Now this is the Bob we know and love. His last two major appearances, 2005's "The Italian Bob" and 2007's "Funeral for a Fiend" did not live up to the standard set by so many other great Sideshow Bob episodes. "The Bob Next Door" was a funny return to form that proved there's still a lot to enjoy when The Simpsons pit Bob and Bart against each other.
The episode, of course, didn't come right out at the beginning and make it all about Bob. The majority of the first act gave us the Simpson spin on the current economic crisis. Like many local governments, Springfield was in major financial difficulty. Homer's vision of Mayor Quimby's "cooked books" and "fudge numbers" was the best misrepresentation of what he heard since his take on Mr. Burns' "open-faced club, a sand wedge" request. Other references also brought laughs, including Krusty Burger taking up where the city's road kill pick-up left off, and folks leaving Springfield to find a better life in Detroit. And then Iceland blamed Homer for their financial collapse. "At least we'll always have Beowulf." "That's not us." "No! No!"
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