The Musk Who Fell to Earth

"The Musk Who Fell to Earth" is the twelfth episode of the twenty-sixth season of the American animated television series The Simpsons, and the 564th overall episode of the series. The episode was directed by Matthew Nastuk and written by Neil Campbell. It first aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 25, 2015.

"The Musk Who Fell to Earth"
The Simpsons episode
Episode no.Season 26
Episode 12
Directed byMatthew Nastuk
Written byNeil Campbell
Production codeTABF04
Original air dateJanuary 25, 2015 (2015-01-25)
Guest appearance
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Bart's New Friend"
Next →
"Walking Big & Tall"
The Simpsons (season 26)
List of episodes

Plot edit

The episode begins with Lisa tending to a birdhouse, which is shortly thereafter attacked by a bald eagle. While the family is admiring the eagle, it takes hold of Maggie and attempts to fly away before she is wrestled back by Homer, who has his hair stolen by the bird instead. The family then hatches a plan to capture the eagle so that they can eat it. Bart and Milhouse set up a trap using the boardgame Mousetrap, with the eagle taking the bait and entering the house to capture the mouse. Once inside, Homer and the bird wrestle again before Bart eventually smothers it and Homer with a plastic bag. Upon escaping the bag, Homer proceeds to beat the trapped bird before Lisa convinces him to instead nurse it to health and release it. After some time has passed, Homer releases the bird, but it is almost immediately incinerated by flames after take-off. Elon Musk lands with his Dragon 2 spacecraft into the Simpsons' backyard. Elon explains that he came to Springfield because he's looking for a source of inspiration. Homer insists that Elon comes to the power plant. The next day, Elon discovers that Homer is filled with new ideas for inventions, and so meets Mr. Burns and convinces him to build a magnet-to-hydrodynamic generator for the plant. Mr. Burns wants to hire Elon, but he refuses, saying that he doesn't care about the money.

Musk and Burns explain to the town that the plant has come up with plans for the city's electrical needs, including self-driving cars. However, Smithers is suspicious about Musk's intentions. Bart and Lisa sneak into the family's car and disable the auto-drive mode using Musk's master password, and go for a joyride. They end up at the plant, where Musk also explains that the town is losing roughly $50 million a quarter, much to Burns' horror. Musk explains to Burns that his true intention was to save the Earth. Angered at Musk's actions, Burns announces to his employees that there will be massive layoffs, and plots to kill Musk. Homer is also horrified because Musk caused Lenny, Carl and many other power plant employees to be fired, but Marge advises him to end his friendship with Musk gently.

The next day, while Musk is discussing his ideas for inventions with Homer, Burns attempts to assassinate him. Though the bullet accidentally aims in Homer's way, Musk saves him. Homer gratefully thanks him, but he admits to Musk that he needs to end their friendship. The Simpsons say goodbye to Musk as he boards his rocket to space, musing that he will miss Homer's last thoughts to him. To make up for Homer's and Lisa's sadness at his departure, he gives the family a futuristic birdhouse (similar to the birdhouse from the start of the episode).

Production edit

The episode was written by Neil Campbell, a freelance writer.[1] It guest stars Elon Musk as himself. Executive producer Al Jean stated they tried to make the episode not a "kiss-ass" guest star turn, and the episode contains many jabs at Musk's perceived egotism. Musk was a fan of the series, having watched the show since attending university. He guest starred on the show because he and executive producer James L. Brooks had a meeting, after which Brooks was convinced he wanted a fictional version of Musk on the show.[2] The closing theme is David Bowie's "Starman", later associated with Musk's Falcon Heavy launch in 2018.

Reception edit

The episode received an audience of 3.29 million, making it the most watched show on Fox that night.[3] Dennis Perkins of The A.V. Club gave the episode a C, saying "‘The Musk Who Fell to Earth’ plays out more like a love letter to Musk than a proper Simpsons episode. It's like some Simpsons writers met Musk at a TED talk, got smitten when they found out Musk was a fan, and turned an episode of the show over to him. Which would be less of a problem if the episode were well-thought-out and funny, Musk were an engaging comic presence, or the Simpsons themselves weren't relegated to supporting status on their own show."[4]

In 2022, The Guardian said the episode was "perhaps the most fawning" of Musk's celebrity media cameos.[5]

In November 2022 Musk claimed in a tweet that the episode correctly predicted his acquisition of Twitter, due to a scene where Lisa Simpson feeds birds that are in a birdhouse in Simpson's backyard with a sign that reads "Home Tweet Home". In reality, this scene was not a direct reference to Twitter and occurs before Musk appears in the episode. Though it was also noted by The Independent that the subplot of Mr. Burns laying off a portion of the Springfield Power Plant's staff due to Musk, is similar to Musk's real life mass Twitter layoffs that occurred soon after his acquisition of the platform.[6][7]

References edit

  1. ^ Jean, Al [@AlJean] (November 25, 2014). "@gruchologist Freelancer Neil Campbell" (Tweet). Archived from the original on December 11, 2015. Retrieved January 24, 2015 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ Vance, Ashlee (January 23, 2015). "Elon Musk Guest-Stars on The Simpsons – Bloomberg Business". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on January 25, 2015. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  3. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (January 27, 2015). "Sunday Final Ratings: No Adjustments for 'Galavant', 'Revenge' or 'CSI'". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on January 30, 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
  4. ^ Perkins, Dennis (January 26, 2015). "Review: The Simpsons: "The Musk Who Fell To Earth" · TV Club · The A.V. Club". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on January 29, 2015. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
  5. ^ Cain, Sian (April 26, 2022). "Elon Musk's Twitter takeover is just his latest desperate bid for celebrity". The Guardian. Archived from the original on June 15, 2022. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  6. ^ Evans, Greg (November 26, 2022). "Did the Simpsons predict that Elon Musk would buy Twitter? He certainly thinks so". indy100. Archived from the original on November 26, 2022. Retrieved November 26, 2022.
  7. ^ Tabahriti, Sam (November 26, 2022). "Elon Musk jokes that The Simpsons predicted he would buy Twitter in an episode that aired in 2015". Business Insider. Archived from the original on November 26, 2022. Retrieved November 26, 2022.

External links edit