It’s funny, even though this is my all-time favourite episode of The Simpsons, it is also one that used to scare me as a child when I first watched it. I think because when I first saw it, I had no idea what The X-Files were and what this episode was parodying. There were many factors about this episode that scared me; one being the music. The eerie X-Files theme song that plays throughout the entire episode really haunted me. Another aspect of this episode that frightened me as well is the actual design of the alien. The way it is drawn and constantly glowing a faint green light really stuck with me. But now as an adult, this is one of my favourites.
In this episode, when Homer comes home late from Moe’s he wonders into the forest. There he discovers an alien that says he’ll bring love and peace. Homer makes the news about seeing an alien, and is paid a visit by The X-Files characters Agent Mulder and Agent Scully (voiced by Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny).
What makes this episode just a good example of just how great The Simpson writers are is that they incorporate two completely different shows into one episode. The Simpsons and The X Files are two totally different shows in so many ways – the style, the genre, the characters, the fact that one is animation and the other is live-action. To incorporate a show outside The Simpson realm shows that the Simpson universe expands beyond Springfield. That in The Simpson universe, characters like Agent Mulder and Agent Scully – two characters that exist in an entirely different show – can exist in Springfield and in The Simpson world.
I think one part of the episode I absolutely love is the other Simpson reaction to Homer finding the alien and the side character’s reaction to it. Of course, Marge and Lisa are sceptical about the whole ordeal whilst Bart believes his dad. But the side characters are what fills this episode with endless laughter.
My two favourite characters outside the Simpson family is Chief Wiggum and Moe. Of course the first person Homer goes to when he finds the alien is the chief of police of Springfield – who happens to be so bad at his job and such a doofus. Chief Wiggum obviously doesn’t believe him.
But what makes me laugh so much is the scene with Moe and when he sees the two FBI agents. Just the added detail that Moe is an exotic animal dealer and keeps a freaking orca whale in the back of his bar is so hysterical to me.
Another part of this episode that I think just adds that added layer to the depth of the show is that we discover as an audience a new area to Springfield. We are so used to seeing the regular areas of Springfield (Moe’s Tavern, the Power Plant) that setting the first half of this episode in the woods is exciting. The way the artists draw the woods in dark, purple colours adds a haunting feel to the scene. Also, what adds such an atmosphere to this episode is the music. The direction of the music throughout the first opening act of this episode is one of the best in Simpson history. It just adds that extra creepiness to the episode that it’s something you cannot forget. Even as I’m writing this and can picture the scene of Homer walking through the forest with the eerie music.
There are so many reasons why this is one of my favourite episodes, if not, my favourite. Everything about this episode is just perfect in my opinion. From the music, to the characters, to the scenery. Nothing in this episode goes to waste. No scene is wasted, every character has a purpose, and every joke that is made has a punch and gets a laugh. To me, this is such a good episode and one of the all-time favourite classics.