible. Later on, Patty and Selma try to make Marge feel better - again in the worst way possible - before Chief Wiggum comes in complaining about all the unimportant calls he’s fielding.

When Homer emerges from the threshold of the living room, he claims a number of poor excuses like he overslept, but the family, especially Marge, seems so overjoyed at his appearance that they don’t seem to mind. Meanwhile, Homer has a flashback of himself coming out of Boise Astora and entering a suspicious van. As the Simpson family has dinner, Bart makes fun of Homer, yet Homer doesn't even strangle his son like he usually does. Along with not eating his favorite dish, Homer shocks his family when he holds up a napkin as he's eating. At Moe's, Homer continues his unusual habits by requesting water after Moe serves him beer. To get to the bottom of this, Lisa bikes to the Kwik-E-Mart and overhears Chief Wiggum talking about how Intel says there’s someone in Springfield who’s working for terrorists. When Lisa finds Homer in the garage with a blueprint of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, she calls the FBI Call Center, where Agent Annie Crawford answers the call.

Homer overhears Lisa’s conversation in the kitchen, and intimidates his daughter by telling her he’ll see her on the other side (meaning the other side of the house, where they roast marshmallows). Crawford interrupts Bart and Milhouse during a sleepover, and surprises Homer in bed to let him know she knows what he’s up to. Homer remains indifferent about what Annie’s trying to do and returns to cuddling with Marge. The next day Homer gets through the power plant's security very easily, even though he rolls something under a tarp and even admits to it without anyone getting suspicious. When Lisa sneaks into the power plant and confronts Homer, he is forced to tell the truth about the eco-hippie activists who awaited him that day in the van.

The FBI team, led by Crawford, tries to take Homer down and prevents him from accomplishing his mission. In the end, Lisa and Homer bond over the experience, and although Lisa wishes Homer would adapt to his new ways, the old Homer is back when a parachute of Duff beer floats down out of nowhere as a cackling Moe controls the parachute from an obscure location. Elsewhere, Crawford pops some pills and walks into a rainbow daze, shoving Ralph Wiggum out of the way.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

The episode received generally positive reviews. Dennis Perkins of The A.V. Club gave the episode B–, saying "In the end, there are some funny lines, the gimmick doesn’t completely overwhelm the narrative, and things are back in place for the next episode. It’s not the worst omen for a new season of The Simpsons. I'm looking forward to it with guarded optimism and an open mind."[2] Teresa Lopez of TV Fanatic gave the episode four out of five stars — signifying a positive review — saying "The Simpsons has always done an excellent job with parody, and tonight was no exception. First, the show opened with clever Springfield version of the Homeland opening, before creating the perfect amount of creepiness of Homer's change. His sudden abstinence from both pork and alcohol were one thing, but then he went and used a napkin. He exactly mirrored Brody's calm focus and it was quite amusing."[3]

Ratings[edit]

In its original broadcast, the episode was watched by 6.37 million viewers, averaged a 2.9 rating among A18–49, and was the highest-rated show on Animation Domination that night, beating American Dad!, Bob's Burgers and Family Guy.[4]

Although down considerably from the season 24 premiere episode "Moonshine River," which was watched by 8.08 million viewers and averaged a 3.8 rating among A18–49,[5] it was up significantly from the 4.52 million viewers and 2.1 rating of the season 24 finale episode "Dangers on a Train."[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]