‘The Simpsons’ Finally Airs Waylon Smithers’ Coming Out After 27 Seasons

It doesn’t take a television connoisseur to recognise Springfield’s perpetually jaundiced citizens have lost some of their massive cultural cache, but sometimes, The Simpsons is still pretty alright. 

While it’s notable the show had to resolve one of its longest-running plot-points to eke out a decent episode, the fact Waylon Smithers very recent coming out was handled so well is a good bloody thing indeed. 

The ep, entitled The Burns Cage, found Mr. Burns’ lovelorn underling finally admit his feelings to his megalomaniacal boss. It’s been teased at for literally decades now, and viewers have, for the most part, given the ep a four-fingered thumbs up. 

Ol’ mate also gave his (admittedly shit) boss some what-for, as evidenced by this here clip – and that’s another reason pop-culture fiends like the A.V Club rated the episode so highly. For the first time, at a crucial moment for Smithers, the pair was shown to be on equal footing. 

The A.V Club reckons “the fact [Burns] instead gives Smithers his never-completed performance review (“excellent,” of course) and a hug isn’t played off as a joke.

Like everything else here, it’s not overdone, as Burns demands the show cut the sentimental score, but, as [Harry] Shearer’s Smithers says to Shearer’s Burns, “amazingly, it’s enough.””
Smithers also dabbles in a romantic life outside of the nuclear power plant, but eventually returns to that plushly-carpeted office – he’s still Smithers, after all, and being now-openly gay doesn’t end up changing the unrequited dynamic. 

That’s a reality-based ending that resonated with its very real audience. It was never going to work between the two – not least because Mr. Burns is still an incubator for literally every disease on Earth – but Smithers and the show itself demonstrated themselves to be mature enough to handle the issue regardless. 

Onya, Groening & Co. 

Source: The A.V Club. 
Photo: The Simpsons / Twitter.