[4F04] A Milhouse Divided

A Milhouse Divided                                   Written by Steve Tompkins
                                                 Directed by Steven Dean Moore
Production code: 4F04                      Original Airdate in U.S.:  1-Dec-96
Capsule revision B,  6-Jul-97            Original Airdate in Canada: 30-Nov-96

"TV Guide" Synopsis {jmb}

At the Simpsons' party, Milhouse's parents decide to divorce, prompting Homer to take action to prevent a similar fate for himself and Marge.

Title sequence

Couch :- OFF run to the couch and sit, but Bart is glowing green. Homer fiddles with the TV, switching him to red. Then he slaps him behing the head, giving him back his normal yellow color.

Did you notice...

... the Allied Biscuit box has the Nabisco logo in the upper left-hand corner? ... Homer is reading "Hot Lotto Picks Weekly" in bed? ... Kearney's kid sounds just like Ralph Wiggum? ... the woman at the Marriage Bureau sounds like Lunchlady Doris (the late Doris Grau)? [does this mean Lunch Lady Doris will speak again? -- {ddg}] ... we never see what "dignity" looks like? ... Milhouse apparently leaves with Mrs. Hibbert's fur coat (she doesn't have it on when she leaves)? ... the "El Barto" graffiti outside the Springfield Marriage Bureau building? ... Lisa drinks caffeine-laden Buzz cola just before going to bed? She won't sleep for hours, unless her system is already saturated... [Maybe it was caffeine-free Buzz (which sounds just ridiculous enough to actually exist in Springfield). -- {dga}] Dale G. Abersold: ... this is the first episode named after Milhouse (if you don't count "Bart's Friend Falls in Love" [8F22])? ... this is the first full episode written by Steve Tompkins? ... this was the eighth consecutive episode without the normal closing title music? Benjamin Ball: ... the shrub outside of the "Perm bank" looks like Marge's hair? ... Homer's shirt is blue in one scene? ... the Lunchlady Doris-esque woman is smoking in a government building? (Lest we forget the consequenses from episode 2F14?) Chris Courtois: ... The Hibberts, the Flanderseses, and the Van Houtens all brought their children. No Jessica Lovejoy however. Must be in another boarding school. James R. Curry: ... before the dinner party starts, every light is on in OFF's house? ... when Homer visits Mr Van Houten, the clock on the wall reads 9 O'clock, since it's daylight outside it must be 9am, and they're both drinking beer at this time? ... Homer manages to wake up before 6AM? ... Homer actually gets Patty and Selma to come to the second wedding? Jason H. Elliott: ... Mr. Van Houten is smoking at the Simpsons dinner party? Joshua Fruhlinger: ... Bart does Dr. Hibbert's trademark chuckle while imitating him? ... Dr. Hibbert apparently brings his doctor's jacket to social occasions? ... Luanne is referred to as "Mrs. Van Houten" even after the divorce? (Perhaps they're just separated.) ... Luanne starts dressing a lot sexier after the divorce? Don Del Grande: ... Lisa has meatballs (or maybe "meatball substitute") on her dish? ... Maggie can get out of her high chair without lifting the tray? ... while everybody else is eating, Snowball II is licking herself and Maggie's tray is empty? ... the Simpsons have four toilets (or at least four seats)? ... Homer is taking a bath (as opposed to a shower, which he usually takes)? ... Kirk's song includes the words "glove of love", a slang term for a condom? ... Maggie falls for only the fourth episode (and falls more than once for just the second time) in the last two seasons? ... when Maggie is in the non-stick pan, she "rides" it like she's on a skateboard working a half-pipe? ... Maggie is in a stroller (for the third time ever)? ... The circle-C is back in the copyright message, but the C is different from how it used to look? ... Nelson's mother used a combination cough medicine and breath freshener? ... Marge seats everybody "boy-girl-boy-girl"? Andrew Krupowicz: ... the Hibbert's teen son doesn't come to dinner (typical)? ... during dinner, Maggie isn't in either of the two rooms? ... the car alarm going off during the ext. shot of Casa Nova? Ricardo Lafaurie: ... the sexual humor in 'thawing hot dogs in the sink'? ... a divorce costs $8? Haynes Lee: ... Milhouse in fur coat sounds like Martin Prince? ... Homer mistaking the punch bowl for Liz Taylor's wedding ring? Jeff Mezger: ... Patty and Selma are wearing black to Marge's second wedding? David Ney: ... Kirk works at "Southern Cracker"? ... the cracker sculpture in Kirk's boss' office? ... Patty & Selma flirting with Chase? Damian Penny: ... Milhouse's little car looks like an S-class Mercedes? ... the Van Houtens had two cars? (The Bonneville and the red convertible) Dallas Pesola: ... in the Perm Bank when Homer is standing in front of a picture of a redhead while Marge scolds him, it looks like he has red hair? Mark Aaron Richey: ... the star magnet on the dishwasher? ... even Rod and Todd laugh at Bart's "amputated butt" joke? ... Kirk's blue slippers by his bed? ... Bart is carrying Marge's purse when they come home from the dentist? ... this was yet another episode without the regular closing theme? Benjamin J. Robinson: ... Homer apparently eats eight hot dogs in one sitting? ... in the house, Milhouse drives a mini-Mercedes SL? ... Marge says she and Homer will never end up like the Van Houtens right in front of the Van Houtens? (Sure, Homer does much the same thing, but you expect that from him.) Ana Robles: ... Lisa continued to sing after Luanne announced she wanted a divorce? Liam J. Scanlam: ... the Flanders' let Rod and Todd play with Bart and Milhouse? (and they're talking about amputating Milhouse's butt.) ... this episode is based on Milhouse's point of view on the divorce, yet he has only a few lines?

Voice credits {dga}

- Starring - Dan Castellaneta (Homer, Abe, "Larry Davis Experience" guy #2) - Julie Kavner (Marge) - Nancy Cartwright (Bart, Nelson, Kearney, Kearney's son) - Yeardley Smith (Lisa) - Hank Azaria (Kirk Van Houten, Chase, Casino minister, "Larry Davis Experience" guy #3) - Harry Shearer (Otto, Lovejoy, Hibbert, Flanders, Jerry, Kirk's boss, "Larry Davis Experience" guy #1) - Also Starring - Pamela Hayden (Milhouse) - Tress MacNeille (Starla, Divorce bureau woman) - Maggie Roswell (Luanne Van Houten, Maude Flanders)

Movie (and other) references

+ Matthew 12:25 "...every house divided against itself shall not stand." {dga} - title + "Scooby-Doo" - the characters in the various Scooby-Doo series lived Homer's idea of marriage -- driving around in a van solving mysteries + "I Love the Nightlife" (Disco Round) by Alicia Bridges {dp2} - Luanne sings a bit of the chorus before burning Kirk's belongings. "Friends" TV series {ak} - Luanne burning Kirk's things "Waiting to Exhale" {dga} - the torching of the car (cf. Kirk's shirts) "The War of the Roses" {dp} - divorcing couple destroy each other's things + "Pandora's Box," classic 1928 film by G.W. Pabst {dga} - Luanne has a haircut like Louise Brooks in the movie, and is called "Lulu" by Chase, like Brooks' character. ~ Leslie Van Houten - was also nicknamed Lulu [can anyone give me details on this one? --ed] + "American Gladiators" - Bart mentions this show - Mrs. Van Houten and her date left in an "Atlasphere" - the music ~ "Starla" by The Smashing Pumpkins {dn} - Kirk's new girlfriend Carvel Ice Cream {jk} - whale cake Nature CDs {ak} - Homer's "sounds of the sea" + Crest toothpaste commercial from the '70s {hl} - "Only three cavities? Your best check-up ever." + "True", 1984-5 song by Spandau Ballet - as performed by the "One Doobie Brother" band

Previous episode references

- "Yoink!" - [9F14] Homer snatches the money he's saved by giving up beer {msr} - [9F15] Lenny's diamond-in-tooth gets stolen {msr} - [9F17] Homer pulls the plug on Homer after Nick Riviera's advice - [1F11] Bart steals Kent Brockman's danish - [3F01] Count Homer snatches two spa tickets at Springfield Bentley - [4F04] Homer snatches a meatball from Maggie, Snowball II and SLH - Otto's various (non-bus) trip references: {dga} - [3F04] "Man, another acid flashback. I'd hate to be driving a bus right now!" - [3F21] "What is that smell?" / "It smells like Otto's jacket..." - [3F21] "Hey, my shoes are talking too!" - [4F04] Mistakes Stoner's Pot Palace for another kind of store - Homer wearing reading glasses {dh2} - [8F01] Reads "Reading Digest" in bed - [9F09] Goes over the family finances - [1F04] Assists a donuts fashion show - [2F10] Studies marketing - [2F13] Goes over the phone bill - [3F07] Figures out Bart's punishment - [3F11] Reads "The New Our Caddies Ourselves" in bed - [3F12] Figures out his food order bill at IRS Burger - [4F04] Reads "Hot Lotto Picks Weekly" in bed - Milhouse short on Ritalin: {ic} - [3F02] Playing with Bart's soul: "Who's stupid now, huh?" - [3F08] Vents frustrations inside an F-15: "Send me to a psychiatrist, will you? Take that, Dr. Sally Waxler!" - [3F12] Tries to impress girls with Krusty's autograph on his chest. - [3F17] "Spring break! Yeah!" {js} - [3F22] Axiously awaiting summer break: "Up yours, Krabappel!" - [4F04] Bumps his racing car all over the room - Dramatic close-ups: {ljs} - [2F13] Koala riding on the helicopter to USA - [3F08] Bart's underwear still laid out on his bed - [3F16] Lester riding his skateboard in front of OFF's house - [4F04] Hot-dogs thawing in the sink - [7G08], [2F21] the only episodes with Maggie in a stroller {ddg} - [7F17] Plato's casino {jh} - [7F20] A party at the Simpsons home ends in marital strife - [8F04], [3F02], [3F19] We see Milhouse's family {jf} - [8F09] "That was 20 minutes ago!" {dn} - [8F10] The wedding scene is taken from this episode - [8F24] Spalding Gray referenced (cf. OFF's "Spalding Way" address in 8F24) - [9F16] Homer cuts Marge's hair {dga} - [1F07] Fortune cookies {jh} - [1F20] Lisa helps Homer save his marriage {rl} - [1F21] A wedding ring is forced onto a finger {ljs} - [2F02] Dr. Hibbert is shown to have conservative views {jf} - [2F07] The Van Houtens have had previous marital/sexual difficulties (they have twin beds) {dga} - [2F08] Marge's mental problems rear their ugly head {ak} - [2F12], [3F17] Van Houten's job at Cracker factory mentioned {hl} - [3F02] The Van Houtens argue {ljs} - [3F08] The Alkali Flats is mentioned {ljs} - [3F13] Kearney revealed to be an adult

Freeze frame fun

People at the party and their clothing:

   - Marge, slim black suit
   - Homer,
   - Bart, usual blue suit and tie
   - Lisa, usual light pink dress with white bow-tie in hair
   - Maggie, in her everyday clothes
   - Timothy Lovejoy, black pants, white shirt, tie  (plus umbrellas)
   - Helen Lovejoy, light pink sweater and robe
   - Julius Hibbert, traditional Cosby sweater  (and lab coat)
   - Sylvia Hibbert, purple dress  (and fur coat)
   - Hibbert's youngest son, green suit, white shirt, tie
   - Hibbert's daugther, dark pink robe and two bow-ties in hair
   - Kirk Van Houten, black suit, white shirt, purple tie
   - Luanne Van Houten, dark blue dress
   - Milhouse, white shirt, red bow-tie, blue pants

At the dinner table: {jh}

      Timothy Lovejoy         Kirk Van Houten
      Helen Lovejoy           Luanne Van Houten
      Ned Flanders            Julius Hibbert
      Maude Flanders          Sylvia Hibbert

Kirk's new home:

      C A S A   N O V A
        A Transitional
      Place for Singles

Kirk's old job:

       "the    y y y y
       d r y y

Things Milhouse wrecks with his car: {mar}

   - potted plant
   - two stools
   - electral cord
   - lamp

Kirk's doomed-to-fail album:

      K  I  R  K
      |        |
      | pix of |
      |  Kirk  |
      |        |
      ..........     [that's "Can I Borrow A Feeling?" in small]

Marge's Wedding Cake:

   .---------.    ,-.__
   | *   To a \. (    _)
   |  y  Whale  \_)  /
   |-'   of a Wife  /         [I never enjoyed ASCII art till now! --ed]

Guests at the (re-)wedding: {mar}

   - Patty, Selma, Jacqueline Bouvier, Abe, Kirk, Luanne, Milhouse,
     Chase, the Hibberts, the Flanders, the Lovejoys

- Overseas Animation: Anivision  {ddg}

Animation, continuity, and other goofs

= Homer's fork goes missing while he licks his plate, but reappears for him to pick up the meatball. {jrc} * How could Homer be licking his plate and talking at the same time? {dn} = The size of the stain that Marge's meatball made keeps changing. {mar} = Homer's plate magically refills and empties again during the scene after he's finished eating. = Homer has a glass of milk or water, then has only a Duff beer, then has both. {dp2} = Bart is shown eating with his left hand in a close up, then eats with his right hand in a wider shot. {dp2} = Lisa does not have a beverage glass on her TV tray, then has one a minute later. {dp2} - In the scene where Maggie is sliding around in the pot, there are frames where you can see through Maggie. {ddg} - When Marge is getting the toilet seat out of the dishwasher, the kitchen window curtains don't have their corn ears. {ddg} * Despite the fact that steam is coming out of the dishwasher, Marge and Lisa are able to hold them without burning themselves. {ddg} = When Marge opens the dishwasher, the toilet seats are put in two by two. When she opens the oven, the three remaining seats are now lined up in one long row. - When Marge puts the candle back, she "snaps her wrist" so the candle will go back the right way, but she does it in 1/30 (or 1/25 in PAL countries) of a second. {ddg} - After Marge chews down the candle and puts it on the table, the candle jumps to its previous size for a frame or two. {ak} - When Kirk crumples up Luanne's "Dignity", the sheet is blank. {ddg} = When Luanne announces the divorce, Marge is standing nearby, holding Lisa's shoulder. Seconds later, when Kirk asks, "a divorce," she's on the couch. After he draws the picture, Marge is back in her original position. {bjr} * Only the top of the box with Kirk's clothes in it burned, despite it being a cardboard box. {ddg} = Kearney was originally sitting next to the window; his son appears out of nowhere after moving over. {jh} + In 2F07, Kirk mentions "pushing the twin beds together"; why would he boast of having a separate bed? {jh} * "Radio 530" is almost always reserved for a city's traffic control announcements (so is 1610); it's not on a lot of older radios. {ddg} [which makes Kirk even stupider to believe Starla's story --ed] = The amount and placing on the frost on the hot dogs changes with each successive close-up. {mar} + Plato's casino, seen in the flashback, wasn't there in 8F10. {jh} * How could Homer file a divorce without Marge being there to sign the papers? {dn} + Marge promised butterscotch chicken for dinner, but in 7F22 she said Bart was allergic to butterscotch and imitation butterscotch. - At the beginning of the "surprise party", the picture of Maggie is missing her bow. {ddg} c Grampa's "Surprise!" was not captioned. {jh} c The captions have song lyrics, "Don't go changing to try to please me," but only instrumental music is heard. {jh}


Dale G. Abersold: Poor Milhouse: he finally gets an episode named after him, but he hardly appears in it. Shouldn't The Simpsons show divorce from the children's point of view (like [7G11])? Why give so much screen time to characters (the adult Van Houtens) we don't even care about? There were a few good gags, enough to save it from a failing grade. (C-) Jennifer M. Blaske: This was definitely not one of the best episodes. Was there a new writer or something? Most of the jokes felt really forced to me, although I did LOL when Bart broke the chair over Homer's back. The scene with fighting over the meatball went on too long, and I didn't care for Lisa walking into the room singing. The jump from Milhouses's parents to Homer's worries was too abrupt. And this is incidental, but I would have preferred if Milhouses's parents had decided not to split up at the end. (C-) Ron Bodner: Nice to have a few jokes that I could actually laugh out loud at. The jokes were fresh, rather than predictable jokes based on the previous jokes of writers with talent (see: "Bart After Dark"). Would be a ten if it weren't for Homer's cartoonish stupidity and his extremely forced talk with a carless Kirk Van Houten ("It can't just be the sex! It can't!). (B+) Chris Courtois: "A Milhouse Divided" was full of good gags and one of the better Homer stories of the past few seasons. Homer got to be Homer, not Homer the asshole or Homer the moron or Homer the wacky. While "the Simpson marriage is in trouble because Homer is a clod" story has been done before, this one had some original stuff and wasn't just a retread of "Jacques to be Wild", "War of the Simpsons", and "Secrets of a Successful Marriage". I liked the fact that Marge wasn't pissed at Homer for anything, and he reformed on his own. It wasn't sidesplitting ROFL funny, but this one did elicit laughs frequently and regularly. I think I'll resurrect my early Season 7 cliche and dub this one a "solid, but unspectacular" (B+) James R Curry: Not a bad episode, better than Burns, baby, Burns but not as good as The Homer they Fall. Some good jokes and gags, and the dinner party scene was really good. Homer is more like the 'Well meaning but failing' Homer who appeared in some first season episodes. (C) Steve Frayne: Excellent interjections of comic relief added some snappy humor to an average story line. The idea of Homer realizing his marriage isn't beyond reproach was a great one, but too much time was spent early on the Van Houtens forcing a hurried ending. (B-) Joshua Fruhlinger: A good, sweet, funny, but not great episode. I really did like the ending, especially the fact the Kirk and Luanne did not get back together... too many TV shows just have everyone get along again at the end. The way they did it here was much more realistic and kept that Simpsons bite. I agree the best act was the party scene -- very will scripted and directed. (B+) Philip Gibbons: This wasn't an excellent episode, but just one of those "okay" episodes that are made usually once or twice a season. I thought that the segment featuring Kirk's car being stolen and Homer finding quite a bit of humor out of his "Can I Borrow a Feeling" cassete was funny. However, I gave a major thumbs down to Bart bashing Homer on the head with a chair; I don't see how you can call that funny. (C-) Jason Hancock: I won't waste any time saying that I did not like this episode. It was not funny, except for a few gags here and there. Also, this "marriage on the rocks" theme -- which I've never liked in the first place, even in earlier seasons -- has been done too many times before. (D) Ryan Johnson: A fairly solid episode. The first one this season (sad but true), that seemed to be down to earth and belivable. Not that many good gags, but the meatball and hotdog (what's with the meat here?) scenes were great. (B-) Andrew Krupowicz: This is a great ep. It had a rich mix of jokes and satire. The plot was realistic, with the ironic twists that I love to see. Homer's antics were well balanced with the rest of OFF and the fact that Kirk didn't get Luanne back was a great way to end this episode. Aside from the fact that their marital strife came out of nowhere (for the Van Houten's), there's nothing to whine about. (A) Ricardo Lafaurie: Very good episode, I thought. What made it great was that (1) We didn't have the ol' "Milhouse's-parents-get-back- together-at-the-end" bit, like I expected, (2) The corny parts were leveled with biting humor, and (3) It didn't stray completely from OFF, like "A Fish Called Selma". (A) David Ney: A decent episode. It was nice to see Marge and Homer renewing their love, since lately they have been having quite a shaky marriage. Anyway, the part where Bart hit Homer over the head with a chair had me ROTFL. Also Bart's joke about amputating Milhouse's butt was cool. The one thing I can see that was odd about this episode is: for being called "A Milhouse Divided", it sure didn't have much to do with Milhouse. (B) Damian Penny: Am I the only one who liked this episode? I enjoyed seeing the Simpsons' universe expanded with an episode focussing on characters we've hardly seen - Milhouse's parents - and also seeing a bit more of Homer and Marge's wedding. Plus there were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, such as Homer's wedding vows and Bart breaking the chair over Homer's head. (B+) Jeff Reis: I've come to expect mediocrity and this one delivered in spades. I laughed when Homer was playing with slot cars in his underwear. I think my lips may have curled upward a couple of other times. Sure, it's interesting to try to flesh out some of the secondary characters, but one important ingredient was forgotten-- JOKES! So far the only episode that has even come close to the former high comedic standards of the show has been "The Homer They Fall". (C-) Mark Aaron Richey: Some of the best gags and jokes of the season were put on a rather weak storyline. I think we've all seen "Homer and Marge's marriage is in crisis" one too many times now, even though I do admire the producers for having one of the couples on the show split up (even though I'll be surprised if the writers don't "forget" they're separated). I was geneually surprised about the surprise wedding, and am glad that Kirk and Luanne did not get back together at the end of the episode (wonder if Kirk's singing had anything to do with it). Even though I don't like the plot, the episode was still very funny. (B+) Matt Rose: Yes! Much better than last week. I was laughing again. The whole "Stoner's Pot Paradise" thing with Otto got me on the floor. And despite the ending being a bit mushy, I don't think that ruined it for me. And kudos to the writers for finally remembering Maggie actually exists as a character and not just decoration. Once again, they restore my faith the week after a lousy episode airs. (B+) Aaron Varhola: Uneven; Tompkins's gags were outstanding, but the plot seemed contrived, particularly the "marital problems" between Marge and Homer (this topic has been addressed three times before, in 7G01, 7F20, and 1F20, more successfully. The fight at the party between the Van Houtens was too long, and there were pacing problems in the first act. (C+) Yours Truly: I will refrain myself from using hip expressions such as "second-season quality" or "return to roots", but this definitely felt different from recent episodes, being much more down-to-earth and character-centered. Although we've been treated with Homer's marital problems more than anyone could ever stand, it was nice to see Homer as a caring person, not the goofbag he's so often protrayed as. There were many imperfections throughout the episode, but I think that the staff managed to keep it from falling into either stand-up comedy or drama, which was not an easy task. (B) AVERAGE GRADE: B- (2.7) NIELSEN RATING: 8.3 (ranked 51st out of 100) {ol}

Comments and other observations

That's L-I-N-C-O-N for you

Mark Aaron Richey:  "A house divided against itself cannot stand", the
   most famous phrase from Abraham Lincoln's speech in 1858 about the
   the possibilities that the United States could survive with half of
   it's states being free and the other half being slave.  The speech
   was given during that year's Senate races, where he ran against (and
   lost to) Stephen Douglas.

Writer Watch

Dale G. Abersold:  This was the first full episode written by Steve
   Tompkins. Previously, he wrote the "Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace"
   segment of "Treehouse of Horror VI" [3F04], and was one of the many
   writers credited with "22 Short Films About Springfield" [3F18].  His
   next assignment is the "Simpson Family Goodtime Variety Hour" segment
   of the "spin-off" episode [4F20], slated to air sometime next spring.

   [{bjr} notes he also was a writer for "The Critic"]

Why guest stars should always get their lines right

Benjamin Jay Robinson:  Elizabeth (Liz) Taylor was tapped to be the
   voice of Maggie for her one word in "Lisa's First Word" [9F08].
   Despite the brevity of her part, she reportedly had difficulties with
   it, reading the line more like a twenty-year old seductress than a
   one-year-old baby.  The writers got their revenge in "Krusty Gets
   Kancelled" [9F19]; she's the only guest start too snobby to appear on
   Krusty's comeback show.  Looks like the writing staff retains their
   fascination for Ms. Taylor.

Do I sound like a cartoon character?

Mark Aaron Richey:  Woody Allen is an Oscar winning New York-based
   director/actor/writer who makes low-scale comedys, mostly about
   relationships.  Unfortunally for Ned, he is the "nervous" fellow who
   is always in his movies.  Julie Kavner happens to be one of his
   regulars, having shown up in his "Don't Drink the Water", "Shadows
   and Fog", "Alice", "New York Stories", "Radio Days", and "Hannah and
   Her Sisters", and will be in his next film, "Deconstructing Henry"
   (but not "Everyone Says I Love You", which opens this week).

So that's what they do when they're not working

Benjamin Jay Robinson:  "American Gladiators" is proof that nothing is
   so strange that it won't work on syndicated television.  Each week,
   the Gladiators (a group of stunt people, professional body builders,
   and other muscular types) dress up in flashy Spandex wrestling
   uniforms, adapt macho nicknames like "Pyro," and compete in tests of
   athletic skill with viewers from home.  Perhaps the most famous game
   from the show is a segment where one Gladiator and one contestant try
   to knock each other off a platform with outsize Q-tips.  

Aaron Varhola:  The device Pyro and Luann ride away in is an
   "Atlasphere", from the event of the same name on the show.
   Atlasphere was a game where the contestants would have to roll the
   Atlasphere over certain points on the floor, while the Gladiators
   (bodybuilders like Pyro) would have to bump the contestants'
   Atlaspheres away from the scoring areas. Essentially, it's humans
   rolling around on huge hamster wheels.

Mark Aaron Richey:  For a time in the early '90's, the show was
   super-popular, and the Gladiators (who all have "cool" one word
   names) popped up all over the place.  The craze has died down
   considerably, but it's still popular.

Spalding Gray

Mark Aaron Richey:  Spalding Gray is a monologuist and actor who writes
   and delivers painfully funny monologues about his life.  Several of
   them have been made into movies, including "Swimming to Cambodia",
   "Monster in a Box", and "Gray's Anatomy".  His latest, "It's a
   Slippery Slope", is currently playing on Broadway.

Benjamin Jay Robinson:  His work has evidently captured Matt Groening's
   admiration.  In addition to the mention in tonight's episode, the
   Simpsons' street address in "Kamp Krusty" [8F24] is a tribute to him.

I married Marge. Again and again and again.

Benjamin Jay Robinson:  "I Married Marge" [8F10] showed Homer and Marge
   marrying at Shotgun Pete's quickie wedding chapel.  However, several
   other episodes refer to a more traditional wedding.  This raises the
   question of which version is correct.  According to the episode
   capsules, either "I Married Marge" is an anomaly (since only it had
   the "quickie" wedding story), or the Simpsons had a second wedding.
   Of course, this episode puts the kibosh on the latter theory, while
   the flashback suggests the first story was no anomaly.  Harrumph.
   Maybe there was a third wedding Homer didn't count, since there was
   no prior divorce?

   [I call to all eagle-eyed viewers who'd tell apart Klasky-Csupo and
   Flim Ronan animation anytime: was this a 3rd season outtake or an 8th
   season addition? --ed]

Let's make it a week

Dale G. Abersold:  Philip Glass is a composer and performer of
   "minimalist" music.  He is best known for his film scores such as
   "Koyaanisqatsi" and "The Thin Blue Line," as well as his operas,
   including "Einstein on the Beach" and "The Voyage." Funny that Homer
   should mention "just an evening?" when considering "An Evening with
   Philip Glass."  Some of his works can be incredibly long: "Einstein
   on the Beach" lasts six hours.

Benjamin Jay Robinson:  He's known for taking a musical "phrase" of a
   few notes, and playing one variation of this pattern after another
   until you either go nuts or hail him as a musical genius.  Or both.

If we can call that "singing"...

Dominik Halas shares with us a few lyrics:

            Can I Borrow A Feeling?

         Can I borrow a feelin'?
         Could you send me a jar of love?
         Hurtin' hearts need some healin',
         Take my hand with your glove of love!

   [anyone knows if this is a take-off of anything? --ed]

Loose Ends

Liam J. Scanlan:  "Love is" is a short comic strip featuring two young
   naked kids that highlight that the most important thingin life is
   "Us." It can still be found on coffee mugs.

Mark Aaron Richey:  Scarily enough, Homer described it pretty correctly.
   Two naked children (though I think they are supposed to be older)
   interact in a daily one-panel over a pithy statement.

Mark Aaron Richey:  One of my parent's favorite games, one contestant
   has a limited amount of time to draw something, while the other
   person guesses what it is.  While they never identified the game they
   were playing by name, the board looked exactly like a Pictionary

Benjamin Jay Robinson:  The Doobie Brothers were a rock band from the
   '70's who had hits with songs like "Black Water."  I think they had a
   reunion tour last year, so maybe their sax player isn't available,
   after all.

Mark Aaron Richey:  Levi's is the largest jean company in the United

Ricardo Lafaurie:  Is "Starla" supposed to be a hick name?  I knew a
   "Starla" once, and she was anything but.

Dale G. Abersold:  As if the animators didn't have enough trouble
   already making sure that Lisa doesn't eat meat... now they have to
   make sure that the Van Houtens aren't next to each other in crowd
   scenes anymore.

James R. Curry reports that Luanne's whole box-burning "presto-kaboom"
   scene was cut on SKY.

Quotes and Scene Summary {dga}

Dinnertime at the Simpsons. Everyone is watching TV, which Homer can't quite do when he's licking his plate clean. Marge, can't we get some clear plates? I can't see the TV! -- Practical Homer, "A Milhouse Divided" Marge wonders aloud if it is necessary to watch TV while they are eating, since they are getting food all over. Just then, a meatball falls to the floor, eyed by Maggie, Santa's Little Helper and Snowball II. Each of them tenses, prepared for the kill, when suddenly, Homer reaches down and secures it with a fork. "Yoink!" Bart: If you really wanted us to be neater, you'd serve us out of one long bowl. Marge: You're talking about a trough. We're not going to eat from a trough. And another thing, it's only 5:15. Why are you in your underwear? Bart: Hey, this ain't the Ritz. -- New tenets of the Bart philosophy, "A Milhouse Divided" Marge tries to start a conversation with Lisa, who seems too absorbed with what's on TV. Marge: I'm going into the dining room to have a conversation. Anyone who wants to join me is welcome. [she walks off] Marge: [off-screen] Hello, Marge. How's the family? [in a different tone] I don't want to talk about it. Mind your own business. Homer: Keep it down in there, everybody! -- "A Milhouse Divided" Later that night, Marge speaks to Homer in bed. Marge: Homer, is this the way you pictured married life? Homer: Yeah, pretty much. Except we drove around in a van solving mysteries. -- "A Milhouse Divided" But Marge pictured a more social life. Marge: Homer, I want to throw a dinner party. Homer: [whining] Oh, I hate having parties. The toilet always gets backed up. Marge: I don't care if the sink shoots sludge. We're having a party. -- Are there enough gag ice-cubes? "A Milhouse Divided" The next day, our favorite family visits "Stoner's Pot Palace." Man, that is flagrant false advertising! -- Otto leaving "Stoner's Pot Palace", "A Milhouse Divided" Marge browses through the sophisticated kitchen accessories. It's just not a dinner party without a melon baller. And we'll need a citrus zester, a ravioli crimper... Ooh, an oyster mallet! Made in USA? Oh, no, thank you. -- Patriotic Marge, "A Milhouse Divided" Bart shows Lisa a non-stick wok, into which he drops Maggie. She proves that it is indeed frictionless as she slides inside it, popping up on each side. In another part of the store, Marge gasps at a huge crystal punchbowl. Marge: Ooh! A punchbowl like that just screams good taste. Wouldn't it be perfect for the dinner party. Homer: Oh, we can't afford that. Who do you think I am, Liz Taylor? Marge: Well, maybe we could use it once, and then return it. Homer: Marge, we're not talking about a toothbrush here. -- How about the one that Flanders threw away? "A Milhouse Divided" It is sometime later, as the house is impeccably set for the upcoming party. Marge: Bart, company's coming, go put doilies under the coasters, hurry, hurry! [the dishwasher dings] [Marge opens it to reveal four toilet seats inside] Marge: Lisa, quick, screw these back on! Lisa: Mom, calm down, the party's not for another three hours! Marge: Oh, good! That will give me time to add another coat of glaze to the ham. [she opens the oven to reveal said meat glowing almost radioactively] -- The conscientious party-giver, "A Milhouse Divided" Marge takes a look at the splendid table she set. However, one candle is longer than the other; she resolves the problem by taking a bite of it. Next, she inspects the adorably-dressed children, and gives Bart a quick spit-bath, to which he objects. Then, she looks for her truant husband. Marge: Homer! Homer: What?! Marge: Are you ready? Homer: Just gotta put my shoes on! [Homer is in his underwear, playing with slot-cars] Marge: The only thing I asked you to do for this party was put on clothes, and you didn't do it. -- Knowing his limitations, "A Milhouse Divided" But it's too late, the doorbell already rings. Homer runs away while Marge instructs Bart to take the guests' coats. Bart: Mom, Reverend Lovejoy doesn't have a coat. Should I let him in? Lovejoy: My coat was stolen at last week's interfaith banquet. So I helped myself to a few of the better umbrellas. -- Turning the other cheek, "A Milhouse Divided" The next family to arrive is the Hibberts. Julious gives his fur coat to Bart. Well, as you can see, we don't believe fur is murder. But paying for it sure is! -- Julius Hibbert, no friend of PETA, "A Milhouse Divided" Next are the Van Houtens. Kirk: Uh, sorry we're late, but Luanne had to put on her face. She doesn't want anyone to know she's got no eyebrows. [Luanne looks at her husband under bizarrely-slanted brows] What? You don't! -- Sight gags of the world, unite! "A Milhouse Divided" While the children have a party of their own in another room -- with Bart's grimaces as the center of attention -- the adults dine and converse. Marge: Did anyone see that new Woodsy Allen movie? Ned: You know, I like his films except for that nervous fellow that's always in them. -- "A Milhouse Divided" But something's not right with the Van Houtens. Luanne: If you want to talk nervous, you should've seen Kirk deal with the high-school kids who egged our Bonneville. Kirk: Ha. Should've asked them to hurl some bacon. Then maybe I could have had a decent breakfast for once. [long pause, everyone is uneasy] Homer: You know what you two need? A little comic strip called "Love Is..." It's about two naked eight-year-olds who are married. [even longer pause] -- Not Lisa and Ralph, I hope, "A Milhouse Divided" Once everyone's done eating, Julius congratulates Marge on the meal, but Kirk can only think about stabbing at Luanne, saying he's never eaten that well since he was in the army. Once again, everyone is uneasy. After Luanne gets in a quick dig at her husband, Marge loudly suggests everyone go play a game. It's Pictionary, done on a giant pad. First up, the Flanderses. Ned: Oh, that's a noodle-scratcher. [starts drawing a few random dots] Maude: [gasps] Cornstarch! Ned: Oh, righty-o! [both laugh] It's good for keepin' down the urges! -- I thought that's what saltpeter was for... "A Milhouse Divided" Next up are the Van Houtens. Kirk: Ah, come on Luanne, you know what this is. Luanne: Kirk, I don't know what it is. Kirk: [sighs] It could not be more simple, Luanne. You want me to show this to the cat, and have the cat tell you what it is? 'Cause the cat's going to get it. Luanne: I'm sorry, I'm not as smart as you, Kirk. We didn't all go to Gudger College. [timer dings] Kirk: It's dignity! Gah! Don't you even know dignity when you see it? Luanne: Kirk, you're spitting. Kirk: Okay, genius, why don't you draw dignity. [she does so] [everyone gasps in recognition -- we can't see it, however] Hibbert: Worthy of Webster's. -- Next, she'll show us where Springfield is on a map, "A Milhouse Divided" Kirk fights back, and Rev. Lovejoy tries to interpose. Lovejoy: Now, Kirk, it's only a game. Sometimes, we... Kirk: Aw, cram it, churchy! -- Should've kept that one for Sunday's sermon, "A Milhouse Divided" Marge tries to cheer up the atmosphere, but it's a desperate cause. Kirk: Why don't you tell them one of your little bedtime stories, huh? Like the one about how rotten it is to be married to a loser. Or how about the one about how I carry a change purse? Yeah, a purse! Homer: Shut up and let the woman talk. -- Aw, we were getting to the good stuff now, "A Milhouse Divided" Luanne: Okay, Kirk, I'll tell a story. It's about a man whose father- in-law gave him a sweet job as manager of a cracker factory. Homer: Bo-ring. Luanne: A man whose complete lack of business sense and managerial impotence... Homer: Ooh, here we go! Luanne: ...sent the number one cracker factory in town into a tie for sixth with "TableTime" and "Allied Biscuit." [Marge furtively hides a box of "Allied Biscuit"] -- The Van Houtens fight at the Simpsons, "A Milhouse Divided" Kirk: You want to hear a secret, everybody? Luanne loves it, loves it when I fail. Luanne: Oh yes, Kirk. I love having to borrow money from my sister. I love having to steal clothes from the church donation box. Lovejoy: [quietly] Oh, sweet Jesus. -- Knowing a little too much, "A Milhouse Divided" Marge attempts to defuse the situation. Marge: Lisa, why don't you come sing for us? Lisa: [marching and singing] You're a grand old flag... Kirk: Oh, great, you got the kid singing. I hope you're happy now. -- Another unappreciated talent, "A Milhouse Divided" But Luanne is not happy, and has not been for a long time. The time has come for... Luanne: I want a divorce! [everyone gasps] Kirk: [surprised] I... I... a divorce? [resolute] Sure. Divorce. Hey, you got it toots! And here's a picture even you can figure out! [draws a circle in a rectangle] It's a door! Use it! Homer: That's a door? -- This wouldn't have happened if they had played "Jenga", "A Milhouse Divided" Upstairs, Milhouse and Bart are putting on a different kind of "doctor" act. Bart: [deep voice] Hello, I'm Doctor Hibbert. I'm afraid I'm going to have to amputate... your butt. [chuckles] Milhouse: [falsetto] All right, if you think you must. [kids laugh] Luanne: Come on, Milhouse, we're going. Milhouse: Aw, can't I come home later? Luanne: There's not going to be a home later. Milhouse: Oh. Okay. [falsetto] Ta-ta! I'm off to the beauty salon! -- Playing doctor, after a fasion, "A Milhouse Divided" Homer says goodbye to the departing guests. Homer: Well, I think that went pretty well. [outside, Luanne speeds away, leaving Kirk behind] Kirk: [to staring Homer and Marge] What? -- Nah, happens to everybody, "A Milhouse Divided" [End of Act One. Time: 8:05] Later that night, Marge and Homer are in bed. Marge seems upset, Homer, less so. Marge: I feel terrible. The Van Houtens split up at our party. Homer: Marge, please, that was twenty minutes ago. Marge: I shouldn't have served those North Korean fortune cookies. They were so insulting: "You are a coward." No one likes to hear that after a nice meal. Homer: You can't keep blaming yourself. Just blame yourself once, and move on. -- The supportive husband, "A Milhouse Divided" Marge notes that the real victim in the whole situation will be Milhouse. Next morning, Bart and Milhouse are sitting on the schoolbus. Nelson approaches them, not to mock them, but to share the story of her mother who got hooked on cough drops. "By the end, her breath was so fresh, she wasn't really my mother anymore." Kearney: Ah, you'll do fine. My divorce was tough on my kid, but he got over it. [sits back to reveal a miniature doppelganger] Kid: I sleep in a drawer! -- And his cat's name is "Mittens", "A Milhouse Divided" At the Van Houten residence, Luanne sings quietly to herself as she packs and labels a box full of her ex's shirts. "I must say, Luanne, you're really handling this splendidly" comments Marge. She changes her mind when Luanne pours lighter fluid on the box and sets it on fire. Luanne: From now on, forget everything you thought you knew about Luanne Van Houten. Marge: Actually, Luanne, I don't really know anything about you... Luanne: Forget it! She's gone. Prest-o change-o! Kaboom! Sweet Fanny Adams! Bye-bye! -- Whatever they're giving her, cut the dose, "A Milhouse Divided" Homer is visiting Kirk at his apartment at the Casa Nova. Kirk: Singles life is great, Homer. I can do whatever I want. Today I drank a beer in the bathroom. Homer: The one down the hall. Kirk: Yeah! And another great thing, you get your own bed. I sleep in a racing car, do you? Homer: I sleep in a big bed with my wife. Kirk: Oh. Yeah. -- Bringing up painful memories, "A Milhouse Divided" The door knocks. Kirk answers to a group of people. Man: Hey, there, Kirk... Kirk: [excited] Oh, boy, what's going on? Patio party? Man: No, a possum drowned in the pool. You have any garbage bags? -- Single life at its best, "A Milhouse Divided" Kirk tells them to throw it over the fence, and "let Arby's worry about it". Kirk: That's Jerry. He's a major player down at the sewing store. Homer: [mocking] Well, thanks for introducing me. Kirk: Oh, don't worry, Homer. You know me, and I'm a superstar at the cracker factory. -- Ooh, so many influential people, "A Milhouse Divided" Fade to the cracker factory, where said superstar is being called on the carpet. Kirk: You're letting me go?! Boss: Kirk, crackers are a family food. Happy families. Maybe single people eat crackers, we don't know. Frankly, we don't want to know. It's a market we can do without. Kirk: So that's it, after twenty years: "So long, good luck"? Boss: I don't recall saying "good luck." -- Rim shot, "A Milhouse Divided" At home, Milhouse is driving a miniature car around a room, wreaking great havoc as Bart watches. Milhouse: [makes racing noises] And the winner of the Milhouse 500 is... Milhouse! Luanne: [from another room] Milhouse, are you sure you want to drive that inside? Milhouse: Yes! Luanne: Okay! Be careful, sweet, sweet treasure! -- The joys of being a child from a broken home, "A Milhouse Divided" The doorbell rings. It's Luanne's new boyfriend, Chase, full-time stuntman, part-time American Gladiator. He demonstrates his abilities by letting Bart smash a chair over him. Then he and Luanne go out on the town in his gladitorial vehicle. Bart tries the same stunt with Homer taking his bath, who takes it less well. Homer: OW! Ow! Gee... Ow! What the hell is wrong with you?! Bart: Geez, sor-ry. It's a pretty standard stunt, Homer. -- Did you get smashed by a chair today?, "A Milhouse Divided" Marge calls up to remind them that they are going to hear Spalding Gray with Luanne and Chase, but Homer doesn't want to go. Marge: You said you'd do it as a favor to me. Homer: That doesn't sound like something I'd say. Marge: Fine. I'll go without you. Homer: Okay. Love ya. -- Stable relationship, "A Milhouse Divided" Homer enters Moe's Tavern, where he sees Kirk with a floozy named Starla, supposedly working at KZOG 530. She asks for the car keys ("I feel like changing wigs"), and Kirk is just about to explain how she'll help him launch his singing carreer when the sound of tires squealing is heard. Kirk and Homer rush out, and Starla tosses a tape at them before she drives away. Krik: Oh, my demo tape! Homer: [Homer examines the tape] "Can I Borrow a Feeling?" [laughing] "Can I Borrow a Feeling?" [continues laughing] That's your picture on the front... [still laughing] Kirk: [peeved] Go ahead, Homer, laugh at me. Homer: I already did. -- And how! "A Milhouse Divided" Kirk confides in Homer, saying he's got a lot of blame into his situation. He notes that he never saw it coming. "One day, your wife is making you your favorite meal. The next day you're thawing a hot dog in a gas station sink." Homer: Oh, that's tough, pal. But it's never gonna happen to me. Kirk: Well, how do you know? What makes you so special? Homer: 'Cause Marge and I have one thing that can never be broken: a strong marriage built on a solid foundation of routine. -- Secret of a successful marriage II, "A Milhouse Divided" Somewhat later, Homer comes home. It's dark, and Homer calls to his wife. Homer: [calling out] Marge, I'm home! Where are you? Are you okay? I don't smell dinner. [he finds a note and reads it aloud] "Dear Homer." Aww. "Sorry you didn't want to join me tonight. I left you hot dogs for dinner. They're thawing in the sink." [dramatic music plays with close-up on the dogs] Homer: [screams] -- The hot dogs never lie, "A Milhouse Divided" [End of Act Two. Time: 14:11] A despondent Homer sits on the kitchen floor, dipping the dogs into a jar of mustard. Lisa comes in and opens the refrigerator. "You know, there's buns in the cabinet" she comments. Homer asks her help. Homer: I know you're only eight years old, and I don't want to put a lot of pressure on you, but you've got to save my marriage! Lisa: Oh. Okay. Can I stay up? Homer: [thinks] All right. -- Cheap advice, "A Milhouse Divided" Homer tells Lisa that he's worried that Marge might be thinking about divorce. Lisa: You've done a lot of crazy stuff over the years and she stood by you. Why would she leave you now? Homer: [frantic] Cause there's lots of stuff she doesn't know about! Lisa: You mean, like your poker shack out in the swamp? Homer: Uh-huh. Lisa: She knows. -- No Cuban cigars, I hope, "A Milhouse Divided" Homer complains that they started off on the wrong foot. We flashback briefly to Marge and Homer's state-line marriage from [8F10]. Afterwards, we see them sitting outside a truck stop. Homer: See? You don't need to spend a lot of money to have a first- class wedding reception. [open a box, revealing a whale-shaped cake reading "To a Whale of a Wife"] Marge: [sighs] It's getting less and less likely you're going to yell "surprise" and have all my friends jump out. [Homer is fascinated by a Levi's truck passing by] Homer: "Levi's." Hey, you think that truck is full of jeans? -- This wouldn't have happened if she'd married Ted Bessell, "A Milhouse Divided" Back to the present... Lisa: You're very lucky to have Mom. [walks away] Homer: [pause, dejected] That's your advice? Go to bed! -- You get what you pay for, "A Milhouse Divided" Homer thinks a moment about his situation, and gets an idea. Early the next morning, he greets his still-sleeping wife. Homer: You know, Marge, I was thinking about how much I enjoy your interest. So I wandered over to that theater you went to last night and I bought tickets to their entire season. Look, "Mostly Madrigals"... [faking interest] Yeah, that might be good. Ooh, ooh, "An Evening with Philip Glass." [overacting] Just an evening? "Voices of the Elderly Poor." Hmmm... -- You can throw away your sleeping pills, "A Milhouse Divided" Marge: Homey, I appreciate this, but I'd really like to get some sleep. Homer: Oh, of course, my sweet. I'll just make some soothing ocean sounds for you. [blows, imitating waves] [imitates foghorn] [squawks loudly, upsetting Marge] [blows again] [Long John Silver] Arr, matey! -- I hate the sea and everything in it, "A Milhouse Divided" Homer follows Marge to the hair stylist's ("The Perm Bank"), where he begins snipping at her bouffant. Marge can't believe that he's doing something so stupid, and sends him away. Homer decides that a "few clumsy gestures aren't going to make up for ten years of neglect," and that Marge deserves a fresh start. Cut to... Springfield city offices. Homer: I'd like to file for... divorce. Clerk: These things happen. Eight dollars. -- I wonder when she lost her passion for this work, "A Milhouse Divided" Marge and the kids return home from the dentist. Only three cavities, Bart, your best checkup ever! I'm going to make you my specialty, butterscotch chicken. -- Yum, Marge, "A Milhouse Divided" From the other room, Homer calls Marge to talk with him. When she steps in, all her friends and relatives jump out. Surprise! Homer: Marge, will you marry me? Marge: Why? Am I pregnant? -- The best reason of all, "A Milhouse Divided" Homer explains. Homer: It's a second wedding, honey. Our first one was so crummy, I had to make it up to you. I really love you. Marge: Oh, Homey. I know you love me. We don't need to get married again. Homer: Yes, we do, I got us a divorce this afternoon. Marge: What? Homer: I didn't want a hokey second wedding like those ones on TV. -- A little meta-humor for your enjoyment, "A Milhouse Divided" Homer continues that he doesn't want their relationship to end up like the Van Houtens. "It never will," Marge says. Lovejoy: Dearly beloved... Homer: Wait! I want one last chance to enjoy single life. [scratches his butt and belches] Okay, ready. -- And his single life is different from his married life in what way?, "A Milhouse Divided" I will now read these special vows which Homer has prepared for this occasion. "Do you, Marge, take Homer, in richness and in poorness" -- poorness is underlined -- "in impotence and in potence, in quiet solitude or blasting across the alkali flats in a jet-powered, monkey- navigated"... [consults the notecards] ... and it goes on like this. -- Rev. Lovejoy officiates the Simpson's wedding, "A Milhouse Divided" Marge says "I will." After Homer struggles to take off Marge's ring and slip it back again ("come on, you stupid..."), Lovejoy pronounces them husband and wife. In the reception, as some jazz band (with a former member of the Doobie Brothers) plays, Kirk seizes the opportunity to sing (off-key) an awful love song to Luanne. Kirk: How about it, Luanne? Will you marry me... again? Luanne: Ooh, no! Kirk: [moans] Well... Uh, can I have my shirts back, at least? Chase: Okay, you heard the lady. Why don't you take it outside, all right? Kirk: Uh, I'll be back. [door closes] Kirk: [through door] Pro-probably. -- No Schwartzenegger for ya, "A Milhouse Divided" [End of Act Three. Time: 21:27] The theme music plays in the style of a mellow 1970's love ballad.


{ak} Andrew Krupowicz {bjr} Benjamin Jay Robinson {ddg} Don Del Grande {dga} Dale G. Abersold {dn} David Ney {dp} Damian Penny {dp2} Dallas Pesola {hl} Haynes Lee {ic} Ian Campbell {jf} Joshua Fruhlinger {jh} Jason Hancock {jk} Joe Klemm {jmb} Jennifer M. Blaske {jrc} James R. Curry {js} Jon Singletary {ljs} Liam J. Scanlam {mar} Mark Aaron Richey {msr} Matt Rose {rl} Ricardo Lafaurie

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 hectic episode schedule remain property of The Simpsons, Copyright of Twentieth Century Fox. The transcript itself is Copyright 1997 Dale G. Abersold. May settle during transport. This work is dedicated to Raymond Chen, James A. Cherry, Ricardo Lafaurie, and all of those who made episode capsules what they are today.