Kill Gil, Volumes I & II
"Kill Gil, Volumes I & II" is the ninth episode of The Simpsons eighteenth season which originally aired on December 17, 2006. This episode won a Writers Guild of America Award for best animation. The title of this episode is a reference to Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2. This episode aired on the seventeen-year anniversary of the first The Simpsons episode, Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire. Elvis Stojko guest stars as himself. In the episode, when Gil Gunderson is fired from his job, Marge takes pity on him and invites him to stay at the Simpson home. However, he soon outstays his welcome and they are unable to get rid of him.
The Simpson family is enjoying “Krusty’s Kristmas on Ice” (in an indoor ice rink), starring Elvis Stojko. The main act features a reindeer, a candy cane, and a snowman who are all fretting over a green monster named Grumple, who advances upon the other Christmas characters, threatening to steal their Holiday Cheer (Grumple references the "Grinch" from Dr. Seuss' book), the characters mistakenly stumble backward over a wooden basketball court setup crew led by The Sarcastic Middle-Aged Clerk. All the Christmas characters are enraged that their show is being cut short and they begin brawling with the Utah Jazz as they try to warm up for a basketball game. Marge and the kids decide to get up and leave, and Homer is spotted down on the ice grappling with the Grumple and demanding back the Holiday Cheer. The Grumple repeatedly returns throughout the episode, wanting to kill Homer.
On Christmas Eve, the Simpsons go to Costington’s department store where a sad Lisa sits on Santa’s lap and explains the one true present she wants is the Malibu Stacy Pony Beach Party Set, which is sold out everywhere. Santa Claus, who is really Gil Gunderson (this episode reveals his last name), pities Lisa and goes back to the stockroom and finds an extra play set he had seen earlier. An overjoyed Lisa thanks Gil as a cashier rings up the sale. As Marge and the kids exit the store, an angry Mr. Costington comes out of his office and berates Gil for selling the Malibu Stacy play set that he had set aside for his daughter. When Gil refuses to take the present away from Lisa, Mr. Costington fires him. Marge and the kids witness the scene and feeling sorry for Gil, Marge invites him over for Christmas Eve dinner.
After dinner at home, Gil and the rest of the Simpson family gather around the piano and sing songs. Finishing, Gil gets up to leave; however, Marge insists he stay the night, citing how late and cold it is outside. Gil accepts Marge’s offer. On Christmas morning, Gil retrieves items from his bus locker, assuming he had a permanent spot in 742 Evergreen Terrace. Indeed, Gil’s weak demeanor and lack of job allows Marge to let him move in, and Homer is too distracted by the Grumple's presence outside the home (where it rhymes about putting Homer's blood in his stew) to pay much notice to Gil.
Gil begins to ruin their every holiday. However, Marge continually allows him to stay out of guilt, due to a childhood memory when Patty and Selma stuffed her in her own dollhouse when she refused to hide their cigarettes. Homer’s patience wears thin after Marge’s inability to say "no" causes Gil to walk in on Homer and Marge’s “snuggling” on Valentine’s Day, and bring his friends to sing and drink on St. Patrick's Day. After eleven months, Marge finally agrees to say no to Gil and kick him out, only to learn from Bart and Lisa that Gil got a job in Scottsdale, Arizona, packed up his things and left that morning.
Gil ends up becoming a very successful Realtor in Scottsdale. Despite the fact the Gil has already left for good, Marge wishes to go there and finally get the pleasure of saying “no” to him. After Marge’s display of anger towards him and Gil’s cowering display of weakness, the other salespeople are amused by Gil's cowardice and Gil’s boss charges out of his office and fires Gil on the spot. Marge is horrified when she realizes that her pleasure of saying "no" just cost Gil another job.
Cut to a new home in a suburb of Scottsdale at Christmas time, the mailbox reads The Simpsons and a Jackpot Realty sold sign sits out front. Christmas carols can be heard playing inside the house. Inside on the piano, Gil leads the family in song. The episode ends with a family of Grumples arriving at the doorstep. Homer lets them in and Gil, the Simpsons and the Grumples continue happily singing their carols.
The opening sequence is redesigned in a Christmas style for this episode. Not counting the "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, this is the second time that the title sequence is radically different from the norm. The theme change is that the whole town is covered in white snow. The other changes aside from the theme is that in the garage, Homer runs to the right as opposed to the usual left, with Mr. Burns is dressed as Ebenezer Scrooge and Smithers dressed as the ghost of Jacob Marley, respectively, a sign in the background of the power plant reads "Merry Christmas, No Bonuses" and Jasper is standing where the late Bleeding Gums Murphy stands normally. In the quick pan across Springfield, Maude Flanders can be seen alive. Bart's skateboard is replaced with a snowboard. Marge and Maggie's grocery and car scenes are cut out and everyone is in Christmas attire (which goes with the couch gag where the family sits on the couch and the camera pans out to reveal that they are reflected on a Christmas tree ornament).
- The title of the episode is a reference to the Kill Bill film series.
- While the calendar is flipping through the holidays, Happy Holidays is being sung by Bing Crosby, a reference to his 1942 film, Holiday Inn.
- While celebrating St. Patrick's Day, Gil is singing McNamara's Band another of Crosby's songs, in the Simpson home.
- Homer asks if they can stay at a "Triple Tree Resort". This is Reference to the Doubletree brand of Hilton Hotels.
- A studio album by Argentine rock musician Charly Garcia is named 'Kill Gil' as the title of this episode, though in fact is a Spanish wordplay on the title of the Kill Bill film series.
Dan Iverson of IGN gave the episode the headline of "Worst Simpsons Christmas episode ever!". He explains that though the story wasn't bad, it was merely told poorly, especially the area where Gil gets a new household had made no sense. He writes: "Gil's storyline wasn't the only thing that didn't make sense, as the ongoing joke of the Grumple made less sense than most anything from this season." Though he explains that even though the episode was not "all bad", he felt there were a couple of comedic bits to keep the show afloat, such as the unique opening sequence.
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