The Simpsons returns tonight after nearly a month off with "Fatzcarraldo", an episode that reflects on Homer's eating habits.
The episode starts out with a very funny scene involving Homer and some Dominoes pizza boxes, which act as actual dominoes. This turns out to be a convoluted way of getting some pizza to Homer and his friends. When Homer returns home, he discovers that Patty and Selma are there, and the Simpsons are headed to the DMV Awards, which Patty and Selma are hosting. The awards drag on, which causes Homer to run away and drive to Krusty Burger. He discovers that they no longer serve Krusty Burgers. There's a great line about Krusty Burger being the name of the restaurant, and it's "as if Macy's didn't sell mace." He ends up driving for quite some time until he finds some unhealthy food, at "Deuce's Caboose Chili Dogs".
Homer returns home, and Marge is unhappy when he tells him why he's been gone all night. He starts to picture his family members as food items. We see a flashback to when Abe and Mona were younger, and they used to drop Homer off at Deuce's Caboose Chili Dogs while they worked on their marriage at counseling. After he finds out that Patty and Selma now live with him, Homer returns to Deuce's Caboose. There's a touching scene where Homer asks the owner if he remembers him as a kid, and he doesn't.
When Homer is told by Burns that he's replaceable, he again returns to Deuce's Caboose to eat his feelings. There's a funny scene where Krusty comes to eat at Deuce's Caboose because nobody eats at his restaurant anymore and he's upset.
Over at the elementary school, Lisa and the rest of the radio team is worrying about their sagging ratings, and they are trying to get people interested again. Unfortunately for Lisa, the funding for the radio station is cut, right before the "story of the year."
Homer comes to find Lisa in her room, sad about the radio station. He offers to take her to the hot dog stand, which she accepts. When they arrive, Homer finds out that the stand is closed permanently, and he gets very upset. There's a great scene with a couple that notices that Homer is choking. The woman wants to help him, but the man starts to argue over the fact that she never used to help him when he was choking.
Homer talks to the owner about him selling the stand, and he says "I hope you didn't sell it to some clown." Krusty then pulls up in his clown car with a bunch of associates, and it is discovered that he purchased the stand. One of the associates immediately changes the hot dog price from $2 to $12, which is very funny. Homer steals the stand after he finds out that Krusty and his associates won't keep the caboose. His high speed chase is covered on the news, and we get some great lines from Kent Brockman.
A bunch of chubby guys come to help Homer bring the caboose up a hill, and it ends with Homer jumping on the caboose and driving down the hill. Homer and the caboose are hanging over the edge, when the owner comes and says that he can't let his "Little H-Dog" die, revealing that he never forgot Homer. He helps Homer up, but the caboose falls into the river. The Simpsons drive off, and the officers don't care about how many crimes Homer has committed.
This was a great episode, one of my favorites of the season. It gave me a lot of laughs, and it also had some touching moments.
Episode Score: 9/10
Episode Grade: A-