The episode opens promisingly, it has been cleaned of its couch gag. In an overt segment of foreshadowing, Marge rushes the family through breakfast, which includes a great sight gag of her funneling syrup down Homer’s throat through a waffle (something this writer must try), so she can enjoy a “spa day” with a new vacuum. She banishes Homer, Bart, Lisa and Santa’s Little Helper from the house. It is worth moving the couch just to hear Julie Kavner’s read of Marge’s line, “This must be how Catholics feel after confession.”

Homer drops the kids off at the trampoline park, which is comically located in a mini-mall of clinics and hospitals, and takes Santa’s Little Helper to the dreaded dog park. Lenny’s character is rounded out somewhat, admitting he got a dog because he finally realized human companionship is a nonstarter. But then he goes on to become a caricature of the most annoying kind of human being there is: a dog lover. Santa’s Little Helper has quite the origin story, and any proud dog owners would love to regale a fellow dog lover with it. Yet all Homer can say is he thinks “the house dog came with the house.” Don’t expect him to click on cute puppy memes.

Lenny is deep into his canine culture, setting up tribalism and microaggressions as very subtle allegories. The footage of Homer’s reaction on finding he locked the dog in the car goes viral first among dog lovers, then cat lovers, and finally to horse lovers, before it unites the entire community against Homer.

Just when Homer thinks it’s over, the sign at the front of the church reminds him how little comfort he will find there. His initial anti-apology captures the frustration of public contrition. Even Bart commends Lisa on capturing Homer’s voice. He is truly sorry that people’s skin is now thinner than gas station toilet paper. He then goes on to inadvertently test the thickness of the stain glass windows, sending Reverend Lovejoy flying and getting tagged the “Pastor Pusher” on the interweb.

Characteristically, Homer looks for solace in “fast food and slow friends,” but he can’t go anywhere. Moe won’t take him. Krustyburger won’t serve him. The only place that will have him is a right wing gathering promising “pariahs welcome,” and they don’t have sea food. The Simpson family response is intriguing because they take it in stride. “Thank you for your rage,” Bart tells an angry caller. Lisa speaks for the entire series when she says miming to online rants is “what comedy is nowadays.” But then they leave Homer out of the one night he looks forward to all year, the Prawn-a-Thon at Dead Lobsters. This is a sad betrayal.

Homer has been a public pariah before, in the episode “Gummi Venus de Milo,” and was also forced to make a public apology. His explanation wound up upsetting another small subsection of the community, lovers of old-timey bicycles. In “You Won’t Believe What This Episode Is About – Act Three Will Shock You!” everyone on Neighborhub agree to condemn what appears to be nonchalant animal endangerment. Even Mr. Burns releases the hounds on such blatant disrespect, saying, “Such behavior does not represent the values ​​of Evil Corp.”

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