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Monday, September 26, 2011

The Simpsons partners up "The Falcon and the D'Ohman"

     FOX's The Simpsons begins its twenty-third season with "The Falcon and the D'Ohman." Homer (Dan Castellaneta) does his best to befriend and unfriendly new security guard at work named Wayne (Kiefer Sutherland, 24). Wayne soon saves Homer in a bar, and then loses his job while having a flashback to his dark past. Homer takes Wayne into his own home, but Wayne's past continues to haunt him, and Homer ends up getting kidnapped as part of a trap for Wayne. Of course, there is a happy ending.

     Sutherland is not new to The Simpsons, having voiced different characters in 2006 and 2007. He is, however, welcome back on the network for which he starred in a series for so long. As soon as his voice is heard, it brings to mind just how much one misses Jack Bauer, and thanks are owed to The Simpsons for making that happen.

     That being said, the main story is just OK. Homer taking in a former super military guy, who has enemies hunting for him, is only a marginally funny plot. Perhaps after twenty-three years, it's getting harder and harder for the writers to find new scenarios. Among the few gems that pop out in the mediocre episode are Moe (Hank Azaria) having his patrons pick up his pickled eggs and returning them to the jar, and Homer setting Wayne up with a job at the DMV. Perhaps Wayne can become a recurring character, since he is staying in town. But that may not be a wise choice, given his lack of interesting development.

     Marge (Julie Kavner) has the B story, but it's so brief that it can barely be referred to as that. She dreams of being a contestant on Top Chef, which leads to a cameo by Tom Colicchio (voicing himself). This cannot be an uncommon wish among housewives who pride themselves on their cooking. But with so little time given over to the bit, it's hard to say that it's even worth doing.

     In last May's finale, fans were asked to go online and vote on whether Ned Flanders (Harry Shearer) and Edna Crabapple (Marcia Wallace) should remain a couple. Happily, participants voted to keep the two together, revealed first in a small manner, then in more overt ways, in "The Falcon and the D'Ohman." As both has suffered enough in their love lives over the past twenty-two years, it brings a smile to see them happy together. Yay for love!

     Watch The Simpsons Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.

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