The Simpsons – Season 34 Episode 1 “Habeas Tortoise” Recap & Review
Episode 1 of The Simpsons season 34 starts with Mayor Quimby addressing the people of Springfield in a community meeting – trying to make sure the town is no longer celebrating Columbus Day. He calls upon the stage Helen Lovejoy to share her thoughts. Helen is opposed to the idea of putting up DIY free libraries. Homer, who doesn’t understand DIY, asks Marge what it means. She says “Do it yourself”. Homer replies that he is trying very hard to.
Helen is concerned about the consequences if one of the free books in DIY libraries is the Kamasutra or any other erotic written material. An argument ensues, and indistinct chatter buzzes through the hall. That’s when poor Homer gets up and suggests keeping all the books in one building open to everybody. He meant library without saying library. A wave of laughter erupts in the hall with people making mean-but-true comments about Homer being a dum-dum personality. Back at home, Homer is down the dumps. He feels he is shot down every time he tries to speak up just like they shot down the Titanic. Marge tries to console him and takes the family to a zoo to cheer Homer up.
Homer finds himself being laughed at by the zoo animals. After a bit of strolling through the zoo, he spots the tortoise, Leonard, who is missing. Determined to prove to the world he isn’t a dimwit, Homer pledges to find the tortoise.
When they return, he digs out some pictures from the zoo – something he considers an incredible piece of evidence. However, according to Chief Wiggum, the photos are incredible evidence of nothing but Homer’s stupidity.
Seeing her hubby tense and down, Marge suggests he should look if there is any online group dedicated to solving the missing tortoise case. To his surprise, he finds a group called Lost Leonard, Homer nervously mentions his thoughts about the case with the group, and voila! the group members agree with him. Homer is excited and ready for a meet and greet with his group members.
Homer tells the group that there are no wrong answers – which essentially means that everybody’s theory of Leonard’s disappearance is right and would be given due consideration. One believes Leonard has been abducted by scientists for research on breeding, and according to another member, the tortoise might be a drug mule. The group eventually concludes that the best thing to do would be to protest in front of the zoo director’s house. The protest doesn’t result in anything.
Later, when the Simpsons family find the tortoise in the kitchen, Marge asks Homer for an explanation. Initially reluctant, Homer reveals to his family that Leonard was never abducted and that he found him in a rabbit hole. He tells Marge that he didn’t let the news out because he was afraid everyone from his group would leave him once the case is solved. During a wedding, when his group mates plan a punishment for the zoo manager, Homer stops them and tells them about Leonard. Marge brings the turtle to the spot and calms down the group members who were cross with Homer.
Homer then explains that the most important thing that matters is that they made an attempt to do the right thing as a community. A community where everyone is respected and supported. All agree with Homer. Now, in order to avoid the monotonous life of being dumb, the group led by Homer decides to set out on another mission: Finding where the Calamari really comes from. And once again no answers are wrong.
The Episode Review
Quite frankly, it’s a very basic episode that’s devoid of humour and comic elements. Dull and frail, the story’s graph doesn’t go north even for once throughout its runtime. That said, there are a few things that are praise-worthy including the smooth presentation of a simple story.
At one point, the episode feels more emotional than comic. The addition of thought-provoking dialogue is good though.
All in all, the episode fails to deliver the standard set by the episodes of earlier seasons. Check out this episode only if you feel you are okay with it not being funny – If you are big on drama, you might enjoy it. But, for everyone else out there who watches sitcoms to unload laughers, the first episode isn’t for you. You’ll have to wait until next Sunday for the next episode.