I've stated before that I believe our dreams to be messy emotional states, and that what we call dreams to be an attempt to impose order onto that messy state. And yet the other night I dreamed an entire episode of the Simpsons. In the traditional three-act arc. No opening couch gag, though.
Here's the story: Bart and the other kids are playing space ships (The Simpsons universe is oddly retro – there are hoboes and references to the Rat Pack in it). There have been stories of UFOs around Springfield. Bart takes a tumble. Martin, the class nerd, shows up with a working space ship, inspiring the others to come up with their own working versions as well. Ralph has one that works on the principle of two pie plates banging together. The cool thing is, they all work, and they go looking for UFOs. They are attacked by aliens. We don’t see the aliens, but Bart is captured and put into suspended animation by the Alien’s Minions – Ned and Skinner.
Bart wakes up and all the other kids have grown into their parents or adult analogs. Ralph is a cop, Nelson is Snake, the creepy twins have become Marge's sisters. Lisa is an adult with Marge-style hair. Maggie is a sullen rebel. The world is surviving but post-apocalypse, in the fashion of an old Twilight Zone episode with the old man in the mountain. Lisa says that the aliens did this, but since she was the most adult, she weathered it better. Maggie sends Bart to the mountain, where the old man giving out all the wisdom is … Homer.
Bart leads Homer back down into the city, and Lisa is angry – she’s been using Homer as a false god to keep everyone in check under the aliens. The former kids rebel but Martin (now Professor Frinke) finds a way to send Bart back in time to prevent the aliens from succeeding – don’t call attention to yourselves with the flying ships. As he heads back, Maggie whispers something in Bart's ear.
Bart returns from after he takes his tumble. He belittles playing spaceships, and everyone goes and does something else. The exception is Martin and Ralph, who fly off in Ralph’s pie-plate craft. We see them head off, and they are followed by a space ship. Bart remembers what Maggie whispered to him - "There are no aliens - we become adults eventually regardless."
Over the closing credits, Kang and Kodos appears, to gloat that they finally appear in continuity on the show. Kang points out that the future may have changed, and besides, they only are seen in the closing tag, which gets cut in syndication. Kodos screams “nnooooo!”.
And I woke up, the plot fully-formed in my head, but as I tried to remember it, I was aware I was making linkages and explanations and filling plot holes. Now the only question is: How do I make a pitch?
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