The Simpsons Review: “Specs And The City” (Season 25, Episode 11)


That wasn’t the only, ahem, love matter on this week’s episode. When Marge takes possession of the Oogle Goggles, Homer discovers Burns’ surveillance system and learns that Marge sees a therapist every Wednesday. Although he’s at first irate about Marge keeping such a big secret, he comes to realize that therapy is an important outlet for Marge that allows her to be a better, more at peace, wife and mother. Unfortunately, what Homer does not learn is that he’s kind of the cause of a lot of Marge’s stress, even if he’s down to only two beers in the shower, and pale ales at that.

Homer’s tepid and unoriginal storyline didn’t diminish the fun that the writers were having at the expense of Google Glass, I mean Oogle Goggles. From Lenny’s declaration that “Finally I’m not a slave to my stupid human eyeballs,” to the disgusting truth about the content of Krusty Burgers to the scene where two power plant employees play “Muppet Chess,” I think the writers’ room got the number of the technology. But adroit commentary about the new gadget doesn’t make up for the fact that Homer gets mad for the umpteenth time about an understandable and necessary secret Marge is keeping.

And what a silly secret too. Frankly, I’d be more concerned if Marge wasn’t getting some kind of professional help with all that she puts up with. The Simpsons has dealt with the secretly ordinary life of Marge before and the suggestion that she has some serious issues relating to mental health. Frankly, Homer should be about as surprised that Marge is seeing a shrink as he is that she’s hiding ice cream from him. (Occupy Walnut Street, anyone?) Of course, this is Homer, and anyone that takes the advice of Moe to “bump into” Marge on her way from the therapist’s office by making an appointment under the name Alias Fakename, isn’t going to be confused with a Nobel laureate.

Ultimately, what worked the best (such as it is) this week was Bart’s stand against treating the nation’s children like “fragile weirdoes,” which was really more of a stand against doing something nice for Nelson. Lisa, of course, was right when she said, “How does [giving a Valentine] mean anything when everyone’s forced to?” but this was not the place for such philosophizing. Bart eventually split the difference, and gave Nelson a card that acknowledged his fear of the bully instead of any false declaration of affection, scented with the freshest fear of Milhouse. Nelson’s admiration makes his fellow bullies want to wedgie him for being so emotional, but Nelson, as we’ve learned, goes commando to prevent such a thing. “Always one step ahead,” admires Dolph.

Ultimately, I think the episode can be summed up in Homer’s last words, “Woo hoo! I tried.” Yes, The Simpsons did try to do something funny with Google Glass, but I guess it wasn’t’ enough to carry the entire episode. Sadly, the show won’t be back with a new episode till March in an effort to avoid conflicting with a litany of special events in February, including the Olympics, the Oscars, and the Daytona 500. I guess the writers wanted to throw everything it could at us before going on hiatus for a month, and at least they accomplished that much. Still, I would have preferred if they had left us wanting more.