Homer’s fellow safety inspector retires, forcing him to work harder to keep his job. Marge takes him and the family to the circus in order to get him to relax, and later meet a hypnotist who makes Homer believe he’s a 10-year-old boy. Before he can be changed back however, the hypnotist is almost arrested and later flees. With Homer now believing he’s 10, he becomes friends with Bart and even spends a little time with Lisa.
When the hypnotist is apprehended, Bart can’t stand to see Homer change back and sneaks him away to Itchy and Scratchy Land. When they’re caught, Homer accepts what he has to do and returns to his normal self with a minor change for Marge. After work he spends time with Bart and later cuddles with Marge.
This episode has been touted for the fact it was written by Judd Apatow when he was 22-years-old, and you can tell because the episode makes a minimum use of parody and pop culture references (compared to current episodes). As much as I liked it, there’s a sadness knowing that this will probably be the best of the season.
The opening is what helps the episode sell Homer being a kid. for the first time, Homer has to accept responsibility at his job, and I actually believed he was actively being responsible. He’s rarely shown to be serious, and during the conversation at the breakfast table they give us a good explanation for the sudden change.
One of the downsides of the age of the script is that movies such as Jack and shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air have had similar situations we’ve seen before, but what makes this different is that these characters never had their own children to bounce their personalities off. The relationship Bart and Homer form when he’s under the spell is formed on mutual immaturity, and during a montage we see them act like kids. The whole thing feels authentic, and not just because Bart and Homer are bonding, but that they’re children enjoying their time with one another.
Now there are some negatives unfortunately. this episode is kind of light when you look at it in terms of story, hence the long opening and “Tour of Springfield” sequence.While I do get the X-men reference the Loki joke at the end made no sense.
Going back to my earlier comments, I’m 99% sure that this is the best episode of the season, and the reason that’s sad is that this season has been terrible. If the writing staff takes one thing from this episode, its that emotional moments are what make for good episodes, not just comedy.
Final Score: 5/5
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