The Simpsons Season 21, Episode 17: "American History X-Cellent" Review

There really hasn't been a memorable Mr. Burns-centric episode of The Simpsons during the last few seasons. Nothing immediately comes to mind. Unfortunately, "American History X-cellent" will quickly fade from memory as well. It had potential, but that all faded away the deeper into the episode we got.

Any episode focusing on Burns has potential. He's the billionaire curmudgeon we love to hate. When the episode opened showing Burns locked away in Springfield Penitentiary, and then flashbacked to show us how we got there, the field was wide open for what could be coming. It was good to see Burns characteristically wielding his power and exploiting his nuclear plant employees by making their Fourth of July picnic solely about him. I also enjoyed how Burns was carted away in an actual donkey-drawn cart when he was arrested for stealing a painting. The nonchalance of the town riot was also very funny. The folks in Springfield riot a lot, so it was smart and funny to see Moe selling "stuff to throw" and Marge taking advantage of the empty malls.

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