This week’s Simpsons offering was pretty ho hum. Unlike the past few episodes, where some great jokes saved some bland plots, “The Scorpion’s Tale” was short on laughs, and ultimately was a forgettable experience.
The episode revolves around Lisa’s discovery that a specific type of flower from Sprinfield cures aggressive behavior. She does this while on a field trip to the desert, where she’s attacked by a couple of scorpions. Fleeing to the flowers, the scorpions suddenly become docile.
Lisa extracts a drug from the flowers, but it isn’t soon until Homer uses the miracle drug to fix Grandpa’s crankiness. Soon a pharmaceutical company starts to mass produce the drug, but eventually we find there is a major side effect, the drug taker’s eyes pop out of their sockets. The later half of the episode was littered with eye popping galore, which just seemed like a lazy way of trying to get laughs.
The first half of the episode reeked of the twelve season episode, “Bye Bye Nerdie,” where instead of aggressive scorpions or grumpy elderly, Lisa uses her scientific skills to cure bullying. There were quite a few similarities and the plot seemed a little old.
Even though there were few funny jokes, the ones that were funny were nicely done. At the beginning of the episode, as the school bus is driving through the desert, there was a nice ode to the Looney Tunes’ Roadrunner cartoons, with realistic animals chasing each other. Another decent joke was when Grandpa questioned a German scientist what he did during World War Two. When the scientist answered he wasn’t even born, Grandpa replied that a lot of Germans were saying that these days.
Other than that, not much laughs. The side effect of the drug was overplayed during the later part of the episode, as you can only see eyes popping out of someone’s sockets so much until it just isn’t funny anymore (once maybe?) Overall, a pretty forgettable episode. Let’s hope Cheech and Chong can puff some new life into next week’s episode.