Definitions

pounces on

Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish

"Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish" is the fourth episode of The Simpsons' second season. The episode was first broadcast on November 1, 1990. Whilst appearing on Inside the Actor's Studio cast member Harry Shearer said this was his favorite episode. It was also the first episode produced for Season 2 (and was intended to air as the season premiere, but was replaced with Bart Gets an F due to Bart Simpson's popularity in the early 1990s).

Plot

Bart and Lisa go fishing downstream of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and Springfield Shopper reporter Dave Shutton pulls up just as Bart catches a three-eyed fish, which the media nicknames Blinky. From the resulting publicity the state governor, Mary Bailey, calls for an investigation of the power plant. After the inspection, Mr. Burns is presented with a list of 342 violations, which would cost $56 million to rectify. Distraught, Mr. Burns talks to Homer, who half-heartedly suggests Mr. Burns run for Governor so that he could change the standards and prevent the plant from being shut down. Mr. Burns pounces on the idea, knowing that he will not have to pay to bring the plant up to code anymore.

Burns's political advisors break the news to Burns that he is greatly despised by many people and force Burns to try being friendly and even smile. Burns also does a TV commercial, discussing Blinky with an actor portraying Charles Darwin, who claims Blinky is an evolutionary step. Combined with a promise to lower taxes and a smear campaign against Mary Bailey, Burns ties Bailey in the polls. On the night before the election, Smithers and his other advisors suggest that Burns have dinner at the home of a middle class family as an opportunity to put Burns "over the top." Burns scans his employees for the most average man he can find, and Homer is chosen.

The impending dinner with Burns divides the Simpson household. Homer supports Burns, while Marge and Lisa oppose him. (It is unknown whether Bart supports or opposes Burns, or if he even cares about the election's outcome, although at one point he is wearing a "Vote for Burns" T-shirt, most likely being forced to do so by Homer.) Before the dinner arrives, Burns's advisors prepare the family for the event, even giving them pre-written questions to ask in lieu of conversation. Lisa becomes disillusioned by it all, but Marge tells her not to worry. To everyone's surprise, Marge serves Blinky, the three-eyed fish that Bart caught, for dinner. Mr. Burns tries to act as if it does not bother him, but is not able to keep from spitting it out. The cameras flash as the bite flies through the air, but the press is gone and his gubernatorial campaign dissolves by the time the chunk hits the floor. Bailey wins the election and the Simpson family got together again. It is unknown whether Burns has paid to bring the plant up to full code, but in the end, he swore that Homer's dreams will go 'unfulfilled'. While Homer is despondent by Burns's threat, Marge cheers Homer up by saying that his dreams to be a husband and father have already been fulfilled, and that his other dreams of desserts and sleeping in late on weekends are unable to taken away by any one man such as Burns.

Debut Appearances

Characters making a first appearance in this episode are:

Cultural references

Two scenes are inspired by the 1941 movie, Citizen Kane, both with Mr. Burns in the role of Orson Wells' Charles Foster Kane. These are: the line, "You can't do this to me! I'm Charles Montgomery Burns!" (mimicking an identical line spoken by Kane). Bart's question to Homer "Is your boss governor yet?", mirrors the line of Kane's son "Is Pop governor yet? The campaign rally scene where Burns speaks in front of a giant poster of himself, just like Kane did in one of the movie's most famous scenes. The scene where Mr. Burns trashes the Simpsons' dining room after the dinner is similar to the scene where Kane destroys his ex-wife's room. Burns hires an actor to portray the 19th-century scientist, Charles Darwin (who argued a landmark scientific theory on evolution) to help in his claim that the three-eyed fish was the result of evolution. The episode title is a reference to the Herbert Hoover's Great Depression-era campaign slogan, "A car in every garage and two chickens in every pot." Mary Bailey, the incumbent governor whom Burns seeks to unseat, shares her name with George Bailey's wife in the 1946 movie, It's a Wonderful Life. The scene where Burns is seen driving a military tank is similar to the scene of Michael Dukakis doing the same during the 1988 presidential campaign. The chalkboard gag at the beginning ("It's potato, not potatoe") was changed at the last minute to reference Dan Quayle's infamous spelling blunder.

Reception

Ken Tucker of Entertainment Weekly called the episode "masterful".

External links

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