Episode Twenty Three, Season Eight of The Simpson’s is entitled Homer’s Enemy. It originally aired on May 4th, 1997. I viewed this episode Tuesday March 23rd 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 sees a Kent Brockman report on a man named Frank Grimes. Grimes lived a tortured life in which he had to fight to earn everything he has, including a degree in nuclear physics. Burns insists that Smithers hire Grimes to be a plant Vice President. By the time he does Burns has forgotten all about it and tells his assistant to “just stick him somewhere.”
Grimes ends up in Sector 7G with Homer and his cohorts. Homer’s lazy, incompetent, and unprofessional behavior shocks Grimes to no end. When Homer nearly drinks a beaker of acid by accident Grimes saves him, damaging a wall in the process. He is reprimanded by Burns and declares Homer an enemy. In order to win his new coworker over Homer invites him to dinner. However, when Grimes arrives and sees the lobster dinner, the beautiful family, and the photos of the amazing life that Homer has led he loses it. He tells Homer that he deserves none of it and storms out.
To reveal Homer’s idiocy to the world Grimes tricks Homer into entering a children’s contest to design a power plant. Homer wins the contest handily and Grimes is shocked to find that everyone is proud of him. He goes on a rampage doing stupid things, all the while saying “I can get away with this because I’m Homer Simpson.” Eventually he grabs an exposed electrical junction and is electrocuted to death. In a final indignity Homer falls asleep at Grimes funeral and no one is surprised, nor do they hold it against him.
This season looks like it is going for a strong finish. The character of Frank Grimes is classic in this show because he the other side of Homer Simpson’s coin. They are complete opposites and in the end sloth and stupidity beat out hard work and determination for no good reason at all. This is a nice change of pace from the most recent episodes in this season as this one features Homer in nearly every scene and his bumbling jackassery serves not only to generate laughs (which it does nicely) but to further the plot. It’s almost a shame that they had to kill Grimes off. The earlier episode, The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show, dealt nicely with how shows of waning popularity tend to add character in a futile attempt to spark success. However, in this case Grimes is such a good foil to Homer one has to wonder if they didn’t make a mistake in keeping him around for limited future use.
The Simpsons Season 8 Episode #23: Homer’s Enemy
Rating: 5 out of 5