Simpsons Did It!: “Marge Vs. The Monorail”


Let’s face it:  whatever your thoughts for this Conan O’Brien-penned episode, they are bound to be better than your thoughts on the last thing we reviewed with a “Vs” in the title.

Yes, after Homer had somehow crashing into a chestnut tree while singing a modified theme to The Flintstones, we learn that unsurprisingly, Mr. Burns and Smithers have been hiding radioactive waste in parks and playgrounds all over Springfield.  A massive fine that Mr. Burns can pay easily follows, and then the decision on what to do with the money, the only thing the people of Springfield care about aside from the criminal element who use this opportunity to rob everyone.  There were good ideas and bad ones.  One Mr. Snrub had one nobody liked for some reason.  Except for Smithers.

Yes, despite Grandpa Simpson being completely misunderstood, the town is all set to repair the horrible Main Street (seen throughout the episode with massive wear and tear) when in walks Harold Hi…I mean, Lyle Lanley.  His song-and-dance routine quickly wins the town over to build a highly unnecessary monorail.  He’s a regular music man.  Heck, he’s so good even Lisa falls for his flattery, and she’s supposed to be the sharp one.

Lanley, voiced by the great Phil Hartman, is a thief, and he’s left a trail of devastated towns in his wake with his monorail scheme.  Marge is suspicious, and goes to one of those towns to check to see if the monorail paid off.  It didn’t, so she gets a scientist type to come back and make sure nothing bad happens in Springfield.  It may not be too bad if they’ve got the best damn monorail conductor possible.

Of course it’s Homer.

Homer isn’t all bad at this.  He went out of his way to name the largest of the possum family living in the space reserved for the absent fire extinguisher.  He called her “Bitey”.

The day comes, and celebrities like Krusty and a very Lunchlady Doris-sounding Lurleen Lumpkin are there.  Homer has a cape.  Leonard Nimoy is grand marshall, and Mayor Quimby was sure he was on the Little Rascals.

But Marge is too late.  They really should not have let that scientist get that haircut.  The monorail is solar powered and the brake broke.  Leonard Nimoy is bothering everybody.  The whole ride is a fiasco.

But then Homer has to create an anchor, and quick thinking on his part does so the satisfaction of everybody except the Sea Captain.  The monorail stops, no one was hurt, and Nimoy’s work was done there.

If he actually did anything, that is.

Not bad.  Too bad the scientist was not Homer’s first guess as a savior, namely Batman.  He may have been busy battling Superman.

And the review comes full circle.

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