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'The Simpsons' - 'The Squirt and the Whale' Recap

by Sharon Knolle, posted Apr 26th 2010 9:41AM
(S21E19) Finally, a good -- maybe even great -- episode. 'The Squirt and the Whale' packed more laughs in the first few minutes' Alternative Energy Expo than the entire running time of most recent eps.
Lisa Simpson
There were even a few tears and when was the last time we could say that about 'The Simpsons?' (C'mon, admit it, you're as sensitive as Lisa when it comes to beached whales).

I was not at all sure how the whale storyline would play out: Could it really end happily, with "Bluella," as Lisa dubs her, safely back in the ocean? How on earth could the episode recover if they let the whale die?

Surprisingly, the whale's plight ended up being both incredibly moving, and actually funny, when appropriate. Case in point: the eco-activists who arrive to save the killer sharks instead of the baby whales the sharks are circling, and the female "Sea Hugger" who declares that all animal life is worth saving, "Except for cockroaches, yuck!"

Speaking of "yuck," I could have done without the whale detonation, thanks. That was the one jarring note in the whole episode. I don't know how you segue from the sadness of Bluella's death back to comedy, but that was not it.

Nearly non-stop laughs helped take the sting out of the blow when the whale dies. Some of my favorite bits:

When his new wind turbine stops providing free energy, Homer vows: "From now on the Simpsons are living... intermittently." Cue the montage of ill-timed on-again, off-again electricity shenanigans involving a bouncy castle, garage door and a power saw, set to "Danger! High Voltage."

The windstorm blowing out -- and then reigniting -- the Springfield Tire Yard fire. The onlooker who is overjoyed, and then saddened, by the turn of events starts to say, "The lesson here is..." before being felled by a big branch.

Bored bullies Kearny, Jimbo and Dolph keeping the whale wet by distractedly kicking water on it.

Kearny asking Milhouse, "Hey, want to learn more about whaling?" And then proceeding to "whale" on him.

The T-shirts on Lisa's dream whale rescue crew: "We Helped Airlift Lisa's Enormous Soulmate."

While I was kind of horrified by all the whale products flooding Springfield, I had to laugh at Comic Book Guy's whalebone-corset transformation from a svelte 'Star Trek I' Captain Kirk to -- as the corset gives out -- "II... V ... 'Generations' ... 'Boston Legal.'"

The final, feel-good scene with the baby whales and their father leaping happily in the sunset? Awww. If it's wrong to feel touched by 30 minutes of animation, then I don't wanna be right. Even better: The end-credit drawings of the whale widower, his new "sexy lady octopus" bride, their adorable tentacled baby and their 50th wedding anniversary celebration, as 'La Mer' plays.

Well done, show.

[Watch clips and episodes of 'The Simpsons' at SlashControl.]

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alk02g

I must have missed an episode somewhere, but why was Lenny answering the phone at the electric company?

April 28 2010 at 12:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jenny Derfler

Is it just me or did this episode go by too fast?

And I found it funny when the Simpsons got so much electricity during the severe winds that their house got bright.

April 27 2010 at 8:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Happy Steve

No mention of the chalkboard gag?
"South Park - We'd stand beside you if we weren't so scared"

Also, in case anyone didn't know, the exploding whale incident with giant pieces falling everywhere was based on a real life event: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploding_whale

April 26 2010 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rahul

i'm surprised you didnt mention the blackboard gag about south park. " South Park- we'd stand beside you if we weren't so scared"

http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l1gxn2OemX1qz4x0po1_500.jpg

April 26 2010 at 11:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rahul's comment
Nacho

Hmmm, I didn't get that Chalkboard gag on the episode I saw. It was something in French. From the screencap, it looks like that was from the Canadian viewing? Maybe Fox is as scared as Comedy Central?

April 26 2010 at 1:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
SHANNON

I think the gag with blowing up the whale worked if you knew about the instance where that actually happened, and was filmed, pretty much exactly the way it was portrayed on the show...

http://www.bing.com/reference/semhtml/Exploding_whale?fwd=1&qpvt=whale+explosion&src=abop&q=whale+explosion

April 26 2010 at 10:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

For my money, the biggest laugh of the episode was when Lisa shoved Homer's aim aside with the harpoon gun and he accidentally shot the seagull out of the air. Simple, even predictable, but hilarious all the same.

April 26 2010 at 10:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
beanspants1

I would agree that was a pretty great episode, and the drawings at the end where the best end cap to a Simpsons ever.

April 26 2010 at 10:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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