The Simpsons Season 29 Episode 12 Review

The Simpsons finally returns from break after what feels like forever, and hopefully it doesn't disappoint. I've really been missing the show, and it's great to have it back.

At an art auction, Homer losses a bid on a painting, though he rushes the stage and tries to take it anyway. He is promptly removed from the building. The next day, the same painting is also removed from the building. It seems to have shipped to the home of the winning bidder, Megan Matheson, but really, it's been stolen. Investigator Manacek is called to investigate this mystery, and he has some theories. Chief Wiggum isn't a big fan of Manacek, but who cares what he thinks? Manacek questions Megan about it, thinking she tried to commit insurance fraud. She points them toward Burns, who denies any involvement. He does, however, point his finger at Homer. So Manacek goes to investigte Homer, who doesn't help clear him name at all.

That night, Marge goes to visit Manacek, telling him about how distraught Homer is. He agrees to listen to her concerns, going to dinner at the Simpson family home. He thinks that Homer is guilty, but the family tries to clear his name. They tell him how enamored Homer was with the painting. He still doesn't believe them. After a story from Lisa that elaborates on his love of the painting, Manacek is even more convinced that Homer is guilty. And just then, Homer runs away. Not exactly a great way to prove him innocence.

Even after his escape, the family believes that he's innocent. Manacek tells them that he knows what happens, but he's creepy about it so they show him out. Manacek goes to the shut-down museum, where he finds Homer, reminiscing about the painting. He tells Homer that he knows he's innocent. He explains that it was Megan who stole the painting. The mystery isn't solved yet though, as Burns has also stolen it. Later, the painting is returned. Unfortunately, that one still isn't real, as Lisa actually was the first to steal it. The painting is finally returned to the city, and Mayor Quimby places the painting in the newly-built stadium, for Homer and others to enjoy on a regular basis.

In its return, The Simpsons delivered a thoroughly entertaining episode filled with both mystery and humor. It was far from perfect, but it was still very good. Bill Hader's quest turn as Manacek was one of the season's best, and Manacek is a character I'd like to see more of. I'm a fan of a good mystery, so I was naturally inclined to like this episode, but credit is due to the Simpsons writers for adding the typical Simpsons heart and humor to a type of plot that doesn't typically mesh with heart or humor. A good Simpsons episode needs heart, humor and a strong plot, and this one checked all of those boxes.
My Score: 8.5/10
My Grade: B+

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