“There’s no way to stop them, with their fleet of horseless, driverless carriages.” – Mr. Burns
The 30th season of The Simpsons keeps delivering great episodes with the 5th episode of the season, “Baby You Can’t Drive My Car“, a hilarious (and must-watch) episode that also manages to remind of a harsh reality.
The episode begins with Homer being fired (yet again) from the Power Plant, after he crashes his car into Mr. Burns‘ office. He soon learns that a new start-up company called “CarGo“, is moving to Springfield and is offering new jobs. So Homer applies as a tester for the self-driving cars. He goes to the interview, which is run by CarGo co-founders Antoine and Zoira. They like him due to his passiveness and poor driving record, so they give him the job after he sits around doing nothing for several hours. Homer quickly grows to like his new job, enjoying getting paid for sitting around doing nothing all day. He then grows to like it even more after finding out that the cafeteria offers free food.
He shows Marge around the campus and together they inspire the programmers to have fun, which increases their creativity. Upon seeing this, Antoine and Zoira promote Homer and hire Marge as his partner, to keep their employees relaxed. Homer and Marge then get the employees together doing fun activities. Upon seeing how this new company is, many employees of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant quit. When they realize the reasons for the employees quitting, Mr. Burns and Smithers go undercover at CarGo and apply for jobs. Upon exploring the campus, they realize that the employee benefits and pleasant workplace is the problem they have with the Power Plant.
Meanwhile, Homer and Marge discover that their self-driving car listens to them and takes them to places they talk about. They then go to Antoine and Zoira to confront them about this, where they reveal to them that sponsors paid them to get the cars to take them to places. At home, Homer and Marge argue about what to do. Homer says they have to do something, while Marge says they shouldn’t as working there is so much fun. Homer leaves and goes to Moe’s, where Burns also is at. There they make up a plan to destroy the company.
Homer, Mr. Burns and Smithers then break into the server room to shut down the cars. Marge discovers them and tries to get them to stop because she insists she enjoys working at the company. When she realizes they won’t stop, she goes to Antoine and Zoira to tell them about it. They are in a meeting discussing their next step, microphones in the key fobs, so they can listen to their customers all the time. Marge is surprised at this and goes back to help shut down the cars. After this, the company then starts making talking tattoos to win customers over.
The episode, written by Rob LaZebnik and directed by Timothy Bailey, is a hilarious mix of humor, self-driving cars and Mr. Burns. In fact, the episode not only manages to make some great elaborate jokes, like the places the car takes Homer and Marge as a result of their talk (that part is a very enjoyable moment), but it also reminds us of a harsh reality: the importance of people’s data privacy, as we walk towards a future where some real-world companies might be seeking to get people’s data for ethically questionable purposes. After all, The Simpsons always do that. They always manage to get some laugh while also making one think about the world around. The episode also features a seconds-long cameo of Tracy Morgan voicing a tow-truck driver in the end.
This episode clearly evidences that the show is quite on-touch with present day trends while also proves it has never lost their generally great sense of humor that characterizes it, making a pleasant episode everyone should watch.
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Notes and Observations:
- Homer and Marge’s car takes them to some places, including:
- A Krusty Burger, after Homer says “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse”.
- The church, after Homer says “Holy crap”.
- A place called “Marcel’s Monkey Rentals”, after Marge says “this company is up to some kind of monkey business”.
- Moe buys the following keywords to make the cars bring people to his bar: “Roaches”, “Ennui”, “Rats”, “Bill W.”, “Maggots”, “Jukebox”, “Poison”, “Hell“, “Dank”, “Hole”, “Lenny“, “Hellhole” and “Despair”.
- Remarkable quotes:
- “For the first time ever, I’m the lesser of two evils” – Mr. Burns.
- “Homer, you want to destroy the best thing that ever happened to us? (quickly) Except for the three kids, of course.” – Marge.
- Homer and Marge both have “Alexa”. However, Homer’s one is only for cookies and Pop-Tarts.
- Mr. Burns thinks LGBT stands for “Lazy goof-off buffoons? And transgender”.
- The Christmas song written by an AI is a real song written by an AI.
- CarGo has a Nerfatorium.