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October 7, 2015

The Simpsons: Who Shot Mr. Burns? Part One (season finale)

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 8th 2006 7:02PM


Burns: Since the beginning of time, man has yearned to destroy the sun. I will do the next best thing: block it out.

In no episode has Burns been more evil than in the two-parter "Who Shot Mr. Burns" that bridged the sixth and seventh seasons. He becomes so evil in fact, that Smithers actually turns against him, even though it "violates every sycophantic urge" in his body.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The episode begins with another normal day at Springfield Elementary, with one minor difference: Super Dude, the classroom gerbil, has died, crushed by his own water bottle. Willy buries the gerbil in the boiler room, assuring the dead rodent that his own father simply got thrown in the bog when he died. Although, didn't his father appear in the season ten episode "Monty Can't Buy Me Love?" Yes, he did, but let's not worry about that, okay? Okay.

While digging, Willy strikes oil, and Springfield Elementary soon becomes rich. They go crazy buying everything they can for the school, including double guitars and chocolate microscopes. Burns is furious that the oil doesn't belong to him, and tries to trick Skinner into giving the money to the local power plant by disguising himself as one of the kids. Skinner sees through the disguise, but Burns is adamant: "I want that oil well! I've got a monopoly to maintain! I own the electric company, the water works, plus the hotel on Baltic Avenue!"

On the day the school is supposed to tap the well, Burns taps it first and the school is left without any money. This means the new jazz instructor, Tito Puente, won't be hired, which angers Lisa. Also, the oil destroys Bart's treehouse and injures his dog. Also, despite Homer's many attempts to get Burns to remember his name, including spraypainting it on his office wall, Burns has no idea who he is, which continues to infuriate Homer. As his final act of malevolence, Burns blocks out the sun during a town meeting, and is later shot behind a building. Next season we find out it was Maggie who (accidentally) shot him, but according to the audio commentary, many clues are given during the episode if you're the sort of insane person who pays attention to such minute details:

Several times the letters M, W, and S appear, which is intended to lead you to suspect wither Waylon Smithers or Maggie Simpson:

  • Skinner tells Burns his name is "W. Seymour Skinner."
  • This is the first episode where we hear Moe's last name, which is "Szyslak."
  • Grandpa's gun is a Smith and Wesson
  • Also, Burns, who previously had a gun under his coat, does not have the gun when he collapses on the sundial after being shot. Also, his hands point to W and S, which Lisa points out in part two.

Anyway, kids, that's it for this look back at The Simpsons, season six. Don't worry, cause I'll be covering the new season when it kicks off Sunday night. Be strong until then.

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