Episode Twenty One, Season Eight of The Simpson’s is entitled The Old Man and the Lisa. It originally aired on April 20th, 1997. I viewed this episode Saturday March 20th on a widescreen plasma TV at my Grandmother’s house. The couch gag for this episode is also a repeat. In this episode Mr. Burns discovers, thanks to Lisa, that his assistant Smithers has been misrepresenting the amount of the old man’s wealth which is a much smaller fortune than he thought. In reaction to this news Burns gathers together his economic team and decides to invest in things like spats. He even asks how his confederated slave holdings are doing. This reinvestment bankrupts Burns who loses his nuclear power plant and must move in to Smithers apartment.
Soon Burns is shipped off to a retirement home. Incredibly depressed, he approaches Lisa to help him get his fortune back. Initially she is wary but eventually caves in. She helps Burns build a recycling company that makes money hand over fist, culminating in the ‘Lil Lisa Recycling Plant. Lisa is proud of Burns socially responsible behavior but is soon appalled. Burns reveals that the real money maker behind the plant is a huge net made from plastic soda can rings that sweeps the sea floor clean and grinds the sea life up into ‘Lil Lisa Slurry. She freaks out and tries to get people to stop recycling but no one will listen.
Mister Burns comes to the family home and tells Lisa that he sold the Recycling Plant and bought back his nuclear plant. As his partner Lisa is entitled to ten percent of the one hundred and twenty million dollar selling price. When Lisa turns it down Homer has a heart attack. When he comes to in the hospital he tells Lisa that it’s okay “but we really could have used that twelve thousand dollars.” Lisa then informs him that ten percent of 120 million is twelve million. We cut to the hospital hallway and while Homer’s heart monitor goes crazy the hospital loud speaker says “Code Blue, Code Blue” and doctors rush into his room.
I love a good Mister Burns episode and this certainly is one. Lisa sums up Burns character perfectly. She says, “You’re an evil old man and when you’re trying to be good you’re even more evil!” This has happened several times over the course of the series but never have I heard such a hilarious, on the nose distillation of exactly who Mister Burns is. While I enjoyed the movie a great deal I dearly wish they had used Mr. Burns as the villain. My understanding however, is that doing Mr. Burns’ voice is painful for Harry Shearer to do. For this reason fans of the evil old miser have to enjoy him while we can.
The Simpsons Season 8 Episode #21: The Old Man and the Lisa
Rating: 4 out of 5