[3F24] El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer

El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer                     Written by Ken Keeler
 [The Mysterious Voyage of Homer]                      Directed by Jim Reardon
Production code: 3F24                       Original Airdate on FOX:  5-Jan-97
Capsule revision B, 15-Jun-97

"TV Guide" Synopsis {jmb}

At the chili cook-off, Chief Wiggum's imported chili peppers send Homer on a hallucinatory spiritual journey that makes him question whether Marge is his soulmate.

Title sequence

Couch :- Everybody descends via parachute to the couch, except Homer, who lands on the floor with an unopened chute on his back. [Recycled from 3F23]

Did you notice...

... a bum at the cookoff is selling water for $3? ... Dr. Nick is dancing with Princess Kashmir? ... when Homer tastes the first pepper after coating his mouth with wax, a mother covers her daughter's eyes (in much the same way Marge covers Maggie's eyes in similar situations)? ... Homer calls a personal ad placed by a gay black male (GBM)? Dale G. Abersold: ... Lenny doesn't say anything to Marge or Homer when they are at his booth? ... Marge has a kerosene lantern? ... Marge is able to climb a ladder in her dress, while carrying a giant lightbulb? (I'm impressed!) Stephan Bonneville: ... Homer's fantasyland is similar to Lisa's drunken nightmare in 9F11? ... Captain McAllister has been replaced by EARL as the the lighthouse keeper? ... Mr. Burns is unusually strong in this episode? ... Homer's hairs standing on end when he wakes up? ... Rod and Todd now appear to be the same height? ... Homer identifies it as a tortoise as opposed to a turtle? Vince Chan: ... Ruth Powers is in the crowd the second time Homer tries Chief Wiggums chili? ... the telephone booth is on an island in the middle of the road? ... the kids are brushing their teeth long after Marge is asleep? ... Marge does not have the lantern on until she opens the door? ... most of the town is on the beach in the middle of the night? Joshua Fruhlinger: ... this is the first time in a long time we've seen Smithers without an over-the-top gay reference and Ralph saying something that vaguely makes sense? ... Homer is pretty open about what gender his "soul mate" might be? (Never mind "GBM;" his first choice as soul mate is Barney!) ... when Homer is trying to explain to Marge what has happened to him out by the clothesline, with her back to him, the scene looks just like Homer trying to talk to the faceless Marge he saw during his "trip?" Don Del Grande: ... at the beginning of Act II, there is a "live-action" shot of clouds behind Homer? (This is the first live-action footage used with "2-D" characters, isn't it?) ... Reverend Lovejoy's first name is used? (Helen calls him "Tim" at the end of the cook-off) ... Kearney is somewhere (Moe's) without Jimbo and Dolph? ... Charlie's voice is different than it usually is? ... Dr. Hibbert now knows Moe's is a bar? ... Homer says "they're starting to turn" long after the ship starts its turn? ... for someone with a hat over her eyes, Maggie certainly does a good job of walking straight? (Lisa was holding her hand, but if Maggie would have been walking "out of line", their arms would have straightened as Lisa "pulls her back".) Jonathan Haas: ... Marge doesn't stop Bart from stealing from the Lost and Found? ... Mr. Burns quite definitely went to Yale? ... "Virtual Chili" involves a head-mounted display, a 6DOF joystick, and something over your mouth? ... Chief Wiggum's chili tent is decorated with skulls and other occult items? ... Otto says that Homer "knows what he's doing"? Otto might be the one character who best understood what Homer was going through. ... Rev. Lovejoy actually stops Helen from continuing to torment Marge? ... Homer and Marge still use vinyl records? ... Homer thinks the sun revolves around the earth? ... Marge carries an old-fashioned kerosene lantern? Jason Hancock: ... the "HOMER" bowling ball is in the closet? ... the two porta-potties to the left of the Bumblebee Man's chili stand? ... Lenny is offering handwoven dishtowels? ... Otto knows who Ralph is? ... Homer is seen wearing his regular shoes, and not his chili boots, during the dream? ... the clock on Bart's "Time for Chili" hat reads 4:00? ... Homer's pupils shrink after he opens his eyes? ... the "Discabinetron 2000" label on OFF's record shelf? ... the Bumblebee Man wears his costume inside Moe's? ... Homer leaves his newspaper in the phone booth as he exits it? Eric Hartman: ... the turtle looks like people from "The Critic"? ... the girl who has the ice cream cone looks like Allison Taylor? [I thought she looked like the "teef" girl in 3F02 --ed] Joe Klemm: ... Maggie's hat covers her eyes (ala The Homer They Fall couch gag)? Haynes Lee: ... it took Fox three calendar years (1995-97) to show the entire 3F series? ... Springfield Shopper uses color in its advertising? Dallas Pesola ... Bumblebee Man in the first chili tent? ... Moe has a chili bar, not simply a chili stand or tent? ... Marge has records that are worse than the one by the "Doodletown Pipers"? ... the Sylvania 40,000 watt Energy Miser Lighthouse Bulb? Benjamin J. Robinson: ... the cadence of Nelson's laugh is reversed? (That is, the accent is now on the second "Ha.") Liam J. Scanlan: ... this episode has no official title? (SNPP sources say it as "El Viaje Misteriosos de Nuestro Homer", but FOX says it's "The Mysterious Voyage of Homer". I have two sources to back up the second title.) Robert Vasquez: ... Smithers is at the square dance, rather than in Burns' booth? ... Ralph now knows that eating wax is wrong? ... after Bart says his hat is "wasted on an idiot like [Lisa]," he immediately looks for Homer? ... when Homer sees Marge after his hallucination, her back is turned to him just like on the ziggurat? ... Quimby's running for office again? Matt Scott Zelman: ... Homer calls the coyote "wolfie"? ... Dr. Hibbert drinks alcohol? ... Bart and Lisa recognize the bat signal?

Voice credits {dga}

- Starring - Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Quimby, Krusty, Barney, Bumblebee Man) - Julie Kavner (Marge) - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Todd, Ralph, Nelson, Kearney) - Yeardley Smith (Lisa) - Hank Azaria (Moe, Wiggum, furniture salesman, Carl) - Harry Shearer (Lovejoy, Otto, Lenny, Ned, Smithers, Hibbert, Jasper, Brockman, talking dog, McAllister, sailor) - Special Guest Voice - Johnny Cash (Spirit coyote) - Also Starring - Maggie Roswell (Helen Lovejoy)

Movie (and other) references

[What was this, musical reference day? -- {bjr}] + "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover", song by Paul Simon - "Fifty Ways to Waste Your Weekend" headline ~ Chip 'n' Dales "Rescue Rangers" {ljs} - A large man falls into a pink cotton candy machine and then runs around still wearing it Pope of Greenwich Village {hl} - Pope of Chili Town + "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" - music when Homer and Wiggum meet "Tapeheads" {np} - Homer drinks from a candle holder, like a character in the film + "Pinhead", by the Ramones {np} - Flanders' gibberish ends on "Gabba Gabba Hey" from this song + "I Am the Walrus", by the Beatles - Homer hears Jasper say, "Goo goo ga joob," which is a line from this Beatles song + Any "Charlie Brown" cartoon - the hallucinated Ms. Krabappel sounds like adults in these cartoons "Altered States" {rav} - a South American plant (mushroom) causes hallucinations - the hero's wife appears in his vision, then blows away like sand ~ "Beavis and Butthead Do America" {ns} - Homer's hallucination is reminiscent of Beavis's thirst-induced hallucinations in this movie "Beetlejuice" {dp2} - the unknown dimension that Homer wanders around in is similar to the one encountered outside of the Beetlejuice house (the stripped snake-like creature is seen in both) + "Aladdin" (Disney) {rj} - the snake twisting around homer + "Fiddler on the Roof" {bjr} - Homer speaks the lyrics "Sunrise, Sunset" while playing with the sun "Alice in Wonderland" (Disney Animated Version) {dga} - Homer's "D'oh!" is visible as clouds, much like the various utterances of the Caterpillar in this movie Terminator 2 {rj} - Homer morphin around and "flipping" the direction of his face + Alice in Wonder Land - the chesire cat appears in similar ways, forming out of thin air "The Teachings of Don Juan", "Journey to Ixtlan", books by Carlos Castaneda - a coyote speaking of inner wisdom [see comments] + "At Seventeen", 1975 song by Janis Ian - song when Homer searches his soulmate [{jmb} notes that Ian also sang "Coyote" -- how appropriate] ~ United Way {jh} - "Community Outreach" might be a reference to this "The Ten Commandments" {dga} - Homer running to the lighthouse resembles the parting of the Red Sea "The Carol Burnett Show" {tl} - In one sketch, an oversized light bulb is produced and simply screwed into a lighthouse socket + "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" - Cap'n McAllister uses this book title as an epithet Speed {sb} - The scene where Homer and Marge kiss as the ship crashes is similar + "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus", book from John Gray - Homer and Marge echo this book title (in reverse order). + "Short Shorts", 1958 song by the Royal Teens - Lenny (almost) echoes one of the lines of the song when he asks, "Who wants short shorts," and the crowd acknowledges with, "We like short shorts!"

Previous episode references

- Simpson characters on "mysterious journeys" {dga} {jh2} - [8F06] Under severe lack of sleep, Homer sees a "dreamworld" - [8F09] Homer hallucinates about the "Land of Chocolate" - [8F23] Homer, while riding the SpineMelter 2000 {np} - [9F11] Lisa, after drinking funny water at Duff Gardens - [9F15] Lisa, after getting laughing gas at the dentist - [2F20] Chief Wiggum, after drinking warm cream, experiences psychedelic visions of Lisa and burning cards - Other hallucinations {dga} {jh2} [thanks to Stuart Jackson for his "Drunkenness and Drug Use" list] - [1F06] Bart and Milhouse drink an all-syrup squishee - [1F10] Apu hums around, thinking he is a humming bird - [1F14] Marge sees melting walls and dancing turkeys after Shelbyville spikes the water supply - [1F15] Homer gets affected by Mr. Cleanser fumes - [3F10] Mr. Burns goes under the influence of ether - Homer eats something gross/dumb/dangerous {sb} [see Dave Hall's "Grossest Things Homer Has Eaten" list] - Previous chili references: {hl} - [9F19] Red Hot Chili Peppers appear - [1F22] Chili man selling red hot texas chili - [SC#17] The couch opening mimics the cover {vc} - [7G10], [2F33] An episode ends with Homer and Marge kissing {vc} - [7G13] The "Homer" bowling ball in the closet {ddg} - [7F09], [8F07] Homer's crappy spice racks mentioned {hl} - [7F11] Homer eats "poison" {mss} - [7F20] Homer gets drunk and makes a fool of himself {vc} - [8F01] "Shoe goes on, shoe goes off, shoe goes on..." {dm} - [8F05] Rev. Lovejoy is called Tim/Timothy {ljs} - [8F09] A foreign title is used {ljs} - [8F12] Sam talks {eh} - [8F13] Homer carves something out of wood {vc} - [8F18] Janis Ian's "At Seventeen" is sung - [9F01] "Short Shorts" song is played - [9F09] "Bed goes up, bed goes down" (cf. "Sunrise, sunset") {dga} - [9F14] Homer promises Marge not to drink beer - [9F20] Helen's gossip as a force of evil {dga} - [1F03] Marge smokes - [1F07] Homer is involved with soulmates {ljs} - [1F08] Jim Nabors is mentioned {jh} - [1F10] The downside of animals is shown while someone walks by a pet store {ljs} - [2F03] Homer resolves not to touch anything ("Time and Punishment") {dga} - [2F04] Capt. McAllistair at lighthouse causes ship to crash {hl} - [2F06] "Women Are From Venus..." book is referenced {jh} - [2F09] Homer makes a note to himself {vc} - [2F15] Cheif Wiggum has a tent set up at a community event {ljs} - [2F21] Wiggum is into clothes rather than investigating {eh} - [2F22] Someone shows off their hat {ljs} - [2F31], [2F32] Two consective p-coded episodes share same couch gag {ljs} - [3F03] Lisa becomes a vegetarian {hl} - [3F04] Homer enters a strange new world - [3F08] Homer offers cigarettes to Marge {ol} - [3F11] "I'm just hair", (cf. "I'm just you're memory") {mss} - [3F11] Springfield's golf course and country club are seen - [3F14] Smithers dancing {ns} - [3F17] A school bully goes to Moe's {ljs} - [3F21] Marge says "hell" {jh} - [4F03] Maggie wears a cowboy hat {jh} - [4F03] Meaningless signs are shown during various shots of Homer {ljs} - [4F04] Homer fears Marge doesn't love him {mss} - [4F06] Captain McAllister crashes a ship {ljs}

Freeze frame fun

Springfield Shopper

      Springfield Shopper              Section E

                    K I C K I N '
                     B A C K !

              [balloons and sunshine]

        F I F T Y   W A Y S   T O   W A S T E
              Y O U R   W E E K E N D

Things in closet

   - "Homer" bowling ball  [7G11]
   - Fishing hat  [7F20]
   - Vigilante hat?  [1F09]
   - Five coats (brown, red, grey, beige, orange)
   - Two black umbrellas
   - Lots of shoes and boots

Sign over the cookoff {jh2}

          S P R I N G F I E L D
       C H I L I   C O O K - O F F
        Please lick spoons clean
             after each use

The chili vendors {jh2}

         A Little Bit of Lenny

            Vegetarian Chili

         M u N T z   F a M i L Y
               C h i L i
       It Takes Weeks To Make MuNTz

              Old Eliku's
          Y A L E   S T Y L E
            Saltpeter Chili

           Professor Frink's
             Virtual Chili

        [again written in so-common computer font --ed]

       Firehouse Ned's
            F i V E   A L A R M
                C H i L i

             M o e ' s
             CHILI BAR

      B  E   E   R       G   A   R   D   E  N
       Proof of age or exact change required

         J O E ' S   S P O O N S

The band {jh2}


      [written in that so-common western font --ed]

Chili cookoff crowd {jh}

   Carl, Superintendent Chalmers, Charlie, Lunchlady Doris, Herman, Dr.
   and Mrs. Hibbert, Ms. Hoover, Jasper, Jimbo, Kent Brockman, Ms.
   Krabappel, Krusty, Lenny, Lewis, Mayor Quimby, Ruth Powers, Skinner

People who had chili stands {eh}

   Bumbleman Bee, Lenny, Apu, Otto, Mrs. Krabappel, Nelson, Burns,
   Frink, Ned, Moe, Jasper

The start of Homer's trip {jh2}

   - Flanders starts cheerfully babbling nonsense, as little copies of
     his moustache fly around, ending with "gabba gabba hey"
   - Deformed Jasper says "goo goo goo joob"
   - Deformed Nelson points and says "Ha HA! Ha HA!"
   - Deformed (and six-eyed) Mrs. Krabappel immitates the teachers on
   - Barney burps loud and majestic

The furniture store {jh2}

      B     O     B     '     S
      All-night furniture store

Quimby's campaign HQ {jh2}

      "Your best friend in government"
         Re-elect Mayor Joe Quimby

The signs Homer sees {jh2}


Community Outreach

         Outreach             ->             FULL

      [drawing of two                   [drawing of two
      hands giving out]                 hands as "halt"]

Sign on the lighthouse

       W E L C O M E
      This Lighthouse
        Operated By

          E A R L

E.A.R.L.'s display {jh2}


The lightbulb {jh2}

       S Y L V A N I A

         4 0 , 0 0 0
           W A T T


- Overseas Animation: Rough Draft (Chang, Myung Nam)  {ddg}

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

* How did Marge get that vacuum cleaner plugged in so fast? {ol} * Unless the plunger of the phone is broken, I don't think pushing a vacuum cleaner against it would make it come out. {ol} + Marge was worried about Bart smoking in Treehouse of Horror IV. Now suddenly she considers having a smoke just for the sake of smoking? (Looks like she can just kiss that "Mother of the Year" award goodbye) {ol} + Why does Homer object to the cigarettes? In 3F08 he actually bought some for Marge. {sb} + Didn't Marge smoke during the ending of 1F03? {mss} * I doubt Homer could whistle so easily after having his head flooded in smoke. (Notice how he's about to cough just before.) * Why should Marge care if Homer gets drunk at that cook-off? She didn't seem to want to go herself. If anything, Homer would just be embarrassing himself, and he does that good enough on many occasions. {ol} + In 3F21 Homer was told not to eat spicy foods by the vet. {vc} + Marge should know what oregano is. She uses various herbs and spices on her pork chops in 7F09. {ol} * In the bird's-eye shot of Homer staring down Wiggum at the cook-off, only Homer casts a long shadow. {tl} * The peppers were sitting in boiling hot water; they should have burned Homer`s fingers. {sb} * Since when are whole peppers put in chili? {ol} = Marge magically has a watch on her right wrist for one scene. {msz} * Drinking hot liquid wax should send Homer screaming in pain for a while. = When Homer's stomach starts affecting him, Jasper is in a booth, but he's also in the crowd in front of whom Homer falls down. {ddg} = The "OIS" in "FOLLOW THE TORTOISE" is spelled on the ground on the side view, yet on the arial view, we have to wait for the tortoise to finish spelling it. {ljs} * The pyramid would have to slide to the left while it grew or else it would pick up Homer. {ljs} * I always thought that Homer had three hairs on his head, two on top and one going around the back and sides. However, when he was talking with the coyote and the wind blows through his hair, I counted four distinct hairs. The long strand going around his head was made of two hairs. Was my initial assumption of three hairs wrong? {ns} + Marge doesn't need to dry her clothes on a line since she got a perfectly good dryer from Herb in 8F23. {vc} + Moe's was surprisingly crowded and un-dank in this episode. {mss} + In 1F03, Moe said he was phasing out the games because people drink less when they're having fun. Now he has a pool table. {sb} * How could a shadow appear as a circle in the sky if there is no solid background to it? {ljs} * Homer's shadow shouldn't be visible in the sky if the light points toward the ground - but the light keeps switching between pointing to the ground and pointing to the sky. {ddg} = When Bart and Lisa are looking at Homer's shadow, the light stops blinking. {ddg} * After Bart and Lisa look at Homer's shadow, the light appears to shine over Homer, so his shadow shouldn't be visible. {ddg} * How did Marge remove the remnants of the old bulb without electrocuting herself? {ddg}


Dale G. Abersold: Odd, to say the least. I loved the surrealistic animation in Act II, and there were plenty of funny moments (the highlight was probably Homer calling "GBM.") On the down side, one never had an idea what the writer wanted, and the ending was (unfortunately) predictable. Johnny Cash was very good as the Coyote spirit guide. (B-) Jennifer M. Blaske: Marge's character seemed a bit "off," but I liked Homer's Trip. My main problem was the ending. Saying, "Oh, it is Marge after all" seemed to be cheating. Personally, I would have liked it if Homer's soul mate were God; after all, no person fully understands us, but God presumably does. I was hoping for a Thought-Provoking Episode, a la the Blowfish one, but this ending fell flat. (C+) Chris Courtois: Ken Keeler redeems himself with "El Viaje Misterioso..." While the ending was rushed and forced (both forced emotions and forced wacky gags), the first 2 1/2 acts (everything from the chili cookoff scene through Homer's phone conversation with GBM) was among the best OFF of the past 2 seasons. The chili cookoff and dream sequences were outstanding. Another kudo for Keeler for using references in a manner which didn't bring the entire episode to a halt. After such an inspired middle portion, it was a little disappointing to see the episode turn into yet another Homer-Marge strained relationship episode, especially coming so soon after "A Milhouse Divided". The ending in the lighthouse veered off into wacky gag with a quick resolution area, but considered what came before, that's a minor quibble. (A-) Joshua Fruhlinger: Boy! Was THAT weird! Interesting, though, and highly enjoyable. The middle section (Homer's "trip") wasn't side splitting funny, but beautifully animated and fascinating to watch. (Though I did get a big kick out of "Note to self: don't do anything.") For the rest of the episode, the gags were enough to carry it. I almost fell out of the chair during the "GBM" sequence. And Homer's whiny dance was very well done. (A-) Jason Hancock: This is one of the weirdest episodes I have ever seen. Homer's hallucinations reminded me of Lisa's trip to Duff Gardens (in "Selma's Choice") with some good special effects. There were several funny moments, like Homer's phone call; however, I was not impressed with Marge's behavior in this episode. (B-) Ryan Johnson: The chili tasting and Homer's trip were wounderful, although they did seem to be in a different style (altogether, not just the animation) than we've seen before. The ending was a bit lame, but it didn't crush the first to acts in its stupidity as the past few episodes have. It's unfortunate that this was run within a few weeks of "A Millhouse Divided". (B) Ondre Lombard: Bad animation, mostly flat jokes and a story that lacks depth makes this an all time clanger, to me. Homer's quest for his new soulmate is handled rather improperly. I, myself, am tired of seeing stories about Homer and Marge's relationship in jeopardy. It was a bold idea at one point, but it isn't anymore. The ending is so predictable and forced that it just totally falls flat. I didn't too much care for the animation or most of Homer's hallucenation either. A few good jokes, but a story that leaves much to be desired. (D+) Nate Patrin: Oh wow.... hea-veee. Some of the most innovative animation I've ever seen in a Simpsons ep- or anywhere. Homer's trip was practically art. But outside of the animation, there was also a slew of hilarious jokes, unusual moments and a not-entirely-formulaic episode. Johnny Cash was the best voice-over by a musician since the Ramones in [1F01], and though this was yet another retread of the Marge-and-Homer-have-friction theme, it was handled in an interesting way. The best ep this season. (A) Werner Peeters: The animation of Homer's hallucinations was superb. Too bad this episode didn't have a story! Though the beginning was quite nice (esp. Maggie with a cowboy hat), the plot - of any - went very mellow... Homer looking for a soul mate, and surprise surprise, it's Marge! I'm a bit disappointed in this one, because in former episodes, people hallucinating was always good for some very funny scenes (remember Otto with the talking shoes? Lisa the Lizard Queen etc.). (C-) Benjamin J. Robinson: For an episode that gets by on its looks, it does pretty well. Ken Keeler has written some of the show's more oddball episodes, and he really gets a chance to strut his stuff here. Homer's psychedelic sojourn in the desert is the high point of this episode, with hog-wild animation that is a treat to watch. The setup and wind-down lack the same spark, though. Check out Johnny Cash (!) in a cameo as Homer's spirit guide. (B) Matt Rose: This was a bizarre and often surreal episode, and most of the time these things bother me but I didn't care this time, because I was on the floor after some of the hallucinations. Interesting cameo by Johnny Cash. I would have liked it better if Homer had tried "Professor Frink's Virtual Chili"....anyhoo, the ending seemed a little rushed and somewhat mushy but overall a pretty good episode. And Bart and Lisa were pretty much nowhere to be found. Still, it was pretty funny, and that is why I watch the show. (B+) Liam J. Scanlan: The hallucination sequence was superb and enjoyed by me. However because it went by too fast for me, I didn't really enjoy the last act. Johnny Cash had a boring a small role. But it was still enough for my to watch it over and over again. (A-) Nelson Seggley: I loved this episode. It followed Homer's strange perception of reality to its logical conclusion. The spiritual coyote with the voice of Johnny Cash was great. Marge's attempt to prevent Homer from finding out about the Chili cookoff was great. The Reverend's wife was deliciously evil. All the pop-culture references in this episode makes me think that the writers kinda gave the real Simpsons fanatics something they could sink their teeth into- the last few episodes were kind of introductory. (A) Robert Vasquez: Well! Now we know why it took so long for this episode to appear. I imagine Gracie Films treated this episode as an extra-special event, like Chuck Jones and "What's Opera, Doc?" The backgrounds in the hallucination were breathtaking, and Johnny Cash was better than perfect as the coyote spirit-guide. I only wish I'd taken a look at my dad's Carlos Castaneda books so I'd have some more insight into the parody. (A) Mike Yeomans: The writers really came up short on this one. The only real laugh-out-loud joke was with the turtle. A slow moving story that doesn't even show the simpson kids. It's probably the least funny episode since "'Round Springfield" and the worst storyline since... well, ever. (D) Matt Scott Zelman: Nothing uproariously funny but overall very good. Unfortunately the ideas of "homer embarresing marge" and "homer questioning his marriage to marge" had a kind of been there-done that feel to them. And like most episodes this season-no definitive subplot! Homer's hallucination scene was classic though, especially johnny cash as the coyote. (B+) Yours Truly: And I thought 3F18 was out of the ordinary... Funny how this episode tried to concile opposing trends: both usual and unusual types of animation, quick jokes and deep mysticism, an innovative mystical journey and the old "Homer's marriage in crisis" plot. Trying different avenues, this episode felt like a bumper car bouncing off walls, reaching new places with a few bruises in the process. Therefore, it called for a mitigated feeling; one I would not care to experience every week, but which was enjoyable while it lasted. (B) AVERAGE GRADE: B (3.06) NIELSEN RATING: 10.0 [?] (ranked 21st out of 112) {ol}

Comments and other observations

Writer Watch

Dale G. Abersold:  Ken Keeler has had a shaky career as a writer for The
   Simpsons.  His first episode was "A Star is Burns" [2F31], the
   "Critic" crossover disowned by Matt Groening.  His next episode was
   "Two Bad Neighbors" [3F09] hated by many (including former President
   Bush).  Perhaps it is because of their departure from established
   continuity which makes these episodes so distasteful to some viewers
   (as they do not lack of good jokes).  This season, he wrote "The
   Thing and I" from the Hallowe'en episode [4F02].  His next
   assignments are the eagerly-awaited Sideshow Bob episode "The Brother
   from Another Series" [4F14], and next season's "The Principal and the
   Pauper" [4F23].

Hey, that title ain't English!

Dale G. Abersold:  This is the second Simpsons episode with a title in a
   foreign language (the first being, of course, "Burns Verkaufen der
   Kraftwerk" [8F09]).

      [at least this title makes sense in Spanish, unlike 8F09 --ed]

Saltpeter, as was the style at the time

Jonathan S. Haas:  Saltpeter, or potassium nitrate (KNO3), is a
   versatile compound used as a preservative, and also in the
   manufacture of explosives. Saltpeter is 75% of common gunpowder.
   Consumed in large quantities, it's rumored to cause impotence.

   However, Mr. Burns's "Saltpeter Chili" is probably a reference to
   "Chile Saltpeter", which is sodium nitrate or NaNO3.

Dave Hall's Insanity Sauce (or something similar...)

Dallas Pesola:  Guatemalan Insanity Pepper might be a reference to
   Dave's Insanity Sauce.  This hot sauce is well known as the hottest
   sauce that can be directly consumed.  The substance in peppers that
   make them hot is called capsaicin.  This extract is added to sauces
   to make them unbearably hot.  The capsaicin extract is sold as a
   product called Pure Cap.  Hot sauce companies will not sell it to you
   unless you sign a waiver first.  It is that dangerous.

From eating red crayons to speaking against candle-drinking

Brett Barabash:  My theory is, that the writers have found an even
   greater sense of pleasure portraying Homer as being unintelligent. So
   dimwitted, in this case, that Ralph Wiggum has more common sense than
   he does when he goes to drink a candle.

   Also, Ralph probably learned that a hot candle does not make a good
   beverage from personal experience...

Fussin' over peyote

   [Many people have argued that Homer's hallucination was the result of
   peyote, a drug used in Native American ceremonies. I leave to
   Jonathan Haas the care of replying to this. --ed]

Jonathan Haas:  Peyote is a cactus and is quite visually distinct from
   capsicum peppers. Besides, Wiggum says quite clearly that the
   ingredient in his chili is a special pepper from Guatemala.

   People have gone on trips in the Simpsons before under the influence
   of non-drugs. Warm cream and dried gravy aren't exactly psychoactive
   in real life, but they were on the show.

Space coyote?

Tom Pierce:  A few people had asked about the relevance of the coyote in
   the Guatamalean Insanity Pepper episode. Homer, standing on top of a
   very Aztec-y looking pyramid, is visited by a coyote (with Johnny
   Cash's voice, no less) who gives him rather insufficient spiritual
   advice about finding his true Soulmate. He also makes a go at eating
   Homer's pants.

   A couple people said it was a reference to Carlos Castaneda, probably
   "Teachings of Don Juan". Well, that's kind of an empty answer; it was
   a direct reference to Old Man Coyote, even though it incorporated a
   lot of the ideas Castaneda put forward about "the spiritual search",
   ideas that were already ages old.

   Many tribes believed in the concept of spirit helpers, entities who
   would serve as a guide through the metaphysical aspects of life.
   Young tribe members would be send out on a "vision quest", where they
   would fast and meditate (or take hallucinogens, or hit themselves on
   the head with a rock, or whatever made it work for them). While in
   this state (the Shamanic State of Conciousness, if you want to be
   technical about it), they would see an animal (or bird or fish) that
   would have chosen to represent them, and in many ways, become their
   spiritual Guardian Angel.

   In quite a few tribes, it was a combination of an honor and a
   horrible disaster for your spirit animal to be Coyote.

   Old Man Coyote (First Person, Trickster) ranged from being the most
   powerful of the Native American spirits to the most useless,
   sometimes within the course of one story about him. Foolish, vain,
   obtuse, and horribly ravenous. Much like Homer. Also like Homer,
   Coyote was also fond of talking to his brain (and any other body
   parts who wanted to chip in).

   His "advice" was almost always of no true benefit, aside from the
   fact that the attempt to follow his advice would teach the follower
   important lessons about themselves and the goal they seek. Much like
   Homer is mislead by Coyote into doubting Marge as his soulmate; his
   rather moronic search for his true soulmate eventually shows him the
   truth of the matter. He gets nothing out of Coyote's advice except a
   reassurance that what he has is what he was looking for.

   Sometimes, however, Coyote's advice was just malicious, done for his
   own amusement. To me, at least, it seemed uproarously funny for
   Coyote to have chosen to speak to Homer; both are clowns who make
   decisions based on whims that haven't been thought out at all.

   Notice how Coyote is happy when Homer threatens to "mop the floor"
   with him. Most godly creatures wouldn't respond well to a mortal
   saying that; Coyote would think it showed spirit. And ignorance. Both
   wonderful things.

   Maybe one of the Simpsons writers read some Carlos Castaneda and
   based it solely on that. But I doubt it - they're pretty slick, and
   if even half of the minor references I caught were intended, they did
   an excellent job.

      [seems we got a new winner in the "what did the show teach you"
      thread --ed]

Flowers By Irene

   The different agencies listening to Homer's line are:

   NSA - National Security Agency
      Responsible for the US government computer and communication
      security, this agency is mostly into encryption. It is known for
      its DES encryption scheme, and the infamous Clipper chip.

   FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation
      The police force of the US Department of Justice, it provides help
      to other law enforcement agencies, investigates the more serious
      federal crimes, and defends the country against foreign
      intelligence attacks.

   ATF - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
      Affiliated with the US Department of Treasury, the ATF collects
      revenue and enforces the law regarding alcohol, tobacco and

   CIA - Central Intelligence Agency
      An external agency, distinct from the US government, responsible
      of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence activities.

   KGB - Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopaznosti
      USSR's own intelligence agency, long considered as the opposite
      player against the FBI and CIA. Due to the fall of USSR, the KGB
      has been disbanded.  [or am I wrong about this?]

   MCI - Microwave Communications Incorporated
      One of the two big US phone companies, the other being AT&T. Both
      are fighting a merciless war over local/long-distance/collect
      fees. You might remember an MCI 1-800-COLLECT ad featuring Homer
      two years ago, at the start of 2F20.

Look! Up in the sky! It's ... oh, wait, that's someone else

Benjamin Jay Robinson:  When Homer stands in front of the lighthouse
   beam, Lisa notes that either her father is casting the shadow, or
   Batman has let himself go lately.  No doubt she's thinking of the
   world-famous Bat Signal (tm). In the days before wireless pagers, the
   commissioner of Gotham City needed a way to alert Batman that the
   city needed his services.  The solution was a searchlight with a bat
   logo (not Batman himself) painted on the lens.  When criminal
   masterminds struck, the commish would shine the light in the sky,
   projecting the logo on a cloud.  Batman would come to the rescue.
   Good thing Gotham's supervillains never thought to attack on a clear,
   cloudless night.

So, you thought bell-bottoms looked tacky

Benjamin Jay Robinson:  Hot pants were a notorious fashion accessory in
   1970s America. Basically, they were womens' pants so short that they
   didn't quite cover the entire derriere.  Today, they're in the same
   joke-fashion class as leisure suits.  Considering the way women try
   to hide their rear ends, it's a wonder they caught on in the first

Character Analysis

Matt Scott Zelman:  Homer: The way he fidgeted when he realized they
   were "missin' the cook off" was hilarious.  It showed once again how
   much Homer is a kid at heart.  The hallucination and search for a
   soulmate also showed us a new open minded side of Homer we may not
   have seen before.

   Marge: She smokes, she swears, she's not there to support Homer's
   chili eating, she gets excited by neon and rhinestone.  Maybe Marge
   is going through a whole new stage (with a cigarette addiction).

The Immortal Threads

Where is Springfield?

Dale G. Abersold:  West coast?  Apparently Springfield slopes towards
   the west, where the ocean and lighthouse are.

Is Smithers Gay?

Well, if there ever was a scene meant to unite a.t.s. under one side of
   the argument, this one certainly is the last to come to mind! Many
   argued that Smithers asked a woman to dance, while others
   mentionned that his outfit, in the words of Dave Grossman,
   "neutralizes any straight tendencies he might show for several
   episodes to come". Not to mention the "gay is/isn't normal" thread
   that followed.

   I leave the final words to Elson Trinidad's adaptation of a 4F01

      "Smithers danced with a WOMAN! That is so gay!"

It goes like, gabba gabba hey, dee dee dee and so on...

Thomas C. Allard provides us with the lyrics to the Ramones' "Pinhead":

           Gabba Gabba
           We accept you
           We accept you
           One of us
           One of us

           I don't wanna be a pinhead NO MORE
           I just met a nurse that I could GO FOR

           Everyone's accusing me

           Gabba gabba hey
           Gabba gabba yay

Quotes and Scene Summary {dga}

It's breakfast time in the Simpson household. While the children eat, Homer is discarding sections from that morning's Springfield Shopper. Oh, why do they have to put all of this crud in my newspaper. [tosses sections aside] "World." "The Arts." "Religion." Ah-ha! Here it is: "Kickin' Back." -- Homer's vision of a newspaper, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer opens the paper, but there's a gaping hole in the first page. Homer: Hey, who cut something out of my paper? [Homer stares suspiciously through the newspaper hole at his wife and children] Lisa: Not me. Bart: Not me. I'm more of a mail-tamperer. Marge: Don't look at me. Just because I'm holding a pair of scissors. [Homer frowns] Scissors which I need to, uh, to... gussy up these curtains. [she half-heartedly trims the curtains, grinning sheepishly at her husband.] -- "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Somewhat later, Homer is sitting on the couch with Marge, who's repairing her early damage to the curtains. The phone rings. Homer: Yello? Oh, hi, Lenny. [Marge reacts with alarm] No, why would I need a ride this afternoon? [Marge begins to vacuum next to Homer. He is forced to yell.] Where? To the big annual what? [Marge pounds at the telephone plug with the vacuum. Finally the plug comes out of the wall] Lenny? Aw, well, if it was big and annual, I'm sure they'd have mentioned it in the newspaper. -- Homer's specious reasoning, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" That afternoon, Homer wastes his time by playing with the dog. Yeah, it's a lazy dog-dangling afternoon... -- Attica, Attica, Attica! "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer somehow senses that something is a little "off." He then notices Marge smoking. Well, I just fell like filling the house with the rich satisfying smell of tobacco. -- Marge, our new spokeperson, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Marge takes a puff and blows it right in Homer's face. He concludes that she's nuts, and goes to get some fresh air, but Marge tries to hold him back. Homer: What's wrong with you? What are you trying to hide from me... [Homer opens the door and sniffs] What's that smell? Onions... chili powder... cumin... juicy ground chuck? It's chili! Oh, my god, I'm missing the chili cook-off! [whining, fidgeting] I'm missing the cook-off, it's going on right now, and I'm missing it. Marge: All right, I was trying to keep it from you, but I had a good reason. Every time you go to that cook-off you get drunk as a poet on payday. -- As drunk as James Dickey? "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Marge asks him to remember last year. In a flashback, we see an obviously drunk Homer, a Duff in each hand, standing in the cotton- candy machine. "Look at me...I'm a puffy pink cloud." he mumbles, before he climbs out of the machine and lies on the ground, where dogs lick at him. Back to the present. Homer is shuffling around in the closet. Homer: Well of course, everything looks bad if you remember it. Now where are my chili boots? [finds them in the closet] Ah! -- Somehow I'm not reassured, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Marge: Okay, we'll go to the chili cook-off, but I want you to promise that you won't have any beer. Homer: [trying to pull his boots on] Okay, quit nagging me, I won't have any beer. Sheesh, why don't you have a cigarette or something? Marge: Mm, I suppose I could. -- You've come a long way, baby, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Our favorite family arrives at the cook-off, where Homer anxiously urges his wife and children on. Lisa: I'm gonna go get some vegetarian chili before they get desperate and add meat. Bart: I'm gonna go claim some valuables at the lost-and-found. -- "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Meanwhile, Marge finds items more of her interest at "A Little Bit of Lenny", a stand selling craft items. Marge: Oh, look at that adorable spice rack! Eight spices? Some must be doubles. Ore-GAH-no? What the hell? Homer: Marge, we're missing the chili. Less artsy, more fartsy. Marge: Homer, I happen to like handicrafts much more than stuffing my face. Homer: Fine, I'll come find you when I'm ready to stop having fun. Marge: Remember your promise: no drinking. [they walk apart] Homer: [sotto voce] Stupor-pooper... -- "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Marge wanders over to a large dancing floor, where Ferl Dixon and the Second Helping Boys are playing. Helen: Howdy howdy, Marge and Home... oh, my mistake. Homer's not even with you. Probably just knocking back a few "refreshments." [chuckles] Marge: Thank you for your concern, Helen. Homer isn't drinking today. Helen: Oh! I think it's lovely that he said that. And that you believed him. Lovejoy: Now, Helen, let us not glory in Homer's binge-drinking. There but for the grace of God goes Marge herself. -- "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" As Ennio Morricone-esque music plays, Homer visits the cook-off proper. People gasp as he approaches and brandishes a wooden spoon. They say he carved it himself... from a bigger spoon. -- Lenny narrates the spoon legend, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer steps up to "Firehouse Ned's Five-Alarm Chili." Homer: Five-alarm chili, eh? Ned: Uh-huh. Homer: [eats some] One, two... hey, what's the big idea? Ned: Oh, I admit it. It's only two-alarm, two-and-a-half, tops. I just wanted to be a big man in front of the kids. Todd: Daddy? Are you going to jail? Ned: We'll see, son. We'll see. -- "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" As Marge watches the dancing, a gaudily-dressed Waylon Smithers approaches her. Smithers: Evenin', little lady. You reckon a square could get a dance? Marge: [sighs] It looks so complicated. Do you know how? Smithers: Ma'am, I wouldn't honk the honk if I couldn't tonk the tonk. -- Whatever that means for his reputation, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Smithers then pulls at his bola tie, lighting up a neon "Hot Nashville Nights" sign on his back. Marge is impressed. Back to the Cook-Off. Homer samples the bill of fare at "Moe's Chili Bar". "A bland, timid entry, suitable, perhaps, for patients recovering from surgery" is his verdict, much to Moe's disappointment. Homer walks off, in search of another victim. Chief Wiggum, at his own stand, observes. That Simpson, he thinks he's the pope of chili town. -- Wiggum, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Surrounded by speared skulls and other various occult items, Wiggum puts on welding mask and gloves, and proceeds to stir a boiling mixture. Homer steps in front of him, on the theme from "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly". Wiggum: Afternoon, Homer. Care for some chili? I've added an extra ingredient just for you. [dramatic] The merciless peppers of Quetzlzacatenango! [exhibits a glowing pepper] [crowd gasps] Grown deep in the jungle primeval by the inmates of a Guatemalan insane asylum. [drops the pepper back in the pot] [crowds observes in silence] Homer: Uh, Wiggy? My chili's getting cold. -- A fistful of chilis, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Everyone holds his breath as Homer nonchalantly picks a pepper from Wiggum's chili. However, the pepper sears his tongue on the slightest contact. Homer screams frantically, much to the crowd's amusement. He grabs an ice-cream cone from a little girl; wnfortunately, the ice cream melts before it actually touches his tongue. He is finally about to down six mugs of beer simultaneously, when Marge sees him, and sternly reminds him of his promise. Later, Homer is reduced to slaking his thirst with water. While complaining about his defeat, he absent-mindedly grabs a candle. Ralph: Wait, mister, you're drinking a candle. You don't want to get wax in your mouth, do you? Homer: [slyly] Maybe I do, son. Maybe I do. [Homer chugs the candle, and spits out a stream of wax, which solidifies on the spot] Outstanding! -- A man, a plan, a candle, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer reapproaches Wiggum's booth, his tongue now sealed in wax. Wiggum: Hey, everybody, look who's back. It's the biiig baby. [childlike] Oh, dis porridge is too hot! Oh, wah-wah-wah! [crowd laughs, but Homer hands his spoon in silence] Want some more, do you? Well, sure! Heck, it's not my job to talk people out of killing themselves. -- Bad cops, bad cops, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" To everyone's surprise, Homer quickly downs the pepper, and asks for more. Wiggum fearfully hands him two more peppers, which follow the first one as rapidly. Quimby: Good lord, this can't be happening! Hibbert: By all medical logic, steam should be shooting out of his ears. Krusty: His ears, if we're lucky. -- Chili as seen on Road Runner, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Showing off, Homer gulps down a last one, and bows in front of his audience. Well, Chief, don't quit your day job... Whatever that is. -- Homer, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" The crowd laughs and applauds, as Homer walks away in triumph. Savoring the moment, his regret is that Marge wasn't there to see it. However, his attention is quickly drawn to his stomach, which emits a loud rumble. He walks around in pain, searching for help. Flanders: Well, sure, buddy, I'd be happy to help out. What can I [Ned's visage begins changing as Homer hallucinates] do- diddily-doodily-diddly-hobbily-hibbily-gobbily-gobbily- gobble-gabba-gabba-hey. [Homer screams and falls. He then sees everyone else as caricatures of their normal selves] Jasper: Goo Goo Ga-Joob? Nelson: [parrot-like] Ha-HAW! Ha-HAW! Krabappel: [muted trumpet sounds] Barney: [incredible belch] -- And so it begins, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer screams and runs away, crashing through a wooden fence. Ralph: Hey, Mister, do you need some help? Otto: Let him go, Ralph. He knows what he's doing. [Homer screams bewilderedly] -- I wouldn't bet on it, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" [End of Act I. Time: 8:19] In Paul McCartney's words, Homer "went into a dream." Homer hyperventilates as his skin flows like some kind of liquid as he stands in front of a psychedelic cloudscape. Okay, retrace your steps. Woke up, fought with Marge, ate Guatemalan insanity peppers, then I... Oh... -- Homer's daily regimen, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" The rapidly morphing landscape plays hell with Homer's perspective. Thinking that he's in Shelbyville, he is divebombed by a giant, garishly colored butterfly. Man, this is crazy. I hope I didn't brain my damage. -- Who would notice? "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer's facial features sink into his head and pop out the other side. He decides to check his pupils in a nearby stream. His pupils are doing downright odd things. Suddenly, the stream turns into a giant snake which coils around Homer and hisses at him. He decides that he's going to be leaving. As he walks towards the horizon, the sun moves up. As he steps back, the sun goes down. He likes this, and does it several times in a row until the sun hits the ground and shatters. Homer screams. Note to self: stop doing anything. -- Good advice, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Meanwhile, in the real world, Marge stands by the exit of the cook-off, looking for her husband. Marge: Has anyone seen Homer? Helen: Marge, better you should hear it from me than from some gossipy neighbor. Homer made a total jackass of himself. Lovejoy: Helen, that's enough. Call off your dogs. Helen: But someone had to tell her. [sulking] And I got here first! -- Gossip used for good, not evil?, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Growls Marge "No beer, huh? I guess I know what a promise from Homer J. Simpson is worth." Back in his chili trip, Homer is spelling out "HELP" with rocks. One of the rocks crawls away, however. Hey, buddy! Get back there with the other rocks! -- Homer's attempt to domesticate rocks, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer is surprised to see that it is a (non-kinky) tortoise. As the tortoise crawls, he leaves a message in the dirt. Homer: [reading] "Follow the..." [gasps] This must be why I'm here! Follow the what? Follow the what? Hurry up! [the message reads: "Follow the tortoise"] D'oh! [that words forms in clouds of dust] -- Yet, better than a snail, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer frantically follows the tortoise, which is moving far too slow to suit him. "When I'm kicking you, that means hurry up!" He then punts the reptile an incredible distance. Homer follows it, taking increasingly greater strides, finally coming to a tiny Aztec-style pyramid. The tortoise points to it. Homer: Oh, you want me to climb that, huh? No problemo. [before Homer can climb it, the ground rumbles and the pyramid grows to several times its original size] [groans] This is 'cause I kicked you, isn't it? [the tortoise nods in assent] -- Stupid poetic justice, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Back to the real world, the Simpsons are driving home. Bart is wearing a "Time for Chili" hat. Bart: Lis, check it out. Time for chili. Lisa: [bored] I saw it, Bart. Bart: You're just mad 'cause there's no clock in your hat. Lisa: What hat? Bart: Pff. Ah, this baby's wasted on an idiot like you. -- "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Bart: Where's Homer? Marge: [through clenched teeth] Your father decided he'd rather come home in a taxi. [to herself] Or a police car. -- "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" In his fantasy world, Homer, gasping, finishes climbing the pyramid. On top, he sees Marge with her back to him. He tries to get her to look at him, running circles around her at one point, but he never sees her face. "Fight fair, I never do this to you" he argues. Suddenly, a strong wind blows her away as she turns into a fine powder. Homer cannot stand this place anymore, wondering what he's doing there anyway. "You are on a quest for knowledge" replies a disembodied voice. Homer looks up in the sky, where the moon turns into a giant eye. A saturn-like planet floats down next to the eye and turns into another eye. Then, the rest of a smiling canine face appears in the sky. The face liquifies and then materializes as an entire coyote on the pyramid next to Homer. Coyote: Fear not, Homer. I am your spirit guide. Homer: [warily] Hiya. Coyote: There is a lesson you must learn. Homer: If it's about laying off the insanity peppers, I'm way ahead of you. -- That's more than he usually learns, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Coyote: I speak of a deeper wisdom. The problem, Homer, is that the mind is always chattering away with a thousand thoughts at once. Homer: Yeah, that's me all right. [Homer has a glazed look in his eyes as the wind blows his two hair strands.] -- Yeah, right, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Coyote: Clarity is the path to inner peace. Homer: Well, what should I do? Should I meditate? Should I get rid of all my possessions? Coyote: [snorts] Are you kidding? If anything, you should get more possessions. You don't even have a computer. -- Inner peace through silicon circuitry, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer: You know, I have been meaning to take a spiritual journey, and I would... [the coyote is chewing his pant leg] Hey! Knock it off! [kicks him] Coyote: [sheepishly] Sorry. I am a coyote. -- "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Look, just give me some inner peace, or I'll mop the floor with you. -- Homer bargains a cheap price to his inner peace, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" The coyote instructs Homer to find his soulmate: the one with whom he shares a profound mystical understanding. Homer thinks it is Marge, but the coyote, running off, makes him doubt himself. Homer then sees a ghost train which runs over him... ...returning us to the real world, where Homer is hit on the head with a golf ball. Kent Brockman calls security to get him off the course. Homer: Huh? Golf course? Did I dream that whole thing? Maybe the desert was just this sand trap. Oh, and I bet that crazy pyramid was just the pro shop. [the pro shop is on top of a giant pyramid, as well] And that talking coyote was really just a talking dog. Dog: Hi, Homer. Find your soulmate. Homer: Hey, wait a minute! There's no such thing as a talking dog! Dog: [barks] Homer: Damn straight! -- Couldn't be more convincing myself, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Bart and Lisa are in the kitchen. Bart: ...so then I says to Mabel, I says... [Homer walks in] Homer: Hi, kids! Bart: I'll finish this later. Hi, Dad. Homer: Where's your mother? Lisa: Out back. [Homer walks out] Bart: So anyway, I says to Mabel, I says... -- "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" In the backyard, Marge is putting the laundry out to dry with her back to him. Her back stiffens when she hears her husband. Homer: Oh-ho. I guess you're cranky 'cause I didn't come home last night. Marge: I'm "cranky" because my husband got drunk and humiliated me in front of the entire town. You broke your promise, Homer. Homer: Oh, honey, I didn't get drunk, I just went to a strange fantasy world. -- Probably prepared his argument with Lionel Hutz, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer points out that Marge should believe him, being his soulmate. However, that's the last thing she wants to hear. That night, Marge is sleeping alone upstairs, while Homer paces by the couch, wondering if Marge really is his soulmate. Homer: We don't have anything in common. [opens the record cabinet, with "Marge" and "Homer" sections] Look at these records: Jim Nabors, Glen Campbell, the Doodletown Pipers. Now look at her records! They stink! -- Compared to...?, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Outside, Homer concludes that his soulmate is not to be found there, and walks away, dejected. [End of Act II. Time: 15:37] Homer is laying on a sofa, speaking to a seated, well-dressed man. Homer: I always just figured my wife was my soulmate. But if it's not Marge, then who is it? Where do I begin looking? Man: This really goes beyond my training as a furniture salesman, sir. Now if you don't want the sofa, I'll have to ask you to leave. -- "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer goes to Moe's. He buys Barney a beer, calling him "soulmate," but Barney says that he's "really more of a chum," not his soulmate. Lenny describes himself as a "croonie"; Carl, a "acquintance"; Larry, a "collegue"; Sam, a "sympathizer"; Bumblebee Man, a "compadre"; Kearney, an "associate"; and Hibbert, a "contemporary". I'm a well-wisher, in that I don't wish you any specific harm. -- Moe, on his relationship to Homer, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer tries to find his soulmate via a pay phone... Hello? Is this... [reads his paper] GBM? Uh, yeah. I read in the personals that you were seeking a soulmate. Well, I also like rainy days and movies. Uh-huh... [apprehensively] Uh, no, I don't like that... Or that... No, it's not that I'm afraid. [very quickly] I'm going to hang up now, bye-bye. -- Homer, unfamiliar with personals, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer: Oh, I give up. Coyote: [voiceover] Find your soulmate, Homer. Find your soulmate. Homer: Where? Where? Coyote: This is just your memory. I can't give you any new information. -- Thank you for calling, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer wanders through Springfield as Janis Ian's "At Seventeen" plays. Searching for his soulmate, he rushes into Mayor Quimby's campaign headquarters, under the banner "Your Best Friend in Government". He is promptly kicked out. Next, in front of a pet shop, he is solaced by watching a pair of "kissing fish," but his admiration turns into horror when one fish opens his mouth, swallowing the other, and then turns to Homer with a malicious look. Homer's long wanderings continue. Even the Community Outreach office turns him down. Finally, he ends up on the waterfront, where he sees a bright light. It's the lighthouse! Homer decides that the lighthouse keeper, "the loneliest man in the world," must be his soulmate. He rushes to the lighthouse, and getting swallowed by a wave in the process. The lighthouse sign says it is operated by Earl. Homer rushes in. "Here I come, buddy! No more loneliness for Homer and Earl!" But his joy ends abruptly when he steps into the main room, occupied by the Electronic Automatic Robotic Lighthouse. Homer: A machine?! Earl's a machine?! [sarcastic] Oh, that's just perfect! Homer's desperate search for a soulmate has yielded a lighthouse-keeping robot. Oh, wow. -- Bad luck, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer's silhouette is projected by the lighthouse, making him visible to all Springfield, including his own children, who are brushing their teeth. Bart: Hey look! Is that dad? Lisa: Either that, or Batman's really let himself go. -- You mean he looks like Adam West? "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Back in the lighthouse, Homer continues to feel sorry for himself. I'm a lonely, insignificant speck on a has-been planet orbited by a cold, indifferent sun. -- Copernicus still has some followers, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" His moaning is interrupted by a ship's horn heard in the distance. In his desperate search, Homer decides to bring the ship to him, and throws a fire extinguisher into the light. The ship is commanded, of course, by Captain McAllister. McAllister: Arr, matey. Nary a warning light to be seen. 'Tis clear sailing ahead for our precious cargo. Sailor: Uh, would that be the hot pants, sir? McAllister: Aye, the hot pants. -- Precious to whom, I wonder, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" In the lighthouse, creepy music plays while Homer giggles insanely. Suddenly, we hear footsteps, and the door opening. It's Marge, who was worried when she woke up and Homer was gone. Homer: But how did you find me? Marge: Well, I was sure you'd be on foot, because you always say public transportation is for losers. And I was sure you'd head west, because Springfield slopes down that way. And then, I saw the lighthouse, and I remembered how you love blinking lights. Like the one on the waffle iron. Homer: Or that little guy on the "Don't Walk" sign. -- Nothing like bright, shiny things, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer: Wow, Marge, you really do understand me. See, I thought we weren't soulmates because... Marge: ...we had a fight? Homer: Right, and we don't like the same things. It's like you're from Venus... Marge: ...and you're from Mars. Homer: [resentfully] Oh, sure, give me the one with all the monsters. -- Venus Attacks! "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer realizes that he and Marge really do have a profound mystical understanding. Homer: Oh, Marge! [chanting] We're number one! We're number one! In your face, space coyote! Marge: [sotto voce] Space coyote? -- "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" Homer's triumph is short-lived when he hears the ship coming near. They realize they have to get the light back on. Marge checks the utility closet for spare bulbs. After throwing away an empty box, she carries a new bulb up the ladder, and successfully installs it. McAllister: Jonathan Livingston Seagull! We're on a collision course! Hard a-starboard! Sailor: [just checking] Uh, port? McAllister: [quietly] Aye, port. -- "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" The ship gives the lighthouse a wide berth. The soulmates kiss passionately. Meanwhile, the ship has missed the lighthouse, but has run aground on some other rocks, tossing the precious cargo into the water. Chief Wiggum and a crowd of others examine the flotsam. Wiggum: Look at all them hot pants. Lenny: Hey, who likes short shorts? Crowd: [chanting] We like short shorts! -- Just checking, "El Viaje Misterioso de Nuestro Homer" The credits go up over a silhouette of Marge and Homer kissing. "Short Shorts" plays as the credits roll. [End of Act III. Time: 21:23]


{bjr} Benjamin J. Robinson {ddg} Don Del Grande {dga} Dale G. Abersold {dm} Dennis Moran {dp2} Dallas Pesola {eh} Eric Hartman {jh} Jason Hancock {jh2} Jonathan Haas {jmb} Jennifer M. Blaske {hl} Haynes Lee {ljs} Liam J. Scanlan {mss} Marge Starbrod-Simpson {msz} Matt Scott Zelman {np} Nate Patrin {ns} Nelson Seggley {ol} Ondre Lombard {rav} Robert A. Vasquez {rj} Ryan Johnson {sb} Stephan Bonneville {tl} Torey Lightcap {vc} Vince Chan

Legal Mumbo Jumbo

This episode capsule is Copyright 1997 Frederic Briere. It is not to be redistributed in a public forum without consent from its author or current maintainer (capsules@snpp.com). All quoted material, episode summaries and on-screen bug remain property of The Simpsons, Copyright of Twentieth Century Fox. The transcript itself is Copyright 1997 Dale G. Abersold. Not void where not prohibited. This work is dedicated to Raymond Chen, James A. Cherry, Ricardo Lafaurie, and all of those who made episode capsules what they are today.