Remember the summer of 1995? The DVD had just been invented, the O.J. Simpson trial (no relation) was dragging its way into the history books, and the question on everyone’s mind was, “Who shot Mr. Burns?”
In the season 22 finale The Simpsons attempted to recreate the excitement of that year with another season cliffhanger—whether or not Ned Flanders and Edna Krabappel would stay together. But you know that already, because you voted your opinion fifty times this summer. Right?
I didn’t think so.
But in case you’ve been waiting with bated breath all summer wondering whether true love would win out over the couple’s fundamental, obvious issues, let me spoil it for you: it did, I guess. The 23rd season premiere, “The Falcon and the D’Ohman,” was framed with the issue of “Nedna,” but had essentially nothing to do with either character. Of course, if you’re watching The Simpsons expecting it to make sense or follow any kind of linear plot, you’ll be disappointed every time.
The episode has funny moments, but they’re only loosely connected, like funny pearls on a weathered necklace. Also, they’re mostly sight gags. The episode might be just as funny with the sound off. (On further reflection, you’d lose some giggle-worthy pearls on mute. For example: “Bring me every fish in that aquarium. One of them is lying.”)
The central story of this episode is that of Wayne, a haunted former black ops superman voiced by Kiefer Sutherland. When a flashback causes him to attack Mr. Burns, the leaked footage leads his enemy to him and puts Homer’s life in danger. Again. He lives, though. Shocking, right?
In short, “The Falcon and the D’ohman” was a disappointment after a summer of hype. But come to think of it, the hype itself was a bit of a disappointment. I actually went to thesimpsons.com and thought about voting before I realized that I just didn’t care. In contrast, I remember people discussing and trying to solve the Mr. Burns mystery. For the record, I thought it was the dog.
I still do, kind of.
This article was originally published at TV Foundry.