Within the Summer time of 1995, all of America was attempting to unravel the thriller of who shot Mr. Burns. Then they came upon it was the newborn. Many have been shocked that The Simpsons made Maggie the one who pulled the set off, however should you return by means of the primary a part of "Who Shot Mr. Burns", she's actually the one viable suspect.
A two-part story informed throughout The Simpsons season 6 finale and season 7 premiere, "Who Shot Mr. Burns" stands as an emblem of the present at its peak. It noticed The Simpsons deal with varied thriller style tropes ("Half 2" riffs on Twin Peaks' Black Lodge visions brilliantly), inform a narrative that takes into consideration all the city, and, most excitingly of all, really create a thriller that's solvable. No person really did crack the case – just one entry within the phone-in contest was right and that individual was by no means discovered – however should you return by means of the primary a part of "Who Shot Mr. Burns", all of the proof that it's Maggie is there.
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So sure, on the very finish of "Who Shot Mr. Burns", it's revealed Maggie shot the 104-year-old accidentally (or was it?) after he tried to steal her lollipop and his gun fell out of his holster and into her palms. That is, partly, a results of the writers desirous to keep away from having to cope with the ramifications of an grownup being the shooter – and thus having to write down them out – though it gelled effectively along with her violent streak in "Itchy & Scratchy & Marge" in addition to historical past with Burns' bear Bobo. There's additionally copious teases within the second half – reminiscent of Simpsons DNA – which additional level in direction of Maggie. That's all circumstantial, after all, and pointless.
If you happen to have been watching The Simpsons casually and felt it got here out of left-field – season 7's "The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular", which aired simply a few months later, even winked in direction of that – right here's how you possibly can crack it.
- This Web page: Maggie Is The Most Becoming Topic After Who Shot Mr. Burns – Half 1
- Web page 2: The Sundial & Sweet Clues In Who Shot Mr. Burns
Why Smithers Couldn't Have Shot Mr. Burns
Going into "Who Shot Mr. Burns – Half 2", the apparent suspect is Waylon Smithers. The primary half may be very a lot his first rate as he tries to cease Mr. Burns' sun-blocking plan, and certainly that's who the Springfield police gravitate in direction of: he's the go-to suspect when Lou questions Maggie and Santa's Little Helper, and even Smithers himself thinks he did it.
He's in the end confirmed harmless by Sideshow Mel. Krusty's intelligent-beyond-his-bone sidekick figures out that Smithers would have been dwelling watching Pardon My Zinger on Comedy Central on the time of the capturing, an extension of a jab at Comedy Central from the earlier episode. And all the knowledge that Mel used was there in "Who Shot Mr. Burns – Half 1".
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Smithers states within the city assembly he by no means misses Pardon My Zinger, whereas a TV display screen in Moe's earlier within the episode confirmed an advert for the present with a prominently displayed three pm air time. This is identical time Burns blocked out the solar and he's subsequently shot, which clearly exonerates Smithers.
As soon as Smithers is discounted, The Simpsons' large thriller appears so much trickier. All people in Springfield – besides Marge and Jimbo who’re seen across the time of the capturing – is a suspect, with an appropriate motive and lack of alibi. To chop it down, it's value what little is understood of the battle that led to the capturing: Burns is aware of the shooter, recognizing them with an upbeat "oh, it's you"; Burns is probably going shot together with his personal gun because it's lacking from its holster after being shot; and the capturing takes place within the carpark behind City Corridor, a location offered by Burns' Springfield map earlier within the episode.
Recognizing the shooter guidelines out Homer (and, following the chocolate field that includes the Simpsons household, can nonetheless embody any of the youngsters), whereas the weapon means the vast majority of these proven with their very own, completely different weapon – Abe, Moe, Barney, Skinner – are additionally discounted. The carpark isn't as sturdy proof because it's simply accessible by anyone within the assembly, however the one two characters confirmed within the location are Maggie and Santa's Little Helper.
Based mostly on the context of the scenario that The Simpsons season 6 finale constructs, Maggie is the one true logical suspect. And extra overt proof backs that up additional.
Web page 2 of two: The Sundial & Sweet Clues In Who Shot Mr. Burns
There's one remaining clue that The Simpsons drops earlier than the tip of the primary "Who Shot Mr. Burns" episode: the sundial. After being shot, Burns stumbles to the city sundial (already referred to as out by Smithers earlier within the episode) and splays out pointing to south and west. Whereas it's not resolute, the implication is that these are a nod to the gunman's id, that means somebody with "S.W. or "W.S" initials, most prominently the (already discounted) Waylon Smithers.
Nevertheless, there's an added wrinkle to this. All through "Who Shot Mr. Burns – Half 1", the time "three pm" comes up: it's when Pardon My Zinger airs, when Mr. Burns enacts his plan, and a number of clocks within the background learn three pm. That is repeated to the purpose it clearly conveys some significance, doubtless that Burns' arms on the sundial shouldn’t be considered as a compass however as a clock from his point-of-view. That flips the initials, making them "M.S." or "S.M." Essentially the most distinguished characters with these initials embody Moe, Marge and Maggie (there's additionally Mona Simpson, Homer's mom, however her first title hadn't been confirmed at this level). We all know it may't be Marge from the capturing and Moe has a shotgun so can be unlikely to take the pistol. That leaves solely Maggie.
After all, in the long run, Burns dismisses the sundial and implies that's a complete coincidence, however from the attitude of the present's writers it's clearly meant as a deciding clue.
What's clear from all of the clues mentioned to this point is that the script for "Who Shot Mr. Burns – Half 1" is much more loaded than it seems on first viewing. There's loads of coded background clues – three pm and Pardon My Zinger – and repeated drawing consideration to components that will likely be necessary forward of time. This turns into much more the case in "Half 2" when there's repeated highlighting of authentic scenes in a bid to permit audiences who've not given the thriller a lot thought over the Summer time since The Simpsons season 6 finale a solution to catch up.
This implies contextual clues needs to be given weight, and few are larger than Mr. Burns desirous to steal sweet from a child. Earlier within the episode, he describes stealing oil from the varsity as like "taking sweet from a child" and, coincidentally seeing a child with a sweet cane, decides to go seize it. That is one thing that's ostensibly there to chart Smithers' downfall, but in addition gives the much-needed clarification for why Maggie can be able to shoot Mr. Burns; the episode has established he would go for a kid, and when she's put in her automotive seat Maggie is holding a inexperienced lolly (which she doesn't have after the capturing).
"Who Shot Mr. Burns" could also be one thing of a gimmick, however becoming of it being slap-bang in the midst of The Simpsons' Golden Age, it undeniably works. The thriller is solvable and, whereas even the present has mocked the slight contrivance of the answer a number of occasions since, the entire thriller stays fascinating nearly 25 years later.