Halloween Re:Animated – The Simpsons Halloween Special XIII
We open the season, and the episode, with a seance to summon the dearly departed spirit of Maud Flanders. After a pranking by Bart, the real ghost of Maud turns up and ghoulishly asks the assembled Simpsons whether they’re ‘ready for tales that will shatter your spine and boild your blood?’ to which Lisa ansers ‘well, duh’. So say we all.
Send In The Clones
“They look like you, they were rude to Patty and Selma and the horde’s been described as very gassy.”
When his hammock breaks at the start of a planned day of lazing around, Homer quickly purchases another one from the passing Hammock Man, who warns the hammock is magical. Homer quickly discovers the Hammock produces magical clones and decides to use it like his own personal Meeseeks box, creating an army of doppelgangers to get through his chores. But when the clones rebel, Homer must find a way to get rid of him. It starts with the idea from “Multiplicity” and spins it out into hypothetical ‘grey goo’ catastrophe. It’s full of great Homer moments, callbacks and gags and the twist ending is just perfect.
The Fright To Creep And Scare Harms
“He’s not my dead boyfriend. He’s a dead boy, who happens to be my friend.”
It’s a measure of how good a pun is as to how much explanation it requires but the writer of this segment was so worried the (admittedly overworked) wordplay wouldn’t land that they make sure to display its target first “The Right To Keep And Bear Arms”. What follows is a weirdly pro-gun riff on the idea that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is good guys with guns. It has some decent gags and moments, but it handwaves away why the already-dead would fear a bullet and in the end, can’t really overcome its counter-intuitive themes.
The Island Of Dr Hibbert
“Oh my god, she’s become a monster! Which I have to admit I sort of suspected during the sex.”
As a satire of “The Island of Dr Moreau” it’s pretty spot-on and the combination of Simpsons characters and animals is note perfect, although the ‘Disco Shrew’ gag steals the ‘worst pun of the episode’ title at the last minute.
It’s a nicely played Homer and Marge story as Homer finds Marge’s more animal side very much to his liking on vacation. Milking Flanders, on the other hand, is something I think we could all have done without although it’s fun that the very end foreshadows Kevin Smith’s “Tusk” (Kang and Kodos once again get an afterthought cameo at the very, very end).