Recap / The Simpsons S 14 E 6 The Great Louse Detective
Original Air Date: December 15, 2002Someone's out to kill Homer, after Homer gets locked into a sauna by a hooded man — and only Sideshow Bob can figure out who that is.
Art Shift: As of this episode, the show fully switched over to digital paintnote The difference between the two styles can fully be seen in the scene where the killer is revealed, which includes a Flashback to the events of "Homer's Enemy" under the old animation. Like the previous two instances (Season 7's "Radioactive Man" and Season 12's "Tennis the Menace"), it wasn't well-received, since at the time of this episode's airing in 2002, digital ink was not very common and traditional cel animation wouldn't become defunct until three years later.note To say nothing about the shift to HD a few seasons later
While following Homer through the course of an ordinary day, Sideshow Bob stops at the Kwik-E-Mart and happily reminisces about the first crime he ever committed with Apu.
After having a Flashback to Frank Grimes' suicide, Homer seems to forget that Grimes is dead, asking Junior how his old man is these days. A similar occurrence happened in "Natural Born Kissers," when upon finding the program to Grimes' funeral inside his suit jacket, Homer asks Marge "whatever happened to that guy anyway?"
As Moe, Carl, and Lenny give Sideshow Bob advice on how to kill Bart, Homer shuts them up—not because they were threatening his son, but so Bob can think.
Homer does this twice with being voted King of Mardi Gras: First when Marge points out that Homer's leaving himself exposed to the killer, Homer tells her not to "embarrass (him) in front of the drag queen." Then, when Bob states that the killer stuffed the ballots so that Homer would be elected, going so far as to show that all the votes for Homer have the same handwriting, Homer responds with "Nevertheless, the people have spoken."
Dartboard of Hate: Sideshow Bob plays darts at Moe's, fashioning a likeness of Bart's face out of the darts.
Description Cut: In order to figure out who's trying to kill Homer, Bob tells Homer he's going to follow him through the course of an ordinary day. Cut to Homer and Bob hangliding:
Sideshow Bob:This is an ordinary day? Homer: I just wanted to impress you.
Enemy Mine: Second time Sideshow Bob works together with the Simpson family.
Foreshadowing: There are various hints throughout the episode that indicate who's trying to kill Homer, as Sideshow Bob notices.
When Bart examines the spa invitation sent to Homer by the killer, he discovers a black smudge on it.
When the killer traps Homer in the sauna room, he uses an enormous wrench.
When the killer tries to shoot Homer and escapes, he uses a tow truck.
Hand Wave: Homer questions how Frank Grimes had a son if he never married. Jr replies that his father "happened to like hookers".
Human Cannonball: Bob gets into the cannon on one of the Mardi Gras floats and lights the fuse in order to launch himself into the air and save Homer from getting Impaled with Extreme Prejudice on one of the swordfish in the swordfish museum.
Also a Continuity Nod; Bob has plenty of experience getting shot out of cannons, as revealed way back in "Krusty Gets Busted".
Jerkass: Homer's friends at the bar actually give Sideshow Bob advice and encouragement to kill Bart.
Musical Spoiler: Using Sideshow Bob's Leitmotif for the shot of Campbell's Chunky Soap Maximum Security Prison really gives away the reveal of Sideshow Bob.
Noodle Incident: Upon realizing that Homer's runaway Mardi Gras float is heading for the Swordfish Museum, Marge comments "That museum's been nothing but trouble since it opened."
Sauna of Death: First attempt on Homer's life. He was actually already in danger by being in the sauna at all because of his obesity and heart problems. The sauna controls helpfully included the setting "murder".
Unexplained Recovery: The last time we saw Sideshow Bob, Chief Wiggum was preparing to execute him for brainwashing Bart to kill Krusty. No explanation is given on how Bob managed to earn a reprieve.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Lampshaded, when various people show up to attack the "Homer" dummy Sideshow Bob rigs to lure the killer. Including Homer himself.
Homer: Once I kill you, everyone will think I'm the real Homer. Hahahahaha!
Sideshow Bob:[turning to the others with some confusion] None of this seems odd to you?
Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: At Moe's, the regulars mock Sideshow Bob's inability to kill Bart, with Lenny suggesting he "just come up behind him with a knife and slit his throat real quick-like".
Brick Joke: At the end of the episode, confronting Bart in his room, Bob takes out a knife and says he's "going to take some advice that was given to me by Lenny, and kill you without delay". (Only to discover he can't go through with it, having grown accustomed to Bart's face.)