We gain another peek into Homer’s childhood, and it is the most adorable flashback yet.
After a drunken night involving one too many pickled eggs, Homer crashes his car into a light post. Instead of facing the music, he sells the vehicle to the demolition derby. Of course, Homer can’t miss the opportunity to see how his old vehicle does, and the whole family makes it down to the track to watch. But, when the old car is in its final faceoff, Grampa Simpson suffers a heart attack.
On his deathbed, Grampa asks Homer to forgive him for the most terrible mistake of his life. Mourning, Homer quickly agrees, but when Grampa makes a full recovery, it creates animosity between father and son. Homer cannot hold onto the secret any longer, and he tells his family how Grampa had thrown away Homer’s collection of pie recipes handed down to him by his mother.
With the whole Simpsons crew upset with Grampa, he makes his way to Homer’s old childhood home in search of the lost recipes. However, with life and death on the line, the two Simpsons men make amends, and Homer tells his father how much he appreciated him being there when his mother was not. Aww, that is actually super sweet.
Homer gets a bad rap for being a lazy drunk who is a terrible father and fails a lot. However, it can be easy to forget the life that this man has lived. Losing his mother as a child had a significant impact on his development which this episode voices. The flashback (and musical number) with Homer baking pies with his mother hits directly in the feels. All the terrible things you can say about Homer, he is a soft man who loves his family, and this peek into his childhood helps to establish where that comes from.
I would like to make a quick mention of this episodes intro. Last week, the big news was The Simpsons breaking the record for the most episodes of a television sitcom. There were slight mentions and nods in the previous week’s record-tying show, but with this one officially putting Simpsons on top, they made one more call out to the former champ, Gunsmoke. Who better to kill off the western sitcom in a draw than Maggie Simpson, as the baby puts another murder under her belt.
Okay, I have a soft spot for this particular episode. I personally have been in Grampa’s place and raised my son on my own as well. This whole story resonates with me, and as such, I can say that it is genuine and meaningful. Besides being one the most adorable episodes in a long while they managed to keep it light hearted the whole way through and I love the scene with the Medieval escape room. Overall, I am going to give “Forgive and Regret” a slightly higher score than I probably should, but when something hits your feels… well, isn’t that what storytelling is all about? Whether it is Shakespeare or The Simpsons, we’re all looking for something.